The "Other" Anime: Usagi Drop *spoiler free*

August 19th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by


When an outsider, aka those “normal” people who don’t watch anime because they’re “too old for cartoons”, thinks of anime a few things come to mind. Things like well-endowed women, giant robots, and obnoxious teenage boy protagonists. And, well, they’re probably right to an extent. Those of us who are well adapted into the anime world know that there’s much more to it. Yet, it seems that no matter what we’re looking at, be it anime, movies, television, or video games, we are obsessed with grouping everything into categories. For video games we have fighting games, RPGs, puzzles. For movies or television there’s action, fantasy, comedy, etc. Within those groups, we have tropes that are associated with them. The wise old wizard belongs to fantasy, the funny roommate who’s kind of a womanizer belongs to comedy. With anime this need to categorize is certainly evident, but I have found that Usagi Drop is in a category of its own.

If you’ve seen this short but loveable series, try to think of one trope that it really fits into. The main character is a bachelor, but he’s not a skirt chaser, or the chosen hero. He’s just a typical thirty – something man. Usagi Drop is considered a slice of life anime, but the setting isn’t a school filled with peppy teenagers. It also can fall into the very rare josei genre, but doesn’t focus on romantic relationships like they so often do. I would argue that Usagi Drop would fall into the “other” genre if there was one in anime. This is what makes the show so special. It doesn’t have any of the clichés that anime are always associated with. It’s a breath of fresh air, really. (more…)

Top 5 Anime Pairings

February 14th, 2013 in Anime, Rants by


Let’s get something straight- I hate Valentine’s Day.

I’ve decided to make this short little post a sort of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and, in celebration of a truly evil day, I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 anime couples. Because a) I like lists and b) what’s sweeter than when two anime characters fall hopelessly in love with each other? *Sigh* Of course if you’ve read my other posts you may know by now that I’m still pretty new to anime so I don’t have a lot of shows to choose from, but here are the 5 couples who have caught my eye thus far.

(Um, spoilers I guess. Sort of.)

Number 5: Taiga and Ryuuji from Toradora!
They say opposites attract and if any couple was proof of that, it’d be this one. Ryuuji meets Taiga, the takes-no-crap girl whose small stature but hotheaded personality earned her the nickname palmtop tiger. At the start of the anime the two of them, not even friends at this point, are struggling desperately to confess their feelings to their school crushes. When Taiga accidentally reveals to Ryuuji who she loves (she gives him the love letter she’d written), they agree to help each other. Of course they form a closer bond than either of them had thought possible. Taiga’s sharp, cruel remarks mixed with Ryuuji’s patience and compassion makes for a hysterical dynamic, and although Ryuuji may have feelings for another girl, even he can see that she may be just a little too vanilla and he needs a sprinkling of salt. (more…)

The Curse of the Sequel Strikes Again

January 6th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews, Rants by

I was looking for something festive for the new year. I'd hoped the banner said Happy New Year. It says Welcome to the Student Council

I was looking for something festive for the new year. I’d hoped the banner said Happy New Year. It says Welcome to the Student Council

First off, Happy New Year fellow anime lovers! This message will be delivered late but shoot I’m writing this on the morning of January 1st. Hope you all managed to go out, party, and have a great time because I’ve been sick with mono all week. Besides really sucking this means that I’ve gotten to dig through a ton of Soul Eater episodes.

But this article isn’t about Soul Eater. It’s about a lesser known anime, Seitokai no Ichizon Lv. 2. I happened to stumble upon the original series, Seitokai no Ichizon, a while back. Keep in mind I’ve only seen 8 episodes of Lv. 2 thus far, but at 10 episodes to conclude the series I think I pretty much know where this is going.

The synopsis I’ve written goes for both shows since they are both pretty much plot-less: Four attractive girls are on the student council. There’s the president, Aka-chan. Despite being one of the older ones and in charge of the student council, she is the most childish: insecure about her extremely small stature and possessing a wild sweet tooth. She also happens to be my favorite ^__^ Then we have Chizuru. She is very womanly, somewhat seductive, and loves to baby Aka-chan, who she finds to be adorable. Minatsu is the bold tomboy with athletic skills. Her little sister, Mafuyu is the adorable one who loves BL and video games and often refers to herself in the first person. She’s also scared of boys.

The fifth spot is open to whichever student gets the highest grades in the class. Ken decides to work as hard as he can to become top student not because he wants a promising future (because really what sixteen year old actually cares about that?) but because he wants to spend his afternoons hanging out with all the girls. Ding! Ding! Ding! You got it. It’s a harem! (more…)

The Second Time Around Syndrome

December 31st, 2012 in Anime, General Reviews, Manga Reviews by

If Kyo is the cat who is Tohru holding? 0__0

If Kyo is the cat who is Tohru holding? 0__0

I hate this…no wait, actually this is the greatest thing ever.

Seriously why couldn’t I stand this the first time around?

Ever go from hating to loving something? It happens to me a lot when I hear a song I dislike too many times and it grows on me, but rarely do I find this happening with television. However, Fruits Basket is an exception to this rule. It was one of the first anime I watched after my initial induction into anime. I’d decided that I wanted to watch something light hearted after watching a lot of shows with dark storylines. So I did a little research and Fruits Basket was a good choice. It was comedic and had romance, but there was also a really unique and fascinating story I could get into. People turning into animals when they hug the opposite sex? That’s so interesting!
So I started up good ol’ Netflix…and was really turned off by the show by the time I’d hit episode 3 or 4. By the end I was hating it. It was just THAT bad. Initially I gave the show a 3/10.

Now I give the show a 7/10.

In case you don’t know, recently orphaned Tohru Honda is living on her own in the woods until she finds herself in the house of the Sohma family. This family possesses an ancient curse- whenever they hug a member of the opposite sex they turn into a member of the Chinese zodiac. Tohru is given the opportunity to live with the Sohma family as their housekeeper. Soon she befriends the two handsome students who live there. (more…)

Yosuga no Sora

October 27th, 2012 in Anime, General Reviews by

Finally doing a review again. I really need to stop rambling so that I can get to more of these.
I love I really do. It’s the best place to figure out where to begin when you’re trying to diverge from “mainstream” anime. Being that the site aims to catalogue every anime in existence, I’m bound to come across a lot of junk. But then there are those anime I find that are real gems. Yosuga no Sora is one of those gems.

Twins Sora and Haru have just lost both their parents. The first scene of the show opens with the two of them sitting across from each other on a train. Sora and Haru quickly move into a quaint little town and get to know all of the other young teenagers who live there. The short series, concluding at 12 episodes, follows 4 story arcs each at 3 episodes. Each arc involves Haru befriending and later developing a sexual relationship with a different girl.

Obviously, this show is famous for its incest content, which does not even happen until the final story arc. I always hear “Oh it’s not as taboo in Japan but still considered wrong”. Granted, it is only anime but at the time I was watching this I’d only seen around 10 anime and of these 4 of them (the other 3 being Elfen Lied, Kaze no Stigma, and Fruits Basket) had paired off family members! That’s nearly half! Clearly this is a popular issue in Japan.

I really didn’t know what to expect upon watching the first episode but by the end of it I was not only entertained but very interested in seeing what happened next. At first glance, Yosuga no Sora can be written off as an ecchi, sometimes labeled as “soft hentai”, but with eye catching visuals, an enchanting, mystical setting, and surprisingly well-developed characters those terms just wouldn’t do the show any justice. (more…)

Five Questions for the Aniblogger Interrogation Game!

September 22nd, 2012 in Anime, Miscellaneous by

Five Questions for the Aniblogger Interrogation Game!
Super late in the game but I hadn’t even noticed this post until I read Façade’s article. I was tagged so here it goes.

1. What is it that led you to become an aniblogger?
I’m already a creative writing major and a huge anime fan so it seemed like common sense to smash the two together. Also, as I continued watching anime/reading manga I realized I had a lot of strong opinions (former debate team member lol) and wanted to share them. Thus, my blog.

2. How many times can you recall where an anime or anime scene made you think “WTF”?
Um, this question could be an entire blog of its own. There are so many WTF anime moments. It’s sort of a…culture shock thing I guess. Off the top of my head? The first scene in Elfen Lied. I had no idea what that show was about and was not warned in advance. Also, in Elfen Lied where they paired off the cousins. That was my first introduction to incest in anime…which I would later learn there is a lot of.

Yeah, this is so totally me…

3. If you could be an anime/manga character, who would it be?
Ah, that’s a tough one! Kallen from Code Geass is awesome and her life is pretty exciting. I also want to say Tohru Honda (without the tragic my mother died occurrence) because she spends all day surrounded by pretty boys who like her ;). Then again, I’d like to be Princess Euphemia (without the part where *spoiler* I go on a killing spree and then die myself) because I am in love with Suzaku and her clothes are pretty. There are so many awesome female characters but so many tragic stories. Lol. Do I have to pick just one? If I had to I’d say a female Pokemon Trainer. Who can’t say their dream is to have a Pokemon journey?

4. Which means of viewing do you prefer, subbed anime or dubbed anime or do you speak Japanese? I so wish I could speak Japanese and watch the original anime! But I only know really basic phrases. I like both, but prefer dubs (gasp!). Because watching subs makes me feel left out of the loop, like I’m in on the program but not really there. Also when I have to stare at the captions the entire time I can’t focus on what’s going on. But honestly, I’ve watched and enjoyed both.

5. Finally, which anime/manga do you consider to be worth someone’s time?
I’m going to completely bypass Code Geass and Death Note so that I don’t sound like a broken record and go ahead and say Yosuga no Sora (which is what I plan to blog about next). It’s a really beautiful, controversial story about siblings who fall in love. It seems trashy from just reading summaries and reviews but if you actually watch the show I don’t think it disappoints. As for manga I’d say Neon Genesis Evangelion. It’s better than the anime.
Since the game was considered closed I won’t tag or write up new questions.

Comic Books Vs. Manga

August 22nd, 2012 in Miscellaneous, Rants by

As usual, this was the summer of comic book films. We had The Avengers, which only increased my ever lasting love for Joss Whedon, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Amazing Spider-Man which blew the original films away with it’s darker tone and the absence of a certain redhead. I’ve been a longtime fan of comic book movies, but I’m new to anime/manga.

Being a die-hard reader I find manga extremely enjoyable. As a reader who usually reads thick fantasy books with small fonts, I can especially appreciate the fact that I can get through a fast paced manga volume within an hour. Another bonus, manga often fills me in with a lot of story that the anime series had carelessly glossed over. Comic book movies gloss over certain aspects of the original stories as well, but this is much more necessary since the comics go on for forever. More on that later.

Readers have heard this question before: Are comic books or manga more enjoyable? Personally, I like manga better and there’s really no contest here…And yes, manga, like anime, plural is just “manga” not “mangas”. Hey! I knew being an English major would come in handy. 😉

Back in the day when I saw the first two X-men movies, belonging to my all time favorite comic book film series, I decided to start trying to get into the comics. I had to get my fix somehow, right? X-men 3 was only just about to be released at the time so I was out of films until then. Let’s start with the original X-men series…you know what, I won’t even talk about it. Just have a look here. (more…)

Code Geass Gaiden: Boukoku no Akito *spoiler alert!*

July 11th, 2012 in Anime, Code Geass Gaiden, General Reviews by

Spoilers for Code Geass and R2 throughout.

I’m going to be predictable and blog about my ever high hopes for the upcoming installment for Code Geass ;). There is much talk about Lelouch still being alive, and it gets confusing. I’m pretty sure the director himself has declared Lelouch is indeed dead, but don’t quote me on that. However, the fact that Lelouch is stabbed by his best friend, would pretty much be enough proof that Lelouch is dead. Then again, every fan of the show knows the very last scene leaves us with room for speculation. It also makes people like me crazy because I like all the ends to be tied up into a nice little package.

My opinion? I’m so glad you asked! Lelouch is dead.

I’m not exactly a gold mine of information when it comes to supporting this theory. C.C. is shown to be looking up at the sky and talking. Yes, she is happy so that leads some viewers to believe that is proof Lelouch has survived, but some time has passed since his death when that scene is shown. So because it acts like a sort of epilogue, we can say C.C. has moved on. As an immortal she is used to being alone. Some people believe that Lelouch is the man riding the carriage in the last scene and there are videos that show the man having a similar facial structure to Lelouch as well as Lelouch’s black hair. At first I thought they were hoax videos but according to this one, that was the original Japanese ending and not just a hoax.
After some research I’m starting to understand the people who assume Lelouch is alive. The code and the Geass elements to the series leave me admittedly confused at times. I’m watching season 1 for the third time and there are still parts that I am only just catching this time around. With all the different theories out there I still like to stick to my original belief. I like that Lelouch is dead because I think it gives the ending a much more profound impact and him still being alive is like a cop-out. Also, I’m a sadistic nut when it comes to stories. I’ve always liked dark, sad story lines better.

Another guess? The writers watched V for Vendetta one too many times.

I’ve heard more than one person say that this is a sequel to R2 and that they hope to see Lelouch in it. This is not the case. The new Code Geass installment is to air August 4th. It’s a 4 episode long OVA. According to the summary (more…)

*The 1000th Summer*

June 6th, 2012 in Air, Anime, General Reviews, Manga Reviews, Movies by

Pretty 🙂

Air: An Overview

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Air, it’s the story of a homeless man, Yukito, and his journey as he stops in a quaint little town by the beach. He is searching for the Winged Maiden (sounds so pretty, doesn’t it?), a woman his mother would tell him about as a child who was cursed and bound to the sky. He meets a young girl named Misuzu when stopping in this town, and suddenly everything changes for him. So that’s the basic plot line. Now you don’t have to quickly google it before reading this article.

The Air Anime

Story: The anime first appealed to me because it was short at only 13 episodes and because the artwork is stunning. Where the story is concerned, it’s sloppy and all over the place. The Winged Goddess story line is choppy and poorly explained…well maybe it isn’t but I was just bored by the time they got down to specifics. A huge reason for this is the large and pointless cast of secondary characters who are tolerable at their best and horribly annoying at their worst.

Characters: Misuzu, Haruko (Misuzu’s foster mother), and Yukito are all fairly well-developed characters. The problem is the obnoxious bunch of secondary characters who are supposed to make this a more dramatic show but make it slow and all over the place. Misuzu goes beyond your typical cute girl. (more…)

Why Shinji is as strong as Rei and Asuka and …What would Asuka do?

May 15th, 2012 in Anime, Manga Reviews, Rants by

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Why Shinji is as strong as Rei and Asuka and …What would Asuka do?

(Spoilers ahead)
I was reading the NGE manga and in volume six Toji discovers he’s the fourth child. His Eva unit is taken over by an Angel and Rei, Shinji, and Asuka are sent to destroy it. This happens in episode 18 of the anime. Shinji has no idea Toji is in the Eva/Angel in the anime, but still refuses to destroy it. In the manga he recognizes that it is Toji. Shinji refuses to shoot, Rei only follows orders and doesn’t think twice about shooting, and Asuka was already shot down and help was sent for her.

I don’t remember if Rei and Asuka are present during this scene in the anime, but to the best of my memory they aren’t. Anyway, in both versions Shinji is now faced with a choice and promptly refuses to follow orders. This to me is the most defining moment for his character and proof that he is far more than a coward.

Take that Shinji bashers.

Shinji gets far too much dislike. Is he a heroic, admirable, amazing hero? No. But hello, that’s the entire point of the series. My opinion, if someone hates Shinji, they hate NGE; which is fine everyone is entitled to an opinion. But if someone still loves NGE I can’t understand why they would love a show centered on a character they hate. Also, I think they failed to see the point of the show.

So now I have developed a list I like to call…
Reasons Why Shinji is as Good as Asuka and Rei

Reason 1: Shinji refuses to shoot because it goes against his moral reasoning
Simply, Shinji sticks to his guts. Whether or not you agree with Shinji’s choice is a whole different debate. That issue of whether it’s okay to sacrifice one person to benefit another can be analyzed for you in 50 very complicated episodes of the Code Geass series. The point is Shinji did what he thought was right. He didn’t shoot because he was terrified of getting in trouble or afraid to die, he simply said he was not going to shoot. It would have been very easy for Shinji to have just saved his own skin. In the manga, he knew it was his friend. That also shows loyalty. In the anime he has no idea it’s Toji. That shows that he thinks of others, of children his own age. (more…)