Cosplay is as ingrained into Japanese culture as is sake and pork cutlet bowls. Perhaps they feel they actually invented it, but they have certainly gone to great lengths to perfect it. It’s just that I do not personally recall a show that looks at cosplay in a mature manner; the people who do it are wholly, solely committed to it, especially in trying to pull off just the right look (which can be really hard if you take on someone like, say, Alphonse Elric) without mocking them. Thus, we have “My Dress-Up Darling” (“Sono Bisuku Dōru wa Koi o Suru”, or “That Bisque Doll Falls in Love”). (more…)
She’s An “Ex” For a Reason
Romantic comedies are hard to pull off effectively, in that the combatants (for wont of a better term) need to be smart enough to understand why they do what they do, but just clueless enough to allow the events to unfold as they need to for the story to be told. It doesn’t always work, as when other parts are brought into the mix that may or may not complicate things, and that is how we get to “My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex” (“Mamahaha no Tsurego ga Motokano datta, or “My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex-Girlfriend”). (more…)
“Duke” It Out
Romantic comedy covers a huge amount of territory, but it usually is the same thought process: a guy really, really likes a girl, but doesn’t know how to say it or express it or convey it without looking like a fool doing so and, thus, tarnishing his image in her eyes (OK, I will be speaking from a guy-to-gal approach; I know it can happen in the opposite direction as well). Meanwhile, the object of their affection is (usually) well aware of their feelings, but they do not want to make it easy for them and saying it for them. YOU have to convey it, OK, as it commits you to the relationship. But what if death is part of the equation? That brings us to “The Duke of Death and His Maid” (“Shinigami Botchan to Kuro Meido”).
So, how DO you like your perversions? I mean, this caliber of conversation does not come up at the dinner table and it would be difficult to try and explain things as we are ladling out the mashed potatoes and gravy, or perhaps a plate of curry, but you have to have a conversation of some ilk, and since politics is off the menu, well, here we are. It just that this show, “Nobunaga Teacher’s Young Bride” (“Nobunaga Sensei no Osanazuma”) serves up a lot of actions, as we realize social mores and morals have changed over the years to where what was OK then is explicitly illegal now. (more…)
Ever been cornered or trapped or treed, the hounds baying at your feet and you were compelled to do something you normally wouldn’t? Yeah, as of late, owing to real problems I have in trying to watch my anime, I have been seeing shows that I would have walked away from, but since I can’t get my hands on anything, well, as W. C. Fields once said “It is time to grab the bull by the tail and face the situation.” Thus brings me, and you, and the rest of us out there, to this, “Domestic Girlfriend” (“Domesutikku na Kanojo”). (more…)
What’s for “Breakfast”?
Demons, demons, demons. There does seem to be a fascination with demons, especially when we present them as more humanish than demonoidal. I mean, most of us see demons as someone who will burn you up or mow you down or cleave you in twain. Yeah, you might want to get some kind of PR firm to help burnish that image a touch. But what happens when a demon come after you for a debt that a relative owes them? How did this happen? Such is the premise behind Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits” (“Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi”, or “Afterlife Inn Cooking”). Oh, did I forget to mention it’s also a kind of cooking show? Oh, did I forget to mention it’s also a kind of isakai? Oh, did I forget to mention it’s also a kind of romance? Man, I would lose my head if it wasn’t screwed on to my shoulders. *THUNK* (more…)
You Go, “Girl”
This is a real mixed-bag of a show for me. I like the general concept of it but detest the animation decisions, as it serves no purpose to make it 3D-ish, unless they were trying to tie things in with the video games they were playing. Anyway, this is the world of “Hi-Score Girl” , (‘Hai Sukoa Gāru’). (more…)
Off the “Record”
This ended up being a more interesting show than I was willing to give it credit for. I have reched (reached! Reached! Or maybe I have reched a tad) a saturation point; both are equally plausible. It comes to shows like this and the mediæval approach to things. Is there some reason this cannot take place in the American Old West, or France in the 1920s or Russia when Napoleon was a foot? I mean afoot! Or maybe he is only a foot tall (well, they measured things differently.) Anyway, here we are at “Grancrest Senki” (also known as “Record of Grancrest War” or “Gurankuresuto Senki”). (more…)
Yeah, these reviews are a one-two punch, as I found myself in the world of yaoi and yuri. The thing is I have a hard time determining if it is yaoi from the outset, as it can be couched just enough. Yuri, however, if pretty blatant, even if I don’t see two girls kissing, like above. Part of it is in the title, as a lot of yuri love shows seem to hover around fruit of flowers, whether it’s “Strawberry Panic” or “Sweet Blue Flowers” or, in this case, “Citrus”. (more…)
“Man of the Year”
I have misread shows before. Even the capsule for this series was a tad on the vague side, so I thought it was going to be a ridiculous comedy about two men who try to out-sexy one another for the love and attention of all the women in Japan. I didn’t realize that they would try and out-sexy one another for the love and attention OF one another, Yup, it’s yaoi. And what is the name of this show? Well, it has a lot of alternative titles: “Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu”, “Dakaretai Otoko Ichii ni Odosarete Imasu”, “Dakaretai Otoko No.1 ni Odosareteimasu”, but I’ll stick with “Dakachi – I’m Being Harrassed by the Sexiest Man of the Year.” (more…)