Dec 10, 2014

Anime Review: Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu

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Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu title/logoTime and time again, I feel like I end up defending myself a little bit in these reviews, desperately scrounging at times to justify why I watch (to completion) and subsequently review (no small effort) so much transparently commercial otaku-bait. I get it: the anime genre itself is, on the whole, fairly niche and uniquely pandered to. Most production companies know they aren’t going to score widespread appeal and so deliberately opt to zero in on their reliable base market of late-teen-to-twenties males who already watch and, perhaps most importantly, buy anime merchandise. It’s why anime home releases are so expensive. And so it’s also little surprise you see so many clichés that never seem to die. I’ve been wallowing in the weeaboo now for about fifteen years and I’ve pretty much seen it all. There are countless samey-shows and me-too series. And yet, here I am… about to spend ~3300 words on yet another one.

Nov 30, 2014

Anime Review: Tonari no Seki-kun

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Tonari no Seki-kun title/logoAs someone who, generally speaking, detested school and the many thousands of hours I spent waiting for the bell to ring, I can sympathize with the desire to zone out and just doodle or whatever to pass the time. Of course, in my case that’s about as far as it went; I never did try to sneak in comic books or food or even a Walkman. (Yes, I said a Walkman. Look it up if you’re that young.) Maybe I just didn’t have appropriately sized balls or simply the requisite “fuck it” attitude. And I’m not sayin’ you should do those things… but I understand.

Anime Review: Miss Monochrome

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Miss Monochrome: The Animation title/logoI have been a long, long time fan of Horie Yui ever since seeing (and obsessing over) Love Hina so many years ago. She’s delightfully talented in both speaking and singing roles and she’s managed to maintain that for well over a decade now (though even her great talent can’t save some series). So when I heard she was pushing to produce a short series on an original character of her own I was definitely curious. It’s rare that the world is bestowed with triple-threats like the too-charming Justin Timberlake but they do happen so… maybe Miss Horie is good at character design and synopsis too? Hell, she’s been in the biz long enough to see what works and doesn’t work, right?

Anime Review: Kaitou Reinya

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Kaitou Reinya title/logoAs an anime and weirdo Japanophile who’s a bit long in the tooth I’ve been around the JPop block long enough. Even so, while I have long had a cursory knowledge of its existence, I can’t say that I’ve ever shown any genuine interest in Morning Musume. I thought it was a TV show for the longest time and apparently it is closer to the more recently popular AKB48, though I’m almost certain I am probably oversimplifying things and making some Momusu nerd cry somewhere. That said, when a former member (or is it current? I have no idea, they’ve churned through more members than Jenna Jameson) does a weird comedy spin-off animated short thing, well… I’m not really sure what to think because any notoriety or novelty is largely lost on me.

Oct 27, 2014

Anime Review: R.O.D. / Read or Die

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R.O.D. title/logoAh yes, R.O.D.; it’s been a long time coming. I still remember how fantastically popular it was back when it originally came out in 2001. Footage of it appeared in countless AMVs of the time and for years after. It was praised for being refreshingly original and action-packed with some high-quality animation for its time. Alas, though, I never got around to seeing it until this year. And I’m sorry for being so late to the party because I really don’t think I can tell you all anything you probably don’t already know at this point.