Category Archives: Opinion

The Toei Animation Discrimination Case and Why It’s Important

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Once again, it seems, my pension for tuning out the news as much as possible has caught up with me. As per the usual, I’ve missed an incredibly important story and am now going to be super late to the party in terms of actually talking about it. Well, as they say, better late than never. For those uninitiated with the story, lets just jump right in.

So, to set the scene a little bit, for those who are unaware, Toei Animation is a Japanese animation studio who has a long history of animating well known TV series, including Sailor Moon, One Piece and Naruto. They also have a history of animating relatively progressive kids series, which is relevant to the story. As a result, the studio has a lot of power in the industry.

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It was initially reported by Yahoo News, and then later reported by Comic Book and Anime News Network that a Union representative at Toei Animation was discriminated against because of being X-gender (Note: X-gender generally refers to the idea of being non-binary, and is a term commonly used in Japan). As the outlets reported, Toei tried to refuse labor negotiations with the x-gendered representative as they were representing another employee in a case of an unfair firing.

There are a admittedly a lot of details, so I would highly recommend reading articles linked above to get a full picture of the situation. With that being said, everything about this just not okay.

Firstly, it should not have to be explained why discriminating based on gender identity is wrong, but since I am sure that at least on idiot will come across this post, I will anyway. Hating people because of characteristics that are outside of their control is irrational. It is just a reality that how people view themselves in regards to their gender identity is in no small part a product of biological phenomena. However, even if it was a entirely their choice, it would not make hating them anymore ok.

However, this becomes even worse when that hate is coming from one’s place of work. Not having the same name as the one that appears on a birth certificate does not make someone a liar, and that fact that this was the company’s actual reason for refusing negotiations with this individual is a testament to the level of ignorance that still exists within Japan about x-gender people.

For as bad as the ignorance about non-binary people is, this story also speaks to another issue that is prevalent in Japan, but also in many countries across the world: overworking employees. The reason this person needed to be represented in the first place was because of Toei’s “culture of overwork,” which is extremely common at Japanese animation studios, to the point where many people quit the industry within their first few years of working.

There is also currently a petition going around to address the situation to get Toei to stop behavior like this in the future. It is not often that petitions like these ever actually make much significant change, but bringing attention to this issue and creating enough bad press might get the company to shift their views in the future. Whatever happens, it is best to not forget incidents like these when thinking about how one should view the actions of individual companies.

Japan has never really been particularly good on either of these issues, even relative to other developed countries. However, seeing social change involves creating awareness of incidents like these and calling out why they are bad. It is wrong to overwork employees and pay them way less than what they are worth, and it is wrong refuse to work with someone based on their gender identify, plain and simple.


What is your take on this story? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

A New Teaser for Mamoru Hosoda’s “Belle” Dropped. Here’s My Reaction

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

By the time this post comes out it will probably already have been about a week or so since the last teaser for Mamoru Hosoda’s newest feature film “Belle” has come out. However, being the fan of his that I am, I still wanted to react to it and give my initial, albeit ill-informed take on what has been released so far.

The reason I say ill-informed is cause, well, as far as I can tell, there is still relatively little information about the movie as a whole, outside of a general plot layout. The addition of a few more frames in a thirty second teaser does not really add much more to the equation. However, I will say that from the amount that we got, I am incredibly excited.

In terms of modern directors, I feel like Makoto Shinkai gets a lot of credit, deservedly so, for the visuals of his movies. Yet, it feels like Hosoda never really gets that same credit even though his works are all also visually stunning. “Summer Wars,” for example, not only had an incredibly diverse color palette, but had tons of Sakuga in the final act of the movie. The same can also be said for “Boy and the Beast” which had a number of great fight scenes even down to the final minutes of the movie.

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I mentioned this in my last post about the movie, but the limited knowledge we do have implies that movie is not going to be unfamiliar territory. The film’s plot is about a young girl from a rural village who one day joins an online world called “U” and ends becoming a famous singer. People who are familiar with Hosoda’s work might recognize that this is very similar to the plot of “Summer Wars.”

The difference, though, is that “Summer Wars” came out during a time when the internet still felt like a novelty to some people, whereas now it is infinitely more important to communication and daily life. There have also been a lot of burgeoning political movements to come out of the internet in last 10 years, some innocuous, some much more harmful *cough cough* literal nazis *cough cough*

Regardless, this is still all speculation at this point, and nothing concrete can really be said until we see the movie, or at the very least get a longer trailer. However, given the consistent quality of Hosoda over the last decade and half, it would not be surprising to see this movie be another excellent addition to his catalog.


What do you guys think of this latest teaser for “Belle?” Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Discussing the Winter 2021 Anime Season

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Well…yeah, we’re here I guess. I don’t think most people expected the world to get much better just cause a cinderella crystal ball dropped when the clock struck midnight, but there is always that tiny feeling of hope. Anyway, back to anime.

With every change in the trees comes a change in TV, and man did the Winter 2021 season deliver in spades. The combination of a bunch of setbacks and delays for certain series culminated in one of the most exciting seasons of the last few years. There are lots of important sequels and some impressive newcomers to the scene, so let’s talk about it. 

When I say this season is stacked, I really mean it. Just of the most popular series, “Attack on Titan” is back for its fourth and final season, reaching the climax of its most recent arc. “The Promised Neverland” has returned for its second season, as the kids of a strange orphanage continue their dangerous journey.

On top of that, there are sequels for a few popular Isekai shows, including “Reincarnated as a Slime,” “Re:Zero,” and one of my personal favorites “Log Horizon.” Some fairly popular slice of life shows also got new seasons as well, including “Yuru Camp” and “Non-Non Biyori” getting their second and third seasons, respectively. 

On top of the high number of anticipated sequels, the Winter 2021 slate also brought with it some great new series. The first worth talking about is one that many have been anticipating since its announcement late last year. “Horimiya” is a romance show that focuses on two unlikely friends who quickly develop feelings for each other they are both too scared to admit.

The series centers on the idea that people usually have different personalities in different social situations. So far, at least, the show has not done a whole lot beyond that, but its pacing and the depth of its characters implies a much better story to come. 

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Whereas many people were excited for “Horimiya’s” adaptation, pretty much no one saw “Wonder Egg Priority” coming. This makes a bit of sense, though, as the original creator and scriptwriter, Saki Takahashi, has no other credited anime productions under his belt, and has only worked on a handful of relatively short manga before this. 

It may have come out of nowhere, but “Wonder Egg Priority” likely will not leave anyone’s memory for quite a while. It focuses on young girls who have gained the ability to enter a dream-like world where the task is to “break open eggs” and save the girls that come out of them from their trauma and abusers.

The subject matter by its self would make the show memorable, as it touches on everything from bullying, suicide, and sexual assault. However, it is that, combined with its colorful presentation, intricate and yet somehow earworm-y soundtrack, and nuanced characters that makes it so amazing. Not to mention the series is not even halfway done, and already appears to be an easy contender for anime of the year. 

One other show worth a brief mention is “EX-ARM,” a sci-fi series about a young high school student who hates machines, but who seemingly finds himself in the middle of robotic warfare. The newest Crunchyroll original, if the internet is to be believed, is one of if not the worst anime ever made. For people who find themselves fans of hate-watching, this might just be a good watch, though I cannot formally confirm or deny that. 

This definitely feels like one of the better seasons to come out in a while. Sequels, exciting originals, and garbage for people who enjoy garbage, I guess? Seems like there is something for everyone. 


How do you all feel about the winter season? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

No Game No Life and The Philosophy of Disboard

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

In order to break up the seasonal excitement a bit, and also to give myself a buffer since school is starting this week, I thought I would dig up one of my original video ideas and publish the script here. I may still make this into a video at some point, but as for now I thought it would be fun to revisit one of my favorite series and discuss one of my favorite aspects: its setting. Enjoy!


Despite being a genre predicated on a change in scenery, It seems as if many of the recent entries into the Isekai genre have ignored one of the most important elements of a good story: the setting. Many of these said entries, such as In Another World with my Smartphone, seem to take for granted the fantasy setting in which their stories take place. As a result, they forgo world-building in favor of giving as much screen time possible to the usual blank slate MC and whatever Harem misadventures he is getting into that week.

However, one Isekai that actively builds on its world in an exciting and interesting way is No Game No Life. In fact, it might be fair to say that Disboard, the world where the show takes place, is itself the main character, with its own unique perspective.

Disboard, as it is known to Sora and Shiro, being a world governed by the ten covenants, was created long ago at the end of the Great War, a contest between the many gods of that world in order to attain the Suniaster and become the one true god. Tet, at the time known as the god of play, obtained it at the very end, recreating Disboard into a world without war and violence.

  1. All murder, war, and robbery is forbidden in this world.
  2. All conflict in this world will be resolved through games.
  3. In games, each player will bet something that they agree is of equal value.
  4. As long as it doesn’t violate pledge three, anything may be bet, and any game may be played.
  5. The challenged party has the right to decide the rules of the game.
  6. Any bets made in accordance with the pledges must be upheld.
  7. Conflicts between groups will be conducted by designated representatives with absolute authority.
  8. Being caught cheating during a game is grounds for an instant loss.
  9. In the name of god, the previous rules may never be changed.
  10. Let’s all have fun and play together!

The rules that govern Disboard, otherwise known as the ten covenants, are the guiding principles that were set in place by Tet in order to create his game world Utopia. These covenants, as they relate to No Game No Life, can best be understood in three separate sections.

Covenants two through eight layout the rules for conflict in the new world of Disboard. Those who wish to fight must do so through playing a game, with the person challenged deciding what game to play and each person betting something of equal value. These rules make it so that people have a way of settling conflicts that don’t devolve into total war and bloodshed. The rules also reflect Tets personality as the god of play, someone who loves games.

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The first, “All murder, war, and robbery is forbidden in this world,” and the ninth, “In the name of god, the previous rules may never be changed,” represents Tets desire to see a world in absolute peace, after the many gods of the world spent millennia tearing it apart. This comes largely at the request of Riku, a human who fought to protect Immanity and becomes the main character of the sixth volume of the No Game No Life light novel series. At the end of No Game No Life Zero, an adaptation of the sixth volume, Sora almost succeeds at taking the Suniaster, but then prays to Tet to create a world without violence.

It is the tenth covenant, “Let’s all have fun and play together,” that leaves both Sora and Shiro, as well as the audience, extremely confused. After all, why include something that isn’t even technically a rule in a list of ten rules governing your whole world. Still, it is in this last covenant that Disboard is truly understood, and where Sora and Shiro are ahead of the curb. 

In the eyes of Tet, Disboard was always meant to be a world in which people come together, a world in which the sixteen ixseeds leave aside their racial differences and live in harmony. That is why every race has a representative who holds their race piece, and why Sora and Shiro decide to start challenging the different races to games for their pieces.

Disboard, at its core, is a game, a game that nobody has yet to win, and one that had rules no one quite understood in the way Sora and Shiro do. However, Disboard also has a unique philosophy, one that wishes to set aside sociocultural and political differences in favor of a new world order, one built on peace, understanding, and the past time of sitting down and playing a fun game.

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However, much like the real world, the world of Disboard is often governed by tribalism. Despite not being able to enact physical violence, many of the races on Disboard are suspect of one another, and work hard at learning strategies to use during games in order to ensure victory when playing against another race. This can be seen in the game between Sora, Shiro and Izuna. 

The Eastern Union had previously forced the king of Elkia to agree to lose his memory upon losing the game, which was supposed to prevent the king from gathering data. The same rules applied to Sora and Shiro’s game. In addition, The Eastern Union chose a game in which the players had to rely on physical strength, an attribute Sora and Shiro lack and one that Izuna, the Werebeast representative, has in spades.

The political calculations of each of the races’ leaders, even after the ten covenants, likely contributed to the lack of unity and partnership between each of the races.

While the idea that a couple of random humans falling out of the sky and solving the mystery of an entire alternate universe feels a bit weird, it does make sense. Sora and Shiro not only know how to “win the game” of Disboard, but also embody its very existence. After all, the only reason they are there in the first place is because Tet invited them. Whether someone wants to call them savior, test subjects, it doesn’t matter. They are Blank, and they are there to win, but also have a good time, just as intended.


How do you feel about “No Game No Life?” Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

That Which is Lost: The Joy of Watching Anime in Theaters

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It certainly has been a rough year for just about everyone, huh? So much so, in fact, that the holidays did not even really feel like the holidays. Yeah, I exchanged presents, watched Christmas movies, and had a nice dinner, but it still did not feel like a normal Christmas, because it was not.

As I was reading Yumdeku’s thankful tag post the other day, I was reminded that I never really thought about what I was thankful for this year. I thought about it for a while, and came up with some pretty common answers: friends, family, the stuff I have. However, something that hit me like a brick was: Theaters. Specifically, I am thankful for the ability to watch anime in a movie theater, even though that’s not really possible right now.

I am not sure how it is for other countries right now, but at least in America, all of the major theaters, and even the smaller ones, are closed down right now. You know, for good reason. I honestly cannot imagine how much worse things would be if people were allowed congregate in theaters…yikes.

Movie theaters are gross. Like, gross as hell. Still, the one good thing about them was the fact that, at least pre-COVID, I could go pretty much every week and expect to find some sort of anime being shown. Whether that be the newest Shinkai or Hosoda work, a re-run of old Ghibli movies, or something completely new, it would be there.

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This is pretty much solely due to the increase in popularity of anime in the west. Because companies like GKIDS and others have now found it profitable to air certain movies and shows in theaters, they did, and since then a whole new market has been opened, despite the fact that many see traditional theaters as dying. For me, going to watch an anime on the big screen instead of just on my laptop or tv at home is one of the things I have missed a lot in the last few months.

Part of it is just due to the viewing experience itself. The surround sound audio combined with the comically large screen makes for a much more enjoyable watch. This goes doubly true for shows and movies with particularly good animation and/or sound design, as these extra features make big moments, like the end of “Your Name” hit that much harder.

A lot of it though, is also to do with getting to go with other people. At least from my experience, the majority of the people in the anime community prefer watching shows alone. However, having someone there with you in a theater, for the occasional glance over to say “this is amazing” or even “this is awful” is a really nice feeling and one that I would like to have back.


I know this post was a bit more rambley, and that’s mainly because I wrote the majority of it on the spot. Still, it is my honest feelings.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

“Belle” and Mamoru Hosoda

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It was announced recently that Mamoru Hosoda would be premiering his next film in Japanese theaters come 2021. As this article from Variety explains, “Paris-based sales company Charades is set to reteam with Japanese auteur Mamoru Hosoda on his next directorial outing, ‘Belle.'” The article also explains that the movie will follow a female lead and interaction within the virtual world of “U.” (Note: The Japanese title is “Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime,” which in English would be “The Dragon and the Freckled Princess.”

While this will probably already be old news by the time this post comes out, I want to take today just to celebrate this new film and Mamoru Hosoda.

Now, while he never started there, Mamoru Hosoda has slowly become one of my favorite directors of all time. His works like “The Girl Who Lept Through Time,” “Mirai,” “The Boy and the Beast,” and “Summer Wars” have slowly become some of my most cherished first time viewing experiences. On top of that, all of these films have a the sort of timeless feel that radiates from a lot of Hayao Miyazaki’s and Ghibli’s work.

After the release of his latest smash hit “Weathering with You,” There was a point in which people were starting to wonder whether which of Makoto Shinkai or Mamoru Hosoda would be considered Miyazaki’s successor. While it is certainly a fun conversation to have, ultimately I do not think it does any good to pit to great directors against each other. Still, if I had to pick one…it would probably be Hosoda.

While Shinkai does a great job at capturing feelings of youth and romance, it is rare that his films are ever grounded in any kind of substance. In fact, “Weathering With You” was probably the closest he has come so far, and even then the themes about Climate Change and the need to act are kind of secondary.

Hosoda and Miyazaki, meanwhile, do a lot to work substance into their films at nearly every turn. Miyazaki is a lot more concerned with the environment and the need to protect it, while Hosoda tends to focus on the idea of how we interact online and the need for family. For a good example of how he deals with both these themes at the same time, I would highly recommend watching his 2010 film “Summer Wars.”

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“Summer Wars” actually has a pretty similar storyline to “Belle,” at least from what is known so far, with the only major difference being the gender of the main character, though knowing Hosoda, this will probably matter quite a bit.

The internet, while having been around now for around a generation, is still a complex web of interwoven communities existing both separately and often within the same spaces. Looking at nearly any popular social media site will give a good example of this. Even here on my own website, while I am usually the only person who writes on it, there are still people like you who are reading, commenting, interacting, sharing, etc.

All of this rambling aside, Mamoru Hosoda has come a long way since his days directing “Digimon: The Movie,” and while it is clearly to early to say anything definitively, his next film will likely end up being a powerful statement about the nature of communication online, and I for one am extremely excited.


How do you feel about Mamoru Hosoda? Do you think he is a better director than Shinkai? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

My Shounen Anime Tier List for 2020

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Since I am about to inundated with school related stuff, I figured it would be fun to take a chill day and do something a little more simple. So, I decided to make a shounen anime tier list. This was originally going to be a lot bigger, but then all of my work got deleted after the internet went out at my house, so here is a much smaller version.

Just a clarification about how I make my tier lists: Just because a show is relatively low compared to another does not mean I think there is nothing good about that show, only that it has less good than other shows. Also, the shows are not ordered within each tier. If two shows are in the same tier, that means I probably have a very similar opinion about both, just maybe with different strengths and weaknesses .Going over all of these would probably make for a pretty drab post, so I’ll just highlight my reasoning on a few of them.

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Naruto and Bleach

While I do consider both of these two big three members to be fairly good shows, ultimately I don’t think they rise above the best of what shounen has to offer. They definitely has their moments, “Naruto” especially so, but shows like “FMA” and “The Promised Neverland” have much better highs and lows, even relative tho their episode count.

Dragon Ball

It should be noted that my rating for “Dragon Ball,” along with “Black Clover,” is based solely on the amount of the show that I have seen. For Dragon Ball, that would be up to the destruction of Namek and for Black Clover up to the initial exams, respectively.

Othewise, that’s my list.


Feel free to discuss down in the comments, civilly of course. Let me know what you think, and send me your own if you have a different opinion.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Five of the Most Interesting Characters in Anime

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Anime is a medium with a ton of variety in its stories. As such, it makes sense that it also brings with it a lot of interesting characters. Whether they be the protagonist, antagonist, or even just a random side character, the addition of a really interesting character can increase the quality of a show dramatically. Today, I want to share five of the most interesting characters I have found in my time watching anime. Let’s get started.

Rei Kiriyama (March Comes in Like a Lion)

Those who are new to Animated Observations probably are not aware of just how much I talk about “March Comes in Like a Lion.” Spoiler alert, it is a lot. One of the reasons I do that is because of the show’s main character, Rei Kiriyama.

First, Rei is a shogi prodigy. After the rest of his family died in a horrific accident, Rei was taken in by his dad’s friend, who just so happens to work for the national shogi association in Japan. His adopted father wanted one of his kids to be a shogi champion, and thus had his three kids, including Kyouko and Kouda, compete, with Rei coming out on top.

Apart from his journey as a shogi player, Rei also has a lot of mental health issues that he deals with throughout the series. These includes things like dealing with his abusive sister, having to live up to the expectations of his adopted father, opening up to the Kawamoto sisters, and trying to make new friends despite not being a great communicator. Rei’s struggle throughout both seasons of the show is probably one of the most compelling stories in anime, and speaks to a lot of the same feelings that young people in every country have about their mental health.

Hachiman Hikigaya (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)

Now, I am no psychology expert. Not even close, in fact. However, if I were to give a lecture about self-destructive behavior, I cannot help but feel like I might default to showing some clips from this series. Specifically, a lot of those clips would feature Hachiman Hikigaya and his various actions throughout the cours of “My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU.”

At the start of the series, Hachiman’s teacher forces him to join the Volunteer Service Club, a group focused around helping students with their problems, after writing an essay which mocks modern relationships. Hachiman at this point is pretty isolated from the rest of his peers, not really tuned into their emotional wavelength, nor his he especially tuned into this own.

As a result, his solutions to other students problems usually involve some sort assholish behavior in attempt to save face for others. His evolution over the second season, and likely the third season as well, is what makes him such a remarkable character to watch.

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Shuuichi and Yoshino (Wandering Son)

It is not often that the LGBT community gets a lot of positive representation, especially when it comes to anime. It is even less common to see positive representation about transgender people. However, “Wandering Son” appears to be one of the lone exceptions on this front. Adapted from a manga of the same name, the series focuses on two characters, Yoshino and Shuuichi.

Yoshino is girl who identifies as a boy, and Shuuichi is a boy who identifies as a girl. The two become friends after Yoshino transfers into Shuuichi’s class. Most of the story focuses on their struggle for acceptance among not only their peers but also their friends.

However, it is not just their gender identity that makes the two of them interesting. Shuuichi’s romantic feelings toward Yoshino, along with their growing awareness for just how little acceptance there is for transgender individuals and their need to mature rapidly gives the story a ton of depth, and takes the story from just being an LBGT one to a great one.

Altair (Re:Creators)

“Re:Creators” is a show that, from what I can tell, fell under the radar of a lot of people, even when it first came out. A lot of this was probably due to being locked behind an extra paywall on the part of Amazon, which is a shame because it arguably produced one of the most interesting antagonists in all of anime.

“Re:Creators” story focuses on a world where the characters of various anime, manga, and video games suddenly start coming to life. The reason behind this is Altair, a character created for a music video gains consciousness only to find out that her creator Setsuna Shimazaki was driven to suicide because of hate comments on the internet. Because of this, she vows to take revenge on the world of the “gods” by bringing to life various characters and having them rebel against said gods.

Altair’s very existence serves as reminder of just how much art can imitate life, as Altair’s arc feels very reflective of Setsuna, in the way that she wishes to take revenge on those who wronged her. Many of the characters in the series are like this, but what makes Altair so unique is how, even despite literally trying to destroy existence, her anger somehow feels justified.


What are some more interesting characters you can think of? Let me know in the comments. Also, did you enjoy this post? I am really trying to experiment with the content I make, so any kind of feedback would be greatly appreciated.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Anime Sequels and “News” Sites

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

I want to start out this post by saying that the anime community as a whole has brought me a lot of joy over the past eight years or so. I have gotten to know so many people who enjoy the same things I do, and I have even gotten to attend a number of anime conventions and start this blog because of it. There is so much about the anime community that is worth exploring and enjoying.

With that being said, there are also many terrible elements within the community as well, and while I could talk about the more serious ones, such as racism against cosplayers, the uncritical defense of sexually depicting young girls in anime, or even the toxic fan bases of specific shows, I wanted to take some time to talk about something more near and dear to my heart.

Now, when I was in high school just a few years ago, I worked for my school’s newspaper. Despite the fact that not many people read the paper, both online and print forms, I still took our work seriously, because getting people accurate information is an important job, and one that should be taken up with the utmost responsibility.

That leads me to one of my pet peeves in the anime community, more specifically with how “news” is delivered by certain publications. While websites like Crunchyroll, Anime News Network, and a few others do a relatively good job at delivering accurate information, it seems as though the vast majority of those who supposedly do this work are just in it for clicks.

My primary example of this has to do with the way that many of these sites talk about anime getting second seasons. Many untrustworthy anime sites will write a headline implying that the second season of popular show has been officially confirmed, when in reality it will be something as minor as the director or assistant director of a show having made some passing comments about wanting to do a sequel.

Anyone who has spent any amount of time doing research on a given show will know what I am talking about. Specifically, I ran into this problem early last year while looking for information about Oregairu season three, and while as of this year the show has been officially confirmed for a third season, despite being pushed back, before then, there was a lot of misinformation running around about its release.

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Another problem that comes up with these “news” sites is that many of them will often not update there articles as new information comes out, which is something responsible news outlets are supposed to do. This can leave many readers thinking that a show might not actually have a sequel when, such as the case with many shows right now due to COVID-19, it is simply just delayed.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, reporting on entertainment and art could be considered significantly less important than on normal world events and politics, and while I might be inclined to agree with that, this sort of lazy misinformation can still create problems.

Back during the initial release of Pokemon Sword and Shield, many articles were making false reports about what would and would not be in the game, thus fueling death threats against the creators.

Ultimately, misinformation is bad for pretty much everyone. On the side of the reader, since many already have a hard time distinguishing between opinion and news, it will likely create even more mistrust of news outlets, even ones that have the reputation to back up their reporting, entertainment or otherwise.

As for the news outlet itself, it not only makes themselves look bad, but will further add to the collapse of journalism by making normal advertisers less likely to trust them. Not to mention, that, in an age where news sites, even primarily online based ones, are relying more on crowdfunding and subscriptions than ever, trust becomes even more important.

Now, I want to be perfectly clear with what I am saying. This article is not an invitation to harass those with whom some might have perceived political differences. As long as reporters are delivering accurate information in their news sections, their should not be a problem with how those same people choose to express themselves through editorial.

In fact, it is quite the opposite. There are many smaller “news” sites that have cropped up only to deliver misinformation and false reporting, and I think it is worth calling those sites out as a group, because not only are they doing a disservice to readers, they are simply adding to the mistrust that people have about the media.

This is not to say that all of this mistrust is justified, however. If president Donald Trump has demonstrated one thing continuously it is that authoritarians love calling those that hold them accountable “fake” and “biased.” However, for a variety of reasons, it is better to not justify these opinions through actual misinformation.


Alright, so I got out one of my anime community frustrations, but what are some of yours? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Production I.G. and Two Great Sports Anime

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It has been a while since the last time I talked about these two shows, but considering their quality, I felt it was important to revisit them, especially now that I have seen more of one of them. “Kuroko no Basket” and “Haikyuu” are two shows made by Production I.G., the studio behind a number of classic anime, including “Eden of the East” and “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.”

Production I.G. has worked in a variety of genres. Aside from the two shows listed above, they are also responsible for co-producing “Attack on Titan” with Wit Studio, as well as making “Pyscho-Pass” at the Direction of Shinichiro Watanabe.

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Within the realm of sports anime, the studio has also been relatively sucessful. Aside from the “Haikyuu” and “Kuroko no Basuke,” they were also responsible for both “Ace of Diamond,” co-produced with Studio Madhouse, and “Run with the Wind,” both of which were received relatively positively.

However, I think both “Kuroko no Basket” and “Haikyuu” excel for a number of reasons. For starters, while both shows have a relatively large cast, they do enough with those casts to make each of the minor characters pretty memorable.

A good example from each would be Tsukiyama from “Haikyuu” and Hyuuga from “Kuroko no Basket. In the case of Tsukiyama, his character stands out initially because of how tall he is, but isn’t particularly moved by the idea of playing Volleyball. However, after getting good at blocking, he realizes how much fun it is to use his height to his advantage during play.

Hyuuga’s story is noticeably different. While not possessing any innate skill rather than being somewhat taller than average, he works hard both at leading the team and at being a good player. These two things lead to some pretty great moments of other teams underestimating his skill and him proving them wrong.

Another thing great about each show is the dynamic between their main characters. In “Kuroko no Basket,” Taiga is initially perplexed by Kuroko, as his skills at basketball seemed below average at best. However, as he learns about Kuroko’s specialized skills in passing, he comes to understand just how good of a teammate Kuroko can be. In the first episode Kuroko promises Taiga “to become the shadow to your light.”

Meanwhile, Hinata and Kageyama’s relationship in “Haikyuu” is also quite different. Hinata starts out wanting revenge on Kageyama for beating his middle school team when they first met. Leaving his teammates behind, Hinata trains, practicing almost everyday until he can join his high school volleyball team. Upon arriving to Karasuno High School, Hinata finds out that Kageyama is actually on his team. The two eventually must put aside their differences, though, in order to work together, while still maintaining their rivalry.

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They would not be great sports anime, however, if they were lack in great action scenes, and of course they have those in spades as well. For “Kuroko no Basket,” a great scene that comes to mind is in the second episode, when Kuroko show Taiga and the rest of the team why he was known as the phantom sixth member of the generation of miracles.

While scrimmaging, Kuroko uses his passes to both confuse his opponents and to get the ball to Taiga, who himself uses his incredible height and jumping capability to dunk over everyone. The two work together extremely well, and manage to outscore the other team by a large margin. It is a scene that not only looks cool, but manages to foreshadow the heights the two of them are able to reach.

“Haikyuu” has a lot of great scenes, but one that stands out a lot is when Kageyama and Hinata first play together in Tournament. While their chemistry during practice suggested that the two would not be able to work well together, it turns out not to be the case. The both of them manage to not only work together well, but pull of an impressive series of spikes and fakes that manage to net them the win. In that way, it is very similar to “Kuroko no Basket” in that it manages to foreshadow their success.

Now, that is not to say either series is without fault. “Kuroko no Basket” can often suffer from being a bit to shounen, which can often ruin the atmosphere. For example, it is a bit hard to take a basketball anime seriously when one of the main rival’s abilities is that he can literally make a shot from anywhere on the court. While theoretically it make sense that, given enough time, anyone could make shots consistently from that far away, it does come off a bit silly.

“Haikyuu” certainly is not as bad, but also does not get a free pass. The teams in Haikyuu actually suffer from the opposite reason: being to indistinct. None of them, save for Jousei high school, leave a particularly large impression. Often times it feels like characters are being introduced for the first time when they have been in the series for much longer.

Overall, though these are minor nit-picks. Both “Haikyuu” and “Kuroko no Basket” are great sports anime in their own way, but are similar in their quality. Both manage to have interesting supporting casts, dynamic rivalries, and breath-taking action scenes. While I certainly would not recommenced watching them back to back, they are worth watching at some point.


What are some other great sports anime I should watch? I’ve heard about Slam Dunk quite a bit, and Hanebado also seemed pretty cool, but I would love to hear from you all. Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!