Category Archives: 12 Days of Anime

12 Days of Anime #12: Looking Back on 2017

2017 has been an interesting year, to say the absolute least.

The Political landscape in America went from crazy to half of the political debate not even existing in this reality. It was so crazy that a woman representing the president saying that we can have “alternative facts” somehow wasn’t the biggest story of the year by a longshot.

The popularity of weeb culture has grown at a surprising rate, with anime becoming more and more an accepted pass time in the same way that video games are now, so much so that walking down the school with an Attack on Titan T-Shirt now lands me the occasional compliment as opposed to the usual judgemental stare.

The end of 2017 also means that I’m just six months away from going to school for another four years, and spending copious amounts of money to do so. Not that I don’t have scholarships, but I’m still going to have to rely on my parents for a lot of it.

My skills as a writer also seem to have matured in the short period that this blog has been operational, going from an ok writer to a slightly more ok writer. Significant Improvement!

Other than running down a checklist, I wanted to again say thank you. A blog is a personal experience as much as it is an opportunity to grow as a person. Having a space to release the thoughts in my head as opposed to keeping them locked in my echo chamber has been great for my mental health. Abstract thoughts can only get you so far.

Much love, Ya Boy Jack


The end of 12 Days of anime has finally come. Thanks for reading everyone, and bye for now, Friendos!

12 Days of Anime #11: Wishing Everyone a Happy Holiday

To my Aniblogger Friends and Followers,

I wanted to take the time to wish each and every one of you Happy Holidays. I hope that all of you are doing well at the turn of the year and that you have been living your lives without regret in your heart.

Often time the holidays can be a bit lonely, so if you are spending them alone please be safe.

Stay Warm,

From Ya Boy

Also, here’s a spicy meme.

https://twitter.com/everygirI/status/943888318600826882


Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos! Also, again, sorry for not having a What Else Should You Watch? up. I’m gonna try and catch up on posts after Christmas.

12 Days of Anime #10: Posing an End of the Year Question Part 2: How Has Anime Affected You in 2017?

For me, 2017 was a sort of revival of my passion for Japanese cartoons. The medium saw an explosion of popularity, but aside from that, my casual viewing of a few new shows lead me to watch as much as I could and even partly lead to the creation of this blog. It was almost like a rebirth of myself, the self that would watch shows endlessly without a second thought. The self that would over analyze every story I could while watching.

While anime isn’t inherently an individual experience, many people find it to one that is rather personal. So now, a second end of the year question: What was your experience with anime in 2017? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

12 Days of Anime #9: Posing an End of the Year Question: Your Name vs A Silent Voice?

2017 saw the explosion of anime’s popularity in the west, as it has been for the last couple of years. A lot of that attention, however, was focused on two particular franchises: A Silent Voice, which was released this year, and Your Name, whose popularity largely carried over into most of 2017.

To many, both of these critically acclaimed movies represent the best of what anime has to offer, and I would be inclined to agree. Both Makoto Shinkai’s newest masterpiece and KyoAni’s surprise hit both represent everything that anime can and should be. But I’m curious, which one do you think is better? Please leave your response and your reason in the comments. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

12 Days of Anime #8: This Year in Light Novels (For Me, Anyway)

Reading is always one of those things that I avoid, even though as a writer I really need to do more of it. I don’t really have a lot of ideas as to what I should read from western authors, so if any of you guys do I would appreciate some, but I do follow a lot of other stories, and this year I read a couple of different light novels that I absolutely loved.

No Game No Life

No Game

If you want to see my thoughts on each of the individual novels I’ve read so far, you can go here, but to summarize, No Game No Life is possibly one of the most emotive, emotional investing stories that I’ve ever read. Not only are its world and lore worth putting extra time into, but its characters, despite their oddness, are loveable and relatable in ways that many wouldn’t want to admit. Sure, at times it is definitely convoluted,  but that is just part of the appeal.

Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf Light Novel

Admitting that I’ve only read about half of the first volume of Spice and Wolf is kind of embarrassing considering how good it is. The light novel has everything that makes the anime great and more. The conversations between Lawrence and Holo are explored in a bit more detail than in the anime, probably because it is a novel and there is more time for that. It is also interesting to see more of Lawrence’s mental state before he meets Holo, and discovering that he is not that stable, to say the least. Definitely worth a read if you haven’t watched the Spice and Wolf anime.


What light novels did you guys read this year? What western authors would you recommend I read? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

12 Days on Anime #7: What Anime Means to Me as a Writer

As both an amateur poet and a journalist, I’ve always been obsessed with stories. How they’re told, the characters involved, the choices made by those characters, the elements that support a story in a given medium of entertainment, all of it. Picking apart those elements and then putting them back together as part of my own work is something that is something that takes a lot of skill, and something that I hope to perfect some day.

It is weird too because I wasn’t always a writer. I didn’t seriously consider writing as a career until I got to my Journalism class in Freshman year of high school. I hadn’t done much in terms of quality writing up until that point, mostly because my skills were, to put it lightly, trash.

When I think about anime, I think about all of the staff that has to work on a single project in order to tell the story in the most interesting way possible. Whether that be through stage direction, exposition, or even just a few scenes overlooking characters or a vast landscape.

What I want to be, and what I aspire to, is a level of sophistication in my writing that matches even shows like Psycho-Pass. Getting there will mean that I have made the greatest possible advancement, and the only thing left would be to work on my style. Hopefully someday.


Thanks for reading, everyone, and bye for now, Friendos!

12 Days of Anime #6: Top 5 Best Soundtracks I Listened This Year

Music, for me, is an integral part of any anime production. Music is what sets the tone for a battle of all ages and for a romantic climax. It lets people know when to expect a heartfelt tearfest and also when its time to laugh, even if the joke doesn’t exactly land. Without music, many of the best moments in anime would not have nearly the emotional punch that they do. For another end of the year list, here are my top 5 best soundtracks of the year.

5. Durarara!!

Durarara2

No show set in the bustling and always exciting city of Ikebukuro would be complete without Durarara’s equally as bombastic and overactive soundtrack. It takes everything great about the show and transforms itself into the music equivalent. Its mix of Urban and J-Pop sounds makes for a wonderfully diverse listening experience.

4. Jormungand

Jormungand

Jormungand’s soundtrack was a large part of my initial love of the show. Tracks like Time to Attack and Cul-de-sac know how to set the mood of the more action-packed and darker moments of the show. It always felt that the music knew exactly when to come in and when to leave, which is part of why it is such a good soundtrack.

3. Sound! Euphonium

Sound

One would hope going into a show about a high school with a dream of reaching 1st place in the national competition that it would have a good soundtrack to support it, and luckily Sound! Euphonium delivers on that front. A highly expressive soundtrack for a highly expressive cast of characters.

2. The Ancient Magus Bride

the ancient magus bride

While Ancient Magus Bride is an appealing show for many reasons, its soundtrack is one I find to be a particularly convincing one. Its opening Here is one of the many examples of what the show does right, blending Celtic origins of many of the myths that appear in the show with just the right amount of fantastical energy to give it a particular feel.

1. No Game No Life Zero

NO GAME

Everything about this movie is great. It recreates an entirely new world that otherwise hadn’t been mentioned in the No Game No Life anime and manages to bring it to life with exceptionally high quality. I’ll admit that I never thought much of the music in the original, but No Game No Life Zero cranks it up to 10 and breathes life into what would otherwise have been just another J-Pop/electronic filled soundtrack, making it feel vital to the movies overall feeling.


What was your favorite soundtrack of the year? Was it even an anime soundtrack? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

12 Days of Anime #5: Top 5 Best Shows I Watched in 2017

2017 ended up being a much slower year when it came to watching anime for me. I ended up stopping and starting new shows a lot more than usual, and that was mostly because of my school year. The second half of Junior year and the first half of my senior year were pretty rough, all things considered. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t watch some good shows.

5. Jormungand

Jormungand

If I were to ever do a What Else Should You Watch on Black Lagoon, Jormungund would be the first show on the list. It comes off as a more modern version of Black Lagoon, exploring the black market of weapon sales.

Indeed, Jormungand has a lot of high points. Its cast is large, but the show makes them feel fleshed out even when we do not know a whole lot about them as people. To be fair to Jormungund though, it does try to establish a backstory for the characters using some well-done flashbacks. Its animation, specifically when it comes to the show’s action, is extremely well done. Truly, its a show worth watching.

4. AHO-Girl

AHO-Girl 2

AHO-Girl is one of the best things I saw this year because it was honestly just a really good break from the stress at the beginning of the semester. Almost none of the classes that I selected were on my schedule, and turning my brain off to some really dumb humor was therapeutic.

This show has just the right balance of running jokes and new gags that keep things fresh. And yes, the low brow humor is obvious and dumb, but if its something you can appreciate even a little bit, then you’ll love it.

3. A Silent Voice

Koe no Katachi

A movie that needs no introduction, this year’s critical darling was a breathtaking experience that I would gladly watch over and over again. I can’t say that I have a personal connection to the show’s material, but it does feel like a fairly accurate portrayal of the life of a deaf person.

The bullying in the movie was a bit more relatable. Middle school me was a bit more on the shy side, and it was definitely hard trying to talk to people I don’t know. It’s become a lot easier now but still stings just a bit.

2. No Game No Life Zero

NO game no life zero.png

Unpopular Opinion: The No Game No Life movie was better than A Silent Voice. I haven’t read the light novel volume that No Game No Life Zero is based on, but it feels like a really good adaptation, and as a prequel to the original story, it does a great job at setting up the world and how Disboard came to be.

If you liked No Game No Life, you’ll like this.

1. March Comes in Like a Lion

March comes in like a lion 3

I watched the first season of March Comes in Like a Lion before I started this blog, and boy am I glad I did. This has easily become one of my favorite series of all time and will likely remain so for a while. Everything about the show just feels so relatable even when the events in the story seem so far off. I’m honestly not sure I can justify doing a full-on review because it will likely just turn into me gushing about the show for over a thousand words.


What were your favorite shows this year? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

12 Days of Anime #4: Recovery of an MMO Junkie Review(SPOILERS)

A struggle between the fantasy and reality is a topic I often like to explore in my own writing, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my own writing on the subject has never quite reached a level of nuance and dramatic poise as this show. Recovery of an MMO Junkie not only a romance between two of the most adorably lovable idiots on the planet but also a more subtle commentary on the way people handle their problems by running to an escape, like video games.

The story follows Morioka Moriko, a NEET who recently quit her job in favor of playing MMO’s. She discovers one MMO in particular, called Fruits de Mer, and meets a group of online friends, including one character named Lily. Around that same time, Moriko meets a handsome salaryman named Sakurai Yuta, and her life begins to change.

Moriko is not only a wonderfully written character as it relates to the show’s romantic main plotline, but she also serves as an excellent vessel through which to deliver the show’s underlying theme. Having escaped her nightmarish life as a boring salary worker, Moriko becomes a full-on NEET and only leaves her house for things like food. Her life as a NEET was brought about by the harsh reality that was her job. It was tiring, unrewarding, and ultimately she felt like there was no where to go, so naturally she retreated to something that she knew made her feel better: MMOs

But MMO’s on their own are not fun. Inherent in the enjoyability of multiplayer games are the people you play with. Without a level of connection to the other people on screen, Moriko would become as detached from the virtual world of Fruits de Mer as she has become with her real one.

In comes Sakurai, the businessman who also happens Fruits de Mer. Sakurai plays the game as a female character named Lily, whereas Moriko plays as a male character named Hayashi. The two, who unknowingly play together in the game, eventually come to learn of their identities in the real world. By the end of the show, the two have come to terms with their online masks now pulled off and are ready to face the outside world together.

The show’s impressively written story is more than enough to make up more the lackluster elements, which are admittedly somewhere in the range of average. A show with this much romantic and social depth is not one worth missing, so go see it.


The fourth day is now complete! Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

 

12 Days of Anime #3: Hesitation has been quite a drug, but I’m ready to quit.

If this blog has taught me anything it is that my disposition towards second-guessing myself is not doing me any favors. Unfortunately, this might just come with the Introverted personality that I was born with, but still, it is not something that I want to continue to live with for the rest of my life.

I think I awoke to this problem when I started this blog back in the middle of this year. Even as I talked to and interacted with more and cooler people, I was still hesitant to reach out and initiate the conversation.

So, right here on this blog, I am declaring my New Year’s Resolution, one that I plan to follow through on: stop hesitating.

Hesitation has been like a drug. The anxiety of having to talk to people is scary, so what to take to calm my nerves? a hit of hesitation. It feels so good in the moment, the rush of dopamine from the sudden decision to just give up, to not follow through on anything. But eventually the high goes away, and the crash comes even harder. I hit the ground realizing another opportunity left without noticing I was there. I mean, why would it? It is not like I got its attention anyway.

Admittedly, it will be difficult. There will be a lot of times that it will be tempting to give up and crawl back into the shell that I’ve had on my back my whole life, but it is nothing I can’t accomplish with a little self-motivation.

And to those who are reading this, do not give up. Whether it be a relationship or a problem at work, whatever. The most important thing is to not take a pill from that bottle of hesitation.

 

Megumin
You can do it!

 


Sorry about this. Its something I needed to get off my chest and I felt like Christmas was the best time to do it. If you did enjoy it, well then I’m glad. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!