Tag Archives: Opinion

Why Everyone Should Watch AnoHana…at Some Point

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Some of my readers might remember that I spent most of late last year during quarantine with one of the most famous, or infamous depending on one’s perspective, dramas in all of anime: AnoHana. I genuinely enjoyed my rewatch of the series and although I do not think it to be as good as I did before, that is not the same as saying it is bad, far from it. My last post focused on anime that inspires hope or at least warmer feelings than in most of AnoHana. Given just how heavy the series is, it is not a show one can just pick up and enjoy at any time, as I discuss in this article. I hope you enjoy it!


Welcome back, tourists

These last few months have been something of a journey for me, in more ways than one. While navigating classes and trying to keep my head above water, I decided to rewatch what is probably one of the saddest anime of all time, “Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai,” better known as just “AnoHana.”

A bold claim, I know, as there are some pretty compelling entries, like “Your Lie in April,” “A Silent Voice,” and even some shows that are not intentionally appealing to drama conventions like “Samurai Flamenco.” However, aside from coming out before all of these, “AnoHana” strikes a certain cord that it feels as though most can relate to right now.

The story of “AnoHana” begins with a disheveled Yadomi waking up to find the ghost of his childhood friend sleeping next to him. Due to having removed himself from his own daily life, such as going to school, work, etc, Yadomi assumes he is having some kind of tired delusion. But, as he will soon come to realize, Menma has come back in a grown-up form so that Yadomi can grant her wish. 

In a time like now, where everything that was once thought stable has ruptured, where people are facing down a deadly pandemic and massive political shifts, it is good to have a show that serves as a reminder of the preciousness and fragility of life. 

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Additionally, “Anohana” also depicts the effect that trauma from the loss of a loved one can have on the mental health of those around them, as we see nearly all of the characters affected by Menma’s loss in some way or another, even after nearly a decade without her. 

Aside from its scarily relevant-to-today message, the series is also just phenomenally written. Its attention to detail when it comes to the arcs of each character is impressive, and it shows in how that care plays out in the most dramatic scenes. 

A good example of this comes from about halfway through the series, when, after collapsing during work, the character of Anjo admits to Yadomi that she was happy when Menma died as a kid because she liked him a lot and that he should stop bringing up Menma because she is not real. It is an extremely honest moment that builds on both Anjo’s still unrequited love of Yadomi and her ugly jealousy of the late Menma. 

Admittedly, though, it is hard to recommend anyone watch anything with that level of emotionality during a time like now. I can say personally that it was not easy rewatching a show with “AnoHana’s” level of emotional power. 

So, I will say this. Whether it is a year from now, five, or even 10, this is a series that is absolutely worth watching for the first time. It is probably worth revisiting if you have seen the series already like myself. I wanted to end on something a bit more profound, but I think the most important thing to take away is this: it is okay to cry.


How do you all feel about AnoHana? Let me know in the comments below. Also, Animated Observations is currently running a survey to gather opinions on the content we put out here, so if you have a few minutes and are willing to help out, it 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!

Special shoutout to Jenn for continuing to support the blog, much appreciated.

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

Three Great Anime Soundtracks Everyone Should be Listening to

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Well, I still have a few columns left to republish, and what better way to start off the weekend than by recommending some sick tunes for the uninitiated. Today, I’ll be showing off a column from March of 2020…yeah, depressing, but this music certainly is not. Check it out!


Welcome back, tourists. 

Almost everyone has a niche musical taste. Whether it be an obscure genre, or even just a relatively unknown artist, most have their music that others do not know about. Many anime fans, including myself, can relate to this feeling, largely due to the fact that even many of the people who watch anime do not actively listen to the music that accompanies it. 

Well, I am here to change that. Apart from being a great storytelling medium, anime has an incredible amount of good music, so much so that I had to cut it down to three for the sake of word count and time. Midterms are a pain, and I am screaming internally. Regardless, here are some anime soundtracks you should definitely be listening to. 

“Made in Abyss” – Music by Kevin Pinken

I mentioned “Made in Abyss” on my best of the decade list about a month ago, and a large part of the reason that I did so was on the back of its incredible soundtrack. Indeed, a big reason for the show’s appeal is based on the musical accompaniment to the story. Almost all of the music in the show does a great job matching the tone of the anime. 

Almost all of the credit for this goes to the series’ musical composer Kevin Pinken, who got his breakthrough into anime with “Made in Abyss,” and who is working on the soundtrack for the upcoming animated adaptation of “Tower of God.” While the music of the series never really goes beyond a particular tempo range, generally focusing on slower songs, it still manages to capture the emotion of the series in a way that makes it wonderful to listen to on its own.

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“Re:Creators” – Music by Hiroyuki Sawano

Composer Hiroyuki Sawano is well known within the anime community, even among those who do not know his name. He became relatively famous due to his work on “Attack on Titan,” and to a lesser extent “Seven Deadly Sins,” two shows whose music is both electronically driven and bombastic in its tone—see “Reluctant Heroes” for more on that. 

However, some of his best work came on the soundtrack of “Re:Creators.” The series focuses on the story of characters from various video games, anime and manga coming to life due to the power of another character. 

Its theme is based on the power of people to create universes, and the psychological effect that those universes have on its inhabitants. However, it is also a show with a lot of action, and so Sawano’s style fits it perfectly. There are definitely a lot of tracks worth playing on a long car ride.

“Carole and Tuesday” – Music by Mocky

While it is true that Director Shinichiro Watanabe knows how to make a good show, he also needed the help of Canadian musician Mocky to really make “Carole and Tuesday” shine. As an artist, Mocky brought a lot of his diverse prior experience in order to really enhance the show’s sound, and it is really apparent when you listen to its soundtrack. The series, which centers around the lives of two girls hoping to make it in the music industry, boasts a variety of musical genres, including rock, jazz, hip-hop and even opera. 

However, Mocky can’t take all of the credit. A lot of the soundtrack’s standout pieces include those featuring vocals from the likes of Nai Br.XX, Celeina Ann, Thundercat, Denzel Curry and many others. On top of that, all of those same standout pieces, save for a few, are done in English, making them much more accessible to a wider audience. It is a strange soundtrack to be sure, but one that is definitely worth anyone’s time. 

There are definitely a lot of other great soundtracks, but these three also have the quality of wanting to listen to them even after the show is over. Each of these shows has tracks that will make you want to keep it on loop for the foreseeable future.


Have you heard these soundtracks? if so, how do you feel about them? 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!

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Winter 2021 Anime Season Overview

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It seems like the response to the columns so far has been mostly positive, so here is another. This one is from a little earlier this year, in which I looked at the Winter season and its stacked list of sequels and new series, including…ugh, “Wonder Egg Priority.” Anyway, hope you enjoy this short bit of nostalgia for earlier this year.


Welcome back, tourists

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 feel about the Winter 2021 season? Let me know in the comments. Feel free to also check out my column from last week where I discuss the cost of anime as a hobby.

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!

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Is Watching Anime Too Expensive?

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Welcome back to this series of re-uploaded columns from my work with my college newspaper. One of the topics I covered on my column was the cost of anime as a hobby. While there are certainly a lot of modern conveniences that make watching anime easier, for those who would rather not resort to illegal streaming, it can still be expensive. I hope you enjoy the read.


One of the most deceptively difficult questions to answer about anime over the last few years has actually been “where do I watch it?” Most people would reason that since media of all kinds has become significantly more accessible that anime would follow suit. While this is true generally speaking, much like any hobby that isn’t rock collecting, the dollars start to add up after a while. 

First, it is worth acknowledging again that, relative to just 15 years ago, it is definitely easier to watch anime. Before, if a show came out that someone was interested in, they would have to either buy an expensive box set or pirate the anime online in terrible quality while also risking the safety of their computer. Now, most people do not have to think twice about this.

However, the advent of movie and tv streaming has brought both solutions and also new problems. While getting a large number of shows for a set monthly price is a totally reasonable bargain, the model begins to unravel once a large number of similar services start to emerge, each carrying their own unique libraries. In fact, one might say that the problem streaming services set out to fix has been revived in a new way. 

As time has gone by and the popularity of anime has gone way up, many of these same streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, as well as anime exclusive services such as Crunchyroll, Funimation, and HiDive! are also looking for a piece of the pie. Even Amazon a few years ago wanted a share of the market and attempted to cash in with their service “Anime Strike,” which cost five dollars a month extra on top of the existing Amazon Prime fee.

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Exclusives have also become a significantly bigger part of the streaming service appeal, and the same is holding true for anime as well. Netflix made a huge effort early on to cash in on anime’s upward trend, and it does appear to be paying off, as the company owns the exclusive rights to an increasing amount of hot-topic shows within the community. 

Companies like Crunchyroll are also beginning to dip their toes into exclusives as well, with a number of Webtoon crossovers including “Tower of God” and “God of High School.” These shows have also turned out to be relatively popular among fans. Funimation, while not as focused in that area, does corner a large part of the market for English dubs for many of the most popular long-running and seasonal shows, including “Black Clover,” “One Piece” and “The Promised Neverland.”

This further division of popular shows among various streaming services means that anyone looking to keep up with what is new is going to have to pay a fairly hefty price. This has led to many figures in the community talking about a potential rise in piracy if companies begin to raise their prices too much. 

The streaming wars will probably continue to rage on for some time. Companies will continue competing for the various series which draw the most eyes in the short term. Long term, however, it may just be the case that being an anime fan, or a fan of tv and movies for that matter, continues to get even more expensive. It might be that streaming just becomes the new cable. 


How do you all feel about the cost of anime? Let me know in the comments below. Feel free to also check out the column I uploaded last week about “Tokyo Godfathers” and Satoshi Kon.

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!

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Does Anime Need to Change?

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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As a teenage boy and a younger fan of anime, there were a lot of things that I used to not really think about when it came to the medium. Whether it be the art style which was significantly different to almost anything on TV at the time, or the diversity in topic and storytelling, anime always felt like a breath of fresh air. Sure, I enjoyed a lot of American cartoons and TV shows, but something about anime, much like with other people, really resonated with me.

Even now, as my attention span has shortened significantly and it has become a lot harder to sit down and focus on a single series, anime is still one of my obsessions. However, as is the case when people grow older, our views of the things we hold dear begin to change, and the types of anime which are most interesting change with them.

A recent video made by Gigguk sparked a bit of discussion online after he asked a producer at Studio J.C. Staff whether or not international fans have any effect on production, to which the producer basically said, “no, not really.” There emerged to major sides to the discussion. One side was happy with the response, arguing that a lot of western fans of anime only serve to change anime for the worse. On the other side, there were…well, people saying the opposite? To be honest, it mainly felt like an excuse for right-wing anime fans to air their grievances about SJWs or whatever.

Now, when having conversations like this, it is always important to separate the questions we’re trying to answer. The first is a question of empiricism, i.e. “Do international fans affect production?” It may be true that for J.C. Staff specifically that international fans do not have much sway in their numbers, but for a Studio like bones, which not only debuted “Space Dandy” in the west before airing it in Japan, and which also oversees IPs such as “My Hero Academia” and “Godzilla,” the answer is probably quite a bit different.

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The second question is one of purpose or principal, in other words “Should international fans affect production,” to which the answer there is…it depends. At the end of the day, anime studios are businesses, and like any business in a capitalist system, they ultimately have to balance their principles with their need to make a profit. From their perspective, its a pretty simple math problem. Material aimed at a more international audience equals a larger potential fan base which equals more potential money.

Now, of course, it is a bit more complicated than that. While it is true that a series like Demon Slayer is much more likely to garner an international audience than say your typical ecchi harem series, the audience of that ecchi harem series is also much more likely to sink a couple hundred dollars into figurines and merchandise, because well, anime girls are attractive. Since studios do not often make much off the production itself, and rely on merchandise sales in order to recoup a lot of the initial cost, it makes a lot of sense why they would cater to an established audience. Granted, a lot of this has to do with the business model itself and just how much of a cut places like Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix take, but that is somewhat of a separate topic.

Personally, while I understand why studios adapt the material that they do, the amount of “comedic misunderstandings” that occur in any given episode, even in shows that are primarily not about romance or sex, is annoying. So, as for my answer to this post’s question, yeah there are a number of things that could be changed about anime, whether it be the overuse of sexual comedy or the frankly alarming amount of underage-looking characters that appear in these situations.


While this is my genuine opinion, I wrote this post more as a launching board for discussion, so please do let me know how you feel down in the comments below, as there seems to be a lot of room for nuance on this topic.

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!

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Ok, I was (Kind of) Wrong About “Fire Force”

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Listen, listen. I’m not saying you should expect a random hiatus from me every once and a while, but I am saying my brand is kind of built on inconsistency ;). In all seriousness though, I do apologize for being gone. I have had a lot going on, from my sister’s graduation, my grandmother coming to visit from out of state, and my cousin getting married. Plus, I have been trying to scratch my competitive itch by climbing the ranked ladder in Hearthstone and competing for a spot in the upcoming master’s tour events.

As I’ve been getting back into the swing of things, I was reminded, as I usually am, that their are approximately one billion shows that I have started up and have not finished. Not that this list will ever actually shrink in size, but I figured since I was not as interested in catching up on seasonal stuff at the moment, I would try and watch something else. Ultimately, I settled on “Fire Force” for a few reasons.

First, the artwork and character designs are ones that I really like. Those who have followed me for any length are probably aware that I make it a point to re-watch “Soul Eater” every year. Needless to say, I am a big fan of Atsushi Okubo’s work. The premise is also notably darker than his previous work. Whereas “Soul Eater” often feels like a typical Shonen with a horror aesthetic, the premise of Fire Force comes off as legitimately terrifying in a way that “Soul Eater” does not achieve.

However, the thing that initially turned me off to the series was, above all else, its fanservice. Like, yeah, Shonen anime generally has fanservice and often uses its female main characters as readily available punchlines in comedic misunderstandings, I get it. Still, I was hoping a series with a premise as bleak and unforgiving as this one might forgo that kind of humor.

As of writing this post, I am roughly three quarters of the way through the first season. I can say with no hesitation that I am very much still enjoying the series. The action has been amazing, the reveals and character development are solidly a step above the average shounen series. I will admit, I was mostly wrong to say that the show was not worth watching. With that being said, the fan service is still bad and totally nonsensical.

The best example of this thus far is the end of the show’s second arc. Shinra and a few others are assigned to train at Fire Force Branch 1 in order to investigate a potential suspect in the creation of artifical infernals. As it turns out, that person is Rekka Hoshimiya, one of the commanders of division one. Shinra ends up confronting Rekka and the two fight. However, while Shinra is in the middle of fighting a CHILD MURDERER, he “accidentally” gets punched into Tamaki’s chest not once, but twice.

Before I get any comments along these lines, I am not asking that fanservice be removed entirely from Shonen. Relieving tension in between serious scenes is important so that the whole series in not dowered in a depressive mood. I would even go as far as to argue that comedic misunderstandings like these could be used to hint at deeper relationships between characters.

Regardless, I do that think it is a lot to ask from h writers to maintain some level of tonal consistency when it comes to their fight scenes. In other words, at the very least, save the fanservice for after the fight is over, rather than during a scene where Shinra is fighting, and I cannot stress this enough, a literal CHILD MURDERER.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.


How do you all feel about “Fire Force” and Fanservice? 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!

Hearthstone, Meta Diversity, and Why It’s Important

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Feels like its been a while since I have talked about one of my favorite games of all time, probably because it has been. Not without good reason, obviously, as it has been an insane and frankly, still very depressing year. Still its worth remembering everything that happened.

The game got a whole new class in the form of Demon Hunter that ended up terrorizing the meta for quite a while. After all, when you give a class whose identity is built around attacking the opponent in large bursts the ability to also clear boards and also draw a bunch of cards, that’s usually a recipe for being broken.

On top of that, there was a return to old mechanics in the form of Dormant minions from “Ashes of Outland,” and the introduction of Dual class cards in “Scholomance Academy.” In the list of new mechanics we also got a contender for one of the worst in the games history: Corrupt, which requires you to play a card of a higher cost first in order to get the corrupted effect.

More recently though, the meta seems to have settled down, and, outside of the recent rein of Evolve Shaman and the currently dominating Ramp Paladin, it feels pretty open. It is not often that I get to say something like that considering the game’s extremely long history of broken mechanics, but with a lot of cards in “Madness at the Darkmoon Faire” feeling a bit underwhelming, and the “Darkmoon Races” mini set only brining a few more relevant cards to the table, there are plenty of decks siting in tier two that can succeed.

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Which is a good thing, right? Well, yes. Oftentimes I see people complaining about stale metas, and while yes fighting the same decks over and over again certainly is not the most fun, it does come with some benefits. When there are only a few decks that are considered top tier, as the case currently in the wild meta, it makes the predicted matchup spread significantly smaller. This, in turn, means that there is smaller pool of decks against which one needs to reasonably come up with counter-play. Thus, less competitive decks ostensibly makes “figuring out the meta,” and by extension winning, much easier.

However, people are people, and as much as competitors want to be good at something, they also want it to be fun. Cards games like Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering implement rotating formats for that reason, so that if a particular strategy becomes dominant, or the game just becomes to stagnant, there is a built in way of changing the game at some point.

Now, as previously mentioned, there are times when the game needs to change much more rapidly than that, as certain strategies becomes so dominant as to feel nearly unbeatable. This is why having a card game be online is convenient because it allows the developers to make adjustments to cards that become too powerful.

What was this post about? I don’t remember. While the last year of Hearthstone, much like the year in general, was tumultuous, there is reason to believe that it will get better.


How do you folks feels about Hearthstone these days? 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!

Correcting the Record: Kaguya-Sama is not Boring

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


A couple of weeks ago I did my episode one reaction to Kaguya-Sama: Love is War. In that post, I was generally positive about the show, with my only concern being that the format could become super repetitive and uninteresting. I am here now to say that Kaguya-Sama is by far one of the most entertaining Slice-of-Life Comedies that I that I have seen in a while.

There are a lot of things that play into my current enjoyment of the show, but I think the main one is just how interesting the main characters are, or rather, how good the show is at getting me interested in said main characters. Both Kaguya and Miyuki are incredibly talented students, earning the best grades and easily acquiring the respect of their peers. However, on the inside, they are still awkward teens who have a crush on each other and just don’t want to admit it.

This leads into a lot of hilarious situations. One of my favorites so far is the scene where they are alone together in the student council room and in order to pass the time they decided to play a game of 20 questions, in which Miyuki asks Kaguya. The scene builds up a lot of dramatic tension by continually hinting that this might be when Kaguya reveals that fact that she like him, but that tension then becomes a wonderful payoff when at the end it is revealed that Kaguya was actually thinking of a dog instead of Miyuki.

This, however, is just one example of the great humor that comes out of the show, and not only is it great, it is diverse. There are so many interesting and funny scenarios that the two find themselves in, trying to out whit each other and get the other to admit there feelings, only to then be thwarted one way or another. In other words, I am glad I was wrong.


How have you all been feeling about Kaguya-Sama? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you would like to support The Aniwriter or are just feeling generous, consider donating on Ko-fi or using one of my affiliate links down below:

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!

Megalo Box Episode 10 and the Scorpion: Why Nanbu Deserves a Bit More Sympathy

Without knowing much about the show, you might take a look at a picture of Nanbu from Megalo Box and think he’s kind of a terrible person, and this is not entirely wrong. Nanbu is very much a wolf in sheep’s clothing, even despite how obvious it is he is a wolf. He spends a lot of the show pretending to help JD, only to betray him afterwards.

In the show’s most recent episode, Fujimaki, the man supporting Nanbu and Joe in their efforts to reach Megalonia, reminds Nanbu that they are not there to win. The only reason he decided to support them in their efforts to reach Megalonia is to force Joe to throw the fight so that Nanbu could pay off his debts to them. When Joe finds this out, he gets rightfully angry, questioning whether or Nanbu even thought he could win.

Screenshot 2018-06-09 22.17.40.png

Fujimaki goes on to describe Nanbu later on as a scorpion, and compares him to the main character in a story about a scorpion who needs to cross the river, only to betray a frog that agrees to help him. When the frog asks why the scorpion stung him, the scorpion basically replied “I had to.” However, I do not think that story is necessarily the most accurate description as a whole.

Screenshot 2018-06-09 22.24.04

For starters, Joe throwing fights at the beginning of the show was the only real way that he could make money while fighting and not get caught. Even despite his manipulative behavior while managing him, Nanbu was in a way helping him by letting him fight while making sure he was ok. Without the money he got from fighting, JD could have ended up homeless, and possibly dead. It would not be the easiest surviving as an undocumented person living in a big city.

It is also important to remember that Nanbu’s training is a large part of the reason Joe was even able to get to Megalonia. It is fair to say that Joe had a lot of natural talent, even before they began training for Megalonia, but there was no way he was going to make it there withoug Nanbu’s connections or his ability as a coach. This is not to say that the relationship they have during this period is not manipulative or possesive, far from it. But, it is important to remeber that Nanbu is not just a bad person.

Again, none of this is to say that Nanbu is a great person, or even a good person, but like every character, and even just like with people, pointing out only the good or only the bad in someone will never give you a wholistic view of that individual. Doing good does not negate doing something bad, and vice versa.


What do you guys think of the Nanbu as a character? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

Does Anime’s Mainstream Success Lie in the Normal Feel of Mainstream Anime?

Whether we like it or not, anime is becoming more and more a mainstream phenomena. Shows like Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia are receiving significant attention, and Netflix, a streaming giant, has put 8 billion into releases this year, including the critically acclaimed Devilman. Fortunately or Unfortunately, that attention is not being split evenly across many of the new shows coming out.

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan’s mainstream success can be attributed to its assimilations to currently popular trends. As many have argued, the Titans, the show’s main villains, so to speak, play on the same tropes that make Zombies in movies like World War Z do, and the show’s main lead, Eren Jaeger, fills the role of the aggressive male lead that fills most of popular stories.

My Hero Academia.jpg

My Hero Academia is no different. Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has created a hunger for hero filled stories among the popular conscious, and being one of the few Hero stories to reach the medium of anime, and the even less common achievement of being a hero story that is popular in Japan, it, of course, made it outside the anime community in the west. While on the surface My Hero Academia may seem to still be dominated by the culture of its origin, the group of super high school students known as class 1-A is still extremely reminiscent of Super Hero groups like The Avengers and Justice Leauge found in American comics.

Not often do shows considered classics by anime fans like FLCL or Gurenn Lagan escape the word of mouth inside the community. Even Ghibli films, which are undoubtedly anime and have reached lots of mainstream success, do not often get talked about as being apart of anime because their appeal is much broader.

Fooly Cooly

What anime’s recent mainstream success really comes down to is its ability to produce shows that are far more accessible to western audiences. Sure, the continued success of anime in the mainstream and a growing community has allowed for more niche shows like Kemono Friends and Umaru-chan to continue being made, but it is not these shows that are driving the medium more and more into the mainstream.

What Japan wants and what western audiences want are a lot different. The west wants the next Game of Thrones or Walking Dead, while Japan is more than happy just getting another season of Idol Master. The reality is that anime’s mainstream popularity has more do to with shows that appeal to western audiences than anything that is particularly unique to the medium of anime.


What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!