This Art Club Has A Problem! Episode 2: All Hail Our Sleepy President King

this art club has a problem president

It’s time for another episode of Yomu’s This Art Club Has A Problem collab! If you haven’t checked it out yet, follow that link and join in on the fun. Basically, participants are watching this 2016 series together and blogging each episode based on a list of themes Yomu comes up with. Don’t worry about joining late – I’m always running a week behind, and they still let me in on the fun 😉

This week, the theme I’ve chosen is The President’s Energy Usage.

Screenshot (723).png

Continue reading This Art Club Has A Problem! Episode 2: All Hail Our Sleepy President King”

Advertisements

Winter 2019 First Impressions: Who Will Land In The Hell Zone?!

boogiepop SMOOCH

It’s been a while since I’ve taken a stab at seasonal coverage, huh? Truth be told, the past few months on the blog have been extremely inconsistent. In 2019, though, expect to see way more from The Anime Hell Zone! This Lexapro is kicking in and I am ready to TAKE ON THE WORLD! SEROTONIN, ACTIVATE!!

Ahem. Since it’s been so long since I’ve done a seasonal first impression list, let’s take a moment to review my personal rating system for first impressions.

Heaven Zone: these look like some real winners! They’re the most highly recommended (so far, anyways…), and are the series that I’m most likely to stick with through the whole season.

Purgatory: these shows haven’t sold me just yet, but they’ve got promise. We’ll see if they can ascend to Heaven by the end!

Hell Zone: these were painful to get through and are absolutely not recommended. If I continue watching anything in Hell Zone, it’ll only be to cruelly mock them!

Though I am training to become a Real Anime Critic one of these days, I’m obviously not getting paid to cover anime seasonals. That being said, I’m skipping over quite a few of the Big Boy Hype shows. I have a finite time on this planet, and I will not waste it blogging about things I don’t care about!

The only series left that I have to check out is Mob Psycho II. I’m waiting to watch it together with my boyfriend, and I know he wouldn’t appreciate me jotting down notes during our anime date night, so that’ll have to wait until the end of the season round-up.

Also, I know that we’re technically on the second week of seasonal anime, but this post is only based on the first episodes (or first two episodes, in Boogiepop‘s case). I’m slow! Sue me!


Heaven Zone

Boogiepop and Others

…or Boogiepop Doesn’t Laugh or Boogiepop wa Warwaanai or whatever you want to call it. This was my most anticipated series this season, and it did not disappoint. I’m a huge fan of 2000’s Boogiepop Phantom, and have been looking forward to see how Madhouse and One Punch Man director Shingo Natsume adapted the first light novel.

Boogiepop and Others throws us into a world of manticores, split personalities, and mysterious drugs that are supposedly causing girls to disappear. The titular character  appears in the form of Touka Miyashita and explains that they are here to protect the world. Time skipping and mystery ensues.

Structurally, this is a very interesting series already. The storytelling is non-linear and thus requires the viewer’s full attention. For example, a character will die on-screen, and the episode will retroactively introduce you to them and show how they fit into the greater narrative. It’s looking like a slow-burn, for sure, which is exactly what I want out of a Boogiepop adaptation. It might not be as ~aesthetic~ as Boogiepop Phantom, but it already has me wound up in its web.

P.S. I’m not going to stop posting the spooky gay smooch from the opening >:)

The Promised Neverland

the promised neverland

The Perfect Neverland is a hugely anticipated adaptation of the Shounen Jump manga series of the same name. It tells the story of a group of children living in an orphanage that may not be quite as it appears…I won’t rob you of the reveal if you’ve yet to see it, but if you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll let you know – it GOOD.

Something I appreciate about this first episode is that isn’t laying the darkness on too thickly. The kids are shown having fun and being care-free. They don’t understand what’s going on, so why would they be acting like anything other than regular kids?  Though there are obvious clues that something is wrong, it isn’t hitting viewers over the head with a grey color palette or over-dramatic musical cues. There’s often a lack of subtlety in “dark” anime, so getting things like this and Boogiepop and Others that know how to create a terse, uncomfortable atmosphere without overdoing it is a real treat.

I have some more feelings about how this series treats kids versus other Tragic Children anime like Made in Abyss, but I’ll write more about that in the upcoming weeks…

Dororo

dororo anime

Oh, look, another new series that gets atmosphere and tension right! Based on an Osamu Tezuka classic, Dororo is the story of a man who was born without skin, internal organs, limbs, or eyes thanks to a deal his father made with some demons. Years after his birth, he meets Dororo, a spunky little thief.

Episode one manages to pack a lot of information and exposition into it without feeling forced or rushed. The pacing was impressive, and I enjoyed a lot of the scenery and dreary color pallets. Much has yet to unfold, but I feel confident that this will end up being something of a hidden gem this season.

I’m also interested to see how the character of Dororo is handled in 2019, as he’s apparently coded as being transmasculine. I’m not terribly well-versed with the original manga, and I’m afraid to look too far into it and risk being spoiled, but from what I understand his character is somewhat progressive – at least for a series from the 1960’s. This season’s Heaven Zone seems to have a lot of interesting gender dynamics, now that I look at it – there’s the androgynous Boogiepop, the tomboyish Emma in The Promised Neverland, and now Dororo. This should be a fun blogging season for my gay analysis brain!

Purgatory

Domestic Girlfriend

domestic girlfriend rui hina

After an awkward mixer, Fuji finds himself having sex with Rui, a girl he just met. Little does Fuji know, Hina – his high school teacher AND the woman of his dreams – is Rui’s older sister. Oh, and to make things even more convoluted and dramatic, they’re about to become his new stepsisters. Fuji’s dad just so happens to never mention to his son that he’s got a fiancée, but surprise, they’re already all moving in together! Drama!

This one’s got the same batshit premise as Citrus, minus the trashy over-the-top elements that made me actually enjoy Citrus. It seems that Domestic Girlfriend wants to take a more serious crack at teenage love and sexuality, but without Scum’s Wish levels of angst.

Episode one presents us with a surprisingly respectful sex scene and has Fuji nervously wondering if he made the right decision. If that had been all the episode was – the sex and then ruminations on his sudden loss of virginity – I would have been satisfied. Instead, we get the sudden move-in, and a whole lot of Hina being a trope-tastic anime girl who “”accidentally”” walks out of the tub half-naked in front of her new family and takes cutesy Misato-style gulps of beer. Hina doesn’t feel like a fully realized character so much as an amalgamation of waifu-bait cliches, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt since it’s only episode one. Oh, and Fuji tries to kiss his unconscious teacher, which is Very Rapey of him, thus killing any impressed feelings I had from the maturity of the consensual sex scene in the beginning.

Domestic Girlfriend is probably going to be mediocre at best, but I’m a sucker for messy love triangles, so I’ll watch along for a little longer and see if it grabs me.

Hell Zone

Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka

magical girl special ops

I make it a point to check out whatever iteration of Gritty Magical Girl gets shat out each season. I love magical girl anime when they’re played straight, and I always hope that one of these darker series will turn out as well as Madoka or Yuki Yuna Is A Hero. Unfortunately, they usually end up sucking ass. Subversive magical girl series only work if they actually lean into the true tropes of the genre, but instead, you get things like Magical Girl Spec Ops Asuka that try to get by on shock value alone. “It’s magical girls, but with blood! Get it, because they’re usually cute? Get it? GET IT?”

This was so dumb, my brain felt like it melted watching it. There either wasn’t much of a plot, or I had just glazed over too much to process what was there. The concept of having magical girls in the military could be fun, but it felt like the show was trying to present that premise earnestly…which is absolutely fucking insane. Actually, the whole episode was insane, but somehow in a really boring way. They had a hack representation of an ex-magical girl having PTSD flashbacks of evil teddy bears, a man casually talking about how his limb just got amputed while being in literally no pain or shock, and there were FOUR time skips in one episode. Also, NOTHING about this felt magical girl at all. Apparently they thought if they just said the words “magical girl” and put these people in goofy outfits that would be enough.

I don’t know, it’s bad. Go watch Release the Spyce instead.

Girly Force

Yeah, wow, I couldn’t even get through this full episode. I’m a sucker for Cute Girls Doing Cute Things But In Military Settings, and this was not what I wanted. The first, like, ten minutes is like a Transformers movie – loud, confusing, and looks like it’s from 2007. It’s a whole lotta bad CGI planes, and then some boring looking dude gets kissed by one of the lady pilots before she even utters a line. It’s dumb. Goodbye!


There actually aren’t that many series that piqued my interest this time around, but it looks like there should be a few winners in the pack. I’m sure I’ve missed something great, so if there’s something else I should check out that, let me know!

Top 10 Best Anime Eyebrows of Fall 2018: That’s Right, I’m Still Writing This Shit!

Well, well, well. Another season has ended, which means I’m contractually obligated to post another eyebrow countdown. Just like with every other anime season, I’ve completely neglected to cover anything as it aired…BUT, I did take note of some sexy, sexy eyebrows. And by sexy, I mean “delightful and attractive in a non-sexual and lawful way,” because I’m realizing now that most of these brows are attached to underage characters. Boy, this one’s off to a great start, huh!

If you’ve missed the other eyebrow posts, let me give a brief synopsis: I love a good anime eyebrow. The meatier, the better. Though it doesn’t all come down to thickness…sometimes, a particularly expressive eyebrow is enough to warm the cockles of my heart.

OK6W_koKDTOqqqLDbIoPAr07W6X676QRfyUdA01sPA0

Also, the best brows forever belong to Tsumugi Kotobuki, and she will never EVER be topped. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the list.

Continue reading “Top 10 Best Anime Eyebrows of Fall 2018: That’s Right, I’m Still Writing This Shit!”

This Art Club Has Really Pretty Sunsets!: Episode 1 of Yomu’s Collaboration Project

I’m throwing my hat into Yomu’s This Art Club Has A Problem collab! The project is really fun, so if you haven’t seen their post, please check it out. It’s a really neat idea and I’m super excited to be a part of it. Maybe join us in the blog-along of this series!

The theme I picked for episode one is “Sometimes It’s The Little Things In Anime,” which Yomu listed as a core theme for the series. I haven’t seen any other episodes just yet, so I don’t know if I’ll write about this for each post, but it does feel like a great place to start. There were A LOT of small details throughout this first episode that were really endearing. I realized as I started to write about the episode that these little things were actually what I appreciated most.

Continue reading “This Art Club Has Really Pretty Sunsets!: Episode 1 of Yomu’s Collaboration Project”

In defense of my favorite mess: Neon Genesis Evangelion IS flawed…but like, who cares?

Recently, Netflix announced that they acquired the streaming rights for Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is a HUGE deal, because it hasn’t been legally available to watch in North America for over a decade. It’s absolutely bananas that such an iconic anime has been inaccessible for so long. It just goes to show how ridiculous corporate red tape can be, I suppose.

evangelion misato.gif

Because the series was relevant in conversation again, I saw a TON of folks online crawl out from the woodwork to shit on everyone’s parade. Netflix’s announcement had re-sparked the old arguments about whether Evangelion is truly a masterpiece, or if it’s just an overrated mess. 

I love Evangelion very, very much. It’s one of my favorite series, and I truly believe that it’s a must-watch for anime fans. Because of my immense love for the series, it’s my knee-jerk defensive instinct to assume that everyone who hates it are just contrarian trolls. I want to believe that all the criticisms that say Eva is convoluted, fake-deep, and overrated are baseless trash arguments…but they’re not. It’s true, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a deeply flawed series, and it is NOWHERE NEAR as perfect as many fans claim it is. In a way, it really has become overrated.

…but it’s still really fucking good, and deserves to be an anime staple despite those flaws.


Continue reading “In defense of my favorite mess: Neon Genesis Evangelion IS flawed…but like, who cares?”

The Flashing Lights Say You’ll Be Okay: Depression, Binge-Watching Television, And The Importance of Fluff

This is something I wrote a few months ago that’s a little off-brand for this site. I’m not throwing any anime reactions pictures into this one because…well, it’s not about anime at all.  I actually wrote this during a rough patch and wasn’t really sure where to put it. Finally, I’ve decided to post it here. You might not be able to relate to the specifics, and maybe you’ve never seen the shows mentioned here, but I still think that there’s something important here that someone might find themselves in. Trigger warning for depression and suicide mentions, but I promise this is an optimistic post. I’m leaning away from all that doom and gloom these days. Anyways, enjoy this personal slice of my life.


So, here’s something kinda crazy. I think I’m going to be okay.

What made me, someone who has been dealing with depression for a veryyyyyy long time, finally come to this conclusion? Well. I marathoned NBC’s The Good Place today.

That probably sounds like I’m being hyperbolic, right? Like I’m saying, “this show is so good, it will cure your depression!”

Well, I’m not doing that. It’s just what I did today, and it’s what made me realize something very important.

I’m being vague. Let me get a little more specific.

I’m having a very hard time. Sometimes, I forget that I’ve been having a very hard time for a very long time. I’ll have little periods where I’m doing okay, and then I’ll have loooong periods where I’m doing very bad. When I’m doing bad, I lose sight of everything else – I forget about the more lucid times and I forget about the millions of other times I’ve felt bad. More importantly, I forget that I’ve always gotten through feeling bad.

Continue reading “The Flashing Lights Say You’ll Be Okay: Depression, Binge-Watching Television, And The Importance of Fluff”

So You Said You Were Coming Back From A Hiatus And Then You Didn’t Post Anything: An Autobiography

Heh heh. Remember when I made a big old post about how I was determined to start writing and posting more often, and then I didn’t make a post for a month? Woopsies daisies! I tend to do that a lot, huh. Well, in my defense, it’s been a bit of a messy month. Let me get on my knees and beg for forgiveness explain.

Continue reading “So You Said You Were Coming Back From A Hiatus And Then You Didn’t Post Anything: An Autobiography”