The Best English-Language Anime Rock Songs (Part One)

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There was something badass going on in the world of late 90’s/early 2000’s anime soundtracks. A decent amount of anime had these anthemic, sweeping rock songs in their soundtracks. Often, these songs were sung in English and performed by non-Japanese singers. I don’t know if this was because Yoko Kanno was out in full-force during this time period and giving us Steve Conte-fronted goodness, or if more anime studios were going for crossover appeal with Western audiences.

Whatever the case, these songs are all awesome, and the story of how some of these English language songs and collaborations came to be are actually very interesting. Originally, I was just going to do a quick listicle, but I got carried away reading about these various performers. It seemed like a disservice not to share all the fruits of my research, so here is part one of my surprisingly long list of favorite English language anime rock performances.

Continue reading “The Best English-Language Anime Rock Songs (Part One)”

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Anime First Episodes: The Good, The Bad, and The Forced Exposition

Hinamatsuri Episode One anime

Minor spoilers for Sarazanmai and Hinamatsuri.

Supposedly, there’s this thing called a “three-episode rule” that says you should watch three episodes of an anime before deciding to drop it. But, if you’re like me and you’re checking out every season’s new anime, three episodes is TOO MUCH time to waste. No, I’ve honed my critical senses to the point where I can usually get a sense of whether or not a show is trash within the first twenty minutes. Bad writing will usually rear its ugly head right from the beginning – sometimes as soon as the very first scene.

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Please, spare me three episodes! Tell me your show sucks immediately!

If an anime series starts with a map and a five minute narration of the world’s history, I’m immediately going to drop it. Nothing annoys me more than when a character drones on about its setting instead of just SHOWING it to me. Forced exposition like this is exhausting, and it’s almost impossible to actually retain these information dumps once they’re over. A setting needs to grow and expand along with the characters. A fictional world needs to be explored naturally, not explained away immediately. Keeping a little mystery to a series’ setting and characters is what makes viewers want to keep watching. If everything gets given away in the trailer or the opening sequence, what’s the point of sticking around?

Continue reading “Anime First Episodes: The Good, The Bad, and The Forced Exposition”

6 Weird, Mindscrew Women-Loving-Women Movies/Anime — PopLurker

Hey folks! I wrote a guest post over at PopLurker this week about my favorite genre of movies, Acid Trip Lesbians. Check out a little blurb from it here, and then follow the link to read the rest!

You may have heard that Kristen Stewart is slated to star in a holiday-themed lesbian rom-com in 2019. Yahoo! Good gay content to be had for all! KStew is a verified gay goddess, so a rom-com starring her will answer the fevered prayers of gay gals everywhere. Truth be told, a lot of our women-loving women’s movie prayers have been answered in the past few years – 2016 gave us the Oscar-nominated Carol, which delivered plenty of steamy romance, and a bunch of Cate Blanchett-in-a-big-fur-coat goodness.

…come to think of it, that was technically a Christmas movie, too…I’m sure Jesus is thankful that he’s finally getting lesbian movies for his birthday.

Now, those movies are definitely exciting, but what if you want your wlw media to be a little more…shroom trippy? Maybe rom-coms and dramas just aren’t your thing…you want something a little more David Lynchian. Maybe you only want to see lady loving in a movie that also features claymation murder sequences, aliens, girls turning into bears, or a fuckton of cocaine?

Well, don’t you worry. We’ve got you covered. We’re connoisseurs of Weird Shit, Gay Shit, and especially Weird Gay Shit. It can be hard to find good things to watch that are of the wlw variety, especially since googling “weird lesbian movies” is only going to give you awkward redirects to PornHub. Let us take you on a journey…

Read it in full here on PopLurker, and give them a follow while you’re at it – they post fun content like artist interviews and erotic novel reviews. Plus, I write stuff for them sometimes, so you know they’ve got some quality stuff! 😉

6 Weird, Mindscrew Women-Loving-Women Movies/Anime.

Mythology and Sarazanmai: Kappa really do dive into buttholes!

sarazanmai kappa keppi anime

If you’ve been watching Kunihiko Ikuhara’s latest project, Sarazanmai, you’ve probably found yourself confused by what was happening on-screen at least two or twelve times. It’s a story about complicated sibling relationships, floating definitely-not-Amazon packages, gay otter police officers, and teens getting turned into kappas so they can extract desire from giant zombie buttholes. It’s wilder than I could have ever predicted.

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See, wild!

You may also find yourself asking, “how much of this series is weird because Ikuhara is a weirdo, and how much of this is weird because I’m not Japanese and I don’t get the references?” If you’re anything like me, the only things you know about kappa came from games like Harvest Moon, which does not involve buttholes. So, I decided to dive deep into the world of kappa legends to better understand the madness that is Sarazanmai.

And, believe it or not, the idea that we all have a ball of desire in our anuses is more than just a wacky Ikuhara-ism – it’s a huge part of kappa mythology! Let me give you a crash course in kappa.

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Top 10 Best Anime Eyebrows of Winter 2019: The Thick Brows That Warmed Us

YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS, FOLKS! That’s right, it’s about a week after the end of the last anime season, which means it’s time for my to put on my Eyebrow Assessment Monocle and distribute the coveted award of Best Anime Eyebrow.

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A+ monocle, but C- eyebrows.

Believe it or not, I actually followed a lot of series through this season. I was BIG into Boogiepop and The Promised Neverland in particular, and of course Mob Psycho 100. If I were a better blogger, I would write a review of those series, but alas. I only review eyebrows here, not entire anime series.

Now, infamously, I write these Top 10 lists without having actually seen any of the season’s offerings. This time, I actually watched, but somehow that made this list HARDER to write. I was busy paying attention to insignificant things like a character’s pErSoNaLiTy and bEhAvIoR. But no worries, I have now adjusted the monocle and am ready to list.

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May the Queen of Anime Eyebrows guide us through this list…

Continue reading “Top 10 Best Anime Eyebrows of Winter 2019: The Thick Brows That Warmed Us”

This Art Club Has A Problem! – A Garbage Boy Double-Feature! (Episodes 8/9)

this art club has a problem

Ah, the This Art Club Has A Problem collab sure is moving along fast, huh? We’re already up to episode 9 of 12! And by “we,” I mean “me,” because I’m behind on the collab! 😉

Episode 7’s post was dedicated trashing Usami, but this week, it’s going to be a Subaru dissing double feature! Since I didn’t post the episode 8 entry last week, I’m packing it into this post and pretending Subaru doesn’t exist. Then, for episode 9, it’ll be a round of what did Subaru do wrong this time?Since I’m combining two episodes, though, I’m only going to do one half of each episode. There’s usually two skits, and I figure covering an overall total of five skits might be a little overwhelming.

Anyways, enough talk. Let’s dive in and let the mockery of the Supreme Garbage Boy commence!

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Should You Watch Boogiepop and Others? Well, it’s complicated…

This Winter anime season gave us plenty of highly anticipated anime to choose from. We got the long-awaited adaptation of Shonen Jump hit The Promised Neverland, new JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, an adaptation of an early Osamu Tezuka work, and – the series I was most excited for – a special 20th anniversary entry into the Boogiepop canon.

Boogiepop and Others is a surreal psychological horror with supernatural elements thrown in. It’s about an entity, Boogiepop, who lives within a teenage girl. Boogiepop appears when the world is troubled, and believe me when I say this world is TROUBLED! There’s a shady organization drugging and brainwashing people, aliens(?) are popping down to Earth, and another highschool girl is running around in a catsuit and scaring the shit out of her peers…there’s a lot going on. It’s kind of hard to explain.

Which is the thing about Boogiepop. It’s kind of hard to explain…and hard to follow…and sometimes even hard to like.

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Continue reading “Should You Watch Boogiepop and Others? Well, it’s complicated…”