Duality: a simple but demonstratively cardinal term. The expressionistic properties of ‘duality’ alone can already form the metaphorical backbone of the most impressionable citings of physics, philosophy, mythology and visual arts in human history. Balance in its purest form constitutes two opposing beings; physical or otherwise, keeping each other in check. Gravity and mass, good and evil, light and dark. Man and machine.
Opening remarks: I originally intended this piece to be a particularly academic-driven one…digging deep into the likes of Mark Lochrie & Paul Coulton’s article on shared viewing experiences or ‘Social TV’ and ‘Second Screen Devices’, and Alice E. Marwick’s paper on ‘Imagined Audiences and Context Collapse in Microblogging’. Elements of these studies are still retained in the final product, but I decided to keep discussion more centred on Dragon Maid and my own experiences in watching it…and ultimately deciding that it is an absolute new favourite.
There is a sense of idyllic rhythm that Aria exerts when one allows him or herself to engage with its cinematic heartbeat. It’s obvious: everything has its own rhythm, its own footprint, when it makes contact with another existing entity. If one takes this idea far enough, existence is just another way to visualise and define relationships. And creating rhythm is but another expression for finding uniquity.
(All plugs are pulled. Full spoiling ahead.)
Your Name | Kimi no Na wa (I will be referring to the film via. the former title from now on) is essentially about progress through violation. The film is readily clear on that account, and certainly enough for any number of viewing audiences to immediately identify that about its cinematic delivery.
I don’t really have an absolute favourite show last season. I mean, if we were speaking in MAL scoring terms, nothing I finished in the Summer season I would score above a 7, if not the hypothetical 7.75/10.
Granted, I started but never finished Mob Psycho 100 (I know, I should. I will. Eventually.) I also never finished Sweetness and Lightning, and that’s a show that tugged at my heartstrings numerous times in just three episodes.
BUT. Moments. There are moments in shows that spoke volumes to me, whether its on a immediate emotional level, or on a more…philosophical and worldview level.
Note: Spoilers for both Grimgar and Re:Zero are aplenty.
I appreciated Grimgar Of Fantasy and Ash after watching it to completion recently as a semi-marathon. For the most part, its character studies and the evident focus on atmosphere and a sense of place; rather than the much more often tread adventure fantasy with a clearly defined end goal of saving the world, has given the series a muted presence that ironically made its voice project louder amongst all the background noise. Similar things can be said about Re:Zero, now that it has finished its prolific rampage across the fandom’s collective stream of consciousness…though the reasons behind its highly resonant dual-season run were in complete contrast to Grimgar, as it projects its agenda of social commentary with unrelenting shamelessness and sincerity. In the end, while both series has no doubt invited significant viewership, and inevitable controversy on their respective handling of narrative delivery, I found myself once again standing right in the middle of the crossfire: appreciating what both shows have so admirably achieved, while also contemplating about their various failings.
Alternative Titles: The Perfect World of Kai, The Piano Forest
Director: Masayuki Kojima
Animation Production: MADHOUSE
Music: Keisuke Shinohara
Genres: Slice of Life, Music, Competition, Supernatural
Disclaimer: the societal commentary present in this publication are all the writer’s own personal observations and opinions. No journalistic or scholarly value and sources are cited nor present (unless stated otherwise).
If you have a) any knowledge of moe and slice of life, b) a love for moe and slice of life, c) an intense hatred for moe and slice of life, or d) read enough of my posts to notice a common pattern in subject matters, then you would be aware of the basic recipe for success of such shows: the construction of a world that’s charming and relaxing, and a cast of characters who are teeth-rottingly adorable.
(MINOR SPOILERS FROM TV SERIES AND OVA)
Perhaps the best way to describe Kyoto Animation’s venture with Hibike! Euphonium is by literally contradicting myself: it is a work of complex simplicity. The emotional dissonance that exists, when a large group of individuals come together is typical of the atmosphere that you may find in a musical ensemble. Long story short, this OVA works as an alternate perspective provider on the emotional climax towards the latter end of the series, and it does it superbly.
Director: Junichi Sato
Animation Production: Hal Film Maker
Music: Nobuyuki Nakajima
Genres: Slice of Life, Iyashikei, Photography
Season: Summer 2010 (OVA debut)
The Spark of a Photographer
There’s a general consensus, that photographs are just fragments of frozen time and moments, nothing more. We take them on a whim, hoping to save a split second of amazement or amusement, and in a world where social media and smartphones rule societies, it seems that the significance of photographs are becoming less…intimate.
In reality, there exists an almost…interdimensional relationship between a photo, its subject and the photographer: there’s a REASON WHY a photo was taken and WHY this particular subject was chosen, framed and shot. These actions acuminate from personal emotions and attachments between the documenter and the documented. Photographs that are…truly wonderful are those that had managed to capture a fragment of heartfelt fervour when the shutter button was pushed…or where a moment of preciousness fluttering through the air was captured permanently onto a single, perfect image.