You know…I went into starting this post with snippets of ideas for the intro: something snappy, a humorously depressing comment on 2017, and end it with a cheesy flavour of hope. But instead…I ended up with this.
I think I’ve sampled more albums than I ever did in 2017: more varieties of artists both old favourites and new discoveries, an increasingly diverse set of classical repertoires, genres and origins. That comes with good news and bad news, and I think the good news is kinda obvious already. But the bad news: I’ve listened to less albums COMPLETELY than the past two years, since there’s always something I want to jump onto prematurely.
The fall season kinda fell right on top of uni finals, hence the lack of a first impressions. But now that’s over and done with, I can finally talk a bit more about this season’s incredibly diverse offering: no individual standouts, just a WHOLE slew of solid ideas, explored in…various degrees of clarity.
Princess Principal was an action-adventure highlight of Summer 2017, and a big part of this resonance with the fandom was undoubtedly the high-octane musical identities afforded to the production by its arranger/composer duo of rising star Ryo Takahashi (ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka, Classroom of the Elite), and prolific veteran Yuki Kajiura (Kara no Kyoukai, Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online, ERASED).
The following is a translation of the interview conducted with the two composers by Natalie Music.
Ambient storytelling is brought up constantly when one talks about the affect of mythos and world-building in fiction. For a narrative to be immersive, the storied vision requires layering and textured detailing of the seemingly irrelevant, so the illusion of malleable reality can be made more effective.
After taking a year off this format while I readjusted to the fandom and determined how I should follow seasonal shows, the seasonal first impressions is back, and it is now a much more casual setting: no more ratings, staff/genre run downs and a shorter length.
Not sure where I heard it, but the perfect completed anime to favourite anime ratio is a clean-cut 10:1: meaning that now that I’ve completed over 200 anime in total (according to MAL at least), I get to update my favourite anime to a list of 20. And that’s good news and bad news.
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.
Incidently, this is the second and last article I managed to rescue from UnimeTV’s server crash.
(Note: This publication deals with season one, with some limited discussion about Bishamon’s arc in Aragoto. I will try my best to present a narrative that is fair and concise, from the perspective of a largely non-religious background, but also as someone who does helm interests in various teachings from multiple religions worldwide.)
Trying out a new jam for this season: instead of having a two-parter half-season overview, I will write up a first impression post one week into the season and pick out a few shows worth talking about for a condensed half-season overview. As for the end-of-season write-ups…I’m not sure about them yet, since I tend not to complete shows on time before another season starts up.
I will be adopting the overview’s rating system, but for the first impression, only shows that I have made clear conclusions for will be given a rating.
Now, with the introduction out of the way, these are the shows I’ve taste-tested thus far.
So Subaru got his wish: he got to cry in his favourite girl’s lap. If I was being honest, Emilia’s first introduction as Satella, her overly nice disposition and her seemingly blind belief in Subaru, had started to make me suspicious…I’m hoping that I’m wrong of course, but might as well put up shields while I still have the time.
In terms of the narrative flow thus far, episodes 8 and 9 achieved strides in key story beats that helped progressed the plot in a steady pace, while also expanding the mythos of the world.
Yeahhh…so a multitude of issues during the last few weeks kinda kept me from the keyboard again: a combination of family issues and a certain feeling of lack of inspiration, after I managed to churn out a ridiculously wannabe-scholar piece on Piano no Mori, and following that up with a ‘talking about life’ piece on Cowboy Bebop. I think I might’ve overspent myself a bit.
So yeah, I’m back and this time, I’m tackling four episodes of Re:Zero. Trust me, the locations of episodes 4 to 7 may be stagnant, but somehow, the series kept it interesting, with episode 7 being its most consistently serious one yet. Despite the minor shakeups with pacing and logic jumps, Re:Zero still stands proud as a relative highlight of this season.
Ahh…so this series is going for a fantasy adventure vibe. I kinda dig it!
The plot-specific developments of the story thus far, has sold it as a journey-centric mystery, focusing on the historical intrigues of the characters and the fantastical power plays of this world. In this publication, I decided to focus a bit more on our main character Subaru, since I find his balance of genre-savviness and lack of good fortune (getting killed twice by one crazy woman? The ultimate friend zone) really interesting on a characterisation level.
Slowly easing my way back, here’s another one I’ve written for UnimeTV.
Wanting to add some more flare into my blogging life, I decided to take upon the obligation of trying out a biweekly review schedule for the Spring 2016 anime series Re:Zero. Without skimping on quality and the level of detail I dictate myself upon, I now have a baby that I really DO need to nurture constantly. Or the bossmen will kill me.
Anyways, I had a blast analysing the first Re:Zero, episode: plenty of underhanded self-awareness, subtle world building and the usual hair-raising ending hooks that begs one to want more (or…turn away in disgust, with their eyes rolling towards the back of their skulls). Needless to say, I recommend fantasy lovers to give it a shot, might be fun.