Funomenal Rear-view Contemplation: Best of Film & Game Music 2018

I think the cinema I frequent owes me some sort of recognition…looking back at my ticket history: hundreds of films over the past four years. I even have my favourite seats for each of their venues.

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Violet Evergarden Fanbook Interviews: Akiko Takase | Highlights, High Heels & Suspenders

In this latest series of interview translations, ATMA & Funomena will be presenting comments and observations of three prominent voices from the production of Violet Evergarden, concluding with Chief Animation Director Akiko Takase.

These translations are offered to fans of the series as material supplements for the making-of documentary-style video by the YouTube channel Under the Scope.

The original interviews were conducted and published in the Violet Evergarden Official Fanbook.

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Violet Evergarden Fanbook Interviews: Haruka Fujita | Nurturing a Blank Slate

In this latest series of interview translations, ATMA & Funomena will be presenting comments and observations of three prominent voices from the production of Violet Evergarden, continuing with series director Haruka Fujita.

These translations are offered to fans of the series as material supplements for the upcoming making-of documentary-style video by the YouTube channel Under the Scope.

The original interviews were conducted and published in the Violet Evergarden Official Fanbook.

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Terrace House: Visualising ‘Asian Modernity’

Social television and by extension, popular media, forms a central reflective lens through which one can observe and debate the general assumptions of cosmopolitanism in the contemporary Global Internet age. The frameworks of argument presented by Youna Kim in her exploration of the Korean Wave (with a particular focus on TV dramas) are grounded within understanding the discursive construction of an ‘East Asian Popular Culture’ (Chua, 2004), as well as exploring the shifting of the cultural export tides, as global awareness and appreciation for Asian media expands.

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Violet Evergarden Fanbook Interviews: Taichi Ishidate | Earnestness, Immersion & Subtlety

In this latest series of interview translations, ATMA & Funomena will be presenting comments and observations of three prominent voices from the production of Violet Evergarden, starting with director Taichi Ishidate.

These translations are offered to fans of the series as material supplements for the upcoming making-of documentary-style video by the YouTube channel Under the Scope.

The original interviews were conducted and published in the Violet Evergarden Official Fanbook.

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Violet Evergarden Composer Interview: Evan Call | From Berklee to Leidenschaftlich

An instant crowd-pleaser, in spite of the disjointed international release schedule by Netflix, Violet Evergarden is a labour of love for the tight-knit Kyoto Animation team. In search of music that can reflect the quiet intensity of the melodrama on display, Japan-based American composer Evan Call was instructed to construct the sentimental anchor of the entire production.

The following is a translation of the interview printed in the Violet Evergarden Original Soundtrack booklet, conducted with the composer and series music producer Shigeru Saito.

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Inner Life of Character | Helen Garner’s ‘Postcards from Surfers’

A self-invented definition for ‘character’ I always liked is ‘a personality, an expressive potential’ that can be harnessed through prose. A character’s effectiveness in narrative is defined by their expression of inner dimension. The layering of character would thus draw one’s attention to how a personality is molded through prose.

The inner life of a character.

And it is precisely this potential of personified liveliness that helps the story develop alongside the organic expansion of the character’s crafted persona. There is after all, a very favourable difference between an authentic character and a vehicle of plot that has lines of dialogue and scripts of action already predetermined within a story, at least according to Noah Lukeman when he wrote about characterisation. Lukeman stressed that the internal sense of self an author crafts for a character should act as the catalyst for the story. Their instinctual, compulsions and internal thought processes are just some ingredients that guides a character’s distinct liveliness.

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Funomenal Rear-view Contemplation: Best of Film & Game Music 2017

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.

Nevertheless, I think it’s best I keep up this tradition of massive yearly reviews, where I get to highlight the world of background music, and to continue bastardising this idiotic concept that such music ‘shouldn’t be noticed’.

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Violet Evergarden’s Opening Act | Mechanical Rigidity vs. Fluid Temporality

I want to start by talking about a single shot in Violet Evergarden’s debuting episode.

Violet’s reflection in the clock implies two things: her current state of mind, as well as certain potential, if one takes into account Violet’s first real display of agency in this scene.

A clock as a tool for telling time is mechanical and rigid by nature, its function defined by a single need. Violet was a child soldier who has known nothing but to take orders and acting on them: her function defines her, encroaching her behind a transparent cage.

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Tsuki ga Kirei Episodes 5 – 8 | The Pastel Distinctiveness of Character

I never intended to write another post on Tsuki ga Kirei. My analysis of episodes 1-4 felt pretty definitive in regards to unpacking my very positive impressions of the show overall. At the time of publication, at least. For the most part, I felt I have no more to say about it.

Instead, the show decided to up its ante with each passing episode, all the while making me realise, just how much detail I’ve missed from the episodes I thought I’ve covered quite thoroughly. Sigh…*

Oh well. Shall we venture onwards?

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Tsuki ga Kirei Episodes 1 – 4: Portraits | Depicting Moments & The Awkward, Adorable Young Love

Akane carries around a tiny mascot doll as a lucky charm. She instinctively rubs it when she gets nervous.

Kotarou is self-conscious about his writing. He gets into a boxing match with the lamp cord when he gets anxious.

It is a delicate task, trying to depict the awkwardness of the adolescence. How does one depict such a confusing part of life, when those who are currently experiencing it are too moody and self-absorbed to bother understanding it, and those who have already experienced it can no longer provide the organic, first hand accounts?

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Funomena Picks: Best of Anime 2016 | Part I

Yes, for whatever reason, ATMA & Funomena is still alive and kicking. I also got into the elites’ club by being featured on the ThatAnimeSnob Reddit board. Truly an honour.

2016 was a horrible year (yes I’m one of those, deal with it) that was unfashionably kind to me as a blossoming anime fan and…maturing adult (somehow, these two do go hand-in-hand for me). I got myself a new (and first) decent-paying job, I started collecting anime, music and film merch like crazy. I watched too much anime.

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