Your Name | Kimi no Na wa: Interpreting Progress in Gender and Rule-breaking

(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.

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One Year Anniversary | Versatile Blogger Award Nominations

As common courtesy, I shall extend my praising hand towards a few bloggers who have intrigued (and shamed) me with their writings. I suppose I left it boiling there long enough, so I could use this opportunity to write a few notes about this blog’s 1st birthday as well.

Nomination details

As the nominees, you will:

  • Display Award
  • Acknowledge the person who nominated you (and include a link to her/his/their blog)
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate 5 bloggers (I searched around the web, the number here usually switch between 5, 7 or 10, so take your pick of your lucky number.)

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Sound! Euphonium 2 Episodes 1 – 2: First Impressions | Vivace Ensemble Dynamics

One frame.

Only one frame was needed for Sound! Euphonium to flaunt its triumphant return. With the single shot shown above, Tatsuya Ishihara was able to definitively storyboard the almost non-existent time-gap between the show’s two seasons, while at the same time, encapsulate the essence of the drama that still reside within the concert band: who has shrugged off the doubt and resorted to continue on their quest for perfection, and who’s still being trapped within their own past, unable to continue?

Bathed in a sunny back-light, Kumiko’s ascend upstairs had purpose, a sense of forward vision. Mizore is chained to the bottom of her staircase grasping her own mouth, almost choking on her own memories as ‘Polovtsian Dances‘ from Borodin’s ‘Prince Igor’ opera echoed from the school building’s rooftop, thanks in no part to her middle school band-mate Nozomi.

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Grimgar & Re:Zero | Genre’s Arbitrary Formulas And Narratives That Challenge Them

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.

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Quick Insight: Religion in Modern Society | Noragami

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.)

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Funomenal First Impressions: Anime Season Summer 2016

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.

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UnimeTV: Bi-weekly Analysis | Re:Zero Episodes 8 – 9

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.

Enjoy the read. UnimeTV link

Funomenal Overview: Anime Half-season Spring 2016 – Part I

By golly, 6 months in and I’m still keeping this up.

And yes, I realize how late this is. My apologies: a slew of life-related issues has hampered my potential output during the past 2 months, which has a been a period of both highs (I managed to write some of my best work for this blog) and lows (workplace arguments and private family issues).

Unlike Winter, Spring 2016 looks to be a season dotted with multiple flagpoles of dominance, both in terms of genre devotion and popularity contests. ERASED dominated the dialogue of Winter 2016, with voices raised as the community were seemingly split over its visually deliberate storytelling and the apparent incomplete plot progressions. While I may still be hesitant in joining the collective in terms of choosing the season’s best offering, it is my belief, that the slice of life genre has received one of its biggest and strongest showings in recent memory, as multiple titles eagerly showcased the wide ranging personalities of the genre in glorious fashions, though some may have bitten off more than they could swallow.

Nevertheless, Spring 2016 looks to be another varied and strong anime season, and the optimism is only heightened by what awaits later in the year (Yamada-san, crush them all when Fall arrives.)

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UnimeTV: Bi-weekly Analysis | Re:Zero Episodes 4 – 7

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.

Enjoy the read. UnimeTV link

UnimeTV: Bi-weekly Analysis | Re:Zero Episodes 2 – 3

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.

Enjoy the read. UnimeTV link

Condescending Reactions: Boku no Hero Academia Episode 1 | The Fine Line Between Sympathy and Pity

Fair warning: I make my distaste for various aspects of the show-in-focus very clear, as well as my eternal dislike for Naruto. While I do operate under the reality that I write with just my opinion at the forefront, without any sense of condescension towards those who loved these shows, I expect some feelings to be rather bruised, if those individuals don’t appreciate alternate perspectives.

Also, I’m writing without any knowledge of the Boku no Hero Academia manga material.

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UnimeTV: First Impressions | Re:Zero Episode 1

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.

Enjoy the read. UnimeTV link