How Fruits Basket Helped Me Work Towards a Better Life

This will be a personal reflective piece about what this show means to me rather than analysis of some overarching significance from the creators. Fruits Basket is the kind of show that is very direct about its messaging, not leaving a lot of room for interpretation and trying to answer the viewer’s questions rather than leave things open-ended. It’s structured in such a way that almost anyone will be able to relate to it and connect to its story in some way. I suggest you do not read this piece if you don’t care about why I find Fruits Basket personally significant in my life because that’s exactly what this will be. Now as always, this blog has been a place for me to express my personal feelings and thoughts, and whether people choose to read it is secondary. I do hope you enjoy this if you read it, though.

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A Semiotic Analysis of The Wind Rises

I’ve been on a hiatus of writing here for a while now because I just haven’t watched much anime. I am far from losing my interest in it but I have just been busy and my passion hasn’t been particularly captured by much I’ve seen recently, with some exceptions I may write about in the future. Here is a paper I wrote for a media studies class at my university. It is much more dry, academic, and impersonal than my usual writing, but I hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it. The Wind Rises is close to if not my favorite film, and it was nice to rewatch and write about.

The Wind Rises is a 2013 anime film by director Hayao Miyazaki which is loosely based on Tatsuo Hori’s 1938 romantic fiction novel of the same name, combined with a romanticized retelling of Jiro Horikoshi’s life. Jiro Horikoshi was the man who designed and invented the infamous Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane during World War II. (Akimoto, Miyazaki’s New Animated Film 173) This paper will conduct a semiotic analysis of the film’s most prominent themes and ideas. A semiotic analysis is a study of the signs and their meanings within a culture or society. This type of analysis is often used to understand the various meanings behind certain ideas within a piece of media like a movie, and the different ways they could be interpreted.  

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Casshern Sins Quick Analysis/Review

Casshern Sins is one of those series that is truly in a realm of its own when compared to most other media. It breathes atmosphere unlike almost anything else I have ever experienced. Its story is simple but its messaging is extremely powerful, fueled by characters with fascinating nuance and beautiful dialogue. and watching it is an almost surreal experience. Casshern Sins is primarily a work dealing with tone and atmosphere, and it sees characters and story as more of a medium to communicate tone and emotion, as opposed to the reverse. In this way it is broadly incomparable to most anime, with the exception of Mushishi, Angel’s Egg, among others.

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Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Delightfully Wholesome and Wonderfully Comfy

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a truly delightful experience rich with interesting and humorous characterization and thoughtful theming that doesn’t feel out of place in a mostly comedy-centric storyline. It is full of interesting rich characters that are much more fleshed out than many other series’ in its genre category. All of its moving parts tie together and intersect to give each element more value than it would have on its own. I know this is easy to say about many stories, but I feel it is particularly emphatic and well-presented in this series. It is also genuinely heartwarming and touching, and focuses on many issues which are near and dear to my own thoughts on the world and topics that I find myself pondering frequently. This is a series which centrally focuses on relationships of many types, from pure platonic friendship to friendship bordering on romance, and how different kinds of people can complete each other and make each other’s lives better.

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Retrospective on Aoi Hana

“But two people can love each other and still not belong together, even if neither of them wanted to admit it.” – Shaun David Hutchinson: At the Edge of the Universe

Aoi Hana is a largely forgotten yuri series from 2009 which I believe deserves much more recognition than it gets. Yuri as a whole is a genre/interest which is common in anime, but it is extremely rare that any yuri romance evolves beyond hinting or joking around two characters liking each other. And it is exceedingly rare that an actual story evolves around yuri romance. Aoi Hana is different than most of the genre in that it lengthily explores the friendship between girls as well as some more romantic aspects of their relationships. It is not just about being “yuri”, unlike some genre peers like Citrus. Though Aoi Hana is relatively tame and light as a story, and though it largely revolves around pure friendship between girls, I believe it is an interesting, valuable, and highly enjoyable piece of the genre that will be highly palatable to anyone who appreciates subtle relationship woes between young characters.

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The Rose of Versailles – A New Favorite!

The Rose of Versailles is a fairly well-known series in anime circles hailing from the tail-end of the ’70s. It has retained a place in the minds of anime fans due to its impeccable quality, which I will be discussing at length in this article. The Rose of Versailles is an instant classic that is well worth your time for not only the person historically interested in anime as a medium, but also as a connoisseur of quality storytelling and historical drama irrespective of its artistic medium. As I will explain, this series is one of my all-time favorites at this point, and I cannot sing its praises highly enough.

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Dennou Coil – A Hidden Gem

While the name Mitsuo Iso is a household name for any anime fan in and around sakuga circles as he is one of the best-respected and talented individuals in his field, his one (and currently only) directorial position in his career in the anime industry was on Dennou Coil. Dennou Coil is a seemingly unassuming series from 2007 that doesn’t really stick out when glancing over the wealthy catalogue of amazing shows that came out in that year. However, glancing over this amazing and severely underrated series like I did for far too long would be a massive mistake if I have anything to say about it. In this post I hope to convince you to finally bite the bullet and tick Dennou Coil off your ever-expanding plan-to-watch list.

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Legend of the Galactic Heroes – A Truly Valuable and Enthralling Experience

Legend of the Galactic Heroes (LOGH from now on) is a highly regarded anime series by many fans and critics alike. It has even garnered a reputation among some as being the pinnacle of elitist taste, and while I do not believe in such things I certainly understand why it would be the recipient of such an appraisal.

It was one of the first OVAs, and was a pioneer in developing and broadening anime’s growing impact in Japanese and eventually Western society. In particular, it was one of anime’s first super-long-form adult-oriented drama stories, and laid the ground for the continued growth of this genre of anime into the ’90s and beyond.

But why has this show in particular been the target of such near-universal praise from a loud majority of those who have seen it? There is a lot of information to unpack here, so I’ll get right into it.

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Art vs Entertainment (and where they intersect)

Anime (among other mediums) is often classified by critics as an artform in certain circumstances and contexts. This classification of artform can serve to elevate a piece beyond the constraints of mere entertainment with the goal of ascribing it more meaning, weight, or value than entertainment media can have on its own. This may seem like a mundane and simplistic distinction, but I believe it is highly valuable in context of anime criticism and analysis to understand the differences between these two classifications and to grasp the ways they intersect in certain cases.

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Hidamari Sketch Series Retrospective

Hidamari Sketch is one among many anime series in the now grossly oversaturated anime genre of CDGCT (Cute Girls Doing Cute Things), but it came at a time when that genre had yet to flourish into what would birth the wide diaspora of quality withi that we have today. In the mid-2000s, this genre of anime was widely scorned and was something often the target of significant criticism at the time. And in some respects rightfully so, and those complaints continue to hold truth as the percentage of anime diluted with the same identical moe shows with nothing new or original begun to be rehashed year after year..

But Hidamari Sketch was different at the time it came out, and has continued to stick out from its genre contemporaries to this day due to many subtle but noteworthy factors that when combined together make for a very unique and worthwhile experience. This retrospective will cover my experiences with Hidamari Sketch and will try to envelop every aspect of this series that touched me.

While I have written an article on Hidamari Sketch before, I hope to more thoroughly and effectively encapsulate and explore the nuance and depth of this series in this post in comparison to my previous one.

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