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.Continue reading
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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.Continue reading
“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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
What is it to gaze into the void? What would compel someone to delve so deeply into the chasm of their own mind that their path starts to lose the light projected down from the well-trodden areas of thought. The areas that aren’t suppressed by your own consciousness and are instead either accepted or forced upon yourself in order to survive. And why would you choose to delve into the unknown and explore the depths of their mind? Exploring beyond the bridge of normalcy into the bottomless pit of ever-branching paths representing the internal quandaries you hide from yourself is far from easy to accomplish. It requires a very specific set of circumstances that make you consider your situation in a more abstract manner than is normally possible.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
To a verbally inclined communicator such as myself, nothing grips me quite like an deep and involved conversation with someone intelligent, even if the topic of conversation is utterly mundane. And much to my satisfaction and enjoyment, I dare say the Monogatari Series exists to fulfill this very niche (among other things). NisiOisiN (the author for the uninitiated) is an extremely prolific hyper-lateral thinker with an undying and long-time obsession with genius. Many of his works (the Monogatari Series included) exist for the purpose of pitting hyper-intelligent individuals against each other in verbal sparring matches for extended periods of time mostly just for the sake of doing so.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.