Eureka Seven is an anime I feel is greatly undervalued for its thematic similarities to many shounen/coming of age stories. Anime as well as nearly all visual mediums are heavily populated by the classic coming-of-age story which is inherently relatable to anyone who has existed and mentally progressed in some form or another. Despite this saturation of said mediums with this thematic idea, few focus on not only a character not only just coming of age but also on their journey to fix the world around them once they come to understand it. This ideal and structure is the driving force behind Eureka Seven.
Upon initial viewing, and even after having seen the first half of the series Eureka Seven is likely to still feel like an above-average following the age-old coming-of-age paradigm and exploring Renton’s growth as a person. It is only as the series draws to a close that the full arc of the story is revealed, which brings a whole new layer of depth to the first half. Eureka Seven manages later on to not only subvert this common trope but also deconstruct it as well through its protagonists Renton and Eureka. Here I will be explaining how Eureka Seven accomplishes this.
Hidamari Sketch is a show that works to envelop the viewer in its warm atmosphere. It is a show that tries its hardest to remain stress-free. Hidamari Sketch is just about living in the moment with these 4 girls and partaking in their daily activities with them. Nothing is overly complicated and everything is designed to keep you happy. From my experience, the only time I feel truly at peace is when I am living in the moment. Not pondering the things I’ve regretted in the past or worrying about things in the future, just living in the moment and taking in what’s happening around me. I believe this is the point of Hidamari Sketch, and I have yet to see another anime do it better.
My Neighbor Totoro is a film which brings joy to my heart for every frame of its run time. It makes every moment special and distinct in a story which is almost unimpressively simple to explain. In my mind, it is the perfect thesis of what it means to be a kid, and how this feeling of innocent wonder and fascination with the world stays with you as you mature and grow up. Each character in My Neighbor Totoro portrays this ideal in some way, and they all contribute to building a larger picture of this overarching theme. Hayao Miyazaki is a man who seems obsessed with recreating the childhood wonder that he had experienced, and in my mind it is present in all of the films he has created. Continue reading
To myself and other anime fans from the west, the actual medium of anime can feel far-off and obscure compared to things we know about. Not much information is out there to actually understand the anime industry without crossing the language barrier from English to Japanese. As it happens, Japanese is ranked as one of the hardest languages for any English speaker to learn by the United States foreign service institute, making it hard for anyone to just jump into learning about the depth of the anime industry without heavy translation. The information we have from the few people who not only took the time to learn Japanese but also were interested enough in anime to document it and the processes behind its creation had been the source of any and all information English speakers had about the anime industry. Everything changed in Fall 2014 with the airing of Shirobako. Continue reading
K-ON!! Is the single piece of media that can make me smile the most. It is the warmest, coziest, comfiest show I have ever watched, and I love it for that. It defines what I look for in any character circle in anime, or any medium for that matter, and has influenced the way I judge and interact with different character dynamics since watching it. Something that continues to fascinate me about this show is how simple it is to describe. Purely and simply, it is a show about cute girls doing cute things. K-ON’s main cast spend the vast majority of the show participating in regular school activities, eating cake and drinking tea, playing music, and have fun together. As we all know, don’t judge a book by its cover, but in the world of anime where genre tropes have become entire genres unto themselves it can be difficult to distinguish between these different shows that are so deeply ingrained in their tropes and genre sensibilities that they tend to all meld together. Although K-ON falls into the now broad and diverse genre of cute girls do cute things (CGDCT), to me it stands far above its contemporaries on so many levels. Continue reading
Kara no Kyoukai’s 7th installment is perhaps the best example of everything the series can do. It is trippy, lucid, and all around an amazing conclusion to Shiki and Mikiya’s character arcs. Over the series Shiki has been slowly unveiled as an unstable person who feels disconnected to the world around her due to being raised to have dual personalities. She finds connection again through Mikiya, who gives her a purpose to continue living normally and stay grounded. It is in this film that Shiki strays the farthest away from normalcy that she has yet as her second personality manifests in a human form. In this film Shiki is forced to confront herself and her feelings towards the world, Mikiya, and her second personality. Continue reading
Before I begin this post, I will not be analyzing anything about this film as I found nothing worthwhile about it to analyze. I will just be going over my thoughts and feelings on the film.
This might seem a bit odd to say for someone who has so far praised this series immensely, but I quite honestly do not care for Boukyaku Rokuon. It maintains many of the things I have so far praised about Kara no Kyoukai such as its soundtrack, visuals, and tone-setting, but it has all of that without the narrative or character-driven substance present in the rest of the series.