About Me

Newfoundland, Canada
I've been a big anime fan for about 10 years or so now. My five all-time favorite animes at this point are, in no particular order... Puella Magi Madoka Magica, El Hazard: The Magnificent World, Love Live!: School Idol Project, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. However, there are hundreds of anime shows that I like. The main purpose of this blog is to provide meta-commentary on anime, and the anime industry - to try to cast a critical, though appreciating, eye upon this entertainment genre that I believe has tremendous potential, but can also be easily wasted. I have always been a fan of animation in general - in the 80s, I grew up on western cartoons like He-Man, She-Ra, Transformers, and G.I. Joe. Through out the 90s, I was a hardcore comic book fan, for the most part. I'm also a big fan of Star Trek. Right now in my life, though, anime is my principal entertainment passion.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Leaderless Landscape

There is nothing that more masterfully mirrors the decline of KyoAni than the image above. The franchise that tremendously torpedoed KyoAni into the stratosphere of anime fandom love has, perhaps fittingly, disappeared into a completely different world, perhaps leaving a sense of melancholy in the ranks of KyoAni animators. Nagato Yuki now makes me think of Saki Miyanaga with glasses and purple hair-dye, while Haruhi makes me think of Kancolle's Kongou in a student uniform.

After a long absence, the world of Haruhi finally finds its way back into the world of anime, but it's no longer in the world of KyoAni. To be fair, KyoAni still retains a place of prominence in the anime world. However, it's no longer like a mighty colossus looming lusciously large, as it bestrides the anime landscape, leaving all others in its shadows.

In fact, the anime landscape is now effectively leaderless. Which is something I find vaguely interesting given how long KyoAni was dominant for, and how SHAFT once seemed on the verge of claiming KyoAni's crown.

In this blog entry, I will explore the current landscape of the anime world, as I ask the question "can anybody rise to the heights once enjoyed by KyoAni?" Don't worry, I intend to get back to my Love Live! series reviews soon. First, though, I take a trip down memory lane, before steadfastly swerving swiftly, like Miyamori Aoi driving a car, to more current affairs.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Love Live! Review, Season 1 First Half

Somewhere, Captain Ginyu cries a tear of joy...
My apologies for the lateness. But better late than never, right? That's certainly one of the ideas that Love Live!: School Idol Project tends to promote, given the context behind the screenshot above. In this blog entry and series of Love Live! reviews, I intend to delve deeper into this particular anime series, in order to explore many of the ideas it puts forward, both explicitly and implicitly. To help with this endeavor, I will be breaking up my Love Live! reviews into four parts - two parts for each season. 

This part is "Season 1, First Half" and it will cover the first 6 episodes of Love Live! Season 1. I used a similar "break up" review approach with Angel Beats!, Sola, and True Tears in the past. So hopefully this will work with LL! as well. But there will be one key difference...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

In a World of Pure Imagination...

In our modern internet era, Willy Wonka is known best as a masterful meme maestro at smoothly sarcastic satire directed at hypocritical positions and questionable claims. I'm sure most, if not all, of this blog's readers know exactly what I'm talking about there.

But decades before the inventions of Al Gore enabled this very blog to become reality, Willy Wonka sang about a world of pure imagination, and beckoned us into it with his charismatic mannerisms and his delightful candies and chocolates. Ah, but Charlie's Chocolate Factory was much like Charlotte's witch's barrier - Filled with delicious goodies, but also fantastical horrors that could harm children. Willy Wonka brought five such children into such a world, where all but one of them was victimized, albeit arguably by their own poor judgement. Remind you of a certain magical girl familiar? You could even consider Willy Wonka to be a proto-Kyubey!

This is one of the more fascinatingly fearsome forms of magic - The form of a double-edged sword that can slice miracles out of cold materialistic steel, but also slice chunks of flesh out of those who don't wield the sword with picture-perfect precision. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Honoka Kousaka Creates A-RISEing Love

It's been a long, long time since I last blogged on anime. And when I last blogged it was over at Rabbit Poets, but that site has been relatively inactive in general for quite some time now, which is why I've decided to resume blogging here.  And what has inspired me to start blogging again? Quite fittingly, it's that most inspirational anime show of all, Love Live!

There's been a lot of discussion about A-Rise taking on a much larger role in the Love Live! anime with Season 2, Episode 3. They are now, at last, interacting directly with the nine singing goddesses of Muse. Many, including myself, suspected foul-play, since hey, it's kind of a trope for underdog upstarts like Muse to be on the receiving end of foul-play from the empowered established elite rival, which definitely describes A-Rise.

And so in focusing on possible villainy, I think I missed something paradoxically both obvious and subtle. It's subtle in that each instance of it is easy to dismiss or chalk up to a different interpretation. But it's obvious in that when you add these instances altogether, it points towards yuri as telling as Akemi Homura interacting for any more than a minute with Kaname Madoka.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Heading Down The Rabbit Hole!

And reading poetry with Nagato...

When I started this blog about a year and a half ago, it was an act based on the opinions of a couple Anime Suki friends - Dr. Casey and Heatth - that my lengthy comedic reviews of that encouragingly erotic Endless Eight were overly endless themselves, at least for posts on Anime Suki. As such, I created a blog, primarily to provide episode reviews, and overall feedback, on what was probably the anime world's biggest controversy of 2009. Little did I know at the time that I'd still be blogging about anime a year and a half later.

I soon found that I greatly enjoyed blogging, as it provided a nice outlet to me when inspiration struck, so to speak. I didn't really want the burden of feeling obligated to write in-depth blog reviews of each and every episode of a new anime that I watched, but I did and do like being able to put together long posts on anime, its industry, and its fandom, when I felt that important points needed to be made about one or more of the above. In addition to this, some particular animes have left a strong enough impression on me (good, bad, or mixed) for me to do series reviews of them.

Of course, all of the above is just one man's opinion, of no intrinsic greater worth than any other opinion.

But, the strength of each and every opinion, is that it comes from an unique source, as each person has their own distinct background that helps to shape how they see the world around them.

In my case, my background is very atypical for an anime fan, as I grew up mostly on DC and Marvel Comics (and its associated cartoons), and Star Trek. I only became an anime fan in my 20s, for while the Timmverse of DC renewed enthusiasm, on my part, for the animated medium, the other North American cartoons where not enough to satisfy that enthusiasm. And so, I turned to anime.

I think that this background sometimes gives me a very different perspective from most other anime fans, and I hope that this perspective can make helpful contributions to the anime fandom as a whole. Aside from voicing my own personal preferences, tastes, and opinions, I often try to ask "What would your average North American think about this?" when approaching a new anime, or an issue surrounding it. I do this because I want to see anime's popularity to grow, and to take a greater place in the western world as well.

But, long story short, it is now time for me to move on.

It's time for me to move on like Alice in Wonderland, by heading down the Rabbit Hole. ;)

My bad pun aside, Rabbit Poets is a very high quality anime blog which seeks to put forward varied viewpoints, rather than just the viewpoint of one individual blogger. And so, I was asked by that blog's chief contributor and manager to join its ranks. A flattering request that I thought about for awhile, and eventually decided to accept. It's been a nice run being the "sole proprietor" of this anime blog, but joining a more established team can only be good.

For as Haruhi Suzumiya herself learned, it's often better to be part of a brigade than to operate alone. ;)

So, to my regular blog readers (all three or four of you ;) ), please join me over at Rabbit Poets, where you will find more postings by me there. I should have my first post up there within a few days. As a spoiler, it will be about this:

From those three pictures, can you figure out what it will be about, my friends? ;)

Anyway, a big thanks to all those who supported this blog over the past year and a half. It's been a blast, but it's only going to get better, so please continue reading my blogging over at Rabbit Poet's site.

Any and all final words for "Assessing the Anime" would be greatly welcomed and appreciated! ^_^

And with that, "Assessing the Anime" is now... signing off.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Interesting News From Japan...

As far as Japan is concerned, at least, maybe Keima is right...

While I liked TWGOK, there was one episode I found slightly disturbing.

It was the episode where Keima stated a strong preference for "game idols" over "real idols". In essence, a strong preference for fictional female characters in a game over real girls in real life.

Now, there's certainly nothing wrong with engaging in some fulfilling fantasy from time to time (I myself certainly do this), but at the end of the day, fantasy shouldn't completely take the place of reality in a person's life.

However, as the old saying goes, fiction reflects reality, as there may be quite a few real-life Keima's.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pavlovian Entertainment: What is Plaguing Anime Today

Of fangs and maid outfits...

In the field of behavioral psychology, there is something called classical conditioning.

Classical conditioning is a form of associative learning that was first discovered by Ivan Pavlov. Classical conditioning, when put into layman's terms, makes one think of "Pavlov's Dog". The idea behind Pavlov's Dog is that the dog would automatically salivate in the presence of meat powder, but that if the presentation of meat powder became associated with another form of external stimuli (such as the appearance of the person who typically feeds the dog), then that other form of external stimuli could, in and of itself (separate from the presence of meat) cause the dog to salivate.

Pavlov took observations like the one above pertaining to dogs, and used them to formulate classical conditioning.