So, I wrote a rough draft for my week in review around Monday, and then had to scrap it because so much had changed. As everyone knows, there’s a pandemic. I live in Ohio, where Governor DeWine has been handling our response. He’s been cited by various media outlets as being proactive and showing the rest of the nation what needs to be done to keep people safe. Unfortunately, to help Ohioans practice social distancing, he closed different businesses daily. First it was schools, then restaurants, movie theaters, hair salons, and other places soon followed.
Category Archives: Anime/Manga
So, for the first half of the week, not too much to report here on my end. After having 4 days off last week (woohoo), I went back and worked the next five days, the last two being the second shift. I had one day off, which I mostly spent sleeping, and then it was back to work. Work is the same old same old, and I even signed up to pick up a few extra shifts in April and May. Most of them will hopefully not be overtime, but if they are, hey, more money isn’t a bad thing? Pour one out for me if that ends up being the case though!
While I personally believe I stop one step short of a crazy cat lady, I do love cats. A lot. Especially in slice of life anime. So, when I discovered there was an anime about a writer adopting a cat, and their lives together, I was pretty stoked. Called “My Roommate is a Cat” in English, and in Japan “Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue” (which translates to My Housemate Is on My Lap, But Sometimes, on My Head), this is a story of two lonely souls, a stray cat named Haru, and a human named Subaru Mikazuki, who begin to heal when they find each other.
The story opens with the death of Subaru Mikazuki’s parents who have passed away in a bus accident, while on a trip. Subaru just wants to be left alone to read his books. With his parent’s death he believes this is possible. Fast forward several years, and he feels no closer to the peace and quiet he wants, even though he has just about cut himself off from the outside world. He is alone, with the exception of his editor, and his neighbor, both of whom he considers a nuisance. He has also become an established writer, but, when the story opens, he is at a loss to what his new book should be about. On a visit to his parent’s grave, he finds a hungry cat that gives him an idea for a story and takes her home with him.
One of the unique aspects of the story is not only do we see it from the perspective of Subaru, but we also see it from the cat’s view—who by the second episode is named Haru. We discover Haru has lived a hard life. She’s the only one from her litter to survive, and most of her life has been filled with hunger. She’s slow to trust, and initially only plans to stay with Subaru for a short time to repay him for feeding her.
They slowly begin to win each other over. Subaru is at first perplexed by behaviors that are normal to cat owners but strange to him. Haru is equally confused by Subaru. How much the one cares for the other begins to shine through despite their lack of understanding about the each other. An uneasy truce forms.
This dynamic crescendos in a fantastic third episode, where Subaru is forced to confront his feelings of loss toward his parents. The execution of that episode is flawless, and it’s one I recommend going into as blind as possible.
The series deals with some pretty heavy stuff, but it swings between that and some very amusing, light-hearted moments. One of my favorites in the first three episodes is when Subaru goes out to buy some cat food for Haru having no clue what he’s doing. The flipping between tones feels like it suits the series very well, and keeps things from getting too heavy.
The hardest part of getting into the series is the character of Subaru. He’s selfish and hostile to every human who interacts with him, even though most characters try to help out of concern for him (which begs the question of why they bother?). It’s painful to watch and makes getting through the first half of the first episode a little difficult. The idea of the show is both of them come out of their shells and learn to trust others. For that, Subaru has to start from square one.
Having not seen beyond the third episode, I’m concerned where the series will go from here. The third episode is so well done; it’s hard to see how the series will top itself, though I have some ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised if the climax of the series involves Haru escaping from the house, and Subaru realizing how much she means to him as he tries to find her.
Overall, I recommend this series, especially if you like healing stories or just like cats. It’s a solid addition to the anime world, and while it’s unlikely to stick out in my mind a few years from now, it’s perfect for what I want from an anime right now.
I said it.
I’m not exactly sure what that statement says. Kiniro Mosaic is a great show, and I think I really dismissed it by saying it’s just another slice-of-life. It’s a really good slice-of-life that has a unique charm to it that I enjoy. Kiniro Mosaic doesn’t take itself seriously, and the stories tend to feel unique and fresh even if they’re cliched ideas–with the exception of the beach episode (S2E10). That sucked. My only complaints is with the characters. The characters are far from being just cardboard cutout archetypes placed in cute girls bodies, but sometimes it feels like their personality traits or quirks are a little over exaggerated. While this can sometimes be entertaining, it’s really hit or miss.
I think Kiniro Mosaic could easily become my go-to slice-of-life. Besides entertaining stories, it’s has other things, such as the outfits Shinbou made.
The characters from England and their Engrish.
The final musical episode of season 1 which includes characters as a pirate.
And overall the series has an innocent feel and sense of fun that makes it a very fun slice of life to watch, and keeps it from falling into the problem that other slice-0f-lives can run into where they can be incredibly boring. For anyone who likes slice-of-life, this is a must-watch.
Working through my backlog, I’ve been watching Mysterious Girlfriend X. The character of Urabe was confusing to me-her strange behavior puzzled me. That was, until I realized she was the opposite of the stereotype of the ideal girlfriend shown in anime.
(Most of this post was written two weeks ago when I’d watched episode one. Then it took two weeks to get this up because one of my closest friends decided to dump me. Over one thing. Yes, I asked him. It because I told him he was being a dick. Short story is, even though this was the meanest thing I ever did to him and the result of him being nasty to me, he just believed that while friends don’t insult friends even if they don’t realize it’s an insult, and they don’t forgive friends for making mistakes. Cue emotional breakdown/personal crisis/ and two weeks of me being too depressed to do shit as I’ve been really hard to clean up my act and be a better person, but I’ve done too much work to not post it.)
Well, you know how the story goes. Boy meets girl. Boy becomes interested in girl. Boy tastes and becomes addicted to girl’s saliva…okay, more like the typical boy meets girl story with a fetish shoved in because this is a Japanese anime. That fetish is, well, saliva.
However, this is a case where the fetish fanservice, but doesn’t consume the show but rather it’s a side note to the story. An awkward side note, but side note none the less.
The last time I watched a soccer/football anime, I didn’t watch beyond the first episode due to illness. I’d like to go back and finish it someday, as it ended up with mostly positive reviews. Already having one soccer(I will use my lame american terminology) anime to watch doesn’t make me excited about the prospect of picking up another.
But I heard some good things about the manga, so I figured I’d check it out.
On the 7th Day of Christmas, I got seven my little ponies, six friends and their princess. What started on 4chan would spread to the rest of the internet , and became a phenomenon noticed even by the outside world. Recently, The Wall Street Journal struggled to describe bronies on the front page of one of their sections.
On Day 8, I got 8 initial bachelors and bachelorettes. While everyone else took an arrow to a knee, I checked out the newest Harvest Moon and gave up adventuring for farming. Bitches love farms. While reviews are mixed, it’s my favorite Harvest Moon game yet.
On the Ninth Day of Christmas I got a magnitude 9.0 earthquake. I was woken up by my mother, shocked to hear about the earthquake which hit Japan and the tsunami which followed. The media enjoyed hyping up the fear of a nuclear meltdown in Japan as nuclear plants were hit hard. Everyone banned together from the blogging community to the government to send aid to Japan during this time.
Yesterday, they were hit by a 7.0 earthquake, but seem to be okay.
On the tenth day of Christmas, I got the tenth episode of Madoka. The tenth episode not only answered the mystery behind Homura, but was, by itself, a fantastic and moving episode which demonstrated just how much could be done in only about 23 minutes. In my opinion, the episode is just as memorable as the series itself.
It would also be last episode the anime community would see for months.
On the 11 Day of Christmas, I got 2011 ending with two bills by my very own government to limit our internet use. An upsetting move, it made transparent how corrupted Congress is, with the fact that most of the country is against the bill and it violates the first amendment, but with two big industries pushing for it, it’s an uphill battle to keep it from passing. I think it was Conan who said that messing with a country’s internet is the stupidest thing you can do back in 2010 or 2011. People will put up with endless shit until you threaten their ability to play Angry Birds.
The current argument is everyone against the bill is a pirate, but when that means accusing the Human Rights Committee of being a pirate, your argument falls a little short.
With the bills fate still in limbo, 2012 opens up to a year with political drama (and not the lulzy kind from the Republican nomination race) in the air. Congress is the one who needs to be convinced, as even if the president vetoes it, a veto can be overturned.
On the 12 Days of Christmas, I got 12 people fighting to the death. Future Diary is an interesting show in that it constantly gives the finger to logic, but everything is so over the top and awesome, it makes it forgivable. It’s a dark show, but I enjoy that this focuses more on having fun with the premise. In a weird way, I wish more shows didn’t take themselves seriously, as this one does, yet still focused on delivery an entertaining product.
Last year, I talked about how with Heartcatch Precure, the magical girl genre was showing signs of life. This year followed up on that, with magical girl making a return with a few of the most memorable anime this year.