It’s not where you come from.
It’s not where you’re at.
It’s where you’re going
and I am going home.
-A friend of mine
We left Tamako on the precipice. Would she jump? Should she?
There comes a moment in a strong relationship where you must decide whether it is time to say goodbye. This could be before the relationship starts, at that scary time when you’re not quite sure if it’s real. It could be just before the end, when you are afraid of loss and irrationally want to cut your losses. It could be in between in a fit of jealousy or self-doubt. No matter, it is nearly inevitable. That’s the impetus of Tamako Market episode 11.
Tamako Market is really a wonderful show. Each episode captures something so beautifully that I’m in love with life by the end. Often, as is the case with episode 9, what it captures is nostalgia.
Do you remember your first love?
Hello friends. It’s time again for our first impressions of the new season of anime. Today I will be giving my impressions, because the other O-New writers are either busy not watching anime, or not writing for O-New. I hope I can meet your expectations myself. (more…)
[MUSHYHIJACK: I have rescheduled this post to clear January 13th - February 15th of any posts. The original posting date was January 25th.]
Imagine for a moment that the simple things in life become the most difficult. Everything is turned upside down. What if it were easier to be cold and distant than to be warm and friendly? What if saying “thank you” felt unnatural and impossible?
Natsuyuki Rendezvous is, for me, the best show of the year. I’m fairly certain that I’m alone in this opinion, but I hope I’m not alone in thinking that the show was good. Natsuyuki explores the later stages of grieving by showing a woman, Rokka, through the eyes of both her departed husband and her new lover. It is a beautiful, well executed story. (more…)
Kids on the Slope, or Sakamichi no Apollon, was a very good show that missed its opportunity to be a truly great show. Muddling middle and odd ending aside, the show had some excellent moments. In particular, I was incredibly impressed with Kaoru’s confession in the third episode. For me, it stands out as the best of the year, even if – or perhaps, due to how – Ritsuko didn’t reciprocate. Here’s how I described it at the time:
Kaoru plays Someday My Prince Will Come by Bill Evans for Ritsuko. She thinks the song is for another girl, but he tells her it is for her; she is the one he likes. It’s immediately obvious that Ritsuko is unprepared for this and can’t return his feelings. The situation hangs between happiness and sadness. There is both unspoken grieving and relief on Kaoru’s part. The tension in the scene switches from intimacy to awkwardness. Then the scene ends.
So it was. This scene was handled deftly and with tact. Certainly one of the best moments of the year.
Nisemonogatari skirts the line between enjoyment and revulsion. The show was incredibly sexual considering the most common interactions are between siblings, and the rest are mostly between minors. Of course, the defining moment of the series comes in Episode 8. (more…)
Mysterious Girlfriend X was a very… interesting series. Sure, it was a little trashy. It had a great nostalgic feel to it, though. Some things it nailed, like the awkwardness of teenage romance. Other things were less successful, like the whole shtick about Urabe stripping naked at school only to have Tsubaki see her. The one thing the show constantly nailed was focusing on various fetishes as a means of fanservice. Episode 9 was about hair, and it was good.
Kanna, from Ano Natsu de Matteru was a strong and loving childhood friend. Unfortunately, the heart she thought was hers for the taking is swooped away when a buxom alien moves in with her crush, Kaito. The scene pictured is about as close as Kanna ever comes to achieving her goal of a romantic relationship with Kaito. (more…)
and the Unseen Horizon,
is the sacred mathematics of Chance.
The calculated risk
And the wind, whipping ya in the eyes,
and the sharp, metallic taste
There’s been a lot of rape in anime this year, especially in the fall season. It seems, though I’m too lazy to verify, that half of the currently airing shows feature rape in some way. The most notorious of these is the casual rape threats and references in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. Other shows this season have run the gamut from insinuations to overt depictions of rape. If we can learn one thing from this, it’s that anime doesn’t know a lot about how to approach the topic of rape. (more…)
The quality of animation in this scene speaks for itself.
I picked this one for two reasons. The first is Troll of the Year. The second is favoring diplomacy even at the cost of entertainment value. I loved this episode because it demonstrates how Bodacious Space Pirates had the guts to do something few shows purposefully try: it was boring.
Hey kids! It’s that time of the year again! Time for the 12 Days of Christmas. This is a magical time of year where the aniblogosphere egotistically reflects back on itself under the auspice of holiday cheer. Here at O-New we might post 12 times in 12 days, or maybe this is the beginning and the end. So spike your egg nog, sit back, and refresh the homepage every day!
I love Yuru Yuri. I hate Yuru Yuri. The show is so completely inconsistent. Sometimes it’s hilarious, other times boring. It can be heartwarming one moment, and patently offensive the next. Mostly, I like the characters in the show but consider the writing to be spotty. I love Akarin, though.
Sukitte Ii na yo, or Say I Love You, is a somewhat generic shoujo show. It suffers from many of the same trappings that are stereotypical of the genre, as well. The female lead is dragged around by bossy friends and an uncomfortably forward and dominating love interest. The romance and character development are slow and work in fits and spurts. Each arc is about another person, mostly female rivals, trying to interrupt the telegraphed OTP. However, if you look beyond this genre framework you’ll find why Sukitte is actually a great show.
Shoujo as a genre provides a set of expectations. Shows have to meet a certain number of these to fall within the genre, but the guidelines are fuzzy. Even if a show may seem to be greatly generic, it’s the details that set them apart. This is where Sukitte nails it. The part where you want it to be a cartoony shoujo show are exactly that, but then when you want characters who act like humans, complete with human trappings, it will deliver as well.
I know some complain that the show is too slow, but that’s because it has nowhere to get to. The real story is about the insecurity of youth. It’s about those moments when you first fall in love, and you’re feeling passion for someone like never before, and you stop to wonder if you really deserve that person. It’s about learning to deal with jealousy, hurt, and mistrust. It’s not about seeing the characters shag, or graduate, or even live happily ever after. Maybe it is drama for the sake of itself, but at least it’s good drama and it’s resolved in an honest way.
It takes a careful eye and a little patience, but so far Sukitte succeeds where flashier shows fail: at being real.
A few months ago I watched Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II with a hearty group of friends. Some of them are my fellow O-New laureates, while others you may be more familiar with from the Classiest Anime. Needless to say, this was a group of some of the beast minds in the anisphere. And yet, Horizon was too much.
By now you all know about Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, or My Little Monster. It’s a shoujo anime currently airing, and it has a little rape problem. Actually, this is supposed to be a romantic show but instead it is incredibly violent. So violent, in fact, that I posit it would serve better as the beginning to a horror story. My Little Monster could be a retelling of the Monster, the 2003 film based on Aileen Wuornos, or perhaps the Stephen King classic Carrie.
The first time I watched Clannad: After Story I was furious over the ending. I was so upset, I gave it the lowest rating possible on Netflix. Later, I would reassess my opinion of the show, at which point I gave it the highest rating possible. Now that I’ve watched the show again, I can safely say that both opinions are wrong. It’s time to do some soul searching and figure out why.
Before I begin, I must warn any readers who have not seen After Story that this post will contain spoilers for the entire series. Do not read this if you want to give this series a fair shot. With that said, I also think you can skip this series as I will describe essentially the only reason to watch it. (more…)
It’s that time again. Everyone in the blogosphere is posting or tweeting about what they’re going to watch for the season. I’m not going to do that.
Instead, I’ve written some completely uninformed impressions into one of those giant infographics. You know, the ones that are posted to forums or bloggers mark up in MS Paint to let you know what shows they’ll watch. Now you can share the official O-New season preview graphic, redball edition. Click on the sample above to see the whole thing. The rest of the crew will weigh in on the season in a future post, don’t forget to check that out.
Note: Since Mushy is away I’m posting a meta post because he wants us to write stuff and anything but this would require effort.
I recently re-watched the first season of Clannad. Since I had previously seen the show I knew largely what to expect. I rarely watch any show or movie a second time, so I wondered why I bothered with this show. I will try to figure that out in this post. (more…)
I have the distinct pleasure of reviewing a strange story of tolerance and acceptance of those with disabilities. It is set in a town with an excellent program for the multiply handicapped and follows a protagonist who is one of the less disadvantaged students. As the story progresses we are shown the humanity of these children and we learn that the golden rule still applies – even to the handicapped. Perhaps even more amazing is that all of this was told through the lens of a visual novel. I am, of course, reviewing the 2007 – 2008 Key series, Clannad. (more…)
Grieving is never easy. The loss of someone close is life-altering. Though Natsuyuki Rendezvous is a romantic comedy, the subject matter is life after loss. It uses the guise of a ghost to demonstrate how the loss of a loved one shapes our lives, our decisions, and even our future relationships.
Natsuyuki Rendezvous is an anime running this summer in the noitaminA slot. In it, a shy man named Hazuki Ryuusuke falls in love with a quiet flower shop owner, Shimao Rokka. Ryuusuke soon comes to work at the flower shop, and eventually finds the courage to pursue a relationship outside of work with Rokka. Unfortunately, this is when he meets Rokka’s husband, Atsushi; the twist being that Atsushi is dead, and only Ryuusuke can see his ghost.