If you took 100 ordinary people and screened KanColle for them, you’ll find that it’s objectively kind of a nothing show. But I’m going to have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. All this probably boils down to how susceptible to moe I am – KanColle is about moe anthropomorphisms of Japanese WWII-era warships roughly reenacting the Pacific War. If that summary sounds appealing for you, congratulations! You’re part of KanColle‘s surprisingly large target audience.
I can’t help but to love Wolf Children. It’s partly a Ghibli-esque story about a young woman overcoming the challenges set on her by a demanding life. But it’s also a very un-Ghibli film about a single mother and the bittersweet experiences she has raising two children alone. The 117-minute run time seemed to cruise by as I got utterly wrapped up in the characters and their daily lives.
If A Certain Magical Index is a wild, unfocused exposition of superpowered fantasy, then its spin-off A Certain Scientific Railgun is a slightly more grounded work that mixes in character development and an actual plot. I’ve always preferred Railgun to Index for that reason – superpowers are more fun when you care about who’s wielding them. The continuation, A Certain Scientific Railgun S, takes the same approach as the first season but moves away from the mostly lighthearted feel of the original.
About a year and a half after releasing the final episode of Bakemonogatari, Shaft followed up with its sequel Nisemonogatari. Although shorter than its predecessor with only 11 episodes, watching Nisemonogatari nonetheless felt like a long, drawn-out affair. I watched the series over the course of a weekend, but I wouldn’t suggest watching more than two or three episodes at a time. Despite my intrigue and mild excitement going in, it was a pretty exhausting anime to sit through.
The Garden of Words is Makoto Shinkai’s latest film, returning to his favorite subject of star-crossed romances being jerked around by fate. I think it’s the emptiest of Shinkai’s films, but this one does seem to be more about the craftsmanship than the content.
Anime has changed. It’s no longer about creativity, storytelling, or artistic expression. It’s an endless series of adaptations made by Koreans on computers. Anime – and its consumption of time – has become a well-oiled machine. Anime has changed. Adapted characters speak adapted dialogue, in adapted settings. Laziness in the writers dilute and simplify their material. Video game adapations. Light novel adaptations. Manga adaptations. Visual novel adaptations. Everything is adapted and copied from another source. Anime has changed. The age of moeblob has become the age of adaptation… All in the name of flooding the scene with highly marketable properties. And he who cranks out adaptations the fastest… prints money. Anime has changed. When the market is totally filled with adaptations… anime becomes routine.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Hoshi o Ou Kodomo) is the fifth major film by Makoto Shinkai. It’s a fantasy yarn about Asuna, a young girl living in a rural Japanese village, who visits a certain mountain to listen to signals on an unusual radio. One day she hears a haunting melody, and soon after meets a young man named Shun. This sets off a chain of events leading to Asuna’s discovery of Agartha, a world underneath the earth where the gate between the living and the dead is believed to be.
I suppose there’s a certain inevitability when you release a movie tie-in to an anime series that ended almost 12 years prior. Trigun: Badlands Rumble was probably doomed to mediocrity from the outset – I should have just expected that. There was no reason to make this movie. There weren’t so many loose ends from the series that there had to be a follow-up to tie them all together. After 12 years being off-air (and four years being out of print for the manga) you’d think the story has gone as far as it can go.
Black Rock Shooter originated as an animated music video by Supercell. The OVA adaptation features the eponymous character and tells two stories. The first takes place in the normal world, where Mato starts her first day of junior high. There she becomes fast friends with Yomi, although this friendship becomes strained as time goes on. One day, feeling alienated, Yomi mysteriously disappears. The second story takes place in a dark fantasy world, where a young girl does battle against an unnamed nemesis.
Thanks to a chance encounter with a vampire, high school student Koyomi Araragi became aware of ghosts, spirits, and other aberrations. Bakemonogatari tells the story, from Araragi’s viewpoint, of five girls who have been possessed (or cursed) by such spirits. Each story arc has Araragi getting involved with a new protagonist. Out of a sense of duty, he takes it upon himself to rid each girl of her curse.
As a spinoff of A Certain Magical Index, A Certain Scientific Railgun follows the daily life of Mikoto Misaka in Academy City. Being a self contained environment for the study and advancement of espers, life in Academy City is rarely mundane. The excitement picks up as a string of crimes breaks out, all involving espers abusing their powers for whatever reason. Being the roommate of a Judgment member, Mikoto gets drawn into their investigations and peacekeeping activities.