Anime! Who's watching what?

  • Watched the first episode of Japan Sinks. I'm gonna keep going for now, but I'm not really sure if it'll be worth it. It really lacks the charm and style present in all of Yuasa's other works. It just gets straight to the gruesome darkness that made parts of Devilman so unpleasant to watch, but without any of the character development or subversiveness that made that series feel worthwhile. Probably doesn't help that Kyuushuu is experiencing historic flooding right now, so some of the imagery is pretty raw. We'll see how things go from here, but I'm tempering my expectations.

  • Finally finished Japan Sinks: 2020. I don't think it's very good, which is disappointing given how much I've like all of Yuasa's other work. The show wallows in its own misery far too much and settles into an predictable cadence that is never particularly enjoyable. The way each "shocking" death is accompanied by an overly-humanizing voice-over only served to highlight the show's greatest shortcoming: the show never gives us enough time to actually care about any of these characters. That said, I did think the ending was solid, and served to highlight why they insisted on using the subtitle, "2020:" the release of this show was very clearly meant to align with the Tokyo Olympics. I think if you watch it with this perspective, you can appreciate some of the subtext that Yuasa weaved throughout the series, ultimately culminating in the final ten minutes. His commentary on Japanese culture and society has been present in some of his other works before, but in a way I think it shines through better in Japan Sinks: 2020 than anywhere else. Without spoiling anything, he does a great job at presenting what he believes to be the major shortcomings of Japanese culture while highlighting what makes the country so unique and resilient, ultimately hinting at a possible path forward. I think it's very intentional that he's centered mixed-race and multicultural characters in much of his recent work, which I appreciate for very personal (and perhaps obvious) reasons. Either that or I'm just reading way too far into things again. Not sure if this is actually worth a watch, but it's also pretty short so you can maybe just try out a couple episodes and see what sticks. C

  • Youtube Video

    Sadly, that's all for that. Was great while it lasted.

  • Not so much watched, but I finished reading my deluxe edition set of Battle Angel. Fun read that has alternate, what if ending for the original series. Now I have to start ordering Last Order, and then finally, Mars Chronicles.

  • Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star is in a really weird place with the franchise since they clearly still weren't sure what to do with it after the runaway success of the original series and at a glance it looks like a blatant retread. However if you actually watch the season it's got a lot more going on and the similarities are mostly skin deep. I'd actually go so far to say it's one of the best seasons, owing to its strong characters, beautiful setting of a seaside town, and a lot of very resonant emotional moments.

    Speaking of great seasons, after that I watched Go! Princess Precure. The show focuses a lot on dreams and working hard to achieve them. The main character's dream of becoming a princess might feel childish at first but I don't think a lot of the show's strongest moments would have worked as well if her dream wasn't something so easy to understand (and relate to for the core demographic) yet impossible to achieve. It's probably the most blatantly girly season of the lot but there's some very strong writing and action hidden underneath.

  • Been catching up on lots of stuff, but nothing to really recommend. Felt kind of burnt after stuff people raved about like Tower of God and BNA ended up being really mediocre, so been checking out stuff I heard no hype for like Kakushigoto, which was alright but the ending didn't match the build up to it and Gleipnir, which didn't end at all, because apparently the manga isn't done yet and the end of the first season of the anime had to kind of wing it. Anyways, hoping the next season is a little better. The one after it looks loaded with great stuff.

  • I went through the entirety of Keep Your Hands of Eizouken a couple weeks ago. That show is an utter delight and a love letter to animation as a whole. I love how it explains the philosophy behind the decisions creators make and bakes those ideas into the foundation of the show. For example. one of the first thing Asakusa tells you is how strange the construction of the town is, cuing you in to pay attention to the setting. Each area is fantastical but grounded in enough reality that you can easily infer what happened there (if you're not straight up told) based on some of the design concepts the characters discussed at some point in the episode. It's a really beautiful, cyclical piece of work that's simultaneously entertaining and informative. Also, it's got some great Yuasa moments, and feels like a distant cousin of The Tatami Galaxy at times, which I love to death. Definitely check it out if you haven't yet - it's on HBO Max, so you might already have access.

  • My thoughts on the end of Food Wars/Shokugeki and series highlights: A twitter thread

  • Watched the first episode of Haikyuu and all I could think of was how much it owes Slam Dunk

  • @naltmank I once looked at a property who's major selling point was that it's across from the HS featured in Slam Dunk. People would line up and take photos at the intersection where the train station is. lol

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  • @tokyoslim I, uh, know several people who have done this very thing lol. People in Japan legit tour around trying to hit up all the major spots that were featured in Slam Dunk, and I may or may not have had some on my list of things to do when I was there this past year (pre-COVID hitting). It's touristy, but it feels less touristy than going to like, the Godzilla statue since pretty much only people in Japan care about it.

  • @naltmank Apparently, a lot of Chinese and Taiwanese people love Slam Dunk. The person I was talking to about the property said that most of the people who "visit" the neighborhood are from those countries. Kind of like I suspect the demographic of people wandering around the back streets of Sangenjaya looking for the P5 bath house and laundry/batting cages/Leblanc are Westerners. Weird how that kind of thing shakes out.

    Anyhow, Kamakura Kokomae is a scenic station (it's not "nice" as in new, but the veiw is unbeatable). Enoshima is closeby and definitely worth a stop, and the Enoden is a great line to just ride on if you like that kind of thing. Goes down the coast, cuts through some shopping streets, got a few nice tunnels. Etc.

    I'll let you know if I ever buy an Air BnB near there. lol

  • @tokyoslim said in Anime! Who's watching what?:

    (it's not "nice" as in new, but the veiw is unbeatable

    Old stations (out of central Tokyo) have an unbeatable vibe, and being near the sea is an extra nice touch. I've actually walked passed that particular station a couple of times (and along a solid chunk of that part of the coast), but it's been years. Fun fact: Enoshima aquarium (a short walk away) is where I impulsively decided my career path. 9 years later and no regrets.

    Also not even joking - hmu if you buy a BnB there lol.

  • Watched a few more episodes. It's literally just a softer Slam Dunk.

  • I started watching it too.

  • Haven't watched anime regularly since Gintama and the end of DBS but I finally started the new Digimon Adventure series. Its so hype.

  • 30 episodes in on Hunter X Hunter, and I'm absolutely digging it.

  • Boy Haikyuu really drops off in season 4, eh? Not fully caught up yet but the drop in animation and storytelling quality is jarring - comparable to the dip in One Punch Man from S1 to S2, imo. I kind of wish I'd stuck to my instincts and stopped after the finale of S3 (which I think would work a series finale), but I'm still too addicted. Will probably drop after this season wraps up if things don't turn around soon.

  • I saw all of the Dangaropa animes. The first is good and has a hilarious dubbing that works. Danganropa 3: Despair Side (Prequel to the entire series) is excellent, while 3 Future/Hope starts of good enough, but falters around the end and gets convoluted. Like almost more convoluted than the MGS series. The ending felt tacked on and kinda rushed with final "villain" that makes no sense. I was still entertained, but I understand where fans were coming from. Also, there are just some characters that did not die sooner and waste of my time. The bitch that makes the sweets. Out of all the characters to bring back, why the bitch and her boy toy guard dog. They're assholes with next to depth and a tracked "tragic/sad" backstory. I felt nothing for either one.

  • @brawlman have you played the games at all? I played the first and part of the second and thought about starting up the anime, but everytime I start, the first episode feels like a rushed and watered down version of the game from what I remember and I have a hard time getting into it. I do love the art and seeing things in motion, but was just curious if it gets better from the standpoint of a veteran, or if the anime is better having not played the games and being able to go in blind.