What are sports but competitions against an increasingly better version of yourself? For a show like Breakers, which explores para-athletes trying sports starting with wheelchair basketball, there are themes of overcoming adversity, rising to challenges, and self-betterment. Most anime, and most entertainment in general, follow these same themes. The fun is watching these characters face these challenges and learn to overcome them naturally, not so much any narrative drama over whether or not they’ll win.
I’ve loved the Lupin III series for longer than I knew why. There’s just something about a gentleman thief and overpowered crew getting into wacky hijinks before always seeming to make it out alive that’s appealing in a world so stifled by insufferable formalities. What happens when an anti-hero from the past arrives in the present laden with smartphones, drones, and everything digital that could usurp his throne, and cause his reputation to lay prone?
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]
Between Pet and Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, I think Pet might be my favorite show of the 2020 Winter season. Eizouken might be the better show overall from factors like animation quality, imagination, and excitement. I’ve always been more of a fan of media that makes you better for having experienced it. When you know what’s important to you, you tend to gravitate toward similar media. For me, I’m always hooked in by open-ended thoughts.
Even before the opening song in episode 1 of Pet, we already explore an uncommon psychological depth. Why do we like macabre media? What horrors do we internalize because we are too sensitive to the outside world? What if we locked away these peaks [emotional highs] and valleys [emotional lows]? Could we navigate the grime and glitter of this world with more ease? These are some questions Pet meanders through, so let’s meander through them, too.
While covering episodes 1 and 2 of currently-airing anime Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, I wrote meandry academic thoughts between screenshots in a gallery experiment. Although an exceedingly fun and clever show, with moderately deep characters and creative artistic flourishes, I’m not the most qualified to academically study it. Instead, let’s meander over an idea from the episode. How does someone make and complete a project, fulfilling and profitable, under what might seem like an impossible deadline?
Each episode of Sengoku Choujuu Giga is abstract, adapting the historical Choju-jinbutsu-giga scrolls [translating to “Animal Person Caricatures,” or, Scrolls of Frolicking Animals] into 3-minute limited animation poems in anime format. The implied storytelling with its unconventional humor puts a unique twist on teaching real events, possibly. Concluding the first season review from years ago, the episode synopses below will impressionistically recreate the episodes through stylistically poetic interpretations of haiku with interpretive kigo, or maybe not.
Can we draw inspiration from disparate media? Can the pillow shots of Ozu Yasujiro inspire anime? Can the descriptive-epithets of Homer and the makura-kotoba [pillow-words] of waka poetry inspire anime? Can we depict that which is invisible, like wind, by that which is around it? Can impressive background art inspire writing? We’ll meander through these questions and more in this week’s review of last week’s episode of the currently airing Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!.
Within the first twenty-four seconds of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, I had the same wonderment as the first character of our trio. Midori is “carsick” or maybe apprehensive about her lifestyle change moving into a new city until she sees it. We see it through the same quiet awe over what adventures may unfold as she does through this anime’s weird art aesthetic, frenetic energy, and visceral examination of a grimy yet glittery reality.
Let’s say you’ve got ten minutes to catch the bus and you’re nearly there. Why not enjoy a leisurely scenery-soaked stroll? Golden Kamuy is like that stroll, or, like an action-oriented Mushishi. We follow a motley cadre of characters searching for gold throughout 1900s Hokkaido. Our main character, “the Immortal” Sugimoto, leisurely learns about Ainu culture during his gold-oriented stroll and we, too, learn about the malignment and mystery of Ainu through this sundry stroll.
Rating: ★★★★☆ [4/5]
Spoilers?: Nothing significant (general commentary)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW HISTORY CAN BE BROUGHT TO LIFE IN ENGAGING WAYS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Let’s say you’ve got ten minutes to catch the bus, you’re nine minutes away, and the only thing preventing you from achieving that goal is fighting through your self-doubt. Megalobox embodies that spirit! We follow the efforts of underground boxer “Joe” as he becomes inspired to attain his goal of freedom through fighting in premiere boxing tournament Megalonia. Joe’s efforts mirror our own. We also fight self-doubt in attempting the impossible to attain our goals!
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]
Spoilers?: Nothing significant (structural commentary)
WANNA SEE HOW CONSUMING MEDIA ABOUT CHARACTERS ATTAINING THEIR GOALS CAN VICARIOUSLY INSPIRED YOU TO ATTAIN YOUR GOALS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!