Here’s an anime that I encourage everyone to check out, although not everyone might like it.

TO-Y is a 50-minute OVA released in 1987. It’s about music — specifically, a portion of the music scene in Tokyo’s late 80s. Probably by accident, it has become a time capsule, a snapshot of the age in which the characters flourish as musicians. Continue reading

Your guide to interpreting Yuri Kuma Arashi episode 1!?

After one episode and some discussions about Yuri Kuma Arashi, here are what I think are its most solid interpretations, theories and analyses as well as other noteworthy details. I’m curious how much of that post will hold up after the end of the series.

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The Little Prince (2015) trailer and translation

0:22 — Hey! I’m up here! Good evening!
0:30 — Once upon a time, there was a little prince who was in need of… a friend?!
0:40 — I’ve flown nearly everywhere in the world, until something miraculous occurred.
0:49 — Please, draw me a sheep.
0:58 — I always wanted to find someone to share my story with. But I think this world has become… too grown up.
1:20 — This is just the beginning of the story!

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Short impressions on Tamako Love Story

This AMV was made in 2009. Watching it at the time was a mind-blowing experience. It used light effects to integrate anime characters to realistic (in this case, real-life) backgrounds, to convey emotion and to be more aesthetically pleasing. Something we could only find from the craziest video editors, and never from anime itself. To me, this AMV looked like the impossible.

We are five years into the future, and Tamako Love Story has surpassed the impossible.

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Trying to impress your 12-year-old classmates

If you think about it, a coming-of-age story about first masturbations, puberty, and preteen social anxiety definitely has the potential to resonate with the life experience of aged viewers. The problem is, high school drama already gets on enough people’s nerves for taking itself more seriously than adults do; the internal, monologuing struggles of a 12-year-old dealing with rising libido and changing social awareness would not easily connect with the audience. This invites the question: how do you exploit the potential of such themes while not coming across as lame, immature and cringeworthy?

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ANNcast Under the Dog interview transcript

I invite those who don’t know about the currently running Under the Dog Kickstarter to watch the introduction video and see what it’s about. It might be the most exciting anime KS to date and it’d be a shame to see it fail and discourage future anime creators from turning to crowdfunding. It helped fund the international release of Time of Eve, the creation of Mizue Mirai’s Wonder, Trigger’s Little Witch Academia 2 and Yuasa’s Kick-Heart. It’s a great new way for creators to express themselves and I’m more and more hopeful that it’ll become a trend. It also seems the site Anipipo has made a convincing start.

ANN interviewed Hiroaki Yura (producer), Masahiro Ando (director) and Jirou Ishii (writer) about Under The Dog. You can listen to it and download it from their website, or you can read the transcript I wrote in this post. I based my transcript on Hiroaki Yura’s translation of Ando and Ishii’s answers and edited them to make the interview flow better and cut the fluff, so it might be a little off from their original answers. Unfortunately, Yura speaks with a Japanese accent and I couldn’t understand a few of the words; if you would like to fill some holes please go ahead! They are marked with question marks with sometimes the time when they occur (using the ENG+JP version of the interview).

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Anime highlight: Noir

I happened to rewatch a couple of episodes of Noir recently, and was surprisingly absorbed in. My general opinion on the series was that the episodic stories were pretty good while the overarching plot disappointing. To me, the characters’ backstory felt unengaging and too convoluted for a series otherwise grounded in reality. I like the more stand-alone episodes, though. While they have improbable amounts of plot armour, they have interesting stories and flesh out the characters nicely. More importantly, they gave life to a very convincing Europe both culturally and visually — if France exists in the early-00s anime world, it is probably in Noir. To be sure, Urasawa’s overlooked Master Keaton and later Monster also do a great (and arguably better) job at offering Europe-centric drama, but these exotically European anime remain few and far between.

Doing a comprehensive review isn’t the aim of today’s post, though; I have rewatched only up to three episodes and would simply like to take the example of episode 3 to highlight a few choices and details that made the series very engaging so far. This post could have been different if I had more free time with my newly-obtained summer job, but all things considered this kind of article can also be interesting once in a while.

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Yotsuba& is almost as good as Ryuushika Ryuushika

Among the manga serialised in Gangan Online (Barakamon, Nozaki-kun, WataMote, Danshi Koukousei), there is a little-known ongoing series I am infatuated with: Ryuushika Ryuushika.

The reason I gave such a title to this article is because I often see Ryuushika Ryuushika compared to Yotsuba& and never the other way around. This saddens me, because this gem of a manga very much stands on its own — not just as a side dish “if you liked Yotsuba.”

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A collaborative Ping Pong review


“He’s got to have a hole in his defense! He’s reading me — he’s predicting my moves. Show me your weak point! I just can’t afford to end here!” Think these lines are from the latest battle shounen? Wrong: they’re from none other than Ping Pong: The Animation! If the theme of table tennis doesn’t pique your interest, looking at the show’s creators certainly should. Masaaki Yuasa, known for making great creative anime, teams up with Taiyou Matsumoto, a mangaka with similar experimental tendencies: the harmless fun-filled game of table tennis suddenly got a whole lot more interesting.

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