Must-see anime – Gin no Saji

You’ve seen one. You’ve seen them all.

That’s a claim that can easily be made about most anime belonging to the same genre. There are certain “rules” which authors adhere to. Sometimes they bend them, sometimes they flat out break them, but still the rules are there.

Gin no Saji follows Yuugo Hachiken, a boy tired of trying to live up to expectations he cannot meet. He decides to enrol in Ooezo Agricultural High School, a boarding school in the countryside, as a means to escape the stress brought upon by his parents and his lack of direction. For more adverbs and adjectives visit: myanimelist.net.

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What you might call “rules” of a slice of life anime are present in Gin no Saji. But it’s not the rules that really matter, do they? It’s the characters’ originality and plausibility, the setting in which those rules are being applied.

I’m a sucker for anime in which nothing really happens. And when I say nothing, I mean nobody saves the world, establishes new world order or reinstates the balance between the universes – basically your average slice-of-life is my cup of tea. And Gin no Saji is at the same time average and extraordinary, which is a combination I really enjoy because it is not easy to pull it off.

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Gin no Saji is about friendship, limitations and about having good fun while trying to become a better version of yourself – as much as life will let you. However, all of these usual topics are dealt with while our protagonist Yuugo and his motley crew learn how to make bacon and cheese, while taking care of pigs and cows and learning all there is about horses.

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Somehow, the agricultural setting manages to make all those usual slice-of-life tropes shine brighter and make you laugh and care even more. A must-see for anyone who enjoys slice-of-life. Really.

HOWEVER !!!

If you don’t like/eat meat I think it might be better for you to skip Gin no Saji.

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Also, if you do like/eat meat and have issues with where it actually comes from, you might find some parts of Gin no Saji not-so-nice.

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COWBOY BEBOP and SAMURAI CHAMPLOO Heavyweights Collaborating on New Series

 

Something to look forward to.

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Source: Naruto Forums.com Source: Naruto Forums.com

What could be cooler than director Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Kids on the Slope, Space Dandy, Samurai Champloo), composer Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Macross Plus, Kids on the Slope), and character designer Kazuto Nakazawa (Samurai Champloo, House of Five Leaves, Kids on the Slope) coming together again for a new series? Well, nothing.

Fuji TV unveiled their Summer 2014 programming plans during its Noitamina press event on March 21 in Japan. The latest series ready to rip the pants off anime fans is entitled Zankyō no Terror (Terror of Resonance) and will premiere during their Noitamina block in July.

The Noitamina block of programming had previously aired hits such as Honey and Clover, Eden of East, Black Rock Shooter, Kids on the Slope, Paradise Kiss, and, more recently, Silver Spoon.

With a tagline like, “pull the trigger on…

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See You Space Cowboy…

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Writing about something I feel strongly about is a real bitch. I’ve been at this post forever, and I have revised the shit out of it. The general idea was to tell the reader how great Cowboy Bebop is, how deep, thought-provoking and beautiful. But it seemed too simple to just write that. Which is why I’m staring at 25+ revisions and am still at a loss as to how to make you understand. Chances are, you already know Bebop is awesome. That makes my life even more difficult. If I don’t write a decent post you’ll think I’m a loser who doesn’t know how to appreciate a masterpiece like Bebop.
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I’ve gone through a gazillion screenshots and wallpapers in an attempt to give this piece-of-shit post some visual support, and still, nothing seems to be good enough to demonstrate my appreciation. I’ve made all of these filmstrips and then I realized there’s no Julia in them. I mean, what the fuck? How can I visually present Bebop without Julia? How on Earth was I even thinking to show you the depth and intricacy of the story without mentioning her? Stupid.

Fact is, I’ve tried to write this particular post before and I have never managed to write something decent about Bebop. I’m useless. I can rant on about shit I don’t like, but giving credit where it’s due is apparently not my thing. Am I really one of THOSE people? Brrrrrrrrr.
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I am kind of throwing in the towel here, counting on the possibility that if I write that Bebop is more than the sum of its parts and only when the last scene fades to black you will be able to appreciate its magnitude will make amends for my appalling inaptitude in writing an appreciation post.

Check this, I’ve even made a nice little playlist on soundcloud because I thought I’d be able to write about great music and the importance it has in the experience of watching and rewatching Bebop. How supercilious of me.
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Anime Review: Kyoukai no Kanata (2013)

Kyoukai no Kanata was aired in 2013, and with its 12 episodes it is one of the rare animes not based on ongoing manga with no end in sight. You can read the details here.

If you decide not to watch KnK you will not miss out on an anime that would plague you and beckon you to rewatch it every once in a while. You will, however, miss out on good animation, approximately 240 minutes of good fight scenes, fun and fanservice.

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Any chance at greatness KnK might have had was defeated with the story which is reminiscent of a whole myriad od anime series, not excluding the ever so popular Bleach. Instead of Hollows, you have Youmu and they are not hunted by Shinigami but by Spirit World Warriors. A smidge of originality resides in the way main female character, Kuriyama Mirai fights (her blood). This, however perfectly animated, has not been utilized sufficiently to compensate for the overall feeling of deja vu.

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The characters, their quirks (Little Sister Complex, Megane Complex) are fun and easy to relate to (weird fetishes excluded). I literally shed a few tears laughing during episode 6. KnK is finished, very finished which gives it a sense of closure I find lacking in most new anime series. Sure, if they felt like it I’m sure 200 episodes with idiotic fillers could be made.

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In conclusion, if you want to watch an anime which will divert you, make you laugh and care about the characters, you should watch Kyoukai no Kanata. If you want originality, something that will make you wonder about people and the world, something that will make you sit on the edge of your seat, try something else, one of these maybe.

I do, however, recommend watching episode 6, for the pure fun of it.

Shōjo in a Nutshell – With Recommendations

All the links lead to a magical place where you can read the manga or watch the anime.

Most shōjo animes and mangas are like Fifty Shades of Grey (minus the silly sex): a young male protagonist is overwhelming and beautiful, rich and/or in a position of authority. The girl is clumsy, homely and naive. She captures the male character with something nobody understands and, due to the goodness of her heart, she interprets his abuse as love he does not know how to express differently (BARF).

Exceptions:

  1. Skip Beat! – manga and anime
  2. Kimi ni Todoke – anime (didn’t read the manga yet)
  3. The One – manhua
  4. Hana no Namae – manga
  5. All mangas by Shimotsuki Kayoko (which are only partly shōjo)

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Shōjo manga authors I recommend because I love the artwork and their work is not too offensive to someone with a functioning brain Mitsuki Kako and Shimaki Ako.

Top 5 Wallpapers – Top 5 Anime(s)

The best way to tell you which are my favourite anime(s) is to mask my list as a picture post. I’m probably gonna review these as soon as my priorities are no longer centered on my vacation. My favourite? No. 5 – Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

1. Cowboy Bebop

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2. Rurouni Kenshin

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3. Trigun

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4. Mononoke Hime

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5. Legend of the Galactic Heroes

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SOURCES: zerochan, minitokyo, onlyhdwallpapers, deviantart, wallpapervortex, Good old Google Search

Bleach – Admiration is the furthest thing from understanding

I was told Internet people love lists and visual content, so here’s one such post.

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1. The Main Character is someone you can relate to and care about. Kurosaki Ichigo is at the same time funny and brooding – never actually failing to be cool and kick-ass in the process. Kurosaki Ichigo is by no means special or different – he follows the shonen tradition. He’s a high school boy with a tragic event in his past. An ordinary boy with an extraordinary ability which becomes more and more prominent as the anime (or manga, if you will) continues. Of course, there’s darkness within, which is one of his biggest enemies.

This is pretty much basic main character description for any shonen anime (or manga, if you will). Take Naruto – pretty much the same. Sometimes it’s a God given talent, sometimes it’s a talent which was forced upon the character, and sometimes it’s just sheer stubbornness and amazing strength. To draw a parallel with an ongoing anime, there’s Shingeki no Kyojin, where the hero, Eren, is again a boy with a tragic past who becomes the best, if not the last, hope for the survival of the human race under Titans’ attack.

2. Character Developmentthere actually is one. They change and gradually become all they can be. Albeit simplistic, there’s a psychological and historical basis for pretty much every one of the characters. In my opinion the most important thing every author has to be aware of one fact – t – willing suspension of disbelief can only go so far.

3.Regular New (Cool) Characters Introduction – every 15 or so episodes we are introduced to awesome new characters. Just when you get a bit weary, and things start getting a bit repetitive, Bleach shoves characters like Kuchiki Byakuya and Abarai Renji down your throat.

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4. Story – honour, strength, friendship, family. An „ordinary“ boy and his mates against the overwhelming supernatural force. Yes, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. However it is done splendidly, and after a while you realize that you’re breathing and bleeding as the story unravels.

5. Comic ReliefBleach never fails to hit you with something funny amid all the angst and pain. I love that. It’s rarely in the center – mostly it serves to break the tension.

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6. Normal Life Story-line – these guys go to school, they have friends and they try to keep up an image of being normal. This is something I enjoy, because as much as the story is supernatural, it makes the characters and the story more plausible.

7. Limited Number of Irritating Characters – there is only one irritating character in the first 63 episodes, and she has enormous boobs which pretty much nullify the irritation. She is also a center of latent lesbian interest of her two classmates and a certain kinky soft toy is rather interested in her, so she’s bearable.

8. Fanservice – there is no decent anime (especially one of this scope) which does not offer a reasonable amount of fanservice. In Bleach, there’s fanservice aplenty and I respect that because it makes me feel respected (good God, I really do sound like a major geek, don’t I?).

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9. Feeds the Monster – you have to feed the greed. You can’t have 15 episodes without the main character doing something absolutely awesome and growing even stronger than he was. True, this can be really difficult to achieve when an anime runs for 300 plus episodes, however it’s your obligation.

10. Awesome Bad Guys – last but not least. Without a decent opponent, our hero cannot shine. And Kurosaki et all do have some formidable and scary opponents.

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I cannot imagine an anime fan not at least trying to watch Bleach. However, I’ve only just begun watching Naruto and I have been an anime fan for over 10 years, so everything is possible. Here’s a few randomly positioned video clips because Internet people love video material, apparently.

When it comes to what to watch, I can honestly recommend first three seasons (ep 01 – 63) which comprise of: The Substitute (ep 01-20), The Entry (ep 21-41), The Rescue (42-63). Season 4 (Bount Arc) is a horrific filler season which made me waver and abandon Bleach for a while. After that, everything is a blur which I aim to clarify in the following months and come back with additional info.