End of January Update 2/11/17

NOOOO I’ve already failed the 4-post-per-month plan!!! (but how, it was so easy??)

So it’s already a week into February and I’m not gonna lie, not a whole lot of anime got watched within the first month of 2017. It’s gotten so bad that I haven’t even participated in any of the simulcasts airing this season, which is a shame since some of them actually intrigued me a good deal. Because so little was watched in January, I’m going to flip back to December and recap the anime shows and films that I watched then until now. Sound good? Let’s take a trip back in the past!

“Recently” Finished:

The Garden of Words – We’re starting off with the MOST BEAUTIFUL anime film I have ever seen!! I kid you not, the story isn’t necessarily brilliant and the run time is only 45 minutes, but it’s 45 minutes of pure atmosphere: luscious greenery and endless rainfall. Speaking of plot, I really like the punchline this Shinkai film–“A story of solitude and heartache that comes before love.” If you’ve somehow missed out on Garden, do check it out if slick animation is your thing. (I mean, who doesn’t like that?) Seriously, it’s short and heartwarming; a must for fans of the rain!

Pale Cocoon – This and the other short film below were extra features included with the Time of EVE: The Movie bluray, so of course I had to watch more of Yasuhiro Yoshiura’s work! This one is the length of a normal episode and centers on a young man in the future who works as an archive recoverer (so a historian). The huge theme on this one is that those who dwell too much in the past can be consumed in the present and risk losing wonderful things. Kinda confusing but really thought-provoking. I remember watching this a long time ago but not understanding it at all, so it’s nice to see how I’ve grown as an intelligent viewer.

Aquatic Language – Yup, this is 8 minutes of WTF anime. It’s a cartoonish short set in a cafe. Like Time of Eve, there are many interactions taking place between people, and half the fun is finding out how all of the conversations tie in together and reflect the main character, a boy with a broken heart. I’d give this one a skip if it weren’t 8 minutes and included with the others.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season I -Following my Viz rewatch of Sailor Moon and its sequel R, I finally decided to boot up “The Moonlight Legend Reborn,” Sailor Moon Crystal, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED all of it!!! Despite the popular opinion, I found Crystal to be a wonderful remake with a more straightforward and concise story. It retells Naoko Takeuchi’s tragedy as it was meant to be told, adding an entirely new layer of dramatic depth to the characters and their origins. In particular, Queen Beryl, the series’ antagonist, becomes a completely different woman clothed with misfortune. I even found myself enjoying the CG transformations, for each of them were beautiful in their own way! If you’re looking for the TRUE tale of the grim Dark Kingdom Arc, Crystal‘s first season has you covered!

Terror in Resonance – I’ve actually been holding onto this one for several months now having bought the LTD ED in a sale. At the time, I figured that this would be a grand winter show, so putting it on hold would be the wisest thing to do–boy, was I right! Though it gained immense popularity while it aired in 2014, if you haven’t heard about Zankyou no Terror, it’s about two boys who become terrorists to prove a point to their country regarding truth and justice–relevant themes to our current times, no? If I had to pick one from this list to recommend, Terror in Resonance is definitely the bomb.

Paprika – This little oddball took part in my Winter Movie Theater thing that I do with my siblings. The catch this time–I did not prewatch Paprika. Normally, I watch several shows/films and pick the ones worthy of their time (and my buying). Since I “knew” that Paprika was a classic and that I’d probably enjoy it, I went ahead and blindly picked it up for a super cheap price. Upon first watch . . . WHAT THE FRACK . . . but looking back while repeatedly listening to the OST, I found myself recalling all of its bold and subtle cues alike and appreciating the wackiness of its dreamlike presentation. It’ll be one of those shows that people won’t understand completely the first time through, so it’s a good thing I love rewatching anime!

Fafner: Dead Aggressor & Heaven and Earth The Movie – Fafner (SAVE edition) was another blind pickup from when Hastings went out of business (RIP). Why buy? It was dirt cheap, on bluray, and had a pretty cover. I don’t want to go into too much detail because YES, a review is on the way!! But if you’re wanting my direct opinion: The movie was everything I wanted out of the series and then some–the best Fafner has to offer. I’ve still yet to watch the new series that aired recently, but I plan to one of these days.

Children Who Chase Lost Voices – Woah, another blind pickup from the Sentai Filmworks sale that I figured I’d enjoy . . . and I did, to an extent, though. Don’t get me wrong, it’s gorgeous Shinkai animation, but the story feels so hollow and the fantasy world presented doesn’t feel very alive. The first half was amazing, the end was pretty decent, but everything in the middle was kind of a snooze fest. I much preferred The Garden of Words, but by all means, check it out if you have the extra time

Ghost in the Shell (1995) – The prequel to my next V-day marathon weekend begins with Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 sci-fi classic that shocked the world, Ghost in the Shell. For #TakutoMovieNight over on Twitter, I described it as “a wonderfully weird trip through the heart of anime science fiction.” Although that caption better suits Paprika, classics are classics. After viewing a 30-min analysis, I actually had to watch this film over again just to fully understand its depth–and even then, there’s still a lot GitS offers. Don’t just watch it, own it for a mere $8! I’m looking forward to exploring the entirety of the franchise this next weekend!

Blast of Tempest – Everyone saw this coming from my latest “Cafe Talk” regarding whether or not you research concepts as you’re watching a show. Check that out if you haven’t (yes, I’m a tad bit behind on the comments, but I’m working on it!). Inspired by both Shakespeare’s Hamlet and The Tempest, this one’s all about mages, mysterious deaths, and magical trees–anime for ya. While I wasn’t “mind blown” by what the anime had in store, it had enough standout moments to pull a win for me. More to come on that in a review!

Spirited Away (rewatch) – A [non-anime-affiliated] friend of mine was recently given this Miyazaki masterpiece and fell completely in love with it. (Will they pursue other anime films?! Stay tuned.) With all this talk about Your Name and its surpassing the GOAT, I thought I’d waltz back to my childhood days and revisit the film. All I previously remembered from Spirited Away was a disgusting bath scene, a witch with a big head, and a scary floating mask man that ate people. Childhood scarred. But I still recall myself being enthralled by the atmosphere of the bath house. Years later, I didn’t actually realize just HOW GOOD this film really was–I mean, it’s incredible, almost breathtaking in its execution and representation of the OG hardworking individual and their work habits. Oh yeah, there’s romance, too, but it was Chihiro’s development into a stronger, more resilient person that drew me in all over again. Maybe I’ll write about how I was swept off my feet once again by Ghibli . . . or maybe I’ll go find another one to watch instead! >.<

Currently Watching:

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash – Heh heh, here’s the show I’m currently watching. A bit of a throwback to last year, Grimgar follows teenagers who wake up in a fantasy realm of magic and swords. They can’t remember their prior lives, but they do know one thing: they must survive by any means necessary. I like how the focus isn’t necessarily on kill or be killed (though that is quite prominent), but on other aspects of life. In these medieval days, they still need to acquire money to eat and sleep comfortably. I’m two episodes in and the slice-of-life mixed with the challenges hardships bring is what’s winning me. I just hope it doesn’t turn into some dumb adventure of good and evil later on. Did I mention what got me to start this series in the first place? Why, it was the stunning watercolor backgrounds and artwork!! It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen landscapes as subtly enchanting as these~!

And that about does it! Again, apologies for my lack of content after setting up such a seemingly simple resolution. I feel terrible for skipping over so many of your guys’ posts, but I WILL do my best to be more active. I also want to begin some simulcasts soon so the updates seem more relevant each month. Thank you for sticking around so long, and hey, we’re almost at 200 followers–now that’ll be a celebration!! My winter days are coming to an end. Emotions are rolling out like crazy weird as I transition into a different stage of my life [to be discussed in a future cafe talk soon]. Even though it’s still February, we just had a couple days of 60-70 degrees F weather AKA global warming is NOT a myth. Frick the non-believers. See you soon in the next post~!

– Takuto, your host

Image result for grimgar of ash and fantasy backgrounds

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8 thoughts on “End of January Update 2/11/17

  1. GARDEN OF WORDS THO. YES. YES. YES. SLAYED ME. SO BEAUTIFUL. AHHHHK. I WANT TO LIVE IN THAT WORLD.

    And oooooh Paprika. Featuring music by the God of Music himself Susumu Hirasawa (FREAKING LOVE HIM) and the amazing Satoshi Kon’s work. I love his other movie Perfect Blue and Tokyo Godfathers too!

    AND THE WATERCOLORS OF GRIMGAR. I DID A WHOLE POST TO IT LAST YEAR BECAUSE I COULDN’T LOVE ON IT ENOUGH. Also, it gives such a refreshing take to its genre!

    So, the show’s I just HAVE to recommend from this current season would be “Scum’s Wish” (oh. my. gosh. wow. such a mature, refreshing, dark take on the romance genre, wow.) and Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon (it’s just TOO lovable and very strong for a “moe” show!) Those are the two strong ones for me personally (and of course second season of KonoSuba is so great, I can’t recommend, KonoSuba, it’s like Grimgar if Grimgar was an excellent comedy, kinda. XD)

    Enjoyed reading your post!! ^_^ ❤ and congrats on almost 200 followers!!!! *starts blowing up balloons for future party* So exciting!! ❤

    ~Jamie

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    • YES JAMIE GARDEN OF WORDS SLAYS. LET IT RAIN FOREVER.

      Haha, you are quite knowledgeable with composers for anime, and that quite honestly makes you so memorable and fun to talk with. I still remember Tuesday Tunes *dreamy sigh*. I’ll have to check out Perfect Blue sometime. Heard nothing but interesting thoughts.

      I’ll have to look for your Grimgar post, AGH! Loved this series so much!! Everyone called it formulaic, but I, too, thought it was fresh. People are so stingy LOL.

      Scum’s Wish and Masamune-kun will likely be the shows I return to once the season ends. It’s been too long since I last hit up the romance genre, so this’ll be fun. Maid Dragon and KonoSuba, seem to be the big hitters this season, so I’ll at least check out KonoSuba for that fantasy comedy greatness. 🙂

      I’VE HIT 200 followers, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was going to write about it but IDK what I’d say (I mean, thank yous and what nots). Maybe I’ll have to do something sweet for 250 if that EVER happens. Thank you so much again for the long comments–you’re always so much fun to talk to and I just feel terrible for not responding sooner!!

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  2. Sounds like you watched a lot of great. I actually saw Children Who Chase Lost Voices and it was great in my opinion. I really need to watch Ghost in the Shell. I want to be ready for the live action movie.

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  3. oh man ive been meaning to watch garden of words BC ITS SO PRETTY TO LOOK AT. i have no idea what it’s about or anything just that it’s beautiful :”D i also think my brother owns it so yeah, idk why i haven’t watched it yet xD

    and man, that pale cocoon sounds like something i’d be interested in watching!! seriously though, older anime had so much for us to analyze but since i watched it when i was a kid I just though /eh it was good/ and thats it xD

    paprika sounds so familiar (and looks familiar too) but i can’t remember from where or if i wanted to watch it or what xD

    SPIRITED AWAY. i’ve watched that movie so many times its crazy!! i haven’t really watched many of his movies but spirited away and kikis delivery service are my FAVS. i’ve also been meaning to buy them but you know how money is now T_T

    oh, are you going to watch Ghost in the Shell in theatres?? :0000 i want to go bc im super curious about it but i also want to watch whatever the original was before i head over @_@ i used to watch the series on adultswim when i was a kid and never really went back to it (i want to go and watch the whole thing)

    ahhh, it’s really awesome you rewatch stuff. if i ever do rewatch it’s usually in the moment im into it, otherwise i don’t usually go back to them ^^;; i think my most recent rewatch was Death Note and LOVING IT AS MUCH AS BEFORE.

    LOL, i didn’t complete my new blogging goal this month. i said i’d try for 3 posts a week and i started my 3rd post on thursday i think, it’s sitting in my drafts still. i got kinda lazy and didn’t finish it before sat ended OTL

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  4. Garden of Words is a MUST. 40 minutes of pure blissful rain accompanied by a decent tale of loneliness and solitude. Your brother has it, NOW IT IS A MUST!

    You might like Pale Cocoon–it’s an oddity, truly, and there’s this nice little analysis on the MAL page for it if you ever get confused like I did, heh heh. There are so many old gems that I need to pick up.

    Paprika is a Satoshi Kon film (Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers), so maybe you’ll know him from other shows. Vibrant colors, weird story, that’s for sure. It’s one that’s likely not meant to be understood with simply one viewing.

    Hahaha, this is the FIRST time in what seems like forever since I last watched Spirited Away!! KIKI IS BAE. LOVE HER and that show. Money is always tight, but if you have a little spare cash/time, check out Castle in the Sky or Ponyo, for they are also my faves by him.

    I ABSOLUTELY will attend the theaters for the Ghost in the Shell live action, yes! I do recommend viewing the original film before going just to maximize the theater experience, though. It’s old, but it’s simply breathtaking in it’s everlasting themes on the individual.

    I ALWAYS find myself rewatching anime, which is why I never get any new stuff down unless it’s set aside for a marathon like I did with Evangelion and Ghost in the Shell. I’m slow. My brother recently picked up Death Note, and with all of the recent controversy over its live action stuff, now’s as good a time as any to watch it.

    LOL, i didn’t complete my new blogging goal this month. i said i’d try for 3 posts a week and i started my 3rd post on thursday i think, it’s sitting in my drafts still. i got kinda lazy and didn’t finish it before sat ended OTL

    Goals are hard, dude. I’ve failed TWO months in a row now, but I’m hoping to change that for this last week in March!! I have so many ideas jotted down, but getting my hands to the keyboard is a challenge all on its own. We struggle, but we’ll make it.

    Thank you SO much for your own little update, Crimson—I love catching up with you on all of our anime musings! 😀

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    • Whoops, ok for long comments like these I copy and paste the comment in the reply box to make sure I get everything covered and I accidentally left some of your own words there LOL. As they’d say in Ghost in the Shell, “I’m hacking your cyber brain, Crim!” 😛

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