You need to be watching Dennou Coil

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In this so-called modern age, the thousands of miles that separate countries are irrelevant; a shrinking distance covered by mere flickers of electricity. Obviously, our world is merging and cultures are overlapping, yet the distance between you and I remains the same.
Though we may have transcended the physical landscape, the emotional complexity of human nature is still our greatest struggle; our uncharted and unpredictable feelings wedge us apart and create a journey larger than any number of miles could possibly achieve.

In a near-future saturated with baffling technology, the distance between loneliness and friendship is as ambiguous as ever. Many people are weighed down by a past tragedy, wracked with insecurity, feelings of guilt and shame, unable or unwilling to move on. The beauty of forming friendships against all the odds, being capable of opening your heart to another, that is the real journey, and that is quality of Dennou Coil. Continue reading “You need to be watching Dennou Coil”

Autumn in the silent forest

Since I’ve been a bit quiet over the last couple of weeks, I figured I should check in with a small update to let y’all know that I’m still around. If truth be told, I’m feeling fairly apathetic towards the whole blogging thing right now; the end result being that I just can’t conjure up the enthusiasm to talk about anime at the moment. It’s not that the new season is especially bad (in fact, I’m already loving both Kaiji and Moyashimon), I’m just running low on the inspiration needed to write. Basically, I need a break from watching anime and wondering to myself “what I can say about this?” Indeed, I suspect my reluctance to work through a giant (and ever growing!) backlog of collected fansubs is totally related to these struggles with blogging, after all, I don’t feel right about enjoying something without telling you guys about it too! And on that point, I badly need to write about Dennou Coil – definitely the best show I’m watching right now; I could just say it’s awesome, but that’s never enough.

Well, that’s my story. I haven’t jumped ship yet, just floating aimlessly through the interwebs and waiting for that tide of inspiration to guide me safely back home. I hope to see you there?

Creepy horror manga? The Enigma of Amigara Fault is the answer

fault.jpgHalloween is fast approaching and it’s time to indulge in some frightful Japanese horror. Sadly, it’s not a genre that translates well to anime and manga, but having recently discovered the abnormal works of manga-ka Junji Ito, there may well be hope for us yet. This time I’m talking about the claustrophobic “Enigma of Amigara Fault”; a remarkable 30-page short that has abducted my thoughts since falling victim to its spell last night.

The ambiguous story begins as an earthquake scythes open the titular Amigara Fault; a gigantic rock riddled with human shaped caves. Nervous people from all over Japan are inexplicably drawn to the landmark, haunted by nightmares and convinced they have recognized individual caverns that perfectly match their own unique body shapes. Continue reading “Creepy horror manga? The Enigma of Amigara Fault is the answer”

Hey there Delilah, what’s worth watching?

I must admit, I haven’t approached this autumn season with my usual enthusiasm for all things Japanese animated. Every review I read says it all sucks, I’m confused; has anime suddenly turned bad? So, since I don’t have the will-power to sit through dozens of mediocre first episodes, I’m asking you instead; what’s worth watching? What am I am missing out on? It can’t all be bad, right?

The hyperbole of Mononoke

Having been seduced by its eccentric visual style and the positive word-of-mouth, this past weekend was spent haplessly indulging in seven episodes of Mononoke’s surreal feast. To you, I present these humble findings. Mononoke is good.

“Specter; spirit; ghost. Mononoke is a very old word, now rarely used, that describes spirits who actively haunt or pursue a person or place. Though the spirit need not be evil, it does have somewhat of a dangerous connotation.”

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Though it borders on pretentious, I’ve always wanted to kick-off an article with a word definition. Aside from its traditional Japanese meaning, "Mononoke” is a word synomonous with a certain Hayao Miyazaki blockbuster from 1997; immediately it recalls images of feudal Japan – an era when a fading mother nature was still capable of retaining her sense of mystery and magic. And so begins the 2007 series “Mononoke” with its distinctively Japanese take on supernatural folk-law.

For those who don’t read Wikipedia, “Mononoke” is a spin-off from the self-contained “Bake Neko” segment of 2006’s 11-episode 3-story anthology “Ayakashi”. Though I started watching fansubs of Ayakashi, the prolonged melodramatics and thick cultural references of the first segment (“Yotsuya Kaidan”) wrought such a soul-destroying apathy on my enthusiasm for the series that by the time I was aware of the striking visual style of “Bake Neko”; my fleeting interest in “Ayakashi” had all but expired. Jump forward to July 2007 and “Mononoke” started its run on Japanese TV. Having been seduced by its eccentric visual style and the positive word-of-mouth, this past weekend was spent haplessly indulging in seven episodes of Mononoke’s surreal feast. To you, I present these humble findings. Continue reading “The hyperbole of Mononoke”

The end of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Yet as the dark of night finally drew in and the stars twinkled with an ephemeral beauty, the sea of emotion raging inside this blogger fell suddenly calm in anticipation of the end. That is, the end of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

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The internet teaches harsh lessons; one of the most important is to be vigilant for spoilers. Something good was released on Sunday and subsequently, these past few days of surfing the rippling tide of written voices was gradually stifled by spiralling waves of paranoia. Yet as the dark of night finally drew in and the stars twinkled with an ephemeral beauty, the sea of emotion raging inside this blogger fell suddenly calm in anticipation of the end. That is, the end of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

Such is the quality of this series that it inspires me to write such melodramatic words. Time and time again, I’ve come away from it excited and brimming with enthusiasm, and of course, the end was no different. In fact, my heart was captured by the mere pre-credit sequence; Simon rolls in to save Nia, the now-familiar opera swells and the Gurren-dan assemble – each kitted up with their own bad-ass attitudes and standing on their hind legs like a group of little Rory Calhouns. They know, as we know, that this is IT. Time to kick ass. Continue reading “The end of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann”