2015 In Review: Shiroyuni’s Award Picks (Part 5)

2015in reviewShiroyuni's Award Picks

(This is Part 5 of my 2015 Anime Review series. See Part 1Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4 on more awards on as well as for certain background information and disclaimers with regards to this series of posts.)

Its finally back to what must be the most controversial part of the entire award series thus far. Be aware that my writing tone may be a little more .. harsh than normal. Onward!

Most Overrated

*note: determined by its ratings in the online anime community, specifically MAL vs how much it deserves that rating.*

What it means for an anime series to be overrated is probably one of the more objective exercises in this award-giving process. Theoretically, it is measured by comparing the difference between how much an anime is talked about and wowed at by the general online anime community, and independently assessing the quality of the series without being influenced by the tastes of others. Naturally, there will be a few certain series in the lineup that are obvious candidates for this, and the results differ in the second part of the process – where one looks at this series alone, and thinks “So, how good is this?”

Of course, narrowing the pool down right at the start carries its own controversies. One may say that by limiting one’s choice right at the start, it pushes these talk-of-the-town names to the forefront even further, making fairness and unbiased judgment an even more futile goal as the more talked about a series is, the more inevitable it is going to labelled as being ‘overrated’.

To be honest, I wish I could flip this argument on its face by bringing up something that is not One Punch Man. Unfortunately, the hype it has generated is like the force of a tsunami wave, sweeping up all in its way – that it was impossible, right from before even experiencing the series for myself, not to expect something of Attack on Titan or Code Geass proportions. Even so, those acclaimed series had a fair share of haters, and rightful detractors, those who were able to logically and rationally argue why many flaws exist – which was inevitable, seeing that these series took themselves seriously and were ambitious enough to aim that high – where the way to the apex of the mountain is fraught with many obstacles, mostly in the form of narrative and pacing flaws, or overt otaku pandering in the form of fanservice, and of course, critical viewers who pounce on these nuggets of gold and present them proudly to the world.

These eggs are gold, though.

Perhaps it is precisely because One Punch Man is inherently a satirical series that invites its viewers to poke fun of it, while laughing at itself, that it is harder to find flaws in it. Which is why the only arguments that detractors can make are probably more along the lines of –  it is good but not good enough to warrant this cult-like following. Thus, this is probably the extent to which I can substantiate my view in that One Punch Man is probably the most overrated series of the year.

One Punch Man is an excellent series. It delivers top-notch entertainment through satirical humour, a refreshing hero protagonist, and interesting supporting characters that are foils of each other. It is also deep enough to draw social allegories in slightly thoughtful one-off lines about what heroism is meant to be, or how strength can be manifested in different forms, or even reflections of society in the form of the hierarchies of the Hero Association. It provides quality entertainment for both critical and non-critical audiences – two important requirements for immense, shoot-up-to-the-top-of-the-charts popularity.

This is probably why the hype surrounding is pretty understandable. But is One Punch Man really that good to garner a 9.04 rating in MAL, or to reign at the top of the list in IMDB? (I assume that the extent of its popularity extends towards all other anime discussion and rating platforms in the English language at the very least. Bear in mind that Chinese and Japanese audiences have vastly different tastes in anime.) Somehow, though both the (a) entertainment and (b) plot development, pacing and characters checkboxes are checked, there aren’t any overwhelming qualities for it to rise beyond being ‘solid’ or ‘good’.

To be fair, One Punch Man is not the single most obvious overt choice for this category. Your Lie in April was a slightly puzzling choice for Top 40 best anime of all time, as it’s more removed melodrama, that was comparable to say, Nagi no Asukara (which I LOVED), remained in the exclusive domain of the teenage years without the necessary literary and emotional connections to a slightly more mature audience. While we are at it, one of my favourite series ever, Kuroko no Basket Season 3 was probably more driven by its characters’ aesthetic appeal and associated fujoshi fandoms than the quality of its story, which was believable at best and overthrew its own standards of the proportions of its ‘supernatural effects’ at worst.

Perhaps I prefer a higher amount of depth or emotional connection, or relatability in my anime. Perhaps beyond awesome comedy and exciting action, I am searching for more – likely because this does not have to be done by anime. Perhaps this is merely a matter of subjective preference, and this is as far as I can go in objective evaluation before I end up in the swamps and marshes of my murky inner thoughts.

Winner: One Punch Man

Honourable Mentions: Your Lie in April, Kuroko no Basket Season 3

 

Biggest Disappointment

 

 

 

*personal subjective rant incoming. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.*

To be extremely honest, 2015 was largely a year of disappointments. There are so many series I can cram into this category that it is not even a joke. Even the better ones that emerged out of the lot were not the best the anime world could do. Just look at 2013 with its wildly and legitimately popular Attack on Titan, the master of storytelling Shinsekai Yori, the highly underappreciated Zetsuen no Tempest, the thought-provoking Psycho-Pass, the epitome of dreams & romance Sakurasou no Pet no Kanajo, the one and only Sunday Without God, the mindblowing installment of Little Busters -Refrain-, the ridiculously entertaining Kakumeiki Valvrave … and I haven’t even finished naming them. I don’t even want to go on because … …

So where do I even start? Perhaps with Arslan Senkiof which I hesitated going into and where my worst fears were proven true? That the fact that if there was one genre in anime that has disappointed me thus far is historical political intrigue, and Arslan Senki merely confirmed that? The plot was too simple, and the characters were either too impulsive, were easily tricked, or one-dimensional in their motivations that even political intellectual sparring landed on the rather predictable side. Does anybody also think that Arslan himself is a little too lucky to have such a band of useful, smart people around him helping him to achieve his goal? I admit, though, that my tastes in this particular genre are too spoiled by the Chinese. I am going back to my Chinese novels for my historical military tactics and political intrigue. But I shall stop here since nobody reads those around here and there are few who can actually understand my comparison.

If you totally disagreed with my above choice (which is perfectly fine, because we were exposed to different types of literature after all), perhaps I would find some agreement with Plastic Memories.  It was not an inherently bad story, but it merely chose to embark on the romantic comedy route instead of diving deeper into its intriguing sci-fi premise and tying it back to its characters. By the time the disappointment had set in so much that it became impossible to appreciate the blossoming romance, sweet as it was, but emotionally lacking due to cliched characterisation.

Or maybe, most of us would agree that Owari no Seraph had a fundamentally disappointing first season in Spring 2015. Its mediocrity persisted through its second season through insensible plot developments, but was still entertaining enough to satisfy shippers of relationships and those who buy it’s homosexual and heterosexual hooks and the emergence of the nakama i.e. teamwork theme. It is however, still, the successful utilisation of a sure-win formula, as it still remains popular enough amongst its viewers.

Tokyo Ghoul Root A also fell flat from its climax at the end of Season 1. By choosing to diverge from the manga storyline and diving into its own, Tokyo Root A felt like an abstract piece of art in its second season. New characters appeared and died, no explanation given, just lots of emo-posing and hair fluttering in the grey winds … coupled with the most artistically expressive final episodes that I have ever seen in an anime. Which is a good thing if it was art, but not really for an anime series.

Uta no Prince Sama 1000% Revolutions was also a personal disappointment for me due to the shock created by its divergence from its fundamentals. What started out as a series marketing the reverse harem tag and where its first two seasons focused on guy to girl interaction had developed into one with bromance or yaoi undertones. Not that I have anything against bromance – I love it as a theme in certain other anime – but it was a jarring transition for a series meant to showcase guy-with-girl interaction, which was entirely uncalled for.

Winner: – no, I don’t really want to mention those titles again –

Most Underappreciated

Back to the positives after the above two ‘downers’! Two of the series I have watched for 2015 are obvious choices for being either the most misunderstood or underappreciated of the year. By the effect of the first few episodes in the series, most people jump to certain conclusions how the series is going to be and then drop it without a second thought. Most of the time, they may very well be correct. However, there are some exceptions to which there is a need to highlight amongst the other heralded series.

The first obvious choice is Cross Ange: Tenshi no Ryuu no Rondo, which is dissed by most people due to its bold move to introduce trigger-warning topics (*minor spoiler start* suggested yuri rape *minor spoiler end*) at the end of its first episode. Things were certainly not made better in the next few episodes, which delivered dollops of blatant yuri fanservice and slow pacing, coupled with a perpetually moody and pissy female protagonist who behaved like an angsty asshole. However, those who stayed past, say, episode 6 or 7 were duly rewarded. The amount of fanservice was drastically reduced, and the complex plot that the story is set in starts to come to light. Ange undergoes shocking and tremendous character development throughout the whole series, and the backstories and motivations of its side characters are duly given attention so that it all ties into one of the most addictive and entertaining series of the season. The plot twists were well-developed and very unpredictable ones. Reminiscent of Code Geass and Kakumeiki Valvrave, this became a clear winner for me when I reached its second half, partly because it gets rarer for anime to venture out of its sure-proof money-making formulas to make good entertainment, but Sunrise has done it yet again, reminding me of the very reason why I still stick around watching anime even when I was disappointed by just about 80% of the series I watch nowadays.

The second choice is not so obvious, and it comes in the form of Classroom Crisis. Yes, you didn’t read that wrongly. Due to a deliberately misleading marketing ploy – the PVs promoted it as a high school romance comedy – people came into the series expecting something entirely different from what eventually expected. The slow first few episodes with seemingly no direction, and the long exposition of the background that was thrown at viewers at the episode 2 further fed into discontent. However, those who stayed past it … well … probably got one of the biggest shocks of their lives. What we got was semi-political and corporate intrigue with rocket research math and tech whiz kids thrown smack in the middle of it. It also managed to yield one of most unpredictable plot twists in 2015, comparable to those of Charlotte and Cross Ange. In fact, the corporate politicking got so confusing at one point I had to rewatch certain segments of it, and most people joked that Classroom Crisis should be renamed as Corporate Crisis instead. Yet, Classroom Crisis still managed to yield an enjoyable viewing experience to its intended target, by making the characters rather likeable by throwing in a healthy dose of high school comedy and certain romcom cliches.

If I had to choose a winner, Most Underappreciated would go to Classroom Crisis , since Cross Ange is itself controversial enough to attract a fair amount of fans and haters, and those curious enough to give it a try (me). Charlotte has in fact lured in a fair amount of viewers from the start, so it ultimately belongs more in the Most Disappointed category, evidenced by the throng of highly disappointed KEY and Jun Maeda fans. Classroom Crisis still remains relatively unknown, and it simply is too much of waste for such a rarely explored theme of corporate intrigue to sink to the depths of the unknown just like that.

Winner: Classroom Crisis

Honourable Mentions: Cross Ange: Tenshi no Ryuu no Rondo, Charlotte

That just about concludes all the awards/’titles’ I have for all the 2015 anime I have watched thus far. Should I move on to Top Couples, Top Characters and Top Anime for 2015? I need an opinion from you guys 🙂 Nevertheless, thank you for reading and sticking with me thus far, and feel free to like or comment on anything! 

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70 thoughts on “2015 In Review: Shiroyuni’s Award Picks (Part 5)

  1. The art for classroom crisis looks nice! Maybe I should check it out :3 lol ah, I haven’t watched OPM because of the hype, I figured that if so many people were watching and reviewing etc I should probably check out other stuff, besides, the summary for it wasn’t enough to pull me (not much of a super hero fan), I will say there’s been some AMAZING fanart for the series :)! I recently saw this one piece with the MC overpowering characters like superman, batman, and I forgot who else xD

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    • Haha Classroom Crisis’ art is not bad 😀 Yeah I am not much of a super hero fan either, I only jumped into OPM because of the hype. I agree with you though, some of the fanart for OPM is really good. Also because of the way its animated, it really looks like art even in those fast action scenes :3 Haha I see, yeah the main character (Saitama) really boasts enough power to beat probably most other fictional superheroes out there, it makes sense that somebody would do fanart like that xD

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  2. That was really interesting because I pretty much dismissed most series last year. Still, its nice to hear such positive comments towards classroom crisis. I didn’t bother with it after I heard the negativity of the first impressions and (probably due to the PR after what you said) combined this with the belief that it was a romantic comedy, I just assumed it was going to be a cheap romcom. I might give it a try now 🙂 .

    What were your thoughts on your lie in april? I quite agree with you about the melodrama haha. In fact, all the effort they spent trying to make me cry by making Kaori cry every other scene she was in sort of detracted from the overall experience almost from the get-go (that and the over-the-top poetry). I dunno – lol maybe I’m still depressed ‘friend A’ didn’t get her guy in the end (and prooobably won’t in the future) xD.

    By the way we were all feeling the hype overload from One Punch man. Like a tsunami inded lol xD. It wasn’t for me – I can see why it’s popular, but like you I need a deeper story to enjoy my anime a lot of the time – or at least just more than what OPM has.

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    • Yep, Classroom Crisis is definitely worth a try, especially if you only dismissed it because it looked like a typical high school romcom ^^
      As for Your Lie in April, I do agree with you in that I thought there were too many ‘breaking out into tears’ moments that were placed to induce the same teary emotions in its audience. But I felt it was a tad overdone and hard-handed, and had pretty much the opposite effect. I thought the ‘ultimate lie’ was also a little anti-climactic as well. ><
      Glad to see someone that pretty much has the same stance as me for OPM 🙂 If OPM is anything first, its definitely overrated given the hype haha.

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      • Hahaaa yeah, the title-worthy lie was not that big after all, but it still made sense in my opinion.

        Stay strong shiroyuni, I’m sure there are others like us (Sebbo12 gazes into the desolate, grey landscape with the wind relentlessly blowing his hair back), somewhere out there, who don’t think OPM is that great.

        Yeah, I don’t think it necessarily deserves the praise it gets, but funilly enough it does its job so well with its plainly established type of series/ plot that (like you said) there are actually few issues that one can critically point out – after all, it isn’t TRYING to tell a serious plot, and it doesn’t mean to present itself seriously. So I can’t say I hate OPM but I definitely can’t stand the sort of ‘plotless’ aspect in that there is literally no obstacle that he can overcome. I mean, technically that isn’t ‘plotless’ and I hear there are some challenges that he does meet in terms of reputation and rank as a hero etc., but nothing SUBSTANTIAL. I neeeeeed something to be excited or worried about for the character, some kind of tension etc.

        Wheewww, that turned into a long one. Back to our usual format, I see :D.

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      • HAHA the way we imagine the desolate landscape is the same. For me, its staring into the endless desert plains, with no drop of water in sight – we must continue to hope! xD
        Exactly. I feel like OPM has it too easy. After all, satire and parody are both born from years of looking at series that use tropes repeatedly – hence imo it isn’t that much of an accomplishment per se to pick out the cliches and subvert or permute them as one wishes. Of course, my personal preferences also lean more towards deeper character development. OPM has lots of laughs, but I definitely need more than that. That’s also one of the reasons I don’t watch much slice of life, because they rely on similar elements as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if more anime using its same formula for success pop up in the future. But of course, that’s assuming that its as popular in Japan as in the English speaking world. Which I wouldn’t be surprised if the Japanese have vastly different tastes because Western movies feature a lot more ‘heroism’ or plots related to strength and power, so a parody of those and something slightly different like OPM becomes really exciting for Western audiences. At least, that’s what I think, but I don’t have any stats or research to back it up, seeing that I have no way as of now of finding out anime rankings amongst the Japanese community.
        Well……. looks like I upped the game a little myself xD. Usual format, here we go! 😀

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      • I so get what you mean about slice of life anime hahaaa. I think I’ve only been able to watch slice of life a couple of times – that’s when the anime is more comedy than slice of life, though. Have you watched Daily Lives of High School Boys? You shooouuuuld x) , it’s possibly the funniest thing I’ve watched – my favourite comedy anime too. Recently I also finished all the Yuru Yuri series, which were hilarious.

        Regardless, when it comes to straight slice of life I can’t stand it. It gets me so bored to the point of making me irate because nothing has any effect on the overall lives of the characters. It feels like an itch that just gets worse with every minute :’) .

        Maybe that’s it: there is a lack of life-changing events and so the characters then experience little change in personality as a result. In plot driven anime, the characters go on a longer, more dramatic plot which allows the characters to be stretched and stimulated to show and discover other parts of their personality. The scope of slice-of-life simply isn’t enough to elicit any kind of deep character development from the characters.

        I get why people watch it though. It’s just nice to switch off to something sometimes. Too bad I’m the sort who (most of the time) needs a little more stress to thrive!

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      • Oh I did try Daily Lives of High School Boys! I have about 3 episodes left though, I put it on hold at the moment because I thought I wasn’t in the mood for slice of life, even if it had good comedy xD But I’ll pick it up again when I am in need of a good laugh xD
        Hahaha you really spelled out exactly what I feel about straight slice of life! I am usually too bored – even one episode of SOL is enough to make me yawn a couple of times >< It also makes me annoyed too, which is why I generally don't touch any slice of life series unless its highly recommended xD (I tried watching one ep of Gakkou Gurashi but I didn't even make it to the plot twist lol!)
        Exactly. The characters are the same from the start to the end, and plus the fact that there isn't a plot …. oh gosh. IKR. Sometimes tension and conflict is needed to show how these characters are not one-dimensional. Which is why I love drama, and I actually have a high tolerance for melodrama even if other people may think otherwise. Are you a fan of drama?
        I completely agree! I get the motivation to watch it sometimes, but often times I feel like I don't actually understand it. I have trouble even maintaining interest in characters who don't show flaws (since SOL are mainly feel-good shows) or are just-for-gags. Like seriously, bring on the drama!
        Though I think, there are some excellent exceptions to slice of life. Shirobako is one, but its not as plotless and aimless as most SOL are – its most aptly a cross between 'drama' and 'slice-of-life'. Also, Mushishi! Have you tried any of them?

        Like

      • YAAASSSS!!! It sounds a little backwards but I loved Mushishi so much that I’ve only actually watched a few episodes. I basically reserve it for when I’m really in the mood to watch it.

        The first time I watched Mushishi was really ethereal and just so comforting. I’ve only got access to series two so it was technically s2 ep1. But yeah, I’d been doing some work, working pretty hard. I’ve got this school project going on atm and I’d been stressing over completing the majority of it over a few days in the Christmas holidays. It was the end of the day, and I switched on the PS3, went onto netflix and started it. I had the ambience going too because there was only a kind of yellowish lamp on too. Long story short, I just felt fantastic after, like I’d let my over-stressed soul have a nap and a bath x) .

        Gakkou Gurashi was one of the few series I watched last year funnily enough. I was okay with it because of the zombie twist. It actually gave the series a bit more tension, and the way it was paced was good because there was the psychological subplot of the MC mental condition and then the zombie situation and the series manages to rise tensions and crescendo things nicely. The ending kinda ruined things up with plot armour and thus false tension, though.

        Haha I don’t have too high a tolerance for melodrama to be honest. I dunno, I mean if by ‘melodrama’ you mean ‘unnecessary amounts of drama then that just irritates me lol.

        I have a limit with normal drama too, where the situations of the characters get too much for me >< . The second half of Toradora when the drama really starts to kick in started to stress me out so much xD , but maube it was the tone shift from the light-hearted first half. Then there was Nana (which, if you're a fan of drama and/or shoujo, then you have to watch) which I actually had to stop watching because it was just getting so unbearable loolll. I'm gonna finish it, because if I dropped stuff because I couldn't handle the drama I don't think I could call myself disciplined :p . Having said that I do really enjoy dram, I just get to a point where the drama is too much for me haha.

        It seems like the only SOL anime we watch are those which aren't completely SOL haha.

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      • HAHA same. I reserve Mushishi for particular special moments – especially if I am feeling stressed or depressed or moody. Hence I technically started on it almost a year ago, and I am still at ep 17 of Season 1 LOL. It really cleanses your soul doesn’t it? I feel like my perspective on the world has changed. Its fascinating, and probably certainly not even slice-of-life lol. In fact, I don’t think Mushishi has a stated anime genre. Its in one special category all on its own 😀
        Oh I see. I did go back and finish the first episode of Gakkou Gurashi, and I do know what the psychological subplot is. I just didn’t know whether it was sufficiently dark enough to interest me into watching. Either way, I think I probably didn’t continue watching because I didn’t want to watch a cute-girls-doing-things series.
        Hmm, I guess its a little hard to compare what our tolerance levels are without giving specific examples. I also can’t stand unnecessary drama, but I loved stuff like Nagi no Asukara. Ah well, but I loved the second half of Toradora! Because I knew the first half had to give way somewhat, it couldn’t go on forever xD I did miss the comedy and friendship of the first half though! Ohhhh yes Nana is my favourite shoujo anime of all time, if it can even be classified as shoujo (probably more josei). I agree, everything started falling apart way too fast. It really broke my heart >( even though I didn’t cry, it just gave me such a heavy feeling. Till now I can’t find any other shoujo/josei that gives me the same feeling. Do try to finish watching it though, I wouldn’t say it is going to ‘pay off’ in the ‘you’ll probably enjoy it’ sense (because its not exactly happy feelings and all), but its a one-of-a-kind experience xD Okay, I think I can’t actually think of a negative example of overdone drama at the moment lol.
        Haha ikr. Sometimes I think I have probably been subconsciously avoiding the ‘true’ SOLs and just trying the ‘hybrid’ ones just to convince myself that I watch a variety of anime including SOL. LOL.

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      • Yeah, I think it’s hard to compare tolerane levels on stuff like drama, because it’s never clear cut. But seeing how you loved the second half of Toradora, I think that makes it clear you have thicker drama-resistant skin than I do :p . I guess I’m gonna have to just grit my teeth and finish Nana (it’s breaking my heart already! Why can’t they all just get along and live like a happy family T_T ). I only have about fifteen episodes left anyways.

        It’s interesting the way Mushishi just sorta gets you to sit down and calmly contemplate the world. It’s calming, like meditation. The soul cleanse is real. That’s seriously spaced out hahaaa, but at least it averages to more than once a month xD. Still, I think I’m going to be watching it at that pace to. It just makes it all the more golden.

        Yep, cute girls doing cute things is a bit of a cringe worthy stereotype, however I am pretty new to it, so it doesn’t bother me too much as long as the anime doesn’t doesn’t rely on it too much. I do like it a little (I like cute things so yah haha), but generally in contexts where it’s used for comedy and stuff.

        I tried a ‘pure’ slice of life ONCE (Hanasaku Iroha). Couldn’t watch past episode 4 lol. Sticking to the hybrids now haha.

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      • The thing is, sometimes I suspect that Toradora was only attractive to me at a time when I didn’t have much experience with dramatic scenes in anime. Incidentally, Toradora is one out of the two romantic comedies that its in my Top 25 of all time – as you can see, I don’t have much of a penchant for these things. I do think its understandable that Toradora may not appeal to everyone though. After all, its themes (unrequited love and teenage love) don’t actually warrant too much drama, and it may be seen to be a little on the ‘too much drama’ side.
        Nana breaks my heart – 15 episodes really isn’t much in Nana’s context haha. I didn’t even want to continue with the manga because its unfinished, and I know more sad things happen ><
        I just know that after every episode of Mushishi, when the ending credits play, I sort of sit there a few minutes in silence, just experiencing the real world, taking it all back in, and let the perspective gleaned from that episode of Mushishi wash over my world. It literally feels that way in my brain. xD
        Haha I think your high tolerance stems from personal preference as well. Perhaps its because I am a girl haha so to me its all very … common in a sense. Like I have all seen it before in real life, so in entertainment I prefer not to indulge in the same. As a result, I am a bit more impatient with this particular stereotype haha.
        Interesting. I thought Hanasaku Iroha was one of the more interesting SOLs out there precisely because of its setting – the experience of working in a hot spring inn which most of us wouldn't actually get to experience. Whereas the ones I can't stand are actually more of the school life kinds of after-club activity kinds – because as I said, its nothing new to me since its school and everybody does similar school things haha.

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      • Hanasaku Iroha was definitely more interesting than other slice-of-lifes like k-on. Like, you got to learn more about the business of running one of those B&B hotel things, and it actually looked really intersting. The dramas were very real-world too, what with struggling to attract new customers and what not.

        Intersting what you say about teenage love not warranting much drama. I mean, I think there could be a fair bit of drama considering all the shitty hormones one goes through pretty much up to the end of the first half of the teens. There’s a lot of ‘figuring yourself out’ stuff which starts when you’re a teenager, too. I think that’s one of the main reasons why the ‘teenage protagonist’ is so popular, besides the fact that they’re trying to please a younger audience. Even when you’re an adult, I think those subjects are still interesting and figuring oneself out is definitely not complete (I certainly haven’t figured everything out at 18 and know of people in their thirties talking about it being a continual process that goes on forever hahaa).

        Yep, I don’t know how Mushishi does that, but once it ends, I just have to sit there and contemplate life a little bit. Something about the ending theme and the simplicity of the end credits. I swear, that anime is so beautiful T_T . I’m a fan of minimalistic art too, so I mesh well with it x). It’s so peaceful.

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      • Haha but even so, that didn’t capture your attention? I remember being quite drawn in by the art, and I thought the MC was at least interesting enough to warrant my attention xD
        Ah, I mean that there aren’t too many permutations of drama for such themes without going over to being more on the melodramatic side. Though I think it also depends on the show and what its focus is. Honey and Clover is the kind of show that’s more of the ‘figuring yourself out’ type, which people either loved or found it utterly boring. Definitely, it’s still something highly relevant and an ongoing process, I don’t think I am any much closer to finding myself than say, when I was a teen.
        Yep exactly, though sometimes I think hey, why exactly haven’t I finished it? Sure it’s not a very marathonable show, but well … It certainly is unique, and I dare say effective.

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      • I did like the art style, and the overall finish of the show was pretty impressive (a lot of shows have been pumping out higher quality shows recently; it’s great, but since they seem to have the extra cash sloshing around for better art I’d much prefer the higher quality of storyline haha). It caught my attention for sure; it just couldn’t hold my interest for the entirety of the show. One thingI did like was the originality of why the MC ended up in her current predicament. With a mum like that I’m surprised she didn’t have attitude problems or was consantly angry at the world, but I guess that would have interrupted the SOL aspect of the show…

        Oh, I see what you mean a bout teen drama. Yeah, I think that’s why I liked Honey and Clover so much; but like you said, I think that kind of genre and mood are really quite like/dislike because I can definitely see people seeing it as just a dreamy waste of time :).

        Oh yeah, I could marathon Mushishi, but it just wouldn’t be right Dx , I would just refuse to do it out of respect for the show xD. It is no doubt an extraordinary piece of art, so I’ve given it special treatment so as not to be treat it like an ordinary show but, like I’ve said, something I come back to when I’m feeling reflective :).

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      • It was PA Works, so I wouldn’t have expected anything less of them in the animation and art department xD Aha exactlyyyy, I for one don’t care very much for art/animation – its fine if its decent! Alas, more money =/= better ability to write plots or scripts unfortunately. I know what you mean though, there was a point I sort of became bored with it, but that was about three-quarters in. Then onwards I just took quite some time just to finish it xD Ohana is very likeable as a protagonist, even though sometimes she falls on the ‘too-optimistic’ side for me to find her realistic. She’s a good ideal to work towards though 😀 You’re right, an angsty protagonist probably wouldn’t appear in a slice-of-life show…though it’ll be cool if some anime manages to break that convention and hence cast the genre in a newer and better light xD
        Yep, and thus far I have been hesitant of recommending or talking about H&C in general, most of the people who watched it (and like romcoms and whatnot) actually end up disliking it lol.
        Yeah, Mushishi definitely shouldn’t be treated like that. 🙂 All this talk about it makes me feel like I have to get back to it soon though haha.

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      • Perhaps slice of life can incorporate drama without people categorising it as something else? Referring to your other comment (let’s keep it to two threads please x’D) even though there is definitely an overarching plot and character drama, romance etc., it’s still definitely a slice of life because of the pacing and the relatability of the themes involved. I think that subtlety is probably important too, because one of the things that makes shows from other genres stand out is their ‘main genre’, i.e. drama goes a little heavier on the drama, romance series make it easier to tell what their genre is by jamming in lots of relationahip development between the two (or more) characters etc.

        But how do you define slice of life?

        The main signal I got from H&C that it was a SOL was the way that various things, comedy, romance, getting a job, finding oneself, etc. came and went but had a constant low-level presence in the background and were never truely gone.

        Surprised most didn’t enjoy it though :).

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      • Perhaps it could, but I haven’t actually seen enough well-done examples of it.
        Its true that at its base, H&C should be classified more as a slice-of-life than a school themed romantic comedy. Maybe it is those themes that make H&C stand out from the rest. It really picked on and developed the feelings and emotions of development from teenager to young adulthood but was never overbearing. The messages were there, hovering in the background, as the characters grew up and each chose their own path. To be honest, I think its really because of the ‘college age’ instead of ‘high school’ that the story was set in.
        I personally think most people didn’t enjoy it because they go into it thinking it was going to be packed with romance and melodrama. The subtlety of which H&C went about progressing its story seemed to point at no direction in particular, so the more impatient ones would have given up a few episodes in. For me though, I love the ‘college-age’ + ‘growing up’ types. We don’t get enough anime/manga of such genres. >< I never knew why high school was such a popular setting. College isn't that old and its much more diverse – plus you could dabble in slightly mature themes.
        Honestly, to me, slice-of-life probably really meant the moeblob of K-On, Lucky Star etc. but I realise now that that those aren't quite accurate depictions of the genre. Slice of life potentially can mean more … now that I am thinking of this in a better light, better examples of SOL pop to mind lol. Like Barakamon 🙂

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      • I so agree Shiroyuni – I’m a real fan of the college-age setting of anime and manga when I see it. It might be something as simple (but definitely important) as feeling fresh; but it definitely gives the writer more creative freedom with the things that can happen with the characters, whether its the events that they attend, or simply the type of drama that they might be having. Stories set at this age take on a maturer tone but also freshly authentic, making the drama less melodramatic. Perhaps this is because the high school setting gives the opportunity to drama related to what this coming-of-age genre is famous for, which is not necessarily growing up, but aspiring and fantasising; the transition itself. There’s room for uncertainty, a new kind of awkwardness, even vulnerability. College/uni age stuff relates more to becoming an adult rather than that transition.

        But when you dive into more mature storylines, there’s a plethora of newer themes that I think don’t get enough screen time. It’s exciting and we get to take part in fun and dangerous things. Don’t want to be crude, but people become exposed to alcohol and sex, and relevant pass times like parties. A great example (controvertial but I enjoyed it) that portrayed this is Golden Time. I think that producers are missing out on a good genre here.

        I don’t know. I’m partial towards the more mature characters, I guess.

        Oh my Gaawwd, Brakamon is great xD, I love Naru so much! That bit where she thinks she’s learned to read x’DDD

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      • (And that unleashed a torrent from Sebbo :p)
        I agree with everything you said about the college-age setting. Besides, it also does not exclude the fact that creators can actually revisit those transitional themes that are characteristic of the high school setting – albeit handled in a different way and with less of that ‘innocence’ and naivety that can perhaps serve as plot or character armour (and make them easier to write?) in high school settings. College-age settings also somehow translate into a more world-weary view that ultimately complicates human relations (and the creative avenue that creators can work with.) Its a little pity that this is underused as a setting and genre, going to show how much the anime business is very target audience centric – only to the ones they can be sure would buy their merchandise and DVDs at ridiculous prices lol. *ahem* the impulsivity of teenage consumption habits xD
        Exactly. Even though I am sick of seeing themes like alcohol and sex handled to conventional, American drama series-way, I am pretty sure this isn’t a closed off creative avenue for the anime industry. There’s so much things to work on! Incidentally, Bokura ga Ita is high school but has mature themes like sex – but its by far an exception. I didn’t manage to get into Golden Time because I couldn’t stand the female protagonist? A pity though since college genres are so rare gahhh. :X
        I loved the part heartwarming part comedy tone of Barakamon 😀 Handa was a great protagonist and Naru was a great kid lol. I loved her grown-up faces and I couldn’t stop laughing at all their interactions. OH, and the seaside town/island atmosphere. I mean it isn’t uncommon in anime but there are SO FEW anime that fully utilise that sort of setting :3

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      • Hahaaaa yes it unleashed a torrent alright 😀 .

        You make good points about the plot-armouring nature of the traditional ‘high school’ protagonist. In a way, their position as school kids can limit the complexity of their characters. In a way, it’s what makes them so predictable as characters: we know their limitations intuitively by now and how they react to situations.

        Indeed, the level of complexity achievable by a grown adult can be more easily increased due to the maturity of their lifestyle. Being an adult can expose a character to different situations and thus develop the characters/relationships in different ways. You’re totally right about the whole ‘world-weary’ point of view giving a place for more complex characterisation too.

        Gawd that grown up face of Naru’s xDDD! So hilarious and cute ^^ . I really enjoyed the authenticity of the characters too, especially the kids. Like, they behaved exactly like kids which is pretty rare in anime haha.

        Recommendation timeeee~
        This is totally not a college-age genre (sorry to break form haha) but in terms of the maturity of storytelling one can definitely see this as a movie for young adults and older people because of the themes involve. It’s called Tekkonkinkreet. I’ve raved about it a few times on my blog and reviewed it (it’s pretty a bad review, I wrote it soon after the blog’s beginning :P). It’s a great example of how adult themes can be explored very well due to the maturer style of storytelling. I think you’ll like it 🙂 .

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      • Not to mention that anime generally does borrow only from those few tropes so high school characters’ reactions are possibly the easiest things to predict when watching anime >.> You just need to watch a few series to know them all, haha.
        I like the fact that it is also possible for adults to behave like children (i.e. Nana, you-know-which-one). As she gives in to her whims and childish wants, its fascinating how she as a cog in the wheel spins the story. On the other hand, to make a teenager think more like an adult would go against the grain of the commercialised nature of the anime production business, so they are less likely to do that.
        Hahaha now that you said it, that’s quite true as well ^^ I never noticed it, but perhaps part of Barakamon’s magic is that sort of authenicity. Kids should always behave like kids!
        LOL that was totally random, but hey! A title that I have never seen before! Now that’s fascinating. I mean I browse so many anime titles that its hard not to see something I already know in a rec. 😀 I’ll look at your review soon! *is about to drown in work lol. Midterms in two days and I just started revising ><* The art looks interesting, but it looks more hipster-like. Perhaps why I have never seen it mentioned haha.

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      • Yoooooooooooooooooooooo the art works so well as an artistic device to compliment the plot. It isn’t just hipster haha it’s a stroke of hot dang genius!!!! I won’t go into it; I’ll wait to hear your thoughts. It’s a beautiful film though, so don’t rush :), just watch it when you have the time.

        Yeah, it’s intersting that not many people know it. It definitely isn’t the conventional anime in terms of style, nor has it got a mainstream plot. It takes much more of a seinen approach in that I can see the film being perfectly suited to older audiences due to the themes explored like change over time, nostalgia etc.

        Have you seen 5cm per second?

        Yep, I know which one xD. Ugh, Nana is such an irritatingly irresponsible character Dx. I like that aspect of adult characters though. They can be immature and mature at different points, adding depth to them as well a room for development because they may act in even newer ways which we haven’t yet seen. The one thing they don’t have is the naivety and hormones of the standard teen character lol, which get old pretty fast.

        Midterms started today then? Good luck 😉 . Take all the time you need to revise; I wouldn’t be happy if I partially caused you do drop down a grade lol xD

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      • Haha okay I’ll take your word for it. Though it sounds pretty heavy on symbolism and now I am afraid I wouldn’t perform to your expectations in being able to pick out all that’s good 😀 Okay sure, I hope I can find the time soon to watch it as well 🙂

        But hey, the themes explored sound like they would be highly appreciated by anime fans. Its a little interesting. In any case, I love finding stuff I haven’t heard, and I sure would also be more incentivised to write about it too given that its so unknown. OOOHH YES 5CM PER SECOND 😀 😀 😀 I didn’t cry but my heart felt so unbelievably heavy throughout the entire thing. Its that subtlety of portrayal we all love again 🙂 What did you like about it?

        Haha I actually like that Nana to a certain extent, not because she has an admirable personality (which she doesn’t), but I think that its rare for anime to use such characters as mains. I actually have a theory myself that paints her in a less misunderstood light, but its not really based on much that was portrayed in the story, just merely all my extensive interpretations at work xD I think Nana is actually very practical lol, even if she may be seen as despicable. Like my brain knows why she does the things she did haha. But yes adult characters like her blur even the divide between teens and adults. That shows firstly that there really isn’t that much of a realistic difference sometimes between the two age groups, and secondly that sometimes it is really an artificial demarcation – a realisation that should be picked up on and portrayed in anime more often 😀 I think on the contrary people like to complain about standard teen characters being too mature beyond their age, especially in certain horror, thriller, mecha or seinen shows with teenage protagonists, but I don’t really see what their problem is with that per se, unless they are really complaining about lack of realistic portrayal of character.

        Haha I just had the one midterm which I finished 🙂 I have another one in two weeks, so I am not thinking about it yet 😀 Thanks though 🙂 And nah, if I am here replying to you it helps me de-stress as well, so don’t worry 😀

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      • Ahhh good good. How did it go?

        Hmmmm. I wouldn’t say it’s too heavy on the symbolism. Maybe it is? But I wouldn’t say it’s “hard to get” per se. I did watch a couple of interviews with the director and what not that helped put it in perspective for me but yeah, I think you’ll be fine lol.

        True what you say about Nana. She’s the perfect example of someone who never grew up. Time and time again she behaves childishly and makes stupid decisions, and the series does a good job of building that into her character. Ultimately she’s faced with the decision about the baby, the sort of thing that God knows she wasn’t expecting life just catches right up to her (at least that’s as far as I got) and I think she gets it put into perspective for her how immature she’s been in contrast to her age, which is one at which a person becomes seen as a mature-ish adult.

        OOOOOOHHHHHHH 5cm per second. Yes! I thought you might have watched it. I swear, I watched that at the time where I was basically looking for things to get sad at, and that just tore me up. Throughout the entire thing I expected, deep down, that they might just get back together but it just sapped at my emotions until they shrivelled up and died x’D (sad tears). I couldn’t even cry… I was just devastated D: . Yep, that subtle yet masterful play on our emotions and just the devastatingly realistic portrayal of life and romance…. Yep, didn’t stop lamenting the way things turned out for three whole weeks lol. The art was unbelievable though :0 . I loved how brutally honest and real it was and, like the past you, I rated it highly on the feels scale. You?

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      • Ah well, it went okay, thanks for asking 🙂 I don’t like thinking about past exams because there’s no true answer except that ‘oh crap i should have also written this’ … and in any case i always run out of time lol. xD

        I would be totally rushing into this movie if not for the fact that my anime watching time is still kind of limited for now due to studying and such. Okay, I’ll take your word for it 🙂

        I think what you got from Nana would be quite a good explanation of her character thus far. But I actually pretty much empathise with her, because I think her fickle-mindedness in romance and romance-related decisions stems from a very hungry, insatiable desire to be loved. She’s very much ‘in love with the idea of being in love’, and that was precisely why she ended up in such a mess. Her not choosing Nobu ultimately also reflects a superficial, arguably selfish, and practical, but it can be seen as a form of salvation for Nobu (short term pain > long term pain of being saddled with a child that’s not even his?) And I don’t fault her for being ‘desperate’ in that sense because I definitely can understand that sort of raw loneliness that drives people to make really bad decisions. She’s flawed, but I think she’s a very good depiction of how humans essentially are. We are lonely and we are constantly fighting this urge to give in into temporal blissful, happy feelings of ‘love’, and sometimes people aren’t strong enough to resist that sort of thing. (Lol I would write a post on her, except that I watched Nana 2 years ago and my memory has too many holes!! Lol.)

        HAHA I totally get that. I always thought that the series/shows I happen to chance upon when I am ‘in the mood to be sad’ end up eliciting more tears from me than it would normally have. I watched it at a time when my life was basically like the story from the male MC’s perspective … so of course it touched me a lot, and I daresay its themes still have that sort of emotional impact on me. EXACTLY, I think my emotions were sucked dry for that. I cried a bit, but I ended up thinking about it for a tremendously long time, replaying the scenes over and over again in my head …… 😦

        It really shows how tough any form of long distance relationship is, and how even the purest feelings can fade away with time. And that it doesn’t matter if you pine after it if you are powerless to act on those feelings …… Its second on the feels scale for me for anime movies, if not for Hotarubi no Mori e. Have you watched that?

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      • Yep: I’m pretty fickle-minded myself (maybe with romance too but I’m not particularly experienced there so who knows haha). Maybe why she irritates me so much (I find that, generally, characteristics that grate me in other people are things I dislike in myself – do you ever find yourself doing that?). In fact, I do relate to her on that front (desire, or even desperation to be loved, both romantically and otherwise) because I have pretty much gone through life hoping for others to like me or appreciate me to compensate for my insecurity. Nana also does this – albeit mainly with romance – out of a sense of, what I felt was the insecurity of being alone. The way she followed her first boyfriend to Tokyo and even made her primary goal at one point to ‘prepare for being a wife’ just goes to show this; on the other hand she really started to cling to (other) Nana at some points in the show.

        I don’t know how to feel about the Nobu thing haha, I mean at that point in time he was by far the better choice (I mean there was literally going to be no love in her marriage with Takumi, which I find in itself heartbreaking), but given her track record with relationships, if the Nobu thing didn’t work out it might be far more painful. Still, I think Nobu was ready to accept that risk – he even said “just as long as there’s a possibility that it’s mine” (or something along those lines). It’ so sad T_T.

        Woah, you were in a 5cm/sec situation 😦 ? I’m really sorry Shiroyuni. What happened (it’s cool if you don’t want to talk about it here tho)?

        Too right though; if you don’t act on those feelings nothing will happen. It’s something I have to remind myself of every day – to get on and do stuff that I want to do in life or else I’ll just spend it lamenting not having done aspirations X, Y and Z (I do it a lot so~)

        I swear though, he should have just gone to uni with her Dx. Why… I feel like the strain of their relationship just took away his will to be proactive in it somehow, not that I really understand.

        Hotarubi no Mori e T_T. That was so bittersweet. there’s something about that feeling of longing (in this case the longing for physical contact) that just tears me up inside but it’s one of the most beautiful ways of stroytelling I’ve ever experienced.

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      • Haha I believe I am about the same as you? I always change my decisions because it never seems I am making the right one .. and I can think of a whole new list of reasons to choose another. YEAH EXACTLY. I don’t know if its a cognitive psychological reaction to others or what, but what I find in characters that irritate me is sometimes due to this hollow feeling within me that reminds me that I am like that as well. Its like being hypocritical on so many fronts, but sometimes these characters get so infused within us that its hard to tell a difference between that sort of ‘natural aversion’ and whether the character itself can be objectively appreciated and such. I personally think its a whole lot harder to analyse why we like/dislike a character as opposed to a series.

        Haha yeah I think you have put Nana’s insecurities out perfectly. 🙂 Even her choice of Nobu vs Takumi is not a mere simple matter of ‘who is the father of the baby’. (Or it can be seen as something more, this was never really clear anyways.) Granted, its tragic in a steeped-in-reality way, but its also reflects how people tend to choose between artificial contentment vs an imperfect relationship where the scars would never heal. (As in this case.) Yeah, I think the inevitability of that ending is what makes NANA good drama. Technically, its a little melodramatic, but very real (I seem to be contradicting myself here xD)

        Yeah, it was not as much as the same sort of facts happened but the emotional distance that grew due to physical distance was something I experienced. Which is why it 5cm per second spoke a lot to me. (Otherwise I perhaps may not be able to empathise with it as much, given how subtle it was handled.)

        Its good to actively think of what you want to do in life, and I do that all the time too (more like everyday, I struggle thinking – when am I actually going to start doing things I want to do?) But the thing in 5cm per second is … I think it was a form of resignation. Instead of the dramatic flair we are used to seeing (and perhaps want to see), e.g. a biggg confession happening when the male MC couldn’t hold back his feelings anymore, I think you are right in what is portrayed here. Its more of the feeling like after you pine for something for so long, you start to get used to the state of not having it anymore. Hence the loss of pro-activeness, resignation to fate. I think that’s usually how LDRs start to fail anymore, though the other reason for that is even if you continue believing in the relationship and you guys are finally reunited, you can’t get used to that state of fact that you guys are physically reunited, so the default ‘feel’ in the relationship – of ‘pining’ for the other, doesn’t exist anymore. Since that was equated to romantic feelings for so long, it suddenly feels different when the two is reunited. Hence … that’s also how LDRs end up not working in the long term as well. (I mean, I have seen a few which end up like that anyway.) Yeah I went off tangent a little talking about the other reason ooops. But anyway I always thought it was a Western vs Asian perspective on relationships thing as well. Here we’re more passive so more of what happens in 5cm per second happens IRL. :/

        What I really liked about Hotarubi no Mori e is how it manages to produce so many tears and empathy with characters within 45 minutes. I mean, that’s really short! And it’s pace was so relaxed as well. Its really simplicity in beauty to its essence.

        Oops this message became too long ahah xD

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      • Yeah, I find it annoyingly hypocritical too. Sometimes I get the feeling that I’m too understanding? I sort of find it difficult to get angry at people for who they are because most of the time I can find some way that they are similar to me in their problems, which just leads me to have that expectation with every annoying characer I come across. So I end up just feeling conflicted about disliking someone – because I know that there’s always going to be a reason why they are how they are that will make me feel bad for condemning them for being the way they are. Yeah, it’s definitely a psychological thing :), only I don’t think everybody has it. I reckon a lot of people are far more willing to justify the problems that they have than accept them as things they need to (or wish they could) work on.

        Haha yeah, characters are way harder to analyse, especially from a reviewer’s perpective. I mean, the analysis could get pretty lengthy, and one has to have a way with words to describe succinctly a person’s personality. In my case I don’t think I even have the vocabulary to do so, let alone the skill 🙂 . In any case, I need to brush up on my writing skills asap since I got that other uni offer. Got any tips? 🙂

        I totally do that too. Half the reason why I need to remind myself every day is because I have a problem with thinkking about things more than I do them. Part of it’s due to business, but I’m trying not to make that an excuse tbh.

        Ugh, I hate that LDR’s don’t work. In books and shit the main characters never fall out of love with each other, no matter the distance :(. Having said that, I know of a LDR that worked out. When I went to Sweden to see the NOrthern Lights this camera man had a LDR with this Swedish girl when he was still in America. They called all the time and eventually he moved over to Sweden to live with her ^^.

        I read the manga for Hotarubi no Mori e. It was sweet :). I can’t remember it all that much sice I reead it two years ago but I reeally wanna reread it now! I’d say I’m a fan of shorter stories – they suit my view of life being this series of snapshots and never stopping. They’re sweeter (or bittersweet even) because of their length that way. It’s why I stick to shorter anime series too :).

        Don’t worry Shiroyuni, I always give you such lengthy messages hahaaa. I always ending up commenting on so much stuff xD.

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      • I do think I am similar to you as well in the sense that I find it hard to continue disliking a person because I know all I have to do is to change my perspective a little. Its that pervasive feeling of ‘one wrong turn and I would be the same shoes’ that keeps me from fully being sure that I dislike them. Which is why I can never stop biting my tongue whenever I make so much as a definitive statement of somebody’s character/personality/actions, which results in me looking as if I have no strong opinions at all >.< (which is a bad thing.) And what makes it worse is even though I know this is a problem that not many people experience, I can understand why people choose to use excuses/convince themselves to gloss over problems they have. Its simpler for them after all & life is less tiring that way. (See what I mean haha xD)

        Well I haven't found a way to write characters as well too. It requires a totally different level of analysis which I haven't tried nor have rewatched a series sufficiently to be confident in trying 😉 Hahaha niceee hmm I don't actually think there's any way to improve your writing 'fast' but I think one way is to sort of read the type of writing that you need to produce extensively in preparation so that you can 'trick' your brain into thinking that way and hence the words form in a certain way. Different writing needs different skills though. I am not sure what you need, is it something clear and succinct, or something that needs to be persuasive, or something literary (and flowery)? 🙂

        Yeah I know its always different in the books 😦 Wow you went to see the Northern Lights already I am jealous T.T (okay back to the point) wow did they meet while travelling etc.? That's sooo romantic haha but I think people who can succeed in LDRs are really meant for each other. (Something like soulmates but I am not sure whether you believe in that sort of concept, but I do believe in fate and destiny in a very subtle sense.) Hey, maybe that's what the books are about! Soulmates! That's why they always work xD

        O.O oh man i am totally not sure about this but … I think if you watch the anime movie its more than just sweet. Its just .. simply beautiful. The feels kept overflowing for me. No wait, they came like a roaring tidal wave which crashed onto the shore … 😥 somehow I have a feeling reading the manga vs the anime yields potentially very different experiences. Hmm. Maybe you should try the anime as well, but I don't want you to be disappointed if you don't feel the same way as me, and I don't want to be disappointed that you are disappointed as well. xD I don't actually normally like shorter series because they usually don't give me much time to be emotionally attached to the characters, but the few that really manage that, they usually leave a more lasting impression within me than others 🙂

        WELL look at that. I daresay I always go off tangent as well sometimes. I am glad you're here. 😀 Otherwise my long painstaking message is gonna ram into a wall and be forgotten by most modern folks who are big fans of shorter, direct messages. xD

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      • Hey now, I don’t mind longer messages because if I did, I’d be a darn hypocrite lol :P.

        Yeah, I too know that it really could be me. I always ask myself “if I was in their circumstances, what would I have done?”-type questions. And I totally get it Shiroyuni – I generally don’t have strong opinions about people (or don’t express them) which ultimately makes me look sort of ‘liberal but weak’ if you get what I mean?

        Oooohhh could I get some literary and also a scoop of persuasive please :3 ? You don’t necessarily have to come up with anything on a godly level of teaching – even book reccomendations to help expand my use of language’ll help (God I sound so desperate right now xD).

        Oh, I’ll send you a pic of the Northern Lights via email if you want – not that you haven’t seen a million already or anything though x’D . I’ll tell you a secret though (DON’T TELL ANYONE) they don’t look so bright and vivid in real life though x(. It’s hard to describe but basically they are a little dimmer and those photos you see basically had the exposure turned hella high so the camera took in more light and got a brighter of the lights. It didn’t completely take away from the experience though – there was something truly ethereal about the way they hung in the sky and sort of moved around. To decribe it is pretty hard, but they sort of looked like in the Asian films where a silk ribbon is being waved around (though less dramatically ), and at other times it looked like a waterfall 🙂 .

        Hahahaaa I love our little analogies x’D . If that’s the case then I’ll be sure to watch it. I think it’s about time I do another post so maybe this week I’ll review and/or compare them.

        While you are right about longer series having more time to make us attached to the characters, I think that good writing can supplement for this in the given time to make for a more qualitative experience – take Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 r Anohana as an example. Having said that, the longer series with this level of writing are obviously like pure bliss. Aahhh it’s been ages since I watched a 24 episode series like that – Iknow I’ll regret this (ime-wise and everything), but have you got any reccommendations x) ?

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      • Haha yeah exactly that is the impression I give off as well. Like the ‘liberal’ is just a nice way of masking the negativity of the ‘weak’ part – which by others’ standards, is a pretty negative trait. Especially when people ask me my opinion on something and I can barely sum it all up into one sentence because c’mon its not an absolute stand and it definitely isn’t an unqualified opinion. But most of the time even when people ask for your opinions, they get impatient from the get-go, as if they were just waiting for a fast, one-sentence reply from you. Even if there are those who have the patience to listen to you properly, it is by definition hard to really talk about it without being prepared to go in depth – hence why I always choose to remain quiet about things (e.g. in a group, where everybody is talking over each other about their opinions.)

        HAHA why do you look like you’re a kid asking for ice cream when it definitely isn’t as tasty as that xD xD But tbh I really had to think hard on this – because from what I know and what others who are like extremely good at writing – they didn’t really make any conscious effort to improve their writing. It was just something that grew with them (as with me), but I think what was most important for me at least is to find your own style. Pick writing that you like or you would like to emulate, reread and mull over the choice of words until it sits into your brain. If you want something faster, and more technical, I would actually suggest for you to memorise phrases, passages, whatever because that’s how the results are most commensurate to effort. I AM SORRY my advice can’t get any more specific than that T.T because I think it really depends on the person :/ >.< and also the type of writing you're gearing for (like is it self-promoting like writing a personal statement, or do you have to take an entrance exam, or is it an essay on some controversial topic? Or since you say its literary, is it a short story or creative writing in general?) I think some of the NY Times Op-Eds are good even in the literary department. Or you could try newyorker.com for some short stories/narratives (they have 'em). I think at this point reading books to improve language take too much time … hahaha. xD

        Y'know what I still want to see that pic :p i mean the ones i have seen are more or less photoshopped so. Its interesting how you describe them, and i am surprised that i actually understand that Asian films ribbon analogy xD xD

        Sure, I love comparison posts. 😀 I used to do some of them but I kind of ran out of steam in a sense haha. And hey, one of the ways to improve writing is also to write and self-edit ruthlessly hahaha 😉

        BUT THESE ARE RARE T.T I haven't watched Tokyo Magnitude before though hmm. Lol I love your 'I don't have time but imma just squeeze in more anime as much as possible anyways' attitude xD Well I can't think of anything off-the-bat so I have to scroll my lists. Have you ever tried Eden of the East? Its not 24 episodes but … its a good one. OH AND Sunday Without God as well – that's where my avatar comes from *points above* I have been recommending this for ages but nobody has ever tried it i really have no idea why. T.T perhaps because its too unknown … Okay I am just gonna throw out ideas because I am not really sure what you have watched xD I think you'd like Kimi ni Todoke too. OMG HAVE YOU ACTUALLY WATCHED NAGI NO ASUKARA. As well as Shinsekai Yori — this is one of my favourites of all time. Annnd Zetsuen no Tempest I really live by all these titles xD Tell me what you have watched out of all these and haven't! These are all anime that have formed pieces of my heart 😛

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      • I get what you mean about staying quiet in group situations: I mean, at the end of the day, people really are just looking for a quick, entertaining one-liner on the topic to keep the convo going, especially in a group situation (which I completely understand but it’s still frustrating to an extent in that people are asking for your opinion but ‘not your actual opinion’).

        Ah, no your advice was actually what I needed. It has crossed my mind but I sort of needd it spelt out for me hahaa.
        Lol, it’s because you were all like “well what kind of purpose/effect do you want in your writing” and listed out a few, and then I, naturally, couldn’t decide because I was thinking “weeeeell I want some of this, maybe a little bit of that….” xD you get the idea lol. It reminded me of literally every time I have ice cream and there are more than three flavours to choose from 😀 .

        Hmm, it isn’t so much a particular piece, but just in general. I just want to be able to improve my writing for things like my blog so that I can give the reader a distinct ‘feeling’ when they read it or at least feel entertained throughout (like I feel when I read your posts) – a feeling that makes them want to physically keep reading and perhaps even remember it as something vaguely significant afterwards (it’s a mammoth task I know lol).

        Although it’ll be aimed primarily at my blog, I think it could be applied in all sorts of places, including writing arguments as I’ll be doing for philosophy at uni.

        Thanks for the website recommendations :D, you’re the best!

        And thanks for the anime recommendations too ;).
        Oooooh O.o the mystery of Shiro’s avatar has been revealed DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!!! Definitely want to watch that, especially because I haven’t heard of it. I’ll be sure to check them out (I need to rewatch Shinsekai Yori because I wasn’t able to appreciate it the first time 🙂 ). I’ve been interested in Kimi no Todoke for a while too.

        How’s TKKK getting along btw :3 ?

        And I’ll send you those photos pretty soon (was just trying to find them) 🙂 Enjoy!

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  3. Also, thanks for explaining to me what I thought was missing in Arslan Senki ^^ . I was wondering what was stopping it from being epic… I honestly enjoyed the hell out of it, but something about it was ’empty’ or shallow… perhaps it was just the conveinience with which everything fell into place.

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    • Ah, I see, even if you enjoyed it a lot, you felt that something was missing? I actually wish I could have hung onto it and finished it, but unfortunately the thick plot armour really got on my nerves >< Nevertheless, it isn't quite fatal to Arslan Senki, which still boasts a relatively satisfactory story, objectively speaking.

      You're welcome 🙂 and thanks for the insightful comments! I also wouldn't think its entirely a pity for you to dismiss the majority of 2015 anime, because the standards are indeed a little lower than compared to other years. xD I would probably have done that myself haha. (I mainly wanted to do this award series for an anime year, and 2015 was the only choice available as of now anyway with the anime being just fresh on our minds xD)

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      • Hahaa yep, 2015 was fairly bleak-looking to me too 🙂 . Seeing negative ‘first impressions’ posts never helps either,especially if you’re like me and only really reads the odd one of them :/ , and so don’t have much of a balanced opinion about the series.

        You keeping up with a few series this year too? Just wondering because I’m loving the sheeiiit out of ERASED at the moment, and need someone to fanboy to.

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      • Haha even without reading the ‘first impressions’ posts, I did gather that 2015 wasn’t a good year, from many people’s conclusions.
        I initially wasn’t watching any Winter 2016 anime, but since you are just about the x-th person to talk to me about ERASED, I decided to break my own rules and watch it today. I just finished 2 eps of it, and I see why most people like it ^^ I get the good type of goosebumps from it, and its eerie atmosphere seems to promise a great mystery ahead. Perhaps its the next Steins Gate? 😀 I’ll probably catch on to the next 2 eps tomorrow, haha!

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      • YEEEEESSSSS!!! I’m so happy that I was the final one to tip you over the edge hahaaa >:D .
        I was never able to get into Stein’s Gate D: –dropped it after a few episodes. I was talking to a friend at college though who was telling me how great it was, so I might give it a try.
        Enjoy the next two episodes :D. Let me know what you think when you finish!

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      • Hahahaha yep :p funnily, Steins Gate never really got to me enough to love it, but I still acknowledge as a well done series. Why did you drop it? You should perhaps pick it up again, you may be pleasantly surprised this time 🙂
        Surprisingly, I got a little emotional in the third ep when the MC was showing the girl (lol the names escape me arm) the Christmas Tree scene on the mountain. Fourth ep ending gave me a lot of steins gate deja vu though, I knew things weren’t ever gonna be so simply resolved. So far I think Erased relies a lot on atmosphere and presentation to build up emotion and viewers’ investment into its story. What are your thoughts on it this far? 🙂

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      • I’m going to try again with Stein’s Gate soon. People hold it in such high regard that I think it deserves a rewatch. Plus, you reccommended it so I have to watch it now. We’ve got somewhat similar tastes I think 🙂 , and even if I don’t like it I respect your opinion more than enough to give it ago, especially after reading some of your stuff.

        I got really emotional about the christmas tree scene. I just felt a lot of sympathy for Kayo, and at the same time really happy for her because she got to get out of her awful home and experience something beautiful.

        Yeah, atmosphere is definitely a key aspect of the anime so far. I feel like, as you said, the emotion they elicit from the audience is the series’ ultimate tool for getting us invested in the story. I’m a complete sucker for a good atmosphere and that kind of ‘nostalgic’ comfy feeling from shows like this that happen during all the feelsy scenes like the birthday and what not. After all, I loved the heck out of Anohana (made me cry big time).

        Characters are definitely a big thing though – I really like his mother, she’s a pretty cool character. And that scene when she Kayo’s about to get slapped and then Mum’s in there and stops her from doing it – SO COOL ><. I literally yelped out in awe at the awesomeness. Kayo's really sweet too. Who's your favourite character?

        Also, this is gonna sound really wierd but I really wanna ship Kayo and Satoru, but the fact that Satoru is obviously 29 just ruins it Dx . Part of me is like "IT IS LOVE!!!" and the other part is like "APPEARANCES DECEIVE KAYO, HAVEN'T YOU EVER CONSIDERED THAT THERE MIGHT BE A 29 YEAR OLD INSIDE THAT BOY'S BODY????". It's ripping my heart in two! Do you get what I'm saying? It's wierd isn't it x'D .

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      • Haha yay! I am glad that we have similar opinions in anime as well. I have half a mind to rewatch it too, as I think I wasn’t in the right ‘mood’ when I first watched it.
        Good atmosphere is definitely crucial in Erased. I noticed that the characters aren’t particularly special nor does the dialogue particularly stand out, but the story makes you want to root for every single character thus far. I really loved all the Kayo x Satoru interactions as well, and I also can’t help rooting for them as a romantic couple too xD As for Anohana, I wasn’t really emotionally moved for the first half of the series because I didn’t quite see a point in it, but I realised in the end that its all about building character and the theme about ‘moving on’. In the end when Menma said goodbye I really bawled. Easily one of those rare anime moments that elicit a torrent of tears from me.
        Somehow I can’t pinpoint what’s so special about the characters, but I root for them all the same. I think the mother’s pretty cool as well – one of those excellent examples of good parenting in anime xD I want a happy ending at the end of everything!!!
        Have you watched ep 5? ^^

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      • Yep, watched episode 5 today. I liked it – it wasn’t a particularly gripping episode because it was more like a reintroduction to the ‘current timeline’. Still pretty fun though – especially when the girl snaps the manager’s phone and punches his in the damn face x’D . It just felt so satisfying because I remember seeing her catch him in my head I was basically like “just snap the phone and punch that little wuss, it’s what any self-respecting human would do”. That punch, too (looked pretty painful, huh :p).

        I don’t blame him for backstabbing Satoru though: somehow I might have done the same thing, seeing as he doesn’t know the full story and from his perspective, even if Satoru were innocent, they would be able to sort that out (in an ideal world) after Satoru had been taken in. Plus he fancies Katagiri, so ya know.

        I know what you mean about the characters. In fact I touched on it in my FI postabout it. They aren’t particularly deep. They have personality, and so it isn’t boring to the point where they are all really predictable and unexciting, but they are pretty stereotypical. I just think that, so far, they aren’t abusing the sterotype. I do want some of that good old juicy character development though lol.

        For some reason I felt a real connection with the characters in Anohana, and each character’s arc felt really well done and quite rich in terms of atmosphere and story. Plus that damn song… it worked wonders in making me feel emontionally tender and oddly sentimental about something I had never experienced 🙂 , which was amazing. It felt great, and before I knew it, I’d been sucked into the anime right along with the characters and was hanging onto every moment.

        And yeah: that darn end scene. I was trying to hold it in, and they kept on doing it. They played the musc, made all the characters start crying (something that really works on me), and then they started screaming MEEENNNMAAAAA and I was like MEENNNNMAAA NOOOOOOOOOO and just started bawling with tears. Well… I didn’t scream Menma’s name but I did start properly crying. It was like watching the Green Mile. You seen that movie?

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      • You know, somehow I admire Katagiri’s ability to believe in Satoru no matter what – just based on her own personal experiences, which actually sets her up to more sympathy for offenders – without knowing more about the situation. If I were her I can’t be as trusting because technically, she doesn’t really know much about Satoru in the first place? As for the manager, I agree with you that he can’t be completely blamed for his actions. There’s a lot of moral grey area here I suppose. (Though I guess in anime, Japanese police will always be incompetent so by anime logic, one should support Satoru instead. LOL.) Though I agree, the manager should have told Katagiri his stand right from the start instead of saying ‘oh let’s help Satoru.’ That was really hypocritical >.>
        Yeah I do know what you mean. At least they are not predictable, but that’s also because the story doesn’t exactly progress along predictable lines. Satoru has a legitimate reason to want to help Kayo a lot, but I think somehow in wanting to change the fact of his mother’s death in the present, which was his initial motivation, I like how it changed over the course of the episodes to just wanting to help Kayo, as wanting to help a victim of abuse and murder, and as a friend/romantic interest. At this rate, I don’t think there will be much room for the kind of character development that we like more, but at least it’ll be a good ride.
        That’s interesting to know 🙂 I think Anohana appeals more to people who have had similar experiences as the themes touched upon in that show. So I think the level of connection with it depends on one’s personal experience. For me, I acknowledge it as a very good, tear-wrenching show, but my emotional connection to it isn’t as much as say Angel Beats. But that end scene is one of the best ones in anime history I agree. I think I started bawling when they read out the notes that Menma gave to each of them.
        Nope I haven’t seen it! Haha.

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      • You’re based in China right? I’m guessing here, though and only because of your Chinese novels section haha. Talk about judging a book by its cover – GET IT?! But i that’s the case then I can’t really blame you for not having seen it (American film so yah). Do you watch many American movies? I mean, your English is seemingly fluent so I wouldn’t be surprised. either way, The Green Mile is a fantastic film about a prison warden in the team that watches the deth row criminals, and a rather perculiar prisoner turns up. That’s alll I’ll say because this’ll get really long otherwise haha xD.

        Hahahaaa, yep I guess you’re right about the anime police. They’re too incompetent to be rooted for in any way lol. Speaking of which (I heard this on an anime reviewer Youtube) don’t you think it’s wierd that the police turned up at Satoru’s so quickly?

        It is a bit of a poor reason to trust a wanted matricide suspect xD. But she seems to have good intuition. She was sharp enough to catch her boss before he phoned the police too.

        Yeah, I know what you mean. I need the character development Shiroyuniiiiiii Dx. I kinda want Satoru to go back to the past and continue that route of story to be honest, and figure it all out there. Interesting that he just time-skipped forward again though. Kinda plot-twisty.

        Angel beats is on my backlog right now. Got to start it soon 🙂 .

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      • Haha nope I am not based in China, I am from Singapore actually 🙂 Actually, most entertainment here comes in the form of American movies – I just don’t watch a lot of them because I have never had much interest in them >< HAHA yes, I geddit xD I sort of checked the synopsis, and I was wondering what the story had to do with Anohana lol, seems really two different stories (or is it the same 'don't judge a book by its cover'? xD)
        Yeah! I don't rule out the possibility that there's something fishy going on about the police in the 'Present' – there may be some manipulation going on but I really don't know what to guess now. Every theory seems sort of plausible xD
        That … is true. I didn't consider her intuition, even though I would say maybe we're just all a little biased because we know Satoru is innocent while the incompetent police don't (or are deliberately framing him)
        Ahahahaha I kind of gave up on expecting too much from new series after my entire 2015 marathon :/ A good plot and realistic characters are good enough for me, that kind of character development is a bonus! Ooooooh I also prefer Satoru going back to the past as well, but only for reasons like I want to see more of that elementary school 'relationship' cuteness of Satoru and Kayo ehehe ^^ But you're also right in that its better for everything to be done then – I mean its where it all started. I can't wait for the trigger (I assume there is one) that throws him back into the past again. Then its Round 2, here we go!~
        You have to watch Angel Beats and see what you think of it xD There's alot of people with mixed views about it, so I just realllyyyy wanna know your perspective on it^^

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      • Oh cool! One of my best friends at school is from Singapore 🙂 . Haha yeah I got reminded of it when talking about Anohana because both of them are tear-jerkers. The Green Mile is a fantsstic film; I think you’d enjoy it and it has some 1st class actors in it like Tom Hanks (a personal favourite).

        Lol yep I agree that I’m pretty biased towards our MC’s right now. It’s nice to leave my reviewer goggles off when I watch a series that I just want to enjoy though – hence ‘re-view’ I guess 🙂 .

        Ahahaaa poor Shiroyuni, such emotional scarring after the dissapointment that was 2015 xD.

        Me too xD , the Satoru-Kayo rleationship is so adorable :3 , it’s gonna be great when he goes back in time again (i think I’m losing sight of the plot lol). Oooohhh they should just have a stand-alon series hahhaaa xD.

        Yep, but I just find it exciting because I’m pretty sure (given away by the front cover) that we actually see him get caught (and have to find his way out I presume). And I also what the deal is with that shady ‘too-nice-to-be-true’ teacher of theirs…

        Heck yeah, I really want to watch Angel Beats atm. They’re selling it in my local HMV too which just makes it more tantalising like it’s calling out to me Shiroyuniii!! I’ll probs prioritise it over Steins’ Gate though LOL.

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      • Ooooh that’s interesting! I have many friends from here who studied and are studying in London and some of the other cities in England, but they are all uni level 😀 I don’t know anybody at pre-uni level though xD
        Tear-jerkers?! Hmmm now that certainly perked my interest. I’ll consider it when I am in the mood for live action tear-jerking prison-related movies ^^ And also since you recommended it hahaha.
        Hahahah I see what you did there 😉 but yeah I know what you mean. Sometimes we don’t want to think so much and logically rationalise characters’ actions to the point where it gets hard to purely enjoy the show xD I can’t help but do it to Erased sometimes though, maybe because its enjoyability is by default quite plot-dependent and I think they aren’t gonna develop the characters much.
        Ahaha yepppp the disappointment has had quite some after-effects! :/:/ Thankfully Erased brings a good ‘new beginning’ and there lies hope in healing those scars :’)
        Ahhhhh I really ship those two alot xD Waaaay too much that 13 eps can cover or develop, but both of them are too cute anyways 😉 Yeah ikr sometimes I just like ‘forget the plot’ lol I just wanna see more Satoru x Kayo :p I’ll definitely watch it if there’s a standalone just on them haha!
        O.O what front cover is this! Yeah the teacher is on the top of my list of suspects, though I think as of now he’s clearly the top suspect in everybody’s mind, which would make it very predictable if it was really him. Hmmm. Though I think I am not the best at guessing mystery plotlines hahaha xD
        The time has come, Sebbo!! You have been summoned by the spirit of Angel Beats, so you’d better respond to its calling! xD But seriously yeah I understand after all you need a totally different mood to watch Steins Gate! If you want more characters and emotions, Angel Beats is for you now ^^ lol now I can’t wait for you to finish it :DDDD /half a mind to rewatch it myself :p

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      • Looolll because you do sometimes get the urge for tear-jearking prison-related films :p .

        Yeah, I doubt she knew many at uni-level haha :). Still, you guys probably crossed paths once before without knowing it because let’s be honest here Singapore is a pretty small place lol. My dad said it was smaller than London xD – hard to imagine!

        Crunchyroll front cover my friend :), thankfully my padres got me a year-long subscription for xmas so I’ve been able to watch erased in all its 1080p glory xD .

        It’s basically got Kayo sleeping on Satoru’s shoulder in a kind of shed-like, lamp-lit room. There’s another girl sitting there too. Satoru looks like he’s trying to solve a mystery (how they got there perhaps lol) and the other girl looks pretty solemn. It’s a cool cover. In fact it’s what drew my attention to the show in the first place.

        And hey – who actually wants to be GOOD at guessing mystery plots anyways :). I quite like being in the dark to an extent wiht a mystery.

        The angel of Angel Beats is calling! I can feel it in my soul!! Have you watched any of the other key studio stuff? It’s… interesting. I have to say I definitely enjoyed some of it because the actually do some of the character dramas well, but if you’ve seen Clannad or Kanon, you’ll kind of notice how cringy the female characters are lol.

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      • Who knows? Maybe some specific craving like that may actually pop up :p
        Haha nahhh even if its small (and yes, definitely a lot smaller than London), that doesn’t mean we would have seen everybody. It’s hard even to see somebody I know on the street, lol. xD
        OHHHH that cover xD I think its the one they use on MAL too. Luckyyyy you. Unfortunately Crunchyroll doesn’t stream in my country so >.> 1080p sounds really good though. I NEVER NOTICED THE OTHER GIRL lol . To be honest, Satoru looks kind of stressed or deep in thought, or just sort of lonely. It does do a terrific job of drawing people in, better than the other one (Satoru with glasses and Kayo at the top left hand corner – or was it the right? I am bad at remembering these things xD)
        Ahaha ikr. I always wondered how people would be entertained by mysteries if they could guess it all lol.
        Ehehe 🙂 I haven’t watched Kanon, but I watched Clannad and Little Busters. I barely got myself to withstand the big eyes in Clannad though lol. Little Busters had improved art so the characters were nice to look at. Clannad … ah. I don’t like it as much as a lot of people do, but I do agree that they After Story did drama extremely well. Though taking two cours or more to get there raises my eyebrows a bit.

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      • Yeah, I had a blast with Clannad AS :). The feels were certainly real there, and it was interesting (and seriously heart breaking) to see the way Tomoya was broken after Nagisa’s death 😥 . And then the whole reuniting with his son and then the thing with his dad T_T , SO GOOD. What did you think about the ending though (very controversial)? I didn’t notice how seemingly convenient it was until others pointed it out tbh.

        The only problem I did have was, if you’ve just made amends with your father after decades of heartbreak, give him a fucking hug! No need to act macho in front of your father at such a tender moment, geez.

        Oh, and the fact that I had to watch season one first (or not, I ended up skipping parts tbh xD). I’m not too much of a fan of harems, so ~.

        Yeah, lol the women are waaaay too needy and slightly worrying absent-minded towards social norms for cuteness for me in Kanon (you’ll realise if you watch). But it’s saved by the mystery and drama elements, as I said.

        Ah, so you liked Little Busters? I’ll give it a try then.

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      • Yeah, I realised Key works so far really do the whole ‘broken after death’ thing really well. I love how they bring out the rawness of those emotions which may not actually manifested in huge howls or cries in despair, but draws out those emotions in subtle ways.
        OHHH I went to watch that particular reunion scene again cos you mentioned it and I started tearing up T.T /leave me alone while I sob my heart out and relive the feels again *sobs*
        But damnn I didn’t actually remember that scene because to me ones I remember are the respective deaths and the part where Tomoya comes back to Ushio and Ushio cracks open his heart again with her innocence and resemblance to Nagisa. But I think the beauty of that scene of forgiveness between Tomoya and his dad lies precisely in the fact that it doesn’t end in like a big hug. After all they have been estranged for so many years so when Tomoya comes to that realisation that his dad has been suffering on his own and trying to be responsible for him, it all ends up in emotions that are barely choked out. I would think physically showing love (like human contact and touching) would have spoiled the nature of that forgiveness, understanding, and final appreciation. A big hug would have been too much of a ‘happily ever after’ and would seem to point at their relationship being perfectly healed, which is obviously not the case. Its all about the bittersweet effect, imo. 🙂
        As for the ending, I did actually think it was quite convenient haha. I mean of course I didn’t want Tomoya to suffer so much but somehow I wished there was some other way to resolve it to make its viewers not feel that their tears are cheated xD
        Aha I sat through the entire season one so you could imagine my frustration when they developed so many other characters only to throw them away when it came to AS T.T
        Lol absent-mindedness is also largely present in some of the Clannad characters, Nagisa has a bit of it too haha. Maybe its a Key thing.
        Ah well, Little Busters also took a while to get good, and hmm, it didn’t draw much emotions out of me though. Maybe because the main characters were a little underdeveloped (including the main girl), but its still quite well written in terms of plot twists. 🙂

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      • That’s interesting. I guess I didn’t relate because I live in a very huggy family haha 😀 but it makes more sense now. Maybe a hug would’ve hampered the atmosphere and deeefinitely made it less bittersweet, but I don’t know. I guess I did assume that the relationship was sort of healed by the end of it. I just feel like they should have tried to reconnect after Tomoya finally forgave him. It’s too sad DX.

        Haha yeah, I do feel like my tears were cheated slightly but at the same time I feel like they had been building up the story f the world of wishes or whatever for so long that it couldn’t really be seen as a kind of “Oh would you look at that, a magical fairy brought everyone back to life!” moment. But at the same time, there must have been another way to do it. Or was there? I mean I’m pretty sure there’s no natural way of bringing people back from the dead lol.

        The beauty of after story was to see the heartbreak of Tomoya as a widower and then his reuniting with Ushio (and the dad thing). It was fantastic, and to have that I would have accepted Nagisa’s permanent death and been okay with the series JUST being about recovering ties with his family. The series itself also has some really deep messages about forgiveness and understanding that people arn’t just bad, they have their own troubles which cause them to act in bad ways. Ohh, I want to watch it again now ^^ .

        Haha, sorry Shiroyuni, didn’t mean to indirectly make you cry at the dad scene again xD. I swear that gave me the biggest lump in my throat T_T . And yep, I could tell that the starfish girl was really just filler, and it was boring the hell out of me lol :P, so I skipped it. I’m sorry for your loss of hours Shiroyuni hahaaa. It wasn’t all bad though. I liked the first season for his best friend and especially Nagisa’s parents (they made me crack up so much), and some of the other girls were good characters.

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      • Awww somehow i found the words ‘huggy family’ so cuteeee hahaha xD Maybe because it rhymes ^^ Nah, it was more like the context of the familial relationship between Tomoya and his dad. Sometimes when people treat family as semi-strangers for a long time its hard for them to suddenly progress to touching or hugging each other, I guess? Its beautifully portrayed here, but veryyyyyy sad. *sniff* Yeah, I guess we should interpret it as a healed relationhip. But such are Key works, bound to make you sad with the littlest random moments with measured amounts of drama~

        To me, the theme of the world of wishes, well …. can only barely save the deus ex machina-like nature of the Alternate Happy Ending lol. But that is just my brain speaking. My heart says “ohmygod I am so glad Tomoya got a break from his train of immense bad luck”. Sooooo I am essentially torn xD

        I think what would have been a good ending would actually been some sort of better reconciliation with his father, and Nagisa remaining dead. (Okay that sounded sort of blunt I admit.) But I wouldn’t want Ushio to die. Or maybe she should because it would be too predictable otherwise? I feel like I am contradicting myself xD But you are right in that this series is essentially about forgiveness – though I think there weren’t actually people behaving badly haha. Just in ways that couldn’t be understood. Personally I think another part of it is also the whole high school graduating then immediately marrying and actually making a living. Likeeee Tomoya actually has to go and find a job and be the electric guy repairing streetlights y’know! Not everything ends in a kiss! (LOL) Mannnn I loved that. Showed his love and commitment in building a family with Nagisa. 😀 Hahaha so did you? xD

        Awww haha its all in the appreciation of beauty~ I kind of needed that reminder though – that anime can do really good drama at times. ^^ Aha I found her a little cute, but you really weren’t missing much by skipping it 😀
        Oh right, the comedy was not bad for the first season I remember. That’s about it haha. Definitely – I liked Tomoyo but oh well I knew she wasn’t gonna go with Tomoya. At least I got an OVA 😀

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      • Hahah thanks 🙂 . Sorry for the late replies by the way – was going to reply yesterday but life got in the way and swept away my entire evening 😦 .

        Yeah, to be fair I think it is difficult to suddenly act familiar with somebody a person has been on bad terms with for a long time. It is indeed beautiful but sad but aren’t those moments some of the best that anime has to offer? Call me a masochist but I’d say that on of my favourite aspects of a show is the feels aspect. I just love getting attached to characters and getting to know them so intimately that I empathise with them when they’re happy and sad 🙂 .

        Lol, yep. I think the fact that Tomoya got the deus ex machina ending wasn’t such a bad thing. I thik that now I’ve had the chance to properly discuss it with somebody I get that it still is an overly convenient plot device. It’s sad, but like you said I can sort of forgive it because at that point I really would have done anything to stop the bad luck train that was just tearing Tomoya’s life up T_T.

        Yeah, I was thinking that too. If Nagisa stayed dea, Tomoya and his dad reconcilied with one another and Ushio survived. I mean the thing is, Ushio didn’t NEED to get that desease. In terms of convenient/predictable plot points it (Ushio’s death) had to happen for the wish to be granted in the first place so that really was the only thing that didn’t have to happen and it might just have been perfect (well probably not but yah xD).

        Haha yeah I loved the fact that he just straight up got a job and started a family. He’s a solid guy – I mean I don’t think I would have the courage to do that O.o haha.

        Oooooh an OVA? Yes! An opportunity to revisit the clannad universe 😀 . I need to watch it! What is it called?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sebbooooo its my turn to apologise now for being late. 😦 I wouldn’t say I was too busy to not come on WordPress – I did – I just underestimated the amount of time I needed to settle/reply to all the rest of the online peeps here and so when I got to your message it was 1.40am and I was seriously about to crash. (Also, from night classes gahhh.) I figured you wouldn’t want brain dead me replying stuff with the intellectual level of cotton so I delayed my reply 🙂

        I agree with you 🙂 Tbh though, the ‘feels’ still must reach a certain standard for it to work. Because anything more melodramatic would actually detract from its emotional impact – hence this particular scene in Clannad AS is a good example. Alongside with the other emotional climaxes in AS, which makes it an excellent series in totality. In fact, not too long ago, I still used to rate/like anime based on how much it makes me cry LOL. The more times I cried, the better it is xD Only quite recently I realised that that probably isn’t a very good way to rate a series :p

        Which is why it proves that KEY does good drama. 😀 At that point we no longer care about the technicalities – we stop thinking altogether and just feel with the characters.

        Haha I don’t think any of us nowadays have courage to just get married out of high school lol. Unless circumstances mandate you to do so hahaha.

        Oh its called “Clannad: Another World, Tomoyo Chapter”. Have you heard of it before? I watched it and let myself believe in the Tomoya x Tomoyo dream … even if its only a while, its good. :3

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol, nope I’m glad you waited haha. Night classes though?! You have so much energy Dx I couldn’t work day and night if I tried… I think I need to expose myself to working an all nighter to try and boost my mental stamina or something because I get tired thrughout the day haha.

        Ooooooh, so I’m on half term at the moment (holiday for English schools where you get a week off) and I literally started like three of the series we were talking about. I’m on episode 3 of Little Busters, 22 of Shirobako and episode 10 of Angel Beats. And holy craaaaaap I was I glad I watched Angel Beats T_T. I wanted them all to live there forever *tears up* NAAANNNDEEEEEHHHH. The comedy, the characters and the MUSIC. Oh my God, Shiroyuni, I’ve been missing out on something great. I listened to the entire soundtrack yesterday, and I’ve been listening to My Song and the ending theme way too much xD.

        I alwasy get like that with series like this (Samurai Champloo as another example) where I really wouldn’t mind it going on forever…

        Wheew! Rant over, but yeah, you can tell I’m enjoying it right now haha. Oh, I also watched the Kyou and Tomoyo OVAs of Clannad :), they’re pretty good, but only one episode Dx. They should have made a decent few episodes for them each :). I really liked Kyou (older twin) too, she’s a lot of fun and I could definitely feel good chemistry between Tomoya and her. It’s actually made me want to get the VN for Clannad because I’m pretty intrigued by all the routes you can go down as well as thee After Story routes. I’ve never played one before either, so I’m pretty intrigued. Then I really live out the TomoyaxTomoyo and TomoyaxKyou dreams x’) lollll.

        Yep, plus I wouldn’t have the courage to do that with so many people getting divorced atm haha. I’d be so scared that they weren’t the one lol xD.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nah my night classes aren’t in addition to day classes – they are the substitutes lol. Never knew that it would be so tiring though, having so many at once. D: Isn’t getting tired in the day pretty normal? Its because I still study in the day and I still have class after that which makes things exhausting. When its the end of the day for everybody else and its the start of yours … that feeling. T.T

        Ooooooo does this mean you are replying more *big eyes* nah I think its more of you marathoning anime xD Wow that’s brave of you starting two Key works together LOL. I don’t think Little Busters would capture you at the start though (tell me if I am wrong, I mean you’re only at ep 3 but ep 10 with Angel Beats so :D) and if you’re only at ep 10 JUST YOU WAIT. THE TORRENT OF TEARS ARE COMING. xD I swear only AB and Clannad AS scenes have exhausted my tear glands. (oh and sports anime but that’s another creature altogether)

        YES AB’S MUSIC IS LIKE … AWESOME. I freaking love the ending theme myself, I still play it repeatedly on the piano lol despite AB being one of the first few anime I have watched. (which means longggg ago?! okay not really, 4 years xD) But for me its also My Precious Treasure and Theme of the SSS. My Song has that quality too. Oh man I haven’t watched Samurai Champloo. BUT AB’s ending is beautiful (bet you would have finished it by the time you reply next.)

        No worries, Angel Beats is my personal favourite Key ^^ Clannad AS is great in my book too but well. I like how concise AB is and the beauty of that 13 eps. 🙂 Ohh I didn’t watch Kyou’s OVA, but yeah she probably had one of the best chemistry with Tomoya? Interesting, is the VN translated? Wouldn’t be surprised if it is due to its popularity. It is a good way to live out your own canon couple dream though 😉

        Haha yeah it takes lots of courage T.T I was surprised this was regarded so naturally in the anime since social trends are pretty much opposite. I figured they wouldn’t want people marrying so early either xD

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ahh, night classes instead of day? How did that happen? Night classes sound really atmospheric/ethereal, like you said with the feeling that so many people are settling down when you’re just starting (I’m probably romanticising the night-time scene in my head haha). Do you end up going nocturnal for those or..?

        Replying more?

        Haha nope, I’m visiting my brother atm so I won’t be watching it until I get back tomorrow evening. Ohhhhh the music. Lol, yep, I think I might just have used up this months tear budget after finishing Angel Beats and Little Busters!. God the ending theme. So damn good T_T . It’s so beautiful Shiroyuni how do they do it?! I’d love to be a creator of some sort (writer or musician etc.).

        Little busters hasn’t grabbed me too much but I’m far from bored. Part of it is that it had your blessing too though :). The comedy’s pretty good too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha it happens when our instructors are industry practitioners and are available only after office hours T.T having said that, you are romanticising night classes waaaaaaay too much Sebbo xD All I can think of is – I get way too tired at night!! Haha. I believe I am on the cusp of going nocturnal myself, even though I don’t wish to T.T

        ‘Tomorrow evening’ means about 3 or 4 hours from now xD Hmmm nice. You don’t live with family? I am sure your tear budget is expandable though. Mine never fails to surprise me when I meet the good anime xD Ikr I often wonder what kind of intellectual & artistic talent to create and direct something like this myself … I give up on thinking too far because its too implausible for poor me. xD

        Yep, it probably won’t grab you too much from the start, but the comedy can still keep you going I guess 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaahaa yes the night time is the time to be tired though :’).
        Hahaaa, nope, tomorrow evening for me (at the time) meant about 30 hours from then lol (time difference). I just looked it up, and apparently you’re about 8 hours ahead of me… but you were still way offf x”D .

        I finished Angel Beats, and my heart is feeling preetttty heavy (even though the MC and Kanade found each other in the next life xDDDD). As much as I want to praise it to no end, my only issue with it is the romance between Kanade and the MC at the end D: , I mean they could have developed it a little before the sudden confession (I would have loved to see a few episodes of romantic development between them too!). I guess that’s just a drawback of having just 13 episodes to work with.

        By the way, (I can’t remember which comment this was from) it’s cool that you can play some of the tunes from Angel Beats :D, I was trying to get back into piano a while ago, but it’s seriously difficult :0 ! Maybe you should upload a video onto your blog – I’d love to see something like that!

        Hmmm…. I wish I WAS good enough to be a content creator of some sort. I mean I have dabbled, but I really couldn’t get into it :/, mostly because I didn’t like my own writing (or art, but I haven’t given up there), and it’s so frustrating so I just end up giving up.

        I finally handed in a huge chunk of work (the one I was talking about in my award post) and now I can finally work on my subjects at a better pace AND have spare time x’D I couldn’t be happier…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ohmygod, its either me referring to the time when I actually was writing the message and counting it from there, or my math really went wrong somewhere. Though I wouldn’t believe that because I swear I have UK hours ingrained into my brain because I have been talking to friends there for the past 4 years or so. xD Either way I can’t figure it out now because my brain is shutting down T.T

        I liked the little happy ending here (thinking of which I realised that there’s really a lot in common with Jun Maeda’s works OH WAIT have you watched Charlotte??) Ah yes, that’s a common complaint I hear. I personally have no issue with it because they delivered many other satisfactory tear-waterfall-triggering scenes within the 13 episodes. But I agree there should have been some indication of his romantic feelings for Kanade, even a little is good. (Like the blushes or meeting the eyes or something, that doesn’t take up much time and that’s part of anime cliches anyway.xD)

        Oooh you played piano before? 😀 If so, why is it hard to get back :0 Haha yeah I could upload videos of my pieces, except that I am lazy and I still have to go and figure out all the mechanics (lighting, sound etc.) Hehehe :3

        I can’t draw a single thing of my own so … but I think your art is good 🙂 I know any content creating can be incredibly frustrating as well, like when I am trying to write without inspiration, I end up feeling very terrible about what I produce :/ I feel that you will still improve on your writing, you still have much years to go anyway 😀 When I was at 18 I think what I wrote was pretty much rubbish lol.

        OOOOOH NICE more anime? :D:D:D I am happy for you even though I am gradually getting busier here. >< Enjoy the rest of the series though 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahaa, don’t worry about it :D.

        Yeah, I won’t lie – it sounds like a bit of a bother working out all the lighting and stuff for making videos. I helped a friend start a piano Youtube channel and just getting the camera at a good angle was soooo much work =_=.

        Thanks Shiroyuni, I’m glad you like my art :), I wish I liked it too. It doesn’t help that finding inspiration is a difficulty for me, especially when I lack the technical prowess to produce the things I dream up 😦 .

        Ah, no I haven’t watched Charlotte :). I’l add it to the list (THANKS BUDDY xD).

        It’s because I played piano when I was really young and so I’m basically learning from almost scratch which is hard 😦 . I didn’t have the passion or appreciation back then so I quit, but obviously now I listen to music a lot I want to learn again :).

        Loool, I have more time but I just got an offer for another university (2/5 choices offered me) and I need to get my subjects on track, so I need to stabilise all that, but I’m still squeezing in some anime in there >:) . Speaking of which, have you watched episode 7 of Erased? It’s pretty good, but it ended on a maaajor cliffhanger so I need to watch episode 8 tomorrow (Saturday yaaaaaaayyyy!).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh whatttt your life sounds so happening like T.T I have never helped anybody start up a Youtube channel before, that’s so cool! What’s your friend’s channel, if its okay to share? You said its piano so I am interested but I understand if there are privacy/’you don’t want to link your blog to other media accounts’ issues xD Well yeah exactly! Plus audio is very important as well, no amount of good playing can save bad audio quality hahaha :p

        Ah, I understand that feeling of disliking your own creative products, and that frustration. It may seem nice to an outsider like me, and I don’t actually know what to say about this since I am not an art creator, but … take it easy, I guess? There’s always a tension between creativity vs the ability to make it happen (same goes for music as well). But we can’t rush these things 🙂

        Hahaha yeah its KEY all over again, but I think you’d be able to still see its good points despite too many people criticising it out there 😉

        Ah okay I see. It can be hard to learn piano on your own (somehow I don’t think Youtube tutorials help either) but you can take it step by step 🙂 There are beginner anime music piano pieces on Youtube so going slow and steady is key I would say. Oh and so is diligent practice. Haha 😀

        Wait, is it UCAS? (I saw the number ‘5’ and suddenly thought of that) Do they still go by conditional offers and stuff? Isn’t that great since you haven’t even taken your exams! 😀 Congrats! (Though idk if you’re aiming higher or not satisfied but i’ll just say it first :D:D:D) I understand what you mean. Well .. 1 or 2 eps a day shouldn’t take up too much time :p YES I deliberately waited till I finished Ep 8 to reply this message 😀 Ep 8 was so heartwarminggg though. Its a good break from all that tension. So warm and cuddly u.u and Kayo experiencing the motherly/family love that she never ever got to experience! 😀

        Like

      • Hahaaa, far from ‘happening, but I admit it was pretty exciting at the time 🙂 . It’s not been active for a while now but yeah, of course I don’t mind giving you it :D. Here:
        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiJMJIH1j-_Aw6CmIFN_aeQ

        Hahaaa x’D yeah, I do need to take it easy 🙂 . Ah, I’d love to be a skilled artist though. I’m making a piece for my mum for mother’s day, so you might see that go up some time around then 🙂 .

        Yep, will do. I’m trying to become good at ‘A Silent Summer’ (from the Garden of Words ost).It’s beautiful, but even though it’s (relatively) simple it’s pretty hard.

        Thanks! Yeah, it’s UCAS. They’re both two of the favourites so I’m really happy about it 😀 . Gotta work hard though, so I’ll be replying a little less often probably for a while (maybe every other day) .

        And OH MY GOOOOOOOSSSHHHH XDDDDDD that epsiode! I legit almost squealed. The feels were on fire, I swear – it was so heartbreaking and so heartwarming at the same time. Can’t they just fucking adopt her already Dx (excuse my French, I’m just still so pumped about it). I was literally shaking when it ended. This episode hit me hard, especially when Kayo started crying – I wanted to give her the biggest hug you don’t even know (you probably did oo though hahaaa).

        *Whew*. I’ll stop now. Need to get back to work 🙂 .

        Liked by 1 person

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