I Made A Video About Sakuga… Like… A Year Ago

So apparently I never shared a video that I made last year on YouTube. Or maybe I did and it was within another post. Either way, I’m sharing it now. I was taking a culture course to prepare me for my trip to Japan (where I currently am). It was the same course for which I wrote my review of Your Name (which oddly enough, I did share here). The story goes, I was asked to make a video about my host culture. Being a weeb, I decided to make a video about sakuga, as it is something I am deeply passionate about. Check it out below.

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The First Truly Good Season of RWBY?

Having watched RWBY since the beginning, I would consider myself a fan, despite how much I rag on it. It’s always been “good” but there was always some sort of caveat attached to any praise I could offer when the volumes were airing.

Volume One – It’s good, except the episodes are sometimes too short, which made it a pain to watch week-by-week. Ultimately, the only episodes I felt really satisfied with were one, eight and 16.

Volume Two – It’s great, except the ending ruins it and Ruby’s biggest opportunity for growth is thrown out the window in exchange for more characters that will never matter.

Volume Three – It’s good, except it sucks. More depressingly, we lost Monty.

Volume Four – Looking back, the narrative was pretty good (compared to what came before), but there is a lot of time wasted. I look on it fondly now, but at the time it aired, I hated it.

Volume Five – It’s terrible. There’s no excuse for this one.

Up until around Volume four, people would also make the excuse that Rooster Teeth was a smaller company, but that doesn’t really fly anymore, especially when they are getting nominated for awards and shit. This made the problems stick out more because their status demands they be put up to a standard befitting of their aspirations.

For this reason, I’m delighted to say that Volume Six of RWBY is the first truly good entry in the series. I know right? Surprised the fuck outta me…

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I’ll Be on Hiatus For a While

I’m going to Japan for four months to study and I don’t know when I’ll be free to write about Anime. I’ve got a couple ideas for posts that I’ll see if I can squeeze out while I’m there, but if you don’t hear from me, don’t worry. I’ll be back with stories to tell and hopefully, even more ideas for things to write about.

I will be posting my review of RWBY Volume Six before I leave though. Expect that tomorrow or as soon as I have internet when I’m in Japan.

If you want to follow my journey, I have been assigned to run another blog during my trip. Sakura in Japan is the name. A lot of the prior posts are things I had to write for assignments so I procrastinated on some of them, hence the inconsistent quality. Still, expect some good stories and plenty of pictures.

Love y’all, and see you next time.

If Dolls Could Speak – Ghost in the Shell: Innocence

Ghost in the Shell (GITS for short), the acclaimed manga by Shirow Masamune, portrays a future Japan after a third and fourth world war that has advanced prosthesis to the point that full-body cyborgs exist. The series has existed in animated form ever since the classic from 1995 by Mamoru Oshii and each new entry has taken a different approach to utilize this world to talk about philosophy and ethics through the lens of a post-singularity world. There is one entry, however, that has been glossed over in the past, but which I believe to be criminally underrated.

This is my unedited essay on Ghost in the Shell: Innocence. This will contain spoilers for the film, so read at your own peril. If you would like the SPOILER-FREE review, click here.

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The Best Ghost in the Shell Film (Isn’t the One You Think)

It’s one thing to review anime that no one talks about, and that’s pretty fun. Chances are if I’m struggling to find content discussing an obscure show that looks cool, there are others just as aggrevated. I feel obligated to give these shows some publicity, whether it be good or bad. What’s more interesting are the times when the anime I’m reviewing is a more obscure part of a well-known series.

Recently I had the opportunity to analyze a film for my course on media criticism and decided to write about Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, the sequel to the very influential Ghost in the Shell from 1995. Despite having the same director and an impressive visual onslaught, the film has never gotten the same acclaim. after all these years. This surprises me, because given the choice between which I like better… I might enjoy Innocence more.

This is a reworked, SPOILER-FREE version of that essay, so treat this like a review of the film. For the UNEDITED ESSAY, click here.

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Rising of the Shield Hero is 2019’s First Must-Watch

I almost never watch Isekai anime, the genre centered around characters transported to other worlds. In recent years, the medium has been so oversaturated with shows like this and my few forays into the genre tended to be more negative than positive.

Today’s show is one that I never had any intention of watching out of a lack of interest. Truth be told I didn’t even know it was an Isekai, and upon learning that I was even less interested. And yet… The Rising of the Shield Hero has become one of the most surprising shows I have fallen in love with.

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Why Does No One Talk About This Series? – Towa no Quon, Part 3

Towa no Quon’s upwards trajectory in quality is not a perfect one. It was marred in its beginnings by mediocre storytelling and inconsistent animation quality. It only won me over when it began to truly… well… begin.

But what a pair of sequels three and four were. The main cast shined as a team, Quon became more compelling and Epsilon stole the show in some surprising ways. One cliffhanger later, and it was time to see if Towa no Quon could stick the landing with its last two entries.

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Villains Becoming Heroes – Towa no Quon, Part 2

After the first two films left me unimpressed, I went into the subsequent entries with lowered expectations, yet an open mind. After all, the drought of trailers available for the series didn’t really give me much to build an idea of what awaited me. I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t see the potential for the series to save itself. Sure enough, the third film, The Complicity of Dreams, was the first truly great entry in the series.

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Bones’ Forgotten Film Saga – Towa No Quon, Part 1

After watching Star Driver, I didn’t think that Bones could surprise me like this again. I like to think that the studio couldn’t have had any more hidden gems to uncover, partly cause I don’t want to be known as “the blogger who never shuts the fuck up about Bones.” But a short series of films?… How the actual fuck?

Towa no Quon, a six-part series of short films, was previously only known to me by an animation cut by Yutaka Nakamura in a MAD. So obviously I looked into it and, after much delay, am finally giving it a look, since not a ton of people talk about it. Perhaps an omen, as the back of the box claims it has the potential to be remembered as “a classic” and after watching the first two films… I don’t see it.

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