Nine shows strike me as promising this season. Two of these, Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond and Kino no Tabi, derive from original shows I rather enjoyed. I’ve yet to write an article on the original Kino’s Journey, an immersive and introspective work. On the other hand, Blood Blockade Battlefront inspired one article. Naturally, the main motivation for me watching the sequels lies in how much I enjoyed the originals. The seven other shows which caught my eye will be described below.
1) Code Realize: Sousei no Himegimi (aka Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth)
The plot concerns a young lady named Cardia who is afflicted with the curse of poisoning whatever she touches. Naturally, she is shunned by society. Yet, Arsène Lupin–the original, i.e. the grandfather of Lupin the Third–decides to lead her out of her seclusion into turn of the 20th century London on a journey of discovery.
Tadaima! That was a refreshing two months! Though just two months, it feels like a coon’s age since I’ve blogged on Medieval Otaku. At any rate, the transition from critic to fan was achieved over this time. Being a critic is miserable: one watches so much anime that the flaws start standing out more than the good. At the same time, one feels as though one never watches enough, which induces one to watch mediocre anime and be tortured more than ever. A truly vicious cycle!
During the past two months, I have kept up with precisely one current anime: Aho Girl (★★★★). Two have been finished: Eureka 7 and You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle. Many consider Eureka 7 (★★★★1/2) one of their favorite shows, and quality and uniqueness shine through the entire series. For all that, understanding why I enjoyed it is difficult to pinpoint. Perhaps, if I watched it again, I could take apart more of the ideas–particularly, the comparison of Dewey Novak to Raskolnikov (the protagonist of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.)
There comes a time when a blogger must take a break–when blogging becomes a chore instead of a joy. I’ve reached that point, and have even felt the stirrings of animus towards anime. Last season, I only finished three shows. This season in particular strikes me as odiously mediocre, though I’ll heartily endorse Aho Girl. The series occasionally pushes the envelop too far in regard to the humor driven off sex, but it’s genuinely funny.
Here’s my latest post on Beneath the Tangles, in which I discuss a theme which took away from the ending of the show. Click on the link below!
Before I get into why I dropped Berserk, let me talk a little bit about a fantasy series I used to enjoy: The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I really enjoyed the struggles of Richard Rahl, the Mother Confessor Kahlan, and the Wizard Zedd. Like Berserk, it had some unsavory moments–some very unsavory moments indeed. Yet, I felt that the great storytelling outweighed the bad.
Then, I ran into Goodkind’s full-blown Objectivist philosophy in book eight, The Naked Empire. Few moments in my reading life have depressed me as much as Richard Rahl inveighing against self-sacrifice as an evil. Apparently, people should always act in their self-interest, and any sacrifice of one’s self-interest is immoral. Never mind that the heroes frequently risk their lives and suffer quite a lot. Also, many good people had sacrificed their lives for good causes by this point in the series, and the fantasy world’s universe includes God, who no doubt rewards the righteous. The idea of self-sacrifice being a moral evil simply did not compute in my mind. Despite having read 6,454 pages of Goodkind’s work–the equivalent of reading War and Peace about four and a half times, I put down the series and never picked it back up again.
I just wanted to wish all of my dear readers a happy Independence Day! Please, enjoy the video put out today by the channel Lord Drako Arakis. He has some great anime sketches set to old military songs and sea shanties. His sketches for “The Invalid Corps” are perfect!
Tomorrow, check out the blog Beneath the Tangles in order to check out which show surprised me the most this season and which was my favorite.
Too few articles have come from me in the past month, my dear readers. My hope is that July will prove more fruitful as I renew my acquaintance with my favorite religious writers and essayists–G. K. Chesterton in particular.
May you enjoy the post linked to below, which touches on some interesting issues present in Berserk (2017)!
I’ve put off writing the acceptance posts for a few awards, and today seems a good day to rectify that. My thanks goes to Jiraiyan of Otaku Orbit for nominating me. Be sure to pay his blog a visit! Here are the rules:
- Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
- Share 7 facts about yourself
- Nominate at most 15 people
- Tell your nominees the good news!
Here are my seven facts. Chances are that I have mentioned a few in awards posts before, but I hope that they shall be new to you.
A reader requested that I review some volumes of the Rurouni Kenshin manga. At present, I’ve almost finished the series and can almost review the antepenultimate volume of the series–i.e. volume twenty-six. (Yes, I could not resist using the word antepenultimate.) Now appears a good moment to look back on the series and why I enjoy it so much. This manga is such a delight that I obtained the complete series in the original language in order to translate it from the original.
After reading the first two volumes in English, I purchased all of the tankobun volumes. I must say that the level of Japanese stood far above Inuyasha, which counted as my first exposure to manga and even to translating foreign works. (Later, I would read Latin poetry, but it required three years of high school Latin before I started reading excerpts of Classical literature. Conversely, two months of Japanese sufficed for me to plunge into Inuyasha.) With Rurouni Kenshin, I soon developed a fear of running into boxes of historical digression written in kanji. Having watched the anime previously, some of the long monologues were much easier to deal with; but, in Rurouni Kenshin, unlike in Inuyasha, most of the fight is cerebral. Cases where one can sit back and admire pages of action with interjections here and there are seldom found in the pages of Rurouni Kenshin.
Here is an article I wrote for Beneath the Tangles. I hope that you enjoy it. Click on the link below!
Here, I’m going to try my hand at marketing–again. As you see from the title, my dear readers, I’ve self-published a fantasy novel–a medieval, military, fantasy, adventure novel to be more precise. The roots of this novel lie in an old manuscript I created at seventeen years of age and completed at nineteen. The tome, dubbed Ketil’s Saga, stretched for over three hundred Word Document pages, was written in a pompous and abstruse style, and contains one of the most meandering plots never to have been inflicted on the public. I dream of one day polishing it enough to be presentable trilogy; but, writing a new story set within the same world seems an easier proposition.
All Man’s Clotted Clay might be a familiar title, since this book was submitted to Athanatos Christian Ministries’ 2015 Novel Contest and made the semi-finals. As such, it has received extensive editing by one of the contest judges and by yours truly–so much so that I developed a disgust for revising it and an irresistible urge to bring it before the reading public. All Man’s Clotted Clay is set three hundred years before the events of the unpublished Ketil’s Saga. It concerns the struggle of a heroic pikeman to win the love of his life and defeat the enemies of his country. (What can I say? I love romances of this sort–the medieval kind–and am even reading one such tale now: St. George for England by G. A. Henty.)
I just finished watching Ajin and absolutely loved it. If I had watched that show last year, it would have headed my “Top Five Anime of 2016.” Ajin gets five stars from me and places sixteenth on my top fifty list–right in between Princess Tutu and Fullmetal Alchemist. (It was sad to see Solty Rei dropped from the list, but it had to be. Now, Pumpkin Scissors is hanging on precariously at #50.) One of the more interesting points about this series lies in how many grey areas can be found within it. The bad guys are easy to pick out: Mr. Sato and the Japanese government. (For all intents and purposes, the United States government is as evil as the Japanese government; though, the role of the U.S. is much smaller in this series.) Other person in this series align with either Sato or the Japanese governments depending on their interests. Kei Nagai wishes to live in peace, and sees Mr. Tosaki as his best ally in this regard–Miss Shimomura is no different. The Ajin allied with Sato want the same rights as other citizens and see Sato as their best bet in obtaining these rights.
Below is a link to a post on Beneath the Tangles I wrote on hope, Danganronpa, and the imagination. It might be a little academic, but I hope that my dear readers enjoy it.
A friend of mine has been extolling the virtues of Ajin for a long time now. At last, I decided to give this Netflix Original a shot. Prior to this, I had watched Kuromukuro on Netflix and played around with the language options. (As my dear readers know, I love foreign languages.) The German voice actors performed decently–not that well, but it interested me enough to give the German dub of Ajin a shot from the very first episode.
Most of you have not heard of this historical novel of Mark Twain’s; yet, he regarded it as his best work. In his own words, “I like Joan of Arc best of all my books; and it is the best; I know it perfectly well. And besides, it furnished me seven times the pleasure afforded me by any of the others; twelve years of preparation, and two years of writing. The others needed no preparation and got none.” Mark Twain is known as something of a humorist, and many humorists see the dark side of life and turn to humor as a way to cope with it. For example, many people know that Twain often wrote to underscore the injustice of Southern society towards blacks–both before and after the Civil War. Twain loved fairness and justice above all, and these things shone yet more gloriously when painted against a background of villainy.
Here is a little reflection I made on the role of mediation in religion, noting differences in Catholicism and Protestantism as well as differences between modern and ancient societies. The article does not come to a proper point, but I hope that it can give my dear readers food for thought.
There were three anime left out from my reviews at Beneath the Tangles. Also, I’ll give a couple of bonus reviews at the end, one of which is old school and the other very modern. Let’s begin without further ado!
1) Chaos; Child – ★★1/2
As a fan of Chaos; Head, his show rather disappointed me. If not for the final episode, it might have been given two stars instead. There is plenty of meaning to be found in that final episode. But, the mystery and character relationships, save between Takuru and Nono, struck me as very bland indeed. Overall, the show comes off as a sadistic dating game.
by Junno Arocho Esteves on the CATHOLIC HERALD, posted Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 The canonisation ceremony will be held exactly 100 years since the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima Pope Francis will declare the sainthood of Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, two of the shepherd children who saw Mary in Fatima, […]
via Fatima seers to be declared saints on May 13 —
The founder of a new site for streaming anime contacted me to take a look at his site, Anime Bananas, and possibly write reviews for him. The question of Anime Bananas legitimacy came up on the Crunchyroll Forums. As evidence for its legitimacy, one can’t find fansub versions of anime on the site, and the founder has agreements with the anime providers he connects to. Let me talk about the benefits of Anime Bananas and a couple of its drawbacks below.