A Long-Expected Hiatus

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.

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Lovely Blog Award from Jiraiyan

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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:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself
  3. Nominate at most 15 people
  4. 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.

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A Fantasy Novel by Yours Truly

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  All Man’s Clotted Clay is set three hundred years before the events of the unpublished Ketil’s Saga.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.)

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Examining Light Novels: Medieval and Modern Castes

Here is the latest post in my Examining Light Novels column.  I talk about the medieval caste system with a focus on executioners, who would have been considered untouchables at the time, and try to compare that to how one’s social status in modern society causes people to view one.  What makes for a favored class of persons changes in every age, but people’s desire to measure others by their particular situations doesn’t.  Click the link below!

Examining Light Novels: Medieval and Modern Castes

I’ve had a lot of fun talking about Spice and Wolf and how accurately the author portrays the medieval era or the medieval Church.  But, it’s time for me to move onto greener pastures.  My next post for the column will be gleaned from the light novel series Slayers.  Unlike Spice and Wolf, I’ll be reading this one from the original Japanese, which–though more verbose–is actually a little easier than many popular manga.

Anime Winter 2017 & Some Blog Resolutions

The winter anime season is practically upon us, and I’ve yet to wrap up IzettaTrickster, and Flip Flappers.  But, these shows ought to be finished and reviewed with the other fall anime choices of mine on or before January 7th, which appears to be the new season’s official start.  And, I’ll have to reveal my favorite anime of last year!

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Many upcoming shows caught my eye:

  1. ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka
  2. Chain Chronicle
  3. Chaos; Child
  4. KonoSuba 2
  5. Little Witch Academia
  6. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
  7. Onihei
  8. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu 2
  9. Spiritpact

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Lovely Blog Award from LynLynSays

Almost a year ago, LynLynSays honored me with a Lovely Blog Award, for which I am very grateful.  (It’s about time I write this post!)  LynLyn has a very entertaining and cogent style of writing, and I can’t encourage you enough to read her posts.

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Here are the rules:

  • You must thank person who nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • You must list the rules and display the award
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers

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Quick Takes: Turkish-style Coffee and Other Things

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Welcome to a suitably random series of quick takes, as you can tell from the first topic.  Those who wish to read a random assortment of things about yours truly are encouraged to continue.  Which reminds me, there are two award posts I should do in the near future from Josh W and Lynlynsays.  Look forward to them!

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I’ve determined that my favorite method of brewing coffee is the Turkish method: stirring very fine coffee grinds into some water, simmering it for five minutes (I try to keep it between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit), and then stirring before pouring it into a cup.  My grandmother uses this method, though I never employed it myself until the past month.  One interesting thing about this method is how one can stir up the grinds on the bottom of one’s cup to heighten the flavor.  The end result is very strong–especially with the Death Wish Coffee (the most caffeinated coffee in the world) I’m using now.

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New Page: Anime for Christians

With Cross

Well, I finally have my list of anime recommendations for Christians up.  I expect to continue working and updating this page over the months and years, but plenty of great anime are posted there.  You’ll find this new page as a sub page of “About Me and This Blog.”  Feel free to recommend more anime which you feel might belong up there or if you want to contest the way any anime has been categorized.  (You’ll see what I mean when you read it.)

Anime for Christians

Questions from MIBIH

MIB of the blog MIB’s Instant Headache won the Liebster Award some time ago and kindly nominated me for the same award.  Be sure to check out his reviews of foreign films, classics, and anime, since all his reviews are brimming with detail and amusing observations.  The Liebster Award includes some questions for the award winner to answer, and then he is allowed to ask his nominees eleven questions in return.  While I felt that I must decline his nomination, answering MIB’s eleven questions sounded like they would make an amusing post.  Here they are below!

Flynn

MIB’s Questions
  1. If you could direct a film and cast any actor or actress, living or dead, who would it be?

Errol Flynn.  I’d cast him in a swashbuckling adventure with plenty of swordplay.

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On the Athanatos Christian Arts and Apologetics Festival

Over one week has passed since I’ve written a proper blog.  (See “Examining Old School Anime: The Saints Point to Christ“)  I still need to comment on the new season among other things, but this post will be on my trip to Greenwood, Wisconsin in order to attend the Athanatos Christian Arts and Apologetics Festival.  Placing third in their short story contest of 2009, being a semi-finalist of the 2015 Novel Contest, and counting as a great friend of one of the contest judges ensured my invitation to the event.  Part of the idea behind the festival was that attendees would camp on site, but my friend (the blogger of Dusty Thanes) and I declined this opportunity in exchange for a comfy hotel room.  At a high of 81°F, the weather was appreciably cooler than here in Alabama, for which I was grateful.

Martha and Mary

Besides enjoying a reunion with my friend and his delightful family, the contest brought me in contact with several fiction writers and thinkers.  The most interesting of the bunch were Joseph Courtemanche, Robert Cely, Paul J. Bennett, David Zach, Bernard Bull, and Jamie Greening.  (I’m afraid that I skipped the apologetics part of this festival and focused more on the fiction writing aspect of it.)  Courtemanche, a former member of Navy Intelligence and a former police officer, stood out as the largest personality and person there; but, a deep humility made him very approachable.  Meeting the author of Assault on St. Agnes, whom my friend coached for countless hours on how to improve his novel, was a great honor.  (The preliminary judges act as editors after the initial cut before submitting their final recommendations to the deciding judge and founder of Athanatos Christian Ministries, Anthony Horvath.)  Assault on St. Agnes concerns a main character who is essentially a fictional version of the author: a “polyglot Rambo” called Bobby Kurtz.  Kurtz prevents Jihadists from committing a massacre in a church and soon finds himself enlisted again in the ranks of the U.S. military in order to prevent a bloodier attack from taking place.  Courtemanche’s experience makes for a very accurate and exciting novel, and I find myself enjoying every minute of it.

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Article Ideas for May through July

My dear readers!  How little I write these days!  Day to day worries and trivial pursuits so easily distract the mind, even though writing posts for your enjoyment is more worthwhile.  And so, I have decided to take a page from the YouTuber Lindybeige and will write at least two posts per week starting tomorrow: one on Sunday and one on Friday.  Far from being difficult to conjure up with things to write about, I devised so many that it shall take me until July to finish with them.  Though, I must confess that I usually only get around to 80% of the topics on lists like this.

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Below, I list the order in which these articles occurred to me.  Feel free to both chime in and steal ideas from here.  That’s right: steal them.  There are as many possible views on the topics listed below as there are people.  If any of you are so bold, link your article back to this post, and, within three days, I shall write an article on the same topic taking your post into consideration and linking back to yours!  (By the way, this includes posts taking the opposite point of view, and you have to beat me to the punch.) This sounds like a fun innovation, and I look forward to you taking me up on it.  If an anime spawned the idea for a topic, I have included its name.

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Winter 2016 Anime Review

With many new anime having aired their third episode, the time is not only ripe but even over ripe for a review of the anime of the past season.  So, I shall not now review Dagashi Kashi, Dimension W, Norn 9, or Utawarerumono, since I have not finished them yet.  I will say that Dagashi remaines pleasantly amusing, Dimension W is ending on a stronger note than it started on, and even Utawarerumono’s doing much better of late.  (I stalled Norn 9 on episode 4, but I want to get back to it.) I hope to get around to reviewing these shows at a later time.  You know, I feel bad for not finishing everything I started, but looking at my watchlist makes me realize that I have watched plenty of anime this season: part of the above four, six shows of regular length, two shorts, and one movie.  Not bad, even if it was more than I could chew!

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For the sake of brevity, let me point out that I have reviewed Active Raid here, Bubuki Buranki (aka BBK/BRNK) here, and both KonoSuba and Gate here for Beneath the Tangles.  Also, I have given my opinion of the bold ideas behind Garakowa here.  So, that leaves Sekkou Boys, Erased, Showa Rakugo, and Ojisan and Marshmallow for review below.

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Medieval Otaku’s Fourth Anniversary!

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Well, my blog and I are both a year older.  To celebrate, I purchased the liquor closest in age which I could afford: Flor de Cana 18.  (Alright, that is not close to my age really, but it is at least more than half it, which is more than can be said for most liquor.). Would that I could share it with all of my dear readers! 

  
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Indeed, without your commentary, likes, and even just simply reading, I would cease to blog (as D. M. Dutcher, author of Cocao, Put Down the Shovel! and Triune, has unfortunately done) and become a pure bookworm.  And, I’d like to also thank those who have contacted me through IM (especially the folks at Beneath the Tangles and David A) and e-mail.  Amusingly, I recently had a high school student e-mail me asking whether I could help answer a couple of questions for a school project on anime.  I suppose being an anime enthusiast for thirteen years and aniblogger for four qualifies one for such things. 🙂 Continue reading

10 Movies to 400 Anime

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Some of you may have remembered my “10 Days to 300” back in February of 2014, when I watched ten anime movies in order to reach a total of 300 anime watched.  There were some spectacular movies in that series.  Now that I’m ten away from 400 (I guess it takes me about two years to consume 100 titles), I’d like to do that kind of serial again.  But, this time I have chosen half of the movies, while my dear readers shall choose the other half for me.  Here are my five:

  1. Garakowa: Restore the World
  2. Lupin III: The Secret of Mamo
  3. Patlabor the Movie I
  4. Urusei Yatsura the Movie I
  5. Venus Wars

Looking at the list of movies I want to watch on Anime-Planet, here are the ten movies which jumped out at me.  Choose the five you’d most want me to watch and review.

Thanks for your participation!

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End of National Blog Posting Month and a Hiatus

Here we are at the end of National Blog Posting Month.  I tell you frankly, my dear readers, that I feel rather burned out on blogging.  Ich brauche eine Pause!  (I’m presently studying German in my free time.)  It doesn’t help that I have been feeling this way since the beginning of this month.  But, I intend to give my time to study and creative writing and should return refreshed in a couple of months.  And, you’ll still see one post from me within that time for Beneath the Tangles’ Twelve Days of Christmas series on the penultimate day before Christmas (December 23rd).

Happy blogging to you all!

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A Second Creative Blogger Award!

Creative Blogger

I have the good fortune to have a backlog of chain blogger awards.  For this one, I thank Fiddletwix of the blog The Anime Madhouse.  Here are the rules:

1 – Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.

2 – Share 5 facts about yourself.

3 – Nominate 15-20 bloggers and add their links.

4 – Notify the bloggers you nominated.

5 – Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do!

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Here are the five facts about myself.  I hope that at least three of them are things my dear readers haven’t heard before.

1) My paternal grandfather could speak eleven languages fluently.  His career of being a plumber and master electrician proves that he learned these languages simply as a hobby; though, I have no doubt that they proved useful in his hometown of New York City.

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Some Articles Percolating in My Mind

Last week felt very busy with the Three Day Quote challenge and slew of award nominations which were passed to me.  Thanks to all who read, commented, and accepted my nominations and to those who nominated yours truly!  Now, I feel like I need to collect my thoughts and write down the topics which are swirling in my mind.

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You might remember my Candlemas Resolutions from earlier this year.  Sadly, three months is all it took to break these.  For October, I intend to renew three of these resolutions, and to stop giving manga recommendations–or at least in that format–for a couple of reasons.  First, other bloggers do a better job of creating concise manga reviews.  Second, recommending manga requires one to constantly expand one’s consumption of them.  This bites into the time I could be studying foreign languages or reading more worthwhile things–very bad for a writer and aspiring novelist.

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So are moe girls looking over your shoulder as you write.

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Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 3

Today is my last quote for this challenge, and I can’t help but make it anime related.  It is also the pithiest.  Thanks again to akkoanime for selecting me as a participant.

The Rules:
  • Post one quotation a day for three days (they can be from other sources or one of your own).
  • Nominate 3 other bloggers to participate per post.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Hajime

You can see the kanji in the left paragraph, second line.

Quote for the Third Day

Aku Soku Zan–Slay evil at once!

-Hajime Saito

This was the motto of the Shinsengumi, but Saito Hajime’s use of the quote in Rurouni Kenshin probably stands as the most famous instance of its use.  The first thing which comes to my mind upon hearing this is the end of Psalm 137: “Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!”  From a literal reading, this verse sounds messed up.  Blessing someone who smashes Babylonian children against a rock!?  How barbaric!  

However, there is always a spiritual manner of reading everything in Scripture.  The curses in the Psalms are no longer applied to the enemies of Israel, but the true enemies of the Church: demons.  If we take the Kingdom of Babylon to refer to the Kingdom of Evil which opposes the Church, the spiritual meaning of the above verse is quite clear: blessed is the man who dashes small vices against the rock of true doctrine.  One is blessed if one stamps out vices while they are yet small so that he will not have to contend against them when they have become established evil habits or addictions.  Don’t even give them a chance–Aku Soku Zan!

My Nominees:
  1. Josh W of Res Studiorum et Ludorum
  2. Japes of Japesland
  3. Tobby of The Overlord Bear’s Den

Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 2

Once again, let me thank akkoanime for inviting me to participate in this contest.  Without to further ado, let me post the rules and quotation followed by my three nominees.

The Rules:
  • Post one quotation a day for three days (they can be from other sources or one of your own).
  • Nominate 3 other bloggers to participate per post.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.

My favorite author.

Quote for the Second Day

“Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss.”

–Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas is my all-time favorite writer.  If I could, I would pull up quotes from Dumas all day.  I almost chose Dumas’ retort to a man who had insulted him over his ancestry: “My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro, and my great-grandfather a monkey. You see, Sir, my family starts where yours ends.”  Amusingly, this quote has a near parallel in modern times to what Ben Carson told a haughty atheist he debated in Hollywood.

Anyway, I love the above quote because it gives one hope even in the darkest despair.  Could not the present despair merely be the seed of ultimate bliss?  Why not persevere through despair when God might just be waiting for the right moment to fulfill your wildest dreams?

My Nominees:
  1. Caraniel of Caraniel’s Ramblings
  2. AngryJellyfish
  3. Moonlitasteria

Three Musketeers