Sunshine Award 2019

Thanks Jusuchin of A Journey Through Life for nominating me for the Sunshine Award!  It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these award posts, and I have a couple of others which I need to do–including rating Spring 2019 and telling you all what I intend to do about this season.  At any rate, please give Jusuchin’s blog a visit.  He tends follow one or two anime a season.  His choices always have plenty of action and come near to my own tastes in anime.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog so that other people can visit them
  • Answer the 11 questions put to you by the nominator
  • Nominate 11 bloggers of your choosing and provide them with a new set of 11 questions to answer
  • Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts
  • List the rules and display The Sunshine Blogger Award logo within your post or on your blog site.

Now, let me answer those eleven questions.


1) What got you into anime and how old were you?

My recollection places me at age fifteen around my sophomore year of high school.  Millennials have been dubbed “the Cartoon Generation,” so it seems only natural that I would eventually discover that anime existed as a separate genre of cartoons.  Coming across Vampire Hunter D and Rurouni Kenshin on Toonami kindled my interest in anime and the rest is history.

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How The Hell Does The Rising of the Shield Hero Support Slavery?

I think this is a very nice post about Shield Hero and the Slavery controversy. 100% accurate to the actual messages the show presents.

Unnecessary exclamation mark!

We’re more than halfway through The Rising of the Shield Hero, and two things have been consistent: the quality of Kevin Penkin’s incredible soundtrack for the show, and the outrage of many Western anime fans, bloggers and critics over the story’s ‘controversial’ elements. From the first episode alone, many denounced the series for its use of a false rape accusation to establish it’s central conflict, claiming this to be outright misogynistic or simply in poor taste in the wake of ‘#MeToo’ activism. But beyond that initial furor, another outcry has been consistently present on social media.

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Boy With Luv (작은 것들을 위한 시) by BTS feat. Halsey

It’s good to see some quick takes from Nami again. Be sure to give these a look.

The Drama Llama

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It seems cliche to choose BTS’s new title song as the song for this week but I did it because of the Korean title – 작은 것들을 위한 시, literally meaning in English, “A Poem for Small Things.”

It’s about a lover who is entirely absorbed in their beloved and wanting to know everything about them. It’s not deep in the sense of being the most beautifully made iteration of this idea, but it’s a pleasant, joyous, euphoric one.  And despite what some might say, it completes a logical progression plot-wise from “Boy in Luv” and even through “DNA” and “Fake Love.”

“Boy in Luv” is the angsty adolescent love focused on self; “DNA” revels in the romance and speaks as if it’s fated, de-emphasizing choice; “Fake Love” reveals that destiny and feelings might not be the best way to determine love; and “Boy with Luv” is…

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Reflections on The Rising of the Shield Hero, Episode 4: Lullaby at Dawn

Here’s a great and well-written post on episode 4 of The Rising of the Shield Hero. The author is new to the aniblogosphere, but this is a great start. Who would have thought that Naofumi and Motoyasu suffer from the same defect?

Beneath the Tangles

Today’s guest post comes from The Varangian, a writer and podcaster who comes to us through his friend (and yours and ours), Medieval Otaku. I hope you enjoy his excellent reflections on the most recent episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero which, if you haven’t seen it yet, in turn demonstrates just how special this series may be.

The Rising of the Shield Hero has been a trial by fire both for our heroes and for the audience, as best shield boy Naofumi has endured betrayal, false accusation, slander, ostracism, and a good deal of bad manners. The only bright spot in this very dark place has been his relationship with Raphtalia, who might be the salvation of him yet—as long as she’s given the chance. In the fourth episode, “Lullaby at Dawn” they (and we) are subjected to an agonizingly severe test of their bonds, a test…

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usylessly unreadable Blue Book of Eccles (part I of ??!)

No one has ever made reading James Joyce sound appealing to me before. That alone should interest my dear readers enough to take a look at this post.

Res Studiorum et Ludorum

Now for the good stuff. In rereading Ulysses and dipping into Finnegans Wake and Richard Ellmann’s biography of James Joyce, it’s become clear that the man is one of those artists who I have a foundational, yet utterly complicated and baffling relationship with. It will take some time to completely hash things out.

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Winter 2019 Anime Impressions

Always happy to see posts from Cytrus. It looks like another anime blogger is tackling ten anime this season. See if one of these shows catches your fancy.

Yaranakya

Out of the blue, some short impressions on stuff I will be following this winter.

Honourable mentions, good but probably won’t be keeping up with: Endro, HizaUe, Kotobuki

B class residents:

TateYuusha/Rising of Shield Hero: Isekai adaptation blessed with a motivated staff and a decent budget. I felt the opening was a bit too heavy-handed for its own good, but the series has more unique ideas later down the line. Now it is all a matter of whether a proper plot direction can be established and whether character chemistry can save the series from mediocrity. Very easy to follow, though, with a constant mix of action, humour and character development.

Kemurikusa: There is a lot to Kemurikusa that feels fresh, and that is its main forte. The setting, plot progression and dialogue flow are simply different from any other production of the season. That said, the pacing is on the…

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Christ the King

Happy Feast of Christ the King! This is an excellent post describing how Christ built His Kingdom on the Truth, while the kingdoms of the world are more than willing to neglect the truth in favor of power.

Salty Bread

Christ the King

We live in an era of conspiracy theories, fake news, and alternative facts. In the past falsehood competed with truth. Now it’s confusion. We don’t have to be convinced of a lie to be led astray. It’s enough to become cynical and doubt that we can ever arrive at objective, absolute truth. Truth becomes relative and personal: “You have your truth. I have mine.” The person who shouts the loudest seems to get the most attention nowadays. Into this charred, postmodern landscape comes a stranger and alien, Jesus Christ. When he finally got his day in court, the judge wanted to know if he was indeed a king. He was, but he said his kingdom was not of this world (John 18:33-37). This world loves power, not truth. Jesus gave up his power to bear witness to the truth.

“So you really are a king?” Pilate asked.

Jesus…

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New Podcast: Deluded Fruitcakes Anonymous

Two of my good friends have started a podcast.  It sounds like they want to discuss books, movies, swords, anime, and manga–basically, their interests.  I myself might appear on a future episode of their podcast.  Why should you listen to them?  They’re funny, articulate, and their interests might cross with yours.  Anyway, drop by and say that Medieval Otaku sent you!

Reblog: When the Barque of Peter is Tossed by Storms… Pray to St Michael Archangel! —

From Fr George W. Rutler’s Weekly Column Nostalgia is a selective editing of the past. For instance, there are those who wish we had today some of the architects of thirteenth-century cathedrals, but who avoid mentioning thirteenth-century dentists. In recent times, the general conceit has been the opposite of nostalgia. The philosopher Owen Barfield spoke […]

via When the Barque of Peter is Tossed by Storms… Pray to St Michael Archangel! —

Fall 2018 First Impressions/At the half way point/Something

Mechanical Anime Reviews

I’m a very late with this one. I’m sorry. October was busy for me. Not only has school been getting busier and busier for me, I’ve also had some projects on my blog that have taken quite a bit of work and time for me to focus on. I mean, my time has been slowly draining away from me over the past month. I didn’t even write an OWLS post. Writing a first impression post isn’t as easy one would expect. Writing down thoughts for things like this could be much more complicated than one would think.

I have been watching a lot more shows this season then I anticipated. I said in my Summer 2018 in review post that I would try to keep my list lower and watch only nine shows or so. I personally don’t count Space Battleship Tiramisu because it’s a short and Thunderbolt Fantasy isn’t…

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Quick Takes for June 2018

Three weeks is a long time to go without me writing on Medieval Otaku.  The Muse has gone quiet on me, and I can’t but think it has something to do with how preoccupied I have been with work and everyday cares.  I am reminded of the one whose faith is sown among thorns: “And he that received the seed among thorns, is he that heareth the word, and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choketh up the word, and he becometh fruitless,” (Mt. 13:22).  My writing has been anything but fruitful of late.  Deo iuvante, this will change in the near future.

Steins 1

But, human beings are mutable  The curious thing about the states Christ describes in the Parable of the Sower is that a person might go through all four conditions in his life: that of having his faith taken away by the devil’s blandishments, withered by persecution or fear of man, choked by the cares of the world, or bearing fruit many times over.  What matters is for us to become good seed in the end by constant renewal.

Dances 10

Having written that, let me begin my seven quick takes, which may be described as seven random items of interest.  Use the search bar to see just how random my quick takes can get.  What’s written below will be no exception to that rule; though, perhaps less random than my ABC Award.

 

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Divine Comedy

I’ve never read Dante’s Divine Comedy.  Sure, I’ve read The Inferno, and I hated it thoroughly.  Part of the reason, no doubt, derives from my hatred of hell.  Ignorance also plays a part of my dislike.  The verses are abstruse, and most of the damned count as personal enemies of Dante whom the world has forgotten.  It is hard to make a simple translation of Dante’s verse.  Prior to now, I had not gone further than ten cantos into The Purgatorio–no matter how many attempts I made to read it.

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Finding the Culture of Life in A.I.C.O. Incarnation

Here’s my latest post on Beneath the Tangles. It’s about A.I.C.O. Incarnation, the best anime you never heard of from winter 2018.

Beneath the Tangles

A.I.C.O. Incarnation found itself on my watch list very late in the season.  Netflix is one of the last video streaming companies I look at—especially since they sometimes stream an anime after it’s aired.  One nice bonus with Netflix, though, is that it has interesting options for a lover of foreign tongues like me: I can stream an anime with a English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, or Portuguese dubbing.  (That said, I still watch 95% of new anime in the original Japanese.)  Subbing purists may be horrified to learn that I gave the French dub of A.I.C.O. a try and loved it enough to watch the entire series in that mellifluous tongue.  Somehow, the anime of a biohazard threatening to destroy civilization and a girl trying to regain her lost family does not suffer from listening to the French dub—perhaps because the plot and setting diverged so sharply from stock…

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Tu-tu-ru! Okarin and Mayuri’s Better-Than-Romance Friendship

Beneath the Tangles

If I learned anything from anime, it’s that a childhood friendship is basically an invitation to future romance. This is a truth gathered from Love Hina, Skip Beat, Nisekoi, and…just about every other anime in which there’s a road toward such a relationship.  But in the Steins;gate anime series, things work a little differently. While it’s true that the childhood friend doesn’t always end up with the MC (see most of the above examples), Steins;gate goes one further: there’s barely a even a hint of romance between Okarin and Mayuri; the focus instead is on a relationship often neglected in anime: friendship between the sexes.

And the special relationship between Okarin and Mayuri is expressed in Steins;gate… as much as the original (spoilers ahead). Mayuri is always on Okarin’s mind. He values his other friends immensely, too, but Mayuri is on a different level. In…

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A Call for Help – Guest Posts for Deluscar

I want to help spread this post around. Deluscar is a nice little blog, and Kai and his readers would surely appreciate anyone willing to help add some vitality to it. I am thinking about offering to write a guest post myself, but this opportunity is great for anibloggers just starting out.

deluscar

There’s no denying I’ve been slowing down. I’m… uhh… getting a little bit on in years. And as I age, I find it’s harder and harder to get into the right mood to write. A long time ago, you can see a new post every few days or so, but nowadays you would be hard-pressed to even see a new post per month.

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Violet Evergarden 13 – Letters Written, Burdens Lifted

A very nice discussion of the final episode of Violet Evergarden. It points out that though most of the conflicts introduced by the series may be resolved, a few still remain in Violet’s heart.

The Backloggers

Violet Evergarden’s final episode is an episode largely of catharsis, and it is one that I, and many others, have wrestled with. In many ways, it brings us to the logical conclusion of the show, or rather to the stopping point for this portion of Violet’s story that we receive. In truth, I have watched this episode numerous times over, mulling its events over in my head, and it has been a process of numerous revisions to how I have come to finally view this last piece of Violet’s story (for now, anyway). Through this, I have found that my thoughts have changed significantly in more recent viewings. This final episode, depending on your reading of events, can be quite clear-cut on the surface, or somewhat more muddied as you dive deeper into it. It does give Violet a great sense of closure, a lifting of burdens, a renewed…

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Winter 2018 Anime Thoughts

Check out what my fellow writers at Beneath the Tangles had to say about their favorite shows from the Winter 2018 season.

Beneath the Tangles

With the close of the Winter 2018 season, the staff at Beneath the Tangles have decided to look back at the previous season and ask the following questions: What was the biggest surprise of the Winter 2018 season? What was your favorite series?

With all that in mind, we have an amazing and varied staff – so I can’t wait to see what everyone enjoys! Check them out below:

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Gasaraki: the Collective, Conscience, and Freedom

Here’s my latest post on Beneath the Tangles. It’s on the mecha classic Gasaraki.

Beneath the Tangles

Gasaraki is one of the classic mecha anime.  “If it’s a classic,” you ask, “why have I never heard of it before?”  Despite the great animation (at least, to a connoisseur of 90’s anime like myself), many layers of intrigue, a unique plot, and great mecha battles, the dialog can be very abstruse–so abstruse that I switched from the Japanese to the English dub after four episodes.  Esoteric anime generally don’t enjoy much popularity.

Gasaraki 3

After four unintelligible episodes, the dub is a great improvement.  The person who wrote the English script must have worked with the same translation, but he elevated the translation from “translationese” to proper English.  Some of what occurred still went over my head, but the enigmatic nature of some of the dialog made me meditate longer about what the show was about.  The show juxtaposes the individual against collective or group structures to highlight the…

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