There comes a time in a blogger’s career when he must stuff a pipe, light it, and let nicotine act as his muse. At least, that’s how I feel as I sit down to write this mid-season review. Now, my list contains seven shows–the seventh being the formerly dropped Girls’ Last Tour. (That’s a much easier title to remember than Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou.) Not much happens plotwise in this show, but I think that I’ve discovered its thematic plot now that I’m four episodes in. (Yes, I’ve not quite caught up; but, I want to get my thoughts down now before I start procrastinating.) By the way, let me thank Gaheret for submitting a query through “Ask Medieval.” I hope to post my reply to him soon–as soon as I write that article for Beneath the Tangles.
At any rate, let’s begin those reviews!
1) Girls’ Last Tour
Yes, it appears that I dropped this show too soon. It does get more interesting after episode one, even if the episodes remain slow. The fact that the characters are not boys (Does this not seem the perfect setting for a boys’ adventure tale?) does not bother me as much anymore. More bothersome to me now is the heroines continually wearing those helmets in freezing weather. People often marvel that knights kept their armor on in the frigid campaigns against the Baltic pagans and the arid crusades against the Saracens. A helmet magnifies the cold in the same way as medieval armor! In reality, out heroines would both have stowed their helmets away long ago. Can’t we get a slice of realism with our moé?
You’ve probably read many posts about which anime to watch in celebration of Halloween. I missed the boat on that, but Halloween is actually part of a three day observance. An alternate name for Halloween is All Hallows’ Eve, referring to it being the night before All Saints’ Day. Today, after All Saints’ Day, comes All Souls’ Day.
And so, we ought to be thinking about the afterlife over the course of these days. While Halloween’s original purpose in time immemorial may have been for people to prepare for All Saints’ Day, the ghoulish costumes along with the emphasis on horror movies in October brings to mind hell rather than heaven. On November 1st, we think of the blessed in heaven. Today, we think instead of the poor souls who yet await the final cleansing of their souls before they enter the Pearly Gates.
One conversation between a couple of Nazis in “episode zero” of Dies Irae caught my attention:
There is only one priest to whom she could be referring to; though, the gift of reading hearts has not been confined to one priest of the twentieth century–or to Catholic priests for that matter. This particular priest almost certainly Padre Pio.
I have dubbed Padre Pio–more formally, St. Pio of Pietrelcina–“the last medieval saint.” Though he lived from 1887 to 1968, accounts of the miraculous phenomena surrounding Padre Pio seem to belong to the saints of the thirteenth century, like St. Francis of Assisi whom Padre Pio referred to as “Our Seraphic Father.” For, Padre Pio was not only a priest, but a Capuchin monk whose order followed the Rule of St. Francis. Among the accounts of the miraculous surrounding Padre Pio, he saw visions of Jesus, Mary, and other saints, read hearts, received the stigmata, prayed successfully for the healing of people’s bodies and souls, bilocated, spoke in foreign tongues which he never studied, and had the gift of prophecy.
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.
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.
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.
Happy Easter, my dear readers! Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit sicut dixit! Alleluia! Today, we celebrate Christ’s double victory over sin and death, a share of which victory Christ offers to all humanity. Though we are yet troubled by sin in this life, we shall one day cease to offend God and men and no longer be troubled by the effects of human wickedness in ourselves and others. Though we all shall die, death has been transformed into the entrance to life illimitable. How great the reward, and how little God asks of us! Even if our malice, weakness, and ignorance frequently cause us to fall short of God’s commands, repentance continually brings us ever closer to God despite many falls.
Recently, I made the happy discovery of another “Dante class anime”: Blood Blockade Battlefront. (See the page “Anime for Christians“ for a description of “Dante class anime.”) Many who have seen this anime might thinks that monsters are the only thing Blood Blockade Battlefront has in common with The Divine Comedy. But, Christian themes are intentionally used throughout the show. I was first alerted to the possibility of this when Mary MacBeth says that people commit the same wrongs they did two thousand years ago when Christ came to earth.
Beneath the Tangles recently finished their reviews of anime from the Winter 2017 season. Three of my own reviews on Onihei, Chain Chronicle, and Little Witch Academia can be found among them. I’ve watched a few other shows this season and hope to write reviews of them and three older anime this weekend. (I’ve been painfully busy this month until now.) Please like and leave comments on the posts below! Enjoy!
You’ve read the title correctly, my dear readers. Medieval Otaku has entered its fifth year of existence! Usually, I would point out my plans for the coming months, but certain urgent matters occupy my attention such that I don’t want to set anything blog-related in stone. Over the past year, I spent too much of my time focused on political matters and the 24-hour news cycle. Happily, the constant one-upmanship that characterizes the news has started to bore me to tears, so I should spend more time on anime and my other hobbies. May this produce more interesting posts for you!
Let me turn to my choices for the spring 2017 season of anime.
After dropping KonoSuba, I realized that I was only keeping up with four shows this season. Usually, I manage seven or eight. Revisiting an earlier post made me remember that I had not yet tried out Little Witch Academia TV or Onihei. Having watched the first episode of both series, those two are now on my watch list, and I hope to review them later. I can already say that the animation of these two does not impress me that much, especially Onihei‘s reliance on CGI for figures in the background. At the moment, I can say little more than that.
Why did I drop KonoSuba? I’ve always felt on the fence with this show, though I enjoyed the first season well enough (7/10). The comedy requires me to be in a peculiar certain mood, and the fanservice proves distracting. The more these two drawbacks bothered me, the less inclined I was to enjoy KonoSuba‘s humor. So, I washed my hands of it. All the same, may those of you who enjoy the show enjoy it still more!
Watching Chain Chronicle has proven quite fun so far. This classic fantasy provides the viewer with a bevy of strong heroes, implacable foes, beautiful warrior maidens, and a Luke Skywalker-ish hero for its viewers to engage in “egocentric castle building,” as C. S. Lewis termed it in An Experiment in Criticism. This is a fantasy fully in the spirit of Dungeons and Dragons. It’s fun, but nothing within the story thus far has struck me as uncommon.
Bruckhardt’s fall from grace counts as the most interesting event of the story thus far. From the first, my ears heard “Blackheart” when the seiyuu pronounced the knight’s name, and episode three revealed his transformation to a Blackheart indeed. The twin scourges of pride and melancholy oppressed him on account of the preferment Yuri gave to Aram. This allowed him to fall easy prey to the evil influence of the Black King’s demon. There is no faster way to hell than pride: the way Lucifer fell and the chief fault of Adam. Even the early Church Fathers wrote that pride alone suffices to send one to hell, even as humility provides the surest means to salvation among the virtues.
The winter anime season is practically upon us, and I’ve yet to wrap up Izetta, Trickster, 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!
Happy All Saints’ Day and first day of NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo–whichever you prefer to undertake. I’ll be undertaking the latter. The challenge for National Blog Posting Month is to post once per diem for the month of November. Usually, I get through with a combination of original articles and reblogs. So, you just might see a post of yours up on Medieval Otaku this month. 🙂 At the same time, my reading challenge on Goodreads shows that I need to finish fifteen more books, i.e. I need to read about two books a week until the end of the year–sounds doable.
It occurred to me that I never linked my summer anime reviews on Beneath the Tangles to this blog. That was remiss of me, and here they are: Alderamin on the Sky, Active Raid, Berserk, and Sweetness and Lightning. That season, I also had the pleasure of finishing 91 Days and ReLife, which went unremarked upon. Below, I hope to correct my overlooking of them.
Here we are five weeks into the new season of anime, and I have yet to write a post about what I’m watching! Keshikaran! Mattaku keshikaran! Procrastination counts as one of my worst vices. It seems to have gotten worse of late, and one wonders how I shall manage to bear with NaBloPoMo.
Limiting myself to six anime was surprisingly easy this season. I’ve yet to watch Luger Code 1951, but I’ve kept up with the other five. And so, I’d like to invite my dear readers to suggest a couple more for me to add to my watch list. Without further ado, the following are the shows I’ve been watching:
1) BBK/ BRNK II
The CG animation in this show is some of the best I’ve seen. The second season started with its best foot forward: action packed mecha battles. All the characters are as likable as they were in the first season.
The greatest problem with the show thus far is how the characters all strike me as rather confused. Epizo works for the villain, Guy, because he loves Laeticia–even though the villain intends to eliminate all Bubuki users in the end. Despite being one of Guy’s most devoted allies, Kaoruko, Azuma’s sister, has betrayed the villain…and been simultaneously abandoned by our heroes. Reoko looks like she’ll be a good girl this time. And so, I find myself just going along for the ride as I hope for the plot to make more sense.
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.
Here are the rules:
You must thank person who nominated you and include a link to their blog
Calumniating the memory of the saints and great men counts as one of the blackest crimes a writer can commit. Not only does the calumniator blacken someone’s reputation, but he damages the heritage of new generations. Each generation has a right to have heroes to look up to and emulate. One can claim that Drifters‘ portrayal is mere fiction, but most people get their information about the past from media, especially because schools don’t properly educate the youth on the subject of history. Many people do believe that St. Joan of Arc was insane and delusional.
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!
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.
I’m writing this simply to see whether anyone else is interested in Project Itoh. Of the blogs I follow, only Beatslars of Konnichiwa Anime no Yuujin has delved into both Harmony and Empire of Corpses, and Genki Jason has mentioned the two works here and here. Those two works and Genocidal Organ have their origins as light novels, apparently written by the only fan to ever understand Hideo Kojima’s video games. The story behind the novels, especially how the author wrote them from his hospital bed as he lay dying of cancer, is fascinating:
Curiously, Genocidal Organ (still a work in progress) is the last of the three light novels to receive an anime adaptation, even though it was the first novel of them to be written. Harmony, with its investigation into the nature of happiness and free-will, strikes me as the most interesting. But, all three seem to delve into philosophical questions, even though Empire of Corpses sounds mostly like a zombie-slaying adventure. Besides the philosophical aspect, the world building in these movies, either the steam punk 19th century suffering a zombie apocalypse of Empire of Corpses or the dystopian future where everyone’s minds are controlled in Harmony, strikes me as the sort which makes anime worth watching.
The anime Bungo Stray Dogs, another called Shigofumi, and certain blog comments have inspired me to write this article. Shigofumi, an anime highly reminiscent of Kino’s Journey, (For interesting me in the latter series, my thanks go to Genki Jason of the blog Genkinahito.) hits the nail right on the head in the way it portrays evil as the negation of being in the first couple of episodes. Since many of my fellow bloggers watch Bungo Stray Dogs, my article will focus on that series rather than Shigofumi, but I highly recommend it to those who love introspective dramas. There are some spoilers, but you should be fine as long as you have watched the first seven episodes of Bungo Stray Dogs.
In this series, I have been flabbergasted by both Osamu Dazai’s predilection for suicide–which is treated as absurd–and his nihilistic outlook, which shows his predilection for suicide to be no laughing matter. His statement “Justice is a weapon” stands as the most nihilistic statement I have heard all year. (By the way, if you wish to read an excellent article on Dazai’s statement and the nature of justice, read Annalyn’s article here. No more digressions–I promise!) Dazai, even if he works for the good guys, counts as an anti-hero if not a downright villain. Though he pooh-poohs ideals, his statements prove that he has his own ideology, which is not far from the ideals of some of the worst villains.
We’re in the eighth week of the season, and I should write my mid-season review soon–perhaps this Sunday. Yet, so many shows are about to expire on Hulu: Tide Line Blue, Project Arms, Magic Knight Rayearth, etc. My determination to at least sample from these fine old shows has inspired me to write the following article on Magic Knight Rayearth. (Also, I did finish the Dirty Pair OVA, which I hope to review soon–and no, that show is not as bad as the title makes it sound.) This series falls into the genres of shoujo and fantasy, along the lines of Pretear and Escaflowne. (I apparently have completed five shows which fall into both categories, all of which have a rating of four stars or higher from me.) Magic Knight Rayearth has greatly amused me by the realistic reactions of Umi and Fuu when faced with monsters: scream and run away! (There is a reason why history has not recorded conquering armies of high school girls.) However, Hikaru is much more spirited than the other two, and they are gradually rising to the challenge of saving the world from the evil Il Pallazo Zagato and his minions.
This manga from which this show is adapted was published in 1993, but its focus on hope, following one’s dreams, and the importance of will power manifest strong influence from the eighties. The eighties were an incredibly upbeat time, which can be felt especially in its popular music, and that quality draws may people to have a fondness for that decade. What made it so upbeat? From an American perspective, I can point to two reasons: 1) economic prosperity and 2) Ronald Reagan. The latter reason probably made someone’s eyes roll, so I shall endeavor to explain the mood of the country prior to his election, as I have gleaned it from books, my parents, and others who experienced them. (I myself only lived through four of those years.)