What Medieval Otaku’s Been Doing, Part 1

For the past while, I’ve found myself too preoccupied, too lazy, or too weak-willed to write as much as I ought, especially on this blog.  Most recently, my move to Alabama provided a good excuse for missing my last installment of “Examining Old School Anime” on Beneath the Tangles.  Having recovered from the fourteen hour drive from New Jersey, I feel ready to blog again.  However, I have a warning for people passing through Tennessee: the police cars have an outrageous paint scheme.  They are a dull brown above and below, a flat, light yellow in the middle, and have a black silhouette of the state of Tennessee in the center.  All this considerably breaks up their image and makes for excellent camouflage.  Not only that, but they try to pull people over by speed signs so that one cannot argue being ignorant of the limit.

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But, you would not be reading my blog if I only wrote about travel.  Below, my dear readers will find some succinct summaries of various anime.  I hope that these recommendations from my watch list prove interesting to you.

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1) Strike the Blood – ★★★½

Some of my readers may be surprised to find such a fanservicey and silly show here.  But, I confess a weakness for harem shows and action-packed vampire anime.  How can I resist a show which combines the two?  Also, the main character, Kojou Akatsuki, has personality, unlike the harem lead of a certain show last season.  (*cough*BellCranel*cough*)  The ecchi varies between cute, silly, and rather uncomfortable–as may be expected from the fact that Kojou’s vampire powers, which he frequently resorts to, only surface when he’s aroused.  This leads to the harem becoming frequently infuriated with him, although Kojou himself does not have any attachment to his powers and has avoided sucking the blood of young maidens until a series of violent and potentially cataclysmic events strike his city.

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Where’s the Anime Gone?

Some of you may be wondering whether I still watch anime or if I have become disenchanted with modern anime and started to focus solely on manga, like xxxHolicWing of Chronical Holic.  May she find reasons to get excited about anime again, since I have always enjoyed reading her articles–though I admit having to catch up.  Fear not, my dear readers!  I have a tidy list of shows which I happen to be watching on and off.  You may expect some reviews in the near future.  Also, a few more for manga: Bartender, Break Blade, Fuyu Hanabi, Guardian Dog, Gunka no Balzer, and Hinekure Shisho no Mikaiketsu Jikenroku have caught my attention in particular.  I might have reviewed Break Blade already though.  I’ll check later.

My favorite current manga for its dynamic characters, period detail, and political intrigue.

My favorite current manga for its dynamic characters, period detail, and political intrigue.

At any rate, Girls und Panzer and Future Diary provided excellent entertainment with the later raising some interesting moral questions.  I rather enjoyed both, though I admit to Future Diary being somewhat of an acquired taste.  At least, the points where I disagree with it furnish apt material for editorials.  Unfortunately, I can’t write anything else about Girls und Panzer besides what people have already written: it’s a unique show which excels at action.  Watch it!

Who knew that a show combining high school girls and tanks could be so fantastic?

Who knew that a show combining high school girls and tanks could be so fantastic?

Having been intrigued by a review of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia written by Marlin-sama of Ashita no Anime, searching for a good comedy yesterday finally led me to watch it.  Three episodes into the show, the comedy has remained spectacular, the fanservice not over the top, and the overall tone wonderfully touching.  So, you can expect an article from me on the show in the future.  On a friend’s recommendation, I have started to watch the Break Blade movies.  As a fan of the manga, I was happy to see that they have kept the story faithful to the original story and that the animation is quite stunning.  Then, there are a couple of other shows which bloggers’ articles have led me to watch: Charles of Beneath the Tangles recommended Kotoura-san, and John Samuel of Pirates of the Burley Griffin’s series of articles on Bodacious Space Pirates drew me to watching that show.

Another surprisingly good show led by high school girls, the ambassadors of Japanese culture.

Another surprisingly good show led by high school girls, the ambassadors of Japanese culture.

Then, there are a few others which I’m currently enjoying: Gintama, Hunter x Hunter, Inuyasha: the Final Act, Psycho-pass, and Ys.  Gintama rates highly among comedies, as its six season run attests.  It’s a rather frenetic show, going everywhere from high-class, dramatic series of episodes to episodes of low-brow toilet humor.  Sometimes I wonder whether a different show has insidiously taken Gintama‘s place.  I’m watching the original Hunter x Hunter, and just can’t seem to find the time to finish it.  If I did, I’d probably turn to the remake, which has received a lot of good press.  Inuyasha: the Final Act shows remarkable improvement from the original show in regard to animation quality, and I can’t wait to see the demise of Naraku in color.  Psycho-pass has frequently horrified me by the bloodiness of the crimes, and, in the last episode I watched, outraged me with the scene showing a brutal murder in a crowd with the onlookers merely spectating.  Yet, it offers an interesting view of human nature alongside its utopian society.  I should pen an article for it pretty soon.  Lastly, the fantasy Ys deserves a very harsh, mocking review.  It proves that not every anime from the 90’s is as good as I’d like it to be.  The characters’ actions are so artificial that it makes me feel like I’m watching video game cut scenes!

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Oh, and I have also been watching Shin Sekai Yori.  That sums up my anime watching history over the past few months.  Look forward to some nice reviews!