5 Male Anime Douchebags

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A while back on Otaku Lounge I wrote an article about my personal top five most hated female anime characters. In the interest of evening things out between the sexes a little, this article is a continuation of sorts, but with a slight difference – my top five male anime douchebags. Continue reading “5 Male Anime Douchebags”

Review: Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope)

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It felt inevitable that I should review this anime at some point. As a creation of Watanabe Shinichiro’s, who’s masterpiece Cowboy Bebop is still easily one of the best anime productions of all time, Sakamichi no Apollon was garnering a lot of anticipation months before it’s televised release date. Certainly I was excited – and to add to my euphoria, as with Cowboy Bebop, legendary composer Kanno Yoko was once again behind the soundtrack. With their powers combined, what could possibly go wrong? Continue reading “Review: Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope)”

Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2013 (Part II)

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Fall is moving steadily on and I feel as though I’ve been dropping shows left, right and center. Maybe it’s because I’m getting fussier and more demanding in my tender age of 26, or maybe it’s just because I’ve been so busy in RL side over the past few weeks, but having already abandoned three anime titles from my original line-up back in my first fall taste testing post (Coppelion, Meganebu!, Diabolik Lovers), I’ve gone and dropped two more. Continue reading “Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2013 (Part II)”

Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2013

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Despite it still being unseasonably warm (or so all my co-workers and neighborhood obaachans tell me), the fall anime line-up is now well under way and so far looks to be extremely promising. Thankfully, the ‘cute girls doing cute things’ shows don’t seem to be as dominant this season, so I’m looking forward to shows that pack a little more punch this time around. Let’s take a quick look at those titles that piqued my curiosity, shall we? Continue reading “Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2013”

Lolita: Fashion and Subculture

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Having explored FRUiTS fashion and the sailor fuku as a fashion statement in previous Otaku Lounge articles, I thought it might be a good time to look at another, more specific form of Japanese street fashion that has gained some recognition and popularity among fans across the globe – the lolita subculture.

Essentially, lolita fashion draws its inspiration from Victorian children’s clothing and 18th century French Rococo-period costumes. The general look therefore consists primarily of puffy knee-length dresses and skirts, lacy blouses, full petticoats, and varying forms of headdresses. Hand-held items such as dolls and plushies are sometimes carried in order to emphasise the childlike look, and make-up is often kept to a minimum. By adding gothic or other design elements into the mix, lolita fashion has evolved over the years into several different sub-styles, whose devotees often view their manner of dress as an entire lifestyle rather than as a simple fashion trend. Continue reading “Lolita: Fashion and Subculture”

Review: Sword Art Online

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I’ll admit that I only first started watching Sword Art Online because so many of the kids I’m teaching here in Japan were into it. Sure, I had viewed the trailer with mild curiosity, but for whatever reason it just didn’t seem all that appealing at the time. In the end, after several earnest recommendations from junior high school students and fellow anime fans alike, I caved and gave it a go. And despite much of the negative attention this series has garnered, I’m really, really glad I did. Continue reading “Review: Sword Art Online”

5 Decent Yaoi Anime

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Ah, yaoi. The bishounen. The angst. The creepy I-love-you, rape-as-romance themes. While still considered a niche genre in comparison to more mainstream anime, yaoi has gained a significantly larger following than yuri and has an extremely passionate fanbase. There are also copious amounts of anime titles that don’t specifically fit into the yaoi genre, but which nonetheless either imply or leave the possibility open for male/male pairings – often as a kind of female-orientated fanservice. Every now and then though, a yaoi title comes along that manages to break the mold and present a genuinely thoughtful, creative, or (somebody pinch me) realistic love story. Continue reading “5 Decent Yaoi Anime”

5 Decent Yuri Anime

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I’ve been meaning to write an article like this for a while now – not because I like yuri more than any other genre of anime, but because it’s such a niche genre in comparison to most others. Sure, you can find yuri pairings in any number of pornographic works, but anime that depict lesbian relationships in more genuine, realistic terms are actually incredibly few and far between. [As an aside, I think this has in large part to do with the general fanbase; when not overtly or explicitly sexual, yuri is a genre that’s often targeted towards women, not men – yet there are far more yaoi fans among women than yuri fans, and so the amount of anime being produced to cater to them are similarly low. Of course, this is not to say that there aren’t any men who also enjoy watching yuri anime, but this can actually become more of a problem in the long run, since it’s further complicating an already very fractured audience.] Having now watched a fair few yuri titles, many of which I will never, ever be watching again, I decided it might be a good idea to celebrate those that managed to stand out due to their intelligence, innovation, or sincerity – especially if, like me a few years ago, you have a curiosity in the genre but have absolutely no idea where to start. Continue reading “5 Decent Yuri Anime”

Anime Taste Testing: Summer 2013 (Part II)

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Summer is rolling on, and with the majority of new anime I’m keeping track of this season once again being between 11 and 13 episodes in length, it’s time to check in with them again now that we’ve reached the rough halfway point. It’s been a particularly rewarding season so far for comedy and moe fans, while more serious fare has taken a back seat – with numerous ‘cute girls doing cute things’ type shows making a strong showing in the new line-up, there have been comparatively few darker titles. So, which anime have I changed my mind on since first episode impressions HERE, and which have remained exactly the same? Let’s top up the water bottle, crank up the aircon and find out. Continue reading “Anime Taste Testing: Summer 2013 (Part II)”