Evangelion 3.0: What the (Actual) Fuck

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First of all, a knee-jerk reaction post this is not. I have intentionally held off on writing a review of the third Evangelion Rebuild film for a while because although it made me angry, frustrated, and a whole lot of other things involving somewhat less polite language, an ill-considered and irrational rant was exactly what I didn’t want. The whole Evangelion franchise has and probably always will be one that provokes strong emotional responses from its viewers, but my aim here is to approach things as reasonably as possible. (For the record, I love the original television anime series. I had no issue whatsoever with the TV version ending when I first watched it, and I still don’t today. The two original Evangelion films – Death and Rebirth and The End of Evangelion – seem totally unnecessarily and completely inferior by comparison, but I recognise that this is a matter of personal opinion. On the other hand, I did enjoy the first two Rebuild films quite a bit, although nothing will ever replace the series for me.)

So let’s cut to the chase – why did I not like Evangelion 3.0? Or more accurately, why specifically did it piss me off so much? Read More

Anime Taste Testing: Spring 2013 (Part II)

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I suppose it’s not surprising that the current season seems like it has really flown past, even though it simultaneously feels as though I’ve only just started most of these shows. With one exception, every new series I picked up for spring 2013 is slated to have a run time of 13 episodes or less – the current financial issues of the anime industry being what they are, this is also probably not surprising. So now that the summer season is creeping up on us, it’s time to see which of the spring titles, if any, have altered my opinion since I last looked at them in my previous anime taste testing post HERE. Read More

10 Weird Recent Products from Japan

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It’s common knowledge among my friends that I loathe the whole ‘only in Japan’ credo. For the most part, it seems to have become popularised only because a bunch of apparent experts who have never even visited Japan, much less lived there, see things in anime or while surfing the net and then dedicate whole pages to whatever weird or ridiculous thing they’ve happened to stumble across. Said weird or ridiculous thing would most often be considered bizarre or repulsive by average Japanese standards as well – as disappointing as it may sound, most people in Japan don’t walk around wearing cat ears, a man will quickly earn himself a lot of negative attention if he cross-dresses in public, and there is not a panty vending machine on every street corner. The list of examples I could make here are endless because in Japan, just like in any other country, daily life tends not to be accurately represented by what people actually find interesting or photo-worthy.

That said, every once in a while I’m forced to concede that Japan is bat-shit insane. So let’s count ‘em down. Here are 10 of the oddest and/or most disturbing products I’ve seen advertised over the past couple of years from the land of the rising sun. Read More

Review: Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son)

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An effeminate boy who wants to be a girl, a masculine girl who wants to be a boy, and a student who comes to her first day at a new school dressed in a boy’s uniform just because. On its own it comes across a bit like the beginning of a joke that begins with three people walking into a bar and ends with a dirty punch-line. With the word ‘anime’ added to the mix, it probably sounds like a recipe for a series involving a lot of fanservice and/or pornography and not much else, since the number of anime titles dealing with gender identity and cross-dressing in a realistic and non-comedic way are extremely few and far between. Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son) does exactly that. Read More

5 Hilariously Bad Anime

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Because while I could write about some of the best anime out there, let’s be honest – hating on anime can be so much more fun. And to be fair, some of these anime can be quite fun to watch if a) you have a masochist streak a mile wide, b) you’re drunk and/or high, or c) you enjoy watching something that fails so hard it’s genuinely funny. I believe any of these could easily applied to the below anime. Because I want to keep things relatively current, I decided to narrow my top 5 selection down to televised anime that have been released within the last several years. Read More

Best J-Pop/J-Rock Albums of 2012

It’s only five months overdue, but better late than never right? Musically-speaking, I still have about as much respect for the likes of AKB48 and Arashi as I did when I first started really getting into Japanese music a few years back but despite the usual predictable chart-toppers, 2012 saw some excellent J-pop and J-rock albums released, so I’ll be going over a few of what I consider to be the best of them. For the sake of originality and fairness, I’ll be counting full studio albums only and excluding any best of and compilation albums. Read More

Anime for Virgins

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Imagine that you, an anime fan, have a friend who you’ve been expounding passionately to about your hobby for the past few weeks/months/years. They finally cave and ask you borrow a title or two from your collection. But discounting that time they were catching Sailor Moon or Samurai Pizza Cats in the mornings before school, they’ve never really sat down to watch an anime before. They ask you for your recommendation. What do you give them?

This has happened to me several times now, and if you’ve been into anime yourself for a while, chances are it’s probably happened to you as well. Imagine my horror when I heard that an acquaintance of mine had given Azumanga Daioh and Angel Beats to one of her friends for their first anime viewing. Said friend had settled down in the evening after work, popped in some DVDs, and promptly been scared away from anime for the next foreseeable while. Read More

Anime Taste Testing: Spring 2013

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After the very decent line-up that was the autumn 2012 anime season (thank you Psycho-Pass, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Magi), the winter list felt like one of the worst seasons of the past several years. With the cancellation of Savannah Game I ended up following a grand total of one title from beginning to end (Amnesia), and clearly that was more a hilariously guilty pleasure than anything else. A first peek at the spring 2013 anime chart when it first came out had me eagerly anticipating the new season however, with not just one or two but several anime titles that looked like they’d be worth trying out. Read More