FRUiTS Fashion: Show, Don’t Sell

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Since 1996, a monthly magazine called FRUiTS has been documenting street fashion in the bustling Harajuku area of Tokyo. What makes this fashion magazine different from any other is that there are no professional models and no mainstream advertising – in fact, the only ads you’ll see at all are for shops around the area, and for the magazine itself and its two affiliate magazines (STREET and TUNE). The photos are largely candid, the people usually staring straight into the camera. There is no airbrushing and no other photoshopping of any kind. Most images take up an entire page, with only a small white bar at the bottom containing a description of the outfit and a tiny biography of the person wearing it in their own words. Continue reading “FRUiTS Fashion: Show, Don’t Sell”

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? Continue reading “Evangelion 3.0: What the (Actual) Fuck”

5 Female Anime Characters Worth Hating

Making even Miaka seem less annoying by comparison.

About a month ago I made a blog post here on Otaku Lounge that discussed 5 of the worst anime I’d seen in recent years. I decided it might be pretty fun to follow that up by writing another post in the same vein – only this time, about 5 of the worst anime characters. Continue reading “5 Female Anime Characters Worth Hating”

Anime Taste Testing: Spring 2013 (Part II)

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. Continue reading “Anime Taste Testing: Spring 2013 (Part II)”

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. Continue reading “10 Weird Recent Products from Japan”

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. Continue reading “Review: Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son)”

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. Continue reading “5 Hilariously Bad Anime”

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. Continue reading “Anime for Virgins”

Anime Taste Testing: Spring 2013

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. Continue reading “Anime Taste Testing: Spring 2013”