5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2021 Week 17
Welcome to my 5 favorite anime blog posts from 2021 week 17!
Every week I look for posts that celebrate amazing moments in anime or otherwise blow me away with their wit and charm. I check hundreds of sites, and I can tell you that the ani-blogging community constantly produces a ton of amazing posts. I hope this list helps you find some of them!
Here’s the list of the sites I check!
Another Anime Review
Devastation: episode 11 of Non Non Biyori Nonstop
In May of 1981, the year I graduated from high school, Jim Steinman released Rock and Role Dreams Come True. I’m not sure what it was about that song. Maybe it was the over the top album cover. Maybe it was the over the top lyrics. Certainly, it had something to do with the time of my life. I heard the song first just weeks before I graduated high school. For me, that song represented a place my mind could go and recharge, even if only for the duration of the song.
And I’ll say this: The base sounded amazing on my old tricked out car stereo, which was my obsession at the time.
Jim Steinman died on April 19, 2021. There’s something few folks mention about getting old. It’s that the people you looked up to die. The older you get, the faster they seem to pass on, until it’s a constant stream. This one hit me pretty hard. It’s one of the songs that I still listen to from time to time, and now it’s colored with the melancholy of Steinman’s passing. One of the therapy places I used to isn’t quite as safe anymore. It reminds me that I, too, will eventually end up in a grave. What this experience reminded me is that art, whether in the form of music or fiction, can offer comfort. Until it doesn’t. In both phases — in offering comfort and in denying it — there’s a power that’s helpful or instructive, if not always pleasant.
Anime can be particularly impactful in this regard, as this post by David Boone from Another Anime Review explains. Such helpful or instructive moments are most effective when they are least expected, which is why David found such a moment in Non Non Biyori Nonstop. What was the moment? How did such a gentle slice of life deliver an emotional hammer-blow? Well, you know what to do to find out! But please make sure you’re ready.
Beneath the Tangles
Is Homura Evil? Or, What Homura Taught Me About Humanity
Unless you have read my comments in ROSSIROAD’s post “A Relationship with God” on his site My Brain is Completely Empty, you probably have the impression from my site that I’m a lapsed Catholic who has a degree in theology. That’s correct, as far as it goes. What it doesn’t say is that I’m also, unfortunately, an honest individual. I’m honest to the point that I won’t accept lies from myself, or from anyone else. You might say it’s a matter of personal policy.
You can probably see where this is going.
It used to be that folks would try to argue theology with me. Like, all the freaking time. I used to enjoy the experience. Then I learned something. A few somethings, actually. First, I don’t enjoy arguing anymore. It’s worse than fruitless. It’s toxic. When anyone tries to argue Catholic doctrine with me, I feel like quoting Nero from Star Trek: “I do not speak for the empire. We stand apart.” It’s at about 00:50 in this video. Pretty cool quote, actually. Second, I now mentally inhabit a place that’s very dark, surrounded by void, with no stars in sight. All of the comforting platitudes failed to have meaning decades ago, once I understand their purpose and intent. And history. That’s not terribly cheerful, is it? Best to move it along, then.
So, yeah, I stand apart. But I still recognize the value in some of the language, symbology, and yes, philosophy and theology, if they can be teased apart from the human drive to dominate and accumulate power. That’s why posts like this one by Cajk2 on the site Beneath the Tangles are so appealing to me. This post is an inquiry into Homura’s role in the movie Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part III: Rebellion. Between the differences in the Eastern philosophy that underpin the movie and the writer’s Western Christian perspective, there’s a lot of fertile ground to explore. This post does a great job of it. See if you agree with the direction the post takes!
Jonah’s Daily Rants
How Eren Jaeger Became My Favorite Attack on Titan Character
I haven’t talked much about Attack on Titan: The Final Season lately. This season is very different from what came before. It’s going to a dark and desperate place. There’s something there that I want to think more about. It’s one of those rare shows whose reach might propel it to long-term fame. That is, if it can nail the last pinches, turns, and resolution. But I have to wait until it’s done to know.
One thing I do know is that the series has several stand-out characters. One in particular showed a ton of development, and that character is Eren Yeager. You can really see how he changed in the current season. The OP for the third season has this quick shot that beautifully foreshadows the change. At about 01:01, an older Eren stands facing away from us. His younger self, playing with a younger Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert, bounds up to his older self and tries to tell him something. There’s no response. They are too far apart to even communicate.
This week, I came across a post by jernahblunt on the site Jonah’s Daily Rants. It’s always a delight to read Jonah’s character studies, but this one is particularly powerful. He nailed Eren’s character. He laid out what makes him so memorable. We’re know for sure when the series is over, but as this post points out, all of the signs are there. See if you agree!
Never Argue with a Fish
Anime Corner: Warlords of Sigrdrifa Review
I grew up on a farm in Ohio, USA. We were far away from light pollution, so the night sky was dark. In fact, I remember the nearest pole light being a couple of miles away. I used to go down near the barns where we had a large flat area. I had a pair of 7×35 binoculars and an old refractor telescope. To this day, I still remember how bright the southern sky would be in the summer, when the constellation Sagittarius was at its peak. Looking at that constellation means you’re looking straight into the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. I thought it was awesome then, but I didn’t really appreciate it. I can’t even see it now from the suburbs. It was an amazing sight. It’s ghostly white; it doesn’t have the colors you see in time-lapse photos. But it’s still beautiful.
What’s that have to do with anime? Learning about the constellations got me interested in mythology. I learned a ton about Greek Mythology, given how a lot of the constellations, at least in the Western world, are based on that mythology. That got me interested in Roman mythology (talk about plagiarism!) and later Norse mythology. There’s a lot I like about the Norse mythology, especially compared to the Greek/Roman stories, but there’s also something that bugs me: I don’t get to see if often represented in fiction in a way that is interesting. Not to knock the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I’d like something a little more innovative.
Enter Warlords of Sigrdrifa. I’d decided not to watch the series, but thank heavens Zeke Changuris sent me a tweet about Miyako Muguruma. It’s not the first time he’s saved me from missing a show that I ended up loving. What’s so great about Warlords of Sigrdrifa? Glad you asked, because I just found a post that provides a fantastic answer! Please let me direct your attention to this article by neverarguewithafish from the site Never Argue with a Fish. Once you read this post, you’ll see why I brought up Norse mythology. I’d love to say more, but neverarguewithafish already said it better. So, you know what to do!
Takuto’s Anime Cafe
Mushoku Tensei: A Jobless, Shameless Reincarnation || Review
Sometimes, the reaction to the reviews I write reminds me that I have to fine-tune my human emulation capabilities. See, I’m here for the stories. Give me amazing moments, or amazing character, or really anything amazing, and you’ll have my attention. Sounds innocent, right?
Not really. Turns out normal humans don’t seem to behave that way. Having read a least a little and sometimes a lot from all epochs of written human literature, I find that my sense of what’s outrageous is a little, let’s say, unrefined. Okay, it doesn’t exist. A lot of the topics that get people worked up look to me, from my perspective, as simply story elements. Some writer decided that this character trait enhanced the story they wanted to tell. Or this aspect of the world gave the story a feel that enhanced the themes the writer want to talk about. The reactions to some of my reviews of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Season 1 reminded me that my perspective is not universal.
So I paid attention to other reviewers. I wanted to know how they saw it. It’s not that I want people to agree with me. But I am aware that any given thought in my head; any particular perception, could be utterly and demonstrably false. And I’m honestly looking for ways to make sure I don’t delude myself. I mean, who knows how to trick me better than me? I have to keep both eyes on me a lot of the time…
So when I saw Takuto’s post on Takuto’s Anime Cafe, I was intrigued. How would Takuto see the series? Would this review mention some of the things that jumped out at me? How would it address some of the pushback I saw? Well, one of the ways I can tell how much I like a post is how well it blows my questions out of the water. Takuto’s post redefined my questions and gave me answers that I much prefer! If that’s not the sign of a good post, I don’t know what is!
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Want to explore more amazing anime blog posts? Check out the previous editions of My Favorite Anime Community Posts!
5 thoughts on “5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2021 Week 17”
Many thanks for the mention! Non Non Biyori has been a safe space for me ever since its first season premiered. In fact, it’s one of those anime that I repeatedly pull from my shelf to watch. The ending of this season’s ep 11 was so quietly done that I wonder if some viewers missed the fact of Kaede crying. . .it was simply too realistic for me to bear well. Thank the Goddess that Yuru Camp was also around with its second season–that place remains safe so far! (Although, when I think about it, another safe space of mine, Encouragement of Climb, also crumbled in its third season. For some reason, the easy friendships of the first two seasons gave way to [completely ridiculous and unnecessary] misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Where did that suddenly come from, and why?!)
Isn’t it amazing what walls we retreat behind, even if for a few psychological moments?
That’s Gate for me. Rory stands strong against the darkness. Sure, she’s the Apostle of Emory, the god of Death. But as she explained to Itami, that means she had to show reverence for life. As long as she stands, even Hardy, a god, can’t overthrow her.
At least, as long as Itami gets her out of the subway!
There’s a metaphor there about teamwork…
This planet’s hard to bear at times, isn’t it?
Thank you so much for linking my post! And for your honesty — I absolutely agree that arguing is worse than fruitless, it is destructive.That’s one of the things I love so much about ‘Rebellion’ and Homura: you can’t really have an argument about either because they’re so rich with ambivalence that there’s just no hope of even deceiving yourself into thinking you have the ‘right answer’ or ‘right interpretation’ of either of them! The only thing we can do is share ideas, impressions and a bit of heartbreak…and look forward to the new film that was just announced! (Which doubtless will raise more questions than it answers–just how I like it!)
Now I’m going to go read everyone else’s posts–this is a really stellar-looking round-up!
“I absolutely agree that arguing is worse than fruitless, it is destructive.”
Would you be surprised if I said that statement offered me tremendous relief?
I admit that I have become so weary of people who profess “truth,” only to betray it by committing idolatry as they elevate a political figure to godhood, that I’ve despaired of discourse.
Sure, there’s a 101 course in theology that everyone should go through. But at some point, those of us who have been journeying for a lifetime learn a harsh truth.
That truth is this: The best we can do is say that “I see this, and this, and that, in my lantern light. What do you see? Can we triangulate our positions? Is the dark endless? Is there an abyss before my feet? Or a passage to the next truth?”
And every time a human strays from the path, their despairing wail only feeds the darkness, so that it grows…
I spend 80% of my energy not speaking. Now you see why!
But I was happy to celebrate your post. It was a step in the right direction. It was a an answer to “What do you see?”
It was a chance to move forward.
This is really powerful, what you’re describing here. It’s essentially the way forward for our fragmented human society (maybe even our fragmented humanity?): this posture of humility as we seek to understand our existence — “here’s what I see” rather than “this is what it is, I know it all” (or “you should do what so and so says because s/he’s right in all things”, which is, as you say, idolatry); and this practice of honour towards one another in this exploration — “what do you see?”, followed by actual listening (to a disproportionate degree).
If we want to be voices worth hearing, we have to do a great deal of listening. So often when we speak, we’re either answering questions no one is asking, or drowning out voices that are expressing something that could actually enrich our lives greatly, giving us hope, insight, and healing our wounds—building bridges instead of reinforcing walls and moats.
This is why I love watching anime — it’s such a completely different voice from my own! I have so much to learn from Japanese culture, even though it is so distinct from my worldview—in fact, probably *because* it is so distinct. How else am I going to learn anything new? How else can I venture further into lands unknown to me? How else can I keep discovering new stretches of that sunlit path?
So yeah, I agree with what you’re saying! And I’m genuinely honoured that you consider my post to be a step in this right direction. Truly.