5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2021 Week 25
Welcome to my 5 favorite anime blog posts from 2021 week 25!
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!
It’s Your Fault That I’m Not Popular!
ANPANMAN, SAITAMA, AND ALTHUSSER SITTING IN A BAR — REMASTERED
You’ve heard of One Punch Man, right? Saitama trained so hard to become a super hero that he went bald. But the effort paid off, because now he can destroy any foe with a single punch. Did you know that the artists based Saitama’s design at least partly on Anpanman? I didn’t, and now knowing how Saitama fits into the continuum of Japanese characters, I like the show even more.
Did you know One Punch Man and Anpanman also represented complex economic theory? I actually suspected that about One Punch Man, especially in his interactions with the Hero Association. But I lacked any background in economic theory to say for sure. Well, fortunately I came across this post by Nora Helmer on the site It’s Your Fault That I’m Not Popular, because she obviously does have the background! One of the ways I gauge a series’ depth is by the quality of the conversations it generates, and based on this post, One Punch Man must seriously rock. Perhaps most surprising of all? Nora Helmer makes economic theory, at least in this context, fun and interesting! That’s no small feat!
Matt Doyle Media
Nisekoi – Season 1 [Anime Review]
I enjoy watching harem comedies. At least, I want to. See, at the same time I enjoy the concept of harem comedies, I also enjoy strong and interesting characters. Especially for a harem, the main character must have at least two of three traits: There has to be a plausible reason that the women in the harem fall for him. He has to not be a complete blithering idiot. And he has to be a decent human being. My bellwether MC and series is Kimihito Kurusu/Darling-kun from Monster Musume. The dude earned his spot at the center of the monster girls harem. I’m actually surprised he survived the effort!
Well, there’s another series that’s right up there in terms of quality MC and romantic interests: Nisekoi. It features an interesting premise, a solid MC, and, at least in the end of the manga, a solid and completely reasonable ending. The show has more going for it, and I was lucky enough this week to find this post by MATTDOYLEMEDIA’s on the site Matt Doyle Media. This post offers a tour of what’s most attractive about the series. Solid insights about Chitoge Kirisaki, too!
Burn The Witch
It’s rare, but every once in a while, I see a single image from an upcoming anime, and I know I just have to watch it. That was the case with Burn the Witch. There was something compelling in Ninny Spangcole’s expression. The near lack of expression from Noel Niihashi, especially in contrast to Ninny, felt even more interesting. Before I knew anything else about the series, I felt disappointment that it was only three episodes.
Did the series live up to my expectations? Speaking just for myself, it did! The characters were every bit as interesting as I’d hoped, and the world — the world reminded me of London Below from Neil Gaiman’s novel Neverwhere, and that’s high praise coming from me. I felt very happy to find this post by Johnathan from Otaku Post this week, because it did a great job of capturing the show’s key points. It also speaks to how the series represents its artist’s body of work. I always enjoy reading those kinds of insights!
Prede’s Anime Reviews
Who is That and Why Should I Care #10 – Second Lieutenant Alice L Malvin
One of the things I love about anime is that so many of the series have huge rewatch value. There are several that I rewatch periodically. For me, that includes a throw-back series I’m reviewing this season, Demon King Daimao, or other series like I Couldn’t Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job. They’re a lot of fun, and since I know what to expect, I can rely on them to entertain me without that nagging doubt they’re about to let me down.
Generally, that’s a positive thing. But the problem with rewatching a series is that I can’t watch an older series I’ve never seen before. Or even a new seasonal anime as it airs! One series that’s perpetually stuck in my backlog is Pumpkin Scissors. I’ve gotten through the first half, and it’s a great series! I just can’t find time to finish it. Well, maybe this post by Michael from Prede’s Anime Reviews will convince me to get my lazy self in gear and finish the thing. This post talks about Second Lieutenant Alice L. Malvin. What’s so great about that character? Well, there are a number of things — and this post talks about most of them! If you weren’t interested in the series before, you might be after reading this. I know I’m going to make an extra effort to finish it now!
Shallow Dives in Anime
Re-Dive: Saga of Tanya the Evil: A Class of its own
In trying to celebrate anime, I’m afraid that my statements sometimes come across as hyperbolic. I try to avoid hyperbole, because it’s dishonest. It’s also dull as all get out, because it just means nothing. Yet, I’m resolved to continue trying to accurately express my perspective on anime. Though now it occurs to me that maybe my feelings themselves are just out of kilter? I do emulate most human emotions instead of feeling them directly…
Putting that existential crisis aside for the moment (where it will lurk menacingly in the back of my mind), despite the danger of sounding like I’m exaggerating, Saga of Tanya the Evil is a high-water mark. It’s unmatched in terms of how it presents theology. As someone with a Bachelors Degree in Theology, I can’t say enough good about this series. But it’s not only a subversion work of theology. It has a lot more going for it. Dewbond’s post this week on Shallow Dives in Anime talks about what that “lot more” is. This post, based on a rewatch, is even more enjoyable than his original review. And it was no slouch! See what you think.
Want to Read More of My Favorite Anime Post Lists?
Want to explore more amazing anime blog posts? Check out the previous editions of My Favorite Anime Community Posts!
14 thoughts on “5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2021 Week 25”
Thanks for including me! I hope I get another inclusion soon! Your site is so interesting, it’s like a catalog of what’s going on in the anime blogsphere. Keep up the good work!
You’re welcome! I really enjoyed reading your perspective on Pumpkin Scissors.
A catalog? That’s interesting! I guess it is a snapshot of what’s going on week to see, at least in miniature.
Thanks for visiting!
I always like your “5 Favorite Anime Blog Post” posts!
Tanya is an underrated classic with depths a lot of viewers don’t catch. There are ideas touched upon one could write a doctoral thesis on.
Thanks — very nice of you to say!
“There are ideas touched upon one could write a doctoral thesis on.”
You’re right — and I’ve read some of them! Seriously, the subtlety and clarity that Tanya brought to the topic were such a delight! I really hope the writer can maintain it in the second season.
Well, Vivy ended up more or less how I expected it to. Given that any AI that had ever connected to Archive became a part of Archive, it was clear what would happen after Vivy sang the shutdown program which consisted of its song. As for how Vivy came to the conclusion that Archive needed to be shut down, one look no more further than the maleficence from Archive in Episode 12. As is the case with Re:zero, Vivy does sometimes expect viewers to understand what happened implicitly.
Aside from touching on individuals being unique and that merely copying experience data does not mean that the copy experienced everything the original experienced, Vivy explored a common thing in sci-fi stories, which is what happens if an AI has too much power, authority, and the ability to come to its own conclusions on the human race. This is what I believe to be a legitimate concern and why I believe there should be hard limits on AI’s authority and power in matters important to humans so that if AIs one day decide that humans should be wiped out that it won’t happen.
“As is the case with Re:zero, Vivy does sometimes expect viewers to understand what happened implicitly.”
I’m going to have to catch up. Based on what you’ve said about it, it sounds like it’s well worth it!
“This is what I believe to be a legitimate concern and why I believe there should be hard limits on AI’s authority and power in matters important to humans so that if AIs one day decide that humans should be wiped out that it won’t happen.”
Well, we all know about SkyNet!
I’m working on a series of novels right now, and an AI plays a role. I’m looking at the issue from another angle: Why would the AI care about us at all? The evolutionary pressures that drove development of morality and the legal systems based on it aren’t present for AIs. We’ll see if I can pull off something both realistic and interesting.
But one thing’s for sure: I think you’re right in that we need to limit the power AIs hold over humans. I say that partly for the reasons you did, but also partly because I know something about the technology behind AIs. It’s open to manipulation by clever humans — which means AIs represent yet another way for a small group to control the rest of us.
Yeah, the technology behind AIs is certainly open to manipulation. If you feed an AI’s algorithms mostly pictures of white people, they will struggle to identify people of colour. If most of the inputs for people who have committed crimes are black people, an algorithm will be more likely to identity black people as criminal suspects. The algorithms social media companies use lead users down tunnels of more and more radical extreme beliefs if they don’t think critically, and a lot of people don’t, leading to them going all in on confirmation bias.
I do believe that the concept of left and right in politics and most people thinking that their side is better is part of the way the elites of the world control the world by encouraging division. The rhetoric around Trump’s falsehoods on the right lead to the destabilization of the U.S.’s democracy, and the left’s unhelpful insistence on defunding the police allows officials to portray them as radicals hellbent on destroying the fabric of society.
What I perceive to be the true start to real police reform is the weakening of police unions that prevent accountability on police misconduct. If a police officer misbehaves, the corresponding police union will represent him/her. The police unions also fight the attempts from officials who want to bring in reform by threatening to walk out en masse or undermine confidence in them. Police officers or ex-police officers should not be the ones who are deciding whether a current officer has broken the rules. It should be up to civilians to do that, and I believe the same goes for the military to. There should be civilian oversight instead of letting those sectors police themselves, which is backwards and a conflict of interest. Defunding the police would lead to a lawless, unsafe society, and I am baffled that the left has decided to stand its ground on this stance as it poisons the discourse, but maybe for some on the left that is the point of choosing that stance in the first place.
“If you feed an AI’s algorithms mostly pictures of white people, they will struggle to identify people of colour. If most of the inputs for people who have committed crimes are black people, an algorithm will be more likely to identity black people as criminal suspects.”
I don’t like to use labels, because so often they get misused. By “misused,” I mean abused by talking heads. But, that’s one of the better succinct descriptions I’ve seen of systemic racism. I am really disappointed that even in 2021, we’re still dealing with that.
“I do believe that the concept of left and right in politics and most people thinking that their side is better is part of the way the elites of the world control the world by encouraging division.”
That’s pretty much it! I blame Pavlov. Once he proved he could get a dog to salivate when he rang a bell, I could just see some dictator wannabes thinking, “Hey, if I could train people to vote using certain overloaded words…” They don’t need a majority. They need about 30% of the population to remain as uneducated as possible while still being able to earn enough to sustain the capitalistic process. Then, they need to disincentivize about 20-30%. That means they can win elections with only 30% of the population.
“What I perceive to be the true start to real police reform is the weakening of police unions that prevent accountability on police misconduct. ”
That’s a good start. I think another important step is to re-establish beats. When a police officer walks a beat, he or she gets to know the individuals within the community. The community also gets to know them. Where that kind of thing is re-implemented (it was in heavy use years ago), race becomes less an issue. Everyone sees each other as individuals. The police are in less danger, and the community trusts those police officers. We’ve seen that work over and over. There’s no down side that I can see.
Well, there’s a lot of walking involved. But the benefit to society as a whole is huge.
“Defunding the police would lead to a lawless, unsafe society, and I am baffled that the left has decided to stand its ground on this stance as it poisons the discourse, ”
Yeah, I think the cry for defunding goes back to the right/left division you mentioned. No sane individual would look at the crime statistics (though they are admittedly more complex than they seem) and think eliminating police is a good idea. However, studies have strongly suggested that shuffling _some_ funding to preventative mental health counseling can dramatically drive down the need for police action in some circumstances. That doesn’t mean we need fewer police. It means we free them up to pursue actual crime, instead of incarcerating those who suffer from mental health issues.
A big thank you for the mention! Nisekoi is such a fun series IMO.
It really is! The characters in particular were a lot of fun.
Thank you so much for the mention, and I’m happy that my post didn’t come off as ‘reading too much into it’, moreover fun to read!
I thought your theory fit the facts! And I’m still amazed you made economic theory fun to read!
“Burn The Witch” WAS really good.
I only wish we got more of it! But even if we never get another episode, it was still a ton of fun to watch!