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5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2021 Week 31

5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2021 Week 31

Welcome to my 5 favorite anime blog posts from 2021 week 31!

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!

Anime Feminist

How fan service can attract or repel an audience, and how to tell the difference

Blogging about some topics can be be a gamble. Controversial topics, topics that provoke strong emotional reactions, might drive higher than usual traffic to your site. But that traffic will likely contain visitors who simply want to explain how wrong you are. Often, they’ll use language that doesn’t reflect the better angels of our nature. Honestly, I think it’s even worse if you as a writer try to intelligently articulate your position. In my experience, nothing offends someone who a) really wants to be offended and b) has no rational reason to be so and c) feels implicitly put down because you’re trying to be intelligent.

Fan service is one of those topics.

I came across a post this week that caught my attention because it addressed fan service and spoke well of two series that I consider among the best in their genres: Keijo!!!!!!!! and Monster Musume. I can’t say enough good about the characters Nozomi Kaminashi or Miia. The post, written by Lauren Orsini on the site Anime Feminist, kept my attention because of the carefully crafted distinctions she made among the various subtypes of sexual-style fan service and the impact that fan service has on its narratives. The post gave me context I can use to think about about the topic in the future, and I really appreciate that. Heck, given the online state of conversation in the United States, I deeply appreciate any rational approach to any subject. It’s just a breath of fresh air. Which is probably why I hang out in the ani-blogging community so much! See if you have the same perception of this article!

Check out the post here!

KS Blogs

Hyouka – Review

If you read this blog very often, you likely know that my goal is to celebrate anime. You’ve probably seen me shy away from posts that feature cruelty, ridicule, or other negative emotions. Based on that, you might expect me to gravitate to posts that say nice things, right? Well, not so much. My goal is to celebrate anime, not cheer-lead for anime. I’m looking for posts that not only say “positive” things, but explain why those things are positive. The whys are probably more important than anything else. I want to understand someone’s perspective. I want to see how that perspective compares to mine.

That’s the reason I really liked this post by Eggsandwich04 on the site KS Blogs. The post talked about the series Hyouka, which is one of a handful of shows that I have not been able to finish. What’s more, I have no idea why I haven’t finished it! It’s from Kyoto Animation, one of the most talented and creative studios on the planet. I liked everything about the show. I found nothing repulsive. Yet, I can’t finish it! Fortunately, Eggsandwich04 provided vivd and interesting details about why the show had been so enjoyable. Maybe it’ll help me figure out why my brain won’t let me finish the series. In the meantime, see if the post talks about the reasons you loved the show!

Check out the post here!

The Magic Planet

(REVIEW) The Web That Was and .hack//SIGN

I have tremendous respect for writers who share the “why” of their opinions. A writer who says a series is a “dumpster fire” might generate page views because of an extreme opinion, but it really tells me nothing. A writer who says a series fumbled on plot because of reason x, screwed up characters because of reason y, botched animation because of reason z, and that it is a “dumpster fire” tells me something. That’s especially true if they say the show botched the animation because it was all CGI “like Arpeggio of Blue Steel.” That tells me even if the writer hated that animation style, there’s a good chance I’d enjoy it.

A post gets bonus points if it goes beyond merely saying why it liked or didn’t like something and puts the show’s visual language into the context of time of creation. That was the case for planet Jane’s review of .hack//SIGN on The Magic Planet. The post nailed the whole “why” thing. Through the writer’s likes and dislikes, along with the supporting evidence, I now have a good idea that I should add this series to my backlog. But even better, the post showed how some of the series’ constructs were a product of their time. All those things worked together to fully engage my imagination. I love it when that happens! See if you have a similar reaction.

Check out the post here!

Random Curiosity

Kageki Shoujo!! – 04

Maybe I’m tired and need a break, but my brain has come up with new visualization routines for plot and characters. The part of that I hope is interesting to you is that this visualization accounts for cliches and over-used tropes in a way I think is helpful. Engrossing characters, vivid animation, and unexpected plot points appear as moving objects. Their evil counterparts, boring characters, unrealized animation, and worn-out plot points, appear as fixed objects. I tend to like the series where all of the objects act out an ornate dance. I tend to dislike the series where a few energetic objects have to navigate around fence-posts.

Just so you know, the irony of me using such imprecise imagery, just after having praised two posts for their exceptionally good treatment of “whys”, is not lost on me.

There is a point to this rambling, and it’s this: Kageki Shoujo!! is turning out to be a series where the objects are in a constant motion that presents itself as a an intricate, beautiful dance of ever shifting patterns. Kinda appropriate given the subject matter! Episode 4 had ample opportunity to give us cliche characters or plot devices. Episode 4 did the exact opposite! This week, I came across Gabie’s post on Random Curiosity, and it captured in entertaining fashion how this episode danced. Having recently finished watching the episode, I found this review to be a perfect way to celebrate it. See if you agree!

Check out the post here!

Umai Yomu Anime Blog

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Review (Spoiler-Free)

I watched Fullmetal Alchemist, and frankly, I loved it. I know, shocking, right? Then I watched Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. How’d I react? Well, three works of literature burned themselves into my mind and became my personal mythology. The first was The Silmarillion. To this day, I can’t think of Fingolfin’s last ride without choking up. The second was David Brin’s The Uplift Saga. There’s a scene when our heroes happen upon a traeki, a pre-uplifted version of the mighty and terrible Jophur. Even as reader, I felt like reaching for a blaster at the same time the hero did, having mistaken the traeki for a Jophur.

And then there’s Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood…

This is one of those series I would love to review, but I haven’t been able to figure out how. Even putting that aside, the idea that writing a review of any depth, while not spoiling at least some aspect of the series, seemed flatly impossible. So when I came across this post by YOMU on the site Umai Yomu Anime Blog, I took one look at the title and thought, “There’s no way on God’s green Earth that he can pull that off! Just no way!” Then I read the review. I am not too proud to admit was was utterly mistaken. Not only is it possible to write an engaging, fascinating review of the series without spoilers. But YOMU did it! I can’t even begin to explain how, so head on over and take a look. I think you’ll be as impressed as I was!

Check out the post here!

Want to Read More of My Favorite Anime Post Lists?

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Copyright 2022 Terrance A. Crow. All rights reserved.

11 thoughts on “5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2021 Week 31

  1. Man, you gotta finish Hyouka. Not only is it one of the comfiest animes to watch, it’s also pretty intriguing at times with its mystery schema – like a wild rollercoaster ride.

    Also Chitanda best waifu 😁👍

    1. I really need to make the time to finish it.

      I can’t fault you for choosing Chitanda. If I were Oreki, I wouldn’t be able to resist helping her when she got curious!

      1. Cool! Planning on any episodic reviews for that? I’ve yet to see any blogger here do such for that anime.

        To be honest, Chitanda reminds me of a girl who I grew up with from middle school and onwards who I really loved ☺️ Basically, her character and outgoing traits reminded me a lot about her – hence the waifu selection!

        It’s no wonder too that Oreki has pretty much become the person I relate to the most in anime, with his lazy yet hidden genius speck coming through. That I found amazing.

        1. “Cool! Planning on any episodic reviews for that? I’ve yet to see any blogger here do such for that anime.”

          That’s an interesting point. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen many other bloggers review it either, and I have no idea why.

          I’ll think about it — thanks for the suggestion! I’m kicking around another idea for my throw-back reviews, but it’s a long-term commitment, and I’m not sure I want to go that route. This is a good alternative.

  2. I actually very much agree with you on wanting writers/reviewers to go more in depth and tell me WHY they think it is a “dumpster fire” (or not). If for no other reason than, well, what you said. If writer A says it’s awful because it’s all CGI and they hate CGI – well, yeah but maybe I LIKE CGI and so maybe the reason you hate it is a reason for me to put it on my “watch this really soon” list. (Not going into the CGI issue here, just using it as an example) This is probably one reason I like your reviews, and Irinas of I Drink and Watch Anime. You give the underlying reasons, as well as relating that anime to other fiction or current events or events and the state of the art at the time it was made compared to today. Which is to say, yes, give me some depth please. If I want click bait I’ll go click thru something stupid like “She had three babies and then the doctor took her husband out of the room”. (Sorry, fell into that one the other day and I can’t get over the fact I clicked through)

    “Maybe I’m tired and need a break, but ” I’d just like to say the paragraph following this is some mighty fine writing and a great visualization.

    1. Thanks! That’s very kind of you to say!

      About those click-throughs: I can almost always ignore them, but once in a blue moon, I’ll see something and start to click on it. Even as I do, I just know I’ll regret it. And I always have, at least so far.

  3. My advice for writing a review like that: You may just want to “rip.” Like; just start writing about the plot and go from there. That’s what I do for my “Nostalgia Corners.”
    Sometimes; I run out of things to say and just think about other stuff I like. Though that makes them more fun.
    Write it as you go- that’s my advice!

    1. That’s good advice.

      Probably for someone else.

      But it’s still good advice!

      The challenge I face is that I want different things at different levels of my being. At a visceral level, I want to tear into everything that’s not perfect. I want the imperfect to feel shame in existing. I want to take my literary knowledge and apply its full force to each and every second of fiction I encounter. The result would be plot entrails and character bone fragments all over the review because let’s face it: Ain’t nothing perfect.

      At an intermediate, emotional, level, I want to celebrate the works that represent something beautiful. I want the world to see that beauty still exists in some form, even if that form is imperfect. And I want to surround myself with beautiful fiction and other beautiful creations. So, I created a site to celebrate anime when I really want to gut everything.

      And at a philosophical level, I want to build one more bulwark against the darkness. I want one more toe-hold to keep me from not just sliding into the Abyss, but to stop me from gleefully leaping into it. I created a site to celebrate anime to move myself even a mili-meter away from the edge. Because if there’s one thing that experience has taught me, it’s that I’m going to have days that suck, and I’ll need a cushion. If Beyond the Boundary or The Asterisk War can keep me occupied even for a moment in those times, I’ll have a chance to regain my footing.

      So I have to be very careful with the “as you go” part, because there’re part of my brain that I just can’t give free expression to!

      Which is probably a lot more than wanted to know! It’s just been on my mind a lot lately…

      Is there a TED-like forum for dealing with existential issues?

      Oh, I just realized. Last night, I watched Bo Burnham’s Inside on Netflix. I should have expected to be in this mood today…

  4. Thanks for the feature, tcrow. I’m glad you liked my post, Hyouka is a really good show. Even I had my doubts while starting the show but eventually I got so pulled into it that I couldn’t stop myself, so I hope you get back to it soon.

    1. You’re welcome! I really do need to make time for it. I actually wonder if I don’t want to finish it because once I do, it’s done!

      Which is a stupid reason for me to not finish something!

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