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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Want to Read Favorite Posts from Other Sites?
- Lesley’s Anime and Manga Corner: Anime and Manga Blog Posts That Caught My Eye This Week (July 30, 2021)