Welcome to My 5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2023 Week 19!
Every week, I visit over 300 anime sites looking for posts that celebrate amazing moments in anime or otherwise blow me away with their wit and charm. These five posts are my favorite for the week! I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did!
You can see a list of the sites I check here: Massive List of Sites!
The Con Artists
Hell’s Paradise – Episode 05
Hell’s Paradise captured my imagination in the first episode, and so far, it hasn’t let go. The attraction isn’t only the animation. It’s also the characters! Obviously, I think Sagiri is fantastic. But she’s not the only one! That’s one of many thing I really liked about this review by CONARTISTDAN on the site The Con Artists: he pointed out cool moments for other characters. Having one captivating character in a series is great. Having more than one? That’s an embarrassment of riches! See what you think of CONARTISTDAN’s perspective on this episode!
Confessions of an Overage Otaku
THE ANTAGONIST: GENDO IKARI
You might know that I write novels. One of the questions I often worry about is, “How will I know if I’ve written a successful villain?” I mean, sure, sales are one measure. But how do I know I did something great? Something important? One way would be finding out people are still writing posts about my villain 27 years after publishing — which is exactly what just happened for Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion. The Overage Otaku just wrote an engrossing of that villain on the site Confessions of an Overage Otaku. The Overage Otaku flexes his in-depth knowledge of all things story-craft and explains just why Gendo Ikari is still a topic of conversation almost 30 years after his series ended. Believe me, I took notes! See what you think!
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Bakuen wo! – 06
Do you know who my second favorite character is in the Konosuba universe? Megumin. My favorite is Darkness. You may infer from that what you will. But Megumin is my second favorite. So I was really excited to see KonoSuba: An Explosion on this Wonderful World! start this season. Now, you might ask how one fourth of the main cast from the original series is holding up a show on her own. That’s a good question! And this week, I found a good answer in the form of this post by Pancakes on the site Random Curiosity. Pancakes has a long history of writing clear, concise, to-the-point reviews, and this one is another example of that fine tradition. Check out Pancake’s thoughts on episode 6!
Grieving and Moving Forward in A Place Further Than the Universe Episode 12
There are a handful of anime that I simply don’t have the emotional vocabulary to review. A Place Further Than the Universe is one of them. I really wish I could, because I found the emotional payoff in episode 12 to be profound. What emotional payoff? Thanks for continuing to ask segue questions! This post by Jack Scheibelein on the site Rhapsodise! captured the moment with quiet poignancy. This post became my favorite treatment of that episode. See if you like the post as much as I did!
The Traditional Catholic Weeb
Anime Review #99: Hanasaku Iroha
Usually, I jokingly curse bloggers who make my backlog expand. This is bit of a new situation: on the site The Traditional Catholic Weeb, writer Traditional Catholic Weeb reviewed the series Hanasaku Iroha. He did it so well I wanted to watch the series. That’s different because I already put it on my back-list several years ago! I even bought it. I got one episode in, felt good about it, but then life happened. Well, Traditional Catholic Weeb’s post has me thinking about it again. And in a good way! So, another series tries to claw its way to the top of my backlog. See if you have a similar reaction!
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?
- Anime Feminist: Weekly Round-Up, 3-9 May 2023: Skip & Loafer Director Profile, Rebellious Fashion, and WataMote at 10
- Lesley’s Anime and Manga Corner: Anime and Manga Blog Posts That Caught My Eye This Week (May 12, 2023)
6 thoughts on “5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2023 Week 19”
Satella put it best around the middle of Season 2 when she implied that one of the reasons Subaru likely has what he believes to be RBD is because it was given to him so that he could grow to love himself and then eventually kill her after that has happened. And if you think his low self-worth was completely fixed after Parent and Child was released, that’s not accurate as someone with high self-worth wouldn’t use his life repeatedly as a test run for a good loop. Subaru at the end of Season 2 is still at the point where he doesn’t like himself but thinks he might like himself if he has Emilia’s affection. While this might ruffle some feathers, it needs to be said that if the only thing that makes Subaru think that he likes himself is having Emilia’s affection, Subaru does not really like himself. This is not self-love, and Subaru could live through a couple of decades with Emilia in marriage and have Emilia die a premature death in spite of her elven heritage, and if his headspace reverted back to where he was in Season 2, it would show that he never really loved himself and that any positive self-image he had was a mirage.
This is why it is essential to the story that Subaru really actually like who he is as a person and not delude himself into thinking that is the case because of his relationship with Emilia. Subaru could and probably will spend most of the story trying to save Emilia. And if Satella does possess Emilia’s body at the end of the story with no way to stop it, requiring for him to kill Satella after Emilia has perished, Subaru needs to be able to take a step back and realize that, yes, he accomplished a heck of a lot even in spite of not achieving the one goal he started out with at the beginning. Just because Subaru failed at accomplishing it doesn’t mean that he’s a failure in life overall. Re:zero is meant to be a reflection of reality unlike most other isekai anime, and just because you failed at something doesn’t mean it negates everything you learned along the way and all that you accomplished. Most people in life will set goals that they have every intention of achieving, and they can come quite close to achieving them but fail, but it doesn’t render all of their efforts meaningless if they failed at reaching them. Those with a healthy mindset and reasonable self-worth would pick up the pieces, recalibrate their goals, and continue living their lives, accepting both the good and bad in life. While up to this point, Subaru has not really faced serious losses aside from Rem becoming a hollow shell of what she used to be with everyone aside from him forgetting her, and with Roswaal revealing at the end of Season 2 that he intends to force Subaru to loop if Subaru ever loses someone important to him, I expect Roswaal to eventually be killed off as he would be preventing Subaru from facing real loss, which runs contrary to Re:zero being a story more grounded in reality than other isekai anime.
Now I know up until now how I’ve not mentioned a single thing about Emilia and only framed everything around Subaru, but it’s time for me to address the Emilia side of things. I know that Emilia’s goal to reduce racial discrimination and rehabilitate the image of half-elves is something Tappei fully intends to address. And I believe there’s no better way for Emilia to show that half-elves are not monsters is to actually sacrifice herself for the world in allowing Satella to possess her body to use Satella’s combat powers against whatever world-ending evil will be at the end of the story. If Subaru and those in the know do a good job of spreading the word about Emilia’s noble sacrifice, even her biggest detractors and people who feared Emilia’s heritage the most would have to take a step back and acknowledge what she did for the betterment of the world. There’s a reason I have predicted that a statue of Emilia would be erected at the end of the story and that people of the world would make pilgrimages to it and bow to this statue with Emilia’s likeness in reverence, and it’s because it’s the ending that I believe most dovetails with Satella dying and Emilia still somehow being a very respected figure.
Finally, I’m predicting a direction Tappei can take his story based off the events of Arc 2 (Mansion Arc) and Arc 3 (Start of royal selection arc). What needs to be clear is that trust is something that is earned, and just because Subaru has saved Emilia and done things for her does not entitle him to her trust. The first incidence of Subaru having a chance to build trust with Emilia was with Roswaal’s introduction, and he botched it royally by calling Emilia’s benefactor and sole backer in the Royal Selection a clown that they hired to entertain them even though it was clear that this clown had to be Roswaal considering the twins had indicated that their master had returned, and he had already met Beatrice, so she couldn’t be that person. For Emilia, Roswaal, who gave her an education, a home, and the means to participate in the Royal Selection, was someone very important to her at the time even if she didn’t necessarily have any emotional attachment to him. Subaru came off as very immature there, and it was the first real impression Emilia had of Subaru in a normal situation that wasn’t life-threatening, and I believe it has set the tone of their relationship, which I will go further into.
Because Subaru had already left a poor initial impression by calling Roswaal a clown during the first important meeting Emilia had with Subaru, Emilia already had a clear reason to establish boundaries between her and Subaru. With how utterly toxic Subaru acted towards Julius, that reinforced Emilia’s belief that Subaru is immature and much like a child, which is why she felt the need to hold Subaru’s hand so that he doesn’t go off and do something dumb and decided to exclude Subaru from that meeting. If she wasn’t already going to exclude Subaru from the Royal Guard meeting, which I doubt, his behaviour to Julius definitely sealed the deal to ensure that he would not be invited to the meeting. Subaru drawing all over the chambers of the 1st Sanctuary Trial could also reinforce Emilia seeing Subaru as immature and childish as staying with her through the night and keeping his promise to her might have done more to help Emilia pass the first trial than what he ended up doing.
Now I’m getting to my point soon, so bear with me. Emilia specifically instructed Subaru not to go to the castle with her because he is immature and unpredictable and because she considered him an outsider, the last part which she literally said to him before leaving him with Rem at their designated lodgings. It’s not a matter of perception but the reality of the situation. Emilia hoped that keeping Subaru out would prevent him causing a huge scene since she would have many detractors, but he exploded and made a huge mess of the situation even though the Royal Selection is so important to her with regards to what she wants accomplished. Emilia was very well in the right to ask Subaru to give her a reason to trust him, and he failed completely and utterly by breaking not 1 but 2 promises to her back-to-back and causing all sorts of problems for her during that incident.
Why am I pointing this out? It’s because Subaru has already made an extremely poor impression on Emilia with their first two important meetings, the second of which Subaru literally trampled all over her boundaries and personal autonomy. I therefore conclude that Emilia has every reason to exclude Subaru from future meetings because of how he got their relationship off to a poor start. It doesn’t matter that he saved her so many times. Subaru has made some huge messes and disrespected her wishes blatantly.
How this can play out in the future is that Emilia locking Subaru out of meetings can have consequences to Emilia for her decision to do so much like how Subaru’s immature behaviour bore consequences to him. Subaru, as he grows in self-confidence as the story progress, will want to be treated as a man, and Emilia treating him as a child might not sit well with him. It opens up the possibility for a character to make Subaru feel that he should be treated like a man and an equal, leading to Subaru growing closer to that character. This character does not necessarily have to be a woman, but if it is, I fully expect her to be Priscilla. If it’s a man, Otto would be the best choice for forcing Emilia to confront whether she still sees Subaru as a child, which could create a rift between her and Subaru. I do believe this is the direction Tappei will take the story given how long Re:zero’s story is supposed to be.
“While this might ruffle some feathers, it needs to be said that if the only thing that makes Subaru think that he likes himself is having Emilia’s affection, Subaru does not really like himself. ”
I think the story support that.
“Re:zero is meant to be a reflection of reality unlike most other isekai anime, and just because you failed at something doesn’t mean it negates everything you learned along the way and all that you accomplished. ”
I think that’s the reason I like it so much. It has a brutal, clear honesty that appeals to me. Reality isn’t “nice” or “fun.” Stories about “nice” and “fun” are fine — but there are times I want something like Re:ZERO.
“And I believe there’s no better way for Emilia to show that half-elves are not monsters is to actually sacrifice herself for the world in allowing Satella to possess her body to use Satella’s combat powers against whatever world-ending evil will be at the end of the story. ”
I don’t know what’s going to happen in the story, but this direction seems consistent with what’s come before.
“This character does not necessarily have to be a woman, but if it is, I fully expect her to be Priscilla.”
I was wondering if you were going to mention her! I’m still not convinced she’s a good match, but the more reasons you give, the less certain I am of that. At the very least, it’d be an interesting development consistent with Re:ZERO’s conscious choices to avoid cliche.
Hanasaku Iroha is one of my favourite PA Works shows (and I like quite a lot of them). It’s also one of the better things Mari Okada has written, IMO. That reminds me: there’s a movie I still haven’t seen. Hm…
The ending song remains my #1 favourite anime ending song of all time, and is such a great accompaniment to the show’s atmosphere.
Yes! The post by Overaged Otaku about Gendo was so good! It was really deep and wonderfully highlighted the driving force behind Gendo’s actions. And that was the first time I had seen the term “monomaniac”. I love learning new words!
You and me both!
I’ve been a writer since I was in sixth grade — just under fifty years ago. And yet, I learn a new idea, or a new perspective, almost every time I read one of Overaged Otaku’s posts. He knows his stuff!