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5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2023 Week 49

Every week, I visit over 270 anime sites looking for posts that celebrate amazing moments in anime or otherwise blow me away with their wit and charm. These are my five favorite posts for the week. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

You can see a list of the sites I check here: Massive List of Sites!

Confessions of an Overage Otaku


As a novelist, I have a tendency to look at stories from the inside out. It’s like going into a new model home and immediately heading down into the basement so I can look a the floor joists, plumbing, and wiring. That’s one of the many reasons I enjoy posts like this one by The Overage Otaku on the site Confessions of an Overage Otaku. The Overage Otaku often takes anime apart to see what makes it tick. In this case, he took a look at Black Lagoon, which has had tons of material written about it. And once again, The Overage Otaku found something new to say, despite all that material and the series having ended in 2006. She if you caught the nuances he points out!

Everything is Bad for You


Planetarian is one of those series, like Violet Evergarden, that makes me want to develop my emotional vocabulary so I can someday review it. While you’re waiting for such a monumental effort to wrap up, I found a review by AK on the site Everything is Bad for You. AK has already developed such a vocabulary. What’s more, AK makes the case that the series is more relevant now than ever before — in a way that teeters on the edge of despair. Art is supposed to hold a mirror up to reality, right? Then this series certainly qualifies as art.

On a side note, I mentioned teetering on the edge of despair. One of the things that keeps me on this side of the line is the perspective of people like David Brin, as expressed on his blog. Want a facts-based perspective on our political situation? A perspective that offers hope while still looking clearly at the problems we face? Then I highly recommend his work.

The Infinite Zenith

Spy × Family Season Two: Three Perspectives of the Lorelei Assignment and The Sunny Side of Death

I hope you’ve been enjoying Spy x Family Season 2 as much as I am. I pick my favorite quote and moment from the new episode every week, which is a format that works for me. But there are times I miss taking a deeper dive into an episode. Fortunately, I found the perfect implementation of the idea of “deep dive” in this post by infinitezenith on the site The Infinite Zenith. This post goes into wonderful detail about a recent arc, to the point of making connections to wider popular culture. If you enjoy this series, then this post will enrich your experience.


Ancient Magus Bride: Season 2 – Episode 22 Review

The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 has been building towards a dramatically powerful confrontation all season. Finally, episode 22 unleashed that event on us (or the first installment), and it was… Well, it was something I’d like to describe, but this paragraph isn’t about me! It’s about KVASIR369’s post on the site Kvasir369, and boy did it nail the description of that scene! Even better, it added some background in terms of what the differences between the manga and the anime, which just enhanced my enjoyment of the episode. I bet you have a similar experience reading this post!

Mechanical Anime Reviews


I don’t often use the term “underrated,” but I think it’s overused. That kind off diminishes the word’s effectiveness, doesn’t it? But I think it still has its uses, so I’ll just go on to say that “underrated” describes Princess Principal as a series. It turns out I’m not alone in appreciating this franchise. Scott, on the site Mechanical Anime Reviews, had a very positive review of the movie Princess Principal: Crown Handler – Chapter 2, which continues the adventure from the series. What makes it underrated? What makes it enjoyable? Here’s one way to find out!

Want to Read More of My Favorite Anime Post Lists?

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Copyright 2022 Terrance A. Crow. All rights reserved.

8 thoughts on “5 Favorite Anime Blog Posts from 2023 Week 49

  1. TCrow, I believe I may have posted this on your blog before that Puck suggesting to Petelgeuse that he grow a thousand shadows, half of what Satella could was an indication that Satella was influencing Subaru to be attracted to Emilia through their mind/soul link since Subaru said that he’ll say two thousand things he loves about Emilia in Episode 25, but after the reveal in Episode 38 that Satella and Subaru have prior history together, I’ve figured out that what those 2 scenes show is that Subaru has dormant memories of Satella. This strongly suggests that Emilia and Satella are not the same person given that Subaru and Satella co-existed in the world 400 years ago.

    I also missed Subaru’s parents’ names on my long names post a few weeks back and Flugel’s name since that will probably be an important character given he planted what was known as Flugel’s tree, and Petelgeuse used the sama honorific to address him, meaning that he served Flugel.

    Naoko means obedient child.

    Kenichi means wise man.

    Flugel means wing. Flugel can also be a nickname for someone with conspicuous sleeves at a time of dress regulations.

    Kenichi meaning wise man could perhaps be very intentional because Subaru described Flugel in Episode 16 as being a wise man that existed centuries ago. If this were most other series, it would probably mean nothing, but since it’s Re:zero, surely there is something to be gleaned from this. Maybe Kenichi and Flugel are actually the same person. Considering Flugel can be a nickname for someone that dresses strangely for that time period, maybe it means that Flugel was also from Earth much like Subaru is, which could lend credence to this theory. Wings are symbolic of power, speed, and limitless freedom of motion, and maybe that is how Kenichi, if he is indeed Flugel, managed to make his way back to Earth after being in Re:zero’s fantasy world. Perhaps Kenichi has the power to freely travel between the two worlds.

    1. I haven’t read any other Re:ZERO material. I’m anime only. I wonder if the story will ever explore/reveal any of its answers to your ideas? At this point, I think it’s statistically possible it won’t, but I’d be shocked if that was the case. You’ve connected too many points that, once highlighted, appear intentional!

      That’s some seriously good research you’re doing.

      1. I am also anime-only. I once considered reading the light novels, but when I heard about the very low-quality of the English translations, I decided not to. I believe that when Re:zero explores the time period from 400 years ago that that is when we will finally get answers to the show’s major mysteries.

        Based on what the anime has presented, there is no clear understanding that can be arrived at how Emilia and Satella are related aside from them maybe having the same body, but we know that Emilia is not Satella because Satella’s soul was sealed somewhere by an unnamed dragon, unnamed hero, and unnamed sage, since her body could not be defeated 400 years ago, and since it was sealed, Emilia physically cannot be the same person as Satella since that would mean that the seal was broken, and I believe the whole world would know if the seal was broken.

        I don’t know how long Tappei intends to keep his biggest secrets of his story under wraps, but judging by what we’ve seen of Seasons 1 and 2, it’ll probably be a slow drip all the way to the end. I’m still curious as to how Priscilla will play into this as I believe Tappei is setting up Emilia to die and for Subaru to end up with her.

  2. Thanks for the mention and the kind words! I hope more people can watch or play Planetarian, a real classic.

    I fell off with Spy x Family, but not because I wasn’t enjoying it. I should check it out again.

    1. Planetarian is definitely something worth watching. The premise and execution there’s a great deal that can be said about HCI, our relationship with AI, the ability for our creations to outlast us and the legacies they leave behind, etc. This is why I’m fond of shorter works like these that deal with settings and topics – despite their reduced length, they can be quite thought-provoking.

      Regarding Spy × Family, there’s no rush to catch up! I know folks have been at the edge of their seats waiting for the episodes because they’re good (and this is one case where I think the hype is warranted), but in my case, I didn’t even start the first season’s first half until a few weeks before the second half began airing. For my part, I was able to avoid spoilers fairly well, so waiting didn’t hurt

      1. I wish I could find more fiction that really dug into AI. There’s some good stuff (I mean, it’s kinda a major theme in Asimov’s Foundation). But a lot of what I’m seeing seems sensational — Luddite in the negative sense. I want to see how other people address the question of how a human writer, immersed in a culture, is different from an AI, whose LLM includes the entire body of printed fiction. Nothing I’ve ever written is unique; it can’t be, or no one could read it. I use tropes, descriptions, even concepts that have been used a million times before. Isn’t that similar to what a generative AI does?

        Is it my unique perspective (if I have one) that makes it art? However much I embody my culture, my works still add to the body of creation.

        Is the product of an AI the same thing?

        That said, I think a plausible horror story could revolve around human artists — writers, illustrators, and animators — are replaced by AI. With no new human creations, what would happen to the body of work on which new AIs are trained? Would training on the combined human body of work + the AI body of work yield another step if creativity? Or would it devolve into repetition?

        Kinda like some Hollywood studios do now? I mean, how many Lion Kings can we usefully watch?

        That might be why I found Planetarian so endearing. Yumemi Hoshino is closer to how I think a real AI would act, given appropriate training and direction.

        I hope I’m doing the question justice in The Sword of Sirius Book 1, which I’m writing now. The question of whether I’m adding to the conversation or just obscuring it is one of those things that haunts me!

    2. You’re welcome! I really enjoyed reading your take on Planetarian. I need to make time to rewatch it, especially since the book I’m working on now directly deals with generative AI.

      For a fun look at another side of AI, google “OWASP Top Ten Large Language Model.” Some very cool (though indirect) insights into how AIs work.

      I agree with Infinitezenith re: Spy X Family, both in terms of its quality and there being no need to rush it. Shows like it are worth enjoying at whatever pace makes the most sense. If you catch it next year but have time to enjoy it, cool!

      And even if you see a spoiler here or there, for me at least, it wouldn’t have mattered. I like the characters so much they draw me into the story, and I don’t even think about spoilers.

      Though, of course, YMMV!

Please let me know what you think!

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