Welcome to my favorite anime community posts, Other Posts to Crow About, for 2020 Week 33!
I look for posts that celebrate amazing moments in anime or otherwise blow me away with their wit and charm. By checking hundreds of sites every week, I can tell you that the ani-blogging community writes a ton of amazing posts. I hope this list helps you find some of them!
Here’s the list of the sites I check!
This week, I reviewed the sites in alphabetical order (A to Z).
My Favorite Anime Posts from 2020 Week 33
This may come as a shock to you (or it may not): I was a smart ass in college. I would add an “in my defense” clause, but no, I was a bit of a pain. It didn’t help that I’d had my first fiction works published while I was still in high school. Of course that made me an expert in all things fiction. If I only knew now what I thought I knew then… Anyway, I got into an argument with my English professor. He said that the critic’s interpretation of a novel was as important as the writer’s. As the rest of the class dutifully wrote down that nugget of wisdom, I objected. I tried to make the point that no, the writer had an intent. If we had a job as critics, it was to understand that. I’m not sure where you stand on this debate, but one thing’s for sure: there are limits to what a critic can say with authority, even if what the critic is saying makes perfect sense. That’s one of the reasons I really liked this post by The Overage Otaku on Confessions of an Overage Otaku. He understands and applies that limitation. The other reason is that it’s a great literary exploration of what Rei Ayanami’s name means — or might mean! You’ll understand if you read the article!
I love it when there is so much goodness about a show that it’s hard to start a paragraph about it: too many tempting starting places! That’s Re:ZERO Season 2 in a nutshell. I’m watching show (and reviewing it with Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime, like our review for episode last week’s episode), so I’m witnessing the goodness myself. But even if you didn’t watch it, you’d get the sense of its depth and breadth by reading the bloggers who review it. Take this review by DoubleSama on the site DOUBLESAMA. The first 2/3 of the post talks about a lot of the details that made episode 31, The Maiden’s Gospel, so amazing. But then the post went on to do something even more interesting: It tried to solve the mystery of something Elsa said, based on the lore of the show itself. It was an amazing bit of detective work that could only have been done in the context of a show that’s as rich as Re:ZERO. I didn’t think it was possible, but this post makes me want to see episode 32 even more than I did before! See if it does the same for you.
I think the theme’s that developing this week in Other Posts to Crow About is Rich, Amazing, and Deep anime series. The next post I’d like to celebrate talks about a series whose scope and vision frankly amaze me — not to mention the power of their realization. I’m talking about Attack on Titan’s Season 3. It’s a rich mine of material for bloggers, but this post goes one step further and talks about how episode 48, Bystander, informs our interpretation of events in 2020. The blogger is LitaKino, and the blog is Lita Kino Anime Corner. The post focuses on Keith Sadies and how his experience is vividly relatable to us today. We’ve all heard that art is a mirror held up to help us understand reality. It takes heart and strength to look for that kind of meaning in today’s environment, and this post has both in plenty. I can’t say I came away from the post with a better feeling about the world. But I have a bit more confidence that we’ll get through it.
Staying with the theme of rich complexity, have you ever watched a show that was so subtle, so well-constructed, and so visionary that it was almost too much? Not in a bad way, but in a way that meant you couldn’t watch too much at once without being overwhelmed? Concrete Revolutio was that series for me. I reviewed the first season, but I couldn’t review the second season. The first season broke my heart. It was too close to reality; it hit too close to home. For example, I published my review of episode 9, and that episode made me reflect on how a candidate for the presidency of the United States was running using the same tactics the German people witnessed in the run up to Kristallnacht. I saw it with my own eyes, and I’ve not only had to live with that knowledge, but watch things get worse than I imagined ever since. And I can imagine quite a bit. It seems I began to associate the show with the horror playing out in the US. But that’s not Concrete Revolutio’s fault. It was an amazing show, and this article by Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews gives tons of reasons why. I’m sure the article will point out some aspect of the show that you’ll enjoy.
I’m not a fan of Political Correctness (PC). I heartily endorse PC’s goal to speak well of people, especially those who have endured (and continue to endure) discrimination. It’s that I don’t like its implementation. I want to foster open discussions among people of good will, and PC too often shuts those down. Judgmentalism is itself a problem! There are times, though, when we really need to reflect on the terms we use, especially to describe people. My rule of thumb is to be as precise as possible. Before I use a term, I want to understand its history because that affects how communities will interpret what I’m saying. A slang term in the US might have dramatically different connotations in Southeast Asia, for example, and that’s why you’ll sometimes see me link the idioms I use to Urbandictionary.com. The last thing I want to do is foster a discriminatory mindset against populations who have more than enough trouble already. How it treated this topic is why this post from SpaceWhales on the site SpaceWhales appealed to me. Why should we stop using the term ‘trap?’ Turns out there are some solid reasons, and this post lays them out clearly and concisely. I came away from the post with an even stronger conviction not to use the term. Not because of any PC considerations, but because of the impact of the word itself. See if it’s the same for you!