Welcome to my favorite anime community posts from 2021 week 14!
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!
My Favorite Anime Community Posts from 2021 Week 14
It just occurred to me that every time I chose to watch an episode of a specific anime, I’m also choosing not to watch every other series ever produced, at least in that moment. That’s something that seems obvious, doesn’t it? But within that idea, there’s a serious downside, and that downside is that I am missing some amazing works of art because of my choices. Fortunately, there’s a way to reduce the risk of that happening, and that’s reading posts like this one from Jack Scheibelein on the site Animated Observations. This week, Jack saved me from missing PUPARIA. And just what is PUPARIA? In general, it’s an animated short (about 2:30 of actual animation).
To explain more, please do read this post, because frankly, I’m still processing what I watched. Of it, I’ll just say this: For those 2:30, I was somewhere else. I was in a place I didn’t recognize, but every second branched out in nuanced possibility as fertile as anything I’ve ever seen. Each moment was a potential novel. Each gesture’s possibilities rippled outward in intersecting waves of probability. I’m just glad as all get out that I read this post! See if you have a similar reaction.
It’s hyperbolic to say that the thing I hate most in the world is wasted potential. There are actually things I hate more: the mistreatment of children, the strong harming the weak, and patriarchal religious institutions using their power to suppress human potential are near the top (right under outright murder)…
Well. That descended quickly, didn’t it? Looks like I have some anger issues to get under control.
Please do let me start again. I hate wasted potential. Detest it. That’s why I had such a profoundly negative reaction to The Promised Neverland Season 2. I’m glad I was able to review it in collaboration with Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime. Because if I’d been reviewing it alone, it might well have undone all of my efforts to celebrate anime and have made me revert to a more primitive form. I would have eviscerated it. And believe me, none of us want that.
So rather than dwell on the crushing affront that was the back half of the second season, I’m going to do a little intentional gaslighting. I’m going to pretend that the first season was the only season. There’s merit to that. It was a solid, thrilling piece of work. And you don’t have to take my word for it! Blue Hawk, on the site Anteiku Anime Reviews, just published a review that went a long way to washing the unpleasant memories away. I ain’t kidding — I feel better about life after reading this post. See if you feel uplifted, too!
The post I’m about to try to entice you to read did something I tremendously respect: It got me thinking about something in a way I hadn’t thought about before. I’ve studied literature and art for decades, in various forms. I’m used to the idea of trying to understand the culture around a given work can deepen my appreciation of a piece of art. That’s not Earth-shattering or anything. In fact, within that discipline, it’s routine.
I originally applied that concept to watching anime. Well, I did that after I got older enough; in my post Why I Love Anime, I mentioned I watched Speed Racer shortly after it debuted in the USA, and I doubt I applied any critical thought to the experience. But honestly, in the last several years, I’ve stopped trying to place anime in its cultural context. The stories and character just swept me away, and I only had slight conscious indicators telling me that, “Dude! That’s a theme you must interpret differently between cultures! You should consider that.” I ignored my inner voice. Yeah, I don’t pay attention to me, either.
But this post from from planet Jane on The Magic Planet did two things. First, it reminded me to stop being intellectually lazy. I must always strive to suck less, and just sitting back and enjoying a show when I’m supposed to be reviewing isn’t helping anyone. Second, it reminded me that sometimes, trying to understand other perspectives can make an entire genre more interesting and more rewarding to watch. This post is a great exploration of the magical girl genre, and after reading it, I’m re-evaluating most of what I thought I knew. Honestly, that’s a great return on an investment of 10 minutes of reading!
There are times that writing a review presents a dilemma. To illustrate this dilemma, consider the movie The Sixth Sense. How would you review that movie without giving away the twist? And if you figured out a way to do it, would it feel like a less impactful review without talking about the trait that defined the film? I’ll tell you this for free: I’m glad I didn’t have a review site back in 1999 when that movie came out!
Fast forward 20 years to the present. I just came across a review that was in the exact same situation! neverarguewithafish on the site Never Argue with a Fish just reviewed Talentless Nana. When I saw the title, I wondered how in the world he’d approach the review, especially since he said, “I think going in blind into this show is really important to get the full impact of everything.” Short of stopping the review at the point, what could he possibly say?
But after reading the review, I gotta say: he nailed it. He kept the secret part secret and still gave me compelling reasons to watch the show. That’s no small feat! Read the post to see how he pulled it off.
My Hero Academia is currently moving into its fifth season. I plan to review it during Spring 2021 (you can read my review of episode 89 here). The series has distinguished itself not only with exciting battles, but with intricate characters and an even more intricate system of hero and villain politics. That last bit doesn’t sounds very exciting, but I don’t know if a word for “showing politics in an exciting and engaging way,” so I’ll just have to add more words to get the point across. Seriously, English, you need to do better.
I say, blaming an entire language for my prose shortcomings. Never let it be said that I don’t think big.
Up until the back half of season 4, I would have told you that I thought Endeavor acted more like a villain than a hero — at least at heart. He mistreated his wife and children. He treated his fans with callous arrogance. But then something amazing happened: Kōhei Horikoshi breathed life and depth into a character I hated. By the end of the last episode, I still hated what Endeavor had done. But I saw him as… Heck, why us my words? We’ve already established I’ll blame an entire language before using a freaking thesaurus! So let me direct to someone who didn’t need to make such excuses: Yomu on the site Umai Yomu Anime Blog.
This post presented an amazing exploration of that last episode and both what happened to Endeavor and what his choices did to himself and plot. Yomu wrote so vividly that it helped me relive those moments from the episode — and they felt absolutely worth re-living!
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Want to explore more amazing anime blog posts? Check out the previous editions of My Favorite Anime Community Posts!