Fortieth week of 2019 edition!
This is a Crow’s eye view of the posts that caught my attention this week. I especially look for posts that celebrate amazing moments in anime or otherwise blow me away with their wit and charm. Every week I check hundreds of sites, and I’m humbled by the quality and volume of posts that the ani-blogging community creates! I hope this article helps you find some of those works!
What sites do I check every week? You can see the list of the sites here!
This week, I reviewed the sites in reverse alphabetical order (Z to A).
It’ll probably come as no shock to you that I’m highlighting a post about Zombieland Saga. First, Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I collaborated on a review of the series. Second, I’ve made no secret of how much I loved the characters, universal themes, camaraderie, music… Heck, I could keep listing things all day. I’ve also enjoyed the breath of topics that bloggers have discussed about the show. When I came across this post by yukithesnowman314 on Yuki The Snowman, I realized that there was one major theme that almost no one else had written about. It’s a deeply philosophical perspective, and the author presents it in a lively and accessible way. Not only that, but the post references the stoic philosophers! So it’s lively, accessible, and classy!
The dragging sound you hear is me bringing out my soapbox. I’m going to make two points, then direct you to a well thought out post that goes into way more fascinating detail than I will. First, violence in movies and other art forms does not generate violence in real life. Just like the comic books of the 1950s didn’t usher in the complete collapse of humanity and all its works, Joker isn’t going to trigger Armageddon today. Second, the appearance of loli characters or images in anime isn’t going to harm a single real child, anywhere, at any time. This is what the data says; that’s just the way it is. Given that everyone has access to the same data that I do, you have to wonder what motivates individuals who say otherwise and push for an increase of state power over the imagination. Such a blatant power grab undermines confidence in institutions like the United Nations, which translates into diminished credibility. That’s my ham-fisted perspective. Want to see something more nuanced? Please let me direct you to Jeko’s post on UEM. It takes an easy to read let scholarly approach to the topic. It might be an uncomfortable topic, but it’s important. We really shouldn’t shy away from discussing and understanding topics that relate to basic human freedoms. They’re kind of important.
I honestly don’t think comedy gets the credit it deserves, at least among critics. Those critics seem to think that drama or social commentary (or drama with social commentary) is superior, but have you ever tried to write comedy? I think it’s at least three times more difficult to get right than drama. That’s why it’s so much fun to find a post that celebrates a good comedy for what it is! I’d like to direct your attention to Jonah Hunt’s post on Jonah’s Daily Rants about Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun. The article not only lauds the series by using spot-on observations. It makes the case that Monthly Girls’ might be one of the best comedy anime of all time. You know what? I’m buying that argument!
In some ways, it’s almost hard to talk about Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Some of its tropes, like Zenitsu’s type of comedy, really rub people the wrong way, and that taints how those folks see the show. I’ve noticed that there’s a subset of the anime critic community whose rage at a show follows its popularity curve. If I try to say anything positive about a popular show to those folks, they adopt a condescending attitude as if I’m far too plebeian to understand the subtleties of why the show’s really bad. Whatever the reason, it’s almost difficult to find communities where I can relax and talk about how much I honestly enjoy this show. That’s why I so thoroughly enjoyed this post by Keana Ghost on geek gals. The article asks if the series deserves the attention it’s gotten, and I loved not only the answer, but how the author presented it. There’s no point in celebrating anime if the celebration isn’t based in reality. This article finds the perfect balance between seeing the show for what it is and enjoying it.
I was really looking forward to Azur Lane this season. Arpeggio of Blue Steel is sorta similar, and I cant watch it over and over again. I didn’t enjoy Kantai Collection: Kan Colle quite as much, but it was still fun — and the aircraft carriers were so graceful that they were a treat to watch. So I was hopeful as I sat down to watch Azur Lane. It started well — we got to meet the Illustrious, who was one of those characters whose bosom was overflowing with… well, her bosom was just overflowing. Cleveland was an up-beat go-getter. I’d already seen Enterprise on the series cover-shot, so I saw a pattern developing: This was going to be a fanservice-heavy series. Okay, that might work… And then Norfolk’s skirt flipped up, much to her dismay. She’s a kid; I don’t want to see panty shots of a kid! This may seem to contradict a post I highlighted above, but there no conflict here. I don’t want to see anyone in jail because of this, but I don’t want to see it. I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only one to object. Vrai Kaiser’s post on The Anime Feminist raises a similar objection. It also gives a more balanced and robust assessment than I just did, so if you’re at all interested in Azur Lane, you should give it a read.