Welcome to a Crow’s eye view of the posts that caught my attention this week! How do posts catch my eye? They 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’s quality and quantity of posts is amazing. I hope this 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).
I often look for posts about craftsmanship. For example, I’ve often celebrated Dave D’Alessio’s character analysis articles from Confessions of an Overage Otaku. His keen insights help me understand how anime, or any other medium, builds great characters. Now, character isn’t the only dimension in a story. In action/adventure stories, fight scenes take on an elevated role, and they have to be done well, or it lessens the scene’s impact. And that would be a shame! So, what makes a good action scene? I’m glad you asked, because magicconan14 (Aria) from The Animanga Spellbook just published a great discussion on that very topic — using the beautifully animated series Katanagatari as the model. Gotta say — the example was spot on! Give it a read and see what you think.
I’m going to say something that shouldn’t be controversial, but recent observations suggests it is. Are you ready? And before I come out and say it, I want to be clear: I honestly mean no disrespect to anyone. Okay, here it is: Understanding is a good thing. Seriously, that’s it. Understanding is better than not understanding. Call it a core tenant (I really don’t have beliefs anymore — I can’t trust them!). Call it a promise. But whenever I read one of your posts, or whenever I read a post I think you might like, I try to understand what the writer meant. When I interpret phrases like “toxic masculinity,” I try to understand what the writer tried to say, not what my tribe’s agenda tells me to substitute. If I had a tribe. But that’s beside the point. Isn’t that what understanding is all about? So whether it’s “toxic masculinity” or “dangerous stupidity in dude form,” the writer drives the meaning, not my willful misinterpretation. Want to know how to make a meaning clear? Invoke a series I adore, like Fruits Basket, and explain things in that context. That’s the pitch Katie Randazzo’s used in this Anime Feminist post. Just how powerful is Tohru Honda? What makes her that powerful? Those are the kinds of questions this article answers. I found its respectful treatment of mental health issues to be a huge relief! And that was just the beginning…
It’s been a long time since a show lived up to its pre-release hype. So long that I wonder if the hype is self-defeating. I mean, it seems like a lot of commenters take it as a challenge to slam a show! Be that as it may, Spring 2020 delivered a show that, for my money, is even more enjoyable than it promised, and that show is Tower of God. And sure enough, some folks are going into “Challenge Accepted” mode. Still, I can’t remember when I’ve had so much fun watching a series… Oh, wait, I can, and it was Demon Slayer, which I reviewed in collaboration with Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime. Given Irina’s taste in anime, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised to see that she, too, is enjoying the series. What might surprise you is her position on track suits and princess selection! If you want yet more reasons to like Tower of God, you know what to do!
I’ve talked before about how “good” fanservice versus “bad” fanservice comes down to intent. If a female character’s breasts flop out, was she in control of the flopping? Or was she the unwilling victim of circumstance? Did Miia expose herself trying to attract Darling-kun’s attention in Monster Musume? If so, “good” fanservice! Identifying a “bad” example seems counter productive, so let me plunge forward… It turns out that my thinking was imprecise. Yeah, it happens — I get to admit I’m wrong because I embrace honesty! And honestly, I’m dumb sometimes… and I should probably be less blunt. Anyway. I came across this post by Inskidee from Inskime that uses some great examples of good from Nisemonogatari. I mean, if you’re going to tackle fanservice as a topic, this is probably the perfect series to use! So what does the article conclude? Do you really think I’d spoil the experience of reading it for yourself? Of course not!
I’ve been thinking. Yes, I know that’s dangerous. And yes, I’m doing it anyway. What I’ve been thinking is this: What you get out of a series depends on your mindset. I want to celebrate amazing moments in anime, so I go into series looking for those moments. That’s a pretty generic approach, and I have been wondering if there are more nuanced ways to look at it. That’s why I was so happy to find this post by TheSpookyRedhead on the site The Spooky Redhead. The author was struggling to find the key to enjoying Neon Genesis Evangelion. That was notable first because she clearly wanted to enjoy it. But then she took it to the next level and… Well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. But I think her solution was perfect! I’m absolutely going to steal… borrow it!