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 every week, 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).
Have you ever watched a series, then looked around in bewilderment when almost everyone else seemed to dislike it? I had that experience when I watched Princess Principal. Maybe I just needed to pay more attention, because the show’s rating on My Anime List isn’t too bad (7.68), but I still wonder why it wasn’t more warmly received. There’s a lot to like about it — enough that I rewatch it from time to time. I like to see Ange sneer or Dorthy trying to look younger (which is a real shame — though I get that she’s pretending to be a high school student, so her hands are tied). I was really happy to see this review from Tanteikid94 on BlazTavern. The post talks about a lot of the reasons I liked the show so much, and I have to say I felt a little better knowing that if I was out in left field, at least I wasn’t all alone.
One of the things I like about anime is that occasionally, if you’re really lucky, you can find something not just different, but wildly different. Whether it’s the insane humor of D-Frag or the frighteningly profound violence of Elfen Lied, anime can deliver an “out there” experience better than any medium I’ve encountered. And that’s not to disrespect any other medium. Troma Films pushes the envelope with films like Surf Nazis Must Die, and movies like Donnie Darko mess with your mind. But I think anime still takes the cake. What evidence do I have, you might ask? I offer you this post by D&A Anime on the site D & A Anime Blog about the series Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. That’s some crazy stuff right there, I can tell you! And you know what? After reading the review, I really, really want to watch the show! Being an anime fan sometimes make me worried for my state of mind…
There was no way I wasn’t going to love Land of the Lustrous. It was practically designed to be celebrated. From Phosphophyllite’s remarkable and stirring and tragic growth to the Cinnabar’s heart-rending loneliness to Padparadscha’s devastatingly short time in the sun, the characters alone were enough to make this series memorable. And we haven’t even talked about the myriad other elements! Fortunately for you, Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime does talk about them, with her typical enthusiasm and insight. About the only problem I had with the series is that because the gems are genderless, the best English can do is use “they” as a pronoun. “They” is plural! The editor in me screams every time I read it, because it means our language needs to expand to better reflect reality. That aside, this article really does capture the spirit of what makes the series so good. And it’s impossible to say too much good about Diamond!
In the Winter 2020 season, one of the shows I looked forward to most when i wanted to just relax and smile was BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense. Watching Maple go from the newbie who didn’t know she shouldn’t dump all of her points into defense to a power capable of scaring even the game developers was an absolute treat. You just didn’t have any idea what she would do in any given scenario. I’ve played video games forever, and I it’s the honest truth when I say I have never tried to eat a demon from the inside out. Maybe that’s because the demons in Doom chewed their food more throughly? By the time I got go their stomach… Be that as it may, I was delighted to come upon this post by infinitezenith on the site The Infinite Zenith. You can probably tell from the title that the article’s spirit is academic, and not only that, it’s it has so many interesting and cool insights that it’s a blast to read. See if you agree!
The discussions surrounding Sword Art Online got me thinking. I’ve always liked the series, so whenever I’d start to read a tweet or a post that derided it, I’d just ignore it and move on. Now that more balanced and nuanced voices have joined the discussion, I’ve found that I’m reconsidering the whole debate. What value does reflexive negativity bring to the community? It cultivates a coarseness and a sense of “fun” in ridiculing material — a kind of “fun” I’ve often associated with bullying. That’s not healthy or helpful, is it? It was partly in reaction to those tendencies in myself that I focused this site on celebrating anime. At the same time, I don’t want to mindlessly praise work that doesn’t deserve it. That doesn’t make sense, either — and now we’re back to the idea of balanced and nuanced. That’s what drew my attention to another of Dewbond’s posts on Shallow Dives in Anime. It talks about Sword Art Online Alicization in a way that’s free of derision, yet also acknowledges the show’s less enjoyable spots. It’s an approach that helps me trust the writer’s perspective — which I think is a great thing for building long term readership!