This is a Crow’s eye view of the posts that caught my attention this 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’s quality and quantity of posts is amazing. I hope this article helps you find some of them.
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).
Writing about a well-known, well-covered series is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the title’s immediately recognizable and well-liked, so you have a ready-made audience. On the other hand, with so many writers having weighed in, it’s difficult to come up with a new angle or observation. It’s tough to stand out! That’s particularly true of a powerfully emotional series like Your Lie in April. I mean, I keep telling myself I’ll eventually recover from the series (especially episode 22 — just when you think you’ve survived…), which is to say that the show’s emotional power has been thoroughly discussed! That’s why I really liked this post by Roger Pocock on The View from the Junkyard. I don’t want to give away the post’s secrets, so I’ll just say the writer’s discussion of certain story elements deepened my appreciation for the series. And given how much I already liked it, that was no small feat. See if you have a similar reaction!
There’s a lot of upside to going my own way. If I want to enjoy a series that everyone else seems to dislike (or hate), then I can happily do so. And no, I don’t specifically mean Magical Girl Spec Ops Asuka, though I am really enjoying it on Blu Ray (which you can buy from Amazon)! But there are times that I feel a bit left out. For example: Steins;Gate. Almost since it came out, I’ve read reviews by bloggers whose opinions I respect telling me how great it was. Yet, I couldn’t get past the third or fourth episode! Well, this week gave me yet another reason to question my judgement. Dewbond from Shallow Dives in Anime just published an absorbing discussion of the relationship between Rintaro Okabe and Kurisu Makise, and it just might be the post to push me over the edge. It might actually change my mind on a series — something that has only happened once (maybe twice) before. It’s history in the making!
There are some topics that are hard to talk about in today’s climate. Take a position that’s outside of your tribe, and you’re shunned. Choose the wrong word, and your allies might turn against you in a very public way. So in a sense, I feel like I’m a perfect position to talk about some of these topics. I belong to no tribe. I don’t buy into the right/left artificial division in my country’s politics. I based my perspective on facts. So when I came across this post by Casper on Reasons to Anime, I recognized a similar approach: an attempt to understand something simply as itself, independent of agenda or spin. That alone was enough to make it interesting! But the fact it used the delightful series Girls und Panzer as the jumping off point? That’s anime inquiry goodness, that is!
There’s a danger that writers of long-running series sometimes face: viewer response to change. I can think of several series that present the same kind of villain over and over; or the same kind of challenges multiple times. Fans might like that sort of thing, since it’s the kind of situations or characters that made them fall in love with the series in the first place. If you’re a writer, do you give your readers more of the same, risking staleness yet not rocking the boat? Or do you try something different, risking alienation on one hand but hoping for a re-ignition of the passion that brought fans to the series in the first place? It’s not an easy equation to solve. That’s why I’m so interested in the debate around the current season of My Hero Academia. Much of the discussion of season 4 revolves around the villain, Overhaul, and I thought this post by jernahblunt from Jonah’s Daily Rant did a great job of exploring how this villain was different from what came before. The writers took a risk, and personally I thought it paid off. What do you think? Does this post help you see the season in a different light?
It’s “understanding stuff as itself” week here at Other Posts to Crow About! To understand my perspective on this next post, let’s try a hypothetical. Let’s say that for whatever reason, I call you “Gamma.” Let’s also say that the word “Gamma” has a profoundly negative connotation for you — a connotation that includes a history where other people called “Gamma” were harmed — or worse. Let’s further say you explain the situation to me and ask — politely — that I stop calling you “Gamma.” Is there any sane human on the face of Sol III (that’s Earth to anyone who isn’t as much as an esoteric jerk as I am!) who wouldn’t immediately say, “Dang! Sorry! I didn’t know that was hurtful to you. I won’t say Gamma to you anymore.” It’s not a matter of agenda. It’s not a matter of defending your tribe’s primitive code words at the perimeter of your village. It’s a matter of common courtesy. No — it’s a matter of basic human decency. Clarity of thought is what attracted me to this post by Mari from It’s Gonna Be Okay. I’ve seen a lot of occasions where a cruel, bigoted, or otherwise incorrect perspective can only be maintained through dehumanization. This post gently pushes all that aside to explore the heart of the issue. That’s the best way forward, isn’t it? And if you’re wondering what term we’re talking about, you’ll need to read the post. It’s a term I’ve chosen to never use here. Though I do respect bloggers like Mari for using the term to explain why it’s so harmful.