12 Days of Anime: Witch Craft Works (or: Plz Give Me A Princess Carry)

So, I’m supposed to write about why I really like Witch Craft Works for this 12 Days of Anime thing, but look, I gotta level with you: I’m feeling under the weather, it’s late, and my sister-in-law is supposed to be having a baby first thing tomorrow morning, and I’m on babysitting duty for her already-born-and-highly-rambunctious children. So I’ma phone this one in.

And in any case, I’m not sure I could really tell you why I like Witch Craft Works in a single post.


It’s kind of a mystery to me actually. It’s just something about this show really appeals to me, but I can’t tell what.


It’s just really a mystery.


It’s just not something that’s easy to explain I guess?

(But seriously, it’s a fun show – give it a watch or, even better, read the manga)


12 Days of Anime: The Pleasant Surprise of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

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When the Kyoto Animation adaptation of Coolkyoushinja’s dragon-was announced, my little corner of anitwitter largely responded with a mix of bemusement, hesitation, and muted excitement. This decidedly strange little comic by an offbeat artist was an odd pick for an anime adaptation to begin with, much less a pickup by a titan of the animation industry like KyoAni. I’d been following the comic for a bit beforehand, and so was excited at the prospect of an adaptation, but I was apprehensive as well.

Continue reading “12 Days of Anime: The Pleasant Surprise of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid”

12 Days of Anime: FLCL and Not-Quite Coming of Age

In my defense, I first watched FLCL when it aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim segment in 2003 – I was 16 years old, which put me about as squarely centered in this show’s strike zone as it’s possible to be.

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I start with this bit of apologia because I always feel a bit sheepish whenever lists of my favorite shows come up and FLCL ends up inevitably near the top. There’s more than one complaint floating around out there about the sheer preponderance of coming-of-age stories focusing on adolescent guys in the anime cannon, and to be honest I can’t disagree. Consider the set of shows that fit that and: it’s pretty damn big.

(I’m skirting a further snarl in the conversation here by not bringing up the complementary topic of fiction about adolescent girls, not to mention non-binary folks – which is absolutely worth discussing, but out of scope for this post.)

I can’t really answer the question of whether or not the topic of male (and specifically, het male) adolescence deserves the amount of attention that it gets from the industry in general, but what I can say is: FLCL hit me very hard at a time in my life when I really needed it. It helped me to take the nebulous and heavy mass of Big Weird Feelings that was my adolescence, contextualize it, and start to understand myself a bit better. Continue reading “12 Days of Anime: FLCL and Not-Quite Coming of Age”

12 Days of Anime: Mushishi

Embarrassingly, the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of Mushishi somewhat ancillary to the actual content of the show. More than anything else, what sticks in my mind is the incredibly strong opening.

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It’s just such a startling musical choice, quite entirely different from other OPs – softly sung in english with simple acoustic guitar the sole instrumentation. It starts gentle, and features this dramatic tempo slowdown towards the end, the lyrics being emphasized just that much more – a bit of musical complexity that you rarely hear in more conventional pop-style OPs, and both noticeable and appreciated in it’s own right.

Continue reading “12 Days of Anime: Mushishi”

12 Days of Anime: Introduction

Hi folks,

Since the 12 days of anime started today (or, depending on your time zone, yesterday) I wanted to do a quick clerical note separate from the actual posts for the sake of organization. When I heard of 12 days of anime, I’d planned to do some well-thought-out, planned posts, but then didn’t follow up (RIP).  So instead, I’m doing 12 quick train-of-thought-type posts about 12 anime I really like. These aren’t going to be in any order (so it’s not like a top-12 countdown or anything) and they’ll be short because life is busy, but I hope you’ll enjoy them!

As a heads up, I’m not looking to make these function as introductions to the given work, so I’m assuming at least a passing level of familiarity with the subject matter. Also, none of these series are especially new (the most recent one is Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, from almost a year ago) so I’ll feel pretty comfortable discussing spoilers if they’re relevant – just a heads up for those who might want to avoid.



Fall 2017 Premiers – The Good: Part 3

I’ve finally gotten through all the episode ones I was interested in, though it took me almost an entire week to carve out the time. My gosh what a brutal season this is – I’m interested in 14 shows, which is something like 2-3 times the number of shows I normally try following. Though some might end up abandoned as they go along, it’ll still be busy. That said, too much good anime is a good thing, not a bad one.

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Today I’ll cover the last of the shows that are compelling me this season, which will include Just Because, Land of the Lustrous and Girls’ Last Tour, all three of which hit me hard enough to jump essentially to the top of my list.

Continue reading “Fall 2017 Premiers – The Good: Part 3”

Fall 2017 Premiers – The Good: Part 2

I’m a bit intimidated by this season – there are more shows I want to follow than I remember there being in a long time, and almost all of them have caught be by surprise. I haven’t even managed to get to Land of the Lustrous, Girl’s Last Tour or Children of the Whales yet and I’m already overwhelmed. Still, too much good anime is a good problem to have!

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Today, we’ll be covering a few more of the premiers that stuck with me – on the docket is Ancient Magus’s Bride (predictably), Kino’s Journey, Konohana Kitan and Anime-Gataris.

Continue reading “Fall 2017 Premiers – The Good: Part 2”

Fall 2017 Premiers – The Good: Part 1

So this is the first post on this blog, but I figure rather than making a big to-do about it I may as well jump right in. The Fall Season has been flooding me this past week, and though I haven’t made it through all the premiers yet, I’m gonna go ahead and post about what I have seen.

This season has been a pleasant surprise. I went into it without any real expectations – I was looking forward to Ancient Magus’ Bride, but that was about it. A good number of things have ended up catching my eye though, and it’s shaping up to be a busy season. For this post, I’ll focus on the things I’ve really been enjoying.

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I’ve labelled this Part 1, since there’s really too much to talk about in a single post – so I’ll be posting more later. But for now, here’s what’s been good:

Continue reading “Fall 2017 Premiers – The Good: Part 1”