My Fav is Problematic – Enna Alouette and Online Accountability

I regret to inform you that Enna Alouette – the foul mouthed songbird of Nijisanji EN – is problematic. During a stream with fellow Nijisanji member Kyo Kaneko, she referenced a series of hurtful stereotypes about black people in America. As a huge fan of hers, I felt hurt and disappointed. I also didn’t really know the best way to respond, or if I should be saying anything at all as a white person from suburban Australia. But the wide range of reactions said a lot of things about the online culture around accountability, and how we respond when people show their ignorance towards social justice issues. A lot of those responses were… not good.

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Dragon Quest XI – First Impressions

Dragon Quest XI has been one of my big fixations lately. As someone with limited Dragon Quest knowledge, I’ve found it to be a wonderful and very accessible JRPG. It has the visual polish and scale of a modern big budget game, while also sticking to the roots of its turn based fantasy roleplaying. If you want a shiny modernised entry into old-school JRPGs, you really can’t go wrong.

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Sword Art Online: Alicization (2018-19) Review

CONTENT WARNING: Discussion of a scene involving sexual abuse is included. It’s been clearly marked, in case you wish to skip it.

Sword Art Online continues to be an enigma. Its issues are varying and pronounced, but I can’t help but have a soft spot for it. Sword Art Online, for all its faults, is achingly sincere. It wants to be a good story, and despite its blunders I admire the spirit to keep trying to be better. Sword Art Online: Alicization is the beginning of its most ambitious story arc yet. It remains flawed, but it’s a fairly compelling effort.

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Evangelion Episode 9 and Intimacy

[Sephirotic] Evangelion - 09 [MULTI][BD 1080p 8bits 5.1 AAC][73B322AB].mkv_snapshot_17.08_[2018.01.14_02.13.27].jpgNeon Genesis Evangelion is a dense and messy thing. But even at its most troubled it still hits the powerful truth that we all want to love and be loved. It’s the consistent thread holding together all of its character journeys, the thing that guides the lives and goals and decisions of its cast. Episode 9 may not be the most conventional place to look at this, but it’s the first time we really see the vulnerability that fuels two of Evangelion‘s most prominent relationships: the one between Shinji and Asuka, and the one between Misato and Kaji. Humans desire intimacy, and these four characters each struggle with it in different ways.

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The Best of 2017 – Juni Taisen

2017-12-23.pngThis is an excerpt from my upcoming Top 10 New Anime of 2017 list.

I never knew I wanted a death game anime from Monogatari author Nisio Isin, but I’m sure glad I got it. Juni Taisen hits the obvious trappings of a death game series with its schlocky premise and eccentric designs, but from there it takes things in pretty bizarre and wonderful directions.

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The Best of 2017 – Sakura Quest

[FFF] Sakura Quest - 02 [98B05E63].mkv_snapshot_14.49_[2017.04.20_03.16.34].jpgThis is an excerpt from my upcoming Top 10 New Anime of 2017 list.

Sakura Quest is another series from the “working series” line of shows by PA Works, following in the footsteps of Hanasaku Iroha and the phenomenal Shirobako. It’s a worthy addition to the grounded adult narratives the studio has been delivering, lightly funny and charming but at its core a sincere story about coming into adulthood in an ageing Japanese society.

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The Best of 2017 – Made In Abyss

2017-12-13 (1)This is an excerpt from my upcoming Top 10 New Anime of 2017 list.

Made In Abyss is a darn impressive adventure series. In its first 13 episodes it’s shown a level of craft and world-building that very few anime can express. If you’ve heard any of the buzz around Made In Abyss you’ll probably know that things get pretty dark, but it never lies about the harrowing abyss.

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Girls’ Last Tour Review (2017)

2017-12-25 (10).pngSometimes I find it hard to have faith in the world we’ve left ourselves. In a heartbeat we could lose it all because of the whims of a few people, so how could we trust that our best intentions will prevail? It seems impossible, it defies rationality. But we aren’t always rational. We’re willing to keep pushing on with only a moment of unconditional support and compassion. And when you distil us to our most primal selves you may find that we can be mean and selfish, but you’ll also find the power we have to care. To care for others, to care for our passions, to care for what we have. Girls’ Last Tour believes in the goodness of others.

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Let’s Talk About Slice of Life Anime

slice-of-life-sol1-720x405.jpgLet’s talk about slice of life anime. Yes, that slice of life. The one allegedly responsible for the fiery death of the anime industry a few years back. It’s no secret that a lot of anime fans don’t really care for slice of life shows. Heck, some would go so far as to say it’s a genuine threat to Good Creators and their ability to make Good Anime. But what if I actually like these shows? This led me to think more about the reasons why I watch slice of life things, and after some soul searching I realised that I still like my cute stuff. A lot of these shows are a hard sell to anyone who hasn’t already sold their soul to the moe gods, but maybe just maybe there’s something to appreciate.

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