The Otakusphere: Movies I can’t see, shows I haven’t watched and old, old arguments

What’s new fellow ani-bloggers in the Otakusphere. Well, let me tell you. There’s a new season, and a new movie and new drama and new… well… shoes? This is just a long way of pointing out that Makoto Shinkai’s new film “Weathering with You” hit the big screens in the U.S.

I can’t escape it on the Twitters, so I thought I would open up by sharing a couple of reviews of the film. Here’s one from Another Anime Review and one from Animated Observations. Unfortunately, I live out in the sticks and it would take a four- to five-hour drive in any directions to catch a screening. Even if you aren’t interested, I suggest going to see it. Having anime films in theaters is special, and it would be a shame if you squandered this chance.

I like this shot too

This week, I’m going to be talking about a lot of shows that I haven’t seen, and a few that I have in this review-packed trip around The Otakusphere. But first, some traveling music.

Let’s start with a show that I have watched. Ashleycapes is going through the arduous task of reviewing the entirety of “Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water.” I have to admit, I’m not a fan of this show. There are exactly five episodes of it that I enjoy and the rest is just really, really super boring. But I recognize it’s importance.

Ashleycapes’ enthusiasm for it makes his post worth reading. I’m always up for learning more about a series that has stood the test of time. I mean I’ve listened to interviews with Uwe Boll, and I don’t like anything that he’s made.

Talking about changing opinions over time, JernahBlunt shared a new take about  “Akame Ga Kill.” This is was a series that I liked about half of, but I fell off after Esdeath was introduced. I mean I don’t think it’s horrible, but the weird magnetic attraction that the main hero has is kind of hilarious.

You should read Jernah’s opinions about it if only for lines like this:

How many babes can the protagonist nearly bang without realizing he’s attractive? His teammates? His enemies? His boss? The boss of his enemies?! No one is off limits! Forget the compelling drama, we only need boobs and excessive violence!

I’m afraid of shows with intimidatingly long titles. My rule of thumb is that if a show has more than four words in its title, then it should be looked at with suspicion.

Just to prove that time has passed me by, it seemed like last season was filled with these. One of those was “The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious.” Lynn Sheridan over at The Otaku Author used it in an interesting way, by analyzing the show for useful tidbits that he could use in his own writing. Now I’m not sure how useful this is if you haven’t watched the show, but have a glance anyway.

On the topic of anime that I am interested in, Inskidee put up a review of “Smile on the Runway,” which looks beautiful. It reminds me of “Paradise Kiss,” which is a show that I really want to watch again one of these days.

Somewhere between these two extremes is Naruto. I’m from the anime generation that didn’t grow up with Naruto everywhere, so I never got to experience Rock Lee. That said, I’ve heard a lot about him.

Tiger put up a pretty insightful post about how he is a character without any native talents, but who gets his abilities through hard work. I’ve always wanted more of these type of characters in anime. One of the most endearing things about Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple was that he was so much weaker than his teachers or even his love interest. Everything he got was through hard work and perseverance.

There need to be more fighting show heroes like that, and fewer of the truly special people with their special powers who are super special special.

And on criticisms of shounen shows, Elisabeth over at Little Anime Blog had an interesting post about peaceful resolutions in shounen. I just finished Dororo, and I’m not sure if the resolution there is peaceful, but there is an active choice to turn away from violence.

This is one of those blog posts that has gotten me thinking. Does animation lend itself to peaceful endings? One of the benefits of animation is that you can draw people flipping across the screen in hyper-stylized action scenes, but does that preclude having a peaceful resolution. I’m not sure.

Finally, let’s wrap up by poking at the still-breathing bodies of arguments that should be long dead. Lita Kino in her anime corner compiled a list of tired debates that seem to plague the anime community, including the Sub vs. Dub debate. When I first started purposefully watching anime in 1996, this was a debate. It was old and tired when I started this blog in 2007.

I know why people bring it up. It’s easy to have an opinion, and there is no cost to it. I mean you aren’t going to lose anything if you say, “I prefer dubs/subs.” The thing is there are shows I prefer dubbed (a la RahXephon) and there are shows I prefer subbed (Moribito and Tiger and Bunny) so watch the stuff the way you want to watch it.

Anyway, that’s it for this tour around the Otakusphere. I hope you all have a good weekend, and if you have anything or see anything that should be on next week’s list, please let me know.

And as always, thanks for reading.

12 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Movies I can’t see, shows I haven’t watched and old, old arguments

  1. Thank you for the mention and thank you for sharing JernahBlunt’s review. I never knew of it, but I’m glad I clicked on the link you proffered. It was a hilarious, yet compelling read. That quote totally sold it for me…

    1. I’m glad that you clicked on it. My hope in putting these together is to share stuff I think is interesting with others.

  2. Thanks for the mention. My goal with those posts are that you wouldn’t necessarily need to see the show, but then it would probably help. Anyhow, thanks again.

  3. Hey! Thanks for sharing my Nadia stuff – do you remember which five you ended up liking?

    (I think I’m not very hard to please when it comes to an adventure story :D)

    1. I do. I think you called it the Gathering Darkness arc. It just felt like it was spinning its wheels after that.

  4. Many thanks for the mention! I really hope you get the chance to see the movie–it’s spectacular! Btw, the music video is great!!! Not sure what I like best–the banjo or the Quaker hat. . .

    1. I’m a big fan of that band, and really of most alt-country stuff. That one randomly came up on YouTube once and I’ve had it stuck in my head.

      I’m sure I’ll get a chance to see it at some point. Though I am behind on watching a lot of anime movies. So hopefully, it will be during this decade.

      1. Whoo, do I know that feeling! In my upcoming The Wandering Witch review for January (on, I review Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl, which I just watched for the first time. . .despite having the DVD for who knows how long?

      2. For a few months in 2006, I worked for Blockbuster and bought just oodles of movies. I still haven’t watched them all. 🙂

        We live in an amazing time. I literally never have a reason to be bored. In fact, sometimes I have decision paralysis with all of the great choices I have.

  5. Awesome, thanks for the mention! To think I finally made it on the otakusphere tour amidst these other amazing posts… I’ll definitely have to check out Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. Characters whose efforts can be seen just somehow feels more human.

  6. Thank you for the mention! As for whether animation itself begets violence, I’m wondering about that myself now. Animation can just be such an overexcited thing and we all know overexcitement often leads to punching things 😆

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