The Otakusphere: Independent art, island blogs and let’s get this started again

Some may have noticed that I skipped The Otakusphere last week, and for that, I apologize. It was a rough one last week, and by the time I got done with my work week, I just wanted to turn on No Man’s Sky and go cruising through the stars.

So that’s what I did.

I try not to skip these because like Irina said a few weeks back, I don’t think any anime blog can exist as an island. I like putting these together, and for better or worse, people like reading them.


Thank you to Jon Spencer Reviews for making this logo


But sometimes my very stressful job requires me to unwind and just think about where I can find some hydrogen so I can make some units so I can get a fancy ship.

Anyways, let’s get in gear and start talking about some posts. Here’s some traveling music to get us started.

Let’s start with more anime that I vaguely want to watch, but don’t think I’ll ever get around to. This time it’s Dancougar. Classic Anime Museum did a review of the OVA that wrapped up what he said is an average giant robot anime for its time.

He compared it to Zeta (which I loathe) and SPT Layzner (which I like), so I’m still not entirely sure where I would fall on this story in particular. Granted, I still have the entirety of Patlabor on my shelf, still perfectly preserved in its wrapping.

I probably should watch that first.

Well, it’s been a month, and the coronavirus is still pretty much the main thing on everyone’s mind. One of the things I (and a lot of other people) wonder about is how the disease will affect pop culture. Will video games about zombie plagues become gauche now? Will we get more or fewer stories about outbreaks or quarantines?

Oguie Maniax pointed out one place where it’s already crept into popular culture – The Promised Neverland manga. I’ve never really either read the manga or watched the show, but I do think that looking at people’s reactions to the virus is pretty interesting.

I feel like if I share my opinion about how people have reacted, I will get myself into trouble. So go read the post and see what you think.

On to other posts about how the coronavirus is affecting pop culture. Sakuga Blog did a lovely write-up about the effect of coronavirus on the independent animation scene in Japan. Among all of the ways I should be improving myself, I should be watching more independent productions. Mostly because I like seeing what is being produced on the fringes.

I often take comfort in well-produced, thoroughly vetted stories, but engaging on productions that are on the edge of the mainstream can be enlightening. Not only because they might be better stories, but because they might be worse. It’s useful to know what truly bad fiction looks like when you watch something that is mediocre.

But there are some beautiful pieces in the Sakuga Blog post.

I’ve been around anime fandom long enough that I’ve seen plenty of peaks and valleys. I’ve been thinking a lot about the anime bubble of the 2000s and how it popped. Mostly in relation to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but Samantha Ferreira at Anime Herald has been thinking about the whole long arc of the anime boom and bust.

I really recommend checking out her post about the beginning of that cycle and the roots of modern anime fandom.

Talking about wishes and unfulfilled promises, Anime Tokoyo put together a list of anime they would like to see get a remake or a second season. I haven’t seen most of the shows on the list, except for Deadman Wonderland.

That was a show that I really felt was rushed and then took a weird turn. What I did like about it is that it felt brutal. There is a list of shows like Elfen Lied, Kaiji or even Gantz, where I flinched at the broken bones and blood. Deadman Wonderland captured that feeling of brutality as well. Definitely worth the price of admission.

Anyways, go check out the rest of their list and see if you agree or disagree.

I miss classic romance shows. I feel like it’s been a minute since I’ve watched a good “Boy meets girl” show. I mean they always find a way to stretch out the obvious relationship out, but shows like Toradora and Honey and Clover have always been shows that I’ve treasured.

This is all a long way to point out that Scott over at Mechanical Anime Reviews made a similar observation in his review of Takagi-san Season 2, which may be a show that is worth watching. Right after Patlabor maybe?

That is all that I have for this week, but I’m sure that I missed a few good ones. I realized when I went over to I Drink and Watch Anime that there were more posts than I feel comfortable admitting that I haven’t read.

I’m planning on starting up my watch of Haruhi soon. I want to do a bit of research before the beginning of the post because of the weird time that the show was released in the U.S.

Anyways, I hope you are all staying safe, and mentally sound. And, as always, thanks for reading.

6 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Independent art, island blogs and let’s get this started again

  1. Right? There is just something so special about the boy meeting girl situation and seeing the relationship slowly evolve.

    Just a fair warning for the series itself, the first season is on funimation and the second one is on Netflix for some reason. I don’t understand why, but it happened.

  2. Thanks for the mention and link 🙂

    As for Dancougar or Patlabor I vote for the later but give Dancougar a try at least… it still has merit and awesome 80s hair!

    1. I definitely will check it out. I always feel like there is more classic anime then I’ll ever watch. 🙂

  3. Glad your doing alright !! everytime I see you round up im like I haven’t done by own LOL it’s been last on my list to do as everything else has been done hahaha lol

  4. Take care of yourself. If that means missing a post, well, do it. We’ll still be here. . .

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