Key Frames, Episode 03: It’s a Doc-Eat-Dog World

August 31, 2015 § Leave a comment

Hey! Listen!

key-frames-03

Another episode of Key Frames: A Podcast About Anime

Yeah, just a quick post that the fourth episode of Key Frames: A Podcast About Anime has been uploaded to the internet. We talk about Dallos, the first OVA ever to be made, and actually answer a piece of reader mail. Check out old episodes and subscribe to our RSS feed at http://www.keyframespodcast.com!

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Wednesdays Watching Anime – Penguindrum

August 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

This week, for our anime, we have OP1 for Penguindrum, “Nornir” by Yakushimaru Etsuko!

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Where Is My Mind?

August 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

To cut right to the chase, without even an introduction, I don’t like amnesia as a plot device.

Beyond a general discomfort with any mental illness being leveraged to define a character’s interaction with their world, my experience is that it simply enables a very peculiar kind of laziness in the writers who employ it. As you probably know — and I’ll tell you right now, if you don’t — it’s common practice to have one of the characters in a story be an ingénue, to whom other characters can explain the various events, relationships, and truths of their fictional world, even diagetically obvious ones, for the benefit of the audience. With amnesia, that practice can be taken even further, almost to the point of parody! Thanks to the many different types of amnesia and the willingness of most writers to fit square pegs into round holes, an amnesiac character can forget and then remember anything… and then forget it again! “Beautiful woman, what is love? I have forgotten it.” “Why, it’s what I feel for you, because I am your wife. You have amnesia!”  You get the picture. Amnesia is most often just an excuse to hide basic details from the audience until the point at which they’re most dramatically effective, even if it’s patently absurd that one or more parties would not have been aware of them until now.

Tada Banri and Kaga Kouko in Golden Time

Tada Banri and Kaga Kouko in Golden Time

I wrote the above paragraph because I’m watching Golden Time. The thing is, Golden Time is really a good anime, at least by my standards! It’s based on the manga by Takemiya Yuyuko, who also wrote Toradora!, and produced by J.C.Staff, which also produced Toradora!, but overall it feels like a stronger if less stable version of the same story about accidentally falling in love. Maybe it’s the university setting, which has been noted to have freed the show from a lot of the bullshit stakes surrounding secondary education, or maybe it’s director Kon Chiaki, a rare example of a woman at the helm, but whatever it is, Golden Time has grabbed me in a soft but unyielding way, like I’m always hoping that a show will grab me. I want to watch more, but it doesn’t have to be right now.

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Wednesdays Watching Anime – Uchouten Kazoku

August 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

The OP for Uchouten Kazoku, “Uchouten Jinsei” by milktub, is what we’re doing this week!

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Wednesdays Watching Anime – (Zan) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei

August 12, 2015 § 1 Comment

Hi, everyone! This week, we’re going big with (Zan) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei‘s OP (final version), “Ringo Mogire Beam!” by Ootsuki Kenji and the Despair Girls.

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Staring Down the Barrel of a Gun

August 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

I finished Jormungand last week. I know that doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but it felt like it, mostly because I didn’t really enjoy it at all. Hey, let me tell you why!

Lehm, Wiley, and Valmet open fire with their Magpul Masadas in Jormungand

Really, it’s all the fault of the Internet Movie Firearms Database, a website that catalogs the appearance and use of different guns in movies, television, video games, and anime. Right now, everyone there is going nuts over the latest Marvel movies, which have a surprising concentration of military hardware among their props, but when I checked out the site a few months ago, it was for the humorous entries under the anime Upotte!!.

I like Upotte!! despite its low reputation. Sure, it’s ecchi to the extreme, but if you look past all the infantilizing jokes about sex, there’s some inside baseball about firearms that’s quite good to digest, should you be the kind of person who’s interested in guns for their aesthetic qualities rather than their destructive potential. I know that’s a difficult opinion to hold in the United States these days, in light of the rise in gun violence by the state and by individual people, and certain reviews have reviled the show expressly for being about anthropomorphized assault rifles attending school, but…

I’ve lost my train of thought, haven’t I?

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Wednesdays Watching Anime – Baccano!

August 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

This week, our triumphant return, we’re watching “Gun’s & Roses” by Paradise Lunch, the OP from Baccano!

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