Wednesdays Watching Anime – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2009)

November 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

We’re doing the OP from the second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, “Super Driver” by Hirano Aya!

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Key Frames, Episode 05: Samurai Hackslash

November 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

Key Frames now has a sixth episode, numbered fifth because we started at 00 like a bunch of idiots. Listen to it here!

Another episode of Key Frames: A Podcast About Anime

Another episode of Key Frames: A Podcast About Anime

The classic crew of Andy, Duncan, and Jon joins me to talk about Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal, a set of OVAs that serve as a prequel for the main series often known as Samurai X in the English-speaking world. Broadly celebrated at the time as one of the greatest works of anime ever, we press it hard for symbolic and artistic meaning. I can’t even tell you if we succeed!

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Wednesdays Watching Anime – Excel Saga

November 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

This week, after our not-quite hiatus, we’re doing “Love (Loyalty)” by Kobayashi Yumiko and Takahashi Mikako, the OP for Excel Saga!

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The Boys (and Girls) of Summer

November 4, 2015 § 1 Comment

I don’t have a review of an OP this week, because I just don’t have it in me. Instead, I’m just going to collect my thoughts on a recent anime I watched, Natsu no Arashi!

The Ark, a cafe and the setting of Natsu no Arashi!

The Ark, a cafe and the setting of Natsu no Arashi!

Natsu no Arashi! is a Shaft production from early 2009, directed by the inimitable Shinbo Akiyuki, and that puts it at an odd point in the history of him and his studio. The most immediately comment-worthy thing about this anime, moreso even than other late-2000s anime from Shaft, is how much visual style it has but how little visual identity. It seems almost like a missing link between the Showa-evoking production design of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei in 2007 and the stylized-verging-on-structuralist direction of Bakemonogatari in late 2009. Throw some of the deadpan absurdism of Arakawa Under the Bridge into the writing and the paranormal-flavored cafe of Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru as setting — both these shows are from 2010, but clearly have antecedents in Natsu no Arashi! — to complete your pastiche of works from the height of Shinbo’s career. « Read the rest of this entry »

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