Long ago when the Internet was still young (or around 2004 for me), I remember when it was nearly almost impossible for me to keep up with the seasonal anime grind without the aid of fansubs. Fast-forward to today and it is a wildly different scene with so many options ranging from VOD (Video on demand) services like Hulu and Netflix to traditional cable trying to get in on the action. Hey, it is nice to have so many options, right? That is what I would like to say if everything wasn’t so fragmented. With Crunchyroll, Funimation (the latter two entering into a partnership), Daisuki, Netflix, Hulu, and now even Amazon competing for not only your time but money as well…..seasonal anime streaming has become more complicated. Has this newfound convenience been more of a blessing or curse?
The colors of the foliage changing, temperatures beginning to chill, and days getting slightly longer despite the rays of twilight being quickly swallowed by the night. Yes, it is certainly Autumn. With such a season being the harbinger of the holidays, it also means rest for many working and weary souls like myself. Of course, instead of enjoying the pleasure and bounty nature has to offer, I get to catch up on my hobbies work has been depriving me of – anime in particular. However, instead of catching up on the current lineup or revisiting past seasons, I will be going a little further back – think 1980’s up until the new millennium. It has always been a tradition of mine around this time (more like November really) every year to hit up the titles of yesteryear or classics as some would say. But what exactly defines or means for an anime to be classic?
Starting rather late on most of the summer 2016 anime titles this season, Amaama to Inazuma or Sweetness and Lightning is one that I immediately latched onto. Besides having a small cast of endearing characters and sincere heartwarming moments (most in part due to Tsumugi’s cuteness) as its biggest strengths, I do believe that the cooking segments are also kind of unique as they focus more on the preparation aspect to a degree. Of course, with many viewers quick to call it another “cooking themed” series, I do also believe that those portions perfectly illustrate one major idea that links people together.
Over the last past 7 years that I have been into anime and manga, it is hard to deny that the mediums are something of an all-encompassing menagerie where there is something for everyone. Whether you happen to be in your adolescents or adulthood, it is kind of awe-inspiring for any type of media to reach such a wide demographic. And yet, a large majority of projects center around or contain school students – especially those in high school. Why the emphasis for an art that contains so many varying venues and concepts as they are consumers? There is sort of an correct answer to this question, but do have a more interesting alternative I would like to share.
Looking back over the past twenty-something years and coming face-to-face with the reality of today, the world really has changed thanks to the presence of technology. With the internet playing its role in the process of globalization and bringing people closer together (or separating them even more) – the transference of new ideas, means of communication, and even practices have never been more varied and as a result, seen a Renaissances in everything from commerce to user-generated content like blogs and even social platforms like Twitter coming into existence. For the hobbyist in me that enjoys anime, manga, and video games, being able to discover new and unusual titles has also never been easier, but also having the ability to find others carrying the same interest all over the world and interact with them if I so choose is also a cool perk. However, as the world does become closer and even personal taste align to a certain degree, the once obscure subcultures and niches are now presented with a wider audience, an opportunity that either leads to growth or relegated to be nothing more than a passing mention. For it is the majority – the mainstream that I speak of: a group with greatest untapped potential, yet also the one that is the most difficult to break into. What does it mean for anime to cross into the mainstream?
Thus far, the Spring anime season has been a very leisurely and modest one in terms of energy. Picking up far fewer shows than I ever have per season, I’m at least sufficiently pleased with what is on my viewing list. One of those shows I’m watching is Sound Euphonium, KyoAni’s latest novel to anime adaptation. While it’s to early to past any kind of judgement either way, I can at least say that I’m enjoying it for what it is and really does hit home as it has me conjuring up past memories of my own musical training and some of the aspects that I like and think has been portrayed particular well when it comes to learning and playing an instrument.
With the Fall 2014 anime season nearing its conclusion, I have to say that I am mostly satisfied with my choice viewing selections. Shirobako is one them, P.A works adaption of a group of dreamers and their challenges in the production of animation. While I can’t exactly say that I’m enjoying the show based on the real life semblance alone, it does at lend itself admirable to the concept of work, the quality of work life, and the frictional challenges any job presents as it becomes a personal desire. As I begin to embark on a new and exciting albeit, tumultuous part of my life in a couple of months concerning the workforce, one relevant message from Shirobako comes to mind: Is it important to do what you love or work for your own sake?
A year ago, I wrote a post expressing my preference for reading manga physically over its digital counterpart. While that article came from a less than tenuous viewpoint as I dipped into the illegality side of things, I realized that it wasn’t fair of me to write it without taking a closer look at the more lawful services to see what they had offer. With more and more manga getting released I’m interested in reading, I decided to fire up my old Nook Color and Hienese Tablet to put some of the services to the test. Needless to say, I found both pros and cons about these services as well provide suggestions on what they could do better. Despite this written with the Android ecosystem in mind and the usual detailed and formal research discard for a more informal view, I do self-righteously think I bring up some interesting points. It’s a relativity short read for now, but will add onto this article in the future.
With the 10 episode of Hanayamata, everything seems to going swimmingly for Naru and the group as they are entered in the Hanairo Festival, Machi coalesces into the group, and the girls getting newfound motivation – including Naru coming up with a motif for their outfits. Picking flowers that each represent their own unique personalities, the choices are interesting ones – albeit, I was quite confounded by a few. Of course, taking a small portion of time to look up and learn about these flowers, they definitely do speak a language of their own, despite the meanings that people have bestowed to them. In Japanese, this would be called “Hanakotoba” or the language of flowers commonly known as floriography.
For most fans and followers in the “Anime” Community, anime is anime and cartoons are cartoons. In other-words, if is not conceptualized, produced, and bred in Japan – it is not anime and rather anything foreign that borrows that moniker is simply anime-themed or confusing called (by the annals of the all-mighty Wikipedia) “Anime-influenced animation“. However, after looking at the two as separate entities and as one and the same, honestly, there is not that much of a clear distinction to me; whether it be on a surface level or deeper contextual one expect for a few nuances and ideologies. I am sure many have pressed this claimed before and many ostracized for it by the either side of the communal fence, but I think those that bring it up may have a point. After all, what is so special about “anime”