Author Archives: Frog-kun
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this anime, the story follows Kousei Arima, a former child prodigy who lost his ability to play the piano when his mother died. But after he encounters the beautiful and eccentric Kaori one day, his life begins to change. Over the course of twenty-two episodes, Your Lie in April tells a touching story about dealing with grief and the power of music.
Arguably, what makes Your Lie in April so impressive is not its script, however. The anime is at its most powerful when it lets its music and visuals do the talking. I think that Patrick Seitz, the director and writer of the English dub, must have realized that too, because the English dub audio never sounds intrusive. There’s an air of natural ease about the voice acting, as if nobody is pushing their voices too hard. I think that understatement was the best approach Seitz could have taken with a Japanese script that was, in my opinion, somewhat ungraceful at times.
Another overseas trip, another anime con.
The KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world! anime was a surprise hit last year because of its hilarious characters and entertaining parodies of the “stuck in a video game-like fantasy world” subgenre that has become so popular lately. Now that the light novel that the anime is based off has finally received an English translation, it’s time to unravel what makes the anime such a great adaptation of Natsume Akatsuki’s original novel.
Note: This review only refers to the first volume of the light novel, which is covered in the first six episodes of the anime.
Your mind can be a dark and scary place.
Alone with only your worst thoughts stewing in your mind, the entire world feels like a prison. Your every problem is magnified to impossible proportions; you feel like you’re up against a suffocating wall with no weapons to fight.
A part of you is aware that your problems would be seen as trivial by other people. “It’s all in your head!” they’d say. But it’s not trivial, because they don’t understand that your head has become your enemy, and that it’s with you all the time. That’s why you never tell them. You never tell anyone.
And eventually, you snap.
If there’s one series that will attract strong opinions, it’s Eromanga Sensei. The story appears to be a romantic comedy about a boy and his little sister, and is based off a light novel written by the author of OreImo, another series that is no stranger to controversy. Having read the light novel, I can say that the content is fairly tame for the most part, but I doubt it’ll convert too many people to the little sister subgenre.
As an anime, however, Eromanga Sensei is actually pretty good. It takes the stereotypical characters in the light novel and makes their personalities shine. But it’s also a more extreme version of the light novel—in more ways than one.
The best thing about The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! is the afterword, where the author reveals just how much research he did to write a shogi-themed light novel. Usually, light novel authors use the afterword to thank the book’s illustrator, editor and the readers (in that order), but Shirow Shiratori goes out of his way to thank dozens of people involved in the professional Shogi world. He even recounts a personal story from his high school days, when he played Shogi against “the high-school Ryuo.”
The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! is a novel that takes a traditional Japanese board game seriously. It took four years of research before the first volume was even published. Think of it like the Hikaru no Go of light novels, except with unfunny lolicon jokes and the worst opening chapter in the world.
Seriously, it cannot be overstated just how bad of a first impression this light novel makes.
Lately, I have been thinking of doing NaNoWriMo. Then I remember that this is a stupid idea when I already write half the word count of a NaNoWriMo novel every month just for work. I say all that, but a part of me thinks: “Wouldn’t it be fun to bury myself in a complete nonsense story for a month and make up shit as I go along?”
I’m sure that the author of My Sister Lives in a Fantasy World has had similar thoughts, because the series reads like a giant NaNoWriMo draft.
In the latter half of the series, major characters and plot points get introduced out of nowhere, powers and abilities get made up on the spot, and half the word count is spent on characters explaining how the nonsensical setup of the story is supposed to work. But I still like the series, mostly because it’s the most fun I’ve had with the “Overpowered MC” concept in a while.
“What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?”
These three questions make up the title of WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? It’s a ridiculously long title to be sure, but in this anime’s case all three questions reflect the story’s main themes accurately. There’s even a sense of poetic rhythm to the title, although admittedly that might be conveyed better in the Japanese title as opposed to the English translation.
Personally, I like this title, because in three sentences it says everything you need to know about how heroism works in this story.
I am not a games journalist, but somehow I ended up doing games journalism.
Was it worth the two-year wait?