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Category Archives: Anime Analysis

What to Expect from the New Full Metal Panic Anime According to the Voice Actors

fullmetal panic

This is gonna be a brief post since there’s not much to say. I went to a Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory stage event at AnimeJapan 2018 on Saturday, where the voice actors discussed what viewers should expect from the new anime. 

Voice actor events are usually banal as hell, and there’s rarely ever enough material to string together a report. Sometimes there is news, but it’s only ever in the form of a tiny snippet at the very end of the show. I didn’t get to report on this event for ANN, so I’m just going to dump my observations in this blog post instead.

The voice actors highlighted the following elements of the new anime:

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The Fascinating and Problematic Setting of The Combat Baker and Automaton Waitress

combat baker 1

I mentioned in my The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! blog post that I liked Bookwalker Global’s other exclusive light novel release: The Combat Baker and Automaton Waitress. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to reading volume 2, I figure I should write a post explaining why I like it.

Put simply, I’m a fan of the setting of The Combat Baker. It is a postwar story about a former soldier who takes on a mundane-sounding job in a fantasy European setting. I guess in that broad sense it is like Violet Evergarden, although the tone of the story is very, very different. The Combat Baker also puts a heavy focus on the political backdrop of its postwar setting, as well as how that affects people in a rural town. I quickly found myself sucked into this world that SOW had created.

As cute and fluffy as the cover images make it look, there are some disquieting elements to the setting of The Combat Baker beneath the surface. Thanks to the presence of fantasy technology, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time period it’s based off, but the general “mood” of the story makes me think it’s around World War I. The victor of this fictional war is a country named Wiltia, whose citizens have Germanic names and whose physical appearances are defined by their blonde hair and blue eyes.

So, obviously, fantasy Germany won the war and annexed an entire continent.

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How Gundam Wing Became a Global Phenomenon

Note: This is a repost of an article I originally wrote for Crunchyroll. Check my writer profile to see my latest articles.


To celebrate the 38th anniversary of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series, Crunchyroll has recently added some classic Gundam titles to its catalog. Let’s take this opportunity to look back on Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, the show that ignited the West’s love affair with Gundam. You may be surprised at how many convenient factors lined up in both the original Japanese context and the international distribution process that helped pave the way for Wing’s success.

Wing 1
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Novel vs Anime – A Certain Magical Index

Note: This is a repost of a series of an article I originally wrote for Crunchyroll. Check my writer profile to see my latest articles.


A Certain Magical Index is based off one of the most popular light novel series in Japan ever. If you count the side story volumes and the New Testament sequel currently being published in Japan, the Index series has over 40 volumes in print—and this isn’t even counting the A Certain Scientific Railgun manga spinoff which has its own sprawling continuity. If you’re even vaguely familiar with anime and light novels, you’ve probably heard of the Index franchise.

index cover

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What Makes the Oregairu Novel So Relatable?

Note: This is a repost of an article I originally wrote for Crunchyroll. Check my writer profile to see my latest articles.


I first read the My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU novels soon after the first season of the anime hit the airwaves, and it’s been one of my favorite light novel series since then. It’s hard to describe exactly what makes the series so appealing to me, but it essentially comes down to this: it’s the most true-to-life representation of the high school experience that I’ve encountered through fiction.

my teen romantic comedy snafu too

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Why the Ending of Scum’s Wish Dissatisfied Me

I finally caught up on the last chapter of Scum’s Wish today and… it was kind of lame.

Brief spoiler-ific thoughts below.

scum's wish 1

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What We Learn Through Body-swapping: The Subtext of Torikaebaya and Your Name

Let’s look at some of the stories that Makoto Shinkai referred to when creating Your Name. Below is a translation of a column written for the official Your Name guidebook. It’s written by Mizuo Watanabe, a manga critic and the main writer of the yearly Kono Manga ga Sugoi! guidebook.

your name

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Why Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga sucks compared to the first season

blue exorcist 1

There’s been something… missing in the second season of Blue Exorcist. It’s really strange. The production quality of the second season is high, and it’s adapting a well-regarded arc in the manga. There’s none of the filler that plagued the second half of the first season.

So why does it suck so bad?

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Did Yuri Propose to Victor?

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for episode 9 of Yuri!!! On ICE. If you haven’t seen it yet, catch up with the series today!

yuri-on-ice-1

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Comparing the Film and Anime Trailers for The Great Passage / Fune wo Amu

fune-wo-amu-anime-teaser-009The Great Passage (or Fune wo Amu) is a novel by Shion Miura. It’s getting an anime next season, featuring character designs by the Rakugo Shinjuu artist and a spot in the Noitamina TV block. I suppose most anime viewers should have it pegged as a mature and down-to-earth drama, especially after seeing the trailers. This was my impression of the anime as well.

As it turns out, the anime’s style is only one interpretation of the novel’s story, and the live action film directed by Yuya Ishii appears to be quite a different beast, judging by its trailer. It depicts the story as a quirky romcom, complete with a socially inept male protagonist, before taking a melodramatic turn. The light-hearted approach to weighty topics is reminiscent of the “trendy dramas” of the 1980s and 1990s. (It’s worth noting that the novel, despite being published in 2011, is set in the 1990s.)

I haven’t read the original novel, so I can’t tell you how faithful either adaptation is to the story. Nor have I watched the anime or film themselves. I only have access to the trailers, so I can only comment on how these adaptations have been pitched to their audiences. The two trailers strike a completely different tone and feel, to the extent that I initially found it hard to believe that they were adaptations of the same story. This says something interesting about the leanings of their directors, as well as the perceived target audiences of the live-action film and television anime in Japan.

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