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Category Archives: Anime Analysis

Hisone and Masotan: A Story About Love and Work-Life Balance

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NOT to be confused with Hisone x Masotan.

SPOILERS FOR DRAGON PILOT: HISONE AND MASOTAN EPISODES 1-10 BELOW:

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The Storyboards of PERSONA 5 The Animation Episode 5: What Works and What Doesn’t

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So far, the Persona 5 anime has been about what you’d expect from an anime adaptation of a video game, which is to say that it’s not very good. This is kind of a shame since the series director, Masashi Ishihama, has quite a reputation for directing stylistically interesting anime (From the New World, Garakowa: Restore the World). At first glance, he seemed like the perfect guy for a Persona 5 adaptation, given that the game oozes with style despite its PS3-era graphics.

It’s not that Ishihama’s involvement hasn’t done good for the P5 anime. The OP and the first episode, which Ishihama storyboarded and directed himself, are easily the most stylish parts of the anime so far. But the rest of the anime hasn’t lived up to those standards at all. The all-out attack animations look like they’re missing key frames and overall the show just looks flat.

But I don’t want to dwell on the bad stuff. Episode 5 is the best episode since the first one; it gives a glimpse of what other people besides Ishihama envision for the anime. That doesn’t mean that I like or agree with all the directorial choices, but it’s definitely the most interesting the anime has been in a while. So let’s take a closer look at Tatsuma Minamikawa’s storyboards for episode 5.

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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