Hibike! Euphonium (2015): Final Thoughts with Spoilers


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Hibike! Euphonium delivered a strong, but definitely open, ending. I would really like a season 2 of this show to be announced. Anytime now would be good.

Entrance Exams

The story arc for episodes 7 Crybaby Saxophone to 13 Goodbye Competition is the continuing drive for Kitauji to qualify for the national band competition. For a band that was identified by Kumiko as dreadful in episode 1 Welcome to High School this is going to be tough. Even with the dramatic[1] improvement shown in episode 5 Festival Time, there is still a long way to go. Continue reading

Sometimes you don’t need dialogue: ARIA by way of Hibike! Euphonium



Sometimes a gesture, or a facial expression, is all that’s needed to convey a powerful moment of characterisation.

I’ll be writing about Hibike! Euphonium tonight but there was a moment in the finale this morning that called one of my favourite ARIA the NATURAL moments to mind.

It is the moment when Alicia smiles and waves Akari off on her “farewell gondola” tour.

But as soon as Akari’s back is turned, Alicia’s face falls. For that was Alicia’s training gondola as well, and Alicia cannot bid farewell to it in the same way.

For Alicia is a prima undine, bound by her status to the white gondolas of the primas, and can only ride the black gondolas when instructing Akari.

One of the best things about this moment in ARIA is that it happens before a flashback shows this to be true, but any viewer will know the truth of it as soon as Alicia’s face falls.

The Hibike! Euphonium moment is, structurally and emotionally, quite different but still brought the ARIA moment to mind almost immediately.

Hence writing this on the phone (which I’m normally loath to do) before I lose the thought.

So, what moments without dialogue in anime have carried the most meaning for you?

2nd Quarter Review for 2015


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Where does the time go? As is my wont here are the top 5 posts from the last three months:

  1. Say “I Love You” (2012): Final Thoughts with Spoilers
  2. The Reality of Idol Culture in Japan
  3. Anime Reviews
  4. The Age of Adaline (2015)
  5. Twenty Days of Haibane Renmei – Day 15: Who Were They Before They Were Haibane?

Continue reading

Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (2015): Final Thoughts With Spoilers



I never really intended to keep watching DanMachi but a combination of timing[1], some insights from Mage in a Barrel, and a weak season generally[2] saw me carry through to the end.

Albeit with mixed feelings, particularly about the finale. Continue reading

Can I have change for 25 Million people? 



Oh my. It looks like a 50th anniversary edition of Nuclear War is being touted on Kickstarter. Many thanks to a friend on Google+ for alerting me to this.

The question now is not whether I back this, it is at what level do I back this. 😀

Oh and apparently the new edition will include a card for a 250 (!!!) megaton war head. I shudder to think about putting that on the MX…

Gay Marriage: The Good, the Great, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Funny



That the US Supreme Court has validated gay marriage throughout the US is all over the internet right now. So, and for what it’s worth[1], here’s my reactions including (where I can) voices from the LGBTQ community. Continue reading

Rin-ne (2015) remains exactly what I expected it to be.


About a month ago I observed that “you know what you’re going to get when a new Takahashi anime adaptation appears“. I’m still enjoying the new character/monster of the week format as disposable entertainment, but despite what I said it’s still occasionally startling just how predictable Rin-ne is.

Behold: Continue reading

Makoto Shinkai on CrunchyRoll.


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Whilst I’m not a huge fan of Makoto Shinkai’s work, there’s no denying that his work has a distinctive signature of consistently brilliant visuals. Makoto Shinkai is a significant creator in anime today, even if I have some reservations about his story telling.

So it’s good news to see much of his work appearing on CrunchyRoll over the weekend. Continue reading

Princess Jellyfish (2010) with some spoilers


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I was struggling with what I wanted to say about Princess Jellyfish until I saw this news item announcing a kickstarter to reissue Otaku no Video. That crystallised the core of Princess Jellyfish for me. Continue reading


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