Chihayafuru Part 2 (2016) with Spoilers

The Japanese Film Festival's Poster for Chihayafuru

The Japanese Film Festival’s Poster for Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru part 2 is probably not as strong a film as part 1, but is still definitely worth seeing. It is also the film where Chihaya gets her emotional arc. That arc is highly satisfying, but involves substantial compression of material covered in the anime, as well as a significant change in focus.

These are necessary changes due to the time constraints of fitting within movie length, but may be disconcerting to fans of the Chihayafuru franchise, especially fans of the manga[1]. Continue reading

Chihayafuru Part 1 (2016) with Spoilers


Chihayafuru part 1 is a film that leaves you wanting more. Much more. Fortunately I’ll be able to see part 2 tomorrow at the Japanese Film Festival. There are significant spoilers ahead for both the movie and season 1 of the Chihayafuru anime.

If that’s a problem, the TL;DR is that the Chihayafuru movie is astonishing, and you should go see it when you get the chance. If that’s not a problem, read on.   Continue reading

Space Cowboys (2000) with Major Spoilers of TEH STUPID.


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For all that I enjoyed Space Cowboys, and will probably watch it again, oh dear lord there’s a whole lot of stupid in the set up.

The Stupid isn’t the Premise. Mostly.

I’m not even talking about the core conceit, which is sending antiquated experts up into space to fix antiquated technology. That I can live with, after all John Glenn successfully rode the shuttle when he was 77, and the rest of the core conceit is Artistic License. If you’re not prepared to deal with that on its own terms, why watch Space Cowboys at all? Continue reading

Gravity (2013) with Spoilers


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Gravity is an effective film on an emotional level, with a superb performance by Sandra Bullock, but one that failed to suspend my disbelief on a technical level.

Despite the effectiveness of the emotional arc of the film, I was to some extent snickering at it inside. Continue reading

3rd Quarter Review for 2016


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Is it that time already? I’m probably no more than a couple of weeks from having to dust off the BAH! HUMBUG! post. Anyway, here’s the top 5 posts for the quarter:

  1. Say “I Love You” (2012): Final Thoughts with Spoilers (December 2014)
  2. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (2016): First Thoughts with Major Spoilers (January 2016)
  3. The latest anime to flee screaming from: Walkure Romanze (June 2013)
  4. In which @colonydrop and Wil Wheaton (@wilw) make my day (December 2015)
  5. The Additional Words I See in #BlackLivesMatter. You Should See Them Too. (September 2016)

Continue reading

Inari, KonKon, Koi Iroha (2014)



Inari, KonKon, Koi Iroha (aka Inakon) is a charming little supernatural romantic comedy series, and one where I’d like to see a second season.

Inakon is primarily about the clumsy and somewhat shy girl Inari Fushimi who rescues a familiar of the shrine goddess Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami (usually addressed as Uka-Sama for obvious reasons), and winds up with both some of Uka-Sama’s divine powers and said familiar. Continue reading

Girls Und Panzer Der Film (2015) with Spoilers


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I finally got to Girls Und Panzer Der Film on a whim last night[1], and it’s a wild ride.

This film is a huge amount of fun.

There are major spoilers ahead, with one final warning before I get to key points.  Continue reading

Amanchu! (2016)


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In retrospect Amanchu! was never going to live up to my hopes of matching or exceeding ARIA, and it was unfair of me to have those expectations.


With that disclaimer in place, what is Amanchu, and what is a fair assessment of Amanchu? Continue reading

New Game! (2016)



Back in my Summer 2016 round up, I didn’t expect a lot out of New Game! but did actually end up enjoying it a fair bit. As I said at the time:

Between the all-female cast, and the excessive fanservice, this show isn’t going to be on the level of Shirobako by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s still some hope that this show will have some things worth saying.

That’s more or less where New Game! ended up being: a light comedy about working in a creative environment, with occasional commentary on Japanese work practices[1]. It did have some good points to make about the issues of creating art to schedule, whilst also learning the tools of your trade. Continue reading

The Additional Words I See in #BlackLivesMatter. You Should See Them Too.


Another day, another black life snuffed out into a hashtag by police violence. I mostly don’t comment on #BlackLivesMatter on social media beyond amplifying the voices of black activists.

This is their movement, their time, the most I can usually do is offer support and not get in the way.

One thing I do think that I can say is to answer the use of #AllLivesMatter as a derailing tactic that is designed to defend the status quo. Continue reading