Friday, January 8, 2016

Pachi's 2015 Anime Retrospective, Part 5 - Yuri Kuma Arashi

We've already said our goodbyes to 2015, but tonight, I set in stone my goodbye to the year's anime for good with the fifth and final entry in my 2015 Anime Retrospective. Thank you all so much for joining me on this trip down a rather recent memory lane and a rather exceptional year for the medium. I don't have a lot of build-up to tonight's review, as it's a long one - the longest I've ever written, in fact. The subject matter and production history of this show compelled me to give the material an exhaustive write-up, and I know I didn't even cover everything. I spent various periods spanning the entire year perfecting this write-up, and I know it's not perfect, or if I'm either right on all accounts, but I hope you will give it a look despite its size. And if I do get anything wrong, please leave a comment and let me know. I am but one man, and am not a voice of authority on the topics covered below. In any case all of the disclosures will be gotten out of the way in the text to follow, so for your enjoyment, I give you a part review, part post-series discussion and evaluation of my favorite anime of 2015: Kunihiko Ikuhara's Yuri Kuma Arashi. Gao gao (I just said thank you in bear).

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pachi's 2015 Anime Retrospective, Part 4 - Prison School

I try, if anything, to be even a little bit unpredictable, so I chose to start the Retrospective with One Punch Man, my #3 favorite show of the five I chose. Punch Line was my least favorite, Blood Blockade Battlefront is #2, and tomorrow night you'll be treated with my #1 pick which is coincidentally my favorite anime of all 2015. So tonight, on Night 4, we're taking a step back to my #4 (okay maybe I'm totally predictable in a roundabout way), and it's a bit different from the rest. Put on your galoshes and stretch into that shirt that's already ruined but you keep around as working clothes - we're about to wade through shit.

For as much good as 2015 had to offer on the Japanese animation front, there was multitudes of bad. But only a couple shows were so bad they came out good. The first was Monster Musume, an erotic harem series with a genius twist in which all of the ladies up for grabs are terribly cute and terribly dangerous demi-humans. It's a tongue-in-cheek visual lampoon and ecstatic textbook entry of harem romcoms that was positively scintillating and hammered in the fact that me and all my anime friends are complete trash. Ahh, well, as long as we're trash, I guess it's okay that we all liked Prison School, too, right? That's the show we're going to talk about tonight. Read on, and I'll see you tomorrow on the other side of the filth. There's a beautiful tale to be shared with you yet.

Disclaimer: The nature of this anime is steeped in vulgarity, so a few of the images appending this review reflect that nature. Just a warning, in case you have a low tolerance for potentially perverse or gross imagery.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Pachi's 2015 Anime Retrospective, Part 3 - Blood Blockade Battlefront

Night 3 of the 2015 Retrospective is upon us! It's time to take a trip to the big city, but don't expect a laid-back vacation - you're traveling to the heart of Hellsalem's Lot where the abnormal is law and the unexpected is on the menu. From the mind of Mr. Trigun himself, it's Blood Blockade Battlefront! Read on for a sample of the local flavor.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Pachi's 2015 Anime Retrospective, Part 2 - Punch Line

On Night 2 of the Retrospective, we're jumping back to Spring 2015 for a look at the once beloved, now strongly reserved for judgement noitaminA programming block. What happens when you combine superheroes, ghosts, idols, robots, meteors, lab experiments, time travel, and panties? If I were reviewing 2013-14 instead, I could say Samurai Flamenco and then continue on with a glowing write-up on that show's ostentatiously perverse deconstruction of the superhero genre. But alas, THIS YEAR, the answer is Punch Line, the result of a ratings board committee overseeing production of what's supposed to be a subversive thinkpiece. Read on, and I hope you get the punch line, 'cuz I sure don't. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Pachi's 2015 Anime Retrospective, Part 1 - One Punch Man

Welcome to my 2015 Anime Retrospective! In this yearly event, I spend a week rounding up some words on a bunch of anime I watched over the course of the previous year but didn't find time to write up sooner. These aren't necessarily my favorite shows of the year - more likely the shows I can find the most to say about, or that left significant impact on me.

My long-time readers may be wondering why there isn't a header image for this Retrospective. Traditionally I draw an image combining the characters and/or worlds of all the featured series; unfortunately I have not had time to design anything this year. That doesn't mean there won't be an image for the year ever - I may find time to do one before the end of the month, because after all, there's never not a good reason to draw. But there won't be anything prepared for the release of the reviews. If you enjoyed that detail of my Retrospectives, I apologize.

I imagine some of you will already be able to guess what shows of 2015 I am covering, maybe even if what order. To defy the cliche of going in order from worst to best and keep you all guessing, I'm going to start off with one of my favorite hits of the year: One Punch Man! So don your cape and slap on your red rubber gloves, it's time to seek evil and give it a good whack!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Pachi's Anime Review - Tokyo Ghoul

Tonight's review is very special to me. In the past year, few series have touched me so emotionally as Tokyo Ghoul. I put it on a level close to Fullmetal Alchemist - in that they are narrative giants with many perspectives to share told through the lens of a single, insular character study. For rating it so highly, I must treat it just as highly as a review, and so the content of this review is a bit different than normal.

I've said before that I will occasionally drop spoilers in reviews if I think there is no way around them. In this instance, this review is really more of a discussion and exhaustive round-up of the take away meanings in Tokyo Ghoul's complete narrative and the mental journey of protagonist Ken Kaneki. What that means is I will be spoiling events of the story, major events, from the first to the very last episode. Most reviews I write serve to suggest a show to a potential viewer. This time, I just want to *talk* about Tokyo Ghoul because I love it so much, and that's what I'm going to do. So consider it a primer that you need to be someone who has watched both seasons of Tokyo Ghoul in full before reading this review, as I share my lens with those who can consent with or argue against my interpretation. I apologize if this isolates anyone. The first few paragraphs are staunchly spoiler-free and I mention in the text where spoilers become open season.

With that long weaving of personal excuses out of the way, click on ahead to give my discussion of Tokyo Ghoul a read! I hope you enjoy it and are engaged to think by it. :)


This is another case of a vision in my head that is not even close to satisfied in reality with my level of talent, but I think this one was closer than most. In the end I should have been less conservative with shadows - a darker contrast against pervading light suits the mood of the show better. Kaneki's thematic positioning in the piece doesn't come across as cold as I'd imagined. I'm very happy with Touka's hair, though. I put extra time in to give her deserved detail.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pachi's Paraphernalia: On the Coast of Costa Rica

Alright, gang. I'm not happy with the state of affairs around here. Nothing but anime as far as the eye can see. What happened to this place? I used to post about all kinds of stuff unrelated to Japanese culture! My hobbies, observations about the world, my childhood - life! I'm putting my foot down. The yen stops here.

That's not to say anime reviews are going to stop or that they're going to stop being the focus of this blog - these will continue unhindered. But as I have promised to make more posts dedicated solely to my art (which I've failed to follow through with so far) I'm going to not only promise to make more posts concerning other happenings in my life, I'm going to make good on that promise immediately with one right now in a new blog segment: Pachi's Paraphernalia, wherein I talk about anything else that's not centered around Japanese animation or otherwise. We're going to start it up by covering my experiences on a trip I took last month to beautiful Costa Rica.

Does this mean I will be posting additional write-ups such as these more often? Heck no, I'm as lazy and unresponsive as ever!

Click one of the links below to go read about a specific portion of the trip, or just follow the jump at the bottom to start from the beginning. There's also a link to my photobucket page containing more pictures. Hope you enjoy!

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