It’s that time of the month again, the end of the month where I get to round-up some intersting pieces I’ve come across. This month is a smattering here, there, and everywhere. As always, I’m going to attempt to be as cohesive as possible with some nice line breaks and such to make it easier for you to read. Without further ado…
I feel everyone whose not in charge of writing characters has a better perspective on what is and isn’t acceptable. While this piece by Youtuber Clementine Productions, isn’t perfect it does point out the bigger problems within media and their depictions of mental illness. Their precursor piece, which you can watch here, is also really well executed as well. At only 9 videos with 23, 438 subscribers, their content is seriously worth checking out.
Moving to a completely different direction, is actually a music recommendation from the Japan Times, about a soloist named AAAMYY. I always get curious how the Japan Times choses writers and artists to cover, but AAAMYYY took me completely by surprise.
I have been listening to “Over My Dead Body” on repeat for days. Ever since I heard the song, I dug into her her discography and it’s been a long time since I have fucked with an artist so heavily. She’s an off-putting genius and I love her, this song, everything. It’s been a long time coming but I’m feeling significantly more inspired to write about Japanese musicians again. I have AAAMYYY to thank for that.
Now is the fun part where I get to cut over to all the awesome content from last month. Can I say I was really late to the party about knowing that Mech March is a thing (I will certainly try next year)? In order to make up for that luckily there were two bloggers who managed to remind us that it is most certainly a thing.
First was Scott at Mechanical Anime Review bringing us all up to speed on various franchises in the varied world of Mech anime. His whole blog is worth checking out, especially this month’s pieces but the one that struck me was “Five Mech Shows for Beginners”. This list does a lot of important things in one post. First, it makes the the whole genre as a whole a lot more approachable. There’s obviously a lot of series to pick from, but some series are much easier to start with then others. Having it broken down to five shows, from various eras in the genre and when/where/why/how they are good starting places always helps.
Similarly, I chose Lita’s post “Top 5 Mecha Pilots That Aren’t Gundam Ones”, despite the plethora of other posts she had about Mech this month. There’s a lot of us (or maybe just me) who didn’t realize for awhile that not all Mech anime are Gundam. That like any genre, there’s way more out there then the surface level, which at times seems to be overwhelming Gundam. Lita breaks this down further by talking about the pilots behind these mechs, which are the main driving force (all puns intended folks) of what makes the them and the series go.
Floating over to non-mech anime posts from this month is Karandi’s post, “They Can’t All Be Natsume – Nor Do They Need To Be”. This commentary is something that more of us could take some lessons on. It’s very easy to compare the ‘best’ a genre has to offer, with everything that comes after. However, all series are worth taking a look at what they, the individual series has to bring to the table, verses what they have in comparison to your favorite. A lot of us are big fans of Natsume, but being to separate that not everything needs to be Natsume, is a good exercise so we don’t miss other jems in the genre.
Continuing is The Animanga Spellbook, offering an intersting perspective on “Don’t Just Read It, Buy It…?”. Which genuinely, brought me back to the days of lounging in Borders for hours reading manga volumes while my mom was hunting for whatever thing she needed. Borders has closed it doors since that era, and Barnes & Nobles, at least in my area weren’t as accommodating to the ‘sit and read’ type of consumers. It’s certainly a debatable subject since, I was on both sides of the argument at one point. The comments and the thought to both sides is certainly worth taking a moment to peruse, especially for those of us who do love the ‘entertaining dead tree format’ verses digital.
Following up media in ‘entertaining dead tree format’, is an insightful commentary/discussion from Biblionyan called “The Professional & Consumer Merits of Writing Your Own Synposes – A Discussion”. Personally, this was something I had not considered anything about, until reading this through, not once and not even twice but a few times actually. The discussion is organized and articulated incredibly well, that while it’s a bit intimidating to first give a once over, for any reviewer of any content, print, digital or otherwise, is well worth it to improve yourself as a writer, commenter or reviewer.
Swerving briefly into live-action and anime again, is Average Joe Reviews with “Anime That Could Be Live Action – Dicussion”. I am a sucker for these types of posts, and Joe does a good job articulating that many franchises have live-action adaptations that could be reworked just once more to be a better more complete project. Given how many franchises have gotten the recent live-action treatment, it’s not to far a reach.
Transitioning to an always interesting combination is Blackatron from Black & Yellow Otaku Gamers, “I Think I Found My Favorite Composer|Yuki Hayashi”. As someone who again, loves music but often overlooks it in anime, seeing a post like this is always fantastic. Music can really make or break a series, so having a composer for most/all tracks really helps keep the music consistent at least. Seeing their commentary about a current franchise as well as other projects Yuki Hayashi has worked on is really the icing on the metaphorical cake for this one.
Taking a break from anime and related topics, let’s take a look at some pieces of media I’ve come across that don’t quite fit in with anime, and aren’t quite music related.
First up is a blogging piece called, “We’ve Always Hated Girls Online: A Wayback Machine Piece”. From a blogging site called Longreads, this story is one that’s fairly familar to many of us. We met/watched strangers online do a thing, really well, and then saw the hate they received for it. It’s not a new story for those of us who grew up with technology rapidly changing. Going back and trying to find these people, artists, content creators, etc can be a harrowing experience. There is the horrifying thought that these people are gone not only from online, but from life in general. Not quite a scare tactic piece, but one that really gets you thinking long and hard about your commenting past.
Secondly, on a much lighter note, is an editorial for all you drama fans. Or even just fans of girls with guns. “Blast from the Past: A Guide to “Girls With Guns” Genre” from user Ebisuno92 on MyDramaList. While I’m not active in this genre, since it has largely come and gone at least in East Asia, it is interesting to see it in relation to new movies like “Captain Marvel” and “Wonder Woman” that have gained incredible popularity in the past few years. Taking a look back at the women in film who blazed, literally and figuratively, the trail is always pleasent. Who knows, maybe I’ll take up one or more of these movie recommendations as well!
And wrapping this all up is my breif section about my music news this month. While there’s been a lot that’s come up the past few weeks, aside from AAAMYYY, here’s two new tracks that have been competing with her this month.
While Sky-hi dropped “Chit-Chit-Chat” just the other day, “What a Wonderful World” stole my personal attention this month. The combination of his vocals, lyrics, and composition is just too perfect. I usually rotated between this track and AAAMYYY while driving to and from work this past month. It’s beautiful and well worth more attention as well.
As an almost opposite, is Lol’s “lolli-lolli” MV. Which, admittedly I was not a big fan of at my first listen. However, it’s much less annoying then their previous song “Trigger”, and honestly; it’s a party banger. We need more of them in general and Lol is doing us a service by blessing us with this.
Yes, Hibiki is totally click baiting you in the preview but I promise, it’s much less click-bait-y then you would think.
Homicidols is back again with another insightful interview, “Making an Idol Monster: We Talk to the Creative Team behind Monster of of Dolls”. A must-read for anyone attending the upcoming Italian festival. It certainly makes you appreciate the folks that do a lot of heavy lifting to get Japanese idols to come elsewhere in the world.
In the spirit of my now in-frequent section about Girl’s Rock in Japan, Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi, put together a list of the girls rock, and female fronted bands that attended this year’s SXSW fest. “Japanese Female Artists at SXSW 2019: Don’t We All Love Girl Bands?”, is well worth the read to get some new recommendations for listening and a peek at who might be coming around shortly for a tour. I know I certainly got some new ideas for future features, once I manage to bring those back.
A turn around is Mel in Anime Land talking, “K-Friday|Don’t Touch my Color! and Fandom Pride”. It’s a very insightful piece that talks the importance of color within Kpop fandoms, something that I have long been out of the loop of. It really shows the best of being united as fans, and sometimes one the worse things about being part of a particular fandom. It’s a lot less severe in Japanese fandoms, but nonetheless something we all need to take a few steps back from and really evaluate if it’s worth the trouble of fighting on.
Lastly, is an interview of my ever persistent favorite Visual Kei group, ACME. Interviewed by VHK Press “INTERVIEW: ACME Dives Deep Into Their Musical Journey at Anime Milwaukee 2019”. It’s a bit lighthearted, a bit insightful, and even a bit surprising; but would really expect anything less from ACME?
With all that commented on, read and brought together in my own messy way, March has come to a close. I hope that I managed to bring some new stuff your way, and I’m looking forward to seeing what April brings!