I’m admittedly, not the biggest fan of DADAROMA, but… this song is the most appropriate way to kick off a monthly favorites. Especially considered what my theme was and the day it happens to be (in Japan at least). So yeah, there’s that.
As for this month as a whole, I was a little low energy on my part. I love fall, and changing of seasons. It also tends to knock me on my ass a bit as well. It’s a very strange relationship to have with a season. I fell behind with some of my goals writing-wise, and content-wise. Still, I have my schedule and I have my pre-planned materials. However… I think I took my pre-planning a bit too far. I feel a lot of my blogs were a bit stale to be honest. Something I can work on for next month!
Now let’s hit up some posts from the blog-o-sphere.
First up in the anime realm, is Scott with “My Perspectives Of: Fanservice and Character Agency”. Love it or hate it, fanservice is largely here to stay in anime. You could argue this discussion has happened in anime blogging many times before, but one more time can’t hurt. Scott does a great job articulating what fanservice can actually do in terms of characters, and it’s not all just being ecchi! He also explains why in many cases it tends to bite the character, or plot, in the ass when it’s overdone or poorly executed.
Following up is Elisabeth with “Spirit, strength and gratitude: understanding Buddhism through Hunter x Hunter”. Now, this particular post won’t get you to achieve enlightenment (damn…) but it will enlighten you on Buddhism in “HunterxHunter”. Considering I’ve only read the series, not watched it, the detailing and in depth explaination of imagery, meaning and how it all ties together was amazing. It’s a really well-thought out post to get a different part of your brain working in anaylizing something as iconic as “HunterxHunter”.
Next is Karandi with “Top 5 Moments I Realised Natsume Yuujinchou Is Actually Sometimes Scary”. Now here is a post that’s Halloween-y AND Natsume themed. Of course, that’s just a bonus given this month. Top 5’s get a bad reputation, but I would argue with a topic like this, simple is best. A lot of the moments Karandi picked for this post also happen to relate to very common, and very real fears in the real world. While Natsume does tend to have more fantastical elements, a lot of what makes it click for so many of us, and by default also terrorize up, is the ordinary elements taken with just a bit of a darker spin.
Shifting into the anime and manga zone is Kapodaco with “How Trends Affect the Quality of Japanese Media”. Honestly this article managed to make me reflect on why my anime consumption, as of late has gone down. Kapodaco has a way of hitting four major points, and then following them up with great elaboration on as to why it affects us similarly. (Or maybe differently, depends on you.) While I can’t blame my own personal consumption solely on trends, what’s described in this blog certainly better articulates some of my own cluttered thoughts. For new and fans alike, a worthwhile read to really get you reflecting on the media we consume.
Going on the manga vein is “MANGA| Mieruko-chan — Why’d I Do This to Myself?| Spoop Fest #6” by piecesofminty. Can you believe that a viral post on twitter (which I never go on), I saw already had me following the author? It’s good to know that the one post wasn’t just a one-off and this series is being published! Piecesofminty does a great job getting to the core of the series and how it works and if it’s for you. Once I get through my backlog I’ll be picking up this series as well!
Additionally, we have a manga but of the naughty variety *~~hentai~~* commentary on “‘Metamorphosis’ and the Meaning of Hentai” from unnecessaryexclaimationmark. I’ve actually been meaning to make a post about this particular hentai, all jokes aside. Seeing someone articulate the more refined and technical details of the piece makes for a really nice read. There is a larger context that “Metamorphosis” fits into, and how the impact of this piece might change the trends of hentai in the near future as well.
Before moving away from printed materials, I’d like to highlight this review of “1973年のピンボール (PINBALL:1973)” by nihongobookreview. I’ve wanted to talk more about Japanese literature, but I very rarely read these days. So seeing a review of one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, I had to be biased and slide this in here. Take a peek for a bit of variety in your reading.
So now, we’re in dramaland, at least JDramaland. Somewhere I have been much more active in as of late. I’ve decided to feature “[SPOILER-FREE J-Drama Review] Anata no Dan Desu (Your Turn to Kill)”, by Chocomint Cloud. This series has been very hyped in the JDrama community this year. I can see why based off Chocomint Cloud’s review! It seems to have much more of the action people crave, almost in the realm of American TV. Alas, it’s not a series I’ve watched but it’s always good to expand your mind and take in other people’s tastes once in awhile.
Unexpectedly, but as a pleasent surprise Daemon of Homicidol’s took the time to not only watch, but review “We Review Dorama: Dakara Watashi wa Oshimashita“. Seeing that Homicidol’s not only review alt-idol, but chika idol I was kinda secretly hoping they might pick this up, and they did! I’m glad that it was also recieved warmly by fellow idol fans, and continues to have a good track record for this year. Seriously, check this drama out if you haven’t!
Coming almost full circle, well circling back to my own posts and cross interests is TheFlemishSeth reviewing JK☆ROCK in “Japanese Film Festival Review – ‘JK☆ROCK'”. Ironically, shortly after reading their thoughts, a single copy of this film showed up at my local DVD rental shop. Soon enough, my own thoughts. I was pretty damn surprised this got screened elsewhere, it really was not marketed for that in my limited opinion. As someone who researched DROP DOLL, and then read the manga before seeing all this; it’s got me curious but I’m not expecting too much.
Staying with music, but shifting from movies to MV’s I came across AKSJ829’s post entitled “J-pop, idols, Nogizaka46, Keyakizaka46, Hinatazaka46”. It is very rare, or at least in my experience to come across a post that’s not either a hit piece on these groups, or weirdly sexually non-sexual in content. That might just be me not looking hard enough, or a completely different issue. Either way, this post was a refreshing look at the positives of these groups and their members that really stayed with me. For those who are curious and want something easy to read and start with, start with this piece!
Now for the ever shrinking non-blog section. As always, there’s another interview from ACME in English from Jpopasia. I couldn’t not include it, but I promise to condense my feelings a bit more then usual.
I wanted to spend a bit more time of this piece, “The Bodies of the Girls Who Made Me: On Fanfic and Storytelling”. This article is written by author Seanan McGuire, and originally published on tor.com a sci-fi/fantasy and more website. The title was pretty damn startling, mostly because I’ve been watching too many True-Crime documentaries lately. Not the point. This piece really brings up some important points for Fanfiction authors (you guys are amazing!!), and those who make the jump from Fanfic to original fiction. A lot of aspects I had forgetten since I don’t read fanfiction or fiction in general much these days. It was a lot of food for thought, and my buzz-words for this month, incredibly well articulated. Give it the read, you know you already clicked.
To wrap up this month is two bigger splashes in music. The OG’s of Jpop are taking over Youtube my friends. I am not kidding. This month Arashi took Youtube by storm by creating an account, and uploading five of their biggest hits. We never thought this day would happen, but here we are folks; Arashi official MV’s are finally available on Youtube and won’t be taken down in hours. God bless. Additionally, they have followed these MV’s with live performance videos as well. We can only hope in the following months we get even more even if it’s a trickle. It’s certainly a good start.
Significantly on fewer people’s radar’s was Ayumi Hamasaki. Ms. Hamasaki took the crown though since she released every. single. one of her MV’s on her official Youtube channel. EVERY SINGLE ONE YOU GUYS. Again, I never thought in a middle years we’d see the day where her visual catalouge would be available online legally. I believe this is mostly tied in with releasing her 20th anniversary version of “LOVEAppears” next month. It’s certainly a generous gift for all of us long-time fans. I linked below just one of the many album-focus playlists created on the official channel.
With that, this month is wrapping up nicer then a mummy! Hopefully there’s one or two new pieces for you to check out, and I’ll see you next month!