given – Grief, Moving On, and Queer Love

given 2.PNG

This October it will be three years since my Dad suddenly passed away during my junior year of college. When he died, all of my memories of him were haunted by a clock over his head counting down the years, months, days, and even minutes he had left. For me, grief was something that felt like it changed both everything and nothing. I didn’t know how to talk about it with anyone, or even, for that matter, what I would talk about. I just felt empty. And lonely. Really lonely. Watching Mafuyu, one of the main characters in given, navigate his own grief around the recent suicide of his boyfriend, Yuki, I felt understood – two queers in a pod navigating the sad, messiness of grief (lol). While there’s honestly a lot to admire about the show in general, I deeply appreciated how it teased out a lot of that messiness and the difficulty of communicating about grief. I think this show does a really beautiful job of touching on the process of grief for this queer kid and what it means to hold onto someone after they’re gone. Continue reading

Secret Santa: Koi Kaze

koi kaze

This year, I decided to be “adventurous” and take part in Reverse Thieves’ annual Secret Santa event. Though I wasn’t sure how well it would work out, it turned out to be a really fun experience, and I look forward to doing it again next year (my only worry is how well my person liked the series I recommended)!

Out of the series I had to choose from, I ended up going with Koi Kaze which was a bit of a surprise. My other two choices, Dennou Coil and Kaibaare series that I’ve been meaning to get around to for a while now, so they initially seemed like the obvious choices. In the end, though, I decided to go with Koi Kaze because it’s the only one out of the three that I’ve been avoiding. When I originally happened upon the series a few years back, I almost immediately shoved it to the bottom of my priories list since incest wasn’t really my thing, and I wasn’t particularly interested in double checking. Well, come Secret Santa time, I decided I didn’t care as much about the topic as I did before and what the heck? It’s only 13 episodes.  Secret Santa, if you’re reading this, I want to take a moment and thank you for sticking that show on the list since I probably wouldn’t have watched otherwise! Continue reading

Fall Impressions: Zetsuen no Tempest

Although I’m a big fan of BONES and have liked a lot of what I’ve watched from them, going into Zetsuen no Tempest, I wasn’t quite sure how interested or invested I would be in the story because I didn’t think it sounded terribly outstanding, and the mention of Shakespeare references brought back memories of that one Shakespeare adaptation no one likes (except for me I guess). Well, I feel pretty dumb now, having sat down to finally watch and discovering that it’s turned out to be one of the first shows this season that I’m actually really intrigued by, and one of the first that I can’t wait to see more of.

Mahiro’s sister, Aika, was murdered, and, after a year of no leads, he sets out to obtain the justice he believes has not been carried out. Somewhere along the way, he becomes involved with the self-proclaimed most powerful mage known to man who has been stranded on a desert island, and, in exchange for her help in finding his sister’s murderer(s), agrees to help her save the world. Joining Mahiro is his friend, Yoshino who was dating Aika at the time of her death, but is helping Mahiro out because of their friendship. Putting aside Mahiro and Yoshino, the mages are part of what makes the story as engaging as it is. Here we have a group that is supposed to protect and watch over the logic in the world, yet is looking to do something that appears to go the very logic that powers them and that they are protectors of. I’m interested to see what exactly their motivations are for doing what they are and what possible benefits would await them when they do. The Tree of Genesis, the source of their magical abilities, though, is one of the aspects of the mages that, by itself, is really intriguing mainly because one of the requirements in order to draw from it’s power is an offering of “the fruits of civilization,” or man-made objects. This aspect of the the Tree leads to some interesting questions regarding how it ties into what the mages are trying to resurrect. In towns where parts of the tree pop up, Black Iron Syndrome befalls the residents, turning them into metal. Since most of the offerings to the Tree  of Genesis look metallic in nature things and this syndrome turns people into metal, I’m curious to see if the metal people in affected areas will end up acting as a sort of final sacrifice. Continue reading

Fall Impressions: Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun

If I remember correctly, I believe this was the first shoujo of the season to air, and boy did it make a splash (and it’s not because of the chicken). Now, I’m not going to linger on this for long because, honestly, this issue has been beaten to death. Therefore, I’ll keep this quick.

Way back when the first episode came out, there was a poor choice of joke that involved our male protagonist, Haru, pulling his female love interest, Shizuka, into an alley and threatening her with rape if she made noise…only to, seconds afterwards, go off and show her a dog he found. Doubtless Haru’s threat was inappropriate and his actions throughout the rest of the episode didn’t do much to make him much of an endearing and likable character, from him violent outbursts to his treatment of Shizuka. Looking at the episode in retrospect, I don’t think it handled Haru particularly well since it mainly served to give people reasons to dislike him. However, I think it’s a shame that so many people have dropped the series as a result of that one scene because I think that the episodes since that disastrous debut  do a much better job of presenting Haru as a more likable person.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is a romantic comedy whose initial premise isn’t terribly original, but whose characters manage to set it apart and make it interesting. Tonari‘s story involves your classic bad boy falling for the nerdy girl whose social life isn’t the most active. Girl then falls in love with said boy and drama and slice of life hijinks ensue, leading up to the eventual get together. What I like about Tonari‘s story so far is probably the pacing. Continue reading

Fall Season Impressions: Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!

Ah, good ol’ Kyoto Animation bringing us some what they do best – cute girls doing cute stuff with a snarky/jaded male in tow. Not that I’m complaining though. I’ve been a fan of Kyoto Animation since my early anime says (not that that’s saying much though). Although a large part of my love for the studio can be attributed to their great animation, those moronically cute girls they’re fond of sticking in their series win me over every time. And, gosh darn it, I’ve been pulled in yet again by this charming slice of life about those afflicted with Chuunibyou, or Eighth Grader’s Syndrome

Our main character Yuuta once suffered from this affliction which requires a great imagination and a surprising amount of devoting, claiming to be the Dark Flame Master. While he was fully immersed in his own world, he became somewhat of a social outcast during his middle school years due to his prevailing status as a weirdo. Flash forward to the present and Yuuta is desperately trying to escape his past embarrassment by trying as hard as he can to be “normal,” though his plans are somewhat spoiled when Rikka, a girl still suffering from Chuunibyou, befriends him. Continue reading

Fall Season Impressions (Ixion Saga, BTOOOM!, The Pet Girl…)


Now that most of the shows for fall season have aired and are each at the titular two to three episode place, I decided that this would probably be a good point to put these out. Last year I did my impressions based on the first episode, but this year partly because I don’t have a lot of time and partly because I think this works better in terms of me having an idea on how much I like a show and how am likely I am  to continue it.  As with last season, there will be several, (hopefully) easier to digest parts.

-Note: Some impressions will be on Orgsag-

Ixion Saga DT 

Continue reading

Inu x Boku SS Special Final Thoughts


I tend to stay away from specials because they are usually random shorts, slice of life and comedic in nature, that I don’t particularly care about. However, I do watch the occasional special if I liked a series a lot and am looking for more. Although Inu x Boku SS isn’t my favorite series, the special didn’t look too bad and it looked like it had some more of the couple moments that I was so pleasantly surprised by in the series. This special follows the same type of format I described earlier (random, comedic, slice of life), but I found myself enjoying the little shorts and seeing some characters again that I genuinely liked in the series. Continue reading

Like All the Cool Kids (Fall Preview)

*Insert Pretty Picture to Draw People In*

As the curtain begins to fall on the summer season, the time has come to eagerly await  the upcoming fall season.

Since I’ve always admired them from afar, now that I have my own blow I thought I’d try out those cool looking “Season Preview” posts that I’ve seen other bloggers diligently put together. Even though it was a lot of work and took me forever, putting this together was pretty fun and I enjoyed doing it. Even though I was planning to put these in some sort of order, getting this out as soon as possibly trumps that, so everything’s pretty jumbled up. To be honest, though, since I have a pretty hopeful outlook regarding most shows a ranking probably would have been a pain in the butt. I tried my hardest to include all the shows on the season preview chart and to give some thoughts on each.

As for this upcoming fall season in general, I think it has a lot of potential. There are a few shows that have potential to set themselves a part from the rest, and few that look like they’ll by, at the least, an entertaining watch. Personally, though, I’m pretty excited for the shoujo adaptations coming out because I don’t think that enough good ones have been adapted. Overall, I have pretty high hopes for this season and I think it could possibly churn out a a few gems…and perhaps a few train wrecks.

While it may not be the best preview ever, I hope you enjoy skimming  reading through it. Continue reading

Natsume Yuujinchou Shi Final Thoughts


And so it ends.

Two years after finishing Natsume Yuujinchou, I have finally caught myself up completely with this amazing series that, when I think about it, was one the first series I watched that ignited my passion for anime. Looking at the series as a whole, I have to say that it is definitely up there in terms of my favorite series. Natsume is a character I grew to really like because of how well done his development is. He is an amazingly well-thought out character who is given a past that is filled with a lot of pain and sadness, a present that is full of love and acceptance, and a future that, though uncertain, looks bright and promising in terms of how he will continue to grow and open up. The stories are pretty slice of life, but manage to convey a wide range of emotion in a subtle way that makes for episodes ranging from heartwarming to heartbreaking. Yes, the show can get repetitive with a lot of the same story format going on, but I didn’t really mind because I was always more interested in how, even though many of the stories follow a similar format, they still manage to be heartwarming. I’m a little sad to finally be done with the series, but it took me on a great ride and I have nothing but fond memories of it. Also, even though while watching the end of the third season and thinking that it had more of a final feeling to it, I think that the ending to Natsume Yuujinchou Shi is a much better since it packs more of an emotional punch with the last few minutes providing a touching and, I think, satisfying end.

Natsume Yuujinchou Shi is, from what I’ve been hearing, most likely the last installment of the Natsume Yuujinchou series which follows around Mr. Takashi Natsume as he continues along his path of self-acceptance, learning to trust others, and coming to terms with his past. He has the inconvenient ability of being able to see these monsters called Youkai and this ability has come to be the root of a lot of suffering he has endured since he was a child. He is also followed around by a Youkai, Nyanko-Sensei, who acts as his bodyguard, protecting him from other Youkai in return for being guaranteed what is left of a book of Youkai’s names called the Book of Friends created by the infamous Reiko, Natsume’s grandmother who had the same ability as him. Continue reading

Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou Final Thoughts

OP, ED (can’t believe I forgot to put these)

Yay, another season down. Two more to go.

I wasted no time in getting into this series and went right into this after re-watching the first season, finally relieving it of it’s place near the bottom of my plan to watch list. I have to say that my feelings about this installment are pretty much the same as the ones regarding the first season. This season built more on Natsume’s character and also started going more into his feelings about himself, the people around him, and youkai. Although lonliness remained a prevelant theme throughout the show, it was sort of balanced out by the generally happier and more uplifting spirit of the season. One of my favorite things about this season was seeing the introduction of youkai that were pretty menacing in their own right and really put Natsume in a tight spot. Overall, I would have to say that I loved this part of Natsume’s story just as much, if not more, than the first part.

The story follows pretty much the same kind of format as the first season, meaning it was pretty episodic. Though, this season there were one or two mini-arcs that a nice change-up and usually allowed for more Natsume development. Despite remaining epsidoic, as with the first season, every episode was pretty effective in building Natsume up as a character even more. There was a lot more focus, I think, this season on both Natsume’s feelings about his relationships with youkai and humans. We continue to see snipets of his past that show he didn’t exactly have a stellar childhood, but we also see how his current family makes an effort to let him know that he belongs and that they love him. Continue reading