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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? July 2014

August 1, 2014

(This article will be spoiler free!)

ようこそ、ようこそ! Did July whiz by or what? Short feeling month full of long feeling nights at work.
Just recently, the government in Japan has begun cracking down on overseas manga and anime pirate sites and distributors, and I’ve no doubt that if you’re here, you enjoy anime, and if you enjoy anime you’ve probably heard about this.
It’s an interesting situation, really. On one hand, yes, people work very, very hard on the manga and anime they release (with a sometimes severe impact on their own lives), and for someone to deny them at least their day’s pay by downloading or streaming their work for free is like a slap in the face.
That being said though, while the internet has made finding an anime or manga you’re interested in far, far easier than it used to be, even today there are many series which do not see an overseas release, and some which once they do, are altered from their original version to fit what’s seen as socially acceptable by the region in question.
I think the fans who do fansubs of anime or fan translations of manga are important, because they’re taking something they love and making it so that more people can enjoy it as well in as close to its original form as possible. But at the end of the day, a fan showing their love for a series by translating it and distributing it on the internet is opening the door for people to pirate it for free, which is a huge blow to the series creator(s).
So I’m hoping things are done to meet both issues in the middle a little bit. Give fans more options for supporting anime/manga creators and hopefully those with the means to will do just that.
This month was pretty light for backlog series, since I had a fair amount of other stuff going on, but here’s what I watched:


12723Acchi Kocchi:
Miniwa Tsumiki is a young girl, small in stature who harbors strong feelings for her classmate, Otonashi Io. While they accompany one another to school each day, Tsumiki simply can’t find the right time or place to confess her feelings.
They are accompanied by their small group of friends who regularly tease them about their relationship in this bright and cheerful slice of life comedy.

What I thought: “Cute but kind of boring.”
I wouldn’t say I disliked this series, as the presentation and the visuals as a whole are all very bright and clean, and the characters, while kind of stale, are fun enough to hang out around.
It’s the comedy though, that I wasn’t especially crazy about. The same sort of dialogue and reactions repeat numerous times, and while there are a few standouts, the scenarios aren’t especially interesting or memorable either. It’s all sort of safe feeling, which makes me think this series is intended to be viewed by younger audiences; and while that’s perfectly fine, I can think of at least one other series (Ika Musume) which met a good balance between kid friendly and wink and nudge towards older viewers.
Acchi Kocchi isn’t bad by any stretch, but I didn’t like it as much as other series of its ilk.
While I’d recommend this series to anyone with a kid or someone more into animation aimed at younger viewers, the moment to moment comedy of Acchi Kocchi wasn’t outrageous or energetic enough for me personally. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t one of the better slice of life comedies out there.


5-centimeters-per-second-movie-poster-2007-1020419541Byousoku 5 Centimeter:
Byousoku 5 Centimeter is a film comprised of three short stories; each centered on different periods of a boy named Touno Takaki’s life.
Do the things he once held dear as a young man still hold true as an adult?

What I thought: “Growing up in 60 minutes.”
For anime in the feature film format, it’s somewhat expected that more attention is given to production, and such is the case with Centimeter. The character art is rather plain, but things are animated wonderfully, and there is a loving attention to detail in both the environmental art, and the audio married to it. The writing is top-notch, and each of these things come together in a way that sucks you in and places you in the character’s shoes.
This film has a short and sweet one hour run time, so it doesn’t require a ton of your time, and the story it tells is grounded and relatable. It is a story which superbly reproduces the ups and downs of an individual’s transition from childhood to adulthood, and left me speechless and empathetic come its conclusion.
If you have an hour to set aside, and the means to do so, do see this film.

Unknown to the common person, strange spirits called Youkai and Mikura exist, and while they walk the Earth, they are unable to be seen by the human world.
This isn’t to say these creatures are incapable of affecting the lives of humans however, and it is left to shape-shifting guardians known as Karas to protect the human realm.
While a secret war is taking place within their own city of Tokyo, two detectives seek to give explanation to a strange murder which one of them believes may have something to do with someone or something otherworldly.

What I thought: “Gorgeous but tedious.”
It’s an incredibly slim six episodes, but this series was a complete Hell to sit through for me. The visuals are terrific, with densely populated, lively and detailed cities, spectacular battle imagery (which makes decent use of CG), and a number of abstract otherworldly environments for good measure, but the story is so slow, so lacking of any sort of energy, and so devoid of personality that each episode seemed to drag onward toward eternity.
It isn’t that there’s no plot; it’s just that the plot unfolds so slowly and so little is explained about the Youkai and the Mikura that it was quite difficult to get invested in any of it.
 It’s full of eye-candy, but because of its agonizingly dull plot and its lack of any sort of hook to draw you in and get you invested, I would never recommend this series to anyone.


The Summer anime season is trucking along, and I’m enjoying the Phantom Bullet arc of Sword Art Online quite a bit so far. Urobuchi Gen’s new series, Aldnoah Zero is very well done also, and I’ve been liking Majimoji Rurumo a lot (it reminds me of Kotoura-san in a way). These are but a few of the great series airing at the moment, though. Summer seems to be when all of the stops are pulled on great anime series, and it’s a little tough to keep up on all of the things I’m interested in.
As far as backlog goes, I’ve been trying to get through Acchi Kocchi and Karas for months now, so it’s freeing to have them wrapped up, as I get to move on to other things I’ve been meaning to watch. I still have plenty of Cardcaptor Sakura and FMA:Brotherhood to get through, so August is sure to be busy busy busy.
See you around!

From → Anime

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  1. Spitz’s Year End Wrap Up 2014 | Spitz's Soapbox

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