I’m thinking about making a separate section on my website for Japanese writing to further supplement my learning. I think it’d be really helpful for those who are looking for some Japanese to read, so that they can practice on reading and recognizing the hiragana/katakana/kanji characters. And it’d be helpful for myself as well in writing it and applying the grammar and vocabulary that I’m learning.
Anime: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Producer: AIC Build Director: Hisashi Saitou Genre: Romantic Comedy, Ecchi Episodes: 25 Release date: October 2011
“I have few friends.” That’s precisely what the plot of this series is dictated by (and that’s also the translation of “Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai”). Depending on who you are and what kind of anime interests you, that will or will not immediately grab your attention. But, for those of you who don’t think that sounds interesting enough, here’s a quick overview of the plot that’ll determine whether or not this is the anime for you.
The anime stars a transfer student named Kodaka Hasegawa whose had a track record of being unable to make friends, mostly thanks to the color of his hair, and to his supposedly intimidating eyes, which immediately threaten his classmates around him. He meets a girl one day by the name of Yozora Mikazuki, in which he finds her in a classroom, “alone,” privately conversing with an imaginary friend. After meeting each other and discussing their troubles in making friends and not having social lives, they decide to establish a club on campus, the Neighbors’ Club, in an effort to make friends, and to learn the social skills that every other classmate around them possesses.
Through the first season, we are introduced to the following people who join the Neighbors’ Club:
1) Sena Kashiwazaki – An attractive and arrogant girl who doesn’t have female friends, and takes advantage of the males who are blinded by her beauty and act as her servants.
2) Yukimura Kusunoki – A feminine underclassman who serves as an “underling” to Kodaka in an attempt to become more manlier.
3) Maria Takeyama – A 10 year old teacher and nun who is recruited as the adviser for the Neighbors’ Club.
4) Rika Shiguma – A perverted underclassman (underclasswoman) with fujoshi tendencies, but is also a genius.
5) Kobato Hasegawa – The younger sister of Kodaka who worships Gothic anime.
Lots of different personalities, and thankfully each of these characters play a role in keeping you entertained throughout the anime. You have the two girls, Yozora and Sena, in a situation where the other woman has to be better than the other: a situation which I’m sure many of you can relate to. You have the two younger girls, Kobato and Maria, who argue over whatever younger kids these days argue about. You have the side characters, Yukimura and Rika, who keep you entertained based on what their personality provides in this show. Actually, I shouldn’t have called them side characters. Their characters make huge transformations through the anime and you can argue that at the end of season two, that they are a whole lot more important in the anime than you initially thought they were when you were first introduced to them. And now you really have the actual side characters, which include Sena’s dad, Maria’s older sister, and a few other characters that make appearances later in the anime. I’m not going to go over their personalities right now, but some of these characters really do entertain you too and have a reason to be cared about in the show.
Though, this is a comedy, and has its really funny moments (as you can probably tell, these people don’t know how to socialize after all), most of the time you’ll just be calmly sitting in front of the screen. But, there’s a reason for that: it’s not just a comedic anime. Originally, the story began with two people trying to make new friends, but a-whole-nother story stems through the ground and becomes another reason why I loved watching this anime: love.
Okay, I’m sure some of you are sick of those lovey-dovey animes. But there isn’t necessarily a whole lot of lovey-dovey stuff in this anime. In fact, there really isn’t any, depending on how you look at it. The anime isn’t all about love, and there’s a reason why it’s called a Romantic Comedy. It’s funny, but the story is also driven through crushes and feelings, which a lot of you can relate to, especially those who are in relationships or have crushes on someone right now.
As far as the music goes, it most likely sounds like music in other shows that’re under the Ecchi or Romantic Comedy genre. One or two of the openings/endings may sound catchy to you, and that’s pretty much it. I was pretty fond of the second season’s opening, but it’s not something that I’d really listen to over and over again. But hey, it’s not like this is a Shounen or Mecha anime, which usually have the best music. The music definitely isn’t as annoying as the music that Yuri anime has, though.
Overall, you will either like this anime or you won’t. But, if you are open to any type of anime, I think you’ll like it. If you are a fan of Romantic Comedy/Ecchi stuff, then you definitely should check it out. After each episode, you will be eager to find out what happens next and because of that, you’ll definitely be watching more than on episode every sitting. This was my first taste in those genres and I particularly enjoyed it and watched each episode and was thoroughly entertained throughout the anime. The only thing that I wish this anime did better was make me laugh more, but that’s not a big problem. I especially recommend it to those who can relate to love stories, because you may find a spot in your anime playlist for this one. I imagine there will be another season of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, but season 2 has been done since March 2013, and as I am writing this review (June 2013), there is no season 3.
Anime: Angel Beats! Producers: P.A. Works, Aniplex Director: Seiji Kishi Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy Episodes: 13
Now to shed some light on my anime background, I didn’t get into anime until about last year where I was bored as hell at home with nothing to do. I’ve watched a little bit here and there (like Pokemon and DragonBall Z), but it wasn’t until my cousin told me to check out the hottest release last summer, Sword Art Online, where I officially entered the infamous otaku phase. From there on out I checked out some anime, including Fairy Tail, Hunter x Hunter, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, and several other shows. And now, after exposing myself to the wonders of anime this past year, I’ve come to write my first anime review, which will feature arguably my favorite anime so far: Angel Beats!.
Before checking this out, I will admit that my standards in anime aren’t the highest since I’m just basically starting out and experimenting with what kind of anime interests me. But I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that this anime is definitely one that needs to be on your playlist at some point, if you haven’t watched it already.
The anime stars a wanna-be doctor, Otonashi, who wakes up to the site of a young woman by the name of Yurippe (Yuri for short), who is on heavy watch with a sniper rifle. With no prior memories of what happened to him before he woke up, he is immediately greeted with the request to enlist in her Battlefront in order to rebel against God and to fight against their main target: Angel. In her short spiel, Otonashi is informed that he is dead, and that he is now part of an afterlife in which no one dies, and that he must fight in order to ensure that he is not “obliterated.”
Indifferent and somewhat confused, he leaves without enlisting and walks toward Angel to announce that they are aiming a gun at her and to inquire about who she is. When she speaks, she supplies him with the same information that Yuri gave him about the world that he is now in, and what it means to be here. Now irritated, Otonashi demands Angel to prove that he is dead; and thus is struck by Angel with an artificial blade.
Further through the anime, we are introduced to the rest of the Battlefront’s members and witness some of their backstories about how each of them came to this afterlife. Consequently, we learn that the reason why they came to this afterlife was because each of them was unsatisfied or devastated with events in their prior life and thus possess lingering, self-defeating emotions prior to their death in the real world.
Through the events that transpire in this anime, I guarantee that you will discover several likeable characters thanks in part to their unique personalities and heart-breaking backstories. While there are many characters in the show, the show mainly focuses on the development of only half of the characters. Though this has been seen as a major flaw in the anime, it makes up for it by the emotions and feelings that we develop for each of the main characters.
The main thing that this anime does perfectly is entertain you. At times, you will laugh at the actions that your favorite characters take and the dialogue that they spit at each other. At times, you will even think to yourself about how stupid some of the characters can be at times. But, it’s a funny stupid.
And that’s not even the best part.
What really made this anime memorable to me was how it could easily reach out to your heart and make you feel sad for a particular event/character. Coupled with great writing and music composition to match the tone of each event, the anime evenhas the potential to make you cry. And I’ll tell you right now: if you don’t cry at any point in this anime, you’re one heartless individual.
As far as music goes, I’m not really one to ask about music. There are some songs in here that I particularly enjoyed, but I think it’s safe to say that you will enjoy some of the music on the basis that it you’ll be moved and may even be overcome with emotion; mainly because you’ll be reminiscing over the scenes that each song was matched with. And that’s another reason why I think this anime is so great. The music in here is memorable because of how well it tied in with the action in this anime, and because of that you won’t forget about either the songs or the events that took place in this anime.
Though one flaw of this anime is clearly outlined. This anime is short, and consequently the character development for some of the characters is completely non-existent. You probably won’t even care for some of the characters in this anime, and that could be particularly disappointing to some people. And since you can deduce bits and pieces of each character’s backstory, whether or not it was touched upon, you might even feel saddened that some backstories weren’t covered at all. But as I mentioned earlier, the build-up for each of the main characters, in my mind, makes up for the lack of character development for the second half of the cast.
In short, this anime is guaranteed to find a place in your heart. I don’t care what your expectations are, or how much anime you have watched in your life. Whether this is your first anime you’re looking to watch or your thousandth, you will not forget this show. With a fantastic pairing of music composition and writing, you will be thoroughly entertained and may even shed tears. At the end of the day, it is one anime that you should check out if you haven’t already, and I promise that most of you will even recommend this anime to another friend too.
In an attempt to expand my knowledge on anime, I’m looking forward to hopefully finishing the following anime in the next few weeks (maybe lol. I might not even touch a few of these in favor of some other anime):
1. Hunter x Hunter
2. Angel Beats!
3. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
4. Tamako Market
5. Kokoro Connect
6. Suisei no Gargantia
Not too much shonen here, as you can see. Gotta be open to everything! Reviews and discussion on each of these will come soon on the anime page. I’m currently on episode 10 of Angel Beats!, and I’ve gotta say that I’m pretty satisfied with what I’ve watched so far. The characters are really likable (Angel, Yui, Ooyama, the Vice President guy and Yuri are my favorite), and I love how it can be humorous and sad at the same time.
Anyways, just a short preview of my Angel Beats! review I suppose! Look out for an in-depth review of Angel Beats! and others in the next few days.
P.S. The blog is definitely gonna see a lot of improvements too. I’m just working with a basic foundation right now, it’ll definitely look a lot better as time rolls on.
For a lot of students, a summer break is a time to relax and kick back with friends and family. No homework, no tests, no quizzes, no projects for 3 months. No stress. It’s the vacation that every kid can’t wait for after the first day of school starts.
But that mainly applies to those that haven’t graduated high school yet. Of course, most college students can’t wait for summer either, but as college students we know there’s a lot more to summer than just kicking back and relaxing. For me at least, there’s a lot I want to accomplish this summer, especially having investing my last two summers into family and video games.
If you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know how much I love video games. Unfortunately, as time flies by, some of the things you love to do the most take a back seat to what we call “life.” It’s life that we have to go out and work. It’s life that we have to pay taxes. It’s life that we have to move on from our childhood and transition into adulthood, where video games aren’t as relevant anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my video games (and I’ve even gotten into anime as well), but there’s just a whole lot of aspirations that, as an adult, I want to and have to strive for.
That being said, I’ve thought a lot about “life” and I realized that there’s a lot of things I want to do with my life. And fortunately, this summer is a great time to start thinking about how I can go about achieving my goals and aspirations.
To give you a brief overview of the things I wanna do with my life:
Start a business where anime, manga, and video game lovers can hangout, interact and compete against each other.
Learn the Japanese language and further expand my knowledge on anime.
Become a video game developer.
Become a better web site designer/developer.
Become a better artist and graphic designer.
Become a damn good, well-rounded Computer Scientist.
My journey begins now. I’ve got a whole three months to take a jab at each of these goals. Let’s do it!