Surviving as an anime fan

From Snow White by Junji Ito, which, ironically, isn't anime

It’s easy at first. You just need to watch anime. That’s all it takes. For a few years, that’s all I did. I finished one anime and moved to the next. At some point though, things changed. I became curious and the sub-culture opened itself to me. Why anime? I don’t know. It’s been this way for a long time. I enjoy other hobbies, but anime, being an anime fan, is still important to me.

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When it’s easier to pay than to pirate

Neon Genesis Evangelion has been licensed by Netflix

Earlier this week, Netflix announced that it will begin streaming Neon Genesis Evangelion in April 2019. The 1995 Evangelion TV series is not only one of the most popular anime ever made, it’s also one of the rarest to own on US/UK home video. Since 2005, for various reasons, it has seen neither a home video release nor a legal internet stream, meaning a whole generation of Western anime fans have grown up without (easily) being able to own a copy of the infamous mecha anime.

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Winning & losing, running & writing – Run with the Wind

If the end goal is to win, how easy is it to enjoy doing a thing?

Be it playing table tennis, running in a marathon or just writing for your blog, we do things for complicated reasons that don’t always mean having fun.

In Run with the Wind, Kakeru is a talented runner and the best in his team, but whilst the others are happy just competing in a race, he’s gutted that he wasn’t able to win. So after the race when they are sitting around drinking and eating fried chicken, he’s breaking up inside, furious at himself for losing.

If he isn’t winning, then the whole race is tainted.

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There’s just no escaping anime, is there? (Autumn 2018 impressions)

It’s Autumn in the UK now. It’s cold and wet outside, the nights are drawing in and there’s the first inkling of frost in the mornings. Don’t fret though, a new anime season is here to keep us alive, so pour yourself a hot drink (unless you’re one of those weird people that doesn’t like hot drinks. I know you’re out there and I’ll never understand you) and settle in for some freshly baked, long overdue anime opinions.

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Rediscovering Shonen Jump anime

Watching anime, I go through peaks and troughs.
The start of the year was a peak, but throughout February, I’ve been in a bit of a trough trying to find something new to watch and fall in love with.
At some point, I remembered that there’s a whole bunch of Shonen Jump anime that I should get back in to. I mean, I never finished Naruto Shippūden. Naruto is the reason I became an anime fan in the first place, my gateway drug. Apparently I’ve seen 573 episodes of One Piece too. I used to love One Piece and somehow it’s still going, with my last count showing 826 episodes and rising. Bloody hell, that’s a lot.
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Great romantic fools: The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

In 2017, Masaaki Yuasa directed The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl, which is a film set in the same fictional universe as his 2010 series The Tatami Galaxy. I really liked The Tatami Galaxy. I remember thinking that it was a more conventional (and therefore more accessible) anime than his other works at the time (Mind Game, Kemonozume and Kaiba) but it was still unmistakably his anime: raw, hyperactive and cathartic. At that same time, I didn’t know anything about its author, a certain Tomihiko Morimi, who I’ve later realised has a signature style all of his own. He wrote The Eccentric Family too.
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Girls’ Last Tour

Tall grass and open skies
That’s where we’ll be
Tall grass and open skies
That’s where we’ll be
Tall grass and open skies
That’s where we’ll be
That’s where we’ll meet
(Yvette Young – A map a string a light)

In Girls’ Last Tour, Earth has been ravaged. Life has been all but extinguished. A permanent winter. All that’s left are cities. Concrete jungles powered by technologies long since abandoned. In that world travel two of the last people, Yuuri and Chito, on their trusty old motorcycle. From skyscraper to subway they move, searching for food and supplies amidst the lost civilization, trying to make sense of the symbols and artifacts left behind by their parents and grandparents generation. What to us are graves, factories, transistor radios and songs, are to them a mystery. Strange, magical things.
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