Somali and the Forest Spirit was a surprise: an evocative fairy-tale anime told from a new Dad’s perspective.
Set during Danish Prince Canute’s (King Cnut the Great) rise to the English throne, Vinland Saga begins in 1013 AD as the Vikings pillage their way across a beleaguered England. In their midst is the Icelandic boy-warrior Thorfinn, a precocious child hell-bent on exacting revenge on the man that murdered his father: Askeladd.
Time has already come
The sun is gone – no more shadows
Can’t give up, I know, and this life goes on
I’ll be strong
I’ll be strong
Isn’t it exciting when two artists that you’ve admired for years end up collaborating with each other? It’s a heartening moment when you realise that the world is a much smaller and more interconnected place than you’ve given it credit for and that two artists that you’ve admired for so long also admire each other, like when the stars aligned and Masaaki Yuasa worked on a Taiyo Matsumoto manga in 2014’s Ping Pong anime. I suppose you could say I still haven’t gotten over that!
On a similar note, in August, it was announced that Hiroshi Hamasaki is directing a new Blade of the Immortal anime for this year’s Autumn season. On this blog, that is big news, and the teaser confirms it: it’s a match made in heaven; the perfect material for a talented director too often saddled with ill fitting material versus a beautifully drawn, violent seinen manga that’s just aching for a faithful adaptation.
Nothing is ever as great as you imagine. When a dream becomes real, it inevitably loses some of its magic.
I have dreams. I want to do something with my life. I want to be remembered. In my own little world, everything revolves around me. Isn’t it terrifying then to imagine a world where all of those important feelings, the very things that make you what you are, can be compressed into a memory ‘chip’ small enough to fit into the palm of your hand? Such is the way of things in the 2008 dystopian anime series Kaiba. It’s been 11 years since Masaaki Yuasa unleashed this utterly unique anime on the world, but does it still hold up today?
If anything, it’s more relevant now than ever!
Do I have the discipline to <schedule my posts ahead of time>? I’ve no idea! It should be an interesting experiment though… — me, in April
Well, I have the answer now: no, I do not have the discipline! For a little while, I tried, but nothing really sparked. From the moment that I stepped off the treadmill, I just stopped thinking about anime altogether. I guess I just needed the rest. Anyway, my little Spring hiatus gave me a chance to think about how I’m approaching anime and this blog.
As I reflect on how things have been going for the blog since November last year, I’m satisfied that I’ve been able to post something new most weeks. I feel like I’m into the routine of writing about anime again. The Winter season was good for me: from Dororo and The Promised Neverland through to Run with the Wind, it had a lot that I was able to empathise with and write about. I’m sure I can continue in this vein, but I’m thinking of changing tack instead.
The Promised Neverland was great. At some point during its run, I started watching new episodes as soon as they were out. Every episode seemed to end on a massive cliffhanger, teasing me to the point of screaming (in frustration, but I know where your mind’s going!) I can only speak for myself and it’s hard to know how fans of the manga felt, but as an anime-only viewer, I can’t complain at all: by the end, I was compulsively watching The Promised Neverland.
Boogiepop and Others is many things, but an anime for casual viewers it is not. Unless you’re willing to give it your full attention, it will leave you behind. One measly episode a week is not nearly enough to keep track of such a complicated web of things: to be honest, I’ve spent the last week watching it and even then I was still feeling lost by it all. This is just the nature of Boogiepop: it sets out to confuse, only to unravel from there, but like a particularly tough knot, there is satisfaction to be found in untying it all.