Skating on Thin Ice: When Fandoms Collide (It’s Beautiful)

What do you get when you take the insane cocktail of artistry and ligament-tearing terror that is figure skating and channel that story through the quintessentially eccentric and trope-glutted visual monster that is anime?

You either end up with something utterly mediocre, or you end up something that is brilliant to watch. Continue reading “Skating on Thin Ice: When Fandoms Collide (It’s Beautiful)”

Best Practices for Finding Good Fanfiction on Fanfiction.Net

Founded in 1998, Fanfiction.Net is the largest and most frequented fanfiction website in the world, easily outstripping any other fanfiction archive in sheer volume of fanfics published. For the casual fanfiction consumer, this site may be the only fanfiction stop they need to make.

So naturally, in accordance to Sturgeon’s law, Fanfiction.Net is also the most daunting to navigate, given that 90% of what’s posted is unadulterated crap.

By unadulterated crap, I’m not even talking about appropriate diction, nuanced character development, compelling world-building, or other basic elements of storytelling. I’m talking about fics that are little more than hastily stitched together compositions that would put your high school English teacher into anaphylactic shock. Continue reading “Best Practices for Finding Good Fanfiction on Fanfiction.Net”

Fathers and Sons in Sakamoto desu ga? Episode 10

Spring’s been an awesome season for anime all around, but Sakamoto desu ga? (“Haven’t you heard? I’m Sakamoto”) is easily my top pick. This week’s mini episode featuring Hayabusa’s culinary ventures with Sakamoto hit a particularly sweet spot…and perfectly timed for Father’s Day.
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The premise behind Sakamoto desu ga is a series of comedic vignettes based around Sakamoto, the incredibly cool and popular high school guy that everyone loves to love and hates to hate Continue reading “Fathers and Sons in Sakamoto desu ga? Episode 10″

When Seto Kaiba Finally Gets His Movie…He’s Still Yu-Gi-Oh!‘s Biggest Fanboy

You’d be hard pressed to find a better contender for the illustrious title of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s biggest fanboy than Seto Kaiba.

Maybe you’ve bought enough booster packs to support half the game stores in your neck of the woods. Maybe your hours of watching (or playing) children’s card games rivals your hours in class.

Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve amassed enough Yu-Gi-Oh! memorabilia to open a museum dedicated to the antics of melodramatic teenage gamers who live and breathe (and occasionally die get sent to the Shadow Realm) the life of the violently absurd and insane.

Whatever you’ve got, Seto Kaiba’s got you beat. Continue reading “When Seto Kaiba Finally Gets His Movie…He’s Still Yu-Gi-Oh!‘s Biggest Fanboy”

Be Mai Valentine? Sight, Blindness and Beauty in Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 6: The Beautiful Harpie Lady

(This is the first part in a multi-post series looking at Mai Valentine (Kujaku Mai)’s characterization, the implications of the narrative’s treatment of her identity as a woman and as a duelist, and how she adds to the overall Yu-Gi-Oh! canon as a main female character. This series is part of a larger series called “Girls Can Play Card Games Too!”, which analyzes the dueling prowess (and fails) and offering commentary on feminist and anti-feminist characterizations of select Yu-Gi-Oh! girls).

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Let it be known that if you’re a girl in any Yu-Gi-Oh! verse, chances are you are not going to have a victory streak. In fact, in most cases than not, you will lose. A lot. And when you do win, it’ll most likely be against an inconsequential minor character who only sticks around for the duel’s duration and whose name is almost instantly forgotten an episode later.

Or God help you, all of your victories and tournament wins are off-screen.

This is the reality of the YGO-verse. If you’re a girl, your dueling is going to be Continue reading “Be Mai Valentine? Sight, Blindness and Beauty in Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 6: The Beautiful Harpie Lady”

Looking at Looking in Ajin Episode 1

They say that eyes are the windows to the soul. As visually oriented creatures, human beings rely on sight to explore the world around us, cataloguing and categorizing every little thing that nabs our attention. It’s our eyes that help us navigate and interact with others.

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As much as we laud ourselves for being creatures capable of communication, a good deal–if not–most of our communication is nonverbal–and something that we pick up with practice. Because knowing where and when to focus your attention is key to survival. Space out for a second and you get called on in class while your teacher berates you for not attending to lecture. Space out for a few more and you get crushed by a speeding truck.

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While Ajin’s CG aesthetics will be an acquired taste for most anime viewers, Continue reading “Looking at Looking in Ajin Episode 1″

jstorming’s Top 5 Anime of 2015

I’m going to be honest. I skipped out on a lot of anime last year. However, for the anime that I did manage to watch, I found myself enjoying them quite thoroughly.  There does seem to be a general consensus among many anibloggers over which titles seem best bet for top picks so if they’re not on here, it’s probably for one of these three reasons:

  • I didn’t watch it.
  • It’s just not my kind of show/genre. Slice of life/harems/shoujo/romcoms…I’m looking at you guys.
  • I have terrible taste in anime (I mean, you’re talking to a guy who thinks a children’s card game is the best anime in the world.)

Without further ado, here’s my top 5 for 2015! Continue reading “jstorming’s Top 5 Anime of 2015”

12 Days of Anime #12: Family in Noragami Aragoto

“My centuries-long dream has finally come true…a shrine of my very own…I almost gave up after I was told I don’t need one…if only my kid self could see me now…” -Yato

It seems only appropriate to end this year’s 12 Days of Anime with Noragami Aragoto, which incidentally aired its last episode this week. Noragami Aragoto, a story deeply steeped in Japanese tradition with a dash of supernatural hijinks, at its core, is a story about family. Continue reading “12 Days of Anime #12: Family in Noragami Aragoto