I want to begin this month with a note of congratulations to Tommy Phillips, who just celebrated his tenth year in aniblogging! He has his blog have undergone heavy transition over the past couple of years and, to be be honest, I think I would have left blogging altogether had I gone what he went through, but he persisted and his blog is better than ever.
In Tommy’s anniversary post, he discusses the changing nature of anime and other related items over that time. I can’t say much for conventions (though I’m right with him in regards to increasing awareness of sexual assault and misconduct at cons), but I can comment on anime. Tommy mentions that there “fewer ‘classics’ but much more to choose from”—the classics are in quotes because he also infers that we may have decided at the time certain series were classics when they may not have been.
These days, I’ve wondered more and more what makes a series a classic. My feelings have changed somes for shows I was certain were “classics” ten or fifteen years ago, like Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion, Rurouni Kenshin, and Tenchi Muyo—and in the case of Kenshin, considerably. With Tenchi Muyo, I won’t even offer it as a suggestion these days because I have a hard time judging whether it’s great or just great in my mind!
I’m also more careful in scoring anime highly nowadays as I become a more critical viewer and as the fandom has changed. With all the streaming options, there’s less of a hallowed group of anime that comprises “required viewing,” and I’ve aged out of the group that might view a number of series as modern-day classics as well. I wonder if those young people will think the same as I do in a few years as they look back and reevaluate how they consider Re:Zero and Black Clover.
Check out Tommy’s post (and the other terrific article below)
Mr. Flawfinder’s list of fifteen anime that beginners should watch reads like an all-time favorite list for me! Even so, I don’t know if I would include the same titles he lists—what do you think? [Standing on My Neck]
Riyoga does a wonderful job of processing his thoughts on the last episode of Just Because, which in turn helped me do the same. I think he’s really on point, right down to his thoughts on Eita’s lack of development and the show’s comparison to Toradora. [Riyoga’s Ramblings]
I recently wrote about the May-December romance in After the Rain, but Remy Fool goes further with an analysis of age-gap relationships, also bringing the budding romance from Slow Start into the discussion. [The Lily Garden]
Marina reviews Only Yesterday, one of Ghibli’s lesser known films. It’s not a typical crowd pleaser, but I certainly love the film, primarily for its exploration of themes that Marina analyzes, such as reverse migration from the city to the country and expectations thrust on women and children. [Anime B&B]
I think I’ve seen the word “problematic” more times in the last six months, all applied to media, than I have my previous thirty-something years of life. It’s true, though, so many series we like now and liked back then may make us upset or uncomfortable. Bristle-Bristle tackles the issue and explains how we might approach anime that gives us pause. [Too Many Words]
Laid-Back Camp offers no apologies for the way its characters behave—they are who they are, and they like what they like, which is part of the charm of the series. [Little Anime Blog]
Is Trigun the most “Christian” anime ever made? That’s up for debate (though our heavy focus on the show in the past might support this assertion), but Anthony’s reasoning for it is sound, with the series’ heavy focus on themes that any Christian should consider. [Castalia House]
Medieval Otaku wasn’t a huge fan of Time of Eve (I do think he would have enjoyed the ONA better than the film, and he remarks on the format early in his review), but as usual, he’s able to bring up some thought-provoking questions to the discussion—and this film about how we interact with very lifelike robots is full of them. [Medieval Otaku]
Featured illustration by くるとむ | reprinted w/permission