A girl stands in the spotlight on stage and monologues about Voltaire, with a punchline about death. In the next scene, which takes us back to the beginning of her story, Doujima Mayumi nearly becomes that very punchline, but fortunately is rescued by a pretty boy in an outfit reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, just in… Read More First Impression: Pretty Boy Detective Club
A train pulls into the station. It is nighttime in a small town, and everyone is asleep as Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1 floats gently through the air. The alarm sounds, and the music stops. Another day begins for lonesome high schooler Koguma, who struggles out of breath to cycle the hill to class. She is… Read More First Impression: Super Cub
An interviewer congratulates an athlete on leading her team to victory. Out of breath and visibly shaken, Nomi-san expresses her great relief at the win, knowing it means that she and her teammates have just saved women’s soccer in Japan. With this, the stakes and conditions are established: women’s soccer is eternally on the cusp… Read More First Impression: Farewell, My Dear Cramer
The episode opens with a rapid montage of ambiguous scenes: teenagers hanging out along a riverbank; a muted argument in a school corridor; a hand releasing pearl-like beads that seem to sparkle into stars in the night sky in the next shot; a train station; a closeup of a bead on the platform; and an… Read More First Impression: SSSS.Dynazenon
Joran The Princess of Snow and Blood starts with a bang—or should I say, a burn—of blue flame, no less. A beautiful woman recites an incantation as she faces down a monstrous beast, and in a moody swirl of blue, black and white, her transformation sequence explodes across the screen. It looks and sounds painful… Read More First Impression: Joran The Princess of Snow and Blood
The first episode of Mars Red kicks off with Major Maeda returning to Tokyo, having been called back early from a trip. His expertise is needed: There has been a series of vamp attacks, and one of the victims—a stage actress named Misaki—has been captured. He is led to the bunker where she is being… Read More First Impression: Mars Red
Wonder Egg Priority is a beautiful, uncomfortable, moving and confusing series that starts out engaging all the things we don’t talk about—self-harm, abuse, rape, bullying, gender dysphoria, and homosexuality, to name a few. Our silence and blindness to these issues have a weight and pressure to them, and WEP shows how this reinforces the isolation… Read More Wonder Egg Priority, Episode 11: “The Temptation of Death”?
I may have watched Fate/Zero for Yuki Kajiura’s soundtrack, but what stays with me is Emiya Kiritsugu’s journey. Or should I say, his failure to actually take the journey. Because although he devotes his life to training, scheming, manipulating and ultimately fighting for the opportunity to encounter the Holy Grail—the “all-powerful wish-granter”—Kiritsugu forgets to do… Read More Fate/Zero: Kiritsugu & How to Dream Impossible Dreams