Ask Sensei! School Life Edition

The start of a new term seems to bring a fresh start for teachers as well as students. It's an opportunity for all of us to be honest about what hasn't worked so well in the past, while still retaining habits of mind and lifestyle that we have found helpful. For us teachers, it's always… Continue reading Ask Sensei! School Life Edition

Ask Sensei (Happy 2018 Edition)

For academics, the end of the term is pretty much the storm before the calm before the storm. Once we're done grading final exams and establishing grades, our lives are suddenly quiet until the beginning of the next term. (glances at Shiraishi-kun's empty chair) We might almost say "too quiet," until we remember that everyone needs… Continue reading Ask Sensei (Happy 2018 Edition)

Ask Sensei! Decemberween edition

Welcome back, class. I trust by now you're all recovered from your respective Thanksgiving feasts. Here I have the handout that I promised to -- what's that, Takasaka-san?... (notes empty desk in the front row) Why yes, you're quite right. Shiraishi-kun seems to be absent today. I suppose it's just as -- I mean, I hope… Continue reading Ask Sensei! Decemberween edition

Ask Sensei! Magical Girls and the Thing About Anime

Welcome back, class. It's nice to see most of you so alert and prepared this morning. Most of you, that is. (unobtrusively but firmly kicks Shiraishi-kun's foot under his front row desk, startling him awake) This last month, we had a couple of questions come to us via Facebook. Joshua asks: "[W]hat about thoughts on anime… Continue reading Ask Sensei! Magical Girls and the Thing About Anime

First Impressions: Tsukipro The Animation

I have a weakness for music anime. I also like my anime characters to look something like real human beings, and to act like them as well. The intersection between these two geographical regions is pretty close to zero. Being an instrumentalist myself, one of the main things I'm craving is a show with decent… Continue reading First Impressions: Tsukipro The Animation

Hakase ni kikimashou! (Let’s ask the professor!)

My voice on this blog is different from those of my colleagues here at Beneath The Tangles, though then again we are all of us very different from one another. I discovered anime as an adult well into my 30s, only because my students kept talking about this anime thing and I wondered what it… Continue reading Hakase ni kikimashou! (Let’s ask the professor!)

First Impression: Dive!!

My first impression of the new anime about a boys' diving team came before even one second of the actual anime had elapsed, when I saw the noitaminA credits sequence roll by. My thoughts immediately turned to the same company's ill-fated baseball anime Battery, which last year I found to be a directionless hodgepodge of potentially… Continue reading First Impression: Dive!!

12 Days of Otaku Christmas, Day 6: Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan

As I noted previously, high schooler Saiki Kusuo has it rough. Not only do his psychic abilities make it nearly impossible to enjoy most ordinary activities, but he daily finds himself in situations involving his family and "friends" that require his intervention. How can Kusuo get a moment's peace and rest, which is what he… Continue reading 12 Days of Otaku Christmas, Day 6: Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan

Holy Week: Utsugi Lenka As A Christ Figure

To compare anything at all to Jesus Christ might be an exercise in futility at best, but under the circumstances I will try my best to meet the challenge. In the second chapter of Philippians, Paul writes that Jesus "did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped." In other words, as the… Continue reading Holy Week: Utsugi Lenka As A Christ Figure

12 Days of Christmas Anime, Day 9: Saiyuuki Reload

There is a traditional Chinese story dating to the Ming dynasty about the "journey to the West" of four characters that has made its way into Japanese folklore as well, where the tale is known as 西遊記 Saiyuuki. And so the Saiyuuki story has had multiple retellings in anime over the past 40+ years. One of the more popular… Continue reading 12 Days of Christmas Anime, Day 9: Saiyuuki Reload