While watching the first episode of the 1992 historical drama anime Oi! Ryouma, I was struck by a particular scene that occurred in the middle of the episode. As seven-year-old Sakamoto Ryouma is bullied and extorted by a pair of local boys, his sister Otome comes to his rescue. After beating up the two bullies, Otome orders Ryouma to use his privilege as a samurai and execute the boys for having insulted his and his sister’s honor, a historical samurai precept known as “Kiri-sute gomen.”
Historically “Kiri-sute gomen” was not performed very frequently, but it’s a concept seen equally rarely in anime, and practically never in association with heroic characters. In anime heroic samurai may execute villains, and villains may execute innocent commoners, but depictions of heroes executing commoners is practically unheard of because such depiction isn’t “heroic,” or romantic. Personally, I’m fascinated by the fact that this Japanese children’s program includes such a scene in which the older sister orders her little brother to “man up” by legally killing the bullies who have aggrieved him.
Our friends that deliver the monthly Power Up Box geeky cool subscription assortment have let us know that subscribers can now earn a free month’s deluxe box by encouraging four people to sign up for the monthly delivery service. Seems like an easy and simple deal because who doesn’t enjoy telling friends and family about the latest neat collectables to arrive?
Motivated by mild curiosity about the difference between last January’s Seiken Tsukai no World Break and last month’s Seiken Tsukai no World Break Retake version, I watched both iterations of the first episode side by side. Apart from a ten second long still frame added to the beginning of the “Retake version,” I noticed only two very small updates applied to the “Retake” rebroadcast. Neither difference seemed worth re-broadcasting or re-watching the episode for.
Over the past couple of days I’ve had a difficult time recollecting the titles of a few anime series, specifically:
Hagure Yuusha no Estetica Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Marimo no Hana ~Saikyou Butouha Shougakusei Densetsu~ Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C3-bu
Now that I’m literally in middle-age, I wonder if my memory is starting to weaken or if an increasing number of anime titles are just getting longer and more convoluted lately. Or maybe this is a sign that there’s just too many new anime released every year if I can’t even recall the names of shows I watched just a year or two ago.
Surprise subscription boxes are the best idea for geeks, otaku, and collectors since merchandise itself. Receiving wonderful new collectable toys, treats, and sometimes even collectable treats is supremely gratifying for fantasy aficionados. Combining the pleasure of gaining new goods with the anticipatory fun of surprise turns subscription boxes into Christmas gifts all year around. The June release of the Power Up Box has a monopoly on Guardians of the Galaxy goodness.
Via some Ebay research I just realized yesterday that the hardcover Lone Wolf & Cub volume 1 manga is quite probably the most valuable of all English language manga by a very wide margin. Evidently hardcover copies of Dark Horse’s first graphic novel were a limited retailer incentive and now cost as much as $300. However, 230 copies were hand-numbered and autographed by Kazuo Koike on a bookplate featuring an exclusive illustration by Goseki Kojima. Those 230 numbered copies run $1,200 to $1,300 apiece. Mine is #98. I’ve owned it for 15 years and never realized how valuable it was.
Ever notice that anime characters never have shoe lockers on the bottom row? It’s just not as graceful, stylish, or funny to see characters kneeling down to retrieve their shoes compared to reaching up. And without shoe lockers at head level, we wouldn’t get commonplace shots like this:
While digging around in my collection room today I discovered a set of 13 color Juuni Kokuki film comics that I didn’t even recollect owning. I’m aware that there are far more things that can be much worse to find in one’s house, so don’t take this as a serious complaint.
The first trailer for studio Shirogumi’s full CG Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi (Gamba & Companions) movie has appeared online. The design and animation do look attractive, and I don’t know exactly how faithful this adaptation is to Atsuo Saito’s original novel, but anyone that’s watched any of Osamu Dezaki’s beloved 1975 anime TV series adaptation knows instantly that this isn’t the Gamba no Bouken that we remember. It’s not even close.
From its very first episode onward I’ve notice that the Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo franchise isn’t an ordinary school comedy. Earlier shows such as High School DxD and Rosario to Vampire have merged high school romantic comedy and supernatural elements, so in respect to genre “Yamajo” isn’t unique. But it’s tone is strikingly different from virtually every other anime. With an ongoing television series and two OADs so far, the series is undeniably popular among Japanese viewers. So I’ve begun to wonder if it’s precisely the story’s unique depiction of high school student relationships that sets the title apart and explains its swell of popularity.
The annual “Anime Research” academic poll is open once again. Scholars from Texas A&M University, Niagara County Community College, and Renison University College have collaborated to compose the survey. This year’s questions have been completely renewed to delve deeper into fans’ psychological and sociological engagement with anime and help answer questions raised by fans regarding the results of last year’s survey. The survey is anonymous and should take less than 30 min to complete. Participants are eligible to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Chances of winning are 1 in 200; winner selection will be confidential and not associated with survey responses. The poll will be open from today, June 4, until July 4, 2015.