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Why do people compare New Game to Shirobako?

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Since the release of New Game, it has for some reason been compared to Shirobako. When in fact they were completely made for different audiences and for different purposes. Its something I’ve seen in blogs and YouTube videos, so I’d like to talk about why and how they both extremely different shows.

Shirobako is a story mainly centered around the life of ‘Aoi Miyamori’, a production assistant in a big anime production company. The anime follows her work life interacting with other people in the industry. Right off the bat, we can tell that the show is already going to be more in-depth and some-what more specialised since she is working as a production assistant, which is a role most people would glance over. Whereas, New Game centers around a young girl, fresh from high school entering the her work life in the character design team of a large game company. So these girls do have slight similarities, as they since work in otaku related media, but the shows themselves and the direction they head in are completely different.

 

Shirobako

One of Shirobako’s main aims is to educate the viewer about the industry, and it does this very well. For someone who might not know much about the process of anime production, and the roles people have when making anime, Shirobako is a good place to learn such information. They managed to make an interesting and funny slice of life anime that was extremely educational.

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Something else that was pretty fun about the show was catching the references they show through at you, and counting how many you could catch. Hideki Anno even made an appearance in an episode. This wouldn’t be a valid reason to rate the show higher, but it is something extra that the show gives the fan, it was also funny and made me question if this was how the staff members actually acted in real life. Is Masao Maruyama actually an avid cook? It must be true right? They can’t just make that up.

However, despite the show being a good starting point on becoming educated on anime production, the show wasn’t entirely factual. The show failed to point out how over worked the staff and animators can be… Yes, there may have been sometimes where they had some drama and had to work for a few hours extra but it didn’t exactly how over-worked and under-paid some of the staff were, it also failed to touch upon the wide pay gap between people in the studio. This is something I would have liked to see in the show, actually if the show included this I’m sure the show would have been better received and would have gained more attention, ultimately acting as some kind of protest to the current situation of the anime industry.

 

New game

I definitely think that New Game works as a ‘cute girl doing cute things show’, and this opinion is backed up by the fact that there is always a New Game thread on the /a/ board of 4chan, so it must be true right? Anyway, the colours and art style is definitely something you would expect in this kind of show, the flourishes of pink, yellow and purple are very nice to look at, but it’s not really innovative. To be honest, nothing about this show is really innovative, compared to Shirobako but it I guess that really isn’t the point of this show, instead I only watched it when I was in a chilled out mood and wanted something chill to watch, so this was the easiest show I could marathon.

Despite how average the show is, one thing I did really appreciate is how fun the characters are. Every character, apart from aoba-chan (the main character) have really quirky personalities which is something the previous season lacked. So it was definitely something refreshing to watch, also ALL the characters are really cute, especially Aoba and Hifumi.

In fact, me describing the art and animation of the show rather than the content of the show itself shows the difference of the two shows. Instead of appreciating the events that take place in New Game, I am more appreciative of how the characters look like. However, when I describe Shirobako, I am more appreciative of the story, events and character development that takes place in the show, which is something that is lacking in New Game. However, this doesn’t mean that I will rate New Game a 4/10, it just means that I am aware that both shows are trying to do different things. In fact, I  think New Game is above average for what it is trying to be, but I’m aware that Shirobako is something that has never really been seen before.

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So, does New Game teach its audience about the Game Production industry?. absolutely not! Throughout the two seasons we have only seen three departments, the character design team, the motion team and the programming team. It’s true that those are arguably the most fundamental teams in-game developement, but since these workers are working in such a large company, we should have at least seen some financial execs or at least heard of their input. But again, this isn’t the main point of the show, the show is supposed to focus on the aoba’s life in the company,  which the show does a pretty good job at.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, I think people compare them due to the fact that both these shows are centered around women in an otaku, and generally male dominated (less so in anime production) field. However, these shows couldn’t be more different as one is aimed to educate the viewer about the anime production industry, and the other is relaxing show to watch during the weekend when you want to turn off and relax.

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Nana Maru San Batsu – First Impression

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If someone told me there was a sports anime that I could also take part in, I definitely wouldn’t believe you. However, **** is a sports anime about a quiz club in high school. As a fan of taking part in quizzes and british quiz shows, finding out there would be a quizzing anime coming out every week was amazing. I could now watch a great game mixed with my favourite medium, and this show has been great so far.

Nana Maru San Batsu is a show that revolve around a book-worm called Koshiyama Shiki, he is invited to a quizzing club and reluctantly goes to a club meet where he learns about a whole new world of competitive quizzing.

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The show is pretty good, but one thing that did grind my gears in the first few episodes was how the main female character used her female ‘assets’ to attract new members into the club. I mean, couldn’t the writer think of a more natural way for a first year high-school female to attract more people into her club,  instead of her flaunting her smiles at everyone, that pretty pissed me off; and since its listed as a seinen anime I wasn’t expecting that. But apart from that I think the writing was pretty good; I can see myself being attracted to the club in a similar way to Koshiyama, so in that regard the author set up a relatively accurate setting and feeling to the show.

I also loved how I could take part in the show. There was even a question about the director of Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which I answered as well as other geography questions; but since it’s a japanese quiz show there is obviously many questions that I wont know the answer too such as Japanese Literature and Culture questions, but at least I’m learning. So at least I can rate the interactivity of the show a 10/10.

Since I love quizzes so much, and how rare it is to see in an anime, I am thoroughly enjoying the show. However, if I was to review the show in the way a normal reviewer would, then I would say that the show is pretty average in terms of animation, music and even the voice acting of some characters are sub par; the story is the main aspect of the show holding it in my opinion, but right now I am having a good time with the show.

 

 

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless [Episodes 9 – 12]

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I have just finished Tanaka-kun is Always Listless and I’m very impressed. For a show that got hardly any recognition when it was airing, the quality of everything was top class. From the art and animation, comedy, characters and general plot lines. It definitely is the most unique and well-directed high-school anime I have seen for a long time.

The show mostly consisted of flat, dead-pan comedy, which is probably my favourite kind of comedy, but since most comedy in main stream anime is mostly goofy and quirky comedy like the stuff we see in Konosuba or Kill la Kill, I don’t see to get this comedy a lot. So it’s quite a fun change of pace to see an anime where I can laugh out loud in every episode where the comedy is smarter. I also recommend this anime because it is extremely beautiful to look at, I’ve said this before but the interior of the school looks like a modern university you would see in the California or Tokyo, so instead of seeing the usual highschool interior, with wooden doors and boring floors, we are able to witness beautiful colour in every corner. Even when the characters aren’t in the school setting the backgrounds look highly details and this is especially true when it’s so easy to notice the contrast between the thick lines of the background and the thin lines of the background.

However, what I noticed about the ending core of the show was that it seemed a bit rushed, I feel like the show would need around 25 episodes to fully flesh out the characters, by involving some serious conflicts, but since the show lacked this aspect we weren’t able to experience feeling some emotion for the characters I really enjoyed watching. For example, the crush aspect between Shiraishi and Tanaka was hardly touched upon until the final episode, where the ultimate conclusion was that since Tanaka is really laid back, she should go slowly in establishing a relationship with him; which I guess is true to some extent, but I’m sure a large amount of the audience would have liked to see this, but since the show was too short then the characters werent able to

I rated the show an 8/10, I would have rated it a nine if we were able to see more events with the characters that we were already well established to. But in general, I enjoyed every moment of the show and hope for an announcement of a second season in the near future.

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless [Episodes 5 – 8]

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I guess I can’t approximate how the show will go from the first four episodes.  I didn’t think the show would have a romantic element to it, but during episode four when I found out that one of the characters had a crush on the protagonist I surprising didn’t sigh. I am actually enjoying how the romance is being executed, it is just a subtle crush, the character isn’t making her crush on the MC loud and noticeable and therefore no unnecessary melodrama is being caused which I am enjoying very much. I look forward to seeing how the romantic element will lead to throughout the show, I guess that I’m enjoying the romantic element more due to the unpredictable nature of the protagonist.

In retrospect, I guess it was silly of me to think that there wouldn’t be any romance in this show. Looking at my MAL, at least 95% of anime has a small amount of romance, hell, even TV shows where romance isn’t the main theme like Sherlock and Doctor Who have some sort of romance element. I guess it is this way because it gives a form of realism to the show, most people go through some form of romantic infliction at some point in their life or at least think about it a lot, so when we see a character with a crush of some sort it gives us a way to relate to them and gives us somebody to root for which is obviously a benefit for the show.

One thing I definitely like about the show is that it really knows what its wants to be. In fact, I have often caught small glimpses of them teasing us, making us think they will throw in generic tropes but then instantly slam us with something really cool very interesting to watch. One way the show is able to do this may be due to the number of cool and relatively unique characters in the show. Without them, the jokes wouldn’t be funny, the characters wouldnt gel well and the situations which the characters were thrown in wouldn’t feel right.

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless [Episodes 1 – 4]

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Tanaka-kun is always listless is a comedy about a high schooler who is lazy to an extreme level. He doesn’t eat food that involves peeling because it is too bothersome to peel it, he hates small beany foods because it’s too hard pick it up with a chopstick. But I love him because he is extremely true to himself, the first four episodes have had two mini character arcs, where the main focus have been with girls trying to alter their true personality to make people like them, but Tanaka-kun completely doesn’t care about this aspect of life, he just does what he needs to do so he can live an uneventful lifestyle, and I envy his life so much.

Like I said earlier, so far the show has been about making people realise the importance of being true to themselves and I think the show made it easy for the audience to get the point. Also despite the very cool and laid back attitude of the show, I never found myself briefly looking at my phone out of boredom as I was 100% focused on the show, and to be honest, this is quite rare for me. Even when watching something a bit more quickly paced like Akagami no Shirayuki-hime , but contains the same mood, I have to go on my phone sometimes because it never fully grabs my attention, but so far this hasn’t been the case with “Tanaka-kun is always listless”. What I also like about this show is that even though it is a large production show, created by a rising studio (Silver Link), it doesn’t feature many generic writing styles we see in most anime. For example, we are already four episodes in, the protagonist has met three different female characters and have helped them in some way but they aren’t head over heels in love with him, instead they have used his help to better their lives. I was pleasantly surprised that this didn’t turn into a harem and hope it stays this way.

This show is also very easy on the eye. The character designs are beautiful, the school uniforms are nice and the design of the actual school looks amazing. The interior looks like a modern university and I’m constantly amazed whenever I see a new section of a school, it’s even more surprising when I found out that the show came from a web manga. Silver Link really took a large step up when making this show in terms of design and it looks as though they are keeping this up since the latest anime I have seen from them is Masamune-kun no Revenge which is another beautiful show.

The only thing I would say is a downside of the show is the amount of times they used the same jokes repeatedly. The joke where they see something they shouldn’t have and stare for 5 seconds and continue to do what they were doing. The joke was hilarious the first few times especially given the situation when the jokes were executed, but using the same jokes over and over again is probably going to end up looking quite cheap, I don’t know anything about the mangaka but seeing as though this was originally posted as a web-comic s/he is probably new to the game and style of writing might still be developing, other than that, the show so far has no flaws and is actually pretty good. I will end up writing about the next 8 episodes, but so far I would defintley recommend the show.

The hidden gem of Spring 2017 – Tsuki Ga Kirei

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I don’t understand how nobody has been speaking about this series. Jeez, I was scrolling through crunchyroll and saw the synopsis of the show and after watching the first episode I absolutely fell in love. I actually thought it was a hidden gem made back in the late 2000s, but after looking up ‘Tsuki ga Kirei‘ on Google, I saw that it aired this season, and I have heard absolutely no-one talk about it one bit. It is understandable with all the sequels from this season like ‘Attack on Titan S2’, ‘My Hero Academia S2’, ‘How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend S2’, and controversial shows like ‘Ero-Manga Sensei’ taking the spotlight, but watching this series just makes me think how many amazing other shows are being hidden by light-novel bullshit and sequels of old block-busters, and how much I’m going to scroll through anichart to find other gems.

 

 

*Hover over the picture to see their names

Anyway, Tsuki ga Kirei  is an adorable romance series set in a middle school in Japan. The romance is brought to life when two students, Akane and Azumi, make eye contact on the first day of school. Azumi is an aspiring novelist, whereas Akane is an ace in the track club. Throughout the series, not only do we see the relationship between Akane and Azumi grow from an awkward one into one where their love for one another is very apparent, but we also witness how the both of them grow into confident young adults. For instance, we see Azumi grow from someone who didn’t really have a voice to someone who stood up to his parents when deciding which highschool he wanted to go to. The anime shows the conflict young people can have with relationship and how it affects relationships but also personal devotions such as Akanes track club and her performance when she ran.

When I started watching the series, what struck my eye was the lack of character archetypes, so I finally found an anime with no twin-tail bi***es, no silver-haired lolis and no male protagonists with the emotional range of a teaspoon. So with the absence of generic archetypes, the actions of the characters in the show was sometimes very unpredictable, I found myself scratching my head wondering why a character acted in a certain way, and since I have never been in this kind of situation, most of these scenarios were new to me as I’ve never had similar personal experiences or seen anything like it in anime. For example, we found out that one of Akanes friends had a crush on Azumi. When I found this out, I was expecting her friend to try to confess to Azumi, but as I watched more episodes it just seemed like this girls was a back-stabbing traitor who wanted to break up the relationship. However, I must have taken it wrongly because the girls were still apparently best of friends as the episode ended. Nevertheless, this kind of anger wouldn’t have been riled up inside me if the show used generic character archetypes to prove the point. After several episodes of non-stop watching, I forgot that what I was watching was animation, everything just felt so real to me, from the awkwardness of Azumi’s movement to the soft voice of his father, it really felt like I was watching his life from a window.

Another aspect I appreciated of this show was the aesthetic, in terms of its art style, animation and music. Everything just blended perfectly to match the kind of story the anime wanted to tell. I wouldn’t say that this style is unique as I’ve seen similar styles before, especially in the works of Makoto Shinkai, but I appreciate that the characters thin lines and their realistic washed out skin tones of the characters is something new to look at where a majority of the current seasons have only contained simplistic designs and a basic use of colours like in ‘My Hero Academia season 2’ and AOT2.

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Digibro’s scums wish video explains hows that show was a disappointment, partially because of the lack of realism and how the main characters in the show had no other motives to pursue rather than being in a twisted pointless relationship with one another. However, in Tsuki ga Kirei the main characters of the show both have something they are aspiring to do, which makes us more interested in them as characters and allows us to invest more emotion into these characters, which then makes us feel actual empathy when something negative happens to these characters like when their aspirations aren’t working out. It’s also incredibly realistic because it is in Japanese culture to have children that are really invested in particular interests, unlike Scums Wish where they are being incredibly melodramatic about nothing in particular or nothing that the audience actually cares about. Since it is an original show, it feels like the writers and studio heavily researched romance anime from the last 7 years, and were able to take out all the shitty parts of the show and implemented the better parts making one of the best romance anime to come out in a long time.

Another thing that this show did that I also really enjoyed was subtly emphasise on the children’s innocence, and child-like way of thinking. An example of when they did this was when the characters thought that they would never break up. When Azumi said he was prepared to take 3 busses to Koumei highschool just so they could be together made me start shouting at the screen, exclaiming that their way of thinking was wrong and that they would soon break up. However, this was soon pointed out when Akane’s sister asked what they would do when they broke up, and this scene made it very clear that Akane didn’t even think about the possibility of breaking up with Azumi. I think that this scene was supposed to emphasis Akane’s innocence and frame of mind in contrast with her older sisters pessimistic thought, which I think was also a main theme throughout the show.

This show was definitely a surprise to me, after months of only watching mediocre anime this one caught me by surprise. I actually thought this year was a shit year for anime, but I’m going to have to look more thoroughly through the anime charts more closely next time around because I’m probably missing out on some great stuff. Also, recommend me some hidden gems that aired this year guys!!

Why the second season of Attack on Titan greatly trumps the first

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*Before you read this it is important to note that there may be some spoilers.

After finishing my exams, I suddenly had a lot of time free, and with all the positive reviews that I’ve heard about this season I thought I’d watch the second season of attack on titan. To be honest, with the long wait, I thought that the hype for the second season would have died down. However I saw loads of positive reviews from the blogging community and even people from my school who don’t usually watch anime. And it is safe to assume that after a whole night of binge watching the show, it did not disappoint.

This season of Attack on Titan opened with the survey corps finding out that there was a titan inside the wall and ultimatley deducing that “Titans were protecting humans from Titans”. Also, the soldiers at the other side of the wall found out that the Titans were inside wall Rose. This conflict spanned for most of the second season, and it led to the development of the story as we found out that other characters could turn into Titans, but we also learnt a lot more about the characters in series.

In my opinion, this season was much more well done than the first season. It was much more exciting and felt more of a thriller than the first season. This may have been the be case because this season was only limited to 12 episodes, which made it feel like there was much more happening in this season, it also make it feel like the pace of the show never slowed down. Whereas, in the first season, because it was 25 episodes, it felt more dragged out as the characters would often sit around talking, which could take up to 35% of the show sometimes, and when they went it expeditions it took more longer than it needed to be. However, the second season was much more snappy and would quickly cut to the chase without wasting any time.

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This season also had a noticeable amount of flashbacks, where we learned more about the different characters in the show, the information we learned from the flashbacks then gave us more incentive to care about the characters especially when they were put in life threatening situations. For example, when potato girl (I forgot her name) came in close contact with a titan, I cared for her much more than I would have done if this event had taken place in the first season. However, the thing about having too many flashbacks is that it may take too much screen time, but I think it was done for the right amount of time and therefore struck the correct amount of emotion in the audience.

Another way in which this season was superior is that this season focused more on the other characters rather than just Eren, who is arguably one of the less interesting chracters. For example, with the less time we spent on Eren there was much more time spent on world building and character development, which the first season didn’t have as much of. This may have been the reason why lots of critics originally didn’t like the show, I know this is the main reason why Digibro didn’t watch the show. His opinion can be heard via this link.

After a successful second season, I hope that the third season will also be above par. One thing I hope for the series is that it will return to a 25 episode season, but with the same amount of pacing and character development that was present in the second season.