Category Archives: First Impressions

It’s Only a Paper Moon: the magic of Tamako Market

"..."

“Say it’s only a paper moon

Sailing over a cardboard sea

But it wouldn’t be make believe

If you believed in me.”

-It’s Only a Paper Moon, Harold Arlen

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Fishing as a Way of Life: Tsuritama Episode 1

My father first pressed a fishing rod into my hands in the summer before I started first grade.

It wasn’t out of romance or passing on something to his daughter; in spite of being a nature-lover he hadn’t fished much in his life. No, I had begged for this fishing rod and reaching the age of six meant that my parents had considered the hazards of an accidental hook-through-body-part injury and had weighed in favor of my increasing common sense.

I received a beginner rod. One with the reel attached to the rod, encased in plastic so you couldn’t see the spool of the reel at all. In a brown paper bag my father handed me a tiny box filled with tiny hooks, tiny metal sinkers, and a tiny plastic bobber that was a poor mimicry of a red and white mooring buoy. As soon as he handed it to me, I ran out to our backyard and practiced casting. We were to leave for Maine the next day, and I wanted to impress my friend Robb who, in spite of us being the same age, had the advantage of an older brother to steal fishing equipment from.

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Colloquium: Lupin III – The Woman Called Fujiko Mine Episode 1 (NSFW)

Fujiko Mine, Mine Fujiko, Lupin III, Lupin the Third, Fujiko, A Woman Called Fujiko Mine Episode 1

“Now, stop what you’re doing. And look upon me as your heart beats fast.”

ajthefourth: Warning! This post will contain NSFW images. If you are at work, you probably shouldn’t read this post. Why?

Because, if one thing could be said about this series, it’s that Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine is sexy.

Sexy in a way that one rarely sees; in a dangerous manner that is as provocative as it is alluring. This series isn’t meant to make you comfortable, just as the promise of intercourse, at first blush, is hardly something comforting. It’s meant to make your toes curl, your knees quiver, your breath catch, and your heart rate quicken instinctively when you see something like this:

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Colloquium: Ozma Episode One

Bynas is a badass from the moment she steps on screen.

ajthefourth: Ozma is a bit of an odd entity. Penned by Leiji Matsumoto (Space Battleship Yamato, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, among many other things) in 1980 it is only just now receiving an anime adaptation. Everything about the character designs scream both Matsumoto and the late 1970s-early 1980s. Perhaps, upon first glance, one would expect it to be pure, campy, sci-fi fun.

And yet, Ozma isn’t camp. However, it is pure fun.

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Guest Colloquium: The Idolm@ster Episode 1

a guest post by: 2-DT and Yi

2DT:  Idols in Japan are tautologies of fame.  Sure, sometimes they sing and dance, or do seiyuu work (Apparently Nakagawa Shouko’s star ascended through the sheer digital weight of her obsessive blogging–  not a bad feat, that).  But in the end, we mustn’t forget that they’re famous because they’re famous.  They’re propelled mostly by personality, and by the dreams that those personalities sell.  I’m talking about some very lonely dreams, of course.

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Colloquium: Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 1

"Because, ever since that day, none of us had a future."

ajthefourth: There’s something inherently fascinating and romantic about train travel.  The idea that a train stops at numerous destinations, offering numerous possibilities and yet is unable to expand beyond where its rails take it is one that makes the train an excellent image to work with in regards to themes of life and death.  Rife with train imagery, Mawaru Penguindrum is the latest anime series to address these themes and it does so with confidence, style, and substance. Continue reading

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Ne Me Quitte Pas: Atmosphere and Culture Differences in Ikoku Meiro no Croisée

Down in Paris they walk fast
That is, unless they’re walking slow
And in cafes they look away
That is, unless they look right in
And in the gardens I get lost
That is, unless I’m getting found
And if you are the ghost of New York city
Won’t you stick around?

-Regina Spektor, “Ne Me Quitte Pas”

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Colloquium: Kamisama no Memochou 1 part B

"Tarnish the living to maintain the honor of the dead. Tarnish the dead to comfort the living."

ajthfourth: It’s another lovely, if a bit muggy, evening.  A perfect time to wrap up our viewing of Kamisama no Memochou, which, despite an out-of-place fanservice moment, maintained its focus on how various people gather and process information in an age where information bombards our senses at a frenetic pace.

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Colloquium: Kamisama no Memochou 1 part A

vucubcaquix:  This week, we’re treated to the first episode of Kamisama no Memochou, a show about a so-called NEET Detective Agency and right off the bat the first thing I noticed are the stellar production values of this series. The first notes of the soundtrack’s bells and electronic notes are accompanied with the various tones of different phones as we’re bombarded with the imagery of text messages being sent off at such a rapid clip, that the audience can barely keep up by the time that the scene cuts between images of a nondescript crowd and a flash of one of our main protagonists overlooking something offscreen, bathed by it’s soft glow. What struck about the music is how well it complements the feelings of the digital ethereality that one finds in the seeming transience of digital information. Texts are sent off into the abyss, with no real weight or thought given to them and it’s reflected in the show’s execution because the quick cuts are meant to elicit a sense of bewilderment and inconsequentiality on the part of the audience barely being able to perceive these messages. Continue reading

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