Grace. いただきます. Bismillah. Cultures across the world have developed means to express gratitude for what they consume. This is possibly borne out of an innate quality, as recent studies suggest, that rituals before a meal may alter our perception of its taste. The idea of gratitude being expressed serves another ancillary function: it staves off the guilt of consumption.
In this season’s The Eccentric Family (Uchōten Kazoku | 有頂天家族), we follow a family of shape-shifting Japanese raccoon dogs. Yasaburō, the narrator and main character who poses as a young human, spends his days avoiding and cavorting and playing with Benten, the powerful and dangerous psychic woman seen in the image above. The dialogue between the two is brisk and spry, with a back and forth that moves at a nice clip. But none of that is remarkable on its face to me, until we understand that she ate the young raccoon dog’s father in a year-end ritual meal and that it is common knowledge in their community.
Throughout our lives we are constantly reinventing ourselves. It’s human nature to evaluate what works and adjust accordingly. This is no easy task, and we are all fallible creatures, so we make mistakes. This is the story of Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko, or HenNeko, and it is our story as well.
Come on, pretty baby, won’t you talk with me?
bitmap: Hey all, it’s time for this week’s Mysterious Girlfriend X post! As for why my name’s in bold like that, well, this is a special post. As you can tell from the title, this week’s post is actually a colloquium, and thus, the amiable pair of ajthefourth and vucubcaquix will be joining me this week with a conversation on Mikoto and Akira’s relationship!
“Tapioca, I don’t like such stifling relationships.”
-Akira Agarkar Yamada, Tsuritama Episode Three
The magical mystery tour is waiting to take you away.
Another week, another episode of Mysterious Girlfriend X! I’ve been voicing my thoughts on the pacing of the adaptation, and this week, we finally got to see how they would fit multiple chapters into one episode. (The contents of episode 3 are taken from chapters 3 and 4 of the original.) I thought it was handled pretty well; the two halves felt distinct, and yet were tied together nicely by the idea of what really “connects” Akira to Mikoto.
One night, bored and trawling the web for reading material, I landed a seinen romantic comedy that promised the addition of laser-beam-firing alien antics. A recently completed four volume series, so far 13 scanlated chapters of Ashita Dorobou exist in English. While those chapters deliver on the promised romantic shenanigans and alien antics, it is the relationship between the protagonist and his ex-girlfriend that sparked my curiousity, for in the very first chapter I noticed the resemblance to that newly-coined romantic trope, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Continue reading
In this world there's nothing I would rather do, 'cause I'm happy just to dance with you.
I quite honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from the anime adaptation of Mysterious Girlfriend X (Nazo no Kanojo X), even though I had read the original manga. Just what do you get when you combine a studio that’s only produced shows about breasts, a director that’s only worked on kids’ shows (this season, he’s also helming Space Brothers), and a lead actress who’s only acted in live-action works, all working on a show about, of all things, tasting drool?
Fortunately, the answer is a show that surprisingly has a lot to say! So strap in, boys and girls, it’s time to get mysterious! (Episode spoilers after the break.)
With a simple story that could fit as a one-or-two episode arc in Natsume Yuujinchou, the short movie Hotarubi no Mori e, based on a one-shot story by Natsume author Yuki Midorikawa, may be brief, but carries its message and sentiment across with charm.