Thanks

zip scan 12-profile pic cutI don’t know for sure what I’m going to try to do…
I’m afraid this will just turn into a list of apologies or assurances…
when what I’m really trying to say is that this project, NewAnimeThursday, is reaching a close.

Since falling off my routine of regularly writing reviews for anime due to a concussion, I’ve started pondering my reason for continuing. And even though I’d like to say that I’m just too busy to keep writing or that I want to start a new project, it boils down to a lack of energy and drive to continue NewAnimeThursday.

I’m by no means ending my obsession with anime, manga, etc. I still plan on moving to Japan (though now I’m looking more into being an ESL teacher), and I still love being enraptured in current anime, as well as marathoning completed series that people recommend to me. I just have no reason or enthusiasm to write and continue running a full blog. And it’s not like I’m dropping off the face of the anime side of the internet. I’ll still quip on Twitter, and I’m regular on Facebook on the pages You’ve got to be Squidding Me and The League of Emotional Otaku. I’ll also keep reading the blogs on my Google Reader (and probably comment more). And I’m still on Skype (belden.otaku) too if you want to chat.

tooru-pp-cut-21octWhether or not I return to blogging, either on a new NewAnimeThursday or some other blog is uncertain and probably unlikely in the very near future, but who knows. As one project ends, another begins. I’ve gained a lot through NewAnimeThursday, friends I love communicating and discussing with, and I’ve expanded my curiosity and interests far beyond what I had just 2 years ago. Through NAT I’ve “found my voice” in writing, and by that I mean I’ve come to learn that my “voice” is a changing, adaptive quality that’s served me very well, both in blogging and in the real world, where I’m now more well-spoken in classes and able to cut through and understand complex topics with an objective viewpoint.

Though I’d hate to add to feal’s dead blog count, if I were to continue simply to avoid that, I’d be doing it for the wrong reasons. If I were to continue, I’d want to enjoy it like I should and not feel obligated to do so. Not that I do now, I just don’t have the desire to anymore. It’s not necessarily a growing tired of, but more of a growing out of NewAnimeThursday. I’m going to leave the site active (until WordPress decides I’m too inactive or however they kick off pages), and I’ll get an email if anyone comments on an old post, so I’ll be sure to respond.

I’m not sure how to end this, other than to thank anyone who read, followed, and commented. I hope you continue to remain awesome.

- BeldenOtaku

Thanks for reading

Thanks for reading

Another 0 (OVA): I’ve Missed Mei…

In for a bit of a treat this week with the release of the Winter 2012‘s horror series’, Another, prologue episode. Recounting Mei’s friendship with her once lost twin, Misaki, just a short period of time prior to her entry into the third year class and the subsequent horrors we saw in the main series, Another 0 shows Mei in a new light compared to her usually stoic nature. Lighthearted outings with her sister, separated at birth, and the closeness they shared that turned dark the night Mei began to see the color of death upon her. After more than one near death experience, Mei’s fears come to fruition as Misaki collapses, later finding out she has leukemia. Sadly, Misaki wasn’t meant to recover, but it did lead to Mei’s chance encounter with Kouichi, one night in the basement of the hospital, as Mei goes to deliver her final gift to her now forever lost twin sister.

Breaking away from the horror trend of the main story, Another 0 really showcases the art style and background of the series. In the words of Misaki, even the most run down things seemed “cute”, or at least well designed and crafted from an animation and design standpoint. I still get goosebumps when I get to see Mei’s faux eye, it’s always so perfectly lit and seems to have a depth beyond what is physically there. I also thought it was cute that Misaki wore an eyepatch too for part of the episode.

The character dynamic between Mei and Misaki was very interesting, it really showed the subtleties of two sisters who hadn’t lived together. And I always love it when twins, although in this case visually dissimilar enough to tell apart, have personal mannerisms that differentiate them, and I like it even more when these mannerisms make me like one more than the other. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t dislike Misaki, but I adore Mei, especially so when she was smiling and happy. The emotional connection Mei had with her twin before she died also explains some of Mei’s behavior seen at the beginning of the series back in December. Her quiet despair and seeming loneliness make more sense and are more recognizable now that these traumatic events have been shown. Or maybe it’s just me that found this whole prologue to be an enlightening look at what may have caused Mei to just accept her fate as the “extra” student.

I’m glad this episode 0 was released, after all the events of the main story this extra look into the events beforehand shows a more in-depth look into Mei’s backstory that really couldn’t be shown in the main series. A lot of the mystery surround her and the class would’ve been ruined (or at least diluted) if the whole backstory and once-lost twin had been shown as a part of an early episode. Now, seeing this OVA lets one look back at the main series with an additional piece of understanding and appreciation for the character depth that was prevalent through the whole thing.

Another – BeldenOtaku’s Photobucket

Rinne no Lagrange: Final Review

Time to wrap up the Winter 2012 season with final, final review for the series Rinne no Lagrange. This mecha/not-sure-what-to-qualify-this series follows the story of Madoka who discovers a powerful secret hidden just outside of her hometown of Kamogawa. Human history, as we know it, was merely the tip of the iceberg, as Kamogawa becomes the scene of a galactic struggle over the legendary Vox mechas. Supposedly to have nearly destroyed the Earth thousands of years ago, humanity took it’s technology into the stars, leaving the Vox behind, all for the preservation of the human home world.

Along the way, Madoka becomes friends with the alien princess (and moe incarnate) Fin E Ld Si Laffinty (“Lan” for short) and starcrossed refugee, Muginami. As the trio pilot the three Vox units against the Kiss forces attempting to take the Vox for themselves (and probably nefarious purposes as well). With an OVA and second season to come, I really don’t feel I can review the plot. It’s hardly begun and I think there’s much more in store for our trio of heroines. Though, so far, I’m very much emotionally attached and was heartbroken to see the group split up at the end of this first season (I hope they don’t wait too long to reunite in the next season).

Animation was stellar and I loved the streaming trail that followed the Vox units in flight, as well as the detail in, well, everything. The action and fight scenes were superbly framed and my only complaint was that the best parts of the fights were shown after-the-fact, leaving me upset for a few minutes (or sometimes a whole week) that they had cut out the action-y goodness. I’m also not very pleased that Muginami returned to Kiss with Villaguilio WITH THE VOX IGNIS!!! She just delivered the super weapon into enemy hands… At least Lan (the one I like) is on the hunt for her in the Vox Rympha. I can’t imagine Madoka sitting on Earth for too long. Pretty soon she’s going to be itching to get back to Muginami and Lan, so she’s not going to wait much before she jumps in the Vox Aura and scares everyone on the base half to death (and I eagerly await July for exactly THIS scene…)

 

Final rating for Rinne no Lagrange:….9.0 Great animation, compelling story, but maybe a little lax with the giant robots. I’d like more giant robots. More giant robots…would be nice. Not that the cute schools scenes weren’t…cute, but a certain point, it just feels like filler. I have high hopes for the continued story, and more giants robots.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

 

…….giant robots, please :3

Black Rock Shooter: Final Review

Back with the 4th final review of the Winter 2012 season, Black Rock Shooter. This series adaptation of the OVA goes more in-depth into the mysterious world of the Black Rock Shooter. Acting as an alternate to the high school girl, Mato, BRS locks into battle with the alternates of other girls Mato encounters in her life, such as Yomi (Dead Master), Yuu (Strength), and Saya-chan sensei (Black Gold Saw). Ultimately leading up to Mato’s confrontation with her powerful alternate, Black Rock Shooter, in an attempt to save the girls who have become disconnected with their emotions after their alternates were killed by BRS in the other worlds.

After being stunned with quality animation in the OVA, it’s a bit of a let down to see the slight dip in quality, but overall, this series still ranks high in quality relative to other series. For the same reasons (cost, mostly) I was also disappointed that it was only eight episodes. A full cour would’ve allowed for more awesome-tastic fighting, would it not? The plot was well suited for eight episodes, so it’s not such a big deal. The BRS series certainly gave more of a glimpse into the mysterious world that operates so near to Mato’s own world than the OVA did. And to see Mato come into conflict with Black Rock Shooter herself was a treat in and of itself.

Though I would’ve liked to get more information on BRS, I think that if too much is explained, she loses of her mystique and intrique. This seems like a good place to leave off…for now. Final rating:….9.1 I don’t really have any complaints, this is a good addition to the OVA and the style of the show is really cool (thinking of making a cosplay using BRS’s general design, actually). Though, like I said, more episodes=more awesome fight scenes (in my mind, anyway), and I wish Koha-sempai could’ve had an alternate so her emotional part would’ve been involved with the others.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku