Posts with the “iyashkei” tag

The power of dreams

A review of the One Off OVAs

Intrinsically I understand that anime has to make money, and that collaborations and product placement are just one way of doing that. Even in its native Japan anime home video sales vary wildly between franchises and advertisements and sponsorships only go so far. One Off feels a little different though with its very prominent Honda partnership.

the familiar sense of personal discovery and heart swelling Sunday matinee ethos

Of course there is the classic story of the original Gundam being produced solely to sell toys, while Pizza Hut has been in everything from Code Geass to Nanoha to Darker than Black; even critically loved shows like Kara no Kyoukai or Steins;Gate have Häagen-Dazs and Dr Pepper respectively. There’s something different about Honda being at the heart of One Off though that isn’t so much product placement as core marketing message.

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A Super Sonico review

There’s something disturbing about the Super Sonico anime TV series. And I don’t mean that in a sensationalist, link-baiting way, but in a genuine discomfiting way that is at odds with the high-fructose aesthetics and heart-warming stories. It’s more intrinsic and hints at what the TV anime is representative of.

a cat-loving, college-attending, band-fronting wonder child

Sonico as a character - the busty, pink haired, headphone wearing poster child of the series - started life as a mascot character for the company Nitroplus (often stylised as Nitro+) way back in 2006. The quintessential image of a doe-eyed anime character with pneumatic breasts and a disregard for clothing rippled across image boards and if you were to do a search for the character on more or less any representative image silo today (workplace readers duly warned) then you could be mistaken for believing Sonico is just another hormone fuelled fantasy catering to the broad headphone fetish. Indeed, in the anime series she is never seen without her gargantuan and unwieldy headphones, going so far as to wearing them in a hotspring or in flashbacks to her childhood.

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Cut my life into pieces

Thoughts on "slice of life" shows

“Ugh, nothing happens!” is one of the oft uttered arguments against contemporary, character-led light comedies or, more colloquially, “slice of life” series. In a sense it is largely true; nothing burns, dies, transforms, flies, barrel rolls, crashes, magically disappears, is chased or otherwise suddenly explodes in slice of life series. It’s an argument that’s largely missing the point though, for as mercurial as the definition of “slice of life” is, the focus is largely on presenting an exaggerated take on the mundanity of everyday life. This is to say nothing of the contentiousness of the phrase and its taxonomic convention, carrying as it does aging volumes of discussion, regardless of the term’s demotic usage.

just a peaceful amble [...] with copious hair brushing and peculiar banter

Three recent (ish) anime which typify the spirit, if not the minutiae, of the term include Acchi Kocchi (Place to Place), GJ-bu (GJ club) - both of which peer into the lives of middle/high-school students - and Servant × Service (or to give it its full title Servant × Service ☑) which deals with the rarely seen world of an entry level Japanese government employee. It is perhaps fair to say though that the success of such a series largely relies upon the personalities of the characters and the ability to keep either the comedy or the drama fresh enough across its run.

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