A rose-colored life and thorns of youth: Praising Hyouka

Houtarou Oreki, a high school freshman who believed in conserving his energy, finds himself in the classic club, a club on the verge of dissolution. There he meets Eru Chitanda, a heroine with a hearty curiosity, and his old friends from middle school, Mayaka Ibara and Satoshi Fukube. Together at Kamiyama High School the four of them investigate various incidents in this youthful academy mystery. ~ from ANN

Hyouka is surely one of the most memorable series that came out this year. Many people with different tastes embraced it and I think this speaks for how good it was. One may claim that popularity doesn’t equal quality, but here Kyoto Animation amazed us at many levels. I can’t say it’s a flawless series or that everyone will like it. Yet if you get excited with mundane questions and ‘mysteries’, and if you’ve got a little bit of patience to see the characters develop slowly, then you’ll cherish Hyouka for sure.

It isn’t very easy for me to talk about a series which was heavily discussed and for which you can find a review almost in every other anime blog. Nevertheless, I hope my fondness of the series will make up for this fact, and in case you haven’t watched the series, I wish my enthousiasm will convince you to try it.  Continue reading

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A small comment on Ojii-san no Lamp

Ojii-san no Lamp is a 23 minute long short film that was produced in 2010 for the Young Animator Training Project, an effort for revitalizing the anime industry. Out of the four short films that were produced that year, this one was unanimously the best. Not only did it amaze with its graphics, but also with its plot and storytelling.

A boy finds a strange object while playing hide-and-seek. His grandfather tells him the story of his own youth, and the important role the old lamp played. This story is about the modernization of Japan and the changes that came with it. ~ My Anime List

If you haven’t watched it, just go already. The summary should be intriguing enough. If it hasn’t convinced you, you can check other reviews and analysis. I’m here to contribute something else, even if it’s just a small comment, that hasn’t been mentioned up till now: the probable reference and meaning of the opening scene.  Continue reading

The Red String : 1. Ginko x Tanyu

I have a fondness for couples with subtle romance and those that are developed in side stories or when the romance is between side characters. This series of posts is going to include more or less minor canon couples that have won my heart and need more love. And so here I present you for the first post with:

Ginko and Tanyu from Mushishi

A man with one emerald eye and one filled with darkness. Snow lies on his head and smoke arises from his mouth. He wanders from one place to another through thick forests like the stream of Light flows freely in nature. One day he was called to a house of a scribe, a young woman with jet black hair and a cursed leg. And after that day, he would come visit ever so often and not just to scan through the huge archive in that house…  Continue reading

Memories, Loneliness, Wisdom and Objects in xxxholic

While in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles the fanservice takes the form of reoccurring characters from previous CLAMP works, in xxxholic this is done with a way more subtle and mysterious way, that suits more obsessed/ well-informed fans: reappearance of objects. In general, the universe of xxxholic, where Yuuko -and later Watanuki- rules, is full of objects and not without a reason.  Continue reading

The Brilliance of Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru shines among anime not because it gives us perplexed stories or some philosophical notions, but through it’s simplicity and beauty.Snippet Tee from Lemmas and Submodalities has already talked a bit about what she enjoys in Chihayafuru and I couldn’t agree more with her. I’m going to try putting my excitement in my own words and in the process adding more reasons why this series has taken a special place in my heart.  Continue reading

Offering a Prayer to Tempus Spatium’s World

“The maiden … wavers., the maiden drifts. Forever escaping from reality, she paints the sky … with her unending beauty.” ~ Onashia

Simoun’s themes and revelations are many and large: the loss of childhood, and the progressive narrowing of our lives by the choices we make. The idea that gender identity is not so solidly fixed as we believe. The elusiveness of time and space. The fact that even after the worst has happened, life goes on. The contradiction between religious principles and fighting a war. The possibility of respect and fellow-feeling between enemies. The dreadfulness and inescapability of social class-distinctions. The mystery of love.
The gnawing, self-defeating harm caused by jealousy. The corrosive effects of grief, and of refusal to connect with others in a vain attempt at self-protection. Love and hatred between siblings. Love among a group of friends. The fact that we do not really know even the people we love. Self-sacrifice for the sake of others, and for one’s own self-respect. And the fact that suffering can make one regret having made the sacrifice. Simoun brings ideal and real together, and leaves us with a real world that, despite its inescapable sorrows, is transfigured by hope and love. – by hashihime

If you want a guide to Simoun for the confused and the perplexed, then you can find a well-done one by Nathan here. Hashihime above provides an all-inclusive, full-blown review that is also recommended.What I attempt to do in this post, is highlight the aspects and themes of the show that grabbed my attention and are carved brightly into my memory. I try to offer a hymn, a prayer to Simoun in my own humble way.  Continue reading