The time has arrived once again to say goodbye to another fantastic #anitwitwatches. For our third watch we settled on the infamous School Days but we will be preparing to move on to a new show after next week. That’s where you come in! Below I’ll leave a link to our vote on Twitter where you can help decide what we’ll be watching next. Keep an eye out as we’ll be announcing the winner alongside the concluding thoughts for School Days on 1/20/20.
Heya #anitwitwatches folks, since I'm home a bit earlier I'm going to be putting up our voting poll so we can decide what to replace School Days as we finish it off next week (1/19/20). I did an overhaul of the selection this time as well. As usual, more info in the thread.
I’ll be reviewing School Days shortly after the watch concludes, so please look forward to that as well!
What is #Anitwitwatches?
This is a community initiative I started a few months ago where we get together and collectively watch an anime. Then, we talk about it on Twitter using the hashtag #anitwitwatches. The first ever watch was for Tonari no Seki-kun which was a lot of fun. You can view more information on the watch, as well as my review on Seki-kun here.
Our second watch was for Rampo Kitan which I had already written about previously, so that review won’t mention the watch at all. However, you can find all of the threads about any previous watch by searching the hashtag on Twitter or by clicking the linked #anitwitwatches right here.
Why is X Show on the Poll?
As I mentioned last time, each show was carefully considered using a series of criteria to ensure that this activity remains fun and varied each time. Due to some oversight with the last voting round on my end and the heavy nature of School Days, I’ve elected to largely mix up the poll for this new season of #anitwitwatches. A short summary is provided below and in the actual voting thread above as well.
Wandering Son – This is a carryover from our very first watch. There seems to be a lot of interest in it and I’m all for watching it! This recently made my Top 20 Anime of the Decade list if you wants some quick thoughts.
Rolling Girls – A CGDCT show with just enough depth to be interesting week-to-week. Very colorful and fun!
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou – After School Days, I thought something positive with a hint of romance might be in order. It’s a story about failure, but learning to push on even in the face of adversity. For creatives like us, it’s perfect!
Girls’ Last Tour – Lets explore a world together! I have been wanting to finish this and the watch would be the perfect excuse. Each week would have something for us to contemplate as well.
Join in the Fun!
So get to voting! I hope to see you for the next watch and would love to hear about shows you’d like to see added to the poll in the future. If you have any questions feel free to ask, I’d be more than happy to answer!
After the first season of this, I don’t think any of you are really surprised to see that I followed up with the second season. Netflix sniped the licence on this one, so I’m a bit later to the party than I would have liked to be. In any case, I can confidently say that my review of season one, still applies to this, but I have a few additional thoughts specific to this season.
While not the biggest deal in the world, the English voice cast was different than what we had for the first season. When I learned Netflix got this one instead of Funimation, this was a concern of mine. In fact, I wasn’t even sure this second season of Takagi-san would even see a dub as a result. However, it did, and most of the voices were close to what I expected them to sound like. Some so close, I didn’t think they were even recast until I checked, granted, I did watch the first season back in 2018, so this may be more jarring if you move immediately from one to the next.
Putting that aside, I have only one minor complaint, and that’s the missed opportunity with the ending. Don’t get me wrong, the ending is great! However, earlier in the season, episode 7 to be exact, there’s a brief flash of Takagi as an adult looking back at the photo that opens the episode. Seeing that this has another manga series where, spoilers, Takagi and Nishikata work out, I thought for sure we’d see some kind of scene like this for the finale.
No such luck! Instead, it’s a cute scene where they basically start dating formally. Though, it’s still very early in their relationship, it’s exactly what most people expected. As I said, this is a minor complaint, but it’s the difference between this having been a perfect 10/10 compared to just barely missing the mark.
Normally I put the trailer here, but there aren’t really any (that are translated). Enjoy the OP instead!
If you had any reservations about starting this series at all, I can safely say I recommend it. Takagi-san is a warm show that wants to put a smile on your face. This will make for a perfect show when you want something on the lighter side to get absorbed in for awhile. The likable cast, great designs, and overall excellence of the series is sure to be a hit!
Now I’ll turn things over to you, did you find Takagi-san season 2 to be great as well? Did you notice the recasting in the dub? Let me know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this article then please consider a donation via my Ko-fi button or becoming a Patron today. As always, thanks for reading and hope to see you again here soon!
I seriously can’t believe that #TheJCS has grown to become as large as it has been. It’s thanks to all of you that the project has become as successful as it has, to which I am truly grateful. Here’s to another excellent year of the showcase as we look back over 2019 and see what 2020 has in store for us!
The 2019 Complete Collection
Happen to miss out on any of the showcases last year? No problem! I’ve got your back, nowyou can read up here!You’ll find links to each host and their respective showcase along with other helpful information if you want to learn more about the program or help keep it going.
Reflecting on the Past Year
Last year I had several goals for Jon’s Creator Showcase, let’s look back on those and see what went well, and what didn’t:
Goal:More participation outside of the anime community. I love the anime community and we have had a good amount of participation outside of it before, but I’d love to see other hobbies and interests represented EVEN MORE. This could be travel, board games, film, literature, or anything really!
Result: This was a rousing success! It took a little doing, but the showcase has really branched out over the past year. We’ve gotten videos, artwork, book reviews, and a whole lot more! The topics have seen an uptick in variety as well, which is also great! I don’t see this stopping anytime soon as the program gains more traction in the community.
Goal: Post type variety. Unsurprisingly nearly all of the content featured in our monthly issues are text posts. That’s awesome but wouldn’t it be cool if we had image posts showcasing art, video, and even podcasts? It think so too! I want to encourage more content creators to participate beyond the blogging community.
Result: I pretty much covered this in the last point, but we did manage this. All of the things I listed above were featured at least once throughout 2019. So, goal achieved!
Goal: Personally, I’d love it if just one person with a big following participated this year. They often get linked but ignore joining. The showcase is for everyone, big or small, and we want to celebrate the wonderful creations that YOU are putting so much effort into creation. Don’t think you are ever too big or too small for this project, because, you aren’t.
Result:I’m going to say we achieved this one as well! Some of you guys have actually become pretty big yourselves! That’s great! While we still haven’t penetrated to the masses, I am still happy with the level of reach we managed to achieve in just one year’s time. Here’s to continued growth!
Goal: On the same side of the coin, I’d like to see a hand extended to smaller creators trying to get off the ground. It’s hard to get recognition so be mindful of who you nominate in this next year.
Result: Would you look at that, all goals hit! We could still be a bit better about this, but in general the mix of large and small creators has been very healthy. Several new faces emerged across 2019, which was awesome!
Image Overhaul & New Promotional Material
I’ve been really excited about this one! Recently I’ve been working on rebranding my personal image, but I thought the showcase could also use a bit of a makeover. While the old material was great, it used the old hashtag and just didn’t fit what the showcase ultimately became over the past year. Here’s all the cool images I’ve made for the showcase which you can use to promote the showcase yourself!
Hosting Schedule 2020
Like always, you can find the schedule here via the Doodle poll, but I also made a visual schedule for convenience. The tweet below has the image and all of the hosts tagged in order, just in case you are unfamiliar with any of them. Be sure to say “Hi!” while you are there!
Here's a (fixed) visual calendar for #TheJCS 2020! Be sure to say hi to the hosts!
Since the decade has come to a close, I have a special twist for this month’s hosting! You may choose to optionally submit ANY creation of yours from the past decade (2010-2019), regardless of if you have shared it for a showcase before or not. This is a special one-time deal, so feel free to take advantage! Of course, I’ll personally read/watch/review anything you send my way so long as you follow the instructions below:
Submissions are open from 1/3/20 until 1/30/20
Share something YOU created, either from December 2019 or the past decade (2010-2019). This can be anything from a blog post, piece of art, video, podcast, or anything you created! Do this by using #TheJCS on Twitter and preferably tag me @JS_Reviews if you don’t reply on the main thread. Alternatively, you can email me, reply here below, or hit me up on Discord. See my contacts page for that stuff.
When putting your submission in, be sure to mention that it is ANY content from the past decade this time, not just the usual December 2019 submissions (though that’s fine too of course). There’s always a little confusion on this, so let’s start making good habits this year by mentioning the desired date range.
Invite a few friends to join in on the fun! Do this by tagging (I suggest 3) friends when making your submission. It doesn’t matter if the person you are inviting only has a few followers or millions, if you think they are an AWESOME creator, please don’t hesitate to tag them!
If you get asked a question like, “What’s this showcase thing all about?” please do your best to answer. You’ll find some useful resources below:
Finally, if I don’t happen to see the question myself, you can tag me @JS_Reviews on Twitter.
Last, but certainly not least, explore the showcase and help promote it! Look over some of the submissions that came before you, retweet some that you enjoy, and maybe even follow a new creator or two! While it’s true that I’ll be compiling everything for a MASSIVE post at the end of the month, there’s no reason to wait on discovery amazing creators and interacting with each other.
Once again, I’d like to extend a warm “thank you!” to everybody who has participated in the project so far. Your support is greatly appreciated and I’m so glad that there are all these people who enjoy this community initiative of mine. Whether you’ve hosted, participated each time, or this is the first you are hearing of it, thank you so much!
We are finally in the year: 2020, which not only means a new decade, but also another year of new upcoming films to look forward to. As always, these are the films I am personally looking forward to in the new year, so the films I am anticipating may be different than anyone else’s. Without further ado, here are the ten films I am looking forward to in 2020!
There were so many great titles in the past decade, in fact, that I had a hard time only picking 10 of them. So, since we are entering 2020, I thought I’d expand the list to 20 titles! Before we dive in, I need to state that only shows I actually watched to completion were eligible for the list, so if a title is missing, I probably just didn’t watch it yet. Additionally, films will be included on this list as well since there were a few that came out and I saw that I really liked, but not enough for a separate list. Finally, these are my picks, so if you disagree, just make your own list, I’d love to see it!Continue reading “My Top 20 Anime of The Decade”→
While Black Fox wasn’t the first to receive the simulcast treatment, we got to see this the same time Japanese theaters had it, it is the first time I’ve watched one. Namely because it isn’t tied to an existing franchise and it did look really cool. So when it got a fair bit of hype, I felt confident enough in checking it out. Unfortunately for me, and for Black Fox, the film is the definition of average.
All I knew about this movie coming into it was that it seemed to be about ninjas. When it opened up on a girl being chased by one, and knowing that the girl was clearly the main character, it wasn’t hard to figure out this was some kind of training. The sequence is really good, and in some ways, the best part of the film.
You learn that the girl, Rikka, is expected to take up her grandfather’s legacy and lead the Isurugi clan when she comes of age. However, she has other plans. Her father is a scientist who makes cools stuff like animal drones that have human-like AI. Rikka would like nothing more than to follow in her father’s footsteps.
Flash-forward and Rikka has taken the first major step to achieving her dreams, even if it is to the disappointment of her grandfather, getting into the same school her father attended. Now she’s coming home to share the good news AND celebrate her birthday. Unfortunately, the past has come to haunt Rikka’s father, and I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you where this is going…
In that moment Rikka abandons her aspirations and takes up the blade to seek revenge on the man and all who took her family from her. Which would be cool, except the film abandons this idea in favor of exploring some themes of forgiveness and becoming your own person.
From my summary, you can probably already sense a big problem with the film. It’s predictable. So much so, that it almost feels like a paint by numbers for how to make a successful blockbuster hit. There’s not a single thing you shouldn’t be able to see coming a mile away, and that’s one of the biggest problems I have with Black Fox.
Outside the minor deviation from this just being a ninja movie to becoming something closer to a Spider-Man film, the whole thing is just one trope after another. While none of them are bad or hurt the integrity of the film, the lack of risk or innovation is sorely felt here.
My other gripe is that the whole “revenge” aspect of the film is completely abandoned. It makes sense when Rikka doesn’t kill the first guy she interacts with, but as time goes on, it gets harder to accept that she would give up on it because her robot pets told her to. On the one hand, forgiveness is powerful, and the people she ultimately does forgive, do ultimately deserve it. Though, on the other hand, having it completely removed from the table didn’t feel good, especially as events unfold.
An example is likely needed here. Toward the end of the movie, the bad guy from the evil company (which is so obviously evil it is hilarious) sends an evil drone based on stolen technology from Rikka’s dad after her. It destroys a bunch of the city and everybody can clearly tell the corporation made it. I find it hard to believe that Rikka is going to somehow resolve this peacefully with no casualties.
Furthermore, as an aside, can I just say that it is so stupid that when the people confront the corporation about the evil robots that all the doubts and outrage is dispelled because the corporation says they’ll pay for all the damages, help rebuild, etc… Then the CEO or whatever he is also announces that they are changing the name of the city to be his name. It’s so stupid, I honestly don’t get this part at all.
This is probably an issue more specific to me, but it all felt incredibly cheesy. Perhaps this wouldn’t have stuck with me as such a big deal if Black Fox actually had any resolution. That’s right folks, the film doesn’t have an ending. It “resolves” an arc of a much bigger story, but it also doesn’t seem like the movie will be getting a continuation as one hasn’t been announced (at least to my knowledge).
After doing a bit of research, it seems like this was the product of a failed TV show, which is likely why this occurs. But then, I have to ask, why was this even released? I just can’t help but feel that this is a half-baked product that teases more that may never come. Perhaps the popularity of the film, as it was pretty well received in general, will get it there, though I can’t say I’m looking forward to more.
Look, it’s not like Black Fox is a bad movie. The animation is really good and the story it tells is tried and true. It just needed more, and I don’t just mean the runtime, I mean this in almost every respect. That’s why I can’t ultimately recommend the film. While you may enjoy it, the experience ultimately feels lacking.
That’s it for Black Fox. How did you enjoy it? I know that I wasn’t the only one who felt a bit baffled by this, but maybe you saw something I didn’t. I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you want to support my efforts here, please click one of my donation buttons below as the support is appreciated. Thank you so much for reading and I hope to see you again soon!
Three decades. Nine movies (not counting the anthology films). One epic franchise. We have finally reached the end of what has been called “The Skywalker Saga”. With its popularity, there is no doubt that more characters and worlds will be explored in the form of shows and spin-offs (There is reportedly a Kylo Ren prequel series in the works, but with so much news, how can you trust the internet anymore?), yet somehow, this truly feels like the end of a much-beloved franchise. As perfect as it seems, the journey, however, can be a long and winding road filled with so many paths and choices that, as you go, you start to wonder if you have taken the right turn.
When Dr. Stone first started airing, I really wasn’t that impressed with it. The potential for one of the best shows of the year was clearly there, but there was just something holding it back. Over time though, the show began to shine and quickly became one of the best series to come out this year. The reason for this is in the little things. It’s easy to forget the types of luxuries and comforts afforded to us in our daily lives, but Dr. Stone is a heartfelt reminder that it was a long road to get here. Mixed with a genuine passion for the topic of science, and you have a show just brimming with positives.Continue reading “Dr. Stone – It’s The Little Things”→