Picking Your Battles – #Controversed Issue 4

Moderation & Conversation

Welcome to the final issue of the #Controversed series! Today’s issue will cover moderating your own space for discussion and knowing when to engage with critical discourse or give it a pass. This is the fourth article in in the series as part of an event I’m sponsoring with Moya of The Moyatorium. Be sure to check out the first issue, second issue, and third issue here. You can find the full information regarding #Controversed via the first issue if needed. Continue reading “Picking Your Battles – #Controversed Issue 4”

Looking for Meaning – #Controversed Issue 3

New to #Controversed?

In case you’ve missed the past two weeks, #Controversed is a weekly article series exploring critical writing that I’m doing for the month of November. Today I will explore the “all art is political” debate and how you can find meaning in anything. This is the third article in in the series as part of an event I’m sponsoring with Moya of The Moyatorium. Be sure to check out the first issue and second issue here. You can find the full information regarding #Controversed via the first issue if needed. Continue reading “Looking for Meaning – #Controversed Issue 3”

Finding Balance – #Controversed Issue 2

Last Time on #Controversed…

Previously I gave a brief introduction to talking about controversy and introduced the month-long article series I’ll be doing here each week. The big focus of that article was finding balance in your approach, and today’s issue is going to continue that conversation. This is the second article in said weekly series called, #Controversed, as part of an event I’m sponsoring with Moya of The Moyatorium. Be sure to check out the first issue to learn more about the event. Continue reading “Finding Balance – #Controversed Issue 2”

Call to Action & YOUR Input Needed!

Heya Folks!

I’m writing you all today with some important questions. In some ways this is a check-in with folks, but also a call to action. As many of you know, I run a myriad of activities, post blog articles, and a whole lot more! That’s why I’m hoping you’ll hear me out and consider improving what I can offer you in exchange for more consistent support. Let’s jump right into the details. Continue reading “Call to Action & YOUR Input Needed!”

#Anitwitwatches Season 10 – Kanon (2006) & Announcement

Welcome to the Tenth #Anitwitwatches!

As winter comes into view and we move closer to the end of the year, it feels fitting that the 10th watch will be bringing us there! Not only that, but to my surprise, you all picked a winter themed anime:  Kanon (2006). Hope you are ready for some tears, but don’t worry, like most Key stories things tend to have a positive spin by the end. I hope you’ll look forward to this (often overlooked) show! The watch begins 11/16/20.

Below you’ll find information on what the watch is as well as the schedule for the tenth season of #anitwitwatches. Thank you to everybody who has participated in the past and all of you who will be joining for the first time with this series!

What is #Anitwitwatches?

This is a weekly community event meant to bring folks together to revisit old favorites and discover new shows. It’s meant to be something you can get as involved in as you want, there is no pressure to participate every week or every watch, but we’d love to have you to share in the experience and discuss the shows we are watching all the same!

I was inspired to do this after seeing the “rewatches” that people do over at Reddit in the r/anime sub. Since I interact with a lot of you guys on Twitter, I thought it would be the perfect place to do something similar! That said, even if you do not have a Twitter you can still join in by posting any content via WordPress, YouTube, or whatever suits your fancy. If you do, be sure to send me an email at jonspencerreviews@gmail.com so I can share your wonderful creations!

For everyone else, simply watch the episodes for the week based on the schedule below. Make sure to use the hashtag, #anitwitwatches when you do, and that’s it! Discuss with the other folks participating, create content, and generally just have a fun time!

This next show was chosen based on YOUR votes, so let’s get to the watch schedule.

Kanon (2006) Schedule

As is our norm, we’ll be taking a short one week break before starting Kanon (2006). This is to give folks a brief break before jumping into a new show. I checked dates and there was no reason to take time off for Thanksgiving or Christmas, so there will be no additional breaks in this period. We will be keeping the Monday time slot for this watch after careful consideration and feedback.

If you have not done so, you can see where you can watch Kanon (2006) for free, and legally, by using because.moe. Unfortunately, I cannot realistically check all regions but I aimed to make this as accessible as possible. That said, I won’t stop you from doing what you need to in order to participate. The more the merrier!

Here are the dates (all Mondays) and the episodes for each:

That’ll make this watch 10 weeks long. I hope you’re excited to watch this one and I look forward to all the excellent discussion!

‘The Witches’ (2020) Film Review

Grade: D


Anyone who remembers watching Nicolas Roeg’s 1990 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book The Witches at a young age could tell you how truly horrifying of an experience that is. I was never one of those kids that grew up with it, but it exceeded in gruesome practical effects and an eerie nature that could give any child nightmares. What Robert Zemeckis does with his version, however, is far from horrifying. Instead, it relies heavily on the CG that he is so used to using. I am not saying that his version is not prone to terrifying the youngest of kids, but that it is hard to beat a hideous looking witch when you have Anne Hathaway’s cartoonish wide sharp-toothed smile rendered in the silliest of effects.

The story is the same: A young boy whose parents have suffered a demise goes to live with his loving grandmother who is aware that witches exist in the world with only one purpose: To rid the world of children by turning them into the most helpless of animals, mostly mice, then crushing them. What follows is nearly a recreation of the 90’s film with only a few changes (including one that Dahl’s readers might find taken from the source). At most, The Witches is lighthearted fare, from its choice of music to the grating narration of Chris Rock recalling the time he, as a young boy (Played by Jahzir Bruno), and his grandma (Octavia Spencer) encountered their share of witches, led by the Grand High Witch (an over-the-top Hathaway relishing in the glamour of it all).

As the story goes, the witches have come to the hotel the boy and his grandmother are staying at under the guise of the RSPCC, in order to enact their evil plot. While playing with his pet mouse, the boy hears of the plan, only for the witches to discover him by sniffing him out with the Grand High Witch turning him into a mouse. Yet, he and his mouse Daisy (Voice of Kristin Chenoweth) escape with the help of a boy named Bruno (Codie-Lei Eastick), who has suffered the same fate.

There is no doubt that Zemeckis’ take on The Witches is inferior to Roeg’s film, yet what keeps me from writing it off as an abashedly awful remake is the charm it brings once the talking mice come into play and the family dynamic, which I found the least bit heartwarming. However, this is just me being generous. Kids will love watching it with their parents, yet I cannot seem to recommend it for anyone who really loved the original film. As someone who found the original average, what Zemeckis has accomplished is the ability to make me appreciate Roeg’s efforts a bit more.

Talking Controversy – #Controversed Issue 1 & Announcement

I’m no Stranger to Controversy

Whether it’s Goblin Slayer or Uzaki-chan, there seems to be no shortage of controversy when it comes to the anime community. Hell, even outside of it the internet always seems to have something it’s worked up over. Navigating these kinds of topics can be a bit of a challenge, but I’d like to share my perspective on how to approach them. This is the first article in a weekly series called, #Controversed, as part of an event I’m sponsoring with Moya of The Moyatorium. More information will be provided at the end of the article. Continue reading “Talking Controversy – #Controversed Issue 1 & Announcement”

English Eerie – Review & Play Reports

Rural Horror at its Finest

You may recall that for the month of October I ran an event for my Discord server where people were tasked with writing spooky stories using the English Eerie role-playing system. Here I’ll be giving my thoughts on the game and sharing the various stories that were created. Continue reading “English Eerie – Review & Play Reports”

The Song of Saya – A Continued Look at Gen Urobuchi’s Earlier Work

A Disgustingly Beautiful Visual Novel

In the world of anime Gen Urobuchi is someone who needs no introduction. You might recognize him for such titles as Madoka Magica and Psycho-Pass, but his career actually goes a lot deeper than this. Last year I spent a ton of time researching and familiarizing myself with his creations for a review of Phantom: Requiem for a Phantom (which I recommend you give a look as I don’t want to retread that same information here), upon doing so, I was reminded of today’s focal point:  The Song of Saya. Continue reading “The Song of Saya – A Continued Look at Gen Urobuchi’s Earlier Work”

The Skull Man – A Slow Burn Mystery

Who is The Skull Man?

A rumor about a masked killer in Otomo City, a corrupt district of Japan where conspiracy and death are all too familiar, grabs the attention of a Tokyo reporter, Minagami Hayato. He’s soon joined by a young photographer, Kiriko Mamiya. At first, this seems like a fruitless effort but slowly the pieces begin to come into place and a deep conspiracy is revealed, but by then, it just may be too late. Continue reading “The Skull Man – A Slow Burn Mystery”