Welcome to the Ballroom – My Biggest Disappointment with the 2017 Summer Anime Season

I Love Ballroom Dancing

When I found that there was going to be an anime about one of my favorite activities, ballroom dancing, I was super excited! Unlike last year’s Yuri!!! on Ice, there is a layer of relatability that Welcome to the Ballroom, or Ballroom e Youkoso, has for me. Now that we are a decent way into the Summer 2017 anime season, why am I so disappointed with a show that should have me jumping (or should I say dancing?) with joy? Continue reading “Welcome to the Ballroom – My Biggest Disappointment with the 2017 Summer Anime Season”

Edogawa Rampo – How Rampo Kitan Inspired Me to Read a Japanese Classic

Edogawa Rampo is the Grandfather of Japanese Mystery Literature

rampo_edogawa_02

Hirai Taro, the real name of famed author Edogawa Rampo, was born October 21, 1894. Rampo took inspiration from Western mystery writers such as Dolye and Poe (among others). In fact, his nom de plume is dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe as it is a direct verbal translation of Poe’s name. Existing in a time between critically acclaimed Agatha Christie and Edgar Wallace, Edogawa Rampo was instrumental in shaping the modern day mystery genre in Japan. Continue reading “Edogawa Rampo – How Rampo Kitan Inspired Me to Read a Japanese Classic”

VRV – Worth It?

You May Have Noticed Crunchyroll Pushing a NEW Service:  VRV

Note:  this article was written 7/21/2017. Some points made in this article may be irrelevant as the service is updated for those of you viewing this in future land.

I mean, how could you not? At least, if you live in the US. Countless ads and emails have been flung in my direction for this new service they’ve cooked up. Eventually, I caved and gave it a shot. So here we are, a month into using this service. Was it worth the price of admission or was I better off with just using Crunchyroll all along? Continue reading “VRV – Worth It?”

Top 25 Anime Openings

nfzmig8When the OP is Just Right…

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve personally put an actual article up on here. So I thought I’d get back into the swing of things by celebrating some of my favorite anime openings. I’ve seen a couple hundred anime, so this list took some careful consideration to whittle down to just 25.

The list is in no particular order and the only rule is that the opening has to have come from a show I’ve seen. Other than that, no repeats for stuff I’ve reviewed outside of honorable mentions. Obviously this is just my personal taste, so if an OP you love isn’t on the list I probably didn’t see the show or just didn’t like the opening that much ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  Continue reading “Top 25 Anime Openings”

Mega Post! – Update, Mini Reviews, & More!

How’s it Going Everybody?

I know I’ve been pretty quiet lately so here is a BIG post to make up for that. This post will cover the following in order:  An update regarding site activity and my life offline, Anime ABC update, some mini reviews, and cool things I’ve done/bought/to check out. It’ll be a bit of a longer post so jump to whatever sections interest you the most. Continue reading “Mega Post! – Update, Mini Reviews, & More!”

Ghost in the Shell (2017) Film Review

Interesting Ideas; Mixed Results

d947b6bcdd3c2ac2f86e6b39bed43778Went and saw the new Ghost in the Shell movie with some friends and the movie felt pretty average. It was what you might expect from a Hollywood action film but still had nods to source material that made it feel somewhat unique compared to if the film was truly “Westernized.”

This write up will be a bit shorter, since I’m coming off the film fresh. In addition to my own thoughts, I’ll be providing the thoughts of the two people that went with me. It’ll be like getting 3 reviews in 1! Continue reading “Ghost in the Shell (2017) Film Review”

Ghost in the Shell (Pre-Film) Thoughts

Ghost in the Shell’s Live-Action Release is Right Around the Corner

So I thought it might be a good time to let you all know what my thoughts on the upcoming film are, my expectations, and familiarity with the franchise. This isn’t a sponsored article, but I’d like to quickly thank Crunchyroll for providing me with a free ticket to see this film and giving me an excuse to talk about a franchise I really enjoy. Continue reading “Ghost in the Shell (Pre-Film) Thoughts”

Wolf Children – My Favorite Anime Film & Why I Love it

Something a Little Different

This article is an adapted version of a script for an oral presentation that I will be giving for one of my business classes. I was tasked to discuss something I have a passion for, so I decided to talk about Wolf Children. The reason I decided to talk about this film is for the following reasons:

  • To challenge my class to explore a topic that they are unfamiliar with. Most members of the class haven’t even seen a Ghibli film, just as a frame of reference.
  • Wolf Children is universally relatable in its themes and ideas. The film is also in English (not that there is much dialog to begin with) which removes a barrier from my audience.
  • The film can be discussed without spoiling it. Additionally, Wolf Children requires no knowledge of anime tropes and conventions. End goal is to recommend the film.
  • I am genuinely passionate about anime (obviously) and wanted to talk about my favorite anime film.

Past that, there are a few guidelines for this article since it isn’t exactly the kind of thing I normally do. This isn’t strictly a review of Wolf Children, more just why I like it so much. I have to assume you don’t know squat about anime and keep the language a bit simpler than normal. There will be some video and images in the article to enhance readability that I am unable to include in my oral presentation (we aren’t allowed to use any media whatsoever). If you enjoy this sort of article and want to see more like it, let me know by leaving a like and comment saying so below. Enjoy! Continue reading “Wolf Children – My Favorite Anime Film & Why I Love it”

Is Anime Jargon Necessary? – Inspired by Digi & Other Community Members

You All Know the Terms:  Otaku, Moe, Hentai, ETC…

It’s a right of passage for us in the anime community to learn these words, and others, as we engage with the medium we love so much as well as each other. However, there has been recent discussion, particularly from YouTube’s Digibro, about how necessary any of this terminology is. Given that, I thought I’d throw my two cents out there and see what you all thought on the topic as well. Continue reading “Is Anime Jargon Necessary? – Inspired by Digi & Other Community Members”

Anime ABC’s – E Voting Round

Time Again to Vote!

Anime ABC’s E Voting Round. Vote Here! <—Click Me!

The survey is a touch longer than normal with an additional follow-up survey that is completely optional. This is just to help gauge some interest levels and to make sure I don’t need to make any changes to the existing ABC format.

Voting will be open from today until 2/5/17 at 11:59PM.

Remember to encourage others to vote for your choice. We had a smaller turn out than last time, but that was kind of expected since the voting took place around a holiday. Let’s try and get at least 50 people to vote this time!

Thanks for voting!

Not Sure What Anime ABC’s Is?

Anime ABC’s is a fun community event that I run here at Jon Spencer Reviews. Any and all are welcome to participate in determining what anime I’ll be reviewing next for this series. Each voting round cycles to the next letter in the alphabet, that means we are currently on our fith voting round. This is done to keep things interesting and to allow for more variety in options each time.

The goal of this series is to encourage community input, interaction, as well as to allow me to discover cool new shows, or in some cases, rediscover ones that I previously watched. You can check out my previous ABC reviews for Anohana, Bacanno!, Code Geass, or The Devil is a Part-Timer by clicking either of their respective titles for examples of what the end result looks like.

So what are you waiting for? Vote to help decide what I review next!