When an Anime Shows & Tells – A Discussion Ft. Waiting in the Summer and Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu

Seeing is Believing

Have you ever watched a show where the main character is supposedly some kind of genius or master at a thing, but the show kind of skirts around actually showing them, well, doing it? I hate that, and it happens a lot more often than you might think! Thankfully, some shows go out of their way to not only tell you these details, but show them as well. Today I’d like to celebrate two such recent examples I witnessed from the shows Waiting in the Summer and Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu. Continue reading “When an Anime Shows & Tells – A Discussion Ft. Waiting in the Summer and Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu”

Advertisements

It’s a Terrible Day for Rain – Exploring the Storyteller’s Kit

It’s Raining & I’m Sad

We’ve all watched a TV show, film, or anime where somebody dies and then, as if by magic, it begins to rain. It’s a tried and true cliché that can be utilized to brilliant effect, or come off as incredibly corny depending on the context. Join me as I explore three examples of rain scenes in anime. One superb, one interesting, and one just plain bad. The shows I’ll be using for my examples are:  Akame ga KillLove, Election and Chocolate, and finally, Fullmetal Alchemist:  Brotherhood.

A tool is only as good as the hands that wield it -Unkown

Continue reading “It’s a Terrible Day for Rain – Exploring the Storyteller’s Kit”

Neo Yokio Christmas Special – Mini Review

Was it Good?

Image result for neo yokio christmas specialAs you may recall, I wrote a glowing review of Neo Yokio when it first premiered on Netflix in 2017. A lot of folks hated it, but I found it to be an uproariously funny series. When it was announced that a Christmas special would be made, I was stoked! Well I gave it a watch so let’s dive in and see if this was up to par with the original series or if something was lacking.

The general premise of the episode is that Kaz is sick during the holidays so he has Charles tell him a story. Initially it starts off as telling the story of Jesus, but Kaz quickly gets bored of that and some off-color humor about religion is tossed in (I didn’t really mind that, just putting out there because I know some people will care).

That’s when you jump right into the story proper. You tangentially follow Herbert, or as many of the characters refer to him as, “Sales Clerk” and the upcoming Secret Santa for Neo Yokio’s most eligible bachelors. Kaz naturally gets his nemesis Arcangelo and vice versa. In addition to all this, a new character is tossed into the mix, Kaz’s French aunt who is a memoir-ist, that isn’t liked by Aunt Agatha. There is also hints that Kaz’s family may have a dark past and that bigger plots may be at play than anybody realizes. Somehow, this is also a commentary on consumerism and Christmas in general too.

In a way, this has all of the conventional trappings of any other special for any other series. You have the callback to the Toblerone, references to events that transpired back in the main series, and most of it felt about as natural as this sort of thing can.

Image result for neo yokio christmas special

However, it just didn’t quite feel quite like the Neo Yokio I love. The first point of criticism I have is that the characters did too much swearing. Now, I don’t really care when swearing is in a show, but it was so frequent, and often out of place, that it was rather distracting. Furthermore, there is just a LOT going on in this (just over) an hour special.

It felt a bit unfocused. Mind you, this doesn’t mean it was a bad special, but you were a fan of Neo Yokio’s core series, then this may leave you feeling like this wasn’t as good. All that said, there were certainly high points of praise.

For starters I loved Arcangelo’s goofy Christmas song, Kaz’s terrible rap, and the pseudo-philosophical Eva-like sequences related to The Pink. I also liked the direction they took Herbert for the story, even pushing him to the brink of suicide when people refuse to shop at the store due to Arcangelo’s, “Christmas challenge” and is subsequently fired. There’s just something about this absurd series getting super real that elevated it even higher than normal for me.

Image result for neo yokio christmas special

As I mentioned, there are messages about anti-consumerism which contradicts the expectations one may have for a Christmas special. Ultimately, Christmas is just a part of the setting, only acting as a vehicle to deliver the obvious critique and set pieces that propel the narrative.

So was this as good? No, but I still liked it. If you weren’t a fan of Neo Yokio already, then this absolutely won’t change your mind. However, if you loved the series like me, then you’ll probably enjoy this, even if it doesn’t quite measure up.


Are you going to check out Neo Yokio’s Christmas special? If you already did, what are your thoughts? Let me hear your voice in the comments below. If you’d like to support my writing here, please click my donation button below as I really appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back here again soon at Jon Spencer Reviews!

My Anime Music Playlist – A Response to Apprentice Mages Lounge (Nearly a Year Later)

Ok, I Know This is Late…

Way back in December 2017, Derek posted on his site, Apprentice Mages Lounge, a post titled, “My Anime Music Playlist…” in which he shared his anime playlist at the time. He then went and requested others share their lists with him. I had intentions to do so, but I wanted to wait until I had a respectable list. Well, nearly a year later, I believe today is finally that day with my current 80+ song list which I updated weekly since the day Derek originally posted! Continue reading “My Anime Music Playlist – A Response to Apprentice Mages Lounge (Nearly a Year Later)”

Should Rewatch Value Matter? – A Discussion

Rewatching Stuff Can be Fun!

I’m sure this has happened to you once or twice before. You sit down to rewatch one of your favorite film, TV show, anime, etc… only to discover that it wasn’t quite as good as you remembered it to be. For reviewers, this is something that is often considered in reviews:  will X thing hold up on a repeat viewing? While there is value in this question, why is there so much weight placed on this question? Continue reading “Should Rewatch Value Matter? – A Discussion”

Critique ≠ Being Critical – A General Discussion on Reviews & Analytical Works

Hold Up, Something’s Not Right!

You are probably thinking that I’m off my rocker here, “Jon how can a critique not be critical?” and that’s a totally fair question. When I say this I am not saying that a critique of something can’t criticize something, but instead mean that a critique does not always have to be negative. There’s a general misconception that these two things must always come hand-in-hand but do they really? I’d argue, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Continue reading “Critique ≠ Being Critical – A General Discussion on Reviews & Analytical Works”

Celebrating the 4th – What Are Your Favorite Firework Scenes in Anime?

It’s the 4th and I’m Feeling Lazy!

Going to shoot straight with you guys, I was getting to work on all those mini reviews you all wanted while getting some bigger articles I started a few weeks ago topped off when I decided I didn’t really want to do much today. Plus, I also don’t want to flood you guys with a ton of mini reviews. Lastly, I still have the WIXOSS collab to finish up but that is looking to be later this week anyhow. Ultimately, I decided to ask you all what your favorite firework scenes in anime were. Here are a few of mine! Continue reading “Celebrating the 4th – What Are Your Favorite Firework Scenes in Anime?”

Is Lucky Star Still Relevant for the Modern Otaku? – A Quick Review & Discussion With The Anime Blogging Party

Everybody is Told to Watch the Classics

Image result for lucky starThere is a lot of anime. Some shows come into the spotlight and stay there while others fall to the wayside to the, “next big thing.” Of course, there is the opposite that happens with time where a show went unnoticed when it first came out but is now heralded as essential viewing for devoted Otaku. Today I’d like to talk about one show in particular, Lucky Star. We’ll explore its interesting past, the cultural marks it left, and try to answer the question:  is this show still relevant? Continue reading “Is Lucky Star Still Relevant for the Modern Otaku? – A Quick Review & Discussion With The Anime Blogging Party”

The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 30 – An Anime I Wish Never Ended

Can You Believe it? This is the Final Post!

30-day-anime-challengeWe’ve reached the final day of the 30 day challenge. Can you believe how quickly these posts went by? Today I’ll be talking about an anime I wished never ended. Hope you’ll enjoy it! Continue reading “The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 30 – An Anime I Wish Never Ended”

The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 29 – An Anime I Wished Were Real

A Quirky Choice (Not Really Though)

30-day-anime-challengeOnly one more day left after today. These posts sure went by quickly! Today I’ll be telling you what anime I wish were real. This is a tricky one because a lot of anime worlds are, frankly, terrible. Let’s see what I picked! Continue reading “The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 29 – An Anime I Wished Were Real”