Saying Goodbye to Amazon Prime with 3 Anime Mini Reviews – Re:Creators, Irozuku: The World in Colors, & Yuki Yuna is a Hero Season 2

Was Nice Having you Amazon Prime

I got a lot of use out of the couple of years I was able to afford having Amazon Prime. However, I’m practically out of money so this is one of the things I have to let go of this year (along with a lot of other things). Anyway, since I officially lost the service today, I thought we’d look back at a few shows I quickly watched before the service ran out on me. I ended up having time for 3 shows which are:  Re:CreatorsIrozuku: The World in Colors, and Yuki Yuna is a Hero season 2.

These shows were chosen because they were Amazon exclusive, things that I wanted to, or in some cases, already started watching, or had some buzz about them. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time for Banana Fish but it is what it is. I’ll be reviewing the three shows I did manage to get around to just like I would normally for Mini Reviews. Enjoy! Continue reading “Saying Goodbye to Amazon Prime with 3 Anime Mini Reviews – Re:Creators, Irozuku: The World in Colors, & Yuki Yuna is a Hero Season 2”

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Violet Evergarden & Special – A Letter From the Heart

Dear Reader,

I’m sure you came here expecting a review of Violet Evergarden and a recommendation as to whether or not you should watch it. In a way I suppose this will likely do that but today’s piece is more personal. It’s a letter to you, the community, and to myself. I’m not writing it as Jon Spencer, but rather as the man behind the persona, Nathan Mehlhorn.

As many of you know I have several conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and Autism. It’s not something I really keep secret. However, what you probably do not know is I don’t communicate very well with people. This, of course, is not always the case as with anyone but in person I’m not exactly an expert conversationalist. Surprised? I’ve always been much better at communicating through writing, though my spelling limits my vocabulary and I’m prone to more errors, it is generally more concise and easier to follow.

This is not so unusual for people in my position. I don’t have to track a conversation, focus on eye contact, or follow typical social conventions on the computer. I have time to process responses and am afforded ample time to think of phrasing to reply in turn. In short, writing, as a medium, is generally an easier forum of communication for me.

Hence why we are talking about Violet Evergarden today. This series is about three major things. The first of which is war, which I can relate to in that my Father was in the military but is not what I’d like to focus on today. As for the other two things, they would be about Violet wishing to learn what, “I love you” means and letter writings. Specifically, how sometimes it is easier to say things in writing than aloud.

In short, this is about the power of words.

Violet Evergarden is not unique in this exploration however. So you may be wondering why the focus on this show specifically? To which I would applaud you. That’s an excellent question. In truth, this could easily be about The Great Passage which explores similar themes through its story about creating a dictionary. Partially, I chose this series because it’s popular and more accessible. However, Violet Evergarden has one thing other shows do not, and that’s Violet herself.

A complaint often leveled at Violet Evergarden is that Violet is too robotic, she’s not quite, well, human enough for people. What an insult to people like myself. Allow me to explain. At the start of the series Violet is very much like an autistic person, she has poor communication skills. While she is excellent at conveying information and typing, she doesn’t understand people. Her quest for understanding what, “I love you” means is really a means for her to connect with others.

When I was younger, I was very similar to Violet. I just didn’t get people. I still don’t always. I’d take orders, relay information, etc… This made me an excellent student, I was smart and capable in that respect, but when it came to people not so much. I’d often misunderstand sarcasm, hidden intent behind words, and things that for many people are relatively obvious.

Seeing Violet’s journey through the series is one that I can relate to personally. Not because I have a tragic war story background but because the growth of her character is so similar to my own.

There is another thing I realized with Violet Evergarden though. My highest rated shows do one of three things well. The first being that they are technically impressive, the next being they are intellectually stimulating, and the third being they are emotionally resonate with me. Especially sad things.

You might be thinking, “So what?” because this in itself isn’t that uncommon. The focus is on the emotionally resonate stuff. I don’t experience emotions the same way as other people. I can become upset, frustrated, depressed, just like anybody else, but truly feeling something is pretty rare.

This is a lot harder to explain so let me do my best here. For a long time I wouldn’t even be phased by somebody dying, just as an example. I still don’t really because it is totally normal, it happens, just a natural phenomenon. Most people think that’s weird. I should be sad, right?

Well when it comes to anime, I feel these things really strongly. Not in every show, but things like Anohana, which I’ve mentioned, hit me so hard I can barely stand a rewatch. I seek these strong feelings out in media. Not just negative ones, but positive ones too.

Anime has been a blessing in that regard. It has helped me understand people a lot better. That’s the true value of something like Violet Evergarden and why I think it is such a wonderful show. The power of communication comes through so strongly and learning how and why people feel the things they do is invaluable to me, and others.

After watching the special episode for the series the other day I was overcome with an urge to write this letter to you. Maybe this was all a big rambling mess and you didn’t really get anything out of it, but I hope you did. Perhaps, you’ll look at anime a bit differently the next time you sit down to watch it even?

Works like these are transformative and important. I truly wish to experience many more shows that pack such a weight like Violet Evergarden does for me. If you haven’t already please give this wonderful series a watch with an open mind and heart.

Sincerely,

-JS

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?”

The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 25 – The Saddest Anime Death

Double Whammy (Obvious Spoilers)

30-day-anime-challengeThe schedule is included in case you need/want it. I shouldn’t have to say it, especially again, but obvious spoilers in this post. Today’s topic is about the saddest death in anime and naturally that sort of thing tends to be a pretty big plot point in most shows. I’ll be talking about Clannad today so do whatever works for you. Last chance to leave if you want, otherwise let’s get right into it. Continue reading “The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 25 – The Saddest Anime Death”

The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 12 – Saddest Scene in Anime

We Found You! (Obvious Spoilers)

30-day-anime-challengeAs always, here’s a quick reminder of the schedule before we get into things for today. This is the twelfth day and I’ll be covering the saddest scene in anime for me. This one is a bit different than what day 25 will bring because I won’t be talking about a character dying. At least not in the traditional sense. Continue reading “The 30 Day Anime Challenge Day 12 – Saddest Scene in Anime”

Viewing Anime Alone & With Others – How do You Watch Anime?

I Got to Thinking…

When I sit down to watch some anime I often do it alone. However, as you may know, I still manage to see quite a bit of anime either with family or friends. For series like Anime ABC’s I usually end up watching the show in a group (especially if it’s one I’ve seen before) and the experience is often vastly different than when I watched the series alone. Today I ponder the differences in viewing anime alone VS with others and pose the question to you:  how do you view anime? Continue reading “Viewing Anime Alone & With Others – How do You Watch Anime?”

Taking a Look at my Desktop Backgrounds

Doing Something a bit Different

Today I felt like talking about my desktop backgrounds and my thought process behind how and why I choose the ones I have. This article is a good way to get to know me some more and an opportunity for folks to share some cool images with each other. This isn’t really meant to be in-depth or anything, just for fun. I know this is something fairly atypical of me but I hope you’ll indulge me a bit and enjoy 🙂  Continue reading “Taking a Look at my Desktop Backgrounds”

Anime ABC’s – I Voting Round

It’s That Time Again!

After a record breaking amount of votes for the previous round, I’m excited to see how many votes we can muster this time for the I round. Please remember to encourage people to vote by sharing this article or the link to the survey; it’s a real help!

Anime ABC I Voting Round [Link] <- Click Me!

Voting will be open from today until 8/29/17 at 11:59PM PST.

Again, thanks so much for your contributions on this series. I couldn’t do this one without all of you! I hope we can continue to grow the series and our community with each new round as well. As always, thanks for voting!

Not Sure What Anime ABC’s Is?

Anime ABC’s is a fun community focused event that I run here at Jon Spencer Reviews. Any and all people can participate in this event, even if you know nothing about anime! So how exactly does this all work? It’s simple! Just follow the link above and vote for as many of the listed shows (or provide your own) that seem interesting to you. Each round moves to the next letter in the alphabet, so the current “I” round is the ninth anime ABC’s. This is done to keep things interesting and to allow for more variety with each passing round.

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, The Devil is a Part-Timer, Erased, Flowers of Evil, Gunslinger Girl (S1-2 + OVA’s)or Hai to Gensou no Grimgar by clicking either of their respective titles for examples of what the end result looks like.

So what are you waiting for? Vote now and be sure to come back next week to see which show ended up winning this round.

Anime ABC’s – H Voting Round

Can You Believe it? Round Eight Already?!?

This article series has been a real blast! Let’s keep up the fun with our eighth voting round to determine what anime I’ll be viewing and reviewing next. Please remember to encourage people to vote by sharing this article or the link to the survey; it’s a real help!

Anime ABC G Voting Round [Link] <- Click Me!

Voting will be open from today until 8/9/17 at 11:59PM PST.

Again, thanks so much for your contributions on this series. I couldn’t do this one without all of you! I hope we can continue to grow the series and our community with each new round as well. As always, thanks for voting!

Not Sure What Anime ABC’s Is?

Anime ABC’s is a fun community focused event that I run here at Jon Spencer Reviews. Any and all people can participate in this event, even if you know nothing about anime! So how exactly does this all work? It’s simple! Just follow the link above and vote for as many of the listed shows (or provide your own) that seem interesting to you. Each round moves to the next letter in the alphabet, so the current “H” round is the eighth anime ABC’s. This is done to keep things interesting and to allow for more variety with each passing round.

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, The Devil is a Part-Timer, Erased, Flowers of Evil, or Gunslinger Girl (S1-2 + OVA’s) by clicking either of their respective titles for examples of what the end result looks like.

So what are you waiting for? Vote now and be sure to come back next week to see which show ended up winning this round.

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”