Found in Translation – A Discussion on Accessibility in Media

We’ve ALL Heard the Sub VS Dub Debate…

When it comes to anime, the conversation surrounding accessibility in the community is a weirdly contentious one. I don’t just mean the usual sub VS dub debate either, as the conversation goes well outside that but for several reasons, supposed “fans” of the medium are quick to dismiss these ideas all too often. The weird thing though, it’s not really an issue in live-action media. That’s why I’d like to take a moment to talk about two recent things I watched:  Amazon Prime’s Cinderella and Netflix’s Squid Game. What do these two experiences have in common when it comes to accessibility, and why anime licensors and distributors should be taking a page from their books? Well, you’ll have to read on to find that one out.

Continue reading “Found in Translation – A Discussion on Accessibility in Media”

Samurai Flamenco – Technically Perfect, Ultimately Lacking

Everything’s Here But…

While watching Samurai Flamenco I couldn’t help but notice the show shares a flaw with it’s prominent theme. The main character, Hazama, struggles with his sense of identity in his pursuit of justice. In the same way, the show struggles to tow the line between genre parody and its more serious narrative elements. So would I recommend this one? Yeah, but it comes with a pretty big caveat. Let me explain. Continue reading “Samurai Flamenco – Technically Perfect, Ultimately Lacking”

A Look Back at ‘Bebe’s Kids’ – Back When Animated Movies Tried to be Hip

Bébé's Kids (1992) - IMDb

Bebe’s Kids is not the most popular (or well-regarded) movie that has come out in the 90s, but it came at a time when rap and hip/hop were trending on the radio, black comedians were becoming box-office attractors, and animation was starting to be seen as more for adults than children. Though, at first glance, you might think that this try-to-be-hip animated comedy was made for kids, with its simplistic hand-drawn style, edgy attitude, and juvenile humor. In reality, it was based around one simple stand-up act by late comedian Robin Harris. I didn’t know who Robin Harris was before I found out about Bebe’s Kids, but his most famous routine was about the titular kids and how they would annoy them on a date he would go on with his girlfriend. Apparently, the skits were so popular, that Paramount saw potential to make a movie based around that routine. The movie, however, did not do well, critically, or financially.

Continue reading “A Look Back at ‘Bebe’s Kids’ – Back When Animated Movies Tried to be Hip”

‘Cruella’ Film Review

Cruella (2021) - IMDb

As of late, villain origin stories have been on the rise, giving us a chance to sympathize with characters known for nothing more than being truly evil. Films like Disney’s Maleficent and DC’s Joker have shown us that these natural born monsters are just broken beings who have been pushed past the edge to the point where acts of cruelty are their way to get back at the injustices and/or tragedies placed upon them. If done right, these backstories can be compelling and may help us appreciate or hate them more. Cruella de Vil is the latest baddie to get an origin. The real question is: Why? There are so many other Disney villains out there with more tragic backstories that deserve to be told; Scar from The Lion King or Ursula from The Little Mermaid have compelling reasons to be who they are rather than being just pure evil, while Cruella is known mainly for wanting to skin dalmatians to use them as fur coats. What is to humanize about that? Maybe if we looked into her past, there could be an excuse for this sort of sympathy.

Continue reading “‘Cruella’ Film Review”

Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop – Review in Haiku (Sort of)

I Made Another Video!

Today’s video covers the recent Netflix film, Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop. Originally, I wrote a series of Haiku upon watching the film that summarized the events and gave some slight impressions, but I expanded that into a full video. That’s not all though! I challenge you, especially if you are a #TheJCo member, to introduce a piece of media you enjoy using only Haiku (the rest can be a normal review/discussion). With that, here’s the video:

If you enjoyed this, please give me a like and subscribe. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the film and video as well, either here or on the video’s page itself. Thanks for watching and see you next time!


Image result for patreon button

#Anitwitwatches Season 14 – RahXephon & Announcement

Welcome to the Fourteenth #Anitwitwatches!

It’s pretty safe to say that Astra Lost in Space, the 13th season of the #Anitwitwatches project was one of the most successful watches we’ve had since the project started! Everyone seemed to have an absolute blast and I appreciate everyone who participated in that one. However, it’s now time to say goodbye and welcome in our season 14 winner:  RahXephon.

Below you’ll find information on what the watch is as well as the schedule for the fourteenth 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.

RahXephon Schedule

We will only be taking our usual one week break for this one, so meet back at the end of August to get started. Be sure to save the schedule so you can stay up to date with all the conversation.

If you have not done so, you can see where you can watch RahXephon for free, and legally, by using reelgood.com. 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 11 weeks long. Note some weeks are three episode weeks, so feel free to spread out your watching or do some early viewing and post your discussion notes later. I hope you’re excited to watch this one and I look forward to all the excellent discussion!

A Look Back On ‘Team America: World Police’ – The Most Offensive (and American) Puppet Movie Ever Made

Team America: World Police (2004) - IMDb

Back in 2004, a film called Team America: World Police was released from the creators of the popular (and still running) animated show, South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Much like the show, Team America made it a goal to attack everyone and everything, from celebrities to politics, and how we, as Americans, handle the issues going on in the world. Instead of crappy cut-out style animation, Parker and Stone did the entire movie with marionette puppets. How it even got made and backed by any studio is beyond me, but I am glad it even exists in the first place.

Continue reading “A Look Back On ‘Team America: World Police’ – The Most Offensive (and American) Puppet Movie Ever Made”

Mini Motorways – Creating Spaghetti City

A Great Sequel!

There’s this great little real time puzzler game called Mini Metro that you may have heard of before. Well, a few years later and a sequel was produced. This time, instead of managing metro lines, you are tasked with creating intricate (read spaghetti) roadways as cars try to reach their destinations as efficiently as possible. It may sound simple, but it’s one challenging game! As a sequel, it takes the gameplay loop I already loved from Metro and makes it even more compelling, but there are some things that could still be better. Continue reading “Mini Motorways – Creating Spaghetti City”