October Review Fest

It’s Back!

Only this time instead of just one week of Halloween posts, you are going to get a whole month! Each of the MWF posts for the entire month of October will be Halloween themed. Not only that, but each week will have it’s own theme as well! Here’s how it’s going to work.

The rules for this are as follows:

  • Anything covered must be spooky or related to Halloween in some way.
  • If monsters/ghosts are an integral part of something, it counts.
  • Gore stuff counts too just so I don’t limit myself too much.

That’s all there is for rules so let’s look at the lineup:

  • Week One:  Laika week – Looking at two stop-motion films from Laika Studios.
  • Week Two:  Fun & Games – A look at board & video games perfect for Halloween.
  • Week Three:  Higurashi Week – A review of seasons 1-3 of Higurashi.
  • Week Four:  Obscure Week – A look at three lesser known anime titles.
  • Week Five:  Wrap up post, not much here because October ends on a Tuesday.

I hope you all look forward to the event! I may produce some bonus content as well so keep your eyes peeled. Jacob and Frank will have posts during the month too but what they have planned is a surprise, even to me!

Want to check out the Halloween week posts I did way back in 2015? This’ll give you an example of the kind of stuff I’ll be looking at if the above isn’t hint enough. Here they are for your viewing pleasure:

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Anime ABC’s I Results

Guys, Another Tie?

I think we need to have an intervention. We had a great number of votes, just shy of the all-time record of 27 unique votes at 22 votes, but still we ended up with a tie. I’m going to have to come in again and arbitrarily decide what show is the winner. I would just use gladiatorial combat like last time but my lawyers have since advised against that after all the medical expenses I had to foot (not to mention the restraining order).

The two anime that managed to get the most votes, 9 in total each, were I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying/Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken and Irresponsible Captain Tylor, The. So which show will win? First let me set the mood correctly with this video:

I’m kidding of course, finding out the answer is always really exciting. You would understand why this was anti-climatic if you knew my dirty secret. I actually messed up when I created this voting round. I know what you all are thinking, “Impossible! You would NEVER do that. Simply unthinkable!” and to that I would agree 100%. However, this one time I did manage to screw up a bit.

Normally, when I set this up I pick all the shows that I have on my watch list, own, or think would be interesting to review here. Obviously, I can’t always include every title (because that is just too many options) sometimes a show is out of print or is so obscure literally nobody would care about it. It’s strictly for practical reasons and a bit of the behind-the-scenes magic. However, this time I included Irresponsible Captain Tylor, The which is a show I absolutely want to watch. What I didn’t realize, is that I can’t stream the show like I thought I could.

There is, what seems to be, a spin-off series on Crunchyroll but that’s it. I really should have checked to be sure. Still, this wouldn’t even be an issue since I could purchase the series from Rightstuf. Here’s the rub though, I don’t have a job and I make basically no money. So from the start, I was going to have to disqualify this show if it ended up winning.

Fortunately, there really wasn’t a negative consequence this time but I do want to issue a formal apology about that because this is a community event. Without you having taken the time to vote, this series would not exist. Your opinion matters to me and I really do want to go with the option that most people voted for. I will do my best to ensure that this does not ever happen again in a future round.

That’s why the winner is I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying/Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken. Since this is pretty short I should be able to watch and review this pretty quickly so expect to see the review hit sooner rather than later. I’ve got a little something special planned for October so this will NOT release on a MWF, but instead on a Thursday at the usual time.

Ok, real talk for a minute. You remember when I talked about my basically no money? Yeah, me neither because honestly who read all that garbage any way, I mean you just want to know who won right? Well if you were a weirdo who did bother reading this whole thing please consider supporting me on Patreon. Every dollar helps a lot and it does add up. I’ve noticed people looking, but not many people are willing to take the dive. Not only do you get to feel good for helping, but there are some benefits that you get too.

I’ll be releasing a special Patron only post on 10/7/17 at the usual time that will never be made publicly available to non-patrons. It’s an article series that explores my unfinished drafts. It’s a lot more interesting than you might think since I talk about why I started writing each piece, the reason I stopped, and you get to read the whole draft out unedited. The first one is about Black Mirror and was a post that, at one point, was over 10,000 words. I ended up cutting it down before scrapping it but the point is that these aren’t just some lazy posts.

Additionally, each reward tier offers its own little bonus. If you’d like to help me out or just get more information in general please click the button below. Seriously, I really appreciate it and hopefully you took the time to read this and check it out despite my silly jabs earlier.

Patreon

As always, here are the results in full detail for your viewing pleasure:

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Other votes:  Ikoku Meiro no Croisée, Invader! Squid Girl, Isshūkan Friends, Isekai Shokudō, Infinite Stratos, One Week Friends/Isshuukan Friends, & Itazura na Kiss/Naughty Kiss

Jon Spencer Reviews 2 Year Anniversary

Thank You!

It’s been two whole years already for Jon Spencer Reviews! A big thanks to everybody who has helped make the site so wonderful from contributors, to Patreon supporters, and readers just like you. A lot of has happened since the blog started up so let’s take a brief trip down the blog’s history.

I originally started this blog as a way for me to talk about stuff I liked across my various hobbies from anime to board games, and more. I also waned a way to highlight other content creators who I thought were producing great content. So back in September 2015 while I was still in University I took the plunge.

My very first article was actually a series focused on the 2003 anime Last Exile and the follow up Fam, the Silver Wing. I’ve particularly enjoyed Gonzo anime like these two titles and since I had watched both titles near the time when I started this up I thought this was the ideal place to start talking about stuff. The first article was just a straight review of Last Exile which is probably overly detailed and long. Though I still think it reflects my thoughts on the series today rather well. I followed this up with a two part review and discussion on season two with a review of Spirited Away in-between.

Since then the blog has evolved and morphed. I brought on contributors like Jacob, and more recently, Frank. Which has allowed for an increase in content as well as variety. I really appreciate the hard work of everyone who has helped here at the site. It means a lot!

Back when I started, posting was fairly sporadic but since I’ve graduated University now I’ve moved to a regular MWF posting schedule. There has been a lot of great content that has come out of this move. You can really see the evolution in my writing from my previous works. I love experimenting with formats and ideas, so you get to see these both major and minor changes even today.

In this year I’m most proud of a few articles that I think you should check out. I’ll list, link, and briefly explain why for the articles below. I hope you’ll take a look if you haven’t read them before already.

  • The first article on the list is my look at Rampo Kitan and a collection of short stories written by Edogawa Rampo. Not only is this a review of an anime but a look at a piece of literature. The first time I’ve ever done that here. This article is far too long and just packed with information but I spent nearly three months writing it between other articles. Now that’s dedication!
  • What started out as a joke, turned into a brief article series that hasn’t proved very popular here at Jon Spencer Reviews. Regardless, I had a blast writing these pieces and would like to do more in the future. I’m talking about my fiction writing “Spam Saga” series of course. I wrote three chapters which you can check out here:  Chapter 1, chapter 2, and chapter 3.
  • When the blog first started out I was actually a bigger board game enthusiast than anime fan. Crazy to think since I primarily cover anime. This isn’t too big a surprise as each member of Jon Spencer Reviews has largely settled into their own topic, only to venture out of it on occasion. However, I still love board games and have wanted to get back into talking about them on occasion. I took a step in that direction again with my look at Skull.

There have been many more noteworthy articles from the past year, but I simply couldn’t list them all! Fortunately I took the time about a month ago to reorganize the site and every article I’ve ever written ever can be found listed by clicking the header of any category on the main page. Take some time to see what I have, you may just find a gem.

Due to the fact that I haven’t been able to find work yet (even though I have put in a few applications, here’s hoping!) I finally decided to create a Patreon for the site. Supporting it helps me and everybody who contributes majorly to the site. I wrote about that already so just click the button below for more details.

Patreon

Around this time I was given some assistance with new artwork and design stuff for the site thanks to fan DaBoogie who I have already thanked numerous times but I really can’t thank him enough for his help. It’s really spruced things up if you ask me, and the reception from others has been positive as well.

I’ve also made a lot of great blogging friends. So here’s the part where I tell you about some people you should check out. Everybody listed here has been a huge supporter of mine, active reader and commenter, or somebody I just think really deserves some more attention for one reason or another. Sorry if I missed anybody in advance and people are listed in no particular order.

Here’s to another wonderful year with the site and even more great content and adventures to come! Hope you are all having a wonderful day and can’t wait to see you back here at the site again soon. 🙂

Enjoy This Joke – AKA The Backup Plan

I Wasn’t Feeling Well Yesterday

Originally today’s post was supposed to be about Usagi Drop, Barakamon, and Sweetness & Lightning, but I just couldn’t focus much on writing. I want to do justice to this article so it’s pushed back until Friday. I would have had it done in advance last week, but the Holiday weekend threw my scheduling off a bit and life happened. So instead, enjoy this story that is also a joke. Little update at the end too. Continue reading “Enjoy This Joke – AKA The Backup Plan”

Progress Report – 2 Weeks into a Schedule

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We’ve Certainly Been Busy!

I wanted to take a moment to talk about the recent changes made here at Jon Spencer Reviews. If you follow me on Twitter (@JS_Reviews), then you may have heard that I switched to a regular posting schedule. We are two weeks into that now, but some of you may be wondering what changed.

The first change is the switch to a posting schedule. Previously, I had a no-schedule approach but now that I’m done with University and have some plans for the site moving forward, a schedule makes sense. Main posts will now be put up on the site Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11AM PST. Content may still occasionally come out Tuesday, Thursday, or over the weekend from me as it has during these two weeks.

Additionally, we’ve gained a new contributor, Frank! He will have weekly postings every Tuesday which have already started. If you haven’t already, go and say hi! He’ll be doing some music reviews (and sometimes other things). I think you may just be pleasantly surprised.

Jacob will still be doing film reviews but his posting schedule is NOT fixed like Frank’s or for myself. Since Jacob covers a lot of films that are in theatres, it just isn’t practical to place restrictions on when his content can go up. He is also planning to possibly cover less recent films as well, but again, those will be posted when he sees fit.

I hope you all have been enjoying my increased activity here and on the various social media platforms. This should continue moving forward for the foreseeable future. With that said, let’s briefly discuss what else is new.

Some of you may have noticed that I updated the site some. I created a new “Film” menu for the site header. Additionally, I am now using a new and improved version of the theme I had been using earlier. This means that some stuff should look cleaner on the main page and when viewing.

A major change you should have already noticed is the site’s new banner for social media accounts. It was created by follower DaBoogie (check out his blog here). I greatly appreciate it! The new banner is so much better than the boring and plain grey triangle thing I was using before. I’ve been playing with a way to add it to the site as well, so hopefully that works out. I’ll be using it a lot for promotional material and a few other things, like these updates.

One change you should notice pretty quick is that the author now has a little bio that appears at the end of each article. There was some confusion about the fact that I have multiple authors on here and I want their work to be credited to them, not myself.

Next week’s articles are all scheduled, except for Friday’s, which still needs a bit of work. I hope you’ll be ready for everything I’ve got planned! That’s it for me, see you back here again soon!

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. -Benjamin Franklin

Anime ABC’s H Results

The Best Turn Out Yet!

Wow! We’ve had a big surge in interaction on the site lately and the voting for this round of Anime ABC’s was no exception. We had a total of 25 votes cast this go around, smashing the previous record of 14. Thanks for helping this series get even bigger! This round’s winner is…

A tie?!? AGAIN?!?

This time we had a tie between Hunter x Hunter (2011) and crowd favorite Hai to Gensou no Grimgar. I’ll be deciding this tie with a battle to the death! Ready challengers? Begin!

Grimgar gingerly steps into the arena but is welcomed by a thunderous applause from the crowd! Hunter x Hunter strides confidently into the arena and is met with almost equal fervor. Tension is high in the air until Hunter x Hunter makes the opening move. Dashing toward Grimgar, Hunter x Hunter lands in early strike but things are just getting started folks!

Grimgar stagers but quickly realizes that this is a life-or-death struggle and manages to gather itself. However, Grimgar isn’t quite fast enough to land any of its next few attacks with its dagger. Thinking quickly, Grimgar switches tactics to archery. Hunter x Hunter continues to dash in and out with frightening ability, landing hit after hit. Grimgar just isn’t giving up though! Firing a mad volley of arrows, Grimgar manages to cripple Hunter x Hunter with a critical strike to the leg! Now on more equal footing, the true fight begins!

Both sides are starting to feel a bit tired but continue to exchange physical and verbal blows. “Your recap episodes are stupid!” Grimgar shouts at Hunter x Hunter as it jabs its dagger into Hunter x Hunter’s side. “Oh yeah, well at least I’m higher rated on MAL!” Hunter x Hunter retorts, spitting some blood from its mouth. It’s nearly over.

Taking advantage of the primal struggle, Grimgar emerges victorious as it plows its dagger one last time into Hunter x Hunter. The crowd explodes as the announcer relays, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new champion tonight-Grimgar!

I don’t really know why I did that, hopefully you though it was kind of silly or amusing. Thought it was a bit more fun than just saying, “Grimgar wins.” I’d be a real dummy not to pick that one given I gave the tie breaker to Gunslinger Girl last time.

This will take me a little bit to get to. I need to rewatch Grimgar and take specific notes about certain events in the show that I want to talk about. In the meantime, look forward to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday release schedule as well as my new contributor Frank’s Tuesday music review releases. Of course, check out the backlog of ABC reviews if you haven’t already or consider looking around at the other reviews and discussions we’ve done here at Jon Spencer Reviews.

Like always, here is an in-depth look at how the votes turned out:

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Other:  Hyoka & Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan/ Hakuouki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom 

I also asked a few other questions for my benefit, but I thought I’d share the most interesting result with you here. This graph displays how many time people have participated in voting for Anime ABC’s during each of the 8 times thus far. Unsurprisingly, we had a lot of new people and a fair amount of constant voters. The middle groups were about as expected. This is how we want to see this graph looking 🙂

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Anime ABC’s G Results

Drum Roll Please… A Tie!

The two contenders coming in with 5 votes a piece are Gunslinger Girl and Grimgar. Having a total of 13 voters this go around, the results were pretty varied. However, these two managed to be the front runners for the entire voting period! Each one would attempt to overtake the other, but in the end it all comes down to me. The deciding vote, for all the marbles, and the winner is?

Gunslinger Girl!

For those wondering, this title wins out since Grimgar’s Japanese title starts with an “h” and will have a second shot in the next round. Plus, I was secretly hoping Gunslinger Girl would win :p

Any way, great job guys! We managed to bring the vote up to 13 from last time’s 9. I’d obviously love to have even more people vote, but I’m glad that 13 people took the time to vote this time. Let’s aim to do even better in future rounds! Thanks again for voting 🙂

I’ve got things in the works outside of this so expect to see some content from me very soon. You all would have seen something a bit sooner but WordPress and my internet haven’t exactly been playing along T.T One article should be coming fairly soon after this one and of course we’ll have whatever Jacob cooks up. Past that, I aim to have Gunslinger Girl watched and reviewed by the end of the month. In addition to this, I’m reading a book for another article that is in the works and hope that you’ll enjoy it once its ready!

While you wait consider checking out my previous ABC article on Flowers of Evil. A lot of effort went into that review and I tried something a bit different by focusing specifically on how its story is told through music. I’d love to hear what you all think, so stop by if you have the chance.

Of course, feel free to view the results of this voting round in full below.

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Other results:  Ghost Stories & Gourmet Girl Graffiti

 

 

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!”

A Quick Update (4/4/17)

Hello Everybody

A quick update for you all about my state of affairs. I’ve just entered my final term of University this week and have unfortunately discovered that this final stretch of schooling is going to be unfathomably busy for me. In short, I’m not going to be posting much over the course of the next 3 months.

I’ll still be around of course but don’t expect the level of activity I’ve been managing of late. Articles will be published by me during this 3 month period of low activity, just far more sparse than I would otherwise enjoy. With that being said, let me tell you what I do have planned for this month at least.

Later this week I’ll be putting up my ABC review of Flowers of Evil which will certainly be interesting. I have really loved doing these ABC reviews and I hope you have been enjoying them as well. Additionally, I’ll be seeing Your Name on Friday and will do a write up of some kind after I see it.

For the remainder of the month I will likely not tackle much else but expect to see Jacob (the guy who does most of the film reviews on here) post from time to time. I may put up another voting round for the G round of ABC’s that would be open for an extended period of time.

Wish me luck on my journey to complete my degree.

-Jon Spencer

Anime ABC’s F Results

 

 

This One Was a Real Nail Bitter Folks

FLCL and Flowers of Evil were going back and forth throughout the voting period. For awhile it looked like FLCL was going to win, but suddenly near the end of the voting period, the two titles were all tied up and it was anyone’s game. In the event of a tie, I would choose between the two based on various criteria (a very secret process that involves my personal preferences) but this was not how this round turned out. In the hours of twilight, a victor emerged with a total of 6 whole votes:  Flowers of Evil.

Man it would have been funny if some other random title dethroned the two front runners but that’s not how this one turned out. I’m actually glad Flowers of Evil managed the victory because I haven’t seen this anime yet while I have seen FLCL already. I’m excited to be watching this one and have been in the mood for something pretty dark, which Flowers of Evil seems to promise.

We had a very small voter turn out this time around with a total of 9 unique voters, but given when I put this up and wanting it closed out by the start of my Spring Vacation, this is not at all a surprise or really all that low. If anything, it is more surprising that FLCL and Flowers of Evil were voted for with as much fervor as they were. I expected Brotherhood to be more of a contender, but am pleased with how things turned out.

I’ll be busy with the Ghost in the Shell live-action film later this week and Your Name the week after, so I may not get to finishing this anime over the break as I had originally intended. The series is only 12 episodes so it shouldn’t be too far out by time I finish this one. I’d like to not take over a month like last time with Erased :p

As always, below you’ll find a breakdown of the votes. I’m looking forward to this review, and I hope you are too!

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Other title voted for:  Flag