In Case You Missed It 2019 #9

Another week and you will have noticed that I did slow down the posting this week to two a day. Given the current in real life situation I’m going to continue on this slower schedule for at least another week as it is giving me some time to regroup. That said, I’ve continued to have a great time finding some really cool posts out there and as always if you would like me to give a shout out to a post send me a link via my contact or DM me on Twitter and I’ll check it out.

Posts from the Community

Irina and Crow continue their coverage of The Promised Neverland with a discussion on Episode 7. It is a bit spoiler heavy if you haven’t watched the episode yet but for those watching the anime it is a fun post dissecting what we saw and speculating about where it might be going. Well worth reading for those watching the anime.

But in case that’s not enough of The Promised Neverland (and what is really enough), Lynn Sheridan has a great write up on Episode 8. Again, spoiler warning, but episode 8 was fantastic and there are some pretty solid review posts coming out about it.

Dominic over on Little Anime Blog has a review of Land of the Lustrous that is very nicely written. This one is light on spoilers and more describes the experience rather than specific events so if you are curious about whether Land of the Lustrous might be something you should watch this is a review for you to check out.

Anime Motivation (a site I’ve somehow never found before but am glad I stumbled upon last week) had a great post giving us 11 Educational Anime or at least 11 anime that can give you a new perspective even if they don’t necessarily teach something specifically. It was a really fun list to read and I found a few other articles on the site I’m going to have to go and read at some point. Anyway, if you missed this post, be sure to go and check it out as it is definitely fun reading.

Blogging Almost has an interesting discussion about the hook of Darker Than Black. This post does discuss the overall downturn of the series as season 2 gets underway but mostly it is about how the first episode draws you into the characters and the world. And by the way, if you haven’t watched Darker Than Black, you probably should.

Wooderon shares some thoughts on That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime and how Rimuru essentially being in easy mode makes for a less than compelling narrative. While some people will disagree, this is something that has been bothering me about the show for a fair while as there never does seem to be any tension or concern in any scenario making the anime feel a little lacking, despite being reasonable fun. Anyway, if you aren’t violently opposed to the idea of criticism of Slime this is an interesting post.

Xenodude has started covering School Live so if you’ve seen episode one and curious to see how someone who didn’t know what the twist was takes it, this post is a fun read. For those who’ve never seen it, unless you want to know the twist it is probably best to watch the episode first before checking out the post.

I kind of have to thank Irina for this one as she highlighted the blog in her blog discovery post, but I came across this post by Dirk about escapism in No Game No Life and it was such a fun read. It looks at the first episode and premise of No Game No Life and how it connects with an audience who may in fact be looking for an escape themselves. Really enjoyable read and well worth checking out.

One Punch Man Saitama Flying

Then because I was now following this blog, I had the pleasure of reading a comparison of the protagonists from One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 and while I haven’t finished even season one of Mob and One Punch Man was great for a once watch but I’m kind of done with it, I really enjoyed this post. It is nicely detailed, nicely written, and it is just interesting seeing how the author created characters who have superficial similarities but some fairly strong core differences.

Pick of the Week

Irina has to have it this week with her post of Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagann. Now Yoko is an awesome character and Irina’s post here does a great job of capturing the reasons why, describing particularly a scene toward the end of Gurren that really just showcases everything amazing about Yoko. Of course, if you haven’t seen the anime, there are spoilers here, but for everyone who has seen the anime, this is a post well worth reading so be sure to hop on over if you missed it last week.

And as much as I loved Irina’s post on Yoko, I do have to throw this one in as a pick of the week. The Nerdy Girl News shares some valuable tips on how to gain followers and get traffic for your anime blog. Be sure to read it as it is well worth the time and really helpful in explaining what they have done and how it has worked.

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Karandi James
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Cells At Work Episode 14 Review

Cells at Work Episode 14

Another episode of Cells at Work came out and if you were just craving more relaxing, slightly amusing and slightly educational entertainment, then this episode is going to hit the spot. It is however short on platelet and red blood cell sightings so if that’s your main reason for enjoying Cells at Work you might feel a bit let down.

Cells at Work Episode 14

Still, this episode focuses in on an ordinary cell that is going about it’s usual day of cloning itself and generally feeling the drag of repeating the same task every day. Then he meets another cell that is wearing quite a distinctive hat. For the audience it is clear where this is going and yet there’s something still genuinely amusing about the interactions between the two as they prank the immune cells – and this also leads to really the only interaction we get with the Red Blood Cell and Platelets so I guess we should be happy that they take advantage of her general cluelessness.

Cells at Work Episode 14

As usual, once the episode gets rolling and we’ve met our characters the shoe drops and we have our problem to solve. I don’t think this one was as violent or as bloody as some encounters have been and the focus on the Killer T Cells who seem more interesting in beating the cells up rather than defeating them is potentially the reason for it, but it all works well enough.

Cells at Work Episode 14

Then, of course, we get our feel good ending and a final Red Blood Cell sighting.

If this had aired with the rest of the series it would be a pretty average episode. As a stand alone it works well enough and you aren’t really required to know anything going in because all the cells are introduced within the episode. That said, it isn’t terribly exciting as a stand alone. It works. It isn’t as cute or thrilling as some. And then it is over.

Worth watching if you loved the series or maybe as an introduction but not a necessary add on.

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Karandi James
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Friday’s Feature – Fiction to Change the World

I’m pretty straight forward about being completely obsessed with stories. All my life I’ve been a reader and a viewer of stories. As a kid I read obsessively (thanks to all the friends who have saved me from walking into traffic while reading) and I loved going to the movies and playing computer games. Sometime in my early twenties (pretty much when internet access started getting much better than dial-up) a new outlet for that obsession was found in anime.

But this post isn’t actually about me. It’s about the nature of fiction and why experiencing narratives is so fundamentally important.

Narratives for Entertainment

Obviously reading and watching for pleasure involves entertainment and that is probably one of the main reasons people engage with stories. Right back to the days of people gathering around the fire to hear about how the earth was made or how man discovered fire. It gives you a break from the real and takes you somewhere else for a little while and can amuse you and invoke a whole range of emotions. However, this is just one facet of the experience.

Food
Food Wars – Fun, energetic, some basic messages about not-being a jerk, and overall entertaining (at least season 1 was).

Narratives as Educators

This should also be straight forward. Back to the gathering around the fire, people passed on their knowledge, their religion, their ideas through the stories they told. They also shared their values and ideologies through the characters who were made heroic and those that were made into villains. You could learn about what was dangerous, what was acceptable, what was known about something through a story.

You also gain a rich knowledge in general through reading stories. Random facts stick with you well after you finish the story. Stories set in real locations or dealing with real issues usually weave facts into the story to make it more believable. While you can’t take everything in a fiction story at face value (how much research was done and how much was made up is questionable), you do gain a fairly diverse range of knowledge about places, settings, and things.

Shion.png
Shion no Ou – Have to be honest that I knew nothing about Shogi going into this anime. Afterwards had to look up explanations not because the anime didn’t explain it, but because I wanted to confirm whether I’d understood it correctly.

Narratives as Community Builders

In addition to educating, narratives allow communities to form and to mesh. By having a shared story or understanding, people are able to understand one another better. It’s interesting as we see our world becoming increasingly small that we realise that a lot of the fundamental stories around the globe are very similar in nature and yet those small differences can become critical to understanding one another.

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Terror in Resonance – Dealing with issues old and new. While focussed on events in Japan the messages are universal.

Narratives to Develop Empathy

This is absolutely crucial. Over and over we hear that the current generation (whether it was X, Y, millenials) have no empathy and are self-absorbed. By experiencing things outside of their own life and connecting with characters, people can actually learn to empathise in a way that they might not just by interacting with people in the real world. A common trait of someone who does not have very much empathy is very little imagination. It actually takes imagination to consider how someone else might be feeling and imagination can be fuelled by exposure to narratives (not the only way to build imagination).

Genos
One Punch Man – Poor Genos just wanted to be a hero. He worked so hard and got so incredibly rolled by the plot.

Narratives to Break Barriers

Following on from the ability to develop empathy and imagination, narratives allow people to see beyond the concrete reality and think in ways that might allow new solutions or new possibilities to be formed. At the very least, when confronted with a problem, someone with a rich exposure to stories (or to real life experiences) will have a wealth of options whereas someone without that exposure will struggle to think of a way around the issue. So without experiencing everything yourself, experiencing stories is a good way to build up your repertoire of problem solving skills.

sakamoto
Sakamoto Desu Ga – Title character Sakamoto certainly shows that there are other ways of thinking about situations.

As we increasingly see reality TV shows and talk shows dominating, I think it is important that the importance of narratives and the role they serve is remembered.

What are your thoughts about stories and the role they play? Or, what’s your favourite medium for stories?