Travel Announcement

One Punch Man Saitama Flying

This is going to be a super quick post and mostly is just an announcement that in two weeks I am going to be heading off to Tokyo!

As you can guess, I’m super excited about this.

Now mostly I’m getting to go to Japan because someone I know has been over there the last few months for work and I’m visiting (not that it would take much to convince me to go to Japan). As a result I’ll pretty much be staying in Tokyo for the couple of weeks I am there other than the occasional day trip elsewhere.

Tokyo Tower - Sailor Moon Scenery

Still, I absolutely love Tokyo and I’m really determined to spend some time exploring it this visit and maybe visit some of the less touristy places when I’ve got the time to wander about.

What does it mean for the blog?

Well, I don’t really know. With the Winter season ending right before I leave I don’t know if I’ll start reviewing the Spring anime until I get back (unless the internet connection I end up with over there is better than I’m expecting in which case business as usual).

I’ll have some prepared posts that will go out but given how behind I’ve been in my normal posting, unlike previous trips away, I haven’t prepared daily posts in my absence.

I am hoping to update with some very cool photos of my trip while I’m away. Though that will depend on the internet again.

That said, I’m not letting it stress me. I’m really going to have fun on this trip and if I can’t maintain reviews while I’m away then I will catch up when I get back. Hopefully readers will understand and hopefully I’ll still be able to read blogs and post updates.

So that’s all from me and I’ve got two weeks to brush up on some basic Japanese, pack my bags, and then I’m off.

By the way, did I mention I’m super excited?!!!! (Yes, multiple exclamation points excited.)

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Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #10

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Well this question kind of comes about in response to a previous one. Hopefully you enjoy it and share your thoughts on it in the comments below. And a always, if you have something to ask me you can complete the survey below or by clicking here. I’d love to hear your question.

I’ve been rewatching Yama no Susume over the weekend and then I saw the Inquiring Minds question about OTP’s… And it occurs to me, why do we always talk about romantic partners? Let’s talk about true friends! The pairs or groups that will always be there together and for each other.

Derek

So I guess there are two parts to this question. Firstly why we’re all fixated on romantic partners and shipping characters rather than friendship, and secondly looking at characters that are true friends.

Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 2

I’m not really sure why, but maybe it is the whole fairy tale upbringing but the whole romantic falling in love and being with the one you love is kind of a standard of stories. As such, having characters fall in and out of love is kind of fascinating. That and it is always so adorable to watch. I’m just not sure I could see the same discussions about two characters becoming good friends and ‘will they – won’t they’ be friends forever debates raging. Okay, maybe as viewers we all just like speculating about a fictional character’s romantic prospects.

Run With The Wind Episode 14 Fireworks

So while I’m not sure why we are fixated on OTP’s and falling in love, I do know there are some fantastic examples of friendship that come through in anime. Recently, Run With The Wind has done an excellent job bringing ten guys together and making them feel like genuine friends over the course of its series and it has been nothing but pure joy watching them celebrate each other’s successes and supporting those who might be having a harder time.

Still, the pair that immediately came to mind when I read this question was Chito and Yuuri from Girls’ Last Tour. While I have read some posts that ship these two, I found their friendship to be an utterly believable one and one that really helped carry the anime (given these two were largely the only characters in it). Both were charming in their own way but the way their personalities bounced off the other really sold the show.

Girls' Last Tour Episode 7

You could completely believe that Yuuri would do whatever it took to defend Chito and she would work to get them out of any tight spots (even if her own lack of forward planning was what had gotten them into that spot in the first place). Where Chito would hesitate to act, Yuuri would take the plunge, leading to the pair making discoveries that might otherwise have passed them by. On the other hand you could count on Chito to keep Yuuri from diving into too much trouble and have the longer view of how they would survive and bring knowledge into the discussion. While the two might have had their share of disagreements, such as when Yuuri burnt one of Chito’s books, the two never stayed put out for long because they needed the other one.

School Live Episode 7

The other anime that immediately sprang to mind was School Live. For obvious reasons the girls had to rely on one another but I believe their friendship grew and was really genuinely portrayed throughout the anime. Yuki would not be alive without the support and love of those around her and I believe she knows that very well and each girl contributes something that is needed emotionally for their survival as well as their more practical skills.

Hopefully that kind of answers the question and I’d love to know what you all think so throw us a comment and let us all know.

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Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #9

Inquiring Minds Want To Know Feature Image

A rather intriguing question this week and one I am keen to get into. I’m also excited to know what other people think of this one. As always though, if you have a question you’d like me to tackle please feel free to complete the survey below or follow this link.

If you could reset your memory of two particular anime series — one that you don’t mind forgetting about forever and one that you want to re-watch again without prior knowledge — what would those two series be?

From Mei

Okay, let’s start with the one that I wouldn’t mind forgetting about forever… the thing here is I actually don’t mind having watched most things even if they are bad. That is because it gives me something against which to compare stuff that is only kind of okay and stuff that is actually good. So forgetting something terrible would just make me more critical of stuff that is actually kind of competent.

Still there’s a definite temptation to throw Hand Shakers into this one. I just couldn’t find anything to recommend about that anime and it was an incredible time suck that gave very little back. Diabolik Lovers would be another anime I’d like to just pretend I hadn’t given in to temptation and watched it.

However, anime I’d like to rewatch again without prior knowledge is actually a harder question. There’s quite a few that I’d love to experience again for the first time.

The one that immediately springs to mind is Natsume Yuujinchou. I love that anime and I’ve rewatched the earlier seasons a lot of times and it certainly doesn’t have diminishing returns as that lovely relaxing and calm feeling as well as the general cathartic nature of the anime really hits home each and every time. But the first watch was something special. Watching it was genuinely like experiencing falling in love and while the anime remains amazing after repeated viewings having that initial rush of emotions and that unexpected blossoming love would be amazing to re-experience.

Natsume Yuujinchou

The other anime I’d like to throw in here (though there are plenty of others) would be March Comes in Like a Lion. Meeting Rei for the first time and seeing his growth all over again and how he struggles, moves forward, falls back, is lifted up and helped by the sisters, finds his own feet and moves forward, to continue to struggle… there was just something really incredible about his character journey and while rewatching March Comes In Like a Lion was a great experience, seeing it the first time was almost overwhelming emotionally.

So those are my two picks for the second part of the question. But again, I’d love to know what my readers would choose so be sure to leave us a comment and if you have a question for me it is as simple as completing the survey below.

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Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want To Know – Send Me Your Questions

Well, we’ve gotten to that time again where the backlog of questions have been answered. If you would like to ask me something and have it answered on my blog, please send me your question by completing the survey. Thanks to the couple of people who sent me through questions last week, I will start writing answers again next week.

Questions can be on any topic, though I am primarily an anime blogger so questions about anime are kind of appreciated.

If you don’t want to do the survey you can DM me on Twitter and just let me know it is a question for Inquiring Minds.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed a question to this blog series. I’ve had a lot of fun trying to answer your questions and hopefully you enjoy reading my responses. Hopefully we’ll have some more questions for next week.

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Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #4

Inquiring Minds Want to Know Feature Image

Rise is back with another Netflix related question. I’m sure there are some mixed opinions out there on this one so I’d love to know your answer if you would like to leave a comment below. As always if you have something to ask you can send the question my way by filling in the simple survey at the end of the post or you can use this link to the inquiring minds survey.

How do you feel about Netflix producing their own anime verses a traditional ‘Japanese studio’ producing them?

Rise

I’m actually pretty indifferent about who produces anime or any kind of media really. My only real concern is whether it is entertaining and accessible. I was previously asked how I felt about Chinese co-productions and mostly again, while some of these have been terrible, I don’t dislike them just because they were co-produced. And some have actually been pretty good.

When it comes to Netflix, they definitely are making things accessible (even if they don’t stream weekly for the seasonal anime they get the rights to at this point in all countries – and they really, really should). But, when it comes to being entertaining, I’m guessing someone is entertained given how well Netflix is doing, but so far their anime has been, well, not to my taste.

Basically, of the Netflix anime (or one’s I think are Netflix) I’ve watched I really enjoyed Ajin and Kuromukuro. I found A.I.C.O disappointing but watchable and had a similar experience with Knights of Sidonia. However this year ID-0, B the Beginning, and a number of other titles just haven’t hit their mark for me. While they aren’t necessarily bad, they just aren’t what I’m interested in.

But, that doesn’t mean I want Netflix out of the industry. They are making anime more accessible to a wider western audience. What they are producing is entertaining some people. They are generally working with Japanese studios (as far as I am aware) in producing these anime which means there is money going back to the industry that might end up going towards other projects that I do enjoy. And that’s a fairly good thing.

I know some people don’t want to see anime go mainstream, but I think with the number of genres within anime, some being quite niche even within an already niche market, even if some anime ends up being mainstream, there will always be those smaller projects that hit the spot for those who want something a little bit different.

B the Beginning - Netflix anime

But, that’s just my opinion. As I said at the start, I’d love to know how the rest of you feel about this so please give us a comment below.

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Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #3

Inquiring Minds Want to Know Feature Image

Well, today we have a question that I’ve certainly been asked more than once by people in real life. As always if you have something to ask you can send the question my way by filling in the simple survey at the end of the post or you can use this link to the inquiring minds survey.

How much time do you dedicate to your blog on a daily basis?

Lynn

The facetious answer to this one would be ‘too much’. Certainly quite a few people would agree with that answer. The less dismissive answer but still non-specific one would be, ‘as much as I can’. I love my blog. I love talking with people online about anime. I would absolutely love to have this be my full time gig and I certainly am working toward that goal (though it is a long way off).

However, let’s give this on a serious answer.

Working on an average week day when I’m at work, I would say about three hours specifically on my blog. There might be additional time spent watching anime or just stuffing around on twitter, but actual time spent watching a specific part of an anime again, checking screen caps, drafting or editing posts, reading other blogs, checking the scheduled posts, etc… about three hours. Some days more some less.

Breaking that down I usually spend between 4:30am and 6:30am online and entirely focused on reading other blogs and commenting, drafting stuff, replying to comments, catching up on Twitter, and if I finish all that, maybe watching an episode of anime if there is time. Sometimes I wake up earlier, sometimes I get a little more sleep (though that is a rare event). My alarm goes off at 6:30 because that’s when I need to actually get ready for work. If I get ready quickly I sometimes get another fifteen to twenty minutes to do one final read of posts that come out (and a whole bunch usually come out at 7am so I try and do a quick read before I head out).

Work for me is very much a varying thing with very few days actually just being an eight hour day, ten hours is my average, and eleven and twelve hour days happening more often than I’d like (no one functions well after twelve hours of work so keeping us there does not lead to productive outcomes). I also do not connect to any of my accounts at all while I am at work. So however long I am at work Karandi is off-line – though through the miracle of scheduling that isn’t the biggest issue.

Whenever I finally get home I usually spend some time watching and drafting posts before dealing with dinner (unless I got home super late in which case I eat first). And sometime after dinner I’ll usually spend another block of time finishing up any watching, drafting, editing – maybe reading of other blogs and commenting. Some days I get more than three hours total, other days I am too tired to even consider writing something in the evening and end up just watching anime on the couch, or I have to go out because of some sort of social activity in town and don’t have time.

Weekends I try to do a lot of drafting of posts for later in the week so I have a bit of a buffer if things get super busy, but I also work over a lot of weekends. I do have a number of breaks where I’m off work and I tend to do a lot more hours online at that time.

However, no matter how much time I have for anime and blogging, I want more. I love it. Every minute of it (even when fighting with the editor over post layout). So I don’t feel like I’ve wasted even a second that I’ve spent working on my blog.

So now I’m curious. How long do my readers spend on their blogs on a daily basis?

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Karandi James
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TABI KAERU COLLECTIBLE FIGURES (SET OF 6 PIECES)

Inquiring Minds Want to Know 2019 #2

Inquiring Minds Want to Know Feature Image

Continuing the ‘Inquiring Minds’ series of posts for 2019 I’m taking on my second question for the year and this one is sure to divide opinions. As always if you have something to ask you can send the question my way by filling in the simple survey at the end of the post or you can use this link to the inquiring minds survey.

How do you feel about Netflix creating live action adaptations? Especially thoughts and feelings towards the new Cowboy Bebop live action?

Rise

I’ve covered a few live action adaptations on the blog previously, including the Netflix adaptations of Death Note and Bleach. I also looked at the live action Erased series that aired on Netflix. So clearly I don’t hate the idea of anime being made into live action given I keep giving it a go.

However, like with most adaptations, sequels, spin-offs, re-imaginings and other things, I end up wondering what the point of a lot of it is and why we can’t just be happy with the story as it was told and move on to telling a new story. Not that adaptations are new and even classic authors and the stories they told were frequently adaptations of earlier works, myths, fairy tales and other stories so to claim that I’m looking for something original would be pretty hypocritical. I think I’m just looking for a story told well, whether it is new or a retelling but if you are going to retell something I really think there should be some thought put into why and how.

Netflix, needless to say, has been pretty hit and miss in most of their work. Other than Stranger Things, I can’t say I’ve been a huge fan of a lot of their originals, their anime has very much not been really the sort of style or tone I like, and their movies are of incredibly varying quality. The same is true so far of their live action anime adaptations.

Death Note as an adaptation was terrible. There’s no real getting around that. As an individual movie, it was decidedly average (assuming you compare it to other thriller/horror stories and not every movie ever made). While I enjoyed aspects I felt it didn’t go far enough to make the story its own so it neither followed the source well enough for fans to be happy, nor cut itself free from the restrictions of the source to tell a good story.

Bleach I liked much more and felt they made some fairly good decisions about what to include and what to leave out and how much to adapt. Still, I’d strongly recommend the anime over the live action adaptation.

When it comes to Cowboy Bebop I’m just kind of shaking my head. Sure it is a popular commodity so people will watch it regardless, but the fans of Bebop are unlikely to be happy with any modifications to the story or tone so they are really just setting themselves up for a mountain of criticism. Maybe they are working on the theory that any publicity is good, but that seems fairly pointless. They might actually make a decent series. Bebop certainly has some great ideas behind it that could easily make a decent live action. But hampered by fan expectations and trying to please everyone by leaving in certain elements even if they don’t fit the new format will probably kill it.

Cowboy Bebop
Who knows how this will turn out?

That said, I still haven’t finished the anime series (I know, that’s almost a crime) so I don’t have a lot of personal investment in it. I’m just waiting for the Twitter tirades and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if people can just accept that even if this is a bad adaptation, it doesn’t take anything away from the original series. See, a bad adaptation doesn’t kill something. You can just not watch it.

Let’s be honest, love it or hate it, adaptations just keep on coming out and while the occasional one hits the right notes, most really are just compressed and sub-standard retellings of a story that was fine as it was. Still, I’ll probably keep watching them just hoping that eventually someone will figure out how to do it well because that will be something worth seeing.

Thanks again Rise for the great question and now I will turn it over to the readers. How do you feel about Netflix and their live action anime adaptations?

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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