You Too Can Learn to Stand Like a Rock Singer!

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Romantic Teen Angst

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Kimi Ni Todoke (From Me to You)

I finally got around to watching Kimi ni todoke recently. It has been a well liked series by both of my boys and I can see why it’s a very well done show (albeit a bit “angst-y” as my older son puts it).

Based on the ongoing manga, it follows Sawako Kuronuma. Sawako is a socially awkward high school student who was dubbed “Sadako” for her resemblance to the main character in the Japanese  horror film “The Ring” (because of this people falsely attribute supernatural abilities to her). Sawako is socially isolated and has no friends. This changes as one of the more popular boys (and someone Sawako admires),Kazehaya, starts talking to her at school. And through the year Sawko starts to gain new friendships (something she’s never had) and her feelings for Kazehaya deepens.

This show is strongest in it’s characters. Sawako is a hilariously awkward character. She takes everything thing people say seriously and to heart. While this can be viewed as a good trait to have, it can also prove problematic for her (misunderstandings abound). And her facial expressions are priceless.

Sawako develops two good friendships with her classmates: Ayane Yano and Chizuru Yoshida. These two are great. They are who’d you would want in your corner. They are loyal and great friends to Sawako, supporting her and helping her grow.

Kazehaya and the rest of the supporting characters are wonderfully written and enjoyable to watch. It is the care in which in the relationships between the characters are treated that makes this a fun show to watch (although it does get a bit “angst-y” as my son said).

Attention Parents: The show is largely harmless. There is no fan service, cursing, or violence. A younger viewer may not be interested in the teen drama interactions, but for a teen or tween viewer it’s a good watch.

I thoroughly enjoyed this show (although at times you wanted to yell at Sawako and Kazehaya for being so angst ridden about each other). The art is Shoujo style and good for the subject. The characters and their relationships is where the show shines as I said earlier. And the music is not bad either.

Happy viewing!

 

 

“Kamelot concert? Yes, please!”

While not about anime, it is something I nerd out about: Music.

The boys and I are off to Milwaukee Saturday to see heavy metal bands: Kamelot and Dragonforce. While Dragonforce are okay, I love Kamelot. I have been hoping to see them for several years and missed them several times when they’ve come through my way.

So here is some Kamelot.

Enjoy if you like!

From their newest album: Haven

 

 

From their album: Silverthorn

 

 

With their old singer Roy Khan, my favorite song by Kamelot: Memento Mori

 

Looking forward to the show!

Hope you like the songs!

 

It’s Not Always No…

I was thinking the other day that it may seem like I am always vetting every single thing my younger son watches and he is always asking to watch things that aren’t appropriate for his age (in my view).

That really isn’t the whole story.

Yes, I do pre-screen many things to see if they are okay for him to watch.

And yes, he does ask to watch things that aren’t appropriate for him at times.

But there is much more that he watches.

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One Piece

Among his favorites is the sprawling epic of Monkey D Luffy and crew. I have barely watched this show. I’ve seen it when it is on and have watched one of the movies, but never have dedicated any time to the show myself. Now I know it is a bit fan-service-y  and there is some cursing, but over all this is a title that I never felt like I had to restrict (or just never did).

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Fairy Tail

Lucy joins the magical guild Fairy Tail and encounters Natsu who is on his quest to find the dragon, Igneel. Much like One Piece, it is a long form anime with many characters and long story arcs (not as long as One Piece mind you). It has many of the same qualities as One Piece, but probably less cursing that I’ve noticed (although I could be completely wrong on this). My son loves it. Watches it. A dedicated fan.

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Naruto

To me it was the show where the kid (Naruto) is always yelling for some reason. I didn’t watch it. My younger son, however, dedicated a lot of time to catching up to the entire show this year (in all of it’s incarnations). I never felt like he needed to be steered away from this title.

And now for the “cute” stuff…

My younger son likes “cute” shows. He really does. and this makes some viewing even easier since there are rarely things that I find objectionable in these shows.

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Love Live!

A show about school idols (singing group). I never watched it, and never felt like I should have to. His older brother had already watched some of it and would have said if it was bad in any way. He really loves his idol shows.

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AKB0048

Idols fighting for freedom in space and singing. What’s not a 12 year old to like? This is a favorite of his and he owns both seasons, thank you very much. I actually was the one who introduced him to this show and I was surprised at how much he took to it. The only thing that bugs me about this show (and many anime with teen girls) is how they sit around and have them talk about their breasts. This is such weird fan pandering that is so consistent that it is an accepted part of the landscape of these kinds of shows, but I find it annoying nonetheless.

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The Everyday Tales of a Cat God

A goofy comedy about a lazy cat god that gets kicked out of the god’s realm for being too much of a slacker and has to spend time here on earth without many of the special privileges they enjoyed before. It is a silly, cute show. Admittedly, I have not watched much of it. But it seems largely harmless.

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Place To Place

A cute,slice of life, school comedy. It’s clever. Well written. Amusing. And very cute. He loves this show. It is his favorite comedy net to Sgt Frog. I have watched a bunch of this show and it is largely good, harmless fun.

 

So there you have it. Shows I never really said no on or screened too in depth. Sometimes you do need to throw caution to the wind and not assume everything out there is harmful to your child. There is a great amount that is very accessible to younger viewers. These are among his favorites.

Soon I’ll be back to more regular writing I hope.

Thanks for reading.

*I do not own any of the images contained in this post*

 

 

 

A Year In….

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The other day I received a notice from WordPress that it was my 1 year anniversary blogging. One year in…It’s been an interesting experience and I’ve learned a few things.

I originally started  this blog for a couple of reasons. I was looking for a place to share my thoughts on anime as it related to myself: a 40 something dad of two anime fans. I was also looking for some community. My blogging came at a time of losing a few things. I was realizing that I was heading for a divorce and the martial arts school that had been a big part of my life for the past 8 years was closing. I needed a new space or outlet for myself.

I have learned a few things in this past year:

1) I am not a natural writer. I do okay, but being mildly disorganized and strapped for time doesn’t help. When I plan things out I do a better blog post.

2) It is hard for me to find time to blog. I have my boys on the weekend when I’m off of work. My older son tends to take over my computer on the weekend, so I have to be sure to make the time.

3) There are many good writers out there in the blogging community. I have read some very good, insightful, well written blog posts and that makes me want to do better.

4) There is a really nice, supportive blogging community out there and I consider myself better to have made their/ your acquaintance.

I would like to thank the following people:

 Denny Sinnoh : Denny was the first to welcome me to the blogging community.

 Miharusshi : An early supporter and someone who shares my love of Nagi Yanagi.

The Otaku Judge : Another blogger I can count on for a comment. Thank you for the support.

Arria Cross : Another supportive blogger.

Renxkyoko : A recent supportive blogger. I appreciate the feedback.

Thank you all for the support! Also thanks to all other readers, commenters and supporters. I thank you all!

The Double-Edged Sword

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There is a double-edged sword sometimes of being a fan of media and being a parent I find. While I write this blog often referring to what I see in shows that might be red flags to parents of kids who like to watch anime there are times when we make exceptions. I guess what I am saying is: I can be a hypocrite at times.

It is not intentional hypocrisy. It is more that exceptions are made at times that overrule our normal censoring.

The first case in point for me was : “A Certain Scientific Railgun”. Now I have written about this, but to recap. I had watched the show. I thought it was well done. It was entertaining and had good animation. The show did have some ecchi bits without a doubt. I kind of glossed over those in my mind in favor of what I thought was a compelling story that took the issue of when science goes to far and a moral center is lost for the sake of progress. I weighed the options: story vs some ecchi scenes. It did backfire on me. My son’s mother was upset with one of the scenes and I suppose I can’t blame her (I had forgotten about the shower scene), but choices were made and what was done was done.

It happens that sometimes that one will have different measures of what kind of violence is okay. The more realistic: the less likely I am to let my younger son watch it. “Chaika: The Coffin Princess” is one of these cases. His mother was disturbed by the dark nature of the show (ie; a girl collecting body parts), whereas I saw it as so far removed from our reality that it’s premise, while gruesome, was acceptable since he could see it as unrealistic fantasy. Sometimes the compromise in my brain isn’t just the gore or gruesomeness, but the context in which it is presented.

Sometimes there is something you want to watch and the kids are there and you think: How bad could it be? This weekend the boys and I watched “Kung Fury” (obviously not an anime). It was 35 minutes of over-the -top violence. Arms getting ripped off, peoples heads exploding, etc. But it was so ridiculous that no one could truly take it seriously. It was closer to reality ( as it was not animated), but it was also far from reality in it’s complete ridiculous nature (Hitler traveling through time and dinosaurs shooting lasers from their eyes). Was it a hypocritical choice? Holding one standard, but making an exception due to “reasons”? I don’t know. Maybe?

And then there was the issue of: “I had already started watching this thing with his older brother”. I was watching the first episode/ movie of “GTO” (Great Teacher Onizuka). Now, I’m not going to let my younger son watch this show. Onizuka is a bit of a pervert and this is highlighted in the show often. We had started watching it one morning while he was asleep. He woke up and caught the tail end of it. Will I let him watch more? No. Is it bad that I let him watch some of it? Not too much happened that will scar him. Is it hypocritical that I let him see some, but won’t let him watch more? Perhaps.

I guess sometimes, for myself, parenting isn’t straightforward. It is filled with grey areas and these grey areas are different for everyone. The goal is that we keep trying to do the right thing. Measuring what is appropriate for a kid’s age vs not. Letting them see things and have a mature reaction to it as well. Every kid is different in how they react to media as is every parent. I will keep swimming through, making mistakes, and having successes. I am confident of one thing though: They will be fine and that perhaps I worry too much.

BTW: I am not letting him watch “Crayon Shin Chan”.