Happy Holidays

Please have a good whatever you may celebrate or just enjoy your day.

Here’s my favorite (not anime related) Christmas song.

 

Enjoy and peace to you and yours!

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This Season’s Let Down

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Utawarerumono: The False Faces
 Based off a visual novel for the Playstation platforms, Utawarerumono is the biggest disappointment for me this season. Sure, I dropped a few others (Comet Lucifer, Attack on Titan: Junior High, and Mr Osomatsu) due to a lack of interest, but for some reason I had higher hopes for Utawarerumono.

I think I had placed my expectations higher for mostly 2 reasons. One, I thought (based off the first couple of episodes) that the world it was set in looked interesting. It has a kind of mixing of Chinese and Japanese aesthetic in a fantasy setting which I found appealing. Two, the animation was really pretty good. Some beautiful scenes are featured, especially in the OP.

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And the show keeps good animation throughout. The story however is another matter.

The pacing of the story is slow. It starts with potential and kind of fizzles out. You get an idea that something interesting may be happening in the background, but this doesn’t get fleshed out. Instead we get:

 

Fan service. Animal-eared and tailed girls acting pointlessly “cutesy” and multiple bathing scenes. You also have the main character ending each sentence she utters with: “I think”. It is annoying. I can forgive some fan service here and there if the story is good and going somewhere, but this just feels like it is exploiting it for it’s own sake.

Now maybe if I had watched the other associated anime or played the visual novel I would appreciate this show more, but I didn’t and I don’t.

Attention Parents: Overall the show doesn’t have a lot wrong with it, but there is nudity and some ecchi situations that may not be appropriate for younger viewers.

Go ahead and give it a try. Just because it wasn’t my thing doesn’t mean it won’t be yours.

Until next time. Happy viewing!

 

Pork Bowl and Chicken Anuses

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Silver Spoon

I just finished Silver Spoon and found it to be a really well done, thoughtful anime.

The show follows the daily life of Yuugo Hachiken as a student at Ooezo Agricultural High School in Hokkaido. Yuugo is the fish out of water character. He grew up in Sapporo with no previous farm experience, but after not doing well on his high school entrance exams chose Ooezo Agricultural High School as a way to distance himself from his self perceived failure and from the disapproval of his father.

The show is an entertaining, fish out of water, slice of life, school anime. Watching Hachiken deal with a new life is fun and entertaining, as he experiences things his peers take for granted (as most of them are from farming families).

Early on in the show, is Hachiken’s revelation that eggs come out a chicken’s anus during his practicum time working in a hen house. This is a mental hurdle as he had never thought about his food (like most of us don’t). He gets past it, and also realizes he level of freshness of the egg he is getting at school is something great that he’d never experienced before.

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This is not the only hurdle he has to overcome. He also names a pig that was the runt of the litter and takes the pig’s care as a special project. His classmates (and teachers) warn him against this kind of attachment to an animal that will be slaughtered once it is big enough to go to market.

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Hachiken doesn’t listen and cares for the pig anyway. Later, when the pig has to go to market Hachiken is saddened, but uses money he had earned helping at a friend’s farm to purchase the pig’s meat and makes bacon out of it. His perspective on the pig he raised (he named it Pork Bowl)also has an effect on his friends and how they think about what is normal for them. In the end, he shares the meat with everyone (including sending some bacon to his parents).

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Like most fish out of water styles of shows, Silver Spoon is largely about the main protagonist’s journey of self discovery and this show delivers just that in a satisfying manner.

The animation is good, story enjoyable, and the are characters fun and generally likable. It is well worth a watch.

Attention Parents: This is a good show for kids. No cursing, no fan service, and not violent. Where it might be questionable for really young children is the realistic depictions of farming. There is poop. There is some blood. But overall I think the benefits are greater as it may give some kids to thinking a little more about where their food comes from and how it is raised. Sure this is just a show, but it does touch on these issues to a degree. In fact, I’ll probably make my younger son start watching it next weekend (I’m sure he won’t object).

And did you know that Edward Elric made a cameo in Silver Spoon?

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Just kidding! Gotta love Deviant Art though….

*all images in this post are not the property of the blog*