The Power of Love and Regret

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Orange

 I loved this show. Being beautifully animated and well written, it was engaging for me both visually and emotionally.

The story begins as a high school girl,Naho Takamiya, starts to get letters written from herself 10 years in the future. All of the the letters are in regards to her regrets having to do with the new transfer student, a boy named Kakeru Naruse.

At first, she doesn’t know what to make of the letters, but as events start to come true that were in the letters, she decides to follow her older self’s advice.

To change the future.

To erase her future self’s regrets.

To prevent Kakeru from committing suicide later that year.

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If you didn’t know: could you tell the person in the most pain?

I guess that is what I found compelling (and realistic) about this show to some degree. Behind the masks we wear, each of us, lies some pain.

Some struggle.

Something that we carry that just seems to heavy at times.

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I guess the other beauty of Orange to me was that Kakeru had what everyone needs (and ultimately wants): Friends.

Friends who will be in their corner.

Friends who will listen.

Friends who want you to reach out when in pain.

Friends who want you to live and will go that extra mile to make sure you’re okay.

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Attention Parents: If you have a teen or tween: please watch this. With them. And then talk about it. Teens go through all sorts of struggles that we, as parents, often have no idea about. They have friends going through struggles. Having talks with them about these kinds of subjects are worthwhile even if they are uncomfortable and scary.

Please, if you know someone in pain: Reach out. Be a friend. Help them get the help they need. Don’t have that kind of regret.

If you are in that kind of pain: Reach out. Someone will listen to you. Life will get better. These feelings will pass. There are (and will be) people who love you in this world.

Please also utilize the resources that are out there if you don’t know what to do.

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/mental-health-screening-tools

http://www.ifred.org/

 

Sorry to get heavy.

Watch Orange. It is really quite good.

Be well.

 

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Until next time: Happy viewing!

 

 

 

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Erased (Because What Smart-Ass, Alternate Title Could I Come Up With?)

Erased (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi)

It has been a while since I’ve posted due to life and time constraints. Due to the nature of this show and what can I say about it without giving away too much, I’ll keep my review brief.

Erased was probably my favorite anime of the winter season. Well written, animated, and paced. Erased is what I want out of a show: enjoyable to watch and leaving me looking forward to the next week’s episode.

In short the show follows Satoru Fujinuma. We meet Satoru as adult who has a strange ability (or perhaps affliction?): He goes back in time a few minutes to prevent potentially tragic events from happening. After an accident that involves one of these episodes that leaves Satoru in the hospital, a series of events causes his ability to kick him back to his past in elementary school to prevent a series of child abductions and murders.

What follows is an engaging murder mystery/ thriller. We follow Satoru desperately trying to save his fellow classmates as a young child. We see him trying have the knowledge of an adult while re-living his past as a child. All of this made for a fun watch.

Attention Parents: While there is not a ton of violence shown or fan service, it is a disturbing subject matter. It is about child abduction and murder: that’s heavy stuff and I would suggest vetting it if you are considering letting your child watch it.

It is really worth a view. And very nice to look at to boot!

Happy viewing!

-no images in this post are owned by this site.

 

Wait…What Just Happened?

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Chaos; Head

I finally got around to watching the first in the “Science Series” of visual novel adaptations from 5pb and Nitroplus (others in the series being Steins; Gate and Robotic; Notes). While all three of the visual novels (and thus the anime’s) are set in the same world,there is not a story that links them together. They all stand on their own, and Chaos; Head is the weakest of the three.

The story is set around Takumi Nishijo who for all puposes is a hikkikomori, rarely attending school, playing video games all day, and keeping to himself. After a conversation with an online friend in a chat room he gets a cryptic message with a picture file attached. The picture depicts a ritualistic style, brutal murder. From here on in Takumi is drawn into a world where the lines of reality and delusion become very blurred.

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I could try to describe this better, but I won’t…I’m not sure I could. And this becomes my main problem with Chaos; Head: it is confusing. The show has a lot of cool ideas, but the story is confusing and poorly structured. There are shifts between reality, girls who carry around imaginary (di) swords, a council of bad guys, another bad guy, lackeys, nasty murders, and a creepy old guy in a wheelchair.

This all leaves Takumi frequently clutching his head and screaming: “I don’t know what is happening!”

And I can sympathize, neither did I.

It wasn’t all bad. The explanations for the “science-y” things that were happening were interesting, probably a big load of horse poo, but at least interesting sounding horse poo. The animation was decent, nothing to get excited about, just good. The OP and ED were both good as well.I watched the English dub and felt like it was well done.

Attention Parents: The show contains blood, violence, and murder. There is some minor fan service elements, but not too much. Some of the violent themes would be disturbing for a younger viewer. And again, it’s confusing.

I was a little sad in the end that I didn’t enjoy this more. Perhaps it works better as a visual novel? Give it a look if you’re really curious: I’ll don’t often tell people to not watch something: different strokes for different folks.

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It’s okay Takumi. It’s over.

 

Until next time: Happy Viewing!

Spring 2015 Season Watch List

A new season is upon us and after sampling a few shows this is what I’ll be checking out this season.

In no particular order:

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Food Wars: A cooking show where an aspiring middle school cook gets accepted to an elite culinary academy for high school. Looks to be fun to watch, but on the ecchi side. I won’t be letting the 11 year old watch this one.

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Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?: Adventuring, dungeons, warriors, girls, gods…Will it be good? Not sure yet, but has potential. Also somewhat on the ecchi side. Another I won’t let the 11 year old watch.

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My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu Too: I loved the first season of this, hopefully the second will be as good. I am fine with the animation studio change thus far.

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Kinmoza: English exchange students in Japan. A cute show. Pretty harmless. I think my son has watched at least half of the first season of this already.

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Nisekoi: Raku, Chitoge, Onadera,and Tachibana are back! 2nd season of this harem comedy by Shaft. I really enjoyed the first season and have read a bunch of the manga. We’ll see how much they cover in this season and how much filler they ditch.

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Plastic Memories: This looks like an interesting offering about a world where androids (or something like that) have synthetic souls that only have a life span of 9 years before they deteriorate. The show centers around the squad that is going to retrieve the androids at the end of their life span. It has got a good premise. Hopefully it will be a good show.

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Punchline: A guy wakes up after a terrorist attack that happened on a bus back in his apartment building to find that another spirit is occupying his body and he can’t return to it. Now he has to find a book with a ritual to get himself back to his body. But there is a twist. In the building where the book is lives several girls. Fine…Right? No, this is anime. Here’s the twist: If he happens to see a girl’s panties, or gets excited, he has such an extreme reaction that he attracts an asteroid to the planet that destroys the earth. This happens…he turns back time and keeps trying to get his body back. Well obviously I won’t let the younger one watch this. I am not sure if I’ll continue or not.

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Re-Kan! : A girl who can see and befriends ghosts. The others around her can’t see them for the most part, but accept her for the most part, except for one classmate who refuses to believe in spirits. It is a goofy comedy. The jury is still out about how appropriate it is….there is a perverted cat.

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Sound! Euphonium: About a girl who played in the brass band in middle school who decides to join the band club in high school. It looks like a harmless school anime. My largest worry would be whether it will be able to maintain my interest.

Well, That’s it for now. What are you watching?

The Power of Family

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Usagi Drop

 I was recommended this anime about parenting by Miharusshi at Anime Vios. I finally got around to giving it a watch and I have to say I loved it.

The show opens with Daikichi Kawachi, a 30 year old single man, returning to his grandfather’s home for his funeral. Upon returning he learns from his mother that his grandfather had a daughter, Rin Kaga, who is now 6 years old and that the rest of the family didn’t know existed.

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Rin’s mother has disappeared and this leaves the family with the question: What to do with Rin? There is much discussion about how everyone else cannot take her and it is suggested that she be placed in an orphanage.  It is at this point Daikichi steps in and said he’d take her, at least for the time being.

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From this point on Daikichi and Rin’s life changes. Daikichi gets an education of what it is to parent and raise a child. He has to deal with how it impacts his work and how he views the world through the lens as a caregivier. He gets her into school. Deals with her new friends. Meets other parents. All while trying to figure out what happened to Rin’s mother and why she left.

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I won’t go too much into what else happens in the show since I don’t want to ruin it for those who choose to watch it.

I will say the following about it. It was beautifully done. The story is sweet. The characters are likable and have depth. The soundtrack is good, especially the background music. The animation is quite beautiful and well directed. I recommend this show wholeheartedly.

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Attention Parents: There is nothing that is objectionable in the show. No fan service, violence, or cursing. What you may find is that, depending on you and your child, that it may be cause for some discussions around death, divorce, and the meaning of family. However, this is not a bad thing and can be just be the kind of thing that adds to life. So take that less as a warning and more of an opportunity.

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Remember: I am not a writer or a critic, just a dad who likes anime.