Eden of the East Review (Part 2)

Link to part 1

In addition to the 11 episode TV series, Eden of the East also has two follow-up movies: King of Eden and Paradise Lost. Unlike most anime movie spinoffs, the Eden movies are both necessary since the TV show doesn’t properly conclude the story. The immediate conflicts are resolved, but several plot points are left unexplained until the movies. The movies are really more of a second season to the TV show than two separate movies since they assume complete familiarity with the TV series and continue the plot right from where it leaves off, which is why I’m reviewing them together with the TV show.

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Eden of the East Review (Part 1)

Eden of the East is one of the most fundamentally Japanese anime I’ve ever seen. It’s not told in a particularly Japanese style and doesn’t have many Japanese characters, but it’s full of social commentary that is clearly directed at a Japanese audience. Eden of the East addresses many uniquely Japanese social issues that just wouldn’t be familiar to most non-Japanese viewers, and understanding those issues is an important part of understanding the show itself. I don’t normally do this, but I’ll be splitting this review into two parts since there’s too much to say about it in one post and keep it at a reasonable length.

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Your Name. and What Makes a Hit

Warning: The following contains major spoilers for Your Name. and 5cm Per Second.

Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name. is without question a hit. It topped the box office in Japan for months, surpassed every Ghibli movie except Spirited Away, was wildly successful outside of Japan and has been discussed in the English-speaking anime community for months even without an official release. This begs the question: why has it been so successful compared to Shinkai’s other films. Shinkai’s hardly an unknown, but none of his other films have attained anything close to mainstream success. The easy answer is that Your Name. is a hit because it’s so good, which, while true, isn’t enough of an answer. Shinkai has made plenty of good movies before, even if none were as good as Your Name. and Your Name. has several aspects in common with his other films. Popularity also doesn’t necessarily mean something is good, and being good doesn’t mean something will be popular. Quality certainly helps, but that’s not the main reason it’s so popular. What I’ll be doing is looking at what differentiates Your Name. from everything else Shinkai’s done and what about that made it such a massive hit

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Winter 2017 First Reaction

It’s January again. 2016 is over, winter break is (sadly) done and, most importantly, the winter anime season is starting. I was a little hesitant about this season since not a lot of premiers sounded interesting, but we’ve still got quite a few good shows here. I’ll be doing this list like my previous reactions, but this time I’ll be including plot summaries and mentioning shows from last season that are still airing. As usual, I can’t/won’t watch everything, but here’s what stood out to me this season.

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One Piece Film Gold Review

One Piece Film: Z is a hard act to follow. It was an excellent shounen movie that was very popular in the One Piece fandom, so it only makes sense that Gold would be compared to it. The big question going in is always going to be “is it as good as Z?” The short answer: not quite, but that doesn’t really matter. Gold may not be quite as good as Z, but it’s still an excellent movie.

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Top 10 Anime of 2016

It’s been quite a year. Aside from everything that’s been going in the real world (and there’s a lot) this is also my first year blogging. I’d thought about it occasionally, but never actually done it until May. Now it’s been a solid seven months and I’m still going. I hope to still be doing this when it’s time for my top 10 anime of 2017, but who knows how things will be then. Anyway, now I’ll be listing off my top anime of this year. I just have a few rules for this list. I won’t be ranking these anime at all since (with a couple of exceptions) it would be too hard to decide what goes where. I’m also only including anime that has both started and ended this year (so no March comes in like a lion). Finally, I’ll be including any anime that I think is good enough to make this list, not just TV shows. I’m also only including anime that I’ve seen from start to finish for obvious reasons. There are a couple of shows that I haven’t seen yet that I have a feeling would make this list otherwise, but there’s no point in speculating. Now that that’s out of the way, on to the list!

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One Piece and the Art of Doing Flashbacks

Spoiler Warning: The following contains major spoilers for One Piece

Everyone knows that flashbacks are never the best part of a story. At best, they give crucial information that sets up and explains the actual story and characters. At worst, they come off as wasting time. Either way, flashbacks aren’t known for being good stories by themselves. None of this applies to One Piece. In One Piece, flashbacks frequently accomplish their usual goals, but also provide some of the best parts of the entire anime. One Piece has had a lot of flashbacks, but for this article I’ll be focusing on Robin’s backstory, which is by far the most memorable and contains all of what makes One Piece flashbacks so great.

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Magical Girl Raising Project Review

It can’t be understated how influential Madoka Magica was on the magical girl genre. It didn’t invent the idea of “magical girls but dark” but it certainly popularized it. Since then, there have been plenty of anime that have taken influence from Madoka, some good, some not. The existence of Madoka means that Magical Girl Raising Project risked coming off as just another Madoka ripoff. Thankfully, it wasn’t. It was an Akame ga Kill ripoff. I’m joking, of course, but the two have a fair number of similarities, and not in a good way.

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Voices of a Distant Star Review

Mokoto Shinkai’s been a huge name in the anime community lately. Scarcely a week goes by without some news about Your Name. breaking some record or opening in a new country. While Your Name. is the only Shinkai anime to get any kind of mainstream attention, it’s not the only great Shinkai anime. Back in 2002, Shinkai made an OVA called Voices of a Distant Star that I’ll be looking at today.

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