A Love Letter to 2016, part 3: my pick for Macross Delta’s best girl!

When there’s at least one show every season that you’re watching the moment it’s available, you know it’s been a good year. For me, that was obviously Yuri!!! on ICE this past Fall season, Rakugo Shinjuu back in Winter and 91 Days in the Summer. As for Spring, that belonged to Macross Delta.

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I suspect that many of my newer followers wouldn’t know that, however, as it was only in the Fall season that I got a bit more exposure in the fandom. I never really advertised it myself, so for those of you who missed it, I appeared on more than half of the SpeakerPodcast Gertalk episodes during the second half of the show (^^;;). But even before that, I translated the Delta half of director Yasuda Kenji’s Bandai Channel Creator’s Selection Interview, by which time I had also been summarising the “Gori Gori Radio” show for a few weeks. My apologies for falling off that bandwagon—as I’m sure you know, I’ve been quite distracted over the past 12 weeks ^^;

Some of you might surmise that I lost interest in the radio because the show itself kind of lost its way in the second cour. And you’d be partially right…but the real reason is YOI, sorry! Since then, however, I’ve regained a bit of positivity about my Macross experience this year. And there’s only one character to thank for that:

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The Flying Maiden: Freyja Wion

Given that most people in the West take pride in backing ‘the more mature girl’ in Macross triangles, my preference for Freyja had me feeling pretty lonely for a lot of Delta’s run. The great irony of this was that, in the end, I found Mirage to be a far more interesting character than most of her former fans did! But even then, she was not able to knock Freyja off the top of my list.

And so, my third love letter to anime in 2016 is for the little goddess that stole my heart in summer.

A Love Letter to 2016, part 2: Fantasy x Madness in Durarara!!

I should probably note that the shows I’m listing here are appearing in no particular order…well, other than my anime of the year, which will definitely come on the 12th day of Christmas. Nor are all of these shows necessarily titles that I am clamouring to own. What’s common, however, is that each and everyone one of these moments resonated with me in some way, no matter how I felt about the show overall…and that’s why my second love letter involves the final episode of Durarara!!x2.

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I’ll be the first to admit that I absolutely loved the first season of Durarara!!! when it aired in 2010. It even made my 2010 list not once, but four whole times! I remember writing somewhere—though I simply can’t find it anymore—that I would buy all of the DVDs, so “please please please make a sequel!” And five years later, they finally did…

Unfortunately, Durarara!!x2 proved to me that there are some shows that I will not love forever. Even now, whilst I’m probably quite happy to watch the first half of the first season over and over again, I’m not sure I can say the same for the second half—that makes for six Japanese DVDs that I kind of regret buying.

But those first 12 episodes will always be dear to me, for one reason and one reason only: Celty and Shinra. Many adjectives can be thrown at them—weird, silly, childish, unrealistic etc—but above all, only one matters. They were the cutest couple in 2010, and for me, they easily retained that crown in 2015-2016. I mean, just look at how adorable they are!!

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And that’s why I dedicate my second love letter of 2016 to Ikebukuro’s Dullahan and her devoted Shinra.

A Love Letter to 2016, part 1: Reaching for Perfection in Yuri!!! on ICE

Back in April, I noted that “If there’s ANY show capable of knocking Rakugo Shinjuu off its #1 spot on my list this year, it’ll be the best year in anime ever for me!” Now, I can confidently say that this has indeed come to pass. The last time I enjoyed a year of anime this much was back in 2010, when Bakemonogatari and Durarara!! were the rage across the anime fandom.

So, to celebrate the love that anime has reawakened in me in 2016, I’ll be writing a series of love letters to twelve shows that contributed to this feeling in some significant way. And since this wholesome and giving love was the theme of my favourite title this year, there’s no better way to begin than this:

Happy Birthday, Victor! (from Yuri, of course)

** WARNING ** SPOILERS AHEAD **

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Reflections on Fall and Pick that Voice part 3!

Another season gone, another seasonal post…it’s insane how time just flies, especially at this time of year. Unfortunately, with a busier Christmas than I’m used to, I’ve got just 45 minutes left to begin my 12 Days of Anime series—I have the theme and the first series planned out, but I have to get through this post first!

Thankfully, given the quality of the shows I was following this season, I only need to cover three shows here. And one of them, I’d dearly like to devote an entire blog post to, if only I could!

On stray dogs, co-worker relationships and the wonder of words

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Bungou Stray Dogs

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Reflections on Summer, and Pick that Voice!! Part 2

Do you know what’s the worst thing about being in Japan as an anime fan? No access to Crunchyroll. As a couple of friends there keep pointing out, overseas fans—particularly those in the States—have no idea how good they have it. A lot of anime in Japan is shown at ungodly hours, and whether and when you get any particular show depends on where you live. Viewers outside of Tokyo often have to wait several more days before they can join in the discussion. Worse, if you miss the show and forget to record it, it’s arguably not as easy to find a streaming service to let you catch up. And of course, if you need subtitles, good luck to you! Japan may be king for character goods and special events, if you’re lucky enough to get tickets, but there are some serious downsides, too. And that’s why I didn’t finish most of these shows until I got home earlier this week. So let me take a look at my summer watchlist, which—putting aside the idols—was dominated by the mafia, teenagers discovering what they are living for, and a father and a daughter bonding over food. Getting them all out of the way just as we dive into what looks to be a brilliant fall season!

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91 Days

First up, let me look at 91 Days…which really should not be in this post. Read more of this post

Reflections on Winter and Spring, and Pick that Voice!! Part 1

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You really are an idiot!
Yes, I suppose… Indeed, yes, I am…which is why I’m interrupting my regular content to bring you something of a stopgap post…

Last year, I finally stopped writing ‘review posts’ for each and every series I’ve seen. With the way I’ve engaged with the shows I’ve watched over the past few years—a heavy focus on one or two to the detriment of all the others—it just did not seem appropriate or fair. However, because I am quite selective about the shows I watch, I want to remember them more than simply as a rating in MAL. That’s why I gave myself a couple of posts about all the other stuff I saw last year, and was intending to do the same this year.

But then I also gave myself a little game to play for this year: Pick That Voice!!. I have since picked out more than twenty seiyuu, which made me realise that it’s probably more useful to post these results after each cour. So, from here on out, I’ll be writing these short summaries and the results of my little game at the end of each of the Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall blocks of Japanese programming. If I ever get myself down to just one or two series per cour, I expect that I’ll only be posting about the game…but in that case, then I hope some of you will share some of your own Pick that Voice!! results, too!

On special powers, fantastic creatures, sextuplets and zombies!

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