Something as quick-hitting and disconnected as sketch comedy is in a perfect position to come across as impenetrable from the outside. Yet Nichijou’s glowing acclaim proves that a firm enough grasp on the fundamentals of comedy can surmount any of these barriers.
I don’t believe that the recent God of War would be anywhere near as well-regarded nor widely-recognized if it wasn’t prepared to disassemble its own foundations and leave reams of material on the floor in favor of what makes it really work.
I openly adore Pokémon. The series has maintained an overwhelmingly positive image for over twenty years running, and for the occasional flack that it gets for its parallels to cockfighting, the series has always been every bit as much about the childlike wonder of exploration, discovery, and collection. The franchise behaves the same across other media, too – including its annual movie releases.
One of the very quickest ways to kill my interest in a game is to railroad me into a tutorial. Conversely, the fastest way to get me on board is to display trust in the audience. But Pan-Pan just takes it to the next level on top of that.
One of the things I’ve loved about anime for such a long time now is its broad reach and willingness to focus on just about any subject. The Great Passage is an eleven-episode television series entirely about the process of editing a dictionary - and it’s absolutely among the most fascinating show that premiered in its debut season.
A lot of what makes Key Visual Arts special specifically comes out of Jun Maeda. So when I heard that he had collaborated on a concept album with Nagi Yanagi, I was absolutely all-in on that peanut-butter-and-chocolate pairing. To little surprise, the end result is something truly special.
Obviously, I love looking back at movies, games, shows – darn near anything under the umbrella term “media” – and celebrating what makes it so memorable. Heck, that’s effectively the mission statement of this blog. Awards shows seem custom-built to do that, so in theory I should be completely and totally on-board with them. Not so much.
Certain anime can have some miserable pacing issues – and I don’t always consider that to be a flat problem. There’s definitely more than one way in which a series’ complete lack of urgency can actually work in its favor. Enter the near-entirety of Shoujo series.
Unfortunately, in the context of video games, it always feels like there’s some degree of separation between the fiction itself and the delivery method. which makes games that do bridge this gap well that much more notable. Games like Digital: A Love Story.
Assuming that you have even the most passing degree of pop culture literacy, you absolutely shouldn't need me to tell you that Dragon Ball has a penchant to move astonishingly slowly. It's practically the series' defining feature. And ya know what? I don't really mind.
Bravely Second is seemingly unafraid to utterly bury you in options for possible party builds and accompanying tactics. But it never really feels like too much at any point, owed to its fantastic pacing.
From a strictly presentation-focused standpoint, The Night is Short, Walk On Girl every bit as impressive of a film as its name is long. But the thing is, as much as NiSWOG blew me away with its animation, I’m still not quite sure how much I like it as a film on the whole.
As an up-front qualifier to the rest of what I'm about to say, I absolutely adore the Kingdom Hearts series and (most of) its associated games. But here's the rub: I have serious doubts that I would start playing the Kingdom Hearts series if I heard about it for the first time today.
Madoka Magica’s place in the current anime production landscape is a bit tricky to pin down, to be sure. But despite some contradictions in the series’ image, Madoka Magica itself is an outstandingly solid show, owing largely to keeping a strong hold on its core ideals.
Nostalgia is such a weird idea. Parts of it are clearly tied to good memories of your own past, sure - it's the whole reason why people have comfort foods and hold onto familiar objects from their childhood like stuffed animals. Then there's a huge aspect of it that's not even tied to anything specific - even something similar to what we know can draw out that craved feeling of comfort. And, if you hit a sweet spot, you can get the same impression off something that's by all means outside of your own experience.