Girls’ Last Tour: Dancing Decadently in the Moonlight

Management: This essay is meant to be less of a review and more of analysis of the show being examined. It contains plot spoilers for the Girls’ Last Tour anime.

The world has ended. Earth hasn’t yet been annihilated out of existence. Human society though, the world of our anthro-centric leanings, has passed its twilight into the dark. The cities are gutted wrecks of their former heights, their exposed chests jagged ribs of industrial dilapidation and war carnage. The remnants of decaying civilization echoes the biblical hubris of Babel, a tower built tall to touch God’s fingertips, to be abandoned before it could be completed, its builders dispersed to the four corners. This time though, the builders have been reduced to near nothingness. Humanity is on verge of extinction, and its wreckage, instead of worrying…

…the girls of Girls’ Last Tour get wasted on moonshine and start doing an intoxicated jig.

I swear to drunk moe blobs that I’m going somewhere serious with this. But first, some tunes:

And now a history lesson.

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[Crunchyroll Article] “Reading Ahead in ‘The Ancient Magus’ Bride’ OVAs”

Non-Management: I sent another pitch to Crunchyroll, and another pitch got accepted. Here are the fruits of that: another piece on The Ancient Magus’ Bride.

I’d like to give a big thanks to Crunchyroll for commissioning my article. Below is the (summary) short to the article. If you’re interested in reading it, click the link embedded in the title or at the end of the short:

Reading Ahead in “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” OVAs

For anyone curious or impatient for more… without reading ahead in the manga.

Did you know that The Ancient Magus’ Bride anime has OVAs (a three part series known as The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting a Star)? If you want more content with Chise without reading ahead in the manga, I recommend them wholeheartedly. They’re fantastic. They center around Chise’s childhood. They’re a love letter to reading… and an affirmation of life… READ MORE HERE

Land of the Lustrous: Mine Eyes Have Seen Much

Management: This essay is meant to be less of a review and more of analysis of the show being examined. It contains plot spoilers for the Land of the Lustrous anime.

So there’s many little details in Buddhist art and imagery that are actually supposed to signify something important in Buddhism — symbolize some value that the religion itself teaches. Study the iconography of any buddha sculpted or painted, and you might notice that they’re depicted doing something funky with their hands. It turns out that how a buddha’s hands are positioned determines what kind of  Buddhist value is being communicated. A buddha depicted with an open palm forward communicates reassurance to the onlooker from suffering. A buddha depicted with a finger touching the ground communicates the realization by the figure of enlightenment. The same weighty symbolism can be said about a buddha’s eyes, which if you think about it, are often depicted in a manner that doesn’t reflect how people’s eyes normally look. They look like a combination of stoic and placid, and they’re supposed to represent what a person’s eyes would look after they reach enlightenment: aware, mindful, and content.

Of course, eyes have significations outside of Buddhist ones. Eyes attached to a face appear different between the developmental stages of infancy and adulthood. Illustrators and animators have played with how to depict eye composition and movement. Eyes are often said  to be windows to the soul in adage.  Eyes can reveal much about a person’s emotional state upon psychical study. They are associated with qualities related to people in stasis. They also convey qualities about people in action. The condition of Phosphophyllite’s eyes changes over the course of Land of the Lustrous, from wide and doey to narrow and sharp. In fact, the gem’s latter eye set looks positively buddha-eyed. Based off of the show’s more-than-flirtatious usage of Buddhist iconography, I don’t think this resemblance is a coincidence.

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[Genki Life Magazine] “Tokyo Debriefing: Anime Nerd Edition”

Non-management: So I went to Japan during September 2017, Tokyo specifically. I came back with photos and memories, and was asked by this fellow if I was willing to write an article about my anime nerd experience overseas for his anime fan publication Genki Life Magazine. Turns out that one of my photos (my night time shot of Akihabara) made the front page cover. Also turns out that the article ended up being the feature story.

Thanks very much to Ed Gomez for the opportunity. Below is a link to the issue with the article as well a preview of its contents. My story’s located between pages 63-71, but feel free to browse through the rest of the magazine. Ed and his staff worked pretty hard on it. Genki Life Magazine features other articles, reviews, news, and convention info relevant to any anime, manga, and video game otaku.

Tokyo Debriefing: Anime Nerd Edition

An Anecdote and an Introduction

Let me share with you a moment during my recent and first trip to Tokyo, Japan.

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