Top 5 Feel-Good Anime

durarara celty because the world isn't as bad as you think
One of the reasons I love anime so much is the sheer variety. Whether I’m in the mood for an epic fantasy, a dramatic space opera, or a just a good ol’ romantic comedy, I can usually find something I like. Sometimes though, when I come home from a too-long day at work or need to chill because I’m stressed or upset, I’m after nothing more than calm and soothing – something to convince me, at least for a little while, that the world is actually a nice place where things inevitably work out for the best. Continue reading

Watson Watches: Rose of Versailles

rose of versailles
Welcome to the sixth and final main article of Watson Watches (the Retro Edition)! For anyone who’s just joined us and has no idea what’s happening, this is the follow-up to a series of interview-style articles published in 2014. The idea then was to expose Watson – who at that point was totally new to anime – to some specific titles and then ask him some hopefully interesting questions about them. The main difference this time around is that the shows I’ve been getting Watson to watch were all released before 2000. Continue reading

Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2016 (Part III)

yuri-on-ice-header
Well, here we are again already, just about at this season’s halfway point. And a very interesting season it is too – although that hasn’t stopped me dropping more shows than I’ve kept. Occultic;Nine, Magic-Kyun! Renaissance, Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru, Watashi ga Motete Dousunda/Kiss Him, Not Me, Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo “Shounen Tanteidan” yori, and WWW.Working!! all got the chop after only one episode, but that didn’t prevent a second round of cuts and there’s still the possibility of more to go. Let’s see how those left have been faring. Continue reading

Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2016 (Part II)

3-gatsu no lion
The second part of my anime taste testing and wow, this season is way more decent than I thought it’d be. I’m still dropping things left, right and centre of course, but only so I have time to bask in all the good stuff coming my way. This particular post covers the premiers for Flip Flappers, Watashi ga Motete Dosunda, ClassicaLoid, 3-gatsu no Lion, Occultic;Nine, Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari, and Ajin season two. For every other premiere I watched, see this post. Continue reading

Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2016 (Part I)

yuri on ice
I’d normally do all of these in one shot, but with 16 shows on my to-watch list and all of them so far giving me a decent amount to say, I thought I’d break it up into two separate posts for a change. When it comes time for my usual mid-season thoughts post, I’ll go ahead and combine them again. First aired first serve, so this one features the following titles: Izetta, WWW.Working!!, Magic-Kyun! Rennaissance, Touken Ranbu, Trickster, Natsume Yuujinchou, Nanbaka, and Yuri!!! On Ice. Continue reading

Top 3(ish) in Japan

japan prefectures ehime ainan

See that red dot down there in Ehime, aka the Love Princess? I’m not doing a category for top places in Japan overall but if I was, it would definitely make an appearance. Not that I’m biased or anything.


I’ve done plenty of top whatever lists here on Otaku Lounge before – usually anime-related – but particularly when it comes to Japan itself, my posts have mostly remained fairly impersonal. Not that I see writing about the personal on a blog such as this as being in any way a bad thing; experience helps shape everything people write about in one way or another, even when an article is largely factual in nature. Besides, I can only imagine that a blog post limited strictly to cold, hard fact would make for pretty dry reading – reading that people could probably do just as well on Wikipedia. However, for various reasons I tend to shy away from writing anything on here that could be deemed purely personal, and there have been only a couple of exceptions to that over the years.

Given that I recently came back from a 4-year stint in Japan though, and that one of the ways I like to process things is through writing, this would be one of those exceptions.

Needless to say, the following is confined to those things which I’ve seen or done first-hand. It in no way encompasses all of what Japan has to offer (though ticking off 35 out of 47 prefectures is pretty respectable if I do say so myself), and it’s all based completely on my own impressions. It’s not intended as any sort of guide or even as a recommendation list.

It’s a celebration. Continue reading

Watson Watches: Dragon Ball

dragon ball
Welcome to the fifth article of Watson Watches (the Retro Edition). If you’ve only just joined us and have no clue what’s going on, this is the follow-up to a series of interview-style articles published in 2014. The idea was to introduce Watson – who at that point was totally new to anime – to some specific titles and then ask him some fun and interesting questions about them. It’s the same deal this time around but with one key difference: all the anime I’ll be getting Watson to watch were released before 2000. Continue reading

Reverse Culture Shock

japan new zealand
Having come back from Japan after 4 years and giving myself a couple of weeks to settle back down in New Zealand (if only temporarily), I finally get what everyone else was on about when they talked of reverse culture shock. It’s hard, perhaps even impossible, to emotionally prepare yourself for something that you’ve yet to experience, so no matter how much I tried to tell myself that I’d feel these things, actually feeling them is another matter entirely. Continue reading