Best J-Pop/J-Rock Albums of 2017

This year’s list is a little lighter than in 2016, when I listened to 18 Japanese studio albums total (in comparison to 13 this time around). However, I think that’s more of a reflection on my own time constraints as opposed to any particular dip in the Japanese music industry, and I managed to find a handful of albums that really stood out to me regardless. As always, the following list, arranged in order of release date, is comprised solely of full and original studio albums by a single artist or band – no covers, compilations, collaborations, EPs, or live albums. Continue reading

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Review: House of Five Leaves

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Every year I tell myself I’ll take part in Reverse Thieves’ Anime Secret Santa project, and every year I forget all about it until it’s too late to sign up. This time around though, I wrote it down. Like physically, with pen and paper (quaint, I know), and I finally managed to get there. Merry Christmas indeed. Continue reading

5 Good Anime Over 60 Episodes


I’ve made no secret of the fact that, more often than not, I dislike long anime shows. No doubt I’ve grown far pickier since I first started watching (back when I was happy to sit through some outright bad shows just because they were better than nothing at all). If I’m being honest though, I never had much patience for things like long-winded exposition, constant flashback scenes, and other assorted filler tricks to begin with. Neither does it help that I’m too easily irritated by wildly inconsistent production values; another fairly typical hallmark of longer anime titles.

Sometimes though, a long-running anime comes along that surprises me. Sometimes I’m taken aback by just how high-quality a 60+ episode title can be. Sometimes even I have to admit that, for all I can be extremely impatient, a few shows really are worth investing that much time (and yes, emotional commitment) into. Below are what I still consider now to be the absolute best of these. Continue reading

Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2017 (Part III)


Now that we’re roughly at the halfway mark for the majority of shows airing this season, it’s time to check in with how they’re doing after the initial impressions. Even after dropping Sengoku Night Blood, Ousama Game, Tsukipro, Net-juu, Two Car, Code: Realize, and Garo: Vanishing Line very early on, this season was still pretty stacked, so I was particularly interested to see how it would fare after the shows had been given time to settle. Continue reading

10 Japanese Superstitions


One of the most interesting aspects to me about visiting another country is hearing about common superstitions. No matter how logical people may seem, no matter how grounded or rational the culture, there are always things that people will do or not do, say or not say, that are rooted firmly in myth and folklore. Some, like seeing a black cat cross your path, are common to many countries, while others are much more location-specific. Continue reading

R.I.P: Defunct Anime Studios


While the state of the anime industry isn’t necessarily dire, not all anime studios have been lucky enough to withstand the test of time. There are perhaps around 80 Japanese anime studios currently churning out new titles on a regular (or at least semi-regular) basis, but others have unfortunately closed down, largely due to either the death of their respective founders or, more commonly, major financial problems. Continue reading

Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2017 (Part II)


Looks like it’s going to be a full ticket indeed this season, with ample choices in most genres and a few nice surprises along the way. Note that the below anime were all released in Japan on or after October 7th, with shows released in the first week of October being covered in Part I of this post (namely Sengoku Night Blood, Ousama Game, Tsukipro, Net-juu, Juuni Taisen, Kino no Tabi, Just Because!, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou, and Osomatsu-san). I will be combining the titles later on for a Part III of my taste testing post around the season halfway mark. Also, keep in mind although many of these shows have now been airing for 2 episodes, the below comments are based solely on the premieres. Continue reading

Anime Taste Testing: Fall 2017 (Part I)


Welp, it’s that time again. Unlike the most recent few anime seasons, there’s a lot I’m interested in this time around, so I’ve decided to break my initial taste testing post into two parts based on release date. This means I’ll be discussing around half the titles I still plan to watch in the next taste testing post, which will be out in a few days. For the record, those titles include Code:Realize, Garo: Vanishing Line, Houseki no Kuni, Kekkai Sensen, Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau, Mahoutsukai no Yome, Two Car, Inuyashiki, 3-gatsu no Lion, and Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 Centi Datta. Continue reading

Really That Bad?: Vampire Holmes


You voted. We watched. This is the third instalment of a series of conversations between Watson and myself about anime that have, for whatever reason, been deemed as worthy contenders for the title of Worst Anime of All Time.

As with Mirage of Blaze and Hand Shakers, our goal is not simply to criticize unpopular anime for our own amusement (though we do hope these articles are at least semi-entertaining), but rather to have an actual discussion about what makes any given show ‘work’ – or not, as the case may be. We’re both also genuinely curious to see whether or not these shows are truly deserving of their widespread condemnation by the anime community.

As always, sit back and enjoy, and feel free to let us know your own thoughts in the comments. Continue reading