Best J-Pop/J-Rock Albums of 2016

It’s been a whirlwind year in the Japanese music industry. Influential singer/songwriter Utada Hikaru released her first album in eight years; Boom Boom Satellites released their final (gorgeous) record before the passing away of vocalist Kawashima Michiyuki; iconic boy band SMAP disbanded after a run of nearly three decades; and BABYMETAL took one step closer to world domination when they opened for Red Hot Chili Peppers on their UK tour. To nobody’s surprise, fan-favourite idol groups such as Arashi and AKB48 continued to top many of the charts, but they were far from the only fare on offer in 2016. Continue reading

Anime Taste Testing: Winter 2017

rakugo shinjuu season 2 header
I’ve said numerous times in the past that when it comes to anime, I prefer quality of quantity any day – that I judge a season by those titles that are good rather than how many of them aren’t. That being said, winter 2017 makes this stance pretty hard for me to be mindful of no matter how I try to spin it. Continue reading

Popular Anime of 2016 I Didn’t Like

flip flappers header
I started doing this kind of post around the same time last year, when I realised there were at least a small handful of new season shows that plenty of bloggers raved about while my own feelings were, at best, only lukewarm. While I don’t necessarily think my tastes are wildly different from any other anime blogger out there, it gives me a chance to talk about those titles released over the past year that didn’t push quite the same buttons for me. (And besides, since I’m saving my annual anime wrap-up until spring as usual, I gotta talk about something while everyone else is releasing those 2016 best-of posts, right?) Continue reading

Watson Watches: retro wrap-up party

cowboy bebop ed
The time has come again – one year and six anime titles later and it’s time to wrap up the (retro) Watson Watches series. In this final post of the project, we look back on the shows I forced requested Watson to take a look at, and hopefully come to a few general conclusions based on his experiences. As a quick reminder, here are the specific shows I chose for Watson over the course of these articles, starting from the late 90s and working our way backwards: Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion, Sailor Moon, Ranma ½, Dragon Ball, and Rose of Versailles. Continue reading

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