Thursday, October 24, 2013


Mike (@cinco_bajeena), a lapsed anime blogger, has the same origin story as plenty of other fans of a certain geography and age: a cloudy mix of Vampire Hunter D, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, and Macross Plus. You can occasionally find the telltale byline otou-san at Altair & Vega and Sea Slugs until his own blog returns from the deep again, as it probably will someday.

One of the calling cards of the aging anime fan, a relatively new species in the West, is his insistence that they just don't make 'em like they used to. And in the 21st century, a case could definitely be made for that. While the OVAs of the late 80s and early 90s heralded an anything-goes era of experimentation where the spectacular outweighed the sensical, anime in the post-industry-collapse world is increasingly marked by formula and safety: works that guarantee a hardcore otaku audience yet alienate other potential consumers.

But we've heard all that before. Years as recent as 2010 give us plenty of reason to believe this is the case — there's always hope.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

2007, Part 2: Seven for Seven: Two for Love

Having covered three tales of technology for 2007, Part 2 from Owen (Twitter handle @riajuunibyou) covers the human side of anime in two forms, one from a digital distribution and another from the more traditional means.

More often than not, stories about love inevitably turn into stories about time. Whether it's the aftershocks of a breakup, a long, hard look at loves past, or even new love budding in the present, the lens of love is always there to colour matters. With each new relationship, the examination of the past is all but certain—we look to the past to think about the future.

Consider 2006's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. It uses time travel not as an escape or an afterthought, but as a way of underscoring the pinning of love and how obdurate such feelings can be; it uses time travel as a means to emphasise, through repetition, how even the most fervent attempts to undo time cannot undo hearts. Love, it decides, is inevitable—just a matter of time.

The two anime covered this time as we embrace the shows from 2007 have no scientific or fantastic aspirations, yet in themselves do contain that dimensionality with their nuanced take on a subject well explored. It's unavoidable, after all, that the sum of one's here and now is but the result of every year, every day, every second that we've lived, and it's this that we bring to each relationship, new or old.

Love is like time travel in that regard. Romance stories in such a vein take the long route, an introspective that starts then and ends now; as much as it is about the feelings and hopes and dreams that two individuals bring together, it's also the way in which so many of us are shaped by what we've gone through and those we've loved, and how that affects those we're now in love with.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

ZA SHAZAI (Our Apologies)

I humbly prostrate myself before your feet, Milord.

As editor and curator of the Golden Ani-Versary of Anime, I desperately ask for your forgiveness. Choose one of the above formats for a proper apology.

Yes, we have just under 4 years left to cover in this year-long worship of the past five centuries of anime (four years that have taken forEVER, Editor-san), but due to circumstances beyond control (a temporary three-month dispatch to places unknown and a few conventions to see), the ball has been dropped. That's not to say that interest has waned; there's just so much mental energy that the editor can devote to this project that every weekend became either a recharging moment or a trip back to the apartment to make sure nothing went up in flames.

Perhaps this may have resulted for the best, as it gave our final contributors some time to process and the editor some time to contemplate how to proceed from here. Some terrific ideas have been tossed around, including a possible convention run, another project for next year, the rumored "Hall of Fame" vote, and even a printed publication. Most, if not all, of those ideas will likely be tabled to the beginning of 2014, but stay tuned for information!

Meanwhile, we have a few weeks of publications to catch up with until we hit the end of our mad trip through time. The time machine is repaired, and with an "El Psy Congroo!" we will be returning to our journey, but not before we stop back at 2007 to pick up something we forgot (Part 2).

Until then, please accept our deepest groveling "orz" in the cutest manner we could find for free online.

There. That should do it. Thanks for your patience.