Dragon Ball is undoubtedly one of the definitive works of anime and manga. However, criticisms of it (especially the series Dragon Ball Z) have been mostly fair. Historically, the television series have featured an absurd amount of filler (mostly in the form of characters powering up), fights that drag out for what seems like an eternity, and extremely sparse characterization and character development. What makes Dragon Ball Super special is that it basically tosses all of that out the window, resulting in a surprisingly well-paced product—something that is typically not associated with Dragon Ball.
There are two phrases in Japanese culture that are traditionally said to describe the “ideal Japanese woman.” The first is Yamato nadeshiko, which roughly translates to “Japanese carnation.” The second phrase is ryousai kenbo, or “good wife, wise mother.” The two terms collectively create a seemingly monolithic image of what it means to be the perfect Japanese women, one that is steeped heavily in cultural sexism. However, there is a significant amount of range within this general concept, and I find that the two characters who really demonstrate this plasticity are the sisters of Love Live! Sunshine!!, Dia Kurosawa and Ruby Kurosawa. This is not to claim that fans of either Dia or Ruby are sexist, or that their appeal...
The bizarre fanservice fighting anime Keijo!!!!!!!! (aka Hip Whip Girl) parodies many different action series. However, while some attacks (“Shoryucans”) are fairly obvious in their origins, the final episode of Keijo!!!!!!!! features a reference that might not be so familiar to current anime fans. When rival character Maya Sakashiro performs the attack “Heaven and Hell,” she’s actually referencing the mecha anime, King of Braves Gaogaigar.
Yuri!!! on Ice is definitely one of the most popular anime in the Fall 2016 lineup, and it has caught the attention of anime fans and real-life figure skaters around the world. It follows the story of the 23-year old Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki as he tries to make it through the Grand Prix Final with the help of his idol Victor Nikiforov. The series has truly managed a lot of feats in the history of anime--something that a lot of mainstream titles, let alone a sports anime, haven’t managed to do.
The fall anime season traditionally caps off every year, and it’s often the case that fall is when a lot of studios put their best foot forward. This year, however, feels even more impressive, particularly when it comes to the beauty and impact of opening animations. Here are my top 5 for Fall 2016, and why I think they’re worth watching every time.
This December marked the conclusion of the airsoft-themed comedy shoujo manga Sabagebu!: Survival Game Club by Hidekichi Matsumoto. With its final chapter appearing in the January 2017 issue of Nakayoshi (published in December), Sabagebu! finishes its five-year run with an anime under its belt, and as one of the most unlikely and irreverent shoujo manga ever made.
With its action-packed fighting and positive, powerful heroines, the titanic Precure franchise has stood at the top of all shoujo anime for the past 14 years. The series has featured themes including music and badass princesses, and now “baking” can be added to that list. Toei Animation, the studio behind Precure, recently announced the 14th and latest iteration: Kira Kira Precure A La Mode. The official slogan is “Cook ! Eat! Fight!” The show intends to appeal to a primarily young female audience by targeting their love of sweets and pastries.
Japanese anime news site Anime! Anime! recently ran a poll in October asking readers what titles they would most want to see get a sequel. Over 13,000 readers voted, and the results are as follows. 1) Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (“Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun”) 2) Houzuki no Reitetsu (“Hozuki’s Coolheadedness”) 3) Mob Psycho 100 4) Ookiku Furikabutte (“Big Windup!”) 5) Free! 6) Re: Zero 7) Arslan Senki (“The Heroic Legend of Arslan”) 8) Katekyou Hitman Reborn! 9) Akatsuki no Yona (“Yona of the Dawn”) 10) Ouran High School Host Club Top pick Nozaki-kun received over 2,000 more votes than Houzuki no Reitetsu. A comedy series, Nozaki-kun follows a tall, intimidating high school boy who moonlights as a shoujo manga artist. The anime...