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The Big/Little Sister of Love Live!: Umi Sonoda Character Spotlight

At first glance, Umi Sonoda from Love Live! School Idol Project and Love Live! School Idol Festival is not an unusual character. Serious to a fault, one can even draw parallels between Umi and her fellow blue-haired idol, Kisaragi Chihaya, from the rival idol series The iDOLM@STER. However, what Umi offers isn’t Chihaya’s sense of quiet tragedy or the joy of overcoming one’ past. Rather, when it comes to the dynamic equation known as Love Live!, Umi’s appeal is in her dual roles as both “big sister” and “little sister.”

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Myriad Colors Phantom World is Like a 90s Anime

Kyoto Animation’s latest anime, Myriad Colors Phantom World (also known as Musaigen no Phantom World) is deceptively different from their past works. The studio behind popular hits such as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-On!, Free!, and most recently Sound!! Euphonium, Kyoani is known for attractive characters, a penchant for the eccentric, and a firm grasp of “moe.” However, even though  Phantom World can be thought of in a similar vein, I find that the series feels more akin to popular anime from the 1990s.

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Showa Nostalgia in Anime: What’s the Deal?

Erased (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi) Recently, many anime from multiple genres have been making explicit references to the “Showa period.” For example, in the first episode* of the comedy series Osomatsu-san (aka Mr. Osomatsu), its iconic characters (who are based on the classic 1960s series Osomatsu-kun) lament the fact that their "Showa humor" might be outdated. In the first episode of the new supernatural mystery anime Erased (aka Boku Dake ga Inai Machi), the 29-year-old main character questions if his younger co-workers sense of humor is the result of being born after the Showa period before he is transported back in time to his childhood. The drama anime Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, is about two generations of “rakugo” performers and literally...

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In Defense of Nico Yazawa from Love Live!

Source: Love Live! School Idol Festival One of the most fascinating aspects of Love Live! School Idol Project and Love Live! School Idol Festival fandom is the sheer divisive nature of the character Nico Yazawa. While the other Love Live! characters have fairly amiable personalities and few haters, Nico’s combination of genuine enthusiasm and abrasiveness towards others has resulted in lines drawn in the sand; most fans feel strongly about Nico one way or another. Therefore, as someone who is “Pro-Nico,” I thought I’d explain why the very same qualities that draw ire from others are what I enjoy about the character.

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How Monster Musume Attracts Hardcore Fans

Source: Monster Musume Episode 1 At Comic Market 88 last summer, Japanese book publisher Tokuma Shoten brought with them an astounding seven-meter long hugging pillow. Featuring a character named Miia from the series Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls, it sold out in under an hour despite its whopping 100,000 yen ($850) tag. Given this success, why hadn’t any other company tried something like this before? The reason, I believe, is that Monster Musume boldly goes where other similar series do not dare to tread, and thus garnered a loyal fanbase because of its earnestness.

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One Punch! JAM Project’s Gateway to Western Success?

Source: One Punch Man Anime Official Site  Whether it’s the exquisite action sequences, the superhero aesthetic, or the clever humor, the One Punch Man anime has been turning a lot of heads. Among its many memorable qualities, one particularly powerful feature is its rocking theme song, “The Hero!! ~Light a Fire in This Enraged Fist~,” sung by superstar anime band JAM Project. Its initial cry of “One Puuuuuunch!” is not only invigorating, it’s also a lot easier to remember then the string of German at the beginning of Attack on Titan’s first opening. It’s so catchy, in fact, that I believe that One Punch Man will finally be what garners success for JAM Project with English-speaking audiences.

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