I don’t talk enough about Samurai Champloo. I guess that’s because it’s Shinichiro Watanabe’s second series, and let’s be honest: Once you’ve made Cowboy Bebop there’s only one way your career can go. Which not to say that Watanabe’s a disappointment or anything remotely like that. He’s a brilliant anime director with a tremendous sense […]Read more "How to Build a Series: Samurai Champloo"
I got the Princess Jellyfish manga a while back and found it delightful, a sweet, well-told story that spanned nine tankoban volumes. Then I FINALLY found the anime, and you know what? It’s a shorty, only eleven episodes. That’s, like, three or four manga volumes, and did not bode well. Watched it twice and liked […]Read more "Medium Matters: Princess Jellyfish"
Okay, one more time: The beginning of a narrative is supposed to do a lot of things. You know, it really SHOULD do a lot of things. The key one, of course, is to get the user to KEEP GOING. If the beginning blows, no one’s interested in what comes next. And if you’re looking […]Read more "Building a Beginning: Rent-a-Girlfriend"
Cowboy Bebop is one of those things that’s so unique in construction that it’s hard to see the pieces it’s built out of. That’s one of the reasons it’s brilliant. But it is built out pieces, no matter how brilliantly they’re disguised. For instance, you have to look at it a lot (a pleasure, let […]Read more "The Power of Three: Cowboy Bebop"
So I did a thing. Well, I did a lot of things. Started the new semester. Watched Princess Jellyfish. Got rained on a few days ago. Went to ConnectiCon in Hartford, CT. But I also bit the bullet and FINALLY finished a project I’ve been working on for more than a year: I took the […]Read more "Relevant Irrelevant Post: Book Out"
One of the cool things about a person in my racket – I’m a professor of Communication – is you can see the stuff we talk about in class coming out in anime and manga. Right? Art imitates life, right? Well, in a way it has to. If you are trying to write a believable […]Read more "Fun With School: Citrus"
At some point someone realized that pointing out the absurdities and contradictions of everyday life could be really funny. I mean, seriously, going back to at least George Carlin. Then of course there’s Jerry Seinfeld. Even Krusty the Klown figures it out, and he never figures out anything. You know why that’s relevant to Saiki […]Read more "The Outsider: Saiki K"
Okay, I hope everyone has seen Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 by now. If you haven’t, please do. It’s really good. It’s really good even though it changes the essential Evangelion story. But you knew it would. You knew the rebuild was going in a different direction from the start of 2.22, where we all met […]Read more "Character Analysis: Mari Illustrious Makinami"
One of the nice things about A Silent Voice is that it’s about kids growing up, and it treats the kids honestly as characters in that it lets them do it. Right? Not just Shoko and Shoya, but the people around them change as well as they confront their own bad behavior and resolve to […]Read more "The Power of Three: A Silent Voice"
What can you say about Madoka Kaname? She’s obviously the central character of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, so much so that the show is named after her. But for eleven episodes she doesn’t really DO anything. That makes it kind of difficult to describe her as the hero or the protagonist of the series. The […]Read more "Character Analysis: Madoka Kaname"