Spoilers! (Rant)

I hate spoilers. Not having things spoiled for me, that I don’t mind, I hate the concept of spoilers. The idea that learning something essential about a storyline ‘spoils’ the experience doesn’t make sense to me. In a lot of cases, learning something extra about a story can actually enhance my enjoyment of it. For me, my mind constantly guesses what is going to happen. Not accurately mind you, but I’m constantly thinking of potential future events in a story. Knowing what happens switches the guessing part of my mind off and instead I can more easily pay attention to what is actually happening in front of me. My mind becomes quiet and ready for entertainment! I can look for foreshadowing, watch the actors (or characters) more closely, and just get more engrossed in the events on screen. I can lose myself in the world. I can put myself in the characters shoes and ask “what events lead to that ending which I now specifically know about?” Already knowing the ending can be empowering to a viewer.

Having watched The 6th Sense, Fight Club, Seven, and Game of Thrones after knowing the ‘big reveals’ in each I can say that the stories are still really well crafted. The big reveals are implied throughout the story so they feel like they’re part of it (for most of them anyway). It’s not the stereotypical ‘What a Twist!” kinds of ending which sometimes get tacked on to otherwise good stories (I realize the irony of saying an M. Night Shamallonollon movie does not have one). The 6th Sense has been referenced as one of the first spoiler warning movies, which may have played a part in starting this craze. Afterwards there was the story of someone buying that one Harry Potter book at midnight, speed reading it, then shouting “Dumbledore dies!” to the rest of the people in line. To me, the craze became specifically annoying when Game of Thrones took off. All of a sudden I couldn’t talk about the book anymore, I couldn’t mention anything about the episode I just watched in public, any time I said “Game of Thrones” I’d hear a number of voices shout from the store I was in saying “WAIT! I haven’t seen it yet!” It sucks. The Marvel movies have propagated the same hysteria. I worked at a comic book store and as such was fairly broke. I usually couldn’t go to the movie on release weekend, so I’d be at work and would listen to all the people telling me essentially the entire movies plot in one breath. Hailing it as the next masterpiece of Marvel cinema, or condemning it to the cesspool of ‘non-cannon’ garbage.

If I really like a movie I’ll watch it 3 or 4 times. If I really like an anime series or TV series, I’ll watch it through at least twice over. The first time viewing experience is usually the least enjoyable. I don’t have the full context of the show, or movie, yet so I miss a lot of the little things. After seeing how it all comes together I love going back and checking it out again to see how well the ending is hinted at. On the second and greater viewings I can look at the backgrounds, listen to the music, or pay attention to how the director framed each shot. I can appreciate the finer points of the medium, which only become available to me after I know what the plot is about.

“Its not the destination, its the journey.” – Some wise dude, I think

Ten Summer 2015 Anime You Should Watch

The summer anime season is about half way through and there are plenty of terrific shows to choose from. Here are 10 that if you haven’t checked out yet deserve a watch.

This list is for only season 1 anime that started in the 2015 summer season.

Rokka

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers

Based off the light novels by Ishio Yamagata.
Set in a fantasy realm where every 300 years or so a Demon King is awoken. Chosen to stop the demon from destroying the world are six heroes who are chosen as the “Braves.” Each Brave has a unique power and is strong in their own right. The first episode starts with an awesome fight scene showcasing the strength of our main protagonist Adlet Mayer, who we later see chosen as a brave. As the story progresses it turns out that this time around there are 7 Braves leaving one to be an imposter. The story has a great deal of action meshed with mystery.

Rampo

Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace

Inspired by the works of Edogawa Ranpo and commemorates the 50th anniversary of his passing.

Kobayashi, a middle school student, wakes in his classroom to find his teacher murdered. Naturally Kobayashi is the main suspect but of course he didn’t do it. Not only is he not worried about his position but he is actually excited and sets out to find the real culprit. Akechi, a student detective who hardly goes to school, is also on the case. In order for Kobayashi to win the apprentice slot of Akechi he must solve this first crime that only get more complex. It’s been a while since a really good mystery series has entered the fray and it’s a nice mix into the season. With an interesting main character, plenty of mystery, and a fantastic soundtrack Rampo is not a show to sleep on.

Actually I Am

Actually, I am (Jitsu wa Watashi Wa)

Based on the manga by Eiji Masuda.

Hilarity ensues when a boy who can’t keep a secret for the life of him finds out his crush is actually a vampire. The story follows Asahi Kuromine who really is just your average high school boy, who you never want to tell your secrets too. One day when he’s about to confess to Yoko his crush, he discovers her life changing secret. Yoko is a vampire and no one must know. Forced to keep Yoko’s and eventually many other’s secrets how will Asahi survive his remains school days? This series is funny and sweet at times. This to me is a much lighter handed non-human harem-esque anime compared to this seasons Monster Mususme.

School-Live

School-Live!

Based on the manga by Norimitsu Kaiho.

School-Live! Focuses on Yuki Takeya and her friends in the Megurigaoka Private High School’s School Living Club. The first episode is kinda slow with Yuki chasing her dog around the school and the living club going about normal procedure. But, at the end of the episode the truth is revealed, that the world has ended and these adorable girls are living in the zombie apocalypse. Following in the footsteps of anime such as Higuarashi with cute character designs and bright colors, but dark and depressing story content.

Overlord

Overlord

Based on the light novels by Kugane Maruyama.

It’s the last day for the popular virtual reality video game Yggdrasil. Our main character Momonga, who in real life is a salaryman but in the game is one of the strongest players, decides to stay logged in until the very end. Finding that once the servers shut down he is not booted out. The Npcs in the game start developing feelings and character. Momonga stuck in the decides to make the most of it and plans to become the ultimate ruler of the land. Anyone who likes the stuck in a game SAO, Log Horizon, .Hack anime should definitely check this one out.

Machinegun

Aoharu x Machinegun

Based on the manga by NAOE

Hotaru Tachibana is a girl who prefers to dress as a guy and has a strong sense of justice. Being very strong and quick on her feet, Hotaru faces anyone that deserves it. One day when finding that her friend had been tricked of all her money by a hot guy she decides to get it back. Hotaru finds the guy, named Masumune Matsuoka, is a host and a fan of survival games (essentially airsoft matches). He challenges her to a one on one match. Despite having latent ability Hotaru loses and manages to wreck the host club. Masumune invites Hotaru to play survival games with him to work off her debt. Of course Masumune has no idea that Hotaru is actually a girl.  Full of action and comedy this series is a real blast.

tora

Ushio & Tora

Based on the manga by Kazuhiro Fujita

Ushio stumbles upon a demon that has been living in his basement for 500 years. Bound by a cursed spear lodged in his shoulder the demon Tora quickly asks for Ushio’s aid. Reluctant as anybody would be to let a demon free, Ushio covers him back up until his escaped demonic presence starts summoning more demons that threaten the lives of Ushio’s friends. Upon removing the spear Ushio gains immense strength and really long hair. Together Ushio and the Tora defeat monsters week to week in a reluctant buddy cop dynamic. The animation style harkens back to its manga roots written in 1990, it provides a very nostalgic look. Anyone interested in supernatural/ action with a more 90s manga story vibe won’t be disappointed.

charlotte

Charlotte

Yuu Otosaka is a boy who learns that he has the ability to posses another person albeit for only five seconds at a time. Yuu decides that the best use of his ability is to use it to cheat on his tests and rise through the ranks at his school. Eventually Yuu learns that he is not the only kid with special powers. Being caught cheating, Yuu and his sister are then sent to a Xavier’s school for gifted children-esque academy. There we meet more children with powers and more backstory flushing out the characters. This series is done by Key and P.A. Works, whose last team up resulted in the very popular Angel Beats. As with Angel Beats you can probably expect many feels.

gate

Gate

Based on the light novels by Takumi Yanai

A mysterious portal opens up in the middle of Ginza, Tokyo. Out of the portal comes fantasy soldiers and monsters, but they are quickly dealt with by the JSDF. Japan later sends forces in to open up peace negotiations. Along their journey they discover more of the fantastical world that is around them. The main character Yoji Itami uses his love of fantasy stories to navigate the new world and he is put in charge of one of the scout units. This series kinda reminds me of the American sci-fi show Stargate. With an awesome blend of fantasy and real world this series provides an interesting take on monsters invading the land and exploration type stories.

Snow White

Snow White with the Red Hair

Based on the manga by Sorata Akizuki

So I swear there is a trope in shojo manga about a red haired girl in a fantasy land that has to cut her hair and run away from her home. After winter’s amazing Yona of the Dawn anime this one steps up to plate. Loosly based on Snow White, this anime follows Shirayuki. Shirayuki is a citizen of the Tanbarun kingdom and is also a skilled herbalist. The prince of Tanbarun summons Shirayuki to be his concubine, because of her red hair Shirayuki stands out amongst the other ladies. Shirayuki cuts her hair and runs away instead of marrying the prince. Once outside of the kingdom she meets Zen. Zen helps Shirayuki and has a secret of his own. The story follows their adventures as Shirayuki becomes a pharmacist. Any fan of Shojo or fairy tales should check this series out.