Kids on the Slope – Sakamichi no Apollon – Music, Mishaps and My Favourite Muscle-bound Dork
Following a recommendation from, truly the very best source of anime material I have ever met, Shiroyuni of thelimitlessimagination, my partner and I decided to try out ‘Kids on the Slope’ or ‘Sakamichi no Apollon’. As fans of both music and anime we were immediately drawn into this incredibly engaging story and wound up marathon-ing all 12 episodes over the course of two evenings despite the protests of my very tired eyes.
At first glance this anime, which started it’s life as a manga series by the same name and was adapted in 2012, seems like a standard music anime with a touch of school life but it soon proves itself as, additionally, a slice of life romance centred around the awkwardly comforting exploits of a trio of friends and the people they meet along the way. ‘Kids on the Slope’ manages to traverse genres effortlessly creating a series which can be enjoyed on varying levels by people of all ages. The story is set in 1966 Japan, during a time of political unrest and protests but also, a time of music and passion. Continue reading
I’m finally back from the dead!
Of late, virtually crippling work-related responsibilities have had me tearing my hair out for months. Now, after such a long absence from WordPress, I am incredibly happy to be back and glad of the chance to get some of these thoughts out of my head! 🙂
Whilst on the subject of ‘back from the dead’ it seems only fitting that I write down some of my thoughts on ‘Angel Beats!’, which now tops the bill as the story that has made me shed the most tears and provoked the most thought thus far in my anime journey. Regardless of who you are and what your beliefs are, you’d be hard pressed to come out of ‘Angel Beats!’ without inspiration to pursue a fulfilling life and overcome any hardships you’ve faced in favour of happiness and contentment, such is the beauty of great anime and an impeccably told story.
‘Angel Beats!’ is a 13 part anime series released in 2010 which was produced by P.A. Works and Antiplex. It started it’s life as a visual novel by the same name but also coined two manga series. Generally very well received and widely popular, this series has appeared on my radar numerous times before a few good recommendations finally pushed it to the top of my ‘to watch’ list.
When an unsuspecting Yuzuru Otonashi wakes up, with no memories of his past or who he is, only to be confronted by a gun-toting-teenage-girl named Yuri, it is only natural that he would be suspicious. Especially when she tells him that the high school he finds himself in, is the ‘Afterlife’ itself and that he, like her, is dead. She asks him to join her rebel troupe ‘Afterlife Battlefront’ and aid her and her companions as they mobilise against the seemingly innocent looking ‘Angel’ and the ‘God’ who they believe she serves. With the constant threat of obliteration should they become too comfortable or conform to this peculiar afterlife, there is only one rule of this strange new high school life; stay rebellious.
As I was watching I found myself very interested in the Battlefront’s ability to create and manufacture weapons from earth and soil provided that have a basic understanding of concept and mechanism. This unique magic/sci-fi approach to the acquisition of weapons allowed the story to move faster and provided some very interesting weaponry, especially in the hands of the Student Body President who was able to turn her entire body into an unstoppable weapon.
‘Angel Beats!’ tackles issues of mortality and mental health in a refreshing realistic way to the backdrop of a sci-fi-esque combatant conflict which threatens the very souls of the battlefront and their friends. Boasting a very characteristic and unique art style which is full of colour and subtlety alongside beautifully written dialogue that is able to inspire heartfelt emotion whilst moving the story along at a comfortable pace and topped off with a killer soundtrack courtesy of the ‘Girls Dead Monster’ band, in 13 short episodes this story was able to reduce me to tears on numerous occasions and make me laugh even more frequently. It is easy to see why this anime has such wide-spread appeal. Continue reading
Pochamani and Ore Monogatari – Challenging Stereotypes of Beauty
As a ‘larger lady’ with less than average breast-size and frizzy hair that regularly threatens to engulf my face, I am always going to love any medium that challenges the common perception of beauty. Much of my posting centres on my admiration for art which so creatively brings to life characters that are, for all intents and purposes, far too gorgeous for this world, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that I have no hang ups about the abundant depictions of the exquisite and striking in the anime and manga that I consume, however that is not the case. I’ve secretly been longing to read a manga where the larger lady gets the guy or that big guy with the grumpy face finds his princess.
In answer to my wishes, two of my absolute favourite ongoing manga at the moment are Pochamani and Ore Monogatari and I live for the days when the new chapters are released. Both stories are unpredictable, heart-warming, funny and unique. They gave me exactly what I was looking for before I even knew that I was looking for it. Continue reading
It’s been a while! Things haven’t been all that sunny in life of late but I’m looking forward to a full and thorough recovery as May turns to June. I’ve missed you all immense amounts!
Today I’m feeling pretty tired so I was looking for something a upbeat to raise my spirits!
In two week’s time I will be celebrating my 25th birthday (yep, I am almost a quarter of a century old but still sound like a toddler, and yes I am a Gemini :D) To mark the occasion, Jack’s mum has bought us tickets to Hyper Japan!! For anyone who doesn’t know, Hyper Japan is a festival of Japanese culture with food, anime, gaming, fashion, dance, martial arts and even music including live performances from a number of Japanese artists, many of whom are using Hyper Japan as their UK debut. The festival spans 3 days in July and is based at ‘The O2’ in London. I will be attending on the Sunday and fully intend to leave just before the doors close for the day, full of food, laden with chibis and thoroughly satisfied!