The Chuuni Corner

Anime reviews, Chuunibyou, and other writings

Review/discussion about: Masamune-kun no Revenge

Masamune-kun no Revenge / Episode 3 / Masamune-kun laying down on Aki's lap

No revenge, indeed

When I was a teenager, my mother and I would sometimes try to spook the other for fun.

I can’t remember who started it, but my mother was mad because it often happened near a dangerous area: the steps leading into the basement. The door would be closed, and someone would round the corner after reaching the top, only to find the spookster ready and waiting.

It was initially revenge on both ends. “She scared me, so I’m going to scare her back” and vice versa. But the petty revenge eventually waned and it became more of a “game” that kept us on our toes.

Nowadays, my spooking habits are over. No more revenge either. Yet Masamune-kun no Revenge reminds me of just how far some people are willing to go to exact the latter (minus the spookiness).

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Banjo’s Top 5 Fall 2016 Anime

Fune wo Amu / Episode 3 / Kaguya looking both mature and beautiful

And the winners of Fall 2016 are…

I got to see something yesterday that I never have before: a solar eclipse.

Many parts of the world and half the Internet were abuzz with the phenomenon; it got me that much more excited. Thankfully, our workplace handed out those special protective glasses, and they allowed the entire office to step outside for around ten minutes.

While just one celestial body moving in front of another, and only partial coverage occurred from my location, it was truly an amazing sight. An event hundreds of thousands of miles away that manages to get people looking upwards and thinking for a brief period about something that almost anyone can agree on as being downright interesting.

I’m lucky enough to encounter a similar sort of experience all the time with anime. Yes, I get to see more anime than I do eclipses. But when I start up a story that centers on an impassioned ice skater or that blazes ahead in occult fashion, I can’t help but get excited about what interesting events are in store for my viewing pleasure.

Thus, it has also come time for us (mostly me because I’m seasonally behind at the moment) to celebrate what interesting anime Fall 2016 had to offer. Ten anime got into position, and five stood out above the rest. But only one eclipsed the others, earning the grand title of Best Anime of Fall 2016.

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Review/discussion about: Yuri!!! on ICE

Yuri!!! on ICE / Episode 4 / Yuri and Victor shaking hands

Melted away

On a hot summer day like today, almost nothing beats a cold, refreshing drink.

I have ice to thank for this coldness. Tiny cubes of solidified water turn down the temperature of my Coca-Cola and turn up the smile on my face. Of course, ice does a lot more than cool down my beverages. It preserves other items. It creates entire continents. It heals wounds.

I don’t always think about it, but ice does a lot out there. Ice also happens to give figure skaters the “stage” where they wear “armor” and cross “blades” on their way to gold medals and more.

Yuri!!! on ICE has a lot of skating and, perhaps obviously, a lot of ice.

But there’s no gold in sight.

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Review/discussion about: Gi(a)rlish Number

Gi(a)rlish Number / Episode 4 / Kazuha, Momoka, Chitose, Koto, and Yae after singing their song and saving their first-episode screening

(Insert cynical comment here)

Parenthetical asides (or those statements that are enclosed by parentheses) are awesome. They invite extra information within a sentence without impeding on the purpose of said sentence.

It’s not recommended to us them all the time since they can clutter a paragraph or even distract the reader from its meat. But, when a side comment or a small explanation for something written is required, the use of a parenthetical makes for a wise decision (or at least that’s what I believe).

Gi(a)rlish Number contains a parenthetical right in the middle of its title. And it’s less a phrase and more a single letter. My guess (and it’s really just a guess) is that it’s a metaphor for the show itself. That is, like anime, there are certain things that, while not always said or deemed “important,” are around and related all the same.

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Review/discussion about: Fune wo Amu

Fune wo Amu / Episode 8 / The Ferris wheel and the ship

Definition: A really good anime

I believe I have written this anecdote before, but it’s entirely too relevant to not bring up again.

In the fourth grade, I “read” the entire dictionary. “Read” is in quotes there because, while I technically read through it, I didn’t read all the definitions. I simply read each word. In order. From A to Z.

In my mind, doing so would make me “smarter.” I have always been prideful of my intelligence, of wanting to prove my brains to the world. Doubly so when I was a young kid who had everyone telling him I was overly smart for my age.

I don’t remember too much of my little adventure, for I was “reading” it so fast. I hadn’t realized there were so manywords, but, once I started, I knew I couldn’t stop.

At the minimum, when I finished the dictionary, I had a greater appreciation for words. Not just the amount but the variety, weirdness, and importance of them.

Fune wo Amu isn’t something one reads through quickly. Rather, it’s something that rewards patience with a wholly satisfying experience.

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Fune wo Amu and the Words of Dialogue

Fune wo Amu / Episode 2 / The Daitokai dictionary in figurative form

What does dialogue do for a story?

“To be or not to be, that is the question.”

That’s the start to one of Shakespeare’s most famous soliloquies, and it’s arguably his most well-known line. It comes from Hamlet, a play about the titular prince as he attempts to uncover the unjust death against his father (the king) while he contemplates life and semi-devolves into madness.

It’s been on my mind because I recently finished 1948’s Hamlet [1], starring Sir Laurence Olivier as the prince himself. (He also directed and produced the film; he could do it all.) The acting was great, and the specter was spooky, but it was really Shakespeare’s words that drove the entire story. Puns, memorable quotes. More specifically, the dialogues — be that with a group, one other person, or with themselves — created the drama and breathed life into the characters.

Shortly after completing Hamlet, I also finished an anime that went somewhat undetected during the Fall 2016 season: Fune wo Amu. This anime likewise places heavy emphasis on words but to a more thematic level. So, it got me thinking. How does Fune wo Amu use its own words to craft dialogue?

The following essay will investigate dialogue. What it is, what it can do, and ultimately what it creates. Hopefully, by the end of this piece, you will not only have a better appreciation of Fune wo Amu but also a greater understanding of dialogue as a whole.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

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Review/discussion about: Occultic;Nine

Occultic;Nine / Episode 1 / Gamon listening to his radio

Tuned fast; radioed out

The semicolon gets a bad rap.

Most day-to-day people never use them in today’s world of simplified, text-driven messages. They also look a little funky. (I mean, let’s be honest, a period on top of a comma? Get out of here.) Even Kurt Vonnegut, the beloved and creative author of stories such as Cat’s Cradle, is quoted as saying (with hyperbole and slightly out of context), “All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

He later goes on to say about his rule of never using them that “Rules only take us so far, even good ones.” With this thought in mind, I’ll provide the rule that I was taught which made me into a semicolon expert: Semicolons connect equal grammatical units. To go even simpler, think of the semicolon as an equals sign. That’s it. So long as one remembers this rule, the semicolon should be yet another tool in thy writer’s arsenal.

I like semicolons; they’re very fun to use. I don’t like Occultic;Nine; its semicolon doesn’t do it for me.

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Review/discussion about: Flip Flappers

Flip Flappers / Episode 1 / Cocona and Papika meet for the first time

Pure avant-garde

I rarely, if ever, flop over.

That’s thanks to my favorite chair at home. Its leather has frayed. The base squeaks oddly. I place a soft blanket on the seat because it hurts my bottom otherwise. For anyone else, this chair looks and feels like junk. But it has always kept me from flopping unnecessarily.

Flip Flappers contains a lot of flipping and a lot of flapping. And, while it doesn’t have its own chair to sit on, it likewise doesn’t flop.

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Review/discussion about: Hibike! Euphonium 2

Hibike! Euphonium 2 / Episode 10 / Kumiko contemplating

Hosts more excellence than awkwardness

Recently, I have started to learn how to play the guitar. Sort of.

I haven’t purchased the instrument yet; I’m still deciding on the brand and the amp. However, I know what I want to play: heavy metal. It’s my jam, and, after listening to so much of it now, I told myself, “I want to melt faces with my solos like the best of them.” Okay, I’ll probably never be that good, but I do like the idea of expanding my skillset.

But it’s tough. I have never officially played an instrument, so even the notes of the strings are confusing me. Then there’s palm muting. Power chords. Tab sheets. Tremolo picking. Finger placement. A lot to take in for a musical beginner like myself.

After finishing Hibike! Euphonium 2, it made me realize, even with my minimal foray thus far into the world of guitar, that there’s a whole lot more to playing an instrument than just hearing a couple of notes.

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Review/discussion about: Shuumatsu no Izetta

Shuumatsu no Izetta / Episode 9 / A comic-book cover of Izetta

Not long-lasting

Most anime have an English-translated title. Makes it easier for an American like me to better understand an anime and what it will potentially be about from the get-go.

Shuumatsu no Izetta’s English title is Izetta: The Last Witch. More than likely, this review will be the last time I ever think about – let alone write about – this show.

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