The Chuuni Corner

Anime reviews, Chuunibyou, and other writings

Review/discussion about: Koyomimonogatari

Koyomimonogatari / Episode 4 / Araragi suspicious of Kanbaru

The odds are in its favor

The inexplicable parts of life have plagued the minds of people for a millennium. Otherwise known as oddities, strange phenomena have a certain allure to their presence. They invite imagination; they drum up curiosity.

From the logically possible to the truly bizarre, odd occurrences will not disappear anytime soon – so long as there are those willing to question the world around them.

Koyomimonogatari tackles this subject in the span of less than three hours. Simultaneously, it also promises a ton of content that fans of the overall series will most likely approve and appreciate.

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Review/discussion about: Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss / Episode 6 / Lyza's mining pick surrounded by a field of flowers

A triumph in fantasy

(As supplementary material for this review, please refer to my essay on this anime and its world-building techniques, “Made in Abyss and Building a World”.)

This past month, I have sunk a ton of time (perhaps too much time) into a video game that fans and critics alike hailed as GOTY last year: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Its sprawling map. Its sense of freedom. Its myriad of opportunities. Having now experienced (pretty much) the entirety of the game myself, it’s now easy to see why it captured the attention and the hearts of gamers from across the globe. And, while I do not consider this iteration the best in the franchise (my vote goes to either Link’s Awakening or Majora’s Mask), I likewise give the game the praise it undoubtedly earned.

Also last year, an anime by the title of Made in Abyss became the talk of the town, receiving those coveted AOTY awards from relevant outlets. It also strikes many other similarities with Breath of the Wild. Focus on a huge world, perilous obstacles, getting to the girl at the very end. Minus shield surfing and Great Fairies, the two pieces of media are practically the same.

All right, not quite. But at least this following statement is true: Made in Abyss also earned its praise without a shadow of a doubt.

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Made in Abyss and Building a World

Made in Abyss / Episode 1 / The city of Orth which surrounds the Great Pit, otherwise known as the Abyss

What does “world-building” mean and do for a story?

I’ve had the great fortune of visiting Walt Disney World multiple times over.

True to the name, it’s a world all its own. A place where I seriously lose myself and leave my worries behind me. It achieves this effect by meticulously building itself up piece by piece, brick by brick. The mythical kingdoms. The delicious foodstuffs. The silly characters. These aspects and more combine into a park-away-from-home, a special experience unlike any other.

Stories enjoy building their worlds, too. We cannot visit them in person, of course, for they are stuck behind a computer screen or printed onto paper. But they build their worlds just the same, hoping to achieve a similar, captivating outcome.

Last year, during the Summer 2017 season, a “little-known” anime by the title of Made in Abyss arrived with splendor in tow. To put it lightly, this show swept the community off their chairs with its grand adventure and intense direction. However, almost none of the praise it received would have been possible without the story building the world in which it was contained. So, the anime got me thinking two major questions.

What does building a world mean, and how is Made in Abyss so effective at it?

This essay will attempt to convey the idea of world-building. First through a general description, then with its specific functions derived from other mediums, and finally leveraging the anime Made in Abyss to bring everything together. Along the way, the presented research should hopefully address what world-building is, how it is used, and why it is important for a story.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

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Review/discussion about: Koi to Uso

Koi to Uso / Episode 5 / Nisaka, Neji, Ririna, and Misaki holding hands together

The truth hurts

Koi to Uso is an anime that asks an age-old question: “This or that?”

Such a question has been asked by people, of people for a millennium. Presented with two choices, someone must select either-or to proceed. It may be as simple as choosing which piece of clothing to purchase at the mall. It may cause more thinking when it involves which vacation spot to go to over the summer. And it may be completely life altering as a specific college is selected to attend.

No matter the chosen option, the outcome changes. For Koi to Uso, that question pertains not to jackets, beaches, or reputations but rather marriage. And the answer it comes to is ultimately disappointing.

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Review/discussion about: Boku no Hero Academia 2nd Season

Boku no Hero Academia 2nd Season / Episode 1 / A stronger and more confident Deku

Plus Ultra x 2

While my parents are my greatest heroes, I wouldn’t be where I am today without a couple of other heroes in my life: my younger brother and my older sister.

My parents taught me how to be a good person and looked out for me as I grew up, but my siblings have been the ones that I could rely on and confide in indefinitely. My brother and I have shared the same interests, played the same games, and supported one another in our endeavors. As for my sister, she has been my role model my whole life, her hard work and her stalwart determination inspiring me to achieve my own dreams.

To me, they’re heroes, too. Heroes in their own way. And, much like its first season, Boku no Hero Academia 2nd Season would back me up in this claim once more.

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Review/discussion about: Princess Principal

Princess Principal / Episode 4 / Ange, Princess, Beatrice, Chise, and Dorothy sitting at their clubhouse table together

Spies of a feather….

When I first started learning about cybersecurity, we talked about notable cases and the importance of hashes. We also discussed one of the earliest forms of encryption: Caesar’s Cipher.

Named after Julius Caesar, he would take his writing, apply his secret code, and jumble up his words. Simple yet effective (for that age at least). To crack it? Just shift the alphabet over three times to the right.

Within Princess Principal, the leading ladies likely encrypt their own correspondences. So, I will do the same here to describe this project: mofkzbpp mofkzfmxi fp x sbov dlla xkfjb.

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Review/discussion about: Isekai Shokudou

Isekai Shokudou / Episode 2 / The cat sign hanging on the door to Restaurant Nekoya

A menu item worth ordering

Much like the patrons of Isekai Shokudou, I treat eating at a restaurant as a treat in and of itself.

The chatter of the other guests immersed in their own conversations. The services that leave everything up to the establishment. The memories made. Restaurants offer me so much that I can’t help but look forward to that next planned visit.

The biggest reason, of course, is the food. Chicken, steak, hamburger. Appetizers, salads, desserts. The delectable foods found on those menus are already making my mouth salivate just thinking and typing about them here.

While I will never be able to partake in the meals made within Isekai Shokudou, it at least crafts an anime that any restaurant-going person like myself can no doubt appreciate.

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Review/discussion about: Hajimete no Gal

Hajimete no Gal / Episode 7 / Junichi and Yukana walking together

Didn’t work out

Between the single life and the married life, the dating life exists as its own beast.

Some dates end up pretty good with more to follow soon enough. Some dates go south fast, leading to extra watch checks and a prayer or two. Some dates maybe do not go anywhere afterwards, but they leave both parties satisfied, content with the time they spent.

With the right circumstances and a bit of luck, the term “started dating” turns into “my girlfriend” or “my boyfriend,” indicating that that beast has been tamed. Plus, in a few short years, the married life will take its place. Of course, trials and tribulations pop up during this phase, but he or she will have that significant other to rely on along the way.

Hajimete no Gal is an anime that features a couple who are girlfriend and boyfriend. That summary seems innocent enough – but be warned. This project is best broken up with before taking it out on a date in the first place.

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Review/discussion about: Centaur no Nayami

Centaur no Nayami / Episode 8 / Hime, Suu, Nozomi, and Kyouko starting forward

Without a saddle

Centaur no Nayami features, coincidentally enough, a centaur as its leading character. Thinking about centaurs got me thinking about horses, and thinking about horses got me thinking about how I’ve never gone horseback riding.

It’s interesting to think about how traveling by that animal hundreds of years ago was the norm. People still do so for fun of course, and horse-drawn carriages are still a thing in bustling cities for those that desire a romantic escape. But riding a horse is no longer a necessity to go out and see the world.

In Centaur no Nayami’s world, if a person there were to ride a centaur, let alone talk about doing so, they could potentially be arrested for disrupting the peace. But, thankfully, no peace disruption goes down in this mildly interesting anime.

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Review/discussion about: Kakegurui

Kakegurui / Episode 1 / Yumeko staring with red eyes alight

Place your bets

I like to gamble now and again.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” is my card game of choice because I grew up playing it and watching it. And I’ll throw in ten dollars or so to get some easy picks for the mega lotteries if they get high enough to make it worth the risk. I don’t always win of course, but part of the fun comes from that thrill. The maybe-it-will-happen ideology and the there’s-always-a-chance buildup.

Kakegurui takes this thrill-of-the-gamble concept to the absolute extreme, gambling with some of its own decisions that earn more wins than losses.

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