The Chuuni Corner

Anime reviews, Chuunibyou, and other writings

Tag: Summer 2015

Review/discussion about: Gate: Jietai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri


Get your war posters ready

The progression of weaponry is pretty astounding. As Neanderthals, we started off with nothing more than blunt sticks and sharp stones. Eventually we learned about the oddity called the “bow and arrow.” From there, we melted iron to make knives, swords, and javelins. Then came the gun. Then the tank. Then the jet, the submarine, and the almighty nuke. In a relatively short amount of time, humanity has proven their penchant for new ways of killing each other.

GATE: Thus the JSDF Fought There!, while not really about the weapons, showcases a wide range of them, from the bow to the gun to the fighter jet. Of course, given the mythical setting, other forms of weaponry exist, such as magic and massive death axes.

And so this makes me wonder something: where will our weaponry be ten years from now? Or in one hundred years? Will we go the Star Wars route, with light-sabers and laser-blasters? Or will we instead come up with a piece of technology that we currently cannot comprehend? At the minimum, I hope there is not an alien species out there looking to invade us with such technology, because as GATE depicts, an assault rifle beats a sword any day of the week.

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Review/discussion about: Akagami no Shirayuki-hime


A fairy tale beginning

(As supplementary material for this review, please refer to my writing on the similarities of this anime, Shirayuki and Snow White Similarities)

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is the fairest of them all?” This iconic phrase is most often credited to the animated, Disney-made film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. That is actually a pretty difficult question to answer, no matter what is being compared.

I would consider myself a big Disney fan. I like Goofy and Donald – mostly thanks to my extensive time playing the Kingdom Hearts series – but I have an affinity for its fairy tales, too. Tarzan, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin are among my favorite animated, fairy tale films (which, coincidentally enough, are also within the Kingdom Hearts series…). There is just something about the blending of the real and the magical, the budding romance, and the supremely happy endings that fills me with pure joy.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, otherwise known as Snow White with the Red Hair, is not technically a Disney-made anime, but it is a fairy tale. A tale that instills similar feelings of joy.

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Shirayuki and Snow White Similarities


Just how similar is Snow White to Snow White?

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, or in English, Snow White with the Red Hair. A peculiar title since half of it is not even its own. Of course, this anime’s title is derived from another animation, and quite the famous one at that: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Most people have heard of the movie. Snow White, a maid working for the Queen, evades her demise, helps a group of dwarfs, and lives happily-ever-after. [1] For those that do know of the movie, they most likely ask themselves a simple question when the name of the anime is heard. Exactly how much is Snow White with the Red Hair similar to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?

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Review/discussion about: Durarara!!x2 Ten


Exponentiation works slightly better

I am a suburban-born kid. I had the backyard, the nice house, and the friendly neighbors. I was not surrounded by shops or tons of cars or a plethora of people. Going to the city was an adventure. Usually for a sports game or a get-together with the extended family. Either way, I always felt out of place. I felt as if the city would consume me. That the city would take me in and never let me leave.

Ikebukuro, the setting within Durarara!!x2 Ten, would be another city where I would most certainly not feel at home. The lights and the bustle would contribute to this feeling, but the people – the super-strong butler, the headless rider, and the demonic slasher – would influence me the most. Yet the people in Ten, while fictitious, represent a similar sentiment of misplaced comfortability.

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Review/discussion about: Aoharu x Kikanjuu


No surviving here

I have never shot a gun. I have held my uncle’s small pistol, though. He carries it around for self-defense purposes. He let me hold the weapon during a birthday party for one of my relatives, and I, rather stupidly, raised the gun up instead of aiming it downwards. Everyone was quick to yell at me and for good reason. Guns are dangerous. We watch action flicks, we play first-person shooters, and we read jokes about weapons, desensitizing us to their power. It is not until one is wielded that someone truly understands what it is that he or she is holding.

Before real guns, there are the imitations, usually called BB guns. They shoot pellets, not bullets, but they are still dangerous and, for some, as fun as the real thing. Aoharu x Kikanjuu is filled to the brim with guns of this type and the survival games that incorporate their use. Although the guns are not actually the focus. They are the setting for the anime but not what the anime wants to talk about. Instead, the show concerns itself with heavier dilemmas. Deceit, rejection, and perseverance which, coincidentally enough, each occur in the very games the show shows.

My earlier recollection was sort of misleading. I have used a paintball gun before, during a friend’s birthday. I was there with a bunch of other friends. I had on the goggles, the camo gear, and the big boots. Running around the obstacles and pretending as if I was in a real warzone was fun. Then I got hit with a paintball. And it hurt. A lot. I remember the stinging, despite the layers of clothes I had on, and the welt afterwards. Though if I had a choice between getting hit with another paintball and watching Aoharu x Kikanjuu again, I would brace myself for the stinging.

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Review/discussion about: Bikini Warriors


No beach in sight

My favorite genre of video game is the RPG. “RPG” stands for “Role-Playing Game”, which is exactly as it sounds. You, the player, take on the role of a specific character to embark on a grand adventure unlike anything you have experienced before. The game might take on a third-person perspective where you control the hero – The Legend of Zelda, while not strictly an RPG, comes to mind – or a first-person perspective where you actually tailor the hero to your liking – Dark Souls is my jam in this category. Regardless, an RPG puts you into the game, making the game less a game and more an experience.

Bikini Warriors is an anime, not a game, but it centers on this RPG concept. The ending of the anime reminded me of Mass Effect, a famous space-oriented RPG series. Doing all of the side missions, exhausting all possible dialogue options, exploring never-before-seen worlds. All wonderful parts to the game, but it was having my own personal character, my own personal story existing across the first, second, and third games, that made the series so special.

I was invested in the series, so much so that when I finally witnessed the absurd ending of the third game I heavily latched onto the “Indoctrination Theory” that eerily, logically, and justifiably explained the insane leap the game had taken (I still contend to this day that that theory is the true solution). I was floored by what Mass Effect had done because it was not just a game to me, but my own, personalized experience that they had tampered with.

While Bikini Warriors’ ending failed to influence me in any capacity, let alone to the level that Mass Effect’s had, the anime at least demonstrated that RPGs are rather peculiar in their construction.

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Review/discussion about: Prison School


Definitely not a crime

Prison has a lot negative connotations attached to it. Prison is a place where the wrongdoers of society go as punishment for their crimes against humanity. From killing to theft, prison is designed as a correctional institute. Whether or not that actually happens is a topic for another day, but at the minimum prison, as people know it, is a place that you do not want to end up.

Prison School is the same. “School” in the title should not fool anyone; this prison is more like a torture chamber than a place of reform. That sounds absurd – and it is – but that is exactly what the anime thrives on: absurdity. Of course there are other undeniable motifs throughout the show but those, too, always have their absurdity cranked up to eleven and then some.

Speaking about myself, I have never been to prison (and I plan to keep it that way forever). Furthermore neither my immediate nor extended family has ever had anyone in prison. My father did go to his local jail once when he was in his late teens, though. He and his friends had gotten into a scuffle with others, landing them all in a jail cell for the night. “But I wasn’t scared of the place,” my father always says when recounting this small tale, “I was scared of what my dad was going to do me when he found out.” And that surmises Prison School pretty well: it is not the prison, but the people, that should be feared.

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Review/discussion about: Kyoukai no Rinne


Not fully worth investing in

Specters. The supernatural. Spirits, as they are most commonly called. For some, there is a staunch belief that beings from beyond still roam the Earth. The idea is that they physically cannot manifest as their corporeal selves. However, through their ghastly ways, it is possible to feel their presence or hear their meddling.

Kyoukai no Rinne is an anime about these very spirits. Good spirits, bad spirits, spirit whisperers, spirit exorcists, and so on. The show is replete with spirits of all shapes and sizes, all backgrounds and creeds. While not necessarily spiritual, the amount of spirits is undeniable.

I cannot say for certain if I have ever seen a spirit roaming nearby. I actually do not believe that spirits exist. But there have been occasions where I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye or I felt like something was there that should not be. Those moments would pass quickly, so I would think nothing of them. Though thinking more about them now, perhaps that was people like Rokudou, Sakura, and the gang helping one more spirit pass on.

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Review/discussion about: Gangsta.


Like the title, inconclusive

Gangsta. makes me, naturally, think of the word “gangster”. I am not a gangster myself, much to the surprise of everyone who knows me. To be honest, I am not sure where that line is drawn. I like mathematics, but that does not mean a gangster cannot like derivatives and integrals, too. The opposite it true as well; I might not do hard drugs but I certainly love caffeine.

I was in a gang once, though not the gruff, cool type. Our gang was called “The Five Musketeers”. It was me and my four best friends in elementary school. We did everything together, from group projects to field trips to recess. Where one of us was found the other four were surely somewhere close by. We had each other’s backs at all times.

While The Five Musketeers does not outwardly compare to Gangsta.’s portrayal of gangsters, inwardly there is an implicit comparison. A “gang” is not hastily strewn together. A gang is a group of people with common interests and, most importantly, mutual understanding of the others in the group. And in this anime, understanding plays a pivotal role throughout, gangster or no.

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Review/discussion about: Joukamachi no Dandelion


Almost nothing dandy about it

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Thanksgiving means the succulent taste of an oven roasted turkey. Thanksgiving means exactly that: giving thanks. Thanksgiving means getting ready for Christmas. But what Thanksgiving means the most, like most holidays, is family. Getting to reminisce with Aunt Lisa while munching on her famous home-cooked bread. Letting Mary use her signature purple lipstick to leave the perfect kiss mark on everyone’s cheeks. Wishing that the grandparents would have stuck around instead of scurrying off to Florida.

In our family (and by family, I mean uncles, cousins, etc.) tradition is key. Thanksgiving is where we choose out of a hat the name of our Secret Santa, leaving us all plenty of time to agonize over what gifts to purchase. There is also the customary Apples to Apples card battle, trickery a must. And of course one cannot do without the chocolate milk speech just before the main meal.

This is a time for food and games and repetitive radio music. However it is family that makes the occasion not just a random gathering but a special, memorable event. Joukamachi no Dandelion likewise places family on a pedestal yet, metaphorically speaking, the stuffing is missing.

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