On Kuzu no Honkai

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Well, I know Kuzu no Honkai was an anime that causing a lot of raging in anime community, but that’s not what I want to talk about. I only learned about it because of 4chan/a/ shitposting, which prompted me to watch the first episode, and my thought was…

“What a crazy story, man. Okay, I’ve gotta put this anime down and read the manga instead.”

Why did I decide to read the manga instead? First, this type of romance drama is best reading in manga form. Second, the anime is too emphasing smut and sex, which is not my cup of tea. And finally, the manga is nearly completed, so there is almost no waiting for more episodes/chapters.

In short, Kuzu no Honkai is a story about young people who are tormented by unrequited love. Unable to fulfill their love, they turning to other people as replacements, harming (psychologically) both themselves and other people in the process. Of course, the story is told in a exaggerated melodramatic way, that why it’s so controversial. Some praising it for being “realistic”, some calling it for being so f**cked up cuckolding-fest. For me, I keep my opinion that Kuzu no Honkai is an interesting story.

It is interesting in the way it describing the unrequited love drama, really bizarre that it couldn’t happen in reality, but somehow still making me thought about it.

In the end of manga, all scum characters (kuzu meaning scum) got their redemption moments and found their “supposedly” true love. But the question is, why they must suffer so much pain and misery, just to find their way out of the mess? Why they are acting like romance and love are only things in their lives?

I think it was due to our modern society had over-commercialised romantic love, spreading the idea that you could only be “proper” member of society if you had a lover, or not being a virgin. While in reality, there are many things worth living for, not just romantic love. Our society considers having many shallow relationships is a good thing, and on the other hand, society also alienates people who are too sensitive to accept shallow relationship. Eventually, this leads to the problem of hikikomori (social recluse) in Japan, or 4chan “basement dweller” in the West. Kuzu no Honkai was only bring out the dark side of this modern “ideology of love”, albeit in an melodramatic way.

So the only true way for getting out of the mess is not criticising the scums of Kuzu no Honkai, instead, the current society’s view of romantic love must be criticised.

Gi(a)rlish Number – Pure enjoyment (or suffering)

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There is no word to describe how despair I was after the summer anime season. For a while, I was thinking that there was no way I could enjoy anything (anime) anymore. Turn out I was wrong again after all, because there is always some hidden gems buried somewhere.

But the real reason was this time, I was watching anime alone, without the f* influence from the negative thinking cancer that is everywhere in the Internet. Sometimes, it helps to be a hermit.

Enough ranting, now I want to sing the praises of the excellent anime that is Gi(a)rlish Number.

It is just an anime about anime voice actor (seiyuu), but with a little bit of cynicism. Okay, sounds like a recipe for disaster – is what I thought when hearing about Girlish Number. Especially after the degradation of OreGairu plot in the second part, which made me disappointed with Watari’s works.

However, Girlish Number is another kind of beast. The main heroine Chitose at first was a novice seiyuu, with the marketing ploy of her bosses, she quickly rose to leading position, and then crashed down spectacularly when the anime she starring in flopped so badly.

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Alone during the hard time in your life

What made the above plot interesting was how the anime portrayed Chitose, cocky when she was in high horse, but pitiful when she fell so hard. It really hit me close to home, reminded me of the hard times when I failed, despite doing what I thought best. For me, anime is best when it portrays the hardship we encounter everyday in real life and empathises with us, instead of feeding us the false happiness of escapism.

Chitose personality is also a unique point of Girlish Number. She is lazy, incompetence, arrogant, cynical but totally adorable with her frankness personality. She doesn’t think highly of other people, but also doesn’t think of using other people for her selfish purpose. She is just innocently dumb 😀

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Smug Chitose a best!

The other characters in Girlish Number were also interesting too. They may (or may not) be more successful than Chitose, but they also have their own problems. So, I think that being in suffering is not a valid reason to lament about your fate, because other people are having their own suffering too. Instead, we should be more considerate on other people’s misery, and less on our own.

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I hoped I had learned this truth sooner

In overall, Girlish Number is my most favourite anime in this season. In my scale of grading, it should be:

9/10 (Excellent)

And not forgetting to end this with GA HA HA HA:
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Rewrite Anime S1 – Final thought

Rewrite anime can be divided into two parts. The part before episode 8 is for people who didn’t know about Rewrite story beforehand, while the part from episode 8 on is for people who had already finished Rewrite.

Since episode 8, Rewrite has been transformed into somewhat a totally different beast. Back then, it was a mishmash of slice-of-life, fantasy, supernatural, mystery,… Now it turns into something with a grandiose plot. Except… the grandiose plot is actually not grandiose at all! It is filling with slice-of-life comedy, interleaving with serious moments! Continue reading “Rewrite Anime S1 – Final thought”

Rewrite anime summary so far (ep. 5)

Well, while Rewrite ep. 1 to 4 just dabbled in both slice of life and serious story, from episode 5 on, I am pretty sure that they are going to focus on serious plot. As for this season, Tales of Zestiria impressed me the most with its ep. 03, but Rewrite is gradually catching on this time. With each episode, the enjoyment go higher and higher. At the first episode, every character was very cliche; but at episode 5, I can feel that they are unique people, not as some tropes copied from countless anime before. (I’m really trying to review this anime from angle of anime-only viewers here, despite not being one)

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Continue reading “Rewrite anime summary so far (ep. 5)”

Rewrite ep.1 recap

Just finished watching the original Neon Genesis Evangelion (NGE) anime in one go and I must say that it was quite emotionally exhausting for me. Puella Magi Madoka Magica was nothing when comparing to the mindfucking level of NGE. So, I decided to stop writing review or comment on another anime I am currently watching now (Re:Zero, Taboo Tattoo, New Game, Tales of Zestiria, etc.). Instead of that, I will write recap on all Rewrite episodes, because it’ll be more fun for me 🙂 and require less thinking than doing a review. Continue reading “Rewrite ep.1 recap”

Analysis: Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa (Castle in the Sky)

There is no word to describe the greatness of Hayao Miyazaki films. I had watched many of his films, from Future Boy Conan (TV series), Laputa, Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, Sprited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service (adapted from novel), Howl’s Moving Castle and The Wind Rises, not a single one had bored me out. That old man is also famous for his remark that “otaku are harmful for anime industry”. Well, even Osamu Tezuka couldn’t escape his criticism anyway. It’s sad that he had retired so we cannot watch his new films anymore…

I’m always hesitant when trying to do an analysis on Miyazaki’s film, even though I absolutely want to do it! The reason is that when the work is so great, it’s hard to do an analysis of it without looking like preposterous writer. The more philosophical the work is, the more philosophical maturity you need in order to analyse it. I hope this post will not end up like a nonsensical analysis.

Continue reading “Analysis: Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa (Castle in the Sky)”

Tales of Zestiria the X – ep. 01

If Rewrite anime pace was too fast, then Tales of Zestiria (ToZ) would be the direct opposite. One 24 minutes episode just for Alicia meeting with Sorey and Mikleo. Not to mention another prologue episode before.

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One episode just for this…
If this adaptation is for anime watchers, then it doesn’t wotk either. The prologue didn’t show much information of the world, so how can the watchers understand the situation of the characters? Different from Rewrite, which built upon usual high school settings + some mystery, Tales of Zestiria is another fantasy world, so you cannot skip the lore. At least they should have some monologue to explain the current situation of the world at the beginning of prologue.

Well, I’ll wait until the party is assembled. Hope it will be ep. 02.

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Ah the skit… Bonus for people who has played the game

Rewrite: First episode impression

Rewrite is my most anticipated anime this season and the first episode had delivered what I expected from it. It is great that the anime isn’t a straight adaptation but an original story, because after all, what is the point of watching the same story many times? Only for nostalgic reason, and people who didn’t read the original visual novel wouldn’t bother watching it. Visual novel medium is so tedious that only people with patience can sit through the ride. Continue reading “Rewrite: First episode impression”

Arete Hime (2001 movie)

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This anime season has nothing interesting to me, therefore I decide to watch some old anime which no one seem to care about 🙂 It is a way of waiting until the Summer season, when Rewrite anime is aired. However, I do not have enough time for an detailed review post.

Arete Hime is quite an old-style anime, with a heavy fairy tale setting. In fact, I think that many manga and anime have some characteristics of  fairy tale anyway. What a fairy tale usually wants to tell us is a valuable lesson and/or the wishes of people. While an anime like KonoSuba is clearly not giving any “valuable lesson”, it is inherent that KonoSuba is an wish-fulfillment story.

On the other hand, Arete Hime has the appearance of a fairy tale, but in essence not quite so. It is a philosophical story, a story about the meaning of life. That was the conclusion I got after finishing this movie. While the story is somewhat vague, the pace is very slow, my impression for this movie is good overall.

Conclusion: Should watch if you like a meaningful story and don’t mind very slow pacing.

Opening song Красно Солнце (a very beautiful song):