Glancing Upstream: Winter 2017 Retrospective and Review

March comes in like a dragon and out like a maid (that’s totally how that saying goes, right?).

Just a couple short weeks ago I was ready to come into this post a little tired and bummed about the season, but some strong final arcs have lifted my opinion (or maybe I’m just riding high from yesterday’s heartwarming Dragon Maid finale). We’ve had deeper and stronger seasons, but this one had its share of charm and individuality–and hey, as I said last winter, no season with a standout masterpiece like Rakugo Shinju can ever be truly disappointing.

Sure, we’re almost a week into the spring season, but it’d be bad form to say “hi” to the new gang without first bidding a “see ya later” to the old. Hit the jump for some final thoughts on an up-and-down winter.

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Love in the Time of ClassicaLoid

Get your ‘ship on.

Welp, they’ve done it again. The creative team who assured us that being a girl was a state of mind rather than a state of body brought that same chipper progressivism to their silly romance episode, and they did not disappoint. ClassicaLoid may be first-and-foremost a wacky comedy about the importance of community and the transformative power of music, but it’s also proven itself adept at quietly challenging cultural norms about gender and sexuality. Guess it’s true you should never judge a book by its cover—or a series by its goofy premise.

Click here for the full post on Anime Feminist!

Speak, Fan, and Enter! Heroes & Gatekeepers in “Akiba’s Trip”

For the love of trivial pursuits.

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Akiba’s Trip is an up-front, silly fanservice show that takes its ogling about as seriously as it does its story. While I’m not usually a fan of the ‘service, Akiba’s Trip has charmed me with its enthusiastic characters and overall joyful tone as it takes its audience on a wacky, loving tour of the many hobbies and fandoms that make up the Akihabara district. And, unlike many series about nerd culture, Akiba’s Trip and its cast are positive-minded dorks more than happy to share their passions with others.

Click here for the full post on Crunchyroll!

Panning the Stream: Winter 2017 Midseason Review

It’s Valentine’s season, but this post is more of a Like Letter than a Love Letter.

A teen girl with chin-length hair wearing a boy looks at another girl facing away from the camera. The girl with the hairbow is wearing an expression of exaggerated disgust.

My watch list has slipped a few shows shorter than it was at the Rule of ThreeInterviews with Monster Girls is out mostly for the reasons I mentioned in that post, and Yowamushi Pedal has fallen by the wayside as well. Which suits me fine; I have other projects and hobbies on my plate at the moment and not feeling like I’m constantly playing catch-up on 10-plus series has been kind of a relief, to tell the truth. Maybe I should be pickier in future seasons, too.

Barring a few major exceptions, it isn’t what I’d call a memorable season thus far, but there’s a fair bit of “good” to make up for the lack of “great.” As is often the case when life gets hectic, I’ve found myself gravitating toward comedies, and thankfully winter has some solid ones in its catalog (although they’re not without their issues, I admit). It also has underrated gem ClassicaLoid, and of course Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, which. I mean. Just. All of the chef’s kiss gifs and emojis. Every last one ’em. So not too shabby, all things considered.

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Rule of Three Review: Winter 2017 Anime Digest

Easing on down the road, speed bumps and all.

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I keep thinking of this as a light season, but I’m still keeping up with nine series so clearly I have no concept of what “light” means anymore. Maybe by “light” I just mean there isn’t a lot of meat here: I’m enjoying what I’m watching, but with the exception of a couple of series there’s not a ton of in-depth discussion to be had. …Or maybe burying myself in Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju each week has just fried the part of my brain that analyzes things.

Probably the biggest bummer about this season is that the list of titles I would happily recommend to everyone is, er…not long. Lotta caveats this season, which means a lot of shows that could easily lose you and perpetually run the risk of losing me. As with everything in life right now, reckon we’ll just have to take it one day at a time.

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