Happy nice time review: Natsume Yuujin-cho

Disclaimer: I own all 20 currently translated manga volumes of Natsume’s Book of Friends. I have Nyanko-sensei merch. I’m just a teensy bit biased.

This is actually pretty unusual for a shoujo manga/anime, mostly because while there’s a lot of romance, it happensĀ around rather thanĀ to our main character, Natsume, who is a dude (which is in itself rather unusual for shoujo).

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Almost good: Engaged to the Unidentified

Or Mikakunin de Shinkoukei if we’re purists (and I tend to be). It’s a romantic comedy anime which is heavier on the comedy than the love part, which saves it from the crapper, I think.

It revolves around an arranged engagement, so we have believable mixed emotions and turmoil, but we don’t get bogged down in it because of ridiculous obsessions.

This is a show about weird contrasts, which are inherently funny to our brains, so I think it has a solid humor base. The yokai-girl is obsessed with UFOs and Unidentified Mysterious Animals from the Japanese version of the Syfy Channel. The super-popular student council president has a (non-sexual) “little sister fetish.”

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Fun with existentialism: ‘Erased’

The premise of this anime is that a 29-yr-old man has moments of literal deja vu, where he experiences resets of time, and it’s usually because something is wrong and he feels compelled to fix it. He does stuff like saving a kid from a wreck with a truck where the driver died of a heart attack.

And then (mild spoilers) his mother is murdered and he’s rewound in time to when he was 11 years old. And when he was 11 years old, a two of his fifth-grade classmates when missing and were found dead, along with a girl from another elementary. He was the last to see the first victim alive. He’s forgotten about most of it in the last 18 years, but it may be why his mother was killed. Continue reading

More indie authors, part 2

I just don’t think a romance plot typically has enough conflict for a novel-length story without manufactured bullshit. And also the cultural sexist baggage. And that is why I don’t read romances, summed up in 2 sentences. You’re welcome.

But I suppose it’s good for me to expand my horizons and pick one up — or a Kindle sample for one. At the least I get to feel smug that, yep, I’m still right about them. Continue reading

More indie authors, part 1

There was a little tent of indie authors flogging their wares among the jewelry-makers, costumers, and hippies with herbs of the Renaissance faire. But I was having a strong case of too-many-people-itis, so I just grabbed all the free be-blurbed bookmarks and business cards and got out. But to be honest, the highlight of the day was when I got to hold an eagle owl named Katara (squeeeeeeeeeeee). Continue reading

Comicon crapshoot: Indie authors

I went to a mini-con the other day, and I had something of an existentialism. They just didn’t have much of anything I wanted to buy. Maybe I should frame it as my being above the material world, all enlightened and shit, but it’s just weird when your identity doesn’t overlap much at all with the group you want to identify with even as far as tchotchkes go.

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