Review: Library War

As anyone who knows me can attest, I am a huge fan of books. I’m a veritable bibliophile. So when I first heard about an anime about militant librarians protecting the freedom of expression from an oppressive government I just had to check it out.

The world of Library War is Japan in the year 2019. To combat growing government censorship of media and expression the libraries have militarized to protect the art and media of all Japan. The Media Betterment Act gave the government the authority to repress freedom of expression while the libraries act under the Freedom of Libraries Law.

In the year 1999 the Hino Library was attacked by a mob supporting the Media Betterment Committee and killed 12 people loyal to the ideals of the Freedom of Libraries Law. This act, known as the Hino Nightmare, was the impetus for the libraries to take up arms and defend themselves. Continue reading “Review: Library War”

Funimation Airing Episodes on YouTube

Some of you may have already heard about the new Funimation channel that’s popped up on YouTube but it’s news to me so I’m sharing it with you.

As of August 4th they will be showcasing four of their shows on YouTube. Currently in Funimation’s weekly lineup are episodes five through eight of Blue Gender, Kiddy Grade, Peach Girl, and Slayers. Continue reading “Funimation Airing Episodes on YouTube”

Real Drive: The Sea is Burning

If Shirow Masamune and Production IG continue to release their high quality animes, then I hope their love affair never ends. The latest project between these two anime icons abandons the contemporary setting of Ghost Hound and leaps more than 50 years into the future. Masamune-san hasn’t created as dark and cyber-punked a world as in Ghost in the Shell but RD Sennou Chosashitsu (Real Drive) still has plenty of plenty of flashy technology and the story is grounded in Masamune-san’s image of the future of the Internet.

So far the story is mostly about Minamo – a teen aged high school girl – and Haru – an old man who recently awoke from a 50 year coma. While the setup does seem a bit lecherous the relationship between Minamo and Haru is strictly platonic. Minamo has come to help take care of Haru as part of an internship at the request of Haru’s assistant, Holon.

Haru was once one of the best free divers in the world who was working with his friend and partner Eichiro Kushima studying undersea aberrations. During one of the dives something goes wrong. Haru remarks that the sea is burning and all hell breaks loose. Continue reading “Real Drive: The Sea is Burning”

Ghost Hound

Production IG’s currently running anime, Ghost Hound, may start out slow but it more than makes up for this in its well-timed plot and cerebral story line. Interestingly, this story takes place in the present, more precisely the date in the episodes are congruent to the date they are currently being aired on Japanese television station Wowow.

The idea for this story came from Shirow Masamune, of Ghost in the Shell fame, over 20 years ago. Production IG announced the show to the public only last year, and it went to air this past October. You won’t find any cyberpunk in this story, although it’s still going to throw some science at you in the form of psychology and psychological terms, as well as a dose of Japanese folklore.

The story centers around three teenage boys – Taro, Makoto and Masayuki – with troubled pasts that allow them to leave their bodies and travel the Unseen World, and a girl – Miyako – who can see the creatures that reside in the Unseen World. Continue reading “Ghost Hound”

Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

Bakumatsu, as I will affectionately term this series for the rest of the review, is not really that bad a show. Indeed, it has (almost) all the elements of an excellent show.

Well, except for likeable, identifiable protagonists. … Or a sense of continuity. … Or a good sense of dramatic tension.

Ok, so maybe it’s lacking in a few departments. However, I really do need to stress that this show isn’t as bad as I’m about to make it sound. I thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of this show, even if it was lacking in a few areas. So I feel I really should mention, right now, that it is worth watching, if you have some free time. Honest. Continue reading “Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto”

Claymore: Basilisk for Girls? Well…Not Exactly

I’m a big fan of shows with dark settings. I’m also a big fan of shows with intriguing plots. Some fast-paced action here and there doesn’t hurt; neither does excellent art.

That said, I’m not particularly picky when it comes to genres. If you’ve got a sci-fi epic, a tale of modern-day espionage or a fantastic tale of swords and sorcery, I’m pretty much good as long as you manage to include some or all of the above. Considering my roots in Record of Lodoss War, though, I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for shows that manage to pull them off in a medieval world. Continue reading “Claymore: Basilisk for Girls? Well…Not Exactly”

Villian’s Exposition: Faulkner in Anime?

One of the nice things about cinema and television, as media, is that they can transport the viewer to an imagined world with greater precision than a novel or radio drama. This isn’t to say that books do a bad job at it, and, in fact, I find that a well-written story will often immerse me in the world of the tale far better than if there were visuals. However, because television and film are audiovisual media—rather than “videolinguistic,” to create a word—they can effectively create a world that all viewers will at least perceive as the same, if not necessarily interpret similarly.

And honestly, this is one of the reasons I like that we’re seeing so many cinematic and television adaptations of famous novels. It’s nice to see an old work return to popularity among the I-don’t-want-to-read-it generation, and plenty interesting to actually see how other people interpreted the same stories. Yet it is the act of cementing these stories—forcing them into a single, uniform scheme of the senses—that makes them accessible to our oh-so-lazy lives.

Continue reading “Villian’s Exposition: Faulkner in Anime?”