The last few years have seen huge numbers of Isekai shows about a human from our world being reborn or transferred in some way to a fantasy world. Usually with amazing powers in that world, allowing them to become heroes.

In fact Isekai might even be the most popular sub genre of fantasy anime right now. As a result, many of the newer shows are playing with the tropes and themes to differentiate themselves. Sometimes even inverting them.


Another followup on the live-action 'Cowboy Bebop'…

Michael Basile at AnimeNewsNetwork says the problem is they were making the wrong TV show and didn't know it.

> "… did Netflix Bebop even understand its source material in the first place? The answer, unsurprisingly, is an emphatic NO in all caps …"

I would tend to agree. Moreover, I believe this simple statement is also true for every other to live-action adaption I've ever seen. Including GitS and Alita.

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Follow up to my live-action 'Cowboy Bebop' mini review…

Steve Jones over at AnimeNewsNetwork calls it 'a baffling disaster'.

> Cowboy Bebop

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Related: While there I was able to use a family member's Netscape account to finally see the live action 'Cowboy Bebop' series. The entire series was available, so I stayed up late last night and binged the whole thing.

My thoughts? Worth watching. However, if you are a super fan of the you are going to be furious when they drift from the original story or adapt themes loosely.

In fact, Spike's main arc has been butchered all to hell by a last episode plot twist…


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Having a lazy morning. Woke up, made coffee, and watched a few episodes of an old favorite .

'Hidamari Sketch' isn't for everyone. It's one of those pure Iyashikei series, like 'Aria' or 'Non Non Biyori', where nothing really happens an no one is ever mean to someone else on purpose.

But it's also kind of, well, 'arty'. Which is appropriate, given 'Hidamari Sketch' is about girls going to an art school.


Just watched the first episode of 'Blade Runner: Black Lotus' on Crunchyroll.

The CGI animation is DEEP into the uncanny valley and there's a touch of the old ultraviolence. So far there isn't enough plot and way too many questions. The main character is a cipher, even to herself, which is probably intentional but doesn't lend itself to interesting characterization. The only non-evil (so far) supporting character isn't very interesting either.

Does the 3-episode rule apply to this one?

One of the reasons the only thing I normally stream is is the fact it compresses well and requires less bandwidth than regular video. Even so, with Hughes it was painful – often caching and regular complete dropouts when the server stopped responding.

So far with Starlink I can stream news-site video and anime just fine. I don't have a any other streaming services, like Netflix, so I can't stream a movie to test right now. But I'm guessing regular video will be totally watchable at 720p.

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Funimation seems to be having problems today. Website forwards to a page saying something about maintenance.

Checked the usual 'is this down' sites and thousands of reports about the website, the phone apps, game console, smart TV. Looks like the whole thing is fubared.

I'm curious of course. What happened? Third party or (more likely) self-inflicted?

De-cluttering again today. Came across a couple of boxes of VHS tapes – all commercial copies.

I got rid of my fansub collection years ago, once there was enough of an anime market in the US that the shows I wanted to watch were something I could find on a shelf somewhere.

I hung onto these, and some other VHS tapes, because I intended to digitalize them at some point. Not sure if I still want to do that, but I should see if there's a market for them.

Realized today that an I could care less about, 'One Piece', is nearly at it's 1000th episode.

Which is amazing. But still I'd rather have another season of Aria or Yowamushi Pedal.

The Spring 2021 season 'Those Snow White Notes' aired it's 12th and final episode today.

And it's infuriating!

The music and story were more than up to the standard set in the previous episodes – that's not the problem. It's the way they ended it!

I don't think I've ever seen a first-season-ender episode like this in a show where they didn't already announce a second season. It's unfair as hell, especially if we don't ever get that second season after all.

Or at least an OVA. 💔

The Spring season is well underway and I've settled on the shows I'll be watching. Despite the large number of new and returning shows this season, I'm actually watching fewer shows than I did for Winter season. I even stopped watching a couple of continuing shows I lost interest in.

That doesn't mean there aren't some real standouts this season though! Read on in the thread for more.


It's Sunday and that means I can get my weekly dose of Non Non Byori.

This week's episode focuses on Konomi, a first for this season. And that means it plays up her foibles and her pattern of over-confidence, screwing up, realizing she screwed up, and then falling apart.

For your typical comedy this is all you need; the jokes flow from Konomi's angst at her own incompetence.


I really look forward to Sunday mornings and a new episode of Non Non Byori. And then, when it arrives, I feel disappointed because the episode is over and the half hour I spent watching it seems more like five minutes. Sometimes I think I should just wait until the season is over and then binge the whole thing…

This week was another Konomi-focused episode, but it's the first one I've seen where she didn't mess with someone's head; instead the story went for full-on heartwarming.

Regarding watching the dub, let me explain: I actually PREFER subtitles. I started watching back in the 'trade VHS fansub tapes at Denny's once a month' days. And I'm convinced the original seyiou (Japanese voice actors) are generally better than the unknown actors who do most English dubs.

This means I generally watch subs. But this time I thought, Ghibli gets good dubs … maybe I should try it?

(BTW, I'm not the only one who really likes this film.)


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Since I seem to be on an rewatch binge, I rewatched one of my top-three or four favorite Ghibli movies last night.

And you've probably never seen it. Yes, seriously… Even if you're a huge anime fan.

Yes, it's a Ghibli movie, but it's not a Miyazaki and it's from 1991. And it's a romance, not a fantasy or comedy. And hard to find. (Netflix?)

I'm talking about 'Only Yesterday'.

(And it's got 2 great production back stories, which I'll get to later.)


5. Despite the fact K-On! (both the and the ) represents the Ur-text of every modern 'let's start a band/idol group' anime, there is a significant difference from ALL the imitators: there's no attempt to force a plot – no school to save, no contest to win, no auditions with EVERYTHING riding on them – it's just teenage girls having fun and playing in a band is only one way they do it


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Here are the elements that make K-On! work so well:

1. The characters are deep, multilayered, and the characterization – both animation and voice acting – brings them to life; not something you expect from a Cute Girls Doing Cute Things (CGDCT)

2. It's a production of Kyoto Animation, and the production, writing, and direction staff was nearly all female – something I believe was responsible for (1)


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A little more than three years ago I watched K-ON! for the first time.

I'm currently rewatching the entire series (two seasons and a movie). Third rewatch actually. An you know what? I was laughing at jokes I missed the first two times. It really stands up to multiple viewings, something rather amazing for an that doesn't actually have a plot.

I made some notes about K-ON! that first time and–starting from them–I'm going to explain why I like it so much.


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