So, as the number of Iyashekei and have declined I have found myself turning to the romance genre to get the same fluffy vibes. (For me the gateway drug was 'My Love Story!!')

And I found a pattern in the romances I've been following (or not following) I don't like and I'm not sure what say about it…

Firstly it's related to gender marketing and I'm not sure if it's because that's what actually SELLS to the target audience or if it's a perception thing for genre editors.


Speaking of , what's with the thing where some characters have no pupils in their eyes?

I'm pretty up on most of the character design tropes like 'sleepy eyes', 'cute little fangs', ahogas and why blonde hair means 'delinquent'. And I'm familiar with the thing where all the characters in a scene might be drawn with blank eyes to indicate discombobulation.

But what does it mean when a character always has blank eyes? They usually act kudere and speak in a monotone, so maybe that's a clue?

Dance Dance Danseur just became the first casualty of my 2022 Spring season watchlist. I'm sure the bullying scenes in episode 3 are setting up powerful plot points later, but I couldn't get past them; too much emotional baggage for me.

It doesn't help that I dislike every single character introduced so far and I'm bouncing right off the art style and character designs.

As for the subject matter, I'm OK with an anime about ballet, but not combined with *so much* teen angst.


What in the fuck did I just watch?

> BIRDIE WING -Golf Girls' Story-

If you have a Crunchyroll subscription do yourself a favor and watch this without knowing anything about it except the title.

Seriously. It's like all all the way through. And, I think, best appreciated without knowing any of the zigs or zags beforehand.

I don't know if it can sustain this level of weird so I might not keep watching. But this one's definitely getting the 3-episode-test.

A common trope in and school-days stories is the need for kids to 'make memories'. It's explicitly called out as a motivator and goal. If you are into Japanese media I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Thing is, there's a Japanese cultural subtext here you might be missing: Once out of college their 'free' student life ends and they are expected to get a job, start a family, and basically coast the rest of their boring unmemorable lives on the memories they made in school…

I mean, it's developing into a harem show, but maybe it's not? And Marin girl is owning her feelings for Gojo from the get go, instead of trying to pretend otherwise – but at the same time she's not telling him in a way he understands.

And, on Gojo's side? He doesn't realize ANY girls have feelings for him, much less Marin and the rest of the female cast. But, instead of being because he is a typical dense romance hero it's because he's a believably typical dense adolescent boy.


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And, finally, on to my favorite show of the season, maybe of the last couple of seasons…

11. My Dress-Up Darling

If you aren't watching this and your heart is not made of stone, drop everything and get caught up on the first 10 episodes. I mentioned Dress-Up earlier (search on my timeline), talking about how it broke the usual romance tropes into bits and kicked the standard formula into the corner. And it has continued to do so, in the cutest way possible.


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Getting towards the end of the winter season and I haven't run down what I'm still watching! In ascending rank order:

1. In the Land of Leadale – dumb isekai I almost gave up on, but occasionally delivers something worth watching and doesn't go all in on one joke like another dumb isekai I did blow off after the third episode

2. She Professed Herself Pupil of the Wise Man – another dumb isekai, but somewhat less dumb and with better animation


In recent news, TIL I can cancel my Funimation subscription…

> Funimation's Anime Content Heads to Crunchyroll.

Thus begins the final fallout of Sony's Funimation acquisition.

And Crunchyroll, which provides terrible customer service and has actually *reduced* usability with their latest website upgrade, is becoming the only option for recent anime shows, outside of those rare series picked up by Hulu, Amazon and Netflix…

When you are watching a typical romance and it follows formula by having the female lead realize she is falling for the (too dense to see it) male lead in the 5th episode and you resign yourself to six more episodes of her denying her feelings until, in the final episode of the season, she just can't do it any more …

… and then the 6th episode starts with her totally admitting her feelings to herself and you realize they aren't following the formula and you don't know where it's going.

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?

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