Must-read Monthly Monday (August 2018 ed.)

Hang in there…just one third of the year left!

If it’s not specified, the time period covered in this post is from the 23rd of July 2018 to 20th August 2018.

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Other People’s Reads

It wouldn’t be a round-up post without them. However, since I scour people’s archives on a regular basis, these may not even be from the right time period…

  • YouTubers and Bloggers Should Interact More by Zeria at Floating into Bliss – There’s a bit of a rift between the internet cliques of content creators and content consumers, so with the advent of Reddit’s Anime Writing Club, Zeria’s worries become more pertinent than ever.
  • Manga: Koe no Katachi by anime7sins – This post manages to strike an impressive balance between being for people who are familiar with the manga/movie and for people who aren’t.
  • On Accuracy in Cells at Work!, and a review and reflection after three by Infinite Zenith – After asking a Science Honours student about Cells at Work! and hearing their immunology knowledge sucks (in their words, not mine…but to be fair, they were a genetics major/chemistry + Japanese minor), along comes this post to fulfil that specific niche. Then again, apparently Rose (Miss Waves) requested the post, so maybe it wasn’t so much of a coincidence after all…
  • Giving Monsters the D – Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust Throwback Thursday from the Black and Yellow Otaku Gamers – This was from Moya’s Creator Showcase. Call me “trash”, but for some reason even though Vampire Hunter D is not a series I’d call my favourite – it’s full of convoluted cookie-cutter plots I can’t really remember, for one thing – it still makes for some pretty enthralling reading, which then translates to the big screen (to some degree or other). Also, with a title that’s so vaguely naughty it’s almost embarrassing, you can’t really afford to pass it up…
  • Mawaru Penguindrum 1 – Real Good Thing by ohnoabear at Anti-Otaku – One of the greatest things about round-up posts like this is finding dead blogs with great writing, because someday the blog owner might come back for good…not that that’s ever happened, but I sure wish it would. Anyways, Mawaru Penguindrum was something I saw through my anime club – it (temporarily) broke my brain in the best possible way, so I needed to read some first episode impressions on it. (By the way, I like the OP attached to the first episode. I don’t hate the ED from the same episode, but I just think it’s “alright”.)
  • Why Niche Manga Have a Hard Time Getting Anime Adaptions by the Luminous Mongoose (Carnivorous L Reviews) – Much like the first post in this round-up, something recent – namely, the new announcements regarding Vinland Saga‘s Amazon-bound 2019 anime – brought this post to the fore. It’s specifically written about Oyasumi Punpun and has a few generalisations regarding “hype action and cute girls”, but it’s broad enough to cover most of what could be considered “niche manga”.
  • Recommendation Culture Makes No Sense. by Zainou (This Title is (Not) Acceptable) – Here’s the problem: Recommendations are alright when you tend to check out the same genres, but most anime watchers don’t. So how do you know what to recommend without just regurgitating titles of your favourite anime? That’s the conundrum at the core of this post. (Just remember: a little specification goes a long way in the internet abyss.)
  • What’s in a Character?: Izuku Midoriya by Christian (AniB Productions) – I think I’ve consistently featured content regarding Boku no Hero Academia in almost, if not every, round-up so far! That said, normally posts in these round-ups have made me want to follow the blogger being promoted and this blogger is hoping for a very modest 10 likes on one post (as of an update post dated a few months ago). Not only is this post of a high quality, it’s almost at 10 likes! Go, people, go!
  • Don’t Watch Boring Anime, Watch Anime You Enjoy Watching by Rossiroad (My Brain is Completely Empty) – The way the contention went from “Don’t watch ‘boring’ anime” (in the original post) to “Don’t watch anime you’ll regret watching unless you’re a masochist” (in the linked post) is really something to behold. It’s also a reminder bad doesn’t necessarily equal boring – for instance, Scared Rider Xechs was, according to Reddit, one of the worst anime of 2016 which is why I watched it, but it turned out to have promising concepts under the crappiness. It was bad execution combined with how the material was treated by English licensors (the screen was partially white when I was watching episode 4 – it wasn’t the device’s fault!) that dragged it down.
  • Symbolism in Anime: If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. by Ayano (Kawaii Paper Pandas) – Poetic yet wordy title aside, there’s a lot of repetition but also depth to this post, kind of like water itself. Then again, its sweeping generalisations are both its strength and its weakness – if you’re talking about themes surrounding water, some examples where anime uses that specific thematic touch would be nice…
  • Our Hero Kuchii: Angolmois Record of Mongol Invasion Review by Ang at CouchCruisin’ Angolmois isn’t perfect, but it’s still got enough to sit at the top of my watchlist most weeks, unchallenged by any other show except the occasional BnHA episode. I don’t really know how to explain why I enjoy it so much, but in the meantime, here’s someone else’s opinion on the same show. Why do I get the feeling I missed a pun in the post title, though…?
  • Your Ship, My Ship, Our Ship by Mel (Mel in Anime Land) – The funny thing is, even after having a challenge involving her, I haven’t actually featured Mel up here yet as far as I can recall. This post goes into the complexities and potential toxicity of shipping without going too far into any one example.
  • Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori Series Review: Bliss Out With Cafe Food by Karandi – More love for Rokuhoudou here. Just looking at the level of posts that came out about it in real time kind of disappoints me, since even though the show is flawed, it was severely underappreciated due to its late start (kind of like Muhyo and Roji’s this season).
  • Cardcaptor Sakura Book 1 Review by Rachael (the Green Tea Librarian) – I’m slowly trying to get out of Cardcaptor Sakura limbo (although to be honest, lately I’ve done nothing but watch Golden Kamuy in preparation for the fall), so to find this short but sweet review on the manga’s first volume, which I did read at one point in the past, was a treat. Not to mention the food this blogger keeps using as images looks really tasty…
  • How do you feel about honorifics? by Remy Fool (The Lily Garden) – Remy’s at it again with topics you don’t think about on a regular basis when it comes to anime blogging. (Either that, or I don’t notice the posts on the topic.) As I note in the comment section, use of honorifics depends on cultural equivalence, context and what the translator’s aims are…and maybe some other stuff I haven’t thought of…

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Spellbook Offerings

Carried over from last month:

  • 25 Days Anime Male Challenge – This collab got extended for another 10 boys, so expect more hot boys on Saturday afternoons (my time). These posts definitely drop a lot of the uptight, almost-academic air I’ve got in my other posts, so if you’d like to fangirl over anime guys with me, feel free to.

New this month:

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Coming up next…

  • There’s a week’s break coming up at the end of next month. At the start of the month, there’s also a certain day coming up (you’ll recognise it because you’ll see a Saiyuki Reload manga review go out)…but I’ll leave you to guess its significance.
  • If you didn’t read this award post, I got a volunteer position at a manga library. It was meant to get me borrowing rights to a bunch of manga you can’t find anywhere else (they’re mostly Tokyopop-era stuff, so most of them should be out of print) but the database at this one’s kind of broken down and getting updated Soon (TM), so it’s currently me taking back people’s books for the moment and writing down details so that can be fixed up later. Not the most exciting job for a few hours a week, but I’ll live with it…

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