Happy Valentine’s Day, people! … or it would be if you were reading this on Valentine’s Day and not whenever it is you are reading this. As of this writing, it is Valentine’s Day, and what better way to celebrate the holiday than by talking about an anime that has unrequited love as its theme? Not only that, but it has moody teens, awkward scenarios, and hiding from reality by dating someone who they are not even attracted to.
“Romantic,” you say? Well, get ready then.
I absolutely love tales of characters that are unapologetically bad. It is refreshing to see the story being told from the perspective of someone who is just not a good person. The material is tough to do because if the person is not likable, no one is going to watch; however, if they are too soft, it lessens the impact of the character. Dark comedies in particular do a good job of presenting tough moments that you just cannot help but smile or laugh at.
Saga of Tanya the Evil (Youjo Senki) sounds like a title that is trying too hard, but it was a show that I had my eye on from the beginning of the season. Anime can do a good job of gut punching you when it presents something well. After watching the first episode, I feel that Tanya is definitely capable of doing that and more.
Kōji Seo has created some very interesting manga series. A majority of the ones that I have read have been about growing up and the difficulties that one faces in life, especially when it comes to love. His characters can be frustrating to watch at points, and it would not be a Kōji series if you did not want to try and punch one or more of the characters at some point in the story. It is not because they are bad people. It is because they are people. They make mistakes, they act out when hurt, they do not always know what they want. That is the beauty of Kōji’s stories. Even when everything is said and done, you can look back fondly on seeing these characters live their life because they feel realistic.
I have not seen any anime adaptations of Kōji’s works, but I have been following Fuuka for a while, so I was looking forward to seeing how it translated into an anime series. Would it capture the same feelings that the manga does so well? Would it be able to convey the emotions that the characters go through? Would it make their personalities shine? Well…
During the past few years, we’ve seen increasing success of internet-based shows. Yes, providers such as Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix are thriving off of their original series’, but independent productions have been proving the “Kevin Smith Dream” can be achieved. Remember Kevin Smith? He produced, directed, edited, starred in, and wrote his own indie movie, Clerks, then received backing by major studios for his follow up work. That’s the goal.
High Maintenance achieved said goal, having begun on Vimeo (YouTube for industry folk), then getting picked up by HBO (TV for rich folk). Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld, the creators of the show, weren’t exactly newcomers, though. Blichfeld had been a well-respected casting director with access to a wealth of talent in New York. That kind of leg up makes all the difference in this world.
Let’s see if High Maintenance is worthy of its buzz.
When asked what my favorite genre of film or television is, I would never land firmly on an answer. Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who belong to Sci-Fi, and so Sci-Fi tickles my brain. I grew up with Dungeons and Dragons and other role-playing games based in fantasy, so Fantasy has stuck to me since my formative years. Then you have Rocky, Top Gun, and Die Hard all residing in the Action genre, which is broad enough to cover the rest of my favorite genres, as well. Quarry, though, falls into my favorite sub-genre: spy fiction.
Well, sorta. Quarry contains as much drama as it does action. While the plot centers around a Vietnam vet who must pay off a war buddy’s debt by becoming an assassin, the series also handles heavy topics like racism, marriage, PTSD, and other moral hot-button topics and quandaries from the ’70s.
Let’s dig a little deeper into Quarry.
Zombies have been a definite craze for quite a while. We’ve seen comedies, tragedies, and even an occasional rom-com spin on the genre. With any idea that’s been pushed through every medium and done to (un)death (I promise to never make that joke again), we eventually hit a wall where the only original thing left to do is to deconstruct it; Cabin in the Woods did it for the horror genre and The Tick did it for superhero shows. America has not been able to successfully take apart the Zombie Genre, or at least not in a way comparable to how the British have done. Or have we?
For those of you who are sick to (un)death (I lied) of The Walking Dead, Syfy has tackled the Zombie genre in its newest show Z Nation.
Whenever I ride in the back seat of my grandparents’ truck with my little cousin, I can expect to be subjugated to one of the three ‘family networks’ that they get on the television they have hooked up in the back. On this particular occasion, it was the Disney channel–and I was certainly not prepared for the amount of enjoyment I was about to experience. That fateful ride introduced me to one of the more enjoyable cartoons I have seen in my adult life: Gravity Falls.
I love this show.