This is a beautiful anime. It tells a compelling story that goes in all kinds of directions, it makes good use of colors and scene design, it’s got a great cast of characters, its tone parallels a game of Shogi, it takes a very honest approach about the nature of depression, and it’s got talking animals and cute voice-overs for every onomatopoeia that pops up!
It has the power to lift my spirits. Sure, it played around with my feelings a lot, but it also makes me smile. So as March comes to an end, allow me to share how it came… like a lion.
Aw, come on! I haven’t even started the review yet!
This is a review for the first season of March Comes in like a Lion that originally aired for Fall 2016 and Winter 2017. It will continue where it left off for the Fall 2017 season, and you can bet I’ll be watching it then too!
There is a tale in Chinese and Japanese folklore about a red thread. Because of its divine properties, it cannot be seen, nor felt. You will never even notice that it’s there. But by some other worldly chance, the red thread will always bind two people together, across time and space. It is said that two people who are bound by this red thread will make history together.
For modern interpreters, the meaning of this tale is rather simple: the two who are bound by this red thread are soul mates; and thus, they will be romantically attracted to each other. But if you were to ask a classic Eastern interpreter, the red thread goes beyond just erotic love. A higher love, you might say. It is this quality of the red thread that I am reminded of when I saw one of the highest grossing anime films of 2016 recently: Your Name.
I’ve been revisiting a lot of anime that I have watched this year, seeing how this is about the time when we look back on everything 2016. That includes anime. And in all that time of reflection, I have to say:
orange is my pick for Anime of the Year 2016.
Yeah, I said it! And based on literally every poll I’ve seen lately, I’m in the minority for saying that. I’m sure for the next couple of days, anime fans will be arguing over why their favorite anime is the best. But for me, the reason is rather simple. orange didn’t just make me think about its narrative. It became part of my own.
The time travel. The murder mystery. The unflinching domestic violence. The reference to the Tale of the Spider’s Thread. The determined mother. The humanized criminal. The nihilistic plot. The town superhero. There are a lot of things to talk about in this series, but there is one theme I want to focus on for this review: the will of the artist.
Why? Because somehow I feel like only the artist (which I will keep ambiguous) could possibly coast us along and weave together every last detail of this series and make sense of all of it, from the protagonist’s struggle to the words from the pizza girl. And also, it’s the main reason I consider this a great series, despite the fact that (here we go) I found this anime to be annoying.
That’s not to say that I didn’t like it. I just… as a critic… look, do I really have to spell out how overly idealistic this series about an unlikely superhero is?
Hi all. Sorry for the lateness of this post, even though I announced that I would have it ready sooner. Seriously, I should start being more realistic and just say that I’m posting on days other than Tuesday! But anyway, let’s get into this underrated favorite of mine, shall we?
For this review, I will be examining both the first and second seasons of Kagewani together, as I don’t anticipate (for now, anyway) the possibility of a third. While this series is essentially a low-budget horror that aims to entertain us, I found myself really liking the character development involved. I mean, there’s not too much of it for the sake of each episode length, but it did get me to think about that monster that I have lurking within, too.
Or… maybe it’s just the fact that the main character is a professor, kind of like my alter ego on this blog! Hah! I don’t have a monster within, do I? Do I?