[this all comes from my Japanese language and culture blog: http://e-sanjapanese.blogspot.com/]
NO! The summer anime season is coming to and end. Try not to freak out like Dalian is. To assuage the feelings of shock and horror (which last only as long as I have to wait for the new noitaminA series to start...so not long) I will give a brief sketch of the shows I watched this season. Oh, and there are going to be some spoilers...not many, but some.
For my money, the best show of the season. Based on a popular manga, the show follows Daikichi, a single 30-something who ends up caring for his recently deceased grandfather's 6 year old daughter. What follows is an incredibly sweet and serious look at the joys and costs of parenting and the ways of finding utmost meaning in the most normal of life. Though Rin is, to a certain extent, an idealized child (and Daikichi is similarly ideal), the show does an amazing job of working out the way that other lives can add weight to our own, rooting us and giving us meaning. This season also covers the best of the manga, which means the teen drama and "other weirdness" that follows the time jump doesn't come into play. What we are left with is a well crafted and completely enjoyable show.
Don't be embarrassed. You earned the praise!
Ikoku Meiro no Croisee
This show is primarily atmospheric (like a K-ON! or Working!!...only not that funny nor that contemporary) where the main point is to play out the interesting cultural aspects of not only late 19th Century Paris but also Yune, a young Japanese girl staying with Claude the metalworker, and her adventures that bring out the cultural contrasts of France and Japan. I really liked this, but it won't be for everyone. Yune is unutterably cute. This was the second show this season that made me want to have a daughter. Moreover, the show is very feel-good, which I loved.
Good job Yune!
I love this scene. LOVE it.
This dystopian tale of two unlikely friends navigating their lives in light of an oppressive government. There are things about this that I liked. There are interesting moral issues at play throughout the series that are worth considering, how the means of revolution can not be responding to bloodshed with bloodshed, etc. The character development is also rather well done. Ultimately though, it comes up a little flat. One major reason was that the final episode is essentially one massive deus ex machina that took the air out of the narrative. More personally, I promised myself I would be angry if there was a Safu character arc fail. There was Safu character arc fail.
Dantalian no Shoka
This is a quirky series in a number of ways. One, the art is interesting and there is quite a bit of rotoscoping of the backgrounds that adds a unique feel. The story doesn't seem to go anywhere in particular but rather each episode focuses on a different "Phantom Books" and how their powers are used and misused and the consequences of that. It almost feels like a Victorian era Mushishi...with a moeblob. Dalian is so moe it is absurd. And equally absurd is her tsundere-ness. But the show is generally fun and because it is episodic it is easy to pick up and put back down.
That's all for now, but I may also do a review of what I didn't finish and why (Blood-C, Kamisama no Memochou, and Mawaru no Penguinedrum) and I will definitely do a Fall season preview.
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