Anime ’13 in 2hus: Yuuka no Hana, Hataraku Ojou-sama!, Girls und Panzer (12Days#5)

yuuka's aku no hana

hataraku ojousama hataraku ed with tenko

touhous und panzer katyusha remilia

I couldn’t resist. I’m sorry.


shikieiki yamada

A Fresh Perspective (12Days#4)

chapter skip

Well, if we were doing the 12 Days as a countdown like some, we’d have skipped #10 and this would be #9. Though we really should be on #7 by now.

As we’ve come to expect, our hopeless writer rikuo06 can’t even meet the deadlines he sets for himself. Not that he doesn’t have his excuses. I suppose consecutive all-nighters punctuated by 6-hour exam blocks can be rather detrimental to one’s creative output, after all. We’d decided to split the 12 Days posts by three-way rotation, but as the clock rolled past his deadline and then mine and then HH‘s and then back to his again, I decided we’d have to carry on, with or without him. Hopefully he’ll be back with us soon.

Speaking of absences, a certain character was distinctly missing from the first five or so episodes of Monogatari Series Second Season: that is, the main male character Araragi Koyomi. Being the hero to a harem-esque cast of heroines, Koyomi had been the narrator and lens through which we viewed and understood the rest of the characters in all of the previous installments (Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Nekomonogatari Kuro). With the start of Second Season, with no warning given we are treated to an entire arc in which Koyomi is not only NOT the narrating protagonist, but he doesn’t even show up on screen until the last few minutes. Instead the story now followed the thoughts and experiences of one of the heroines, Hanekawa Tsubasa, and alternatively her aberration alter ego Black Hanekawa. And what an experience it was!

New angles from which to view everything! As the story continued from a new perspective, I came to realize how important a theme subjectivity was to the series. Or rather, I should have noticed that much earlier, but changing perspectives really drove home the point! The changes were not limited to hearing Hanekawa’s inner monologue instead of Koyomi’s. The arc showed different sides to other characters as well. After all, people behave and talk differently in front of different people. In particular, we got to see a slightly different Senjougahara, one that is friendlier and more open in showing her emotions. The tsun/kuu/yan/whatever-dere front is mainly something she puts up when talking to or about Koyomi and people she’s not familiar with and/or distrusts.

Additionally, various minor characters never seen before appeared briefly in this arc, including Senjougahara’s father and Koyomi’s mother. In all previous installments, people not directly relevant to the story were completely invisible, as if they didn’t exist. It turns out that they were there all along! It makes me wonder what else was missing from or warped by Koyomi’s worldview, or even by Hanekawa’s. The issue is even brought up in conversation with the Araragi sisters, Karen and Tsukihi.

With the next arc, Koyomi returned to his helm as the narrating character. However, the series wasn’t done with switching things up yet. The third and fifth arcs changed perspectives yet again to Sengoku Nadeko and Kaiki Deishuu. Nadeko’s arc especially made an impact, as she was the least developed of the main female characters up till then, hidden behind her bangs and her shy, kawaii façade. Seeing her true personality unravel as she descended into insanity and ascended to godhood was satisfying, as was the further use of unreliable narration.

However, the fifth and final arc was the most unexpected turn yet. The narrative is handed over not to another main heroine, but to a gloomy, middle-aged conman who kind of but not really played the villain role in Nisemonogatari. Yes, the main hero is once again out of the picture, and the final chapter of Araragi Koyomi and Senjougahara Hitagi’s love story (“Koimonogatari”) is being told by an outsider who is obsessed with lies. Kaiki goes as far as to directly warn viewers of the intertwining of truth and lies in his telling of the tale. Despite his warning though, I feel like his viewpoint has offered the clearest image of several characters and their situations thus far. Furthermore, his adult perspective cuts through the atmosphere of drama and intrigue that have surrounded the characters and reveals them to be children after all, dealing with love, loneliness, and insecurity, rather mundane problems after all. I look forward to seeing how this all concludes next week.

adults don't get upset

I wish more anime would play with subjectivity and perspectives like the Monogatari series does. Not necessarily in a way that prioritizes presentation over plot all the time; a balance would be preferable. The typical drama/romance series I’ve seen focuses above all else on what is happening between the main characters, basically the dramatic or romantic content. But taking a step away from all that—following a character spending a few days away from the main protagonist, or getting an outsider perspective—can be a revealing experience, for both the audience and the characters themselves.

TD VII: Advent Season (12Days#1)

“Look Aniki! I can pun too!”

“Tomo-chan, stop playing with your words or I’ll make you eat them!”

“Oh? Like you did with your Thanksgiving week post plans?” Burn!

(The above anecdote is a completely fictitious conversation between me and rikuo06, and does not exist in real life, just like your waifu.)

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Blogathon Blitz: Fantastic Memes

fantastic memes screenshot

Web Address:

Blogging Style: Variety

Recommended Posts:

Fantastic Memes claims to be a blog about “Appreciating the Unappreciated in Anime.” As such, many of its posts address various aspects and elements of anime that are often easily dismissed or ridiculed. Additionally, these posts tend to generate lengthy, informative discussions in their comment sections, altogether making them an engrossing read.

The author of this blog is one frog know only as Frog, though most people address him as Frog-kun, Froggy-kun, and occasionally, Señor Frog. Even in his more analysis-focused, editorial-type posts, he maintains a friendly, informal tone that is a smooth to read and very welcoming towards discussion. Meanwhile, he also sparingly does episodic reviews, choosing one series each season (currently, the second season of Infinite Stratos). Before he picked up blogging, he was also a prolific fanfiction writer. Frog-kun is currently one of the most active non-episodic anime bloggers that I am following, often posting every two to three days. He hasn’t missed a week since May until last week, though apparently he is currently busy working on his light novel!

Clearly, I have much to learn from such a productive frog, and so can you! Head on over to Fantastic Memes to join the fun!

Extra Thoughts

  • Froggy-kun’s friend uminohoshi occasionally guest posts on Fantastic Memes.
  • Froggy-kun just recently reached his 100th blog post. Congrats!
  • Whenever I see someone call him Señor Frog, I always mentally add a sombrero and maracas to his profile pic. Totally not racist. (Actually, I think he’s Australian?)
  • Could this be his tragic backstory? On a related note, I would love to read a blog post written in this style.

frog profile pic

“Know me only as Frog,” quoth the frog.

Thanksgiving Times #1 (rikuo06): My Mind


I am thankful for possessing a mind.

 I think, therefore I am, therefore I'll change the world!

I think, therefore I am, therefore I’ll change the world!

I was thinking about thinking. That is to say, my mind was on my mind. That tends to happen a lot, and not just because I’m currently taking a course on philosophy of the mind.

My mind was my very first possession. Yes, even if the body I inhabit was conceived first, it might be said that I myself, my self, did not exist until my mind did. (Well, there may be something about spirit, but that’s even more mysterious and beyond my current understanding.) So in a way, I am saying that I am thankful for my very existence. Can’t get more basic than that!

One might even say that my mind is the only possession I have that is sure to exist! Even if my senses and memories aren’t to be trusted, even if I succumb to solipsism and give up ever knowing what is real, even if the physical world is subsumed by the Wired and my own identity is called to question, I can hold onto that one sure thing that guarantees my existence.

lain thinking