I've just finished watching episode 1 of You and Me. You and Me is a slice of life anime about 4 childhood friends, Shun, Kaname, Yuki and Yuta. It's spring and they are entering their second year of high school together. Shun is the happy, cute and optimistic one. Shun wants everyone to get along and have fun together. Kaname is a top student, who wants Yuki too try harder. And Yuki and Yuta are twins, who are both laid back, and enjoy making Kaname angry. The main plot of the first episode is Kaname trying to get Yuki to join some sort of athletic club so that Yuki can open his eyes to the world! But this ends up a almost back where they started. However Shun is optimistic that although "things haven't changed so far, there's room for change in the future. Like cherry blossoms, the unchanging things and changing things all whirl together."
I think this is what sets You and Me apart from the recently popular slice of life series K-ON. Throughout the entire first episode of You and Me, there seemed to be a deliberate undertone of laziness, boredom or comedic hopelessness. The main humor in this episode is the fact that even since these 4 boys were children, it doesn't seems like much has changed at all. Kaname's efforts to try and get Yuki to change (by getting him to join a club) end up fruitless by the end of the episode. Nevertheless, Shun is optimistic about things, he tries to reassure Yuki that Kaname cares about him, but has his own way of showing it.
Throughout the episode there were quite a few scenes with cats. And they are shown doing what cats do best, laze around. It's pretty easy to draw a comparison between the 4 boys as lazy cats. There is one specific scene where this comparison is drawn almost directly, Kaname takes away Yuki's manga, it cuts to a scene of a cat trying to catch a "cat tail" toy, then when the cat finally catches the toy, it cuts back to Yuki who has his manga again. I have a guy friend who likes cats, particularly lolcats. He finds them cute. What I found interesting what in this episode, the cats weren't depicted as overly cute. There was even one particularly wet, fat, white cat that looked like it was ready to claw the next person that tried to pet it. In another scene, a girl is tickling a small cat and the cat looks like he doesn't have a care in the world.
I like the opening and ending themes. The visuals are pretty clean and simple. This makes it easy to watch. There was some good use of wind near the start of episode, and when the boys were having lunch on the rooftop. Also, falling sakura blossoms are as pretty as ever. Like I said the overall tone of the show is fairly relaxed and has a slight feeling of irony, because of the talk about how little they have changed, and the fact that it is a slice of life.
I'm interested to see if it maintains this feel throughout the series and what it decides to do with it. At this point it doesn't look like it's going for the K-ON route, where everything is happy-go-lucky, nothing changes and characters all stay the same and do the same things. Though it could easily do that, it seems like You and Me is going to be more laid-back, slower and self-aware as it develops its characters.
By the end of the episode, as Shun is speaking optimistically of the future, you begin to wonder what the point of change is anyway and how these 4 boys will turn out. This is something that I had never bothered to consider about the girls in K-ON when I watched the K-ON series.
If you are interested, you can check out the plot summary I wrote for the wiki here, and also the screenshots I took, for easier access I have below. (however this may not be all the screenshots I took, because this new image uploading system is so weird... just go to the episode page to make sure you're seeing all the screens I took, or here.)
I've just discovered this site memrise.com, which helps people memorize words of different languages. It looks like it mostly thrives off of user based content. I've tried some of the japanese kanji and have so far "planted the seed" for 10 japanese words. The website runs in such a way that really emphasizes repetition, but it does it in a very game-like way.
Notes so far:
-The site does not teach basic hiragana or katakana, which is essential for learning kanji. If you don't know hiragana and katakana, the best place to start is here right on animevice!
-The site does not teach grammar
-The site does not teach you how to write the words you are learning.
Overall it seems like a neat idea and it's fun to use.
Here's what my "Watching" list looks like on myanimelist. As you can see the only Fall anime I've gotten around to checking out are both Persona 4 and Squid Girl 2.
FMA:Brotherhood - 32/64 Episodes:
Gankutsuou - 17/24 Episodes: I feel like both Brotherhood and Gankutsuou demand my full attention when I am watching them. Since they are both so heavily plot driven, I try to watch episodes from either of the series only when I am fully awake and in a relatively good mood. Both are shaping up very very well, and I highly reccomend both series.
Kimi ni Todoke - 21/25 Episodes: Unlike Brotherhood and Gankutsuou, Kimi ni Todoke is very easy to watch. Kimi ni Todoke is just so simple, inspiring and heart-warming story. I'm probably going to jump right into the second season after I finish the first season. After that I'll probably finally get around to watching Clannad: Afterstory, man it feels like forever since I finished watching Clannad...
Heaven's Memo Pad - 10/12 Episodes: I want to finish this anime soon, probably this weekend if I get enough work done on my essays. Honestly though, I'm fine leaving this one unfinished for a little while, the series turned out to be not that great toward the end, and it doesn't seem like they're going to be doing anything interesting for the conclusion.
Mawaru Penguindrum - 8/24 Episodes: Yep, I haven't been keeping up. It's not available online legally, so video quality is sometimes a bit buggy, maybe now better versions have been uploaded, but in the last few episodes I watched there were some obvious visual bugs... which is bad for an anime which has such a vibrant art style.
One Piece - 55/???? Episodes: Yes, I put 4 question marks there. One Piece is pretty easy to watch too, but it strikes a different chord than Kimi ni Todoke. One Piece is an adventure story! The more I watch of One Piece, the easier it gets to be swept up away in the world of One Piece and the adventures of the Straw Hat crew.
Squid Girl 2 - 1/?? Episodes: I'm pretty happy about the first episode. I don't particularly like the ending theme, I think the ending theme for the first season was perfect. Not sure what direction this season will end up taking, but first episode definitely delivered more Squidiness. Sometimes I find myself thinking of squid puns.
Persona 4 - 1/?? Episodes: The best for last I suppose. I checked this one out only two days ago. It's a pretty great start. Having watched the endurance run it is interesting to think about what a person watching this without any exposure to Persona 4 would think of it. The pacing feels very very fast, but is very faithful to the game. It's a pretty hard task to turn a 70+ hour game into roughly 11 hours. I wouldn't really recommend watching this for people who aren't already familiar with Persona 4. Many things are taken directly out of the game and used to good effect, there were many times I went, "OHH SHH-".... I was pretty excited.
Man this took longer than I thought it would to write... Oh well, Hopefully tomorrow I will have time to watch and write a plot summary for episode 2 of Squid Girl 2. Until then, happy thanksgiving, may your anime-watching habits do well.
El... Psy... Congroo...
Yep it's that time of year again. Summer is coming to an
end. For many people, including myself, this means a new year of school. Some
might have had summer school, others might have had a summer job. Some might
have gone traveling, others might have preferred doing things closer to home.
I'm not going to go in depth with what I did this past summer. But, I will say
that anime was a very large part of what I did this past summer. Mostly
watching it, and also contributing to the animevice wiki.
My thoughts about the anime I've watched this summer haven't really changed since my previous Summer Half-way Point blog. So if you want to know some of my thoughts on various anime shows, you can check them out there.
Before this summer, I didn't really give the anime vice wiki that much consideration, I mostly stuck to blogs. But now that I've contributed a fair bit to the wiki myself, I realize that there is a lot more information on the wiki than I had ever imagined. With dozens of new anime series coming out every season, it is almost impossible to keep any wiki site updated with all information on all the anime (and manga) that is out there. But that doesn't mean that wikis are useless.
The time that I started consistently contributing to the wiki, was roughly half way into Star Driver. I had already done some blogs on Star Driver, with my impressions and some low quality screenshots. Since, I was really enjoying the series I started writing plot summaries for each of the episode pages whenever I would watch a new episode. I found a few parts of the plot confusing, so I thought writing out the summaries would help me better understand the series, as well as helping other people who want to clarify some things that happen in the series. Most of the characters and voice actors for the series already existed on the wiki, so I added the characters and voice actors that appeared in each episode to the corresponding episode page.
My style of writing plot summaries has changed a bit since then. I no longer build up suspense or use spoiler tags in my writing. I try to keep things factual, while also conveying important emotional aspects that could be important to understanding the flow of the plot, or character motivations. I also provide links to character pages in the plot summary, so people don't have to scroll all the way down to the characters section to find out who is being talked about. Also, sometimes if I want to avoid spoilers in certain series, I will write a short introduction before the actual plot summary, which sets up the main events of the episode. Example w/ introduction: Hanasaku Iroha Ep 20 . Example without introduction: Nichijou Ep 20.
Since I really like both Nichijou and Hanasaku Iroha, I decided to take screenshots for each episode and upload and caption them to the wiki as well. Luckily both are available for free on crunchyroll.com which has good video quality and allows you to turn off subtitles. What ended up happening was, every sunday, I would watch each episode twice. The first time was to write a detailed plot summary for the episode page and add characters. The second time I would watch it with subtitles turned off, and take screenshots appropriately.
When I am contributing to the wiki, I always hope that someone out there is finding this information useful or fun or cool. I like the anime that I watch, some more than others, and I want to share that somehow. Whether it's through blogs, forums or writing on the wiki.
With school starting up again, I may not have as much time as before to contribute to anime vice. But I definitely plan on finishing up the episode pages for Hanasaku Iroha and Nichijou. Over the course of the summer I also wrote a bunch of plot summaries for these other summer 2011 anime series: Uta no Prince-sama, No. 6, Kamisama no Memochou, and Ikoku Meiro no Croiseé. I like all of these anime in varying degrees. If I didn't I wouldn't bother watching them in the first place, let alone writing stuff about them. These anime too will soon be coming to a close, and I'm not sure whether I'm going to be writing anymore for them on the wiki. If I can't fill out the episode pages, I may do some brief final thoughts blogs for them, but I can't tell at this point.
I like watching anime, and hopefully if you've read this far and visit this site, you like watching anime too! Some people like to dock anime vice for not having a lot of discussion going on about currently airing series. But those are the same people that also don't make any sort of effort to get any discussion going! If you like anime, have ideas and want to discuss them, then write about it. Whether it's creating a forum topic, blogging, or writing stuff for the wiki, there's always a way.
Remember, you only get out of something as much as you put into it. By writing about anime I like, I feel like I get a better appreciation for the series and anime in general, as well as hopefully helping others who read what I write. A lot of work gets put into making an anime, and I try my best to express my interest in anime to others. :)