Sound! Euphonium on Fresh Starts and Asuka Tanaka

May 8, 2015 § 3 Comments

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In showing and developing various narratives, Sound! Euphonium invites character comparison. The most obvious example is of Reina Kousaka and Kumiko Oumae. Both struggle with verbal communication – Reina preferring to express herself through music and Kumiko seemingly possessing large amounts of anxiety – which is what makes their developing friendship work. As evidenced in the series’ fifth episode, Reina begins to open up to Kumiko, and while Kumiko still stumbles over her own words, she has managed to overcome her fear of starting a conversation.

While Kumiko is the primary character, Sound! Euphonium relies on dialogue with others, along with her actions, to speak for her. In spite of the audience’s access to her thoughts, Kumiko is one who has trouble identifying what she truly wants, and her inner monologues reflect this, rarely offering her actual emotions.

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Plastic Memories’ Isla as the Beautiful Premium Girl

May 2, 2015 § 11 Comments

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“Her character was locked in as translucent — like a shadow, or the air. The kind of girl you can’t touch. The girl you long for, but there is nothing about her that you can hold.”

– Yoshiyuki Sadamoto on Rei Ayanami’s character design in Neon Genesis Evangelion

So many have followed in her footsteps that it’s now difficult to believe that Rei Ayanami’s design was unique. While her specific character has stood the test of time, her appearance, along with her more superficial character traits, has not. Plastic Memories’ Isla is one of many expys attempting to capture the elusive allure of the original “premium girl.”

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Through the Eyes of God (And Leonardo Watch)

April 30, 2015 § 5 Comments

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“Life, which is hard enough as it is, is even harder here. Even more so for a small timer like me, whose only redeeming feature is that I’m normal.”

– Leonardo Watch, Blood Blockade Battlefront, episode 1

Both viewers of anime and in-universe characters alike often yearn to be exceptional. The traditional special teen narrative focuses on plucking protagonists from their humdrum lives and plopping them elsewhere, bestowing upon them universe-breaking powers. Blood Blockade Battlefront‘s Leonardo Watch is no exception, only he never wished for the all-seeing eyes of god. They were given to him unwillingly, as his sister Michella was able to act more quickly in a high pressure situation, offering her eyes as part of a sacrifice.

As a result, his ordinary looks become his greatest asset, hiding his one of a kind power.

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Madoka, Madoka, Madoka, and Me

April 29, 2015 § 8 Comments

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When Puella Magi Madoka Magica initially aired in 2011, watching it was an experience. Following up on my experience with Star Driver, Madoka was the second water cooler series that I participated in, eagerly vomiting my thoughts into the ether, and chatting with various people on Twitter about the show. When the final two episodes were released, I was one of the eager fans continuously refreshing their browser while waiting for translations. Watching the finale as soon as I possibly could following the fansubbed releases, I jumped into the fray that was unpacking the entire series with vigor.

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Words and Emotions and Music

April 23, 2015 § 3 Comments

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When Reina Kousaka needs to express her emotions, she plays her trumpet. When that doesn’t work, she screams.

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