Editorials/Essays

Super Frog Saves H-trio — Himari Takakura and the divine

Himari Takakura’s first brush with divinity came years before she met Sanetoshi in the library.

Forgive me, for I am about to blaspheme (a bit).

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The Promised Neverland’s Dystopia Revisited

“It was for survival. Longer than anyone.”

-Mom Isabella, The Promised Neverland, Episode 12

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Through the looking glass and what Koyomi Araragi found there

A few days before my high school graduation it struck me. I was staring out of our front bay window past the dying spider plant that hung on the right side looking towards the cloudy sky and thinking of nothing in particular.

It was the morning after a lock-in party that my school organized for the senior class as part of our senior week. I had been up all night. The day was empty with no classes, no senior activities, no preparation work, and no parties. My college had already been decided upon months ago and I had already attended pre-orientation where I had registered for classes in the coming fall.

I had nothing to do but catch up on sleep lost from staying up for over 24 hours, yet I had crossed a particular overtired threshold that looped back into being wide awake. In that moment, the day ahead seem to stretch out endlessly. School life, especially in junior high and high school, is regimented and organized. Without that order, I came to the realization that I would never have it again.

My high school life was over.

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It takes three — the main trio of The Promised Neverland

“Those three are different, hunh? Norman is a genius who has the best brains. And Ray, an intellect who can compete against Norman’s genius. Emma has amazing athletic skills, and her learning ability allows her to stay close to the other two.”

The Promised Neverland, Episode 1

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The Flower Language of Liz and the Blue Bird

It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the work of Naoko Yamada that flowers and flower language have their place in her latest film: Liz and the Blue Bird. For Yamada, flowers take the place of things left unsaid when people are unable to express their feelings for each other due to a physical disability (A Silent Voice), mental illnesses or internal fear (also A Silent Voice), societal expectations (her episode of Violet Evergarden), or myriad other reasons. When important context goes unsaid, Yamada frequently turns to flower language to do the emotional heavy lifting.

Her usage of flowers in Liz and the Blue Bird has a defter touch than A Silent Voice and Violet Evergarden‘s camellia princess. Many things go unsaid or unspoken between leads Mizore Yoroizuka and Nozomi Kasaki and Yamada wisely uses what unites them — music — to express most of them. Flowers create a secondary, background context, featured more prominently in the Liz and the Blue Bird storybook — used as another framing device for Mizore and Nozomi’s relationship — with a few flashes to real-life flowers at key moments between the two.

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