A Stroll Down Memory MAL – A (lamely titled) look at past anime series I’ve watched

You ever get really nostalgic about anime series you watched in your formative years? You know, your OG shows? The ones that got you into the medium in the first place? I’ve decided to take a look back at some of the earlier series I got into back when I was younger, and reflect on how they formed my anime tastes. They will be chronicled in this monthly series, Anime Roots. Check out last month’s post here.

You know how a song can bring you back to a certain place and time? Or even a certain smell can remind you of something really specific from your childhood? Well, I think an anime can do that, too. Anything you have any strong sentimental attachment to can really take you back, and if you’re like me, you’re a sentimental sap about everything, so this happens to you a lot.

I logged back into MyAnimeList for the first time in a million years and started idly scrolling through my past entries. I was surprised to find that each name of each title flooded me with very specific memories. Some of them took me to good places – I’ve watched a lot of weird titles with friends at sleepovers, or even enjoyed a series with my little sister. Others took me to bad places – there’s a block of time where I finished, like, six series in one week because I was cooped up in my room during a major depressive episode. I think I even skipped a mid-term in favor of watching Oriemo during that period, if that gives you any idea of where my bad brain was at at the time…

If you don’t mind, let’s take a self-indulgent trip down my anime memory lane! Imagine a little wavy flashback transition here as we dig into my nerd past…

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I Fist-Fight Aqours: A definitive list of which LoveLive! Sunshine! girls could beat my ass

Last week, I beat up μ’s because of their dumbass name. This week, I’m going to beat up Aqours for their dumbass name.

aqours dumb ass name.jpg

Aqours. Where do I even begin with that one?? If you remember from season one, Dia came up with the name, but she tried to play it off like the ocean magically bestowed it upon the girls. Are you kidding? As if the ocean wouldn’t’ve known that the laws of grammar puts the U after the Q. Nice try. Like, why is something pronounced “Aqua” spelled like that?? It’s like when your classmate Megan goes through a phase in sixth grade and starts unnecessarily spelling her name Meayghan. Or, Meayqouhan.

I actually got my ass semi-kicked last week by the OG LoveLive! girls, but I’m a little more confident this time around. The Sunshine gals are tiny – there isn’t a thicc member amongst them. Therefore, as I am a giant red-headed viking beast compared to them, they’re going down. …I hope.

Continue reading “I Fist-Fight Aqours: A definitive list of which LoveLive! Sunshine! girls could beat my ass”

Well, it LOOKED cute: A look at art style dissonance in anime

Have you ever been fooled by an anime’s cutesy art style? Were you one of the people who were absolutely floored when episode three of Madoka Magica came around, or someone who wasn’t expecting Made in Abyss to involve so much gore and vomit based on the character designs? Did you think Doki Doki Literature was just an innocent dating sim?

Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Even Cactus Matt was fooled by a manga’s cover art recently! The poor fella just wanted to see some cute anime girls, but instead he got cute anime girls melting!

This concept of having an art style that doesn’t necessarily match up with the show’s tone is commonly utilized in anime. It’s called art style dissonance. The logic behind it is simple enough – if you see a cute looking character getting absolutely obliterated, you’re (probably) going to be more shocked by what’s happening. That can’t happen to her, she’s got pink hair and big moe eyes!

There are the more well-known examples like Madoka and Made in Abyss that I mentioned above, but those just scratch the surface. There are many, many series that utilize this method. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites.

Content warning: since this post is specifically talking about anime that are secretly fucked up, there’s some mention of some fucked up stuff in here. Some mentions of body horror and sexual assault beyond this point.

Continue reading “Well, it LOOKED cute: A look at art style dissonance in anime”

I Was (Almost) A Teenage Edgelord: A story about watching the wrong anime growing up

This probably sounds like some kind of elitist lie, but Cowboy Bebop was my first anime.

I had never really gotten into Pokemon, aside from the time I tricked a kid into selling me his copy of Pokemon Red for a kiss. (I didn’t kiss him, and his mom was really mad at me because that game had just come out and was worth like, $50 or something.) I was marginally interested in Digimon, but not enough to where I would count it as My First Anime.

No, Cowboy Bebop was the real first. It probably shouldn’t have been, but it was my first. Let me give you some backstory.

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I Fist-Fight μ’s: A definitive list of which Love Live! girls I could beat up

Why, oh why, does Love Live! make us suffer by naming its idol group μ’s? I have to copy and paste that stupid symbol every time. These girls have no business being this pretentious – they’re a fucking school idol group, not a noise-rock group. There’s no way the Love Live! scoreboards/websites supported that special character. For the first few weeks, I can almost guarantee their name came up as � ‘s on the competition’s website. That’s probably why A-RISE was always ahead of them…behind the scenes, the site runners were getting tired of having to only use fonts that supported Greek characters.

A few weeks ago, I read the excellent PopLurker article “I Fist-Fight Sesame Street,” and it got me thinking. Which fictional group of characters could I fist-fight? And, more importantly, which group of characters deserves to be beat up? Then it hit me (pun intended): μ’s deserves to be beat up. I love them, but I have a lot of pent-up rage from every time I had to Google “greek symbol muse” so that I could write about these little turds.

I’m not the strongest girl, but I am 5”9’ and can do exactly one push-up on a good day, so I can probably take most of them on. They work-out regularly and are probably in better shape than me, but they’re also all children, so I’m confident that my grownass fist could do them in.

Here’s how the battles would probably go down:

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Sweet Punishment: I Watched It So You Don’t Have To! [ep 4 & ep 5]

Despite her innocence, Hina Saotome is about to be sent to a prison filled with dangerous(ly hot) men. There she must be punished by a sexy, sadistic guard and be subject to his “heartless yet sweet domination.” This is Sweet Punishment: I Am the Guard’s Private Pet, a short-form, web-only ecchi series.
Episode 1       Episode 2+3

It’s another crazy Thursday night, folks. I’m here to walk you through your favorite overly censored web series! (Un)Surprisingly, I could not remember what happened in the last few episodes, so I had to re-read my post from before. Somehow, this masterfully written drama just doesn’t stick in my mind after I watch it…
Continue reading “Sweet Punishment: I Watched It So You Don’t Have To! [ep 4 & ep 5]”