A Short Introduction
Welcome to the first ever Sunday Segment, in which I talk about anime, film, games, the community, and pretty much anything else. I want a space where I’m able to discuss things in a less-structured way than my usual posts. A space that is separate of them, where I can write in a way which is more personal and less formal – not that any of my writing is particularly formal. However, typically, I spend a lot of time writing and editing each article; I want those to be reflective of my current writing ability, and not something off the cuff. I want Sunday’s Segment to be very lighthearted, and entertaining both to read and write. It means I can continue to write the more analytical pieces whilst writing weekly on currently airing anime and individual episodes, without mixing these two spheres of Peach’s Almanac. (Just a note: I don’t have Photoshop here, so in the future the cover image will be of much better quality… it annoys me, I don’t know about anyone else XD).
Yuuna and the Haunted Ecchi Springs (EP 1-2)
Welcome to the land of ecchi. Where the water flows thick with it. Where you can cut the pure, raw ecchi with a knife and spread it like a rare, but luxurious butter. Honestly, I have watched a decent amount of shows that incorporate ecchi, yet I have never watched one that actually characterised it, one that bleeds it. Yuuna offers nothing else in the way of characters, or even any themes I can discern. Two episodes are therefore probably enough.
Harukana receive (EP 1-3)
Harukana Receive is one of those shows you don’t necessarily want to like, but one you end up being endeared to nonetheless. Like Yuuna, it has its far share of fan service, but it’s slathered on nowhere near as thick, and it undoubtedly looks a lot better too. Yet, it’s nothing new in any sense of the word. The characters are standard – you have an ‘excluded because different girl’ who happens to find her exact vocation in the exact right place, with the exact right people. The characters look fine, even quite nice at times. Which is its saving grace because if it weren’t something to look at, it wouldn’t be much at all. I mean, there are attempts at character depth there; a backstory that works well enough, but is never spectacular, or anything that makes you truly care about any of the characters. A small part of me thinks Kanata is a slight exception to this, but I’m attracted to stories in which a character overcomes a blockade established in the past – a lot of us are.
A gripe with Harukana Receive comes with its use of animation, and the cut-corners way it is implemented. To prove point, look at this season’s Hanebado. A similar type of show, but one with animation that is far more dynamic, with movement that is pleasurable to watch, making you experience the precision and exertion behind an unsuspecting game of Badminton. Harukana on the other hand focuses too much on the characters – so much so that it completely erases any background, and any other focal point. After all it’s much easier to animate a character than it is to re-create what would be a three-dimensional space, encapsulating the entire scene, including the character. Yet, Harukana is far from the worst of the season, and we all like the combination of Beach Volleyball and positively gay characters, so it has at least another episode in the bank.
A couple of days ago I re-watched this film. Watch it. It’s good. It made me cry.
Happy Sugar Life (EP 1-2)
I haven’t seen many people talking about Happy Sugar Life, maybe this is because it’s airing on Amazon, though more likely because of its content, with what I imagine falls out of favour with a significant percentage of the anime community. Despite this….
I enjoy it.
The show fills a strange niche that instantly became attractive to me. Being both right on the edge, whilst also being entertaining through its sensationalist main character. Characters are always my first point to judge a show by – they’re the bread and butter of what makes anime – and any narrative-based medium – so engaging to consume. Satou is bursting at the seams with intrigue. She is disgusted by, and exposes her boss’ exploitation of her young employee. Yet Satou kidnapped a child, whilst doing the very same thing. This time, not for sexual gratification and dominance, but manufactured love and responsibility – an affection that Satou is obsessed with, addicted to…
Stories like this let us explore certain facets and darker corners of the human psyche we would otherwise be unable to experience. That’s what I value when watching Happy Sugar Life. For the art nor animation are anything to look at, and as long as it continues in the path it has, challenging my thoughts, then I’m perfectly okay with its dubious aesthetics. I mean, of course it’s cute too, Shio brings that element; but in a way that makes me feel just that little bit uncomfortable. I welcome this. I want to actively question what I believe, and why I believe it. Isn’t that what media is about – to make you understand new parts of yourself, even if in the revelation, you might not want to have known?
No Man’s Sky
The 1.5 update was released this week, including access for Xbone players. Absolute Ruler Sean Murray has brought us multiplayer, two years after it was promised. Yet… it’s not multiplayer, it’s co-op. However… it’s not really co-op… it’s just up-to-four players experiencing single-player instances merged together into a mess of procedural bugs, and badly implemented mechanics. Although, as a single-player experience, No Man’s Sky is vastly more fleshed out than it was. Now offering some semblance of narrative, and enough repetitive content to keep a person engaged for a fair number of hours. What would we do without you, Sean Murray!?
Planet With (Ep 1)
J.C. Staff who produce Planet With have a pretty decent track record of making anime. Shows such as Toradora (one of my favourites), Shokugeki no Souma, Prison School, and Honey and Clover. A record which certainly hasn’t been maintained with this season’s Planet With.
The thing that hits me the most is the complete lack of coherency in the animation. Not just in how it looks, but in the transitions between shots, and the utter obscurity that results. I don’t understand the ‘mech’ designs either. They’re a jumble of shapes that never seem to match those around them, their colour designs and over-abundance of particle effects melt into the dark/light backgrounds, almost as an attempt to hide the sub-par animation. Despite this, the characters themselves look fine at times, adding to my frustration. Something else I found issue with was the sound design, or the lack of it… In moments the action sequences are ear-bleedingly loud, and a few seconds later, the dialogue barely audible. It doesn’t make those action moments any more immersive, just more disjointed.
I’m generally not a fan of mech shows. I watch them – like any other genre – but the bar has to be set a little higher to catch my attention. I don’t think Planet With will be doing that for many people.
Digibro (Otaku Gonzo Journalism)
It was a gruesome war. Many, many shells were fired upon both sides… I’m pretty sure we all know who Digibro is – at least, anyone who’s been active in the anime community, sure will. I doubt I need to go into the semantics of why this is.
Over the last week Digibro has been embroiled in another controversy. This time with YouTuber, TurkeyTom. The premise of Tom’s video was ‘Digibro’s A Pedophile.’ Now, I know many of you will be far from fans of Digibro, and may even be sympathetic to the accusations. Personally, I do enjoy some of Digi’s content, and while I do not necessarily agree with all of his opinions nor his personality, I find it insane that a person would publicly accuse another person of something so serious without even a sniff of believable evidence. I won’t go into the endlessly layered argument regarding Lolicon, but like many people have said many times, I don’t believe it has a tangible connection to pedophilia. And, although none of us can be 100% sure, I believe this is honestly reflected in Digi’s words.
It’s the culture of the internet – do one nefarious and questionable act, and you become a target of ‘hate’ in the name of ‘righteousness’. We’ve seen this with, PewdiePie, Elon Musk, and more recently, James Gunn. A notion that a tiny amount of misgivings outweigh the majority of positives. This is not to say that the actions of these people, amongst others, should not be questioned and criticised. But it is to say people should take a step back before potentially destroying a person’s career/public image/relationships, and realise that just because you are offended, it does not mean you are right.
All this being said, I do believe Digi could have a more positive impact on the anime community, especially when considering how far the influence he has travels, both on and off YouTube. However, I don’t want to say he should fall in line, nor do I think he should tone-down or censor his content in any way. People like parts of people. There’s no person in the world who anyone 100% agrees with, because that would be fucking tedious and boring. If you go through life wanting and fighting for this ‘100% person’ a staggering amount of time will be wasted, and a person will emerge on the other side knowing far less than if they were able to consider a person as a whole rather than in constituent pieces.
Anyway… that’s probably enough of that.
There you have it, Sunday’s Segment. Delivered like a fresh baguette, right out of the oven!
Thanks for reading, as always!
-Chris (Follow me on Twitter, and consider supporting Peach’s Almanac on Patreon!)