Summer is time for anime

It wasn't until I entered middle school that I really became a serious anime fan, and by "serious" I mean having an established appreciation for the art form rather than "Oh, I like this/these shows and they just happen to be from Japan." It wasn't until I entered middle school that I was old enough to stay home during the summers and stay up late enough to watch [adult swim]. At the time the line-up was...
  • Futurama (pre-Comedy Central revival)
  • Family Guy (pre-Fox revival)
  • Inuyasha
  • Lupin the 3rd
  • Trigun
  • Cowboy Bebop
...and it was pure awesome. Soon after [as] changed their line-up and introduced FLCL, Kikaider, and Case Closed to name a few. These shows alone opened up an entirely new avenue of interests that has become a very influential corner stone for my own work: Japanese Culture. Obsessions with J-Pop and J-Rock, and collecting manga soon followed. Even at the peak of my bliss, I probably would not have considered myself a true オタク as my obsession never hemorrhaged into a serious disruption in my social life or financial stability. In fact, I would blame true オタク for my forced disinterest in Japanese culture time and time again.


But I digress. After I stopped taking the Japanese language course and attending the Anime Club and Video Game Committee at school I've grown distant with that colorful world. Borders, my primary manga source, went out of business. I have had no cable for most of the past two years, not that that really mattered because [as]'s anime block was quarantined to only Saturdays at 11pm. And honestly, my last semester of Japanese left a bitter taste due to my struggle with the language. My memory really sucks. Like, real bad.

Cut to this present summer. I've missed it! Lately, I've been pretty unmotivated and realized that I have absolutely no handle on what's going on in the world of Japanese cartoons, manga included. So naturally I visit good ol' Crunchyroll.com, and magically enough I've not only found a couple great anime series, but some of them are brand new and continuing! SO HERE'S A FEW OF MY FINDINGS THAT I'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU~

This short film follows multiple conversations taking place in an interesting coffee house. It blows you minds, and at the same time it makes almost no sense. I highly suggest paying all your attentions to the show while its on.

Polar Bear's Café
Talking animals. What else could you ask for? Obscure talking animals? GOT THAT TOO. I noticed while watching that the dialogue in the show is elementary level Japanese, and they also have their fair share of fun with puns so it may help learn you a bit on the language! (This was just my personal observation so I could be wrong.) This is also an on going anime, with new episodes weekly.

Kids on the Slope
A jazz anime! The jazz anime maybe? Director Shinichiro Watanabe is working together yet again with popular composer Yoko Kanno on this intimate anime. Remember Cowboy Bebop? This time it is a drama with a few helpings of comedy and action rather than a sci-fi space adventure, and features free-form jazz in comparison to the big band blues influenced Seatbelts soundtrack. Apparently, the studio took their research very seriously and even video recorded musicians performing in order to get the movements right. Its really and astounding show to watch, and I immediately fell in love with the characters and empathized with their emotional roller-coastering whilst they mature and make it through some of the biggest changes in the lives. Like Polar Bear's Café, this anime has new episodes uploaded weekly.

nichijou (My Ordinary Life)
Instead of a picture I wanted to include a video for this series in order to accurately convey the madness that is this show. At first nichijou reminded me of Azumanga Daioh because three of its main characters are school girls and it's non-linear plot, or lack thereof, however watching it further much of its animation, timing, and even sometimes its humor is reminiscent of FLCL.
Obviously the video has no subtitles, but Yuko is seen trying to save the favorite part of her lunch, the hot dog, and even goes as far as to use the "3-second-rule" in order to victoriously consume her wiener octopus. Other charming components to the show are a robot and her 8-year old Professor, and aristocratic farmer's child who rides to school on a goat and is harassed by a classmate that has a never ending artillery of firearms, plenty of random skits, and a fine recurring short named "Helvetica Standard".


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