Preview of 2017 Winter Anime

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Although I’m still pretty busy watching the series that I mentioned being interested in my 2016 fall anime post, I’m already curious and excited to see what’s coming up next. Thankfully, AniChart already has a pretty good look at what we can expect to see during the 2017 winter season, and here’s what I’m already thinking I’ll be checking out (based on what little info I have).

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ku
I’m pretty much just interested in this based on the overall art direction. It does sound like a neat political drama set in an alternate reality. Could be uninteresting, but I’ll check out the first episode.

Granblue Fantasy: The Animation
I’ve never played the uber popular mobile game this is based on, but I like the character art, and I’m curious to see what this is like. I don’t expect I’ll be watching a lot of it, but I’ll definitely be checking out the pilot.

Onihei
There’s very little info on this series — and especially no trailer or screenshots yet — but the description sounds interesting to me, of a historical drama set during the Edo period, following a main character who goes after robbers/arsonists.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
I’m still in the process of catching up on this series, watching the first season, and still really enjoying it. The second season that started in the fall continues over winter.

There are also three anime movies I’m interested to see: Gyakusatsu Kikan (Genocidal Organ), Hiruna Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari (a film Christophe Ferreira is involved in), and Lupin the Third: Chikemuri no Ichikawa Goemon.

Update: Here are my thoughts after watching the first 2 episodes of ACCA, Onihi Hankacho, and Granblue Fantasy The Animation.

Pizzicato Five Discography: 1985-1991

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Following yesterday’s intro post, the first proper part of David‘s review of the entire Pizzicato Five discography is up on Neojaponisme, covering the “pre-canon” era that runs from 1985 to 1991. I’m with David here (as you’ll see through his scores), this is definitely my least favorite period of P5’s output, and I never spent much time listening to these records (with the possible exception of On Her Majesty’s Request).

It’s a Sony

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I love my buddy Sam‘s monthly “Tokyo Thrift” column over at The Verge — in which he uncovers classic Japanese electronics — and he ends 2016 in style with a massive look at the current “It’s a Sony” exhibition at the soon-to-be-gone Sony building in Ginza (it will be replaced by a park). Take a stroll down memory lane with tons of tech that reminded me how much I used to love Sony electronics (before I turned into an Apple fanboy).

Famicom Stationery

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Accompanying the super nostalgic hype for the Famicom in Japan right now (mirroring what’s happening here in the west for the NES Classic Edition), San-Ei is about to release (out on December 23) a fantastic collection of Famicom-inspired stationery, as well as a tote bag. I want it all. You can already pre-order all items through Amazon Japan. Found via Spoon & Tamago.

The Grand Tour

There was a time when I really liked watching Top Gear. And then, as the seasons went on, I started getting pretty tired of Clarkson’s nationalist and sexist remarks – meant as jokes, but not funny – and then after he did the thing that got him fired, I was pretty much over this ass. It’s been a couple of years now since that whole Top Gear debacle, and I was curious to see what the new series these guys were doing with Amazon Originals was going to be like. Watching the first episode last week, although I found pretty much every comedic bit to fall embarrassingly flat (especially the segment with the celebrities dying), I still found the opening to be fun, and the car bits to be as enjoyable as they were on Top Gear. Then, on episode 2, except for the Aston Martin Vulcan review (which was as fun and slick as their car reviews usually are), the entire episode was just a drag to watch, especially that ridiculously long and unfunny army segment. I have no idea what they’re trying to do, but it’s so the opposite of enjoyable. I’m done.

11.22.63

This came out earlier this year, but it’s just been added to Hulu Japan, and so we watched the first episode today (which is the only episode available, as they’ll be releasing them weekly). Based on that first episode alone, it’s hard to tell if this is going to good or not (I’ve avoided reading anything about it), but we enjoyed it enough to want to watch more. 

Jason Bourne

I’m a huge Bond fan, but I do quite like the Bourne movies too, and so was pretty excited to see this latest one, especially since it sees the return of Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass (as director). It did take me a while to get into it, and I was really weirded out by the odd accent used by Alicia Vikander (an actress I adore). I also thought that the whole social network angle came off as parody more than real company. But by the end of the film, I was pretty into it, and did quite enjoy the chase scene in Las Vegas. 

Aim for the Ace!

You may remember that a few weeks ago I shared a really great primer on 80s anime. Since I’ve been enjoying dipping back into some of those old series, I decided to go one step further and try following that complete primer, going through everything that is recommended. Since it sticks to movies and OVAs, it’s not as time consuming as you’d think.

First up on the list is Aim for the Ace! (Ace wo Nerae!), a 70s series that follows a high-school girl as she competes in tennis tournaments. It’s one of my wife’s favorite series (she played tennis as well), and so I definitely knew about it but had never watched any of the TV series. The movie I watched, which came out in 1979, is a condensed version of that series, and you can tell, as it just zooms past so many things, feeling a bit manic at times. I quite enjoyed it though, in part for the fun 70s fashions and style, but especially for the very interesting ways they animate the tennis action. Sure, it’s over-the-top and pretty emo, but I liked watching it.