Anime NYC 2019: Weathering With You

hisui_icon_4040_round If you were to pick from a list of top 10 worst self-inflicted ways to watch Weathering With You I might have accidentally picked the worst one by accident. I also picked the one that most seemed like something out of a mediocre sitcom. If you did not already know Weathering With You involves a Tokyo that is besieged by constant rain therefore falling and flowing water is a constant visual metaphor throughout the movie. Since Weathering With You was the last event at Anime NYC I was running out of steam and only had a small breakfast. Therefore to wake myself up to properly review the movie I got a quick coffee. Getting the coffee took much longer than I anticipated, therefore, I then forgot to go to the bathroom since I had to sit in the back even with my guaranteed press ticket. Anyone well versed in my Zetsubou-Sensei like fortune would realize the obvious outcome. I spent most of the movie in absolute discomfort since I could not leave the theater and get back in but I also did not want to miss out on what could have easily been the highest-profile premiere at the convention. So I suffered through the aquatic film and still had a wonderful time which is quite the accomplishment. If that is not a major endorsement of the film I’m not sure what is.

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Manga of the Month: Go For It, Nakamura!

Go For It, Nakamura! (ガンバレ! 中村くん!! ) by Syundei

Go For It, Nakamura! tells a story of retro-style, teen romantic hijinx in a single volume. This all-ages story titular Nakamura who has a somewhat gloomy disposition and is prone to elaborate fantasies of how today he is really-probably-definitely going to become friends with his crush Hirose. Cue the wacky vignettes!

Nakamura is a charmingly relatable teen as he struggles with being the worst at starting a conversation, feeling weird about letting people know his hobbies, believing romance comics must have all the answers, and with a dozen other ways over the course of these stories.

Hirose is a friendly guy with an easy smile. There’s a recurring cast of classmates beyond Hirose, too. One of my favorites had to be the head of the occult club who tries to recruit Nakamura in a really silly one-off chapter.

I wasn’t expecting this to have as sweet an ending as it did. I think that’s what actually pushed it over the edge for me on whether or not to recommend it.

I’m curious to know if those who don’t have nostalgia for the comedy and aesthetics of 90s manga appreciate Go For It, Nakamura! It really captures the style perfectly. I got wonderful Here is Greenwood vibes.

Go For It, Nakamura! is a one volume manga that I wish there was more of.

~kate

Manga of the Month: Tokyo Tarareba Girls

Tokyo Tarareba Girls by Akiko Higashimura

Are you in the Olympic spirit like me? Then enjoy Tokyo Tarareba Girls! I’m sure a dramedy about single 30-somethings discussing their lives and loves isn’t the first series that seems relevant to an international athletic competition, but these women have a plan: get married before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

From the creator of Princess Jellyfish comes a hilarious and searing look into the concepts of youth, beauty, love, sex, and society’s expectations on women, especially as they age. Successful screenwriter Rinko and her friends meet-up to commiserate their “old age” and play the what-if game of continuously rehashing their past decisions and speculating on how things could have turned out differently. Their feelings about their failed relationships and their desires to find love are complex. They embrace society’s demands of them while also trying to reject those demands; it’s a tough and true place they find themselves in.

Funny, heartbreaking, a little too on the nose at times, and over the top at the right points, Tokyo Tarareba Girls speaks with authenticity about the actual experience of your 30s VS what you thought it would be like in your 20s. Just because life didn’t turn out the way you planned doesn’t make it wrong, but will Rinko learn this herself by the end?

~kate