Some of Our Favorite Anime and Manga About Anime and Manga

narutaki_icon_4040 I love animation and comics. Period. The artforms that is. And the more I learn about the process, the more appreciation I have for them. I feel like there isn’t a year that goes by where I don’t see something so incredible that it makes me revere the mediums all over again.

There is a lot to learn and having better access to Japanese news and culture has given us lots of insight: from the first time I learned about the assistants a manga-ka has to crowdfunding for animator dorms (!). But non-fiction accounts aren’t the only way to learn about an industry. In fact, creating a fictional world set within the very real parameters of manga creation or animation studios may illuminate the true struggles and triumphs even more.

hisui_icon_4040 If you are an animation fan for any amount of time there is a tendency to wonder what is the precise magic that transforms still pictures into moving images. (It is not actually sorcery that creates animation unless that animation is stop motion.) Some people are interested for academic reasons, others as it is a potential career path, while most just want a deeper understanding of their hobby. But like any attempt to see how the sausage is made it can be anything from an eye-opening moment of wonder to harsh bucket of cold water depending on how the lesson is presented.

Anime and manga have done several stories that look at how they are made with various degrees of love. In some titles it is the heart and soul of the premise and others it merely a set piece for comedy or romance. Those anime and manga range in its opinion of itself as everything from seeing the industry as havens of marvelous artistic self-expression to soul grinding commercial product factories with most portrayals being some sort of mix between those two extremes. No matter which of the two ends of the spectrum the title falls on they are usually an eye-opening insight into how the stories otaku love are created.

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Case Closed Reviews: Summer 2014 Pt. 1

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First impressions are great but what about our thoughts after we’ve watched an entire series week to week? We figured our listeners might want to hear our final impressions as well so we’ve created the Case Closed Review podcast. Just like the S.W.A.T. Reviews, these will be mini-podcasts and completely off the cuff.

Here are the shows we finished from the spring and summer seasons:

Listen – Final impressions of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders from David Production. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Final impressions of Haikyu!! from Production I.G. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Final impressions  of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun from Dogakobo. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Final impressions of Aldnoah.Zero from A-1 Pictures. It is streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu, Daisuki, and Aniplex Channel.

Listen – Final impressions of Tokyo ESP from Xebec. It is streaming on Hulu and Funimation.

Listen – Final impressions  of Terror in Resonance from MAPPA. It is streaming on Hulu and Funimation.

Listen – Final impressions of  Space Dandy S2 from Studio BONES. It is streaming on Hulu, Funimation, and Adult Swim; plus it is being broadcast on Toonami.

S.W.A.T. Reviews: Summer 2014 Pt. 2

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The premise of these reviews is simple: watch the first episode of a series and then immediately sit down to record a review mini-podcast. The reviews are five- to ten-minutes long and entirely off the cuff. As always we only review new shows (so no sequels or continuations) and try to avoid anything that just looks outright awful. These are the next batch from the new season:

Listen – First impressions  of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun from Dogakobo. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions  of Terror in Resonance from MAPPA. It is streaming on Hulu and Funimation.

Listen – First impressions  of Love Stage!! from J.C. Staff. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions of SHONEN HOLLYWOOD -HOLLY STAGE FOR 49- from Zexcs. It is streaming on Hulu and Funimation.

Listen – First impressions  of HaNaYaMaTa from MADHOUSE. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions  of Blue Spring Ride from Production I.G. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions of Tokyo Ghoul from Pierrot. It is streaming on Hulu and Funimation.

Listen – First impressions  of Sabagebu! – Survival Game Club- from Pierrot+. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions  of Akame ga KILL! from White Fox. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – First impressions  of Person 4 The Golden Animation from A-1 Pictures. It is streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu, Daisuki, and Aniplex Channel.