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Share Your Recommendations – August 2016 — 8 Comments

  1. Anime:
    ** 超青春姉弟s (Super Youth Brothers)
    A slice of life surrounding two brother/sister pairs. Not overly cute, not sexualized, no romance – just a slightly wacky life.
    ** Planetarian 〜ちいさなほしのゆめ〜 (Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet)
    Earth has been destroyed by alien robots. A man, scavenging the rubble, finds a planetarium with a tour guide android, who hasn’t left the planetarium for the past thirty years. The contrast and growing relationship between the grizzled survivor and the optimistic yet deluded android is the beating heart of this show.
    ** NEW GAME!
    A girl, fresh out of high school, joins work at an improbably-female game company. Moe show in a slightly different setting.

    Audio Dramas:
    ** 声のゆくえ (Where Her Voice Went)
    In the near future, humans and androids live together in harmony. The android at the cafe that Kotoha frequents is about to get scrapped, and Kotoha struggles to adjust. A short, standard, but sweet story.
    ** JJ’s Bar
    JJ’s episodic conversations with the clientele of his bar. Short slices of life.

    Books:
    **** こころ (Kokoro)
    Japan’s number one best-selling novel. Despite 人間失格 (No Longer Human) and the light novels that I’ve tried having easier vocabulary, こころ (Kokoro) is more fun to read. Its prose seems to flow more smoothly.
    ***** 学問のすすめ (An Encouragement of Learning)
    Written in the Meiji era, a call for Japanese liberal reforms: learn more practical things in schools, end the caste system and the privileged position of the samurai, allow commoners to ride horses and take last names, etc. A basic understanding of classical Japanese will be helpful.

    Movie:
    *** フランケンシュタイン (2004) (Frankenstein (2004))
    A doctor creates artificial life, but realizes that he’s created a monster. More faithful to the book than most other movie adaptations.

    Podcasts:
    ** books A to Z
    A woman introduces recently-released books. Easy way to find new reading material.
    *** さくら通信 (Sakura Transmission)
    Two men discuss and laugh about interesting stories and events. Feels like talk show radio – if you tune out for a minute, you can jump back in without missing much.
    *** おもれき (Omoreki)
    Short for ‘interesting history.’ Two men discuss and lecture about history.

    Have also been subscribing to news channels via Twitter. NHK, CNN, and BBC are good for general international news, while Reuters and Diamond are good for financial news.

  2. Reading)

    * 俺物語 (My Love Story): The manliest 1st year high school student to walk the planet starts dating a girl he saved on the train. An ultra cute, cavity inducing series following the couple’s relationship as well as the close bond the male lead has with his best friend. The final volume comes out in September ;_;

    * 高校デビュー (High School Debut): Haruna, who dedicated all her time in middle school to the softball team, is determined to learn to be girly and get a boyfriend in high school! To that end, she ends up asking You, a popular and handsome upperclassman, if he’d become her coach.

    Both have excellent comedy for beginners since they use situational humor and not puns/cultural humor.

    Watching)

    */** シャカリキ! A standard, but enjoyable “save our team” movie about a hopeless cycling club.

  3. I’m in dire need of some new material. I kind of need to kickstart my interest in more Japanese media since a lot of the recent stuff just isn’t doing it for me. I kind of gave up on most modern anime since it’s more about what sells than it is about making something good. Not to mention the art style of a lot of new shows isn’t very good IMO.

    The only anime that I watch these days are the anime adaptation of ジョジョの奇妙な冒険:ダイヤモンドは砕けない and ラブライブ・サンシャイン. While I do tend to like moe anime, I find NEW GAME! to be kind of underwhelming and boring, so I dropped it after one episode.

  4. -Watching-

    Re:ZERO / ****
    Guy named Natsuki Subaru is suddenly transported to an alternate world in a fantasy setting for no apparent reason. But before you even have time to question this abrupt development, you’re thrust headfirst into an adventure that defies all of his (and your) expectations. One thing to watch out for is that some of the characters talk very fast and can be difficult to understand – so don’t let it get you down if the dialogue is hard to follow at some points. I’m only like 4 episodes in right now, but it’s definitely holding my interest so far.

    NEW GAME! / **
    This one’s been mentioned above, and indeed it’s cute overload x1000. However the big draw for me is that it’s in many ways a very accurate portrayal of what it’s like to work at a game company for the first time. I can relate to Aoba’s feelings as she faces the challenge of working alongside industry vets she’s looked up to ever since she was a kid, wrestling with doubts about whether she’s really good enough for the job, struggling to learn the tools and processes, and the tremendous satisfaction when she actually gets a handle on it all and manages to create something she can be proud of. YMMV, but I’m really enjoying it =)

    -Reading-

    Orange / **
    Incredible, bittersweet story about a 16yo girl who receives a letter from herself 10 years in the future. It tells her of the many regrets she has at age 26, and what she wishes she’d done differently in each case. It also tells her about a dear friend she hasn’t but soon will, and implores her above all else to do whatever it takes to save his life. Jeez, I’m getting teary-eyed just writing this and remembering the story – seriously go read it (or watch the anime!), because it’s exceptionally good.

    -Playing-

    閃の軌跡2 (Trails of Cold Steel 2) / ***
    Following the events of 閃の軌跡, civil war has broken out and the students of Class 7 are scattered to all corners of the Erebonian Empire. The story this time follows their efforts to protect their families, friends, and ordinary citizens from becoming collateral damage in the midst of an immense conflict. Further complicating matters is that quite a few members of Ouroboros (身喰らう蛇) are involved in the conflict – but to what end? This one’s just as much fun as the previous installment, and the story really delivers on everything they set up in the first game.

  5. I hope it is ok to ask this here, but I am looking for a specific recommendation, if anyone has it.

    I have been having a bit of a English backslide and have been watching a lot of old Project Runway shows. I seem to be having a strong interest in clothing lately. Does anyone know of something similar to this in Japanese. I have not been able to find a Project Runway Japan…although there seems to be a Project Runway Asia, although I have not been able to find it in Japanese (I am not really good at finding things).

    I am particularly interested in otome and lolita fashion.

    Thank you so much.

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