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Archive for April, 2012

Inu x Boku SS

Back in winter 2011, Gosick aired, a series ostensibly about a high-school student meeting a doll-like blonde girl and then the two of them go off solving mysteries and being detectives n’ shit together. This quickly proved to be a framing device for the relationship between the two, which was a somewhat standard one – the straight man who helps the tsundere loli and is more or less at her beck and call, but eventually they grow close and so forth. There was an overarching but understated narrative, and a big focus on adventure (as well as the period setting with gorgeous scenery to match) which helped it stand out.

For some reason however, Gosick seemed to spark a mini-genre within anime generally referred to as ‘mystery-solvan-loli’ – after Gosick, we had Dantatlion no Shoka which instead of a high-school student as the male protagonist instead had a 20-something WWI pilot, Kamisama no Memochou which removed the ‘paired up’ aspect and instead had the the tsundere loli be something of a NEET leader and director, UN-GO which barely counted because the tsundere loli became a hyperactive young boy who could transform into a tall, buxom woman, and in winter 2012 we have Inu x Boku SS which did away with the ‘mystery-solvan’ part of it but still kept the core dynamics in place and so must be considered as part of this tiny little ‘genre’ of sorts. Maybe a better name can be thought up? Well, whatever. It wasn’t just the removal of the detectivery that Inu x Boku SS did differently from others in this style, and in many ways I found it rather refreshing and somewhat original.

"I guess you're expecting me to ask you to read on now, huh?"

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Chihayafuru

I’m not gonna lie – the reasons I watched Chihayafuru in the first place boiled down to having just finished up with Kaiji S2 and needing my sports/gambling/cards + MIND GAMES fix, and mistaking the maple leaves in the background of the image in the preview charts for marijuana (shut up I’m not an arborist).  Ok, those weren’t the only reasons – it sounded interesting enough by itself, I have a thing for classical literature/, art looked nice, and it was produced by Madhouse – but yeah, my intentions and expectations going in were rather silly and I was all rather blasé about it.

As is usually the case, perspectives change from the preview, to the view, and then finally to the review. I make no secret of it here: it changed from a positive ‘sure, why not’ to an almost fanatical enthusiasm. Chihayafuru is an absolutely wonderful show.

Because this series is as good as it is, I avoided spoilers!

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