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Featured image for Gender Bender: MizuBackground image for Gender Bender: Mizu

Gender Bender: Mizu

There should be a name for American shows that are informed by anime style but American tropes. After watching Blue Eye Samurai, I think they should be called…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Story Drop

Man, I like writing these. I mean, you know what I do here is write about anime and manga from my perspective as a writer, right? Well, lemme…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Gender Bender: Mei AiharaBackground image for Gender Bender: Mei Aihara

Gender Bender: Mei Aihara

For reasons I’ve been thinking about Citrus again. Well, actually the reasons are pretty simple. Mei and Yuzu Aihara are simultaneously classmates, step-sisters, roommates, and lovers, and if…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Oh, So Trope-cal: I Can’t Say “I Love You”

Look, if you’re writing a popular romance manga, or an anime made from a popular romance manga, you often have a big problem: How do you keep the…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Killer Ending: Kids on the Slope

You may not remember Kids on the Slope, the series by Shinichiro Watanabe. You know, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Carole and Tuesday … yeah, THAT Shinichiro Watanabe. Not…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Character Analysis: Kaguya Shinomiya

Kaguya-sama Love is War is one of those shows that knows what it is and isn’t any more than that. Dude it’s a rom-com, with emphasis on the…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for How to Build a Series: Knights of SidoniaBackground image for How to Build a Series: Knights of Sidonia

How to Build a Series: Knights of Sidonia

There are some shows that are constructed so cleverly that I would give anything to be a fly on the wall during their development meetings. In fact, I…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Character Analysis: Eikichi OnizukaBackground image for Character Analysis: Eikichi Onizuka

Character Analysis: Eikichi Onizuka

I tell you no lies: I was watching Great Teacher Onizuka on a relatively unknown streaming service when it dropped on a much larger and more famous service.…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Killer Ending: Your Lie in AprilBackground image for Killer Ending: Your Lie in April

Killer Ending: Your Lie in April

It’s fun to watch something like Your Lie in April that looks on the face of it like a piece of fluff, but when you peel back the…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for The Power of Two: Kaguya-sama Love is WarBackground image for The Power of Two: Kaguya-sama Love is War

The Power of Two: Kaguya-sama Love is War

Most of the time when you look at a narrative couple they fall into one of two types: They are symmetric, meaning they have similar strengths and weaknesses,…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Oh, So Trope-ical: PinocchioBackground image for Oh, So Trope-ical: Pinocchio

Oh, So Trope-ical: Pinocchio

Yeah, yeah, you’re saying to yourself that Pinocchio wasn’t an anime. First of all, that’s not entirely true. In fact, there have been TWO Pinocchio anime series, one…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for How (Not) to End a Story: Love, Chunibiyo, and Other DelusionsBackground image for How (Not) to End a Story: Love, Chunibiyo, and Other Delusions

How (Not) to End a Story: Love, Chunibiyo, and Other Delusions

There’s something so cute about Love, Chunibiyo, and Other Delusions that make it close to irresistible, isn’t there? Yuta is basically such a nice young man, so earnest…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for The Power of Three: Darling in the FranxxBackground image for The Power of Three: Darling in the Franxx

The Power of Three: Darling in the Franxx

Everyone loves a good mecha story. Well, at least the manga/anime target audience – slightly-nerdy teen-aged Japanese boys – loves a good mecha story. Consequently, there are lots…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Rotoscope and You: Onimusha

Onimusha is something I wouldn’t ordinarily watch. I don’t like stories that are based on demons, or based on fighting demons with magic artifacts, because once you get…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Oh, So Trop(e)ical: The Dirty Old ManBackground image for Oh, So Trop(e)ical: The Dirty Old Man

Oh, So Trop(e)ical: The Dirty Old Man

It seems like just about every anime comedy with a romantic plot or subplot has at least one dirty old man. Well, not ALL of them. Those that…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Animation: How Many Fingers?

Sometimes things come together in weird ways. Like, really weird. So in my Intro Communication class this week – Which was weeks ago as you read this but…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Character Analysis: Takeo Goda

If you look at My Love Story!!, the first temptation is to look at the main characters, Takeo Goda and Rinko Yamato, as a pair. For instance, she…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Character Analys(e)s: Loyd, Tor, and Anya ForgerBackground image for Character Analys(e)s: Loyd, Tor, and Anya Forger

Character Analys(e)s: Loyd, Tor, and Anya Forger

In certain ways all three main characters from Spy X Family are really simply constructed. Watch me now: Loyd is a heartless spy but isn’t really heartlessAnya is…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Story Drop!

Man, it’s been a while! Damn COVID … ANYWAY, here’s the flash fiction anthology 99 Fleeting Fantasies. It includes my piece Nidus of Alms. It’s available starting today…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for The Power of Three: Welcome Back, AliceBackground image for The Power of Three: Welcome Back, Alice

The Power of Three: Welcome Back, Alice

I’ve made my appreciation for the work of Shuzo Oshimi very plain at times. Oshimi is the magaka behind The Flowers of Evil, Inside Mari, and Blood on…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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What’s in a Name? Seihu High School

I always let myself do something stupid for an anniversary post, and since my anniversary was Feb 2, here ya go: Last year at this time I didn’t…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for What Did I Just Watch: If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budukon I Would DieBackground image for What Did I Just Watch: If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budukon I Would Die

What Did I Just Watch: If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budukon I Would Die

Look, first of all, I’m not writing out that whole title again. From now on this show will be called My Favorite Pop Idol, and if the author,…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for The Power of Three: Steins;GateBackground image for The Power of Three: Steins;Gate

The Power of Three: Steins;Gate

I was thinking about Steins;Gate for a different reason when I hit on why it works narratively. Because it shouldn’t, you know. Steins;Gate is really kind of a…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Character Analysis: Honey Kisaragi

Let’s start with this: Honey Kisaragi, the android star of Cutie Honey, is an artifact of her age. She was born back in ’73. That was a turbulent…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Same Stage, Different Story … Or Not: FLCL

The original FLCL was a blast, a swirl of smoke and mirrors, of red herrings and mixed animation styles, that hid a very simple story, the tragedy of…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for The Power of Three: NanaBackground image for The Power of Three: Nana

The Power of Three: Nana

Like a lot of media, not just anime, love of various sorts plays a large role in Nana. Well, it could hardly not, after all. You can call…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Character Analysis: Yui IkariBackground image for Character Analysis: Yui Ikari

Character Analysis: Yui Ikari

Happy holidays to everyone who is celebrating a holiday anywhere. May the season be kind to you. Certain storytelling techniques absolutely fascinate me. One is meta, the use…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Character (Re)Analysis: Tohru HondaBackground image for Character (Re)Analysis: Tohru Honda

Character (Re)Analysis: Tohru Honda

This may be the shortest time ever between me analyzing a character and then coming back to look at them again. I mean, it’s not like I got…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Killer Ending: Black Lagoon

The ending of a narrative is supposed to do two things, resolve the central conflict and wrap up the loose ends. A good ending gets those two jobs…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

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Too Tired to Write

So, like, November is National Novel Writers’ Month, right? Take 30 days, write 50,000 words, right? (If you’re not sure what I’m babbling about check out nanowrimo.org )…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Character Analysis: Tsukimi KurashitaBackground image for Character Analysis: Tsukimi Kurashita

Character Analysis: Tsukimi Kurashita

Princess Jellyfish is one of those things that’s just so cleverly constructed that you have to wonder whether it was planned or it just worked out that way,…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for The Power of Two: Shinji and MisatoBackground image for The Power of Two: Shinji and Misato

The Power of Two: Shinji and Misato

The cool thing about Neon Genesis Evangelion from a writer’s perspective, and from the perspective of a person like me who takes a writer’s perspective on looking at…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Key and In-between II: AnimetaBackground image for Key and In-between II: Animeta

Key and In-between II: Animeta

I like Animeta manga, at least through the first five volumes, for what it reveals about the animation business. One thing it reveals is the process, the various…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Key and In-between: AnimetaBackground image for Key and In-between: Animeta

Key and In-between: Animeta

Key and In-between: Animeta Every time I find a reason to write about animation in anime – it’s been so long I feel obliged to remind everyone that…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Character Analysis: Haruko HaruharaBackground image for Character Analysis: Haruko Haruhara

Character Analysis: Haruko Haruhara

Warning: This post contains spoilers for FLCL: Grunge and FLCL: Shoegaze. If you haven’t seen them, read on at your own peril. The advent of two more seasons…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for How to Build a Series: My Happy MarriageBackground image for How to Build a Series: My Happy Marriage

How to Build a Series: My Happy Marriage

Look, there are times when you can look at creating a story/series as being like cooking from a recipe. That doesn’t mean it’s going to work. You can…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Character Analysis: Yasu TakagiBackground image for Character Analysis: Yasu Takagi

Character Analysis: Yasu Takagi

Nana’s one of those things that just about everyone knows about and has an opinion about. Since it’s supposed to be the best-selling shojo title in history (yeah,…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Oh, So Trope-ical: The Hair BraBackground image for Oh, So Trope-ical: The Hair Bra

Oh, So Trope-ical: The Hair Bra

The point of manga and anime is to get eyeballs onto content, whether it’s paid for directly (by buying manga) or indirectly (by ad sales during anime). In…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for The Power of Four Plus One: ToradoraBackground image for The Power of Four Plus One: Toradora

The Power of Four Plus One: Toradora

I haven’t done one of these in a while. This could be fun if I can keep track of the mess. But then again, that’s the point. Toradora…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Character Analysis: Isaki MagariBackground image for Character Analysis: Isaki Magari

Character Analysis: Isaki Magari

Let’s be frank here: Insomniacs After School is so sweet it could be named High-Fructose Corn Syrup. That’s not necessary a bad thing. When you’re making an anime…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for How to Cook a Story: Komi Can’t CommunicateBackground image for How to Cook a Story: Komi Can’t Communicate

How to Cook a Story: Komi Can’t Communicate

Somehow I keep saying that Komi Can’t Communicate was something whose premise didn’t appeal to me. I’m going to say it again: Shoko Komi doesn’t need a hundred…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Killer Ending: Your Lie in AprilBackground image for Killer Ending: Your Lie in April

Killer Ending: Your Lie in April

Your Lie in April is one of those stories that could have gone either way, Comedy (happy ending) or Tragedy (sad ending) and – watch my lips –…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Oh, So Trope-ical: The Gamer GodBackground image for Oh, So Trope-ical: The Gamer God

Oh, So Trope-ical: The Gamer God

There are certain tropes that are so obvious it’s almost a waste of time to look at them. Oh, man, what’s the point of the Princess in Peril…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Off The Tracks: The Promised NeverlandBackground image for Off The Tracks: The Promised Neverland

Off The Tracks: The Promised Neverland

I wasn’t planning to post this piece this week. I had something else, about Insomniacs at Night, I think. BUUUT, we ended up having an actual discussion last…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for The Antagonist: IsabellaBackground image for The Antagonist: Isabella

The Antagonist: Isabella

I’m going to start out with this: Isabella, the orphanage “Mom” from The Promised Neverland, is not the best example of this type of antagonist for REASONS. I’ll…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Jumping the Tracks IV: Change the plotBackground image for Jumping the Tracks IV: Change the plot

Jumping the Tracks IV: Change the plot

This is it for Jumping the Tracks, okay? You won’t have to hear me (in your mind’s ear) blather about it again for quite a while! But for…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Jumping the Tracks III: Throw in more charactersBackground image for Jumping the Tracks III: Throw in more characters

Jumping the Tracks III: Throw in more characters

I’ve had a bug in a delicate place about stories that Jump the Tracks, that is, lose track of progress in the main meta-plot of a series, for…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for How To Cook a Series: BeastarsBackground image for How To Cook a Series: Beastars

How To Cook a Series: Beastars

I’m taking a week off from shows going off the track, since even I don’t think it’s THAT interesting. I mean, you know, really. Problem: This is the…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Jumping the Tracks II: Streeeeetching the plooooottttttBackground image for Jumping the Tracks II: Streeeeetching the ploooootttttt

Jumping the Tracks II: Streeeeetching the ploooootttttt

There’s a longer explanation of all this if you go back to Jumping the Tracks I: Just Keep Going, but just to run through it quickly this is…

Confessions of an Overage otaku

Featured image for Off the Tracks I: Just Keep GoingBackground image for Off the Tracks I: Just Keep Going

Off the Tracks I: Just Keep Going

Going off the tracks happens when the writers lose track of the story’s meta-plot, the storyline that defines the end of the story. Was that technical, or what?…

Confessions of an Overage otaku