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Featured image for Flower language in Heike MonogatariBackground image for Flower language in Heike Monogatari

Flower language in Heike Monogatari

“The color of the sāla flowers reveals the truth that the prosperous must decline.” -The Tale of the Heike During her time at Kyoto Animation it was a…

atelier emily

Featured image for Hundreds of ways to say hell is other people and also love is other people: Evangelion 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A TimeBackground image for Hundreds of ways to say hell is other people and also love is other people: Evangelion 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time

Hundreds of ways to say hell is other people and also love is other people: Evangelion 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time

There are myriad reasons why I feel unqualified to talk about anything related to the Evangelion franchise, but the primary one is that it’s not my thing. It’s…

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Costuming in Sailor Moon (Part 1: Le Smoking and Tuxedo Mask)

Was this post inspired solely by the fact that Tuxedo Mask has an attack in the manga called “la smoking bomber” and reading way too far into that?…

atelier emily

Featured image for Welcome back to Love Live!, Takahiko Kyougoku (visual direction in Love Live! Superstar!!)Background image for Welcome back to Love Live!, Takahiko Kyougoku (visual direction in Love Live! Superstar!!)

Welcome back to Love Live!, Takahiko Kyougoku (visual direction in Love Live! Superstar!!)

The opening sequence to the original Love Live! School Idol Project still charms me to this day. It was made back when Love Live! was a budding multimedia…

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Featured image for What we leave behind: On returning to Maid DragonBackground image for What we leave behind: On returning to Maid Dragon
Featured image for The flowers of Wonder Egg Priority’s opening (and series reflections, I suppose)Background image for The flowers of Wonder Egg Priority’s opening (and series reflections, I suppose)

The flowers of Wonder Egg Priority’s opening (and series reflections, I suppose)

Following a three-month wait for a finale that was half-recap and half-nonsense, Wonder Egg Priority will go down in anime history as yet another promising passion project that…

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Featured image for Colors and Cinematography in SSSS.DynazenonBackground image for Colors and Cinematography in SSSS.Dynazenon

Colors and Cinematography in SSSS.Dynazenon

The opening shot of SSSS.Dynazenon is purposefully reminiscent of its predecessor, SSSS.Gridman. Anyone who has watched Gridman immediately will recognize the sequence of shots. This time, these sn…

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Featured image for Flower language in Wonder Egg Priority Episode 11Background image for Flower language in Wonder Egg Priority Episode 11

Flower language in Wonder Egg Priority Episode 11

Wonder Egg Priority has always paid specific attention to lighting when Rika Kawai is onscreen.

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Featured image for Daisies, Camellias, and how Wonder Egg Priority frames Shuuichirou SawakiBackground image for Daisies, Camellias, and how Wonder Egg Priority frames Shuuichirou Sawaki

Daisies, Camellias, and how Wonder Egg Priority frames Shuuichirou Sawaki

The most contentious character in Wonder Egg Priority continues to be Ai Ohto’s teacher, Shuuichirou Sawaki. Outside of what exactly is going on with Aca and Ura-Aca’s seeming…

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Featured image for Flowers for Momoe Sawaki: Wonder Egg Priority Episode 10Background image for Flowers for Momoe Sawaki: Wonder Egg Priority Episode 10

Flowers for Momoe Sawaki: Wonder Egg Priority Episode 10

Momoe Sawaki’s addition to the Wonder Egg Priority cast in the series’ fourth episode also introduces two major hiccups to the series’ narrative. The first — and seemingly…

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Featured image for Flowers for Rika Kawai  and notes on flower language in Wonder Egg Priority Episode 6-7Background image for Flowers for Rika Kawai  and notes on flower language in Wonder Egg Priority Episode 6-7

Flowers for Rika Kawai and notes on flower language in Wonder Egg Priority Episode 6-7

While the garden of Aca and Ura-Aca places the four leads of Wonder Egg Priority against various floral backdrops to hint at their moods and personalities, Rika Kawai’s…

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Featured image for The Kunihiko Ikuhara school for teachers (why Wonder Egg Priority’s Sawaki is bad actually)Background image for The Kunihiko Ikuhara school for teachers (why Wonder Egg Priority’s Sawaki is bad actually)

The Kunihiko Ikuhara school for teachers (why Wonder Egg Priority’s Sawaki is bad actually)

Is Shuuichirou Sawaki all that bad? I’ve seen this question asked fairly frequently as Wonder Egg Priority has continued to air. Sawaki, who is protagonist Ai Ohto’s teacher…

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Featured image for Ai Ohto’s room and safety in Wonder Egg PriorityBackground image for Ai Ohto’s room and safety in Wonder Egg Priority

Ai Ohto’s room and safety in Wonder Egg Priority

Private rooms and home decor can be used in pointed ways to tell us more about the characters they belong to and Wonder Egg Priority once again seems…

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Featured image for Flowers for Neiru Aonuma (Wonder Egg Priority Episode 5)Background image for Flowers for Neiru Aonuma (Wonder Egg Priority Episode 5)

Flowers for Neiru Aonuma (Wonder Egg Priority Episode 5)

Although Neiru Aonuma has been a constant of Wonder Egg Priority since the series’ second episode, she’s rarely been a series focal point. Rika Kawai and Momoe Sawaki…

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Featured image for Monsters in Wonder Egg Priority Episodes 1-4Background image for Monsters in Wonder Egg Priority Episodes 1-4

Monsters in Wonder Egg Priority Episodes 1-4

“There’s nothing to be scared of. They only come after me.” Kurumi Saijo, Wonder Egg Priority, Episode 1

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Featured image for The system of Wonder Egg PriorityBackground image for The system of Wonder Egg Priority
Featured image for I hate you — Flower language in Wonder Egg Priority (continued)Background image for I hate you — Flower language in Wonder Egg Priority (continued)

I hate you — Flower language in Wonder Egg Priority (continued)

Wonder Egg Priority is a show that knows its flower language. The series has used specific flowers to introduce it’s second and third episodes in previews as a…

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Featured image for How to take a life — The Promised Neverland Season 2, Episode 2Background image for How to take a life — The Promised Neverland Season 2, Episode 2

How to take a life — The Promised Neverland Season 2, Episode 2

Emma crosses a line in the second episode of The Promised Neverland’s second season. It’s something that, thinking back on the trajectory of the series, seems inevitable, but…

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Featured image for You’re the sunflower — Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2Background image for You’re the sunflower — Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2

You’re the sunflower — Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2

If you were wondering why a shut-in haunted by her past trauma like Ai Ohto was represented by the natural positivity of a sunflower, the second episode of…

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Featured image for Their (Our) Private Life: HorimiyaBackground image for Their (Our) Private Life: Horimiya

Their (Our) Private Life: Horimiya

The opening sequence of Horimiya, a combined effort from series director Masashi Ishihama and Haruka Iizuka, is stylish and purposeful. It has a similar stylishness that the opening…

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Featured image for A (relatively) short Ikuhara primer, Naoko Yamada, and the “egg” in Wonder Egg PriorityBackground image for A (relatively) short Ikuhara primer, Naoko Yamada, and the “egg” in Wonder Egg Priority

A (relatively) short Ikuhara primer, Naoko Yamada, and the “egg” in Wonder Egg Priority

This season’s latest critical darling, Shin Wakabayashi’s Wonder Egg Priority, has been described as, if Kunihiko Ikuhara (Revolutionary Girl Utena, Mawaru Penguindrum) and Naoko Yamada…

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Featured image for Flower Language in Wonder Egg PriorityBackground image for Flower Language in Wonder Egg Priority

Flower Language in Wonder Egg Priority

Naoko Yamada’s influence throughout the anime industry, particularly with various directors’ use of flower language, continues to impress me. In Shin Wakabayashi’s Wonder Egg Prio…

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Featured image for Transitioning from a closed stage to open terrain: The Promised Neverland Season 2, Episode 1Background image for Transitioning from a closed stage to open terrain: The Promised Neverland Season 2, Episode 1

Is Lucky Star rewatchable? (some thoughts about how anime viewing and curation has changed)

A few weeks ago I pitched a podcast idea to a few friends. We would revisit an old anime to see if it was rewatchable or not and…

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[One] “My most hated self” — A return to xxxHolic

“You don’t belong only to yourself, you know?” -Yuuko Ichihara, xxxHolic Kei, Episode 3 I don’t believe in much. This is because I find it difficult to trust…

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[Two] How storyboarding real life inspires the “greatest world” of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken

The greatest technical and storyboarding triumphs of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken’s first episode are not the flights of fancy that take Midori Asakusa, Tsubame Mizusaki, and Sayaka…

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[Three] When the Safflowers Bloom (Only Yesterday)

A list of things I enjoyed over this past year includes Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Isao Takahata’s critically-acclaimed film Only Yesterday. This is not a…

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[Four] She and her dinosaur

I’ve always understood why people loved Pop Team Epic, but I never really “got it.” It was too loud and too frenetic. I don’t like things that seem…

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[Five] The Sailor Moon S movie is pretty bad but it still means a lot to me

At least we’ll always have Mamoru’s comical, “Merry christmas! And a…happy new year!” line. The Sailor Moon S movie really is a holiday classic.

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[Six] Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (Kyoto Animation and me)

Returning to Violet Evergarden was more difficult and emotionally-affecting than I thought it would be. On July 18, 2019, a man set fire to Kyoto Animation’s main studio,…

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[Eight] Animating Reg and the monstrous in Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul

One of the few, yet common, criticisms levied at the 2017 Made in Abyss television series was at animator Kou Yoshinari’s creature designs and animation. When Yoshinari was…

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[Nine] The Flower Language of Children of the Sea

It’s impossible to describe the plot of Children of the Sea beyond this: a girl named Ruka Azumi goes through puberty. That’s not to say that the movie…

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[Ten] “Have you heard?” — patterns and history in Magia Record

Have you heard? I’m a sucker for a good Greek chorus element in anime.

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[Eleven] “(You’re) so cool!” — Tsuritama

Many anime series have ruined an excellent start with a mediocre or bad ending. Tsuritama is not one of those series. Instead it’s one of the most well-plotted…

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[Twelve] The Melancholy of Reeve Tuesti

Director, I regret to inform you that no one in that boardroom is going to listen to you.

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The Queen’s Gambit and what we talk about when we talk about “anime”

Prior to watching the latest Netflix thing that everyone is talking about, The Queen’s Gambit, it was pitched to me by several people as “basically an anime.” Half…

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Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul and Riko’s Last Dive

“My mother is waiting for me, after all!” -Riko, Made In Abyss, Episode 13 Outside of an affirmative yell and calling Nanachi’s name, this is Riko’s last statement…

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Screaming from an office on the 63rd floor (nearly 3,000 words on Reeve Tuesti)

Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake are anime series, right? Okay, good. I don’t usually spoiler tag anything because I make the assumption that readers are…

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Visual Paneling in Sing “Yesterday” For Me

Paneling — separating out specific still panels like in a comic — appears frequently in anime. Part of this is simply because the source material for many anime…

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The 2020 Gal & Dino Lookbook

Gal & Dino isn’t perfect. A similarly esoteric follow-up to Pop Team Epic from Jun Aoki and his team at Space Neko Company and Kamikaze Douga, Gal &…

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Sing “Yesterday” For Me (because I don’t believe in it)

I’m getting old. It’s not the kind of aging on which Sing “Yesterday” For Me has trained its sights on. That type of aging, at risk of offending…

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Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! and “the greatest world”

This is it. The greatest world. There is bound to be a lot of praise in the anime community (on social media, larger review sites, YouTube, and even…

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On the perception of fanworks (and Magia Record)

I’ve been thinking a lot about fanworks lately. More specifically, I’ve been thinking a lot about fanfiction and how frequently it’s written off or denigrated publicly, but this…

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“Bloody History” — The Truth of the False Minoshiro

Are we . . . the “bad guys?” The short answer is yes, obviously. The lengthier one involves a surprising amount of nuance and one, specific moment in…

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#1 — Mawaru Penguindrum (2011)

Seizon senryaku, bitches. (I don’t usually spoiler tag things because I expect people to realize that this is a very spoilery blog, but just in case, MAJOR CONTENT…

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#2 — From the New World (2012)

I hadn’t rewatched From the New World until I reviewed it specifically for this list. Because it has been seven years, I had forgotten the actual opening of…

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#3 — Ping Pong the Animation (2014)

There is likely to be a lot of Masaaki Yuasa’s work in decade top tens, especially if they include films (which mine does not). Beginning with The Tatami…

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#4 — Yuri Kuma Arashi (2015)

I didn’t enjoy Yuri Kuma Arashi all that much on first watch. I enjoyed dissecting it and writing about it, but it didn’t fill me with the same…

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#5 — Flip Flappers (2016)

In my Yuri!!! On Ice post, I mention how difficult it is for me to watch currently-airing series during the fall season due to my job. Yuri!!! On…

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