Sup. Today, I would like to write about my favorite anime of Fall 2016: Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, also called MahoIku. It was based on a novel by Endou Asari and illustrated by Maruino. Before my customary “watch all first episodes of the season” bonanza in October, I hardly knew anything about Mahoiku apart from it being a dark mahou shoujo story. It formed a vague cluster named “Madoka clones” in my brain, together with works like Mahou Shoujo of the End or Anti Magical. I had no way of knowing that it would turn out to be this season’s number one for me. (SPOILERS AHEAD)
The first volume of the Yahari Ore no Seishun LoveCome ga Machigatteriru series, to be called Oregairu from here on (although it’s been called Hamachi as well; remember that?!), was published in Japan in 2011 by Gagaga Bunko. I don’t think anyone would argue that the series didn’t achieve success as a story – its first animated adaptation aired two years later and a second, much better looking season came out yet another two years later, in 2015. There were games based on it for the Vita and some comic adaptations as well.
In July 2012, when the anime was announced, the only impression it made on me was “another light novel adaptation with a long title”, which, considering the average quality of those, didn’t make me watch it. I think I might have seen the first episode, but, in the end, decided not to follow it weekly (probably because of Yukinoshita being an awful person). After reading all the praise it got from people who have been checking each episode out as they were airing, I watched the entire first season in one sitting as soon as it concluded. Let’s say for now that when the second season was announced, I had no doubts that I would be watching it week-to-week. And so, not long ago, when the first novel was published by Yen Press, I decided to buy it.
The first volume of the Missing series by Kouda Gakuto, which was his debut in print, was published in 2001. That was when light novels as a phenomenon were experiencing another wave of increased popularity that I like to call The Age of Boogiepop. Missing soon became one of the more notable works of that epoch…
It was translated and published in English by Tokyopop in 2007, during the period when they experimented with light novels, releasing stuff like Slayers or Kino no Tabi.
I’ve been aware of this book for quite a while. I think I first heard of it from the novel’s translator himself – Andrew Cunningham had a blog where he was posting about Japanese stuff he’d been reading. It’s a treasure chest of a site, to this day. Also, when reading Japanese sites on light novels, I’ve been seeing mentions of Missing here and there. Those were mostly positive opinions, even going so far as to call Missing “one of the few good light novels” and such. Therefore, I ended up buying the first volume a few years ago and just recently I finally gave it a spin.
I finally did what I’ve been wanting to do for years: I made a blog.
You know, once, years ago, I asked myself: Why do I watch anime and do all the nerdy stuff I do? What for? When asked “why?” people frequently answer “because I like it” or “for fun”. That was my answer too, until I decided that an answer like this is not enough. Simply passively consuming culture all the time is a waste. The moment you die, the contents of your head all suddenly go to trash, proving that they’re transient and fragile. There is a way, though, to make what’s is fleeting eternal: writing it down. Therefore, to make my anime watching a little more meaningful, I will be posting about things I consumed here, sometimes.
A few words about the pieces I’ll be writing: I wouldn’t call them reviews. They will be part reviews, part essays on themes, part autobiographical texts, part something else, maybe. I’m so glad that “blogpost” is a word that encompasses everything and nothing.
Also, in my blogposts, I will not care about spoilers. Worrying if there are spoilers in each and every sentence is such a huge obstacle to deal with when writing about culture, I refuse to. Ever read any texts that tell you absolutely nothing about a work because that would be spoiling? Well, I have. I guess that means that my blogposts are either for people who have already consumed the work in question or people wanting to read a text about a work instead of actually checking it out.
I guess that’s enough of an introduction. One more warning: I probably won’t be updating this blog very frequently. Do not expect too much.