How many anime characters can be said to be more iconic than Char Aznable? I’m sure you could name a few, but there aren’t many. Char is the most recognizable character of one of anime’s biggest franchises, a franchise that made all of the shows we watch possible. Char spans generations, carrying with him a mix of lofty ideals and heinous crimes, wondrous battles and deep depressions. Char is one of the best written characters in anime, a stand-out amongst Gundam characters as well as amongst anime in general. Char Aznable, the Red Comet, is one of my favorite characters, and his legacy is one worth examining.
Dragon Maid is a story about unorthodox families, but it goes much deeper than that. Unorthodox familes are a dime a dozen in anime, and while Dragon Maid does a good job at portraying them, I wouldn’t say it does a better job than, say, The Eccentric Family. What makes Dragon Maid stand out is how it focuses on the family’s effect on the main character. Dragon Maid is ultimately the tale of an introvert, someone who’s used to minimal interaction, and how her newfound family helps her to open up and become more comfortable around others.
There have been a lot of comparisons between the movie and manga versions of A Silent Voice, and to an extent that’s understandable. The movie did cut a lot of material, and I can see why that would leave some people less than happy with the adaptation. Personally though, I’m fine with the changes from the source, and I think that the cuts generally made the film a better work.
All art is political, but anime is an art form which tends to shy away from engaging with that fact. It isn’t hard to tell where a show like GATE’s ideological biases lie, but shows like this rarely engage with ideology on a more explicit level. It’s rare to get shows like Ghost in the Shell or LotGH that not only explicitly engage with politics, but make it totally apparent where their opinions lie, and it’s always nice when it happens.
This is another two-part episode, this time exploring two separate areas of Aria, away from Neo-Venezia. As I said in the past, The Natural is heavily focused on world-building, and this episode is particularly strong at it. The two locations they go to are totally different and carry different messages with them, but both are beautiful, leading to this being one of my favorite episodes in the series.
This is another episode that focuses on Neo-Venezia, though it does so in a different way than the previous few. While past episodes focused a lot more on showing you parts of the City, thus giving you a better sense of what it’s like, this episode focuses more on the spirit of the city. It also brings back the beauty of letters, touched on in episode 4 of the Animation.
MAJOR Spoiler Warning for all 5 main endings of Nier Automata. Usually I wouldn’t do this, but this is an incredible game that everyone should play themselves if possible. Please only read if you’ve beaten the game or don’t care.
The world can be harsh. Nier: Automata demonstrates this the entire time you play it, presenting you with plenty of scenarios in which you are able to see how bad things are in the world the characters inhabit. The game makes no attempt to hide the ugly face of the world from you, and from the beginning its clear that everything is awful. There are many times you’re forced to do bad things yourself, only adding to the sense that the world is corrupt and rotten.