Monday, April 29, 2013

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: Episode 3


Before I cover the latest episode of Oregairu (going by Crunchyroll’s stream), I’d like to note that this show has officially been licensed by Sentai Filmworks for a home video release. It’ll probably come up sometime during spring of 2014.
Anyways, this episode gives our main characters a bit of development, while introducing two new guys to us (one of whom we’ve seen a bit last episode, but here we can see a bit more of what he’s like).
The Tennis Trap
Saika Totsuka is one of the two new guys introduced, and you’d be forgiven for thinking he was a girl at first. This tennis player’s cute boyish looks, mannerisms, and ability to magically project sparkles around himself is not only setting off all of Admiral Ackbar’s alarms, he’s making even Hachiman start to have strange feelings towards him.
Don't forget the ability to blush cutely at will.
That said, this episode was less about Saika himself and more about what the club members are doing for him, in helping him train so he can inspire the tennis team to do better. Among other things, this leads to a tennis match against Yumiko, who for right now is as haughty as ever.
This tennis match definitely has some moments of character development, as Yui shows that she’s willing to stand up even to Yumiko to defend her club; she also declares Yukino to be her friend, something Yukino does not directly reject. As for Yukino, aside from taking some time to talk down Yumiko, she also has a great moment where she almost says that Yui is her friend… though in the end, she ends up taking it back. Still, the first cracks in her shell have started to appear…
As for Hachiman, we hear more of his amusing internal monologues as he figures out that his life is going kind of like a rom-com except for the fact that it’s a boy who’s dragged him into helping a club… granted, a rather cute, girlish-looking boy, but still. He also has a fun moment where he uses his experiences in isolation to turn the tide of the match in his favor. However, for a more serious moment… consider when Yukino, tired out from a long match, says that Hachiman will win the match for them—and she never tells a lie. Whether he’s just rising under pressure or he really feels compelled in his heart to make sure Yukino is not wrong…
Hayato
Our “new” character, who appeared in the previous episode in Yumiko’s group as one that wanted to accompany her, appears here with a bit more character behind him. He seems to be a “nice guy” that tries to be the peacemaker between Yumiko and the Service Club, saying such classic nice-guy lines like “isn’t it more fun when everyone plays?”
He also spouts such wonderful nice-guy lines like this.
Of course, this being a rom-com gone wrong, Hachiman is having none of this, preferring solitude anyways, and shoots down his suggestion for everyone to get along immediately. He also gets in a jab at his popularity, saying someone as popular as he is should feel shameful for trying to take away the rights to the tennis court from someone with no popularity.
Hayato could be an interesting character going forward; he’s certainly not a bad person, but at the same time, he does stand against pretty much everything the Service Club members stand for. He seems to be all for socializing and being with people, and he definitely just goes along with Yumiko and her group (unlike Yui, who is willing to stand against them). Though that may be because he seems to have feelings for Yumiko…
In the end, even though he and Yumiko lose in the end to the Service Club, Hayato ultimately “wins” when he saves Yumiko at the end, causing what looks like the spark of romance between the two.
Though considering what kind of a person Yumiko is, I'm not sure that's really that great of a prize to win...
Yui feels sorry for Hachiman for being ignored, but he doesn’t really care; he’s satisfied enough with having helped out Saika. Besides, he's more concerned that this rom-com seems to have paired the guy with the guy and the girl with the girl, at least within the service club. But no matter, a clichéd catch-the-girls-while-dressing scene quickly reminds him that the usual clichéd rom-com events can still happen.
Overall Thoughts
This show continues to develop its main cast as it also slowly expands its expanded cast to provide more of the picture behind this rom-com gone wrong. We know that Hachiman was involved in an accident on the day of the welcoming ceremony (something that was hinted at in a flashback last episode), and that will likely play a large part in all of this. There’s also the question of whether the Service Club can really become a group of friends, and how that can impact their interactions with the people around them in the school.
There’s plenty of room for comedic moments, too, from Yui’s reaction when she finds out that she’s not a proper member of the Service Club because she never submitted an application to join, to Yoshiteru being a commentator for the tennis match and offering epic attack names to the various tennis moves going on. The dialogue remains as sharp as ever, too. All in all, still a great show from this season.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: From Up On Poppy Hill

You might not have heard much about the latest Studio Ghibli film, From Up on Poppy Hill. Disney has chosen not to release the movie themselves for certain reasons, so GKids has picked it up themselves and has chosen to do a limited screening at select theaters with minimal publicity. I was fortunate to have one of those theaters end up being nearby, so I caught the movie this weekend.

Poster courtesy of GKids.
This movie is directed by Goro Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki's son, whose previous work was the critically-panned Tales of Earthsea. Thankfully, this work is much better, if perhaps in part due to Hayao's work on the script, and the resulting work is a nice, low-key slice-of-life movie reminiscent of Whisper of the Heart.

The movie takes place in 1963 and features high school girl Umi Matsuzaki, who helps manage a boarding house. One day, she meets the school literature club/newspaper writer Shun Kazama, performing a daring stunt to draw attention to the school clubhouse that is about to be torn down. Sparks fly between the two as Umi decides to join the cause of protecting the clubhouse (mainly by helping to clean it up and make it look nice).

As far as the clubhouse renovation storyline goes, it's nothing particularly unique, but it's still very nice to watch, especially as you see practically the entire student body go about trying to clean up the clubhouse. Really, the whole thing is like this, though; nothing particularly stand-out plot-wise, but still a nice experience watching.

If you're already a fan of slice-of-life anime, such as Studio Ghibli's previous slice-of-life work Whisper of the Heart, this is a familiar experience, but if you're more used to more action or dramatic works in anime and movies, this movie could come off as boring. The key, though, is that this is a movie not to be watched and evaluated, but to be experienced; you watch this movie as though you were right there in 1963 Yokohama and living life alongside Umi. The show features a lot of scenes where she does a lot of everyday tasks, which is a defining characteristic of slice-of-life, and helps with the immersion experience.

The other thing that helps with this experience is the visuals, retaining a very Studio Ghibli feel as the harbor town is portrayed very lovingly and as a place one might not be too against living in.

And sometimes it makes you want to live there.
The effect of this is that, when the more dramatic and emotional elements come up, you really get to feel them. And this is why this movie works so well; it captures feelings and emotions not by displaying them, but by immersing you in them. It is one of the ways the slice-of-life genre is so effective as a whole, and this movie is a great example of how it works.

For those who are already fans of the genre, this movie is pretty much required viewing. However, even for those unfamiliar with the genre, it might be worth checking out, to see if slice-of-life is to your taste.

If you're wondering if this movie will be showing at a theater near you, you can check the official Facebook page of the movie. Note that theater listings are updated every week, so if your area isn't listed, check back later. It's also worth noting that when I watched the movie, it was with the original Japanese track with subtitles; GKids is doing a dub for the movie, but I do not know if that dub is playing in theaters or not, and if so, which theaters.

That said, there is one thing that comes up that may be of concern to Christian viewers or particularly those who want to show it to children. It does concern something of a plot spoiler, so if you want to read about it, check it out after the jump (and the spoiler-protecting picture).


Friday, April 26, 2013

Reverse Importation and How It Affects the NA Anime Industry

During my post about the Puella Magi Madoka Magica movies' import release, I talked a bit about reverse importation, the practice of Japanese anime fans' importing US releases of anime in order to save on the cost of buying anime Blu-rays, which are oftentimes ridiculously expensive. As an example, the average 12-episode anime will require you to buy 6 individual volumes that have an MSRP of US $80 each!) Needless to say, it's much cheaper to wait for the US's $70 release of that same show in its entirety, ask your overseas friend to buy it and ship it to you, then just pay him the cost plus shipping and in the end pay probably about a sixth of what you'd normally pay.

It should be noted that this problem even goes back to the days of DVD, where anime DVDs in Japan were also rather expensive and it would be much cheaper to buy a Region 1 compatible DVD player and import US releases. But with Blu-rays making the US and Japan share a region, it's just that much easier to reverse-import for any penny-pinching Japanese anime fan. Unfortunately for the producers of the anime, this means much less revenue for them, which is a Bad Thing, and of course, in their minds, they need to do whatever they can to make sure as many people buy their own domestic releases as possible, which makes sense.

That said, without any solid sales numbers, it's hard to say just how much of an impact reverse importation has on the Japanese industry. It's possible the problem isn't that bad and the companies are just being paranoid. One good indicator that it is something to be concerned over, though, is that if you search for various anime on the Japanese Amazon site, oftentimes the US release will be near the top as one of the more popular items.

In the end, though, the Japanese are concerned about it, and as such, it affects how anime gets released here in North America. In this post, I will go over the various ways which reverse importation affects these releases.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: Episode 2

Episode 2 features two fairly separate stories in its two halves. The first half features Yui facing her group of friends, who all seem to be sort of a “popular” group; Hachiman describes them as a group of carnivorous animals in which an alpha takes charge and the rest must endure stress from being subordinates.

Like a pack of wolves that prey on sandwiches.
In this case, the alpha is Yumiko, a blond beauty and definitely the center of attention among a larger group of both guys and girls, amongst whom Yui finds herself in. Yumiko is not exactly a pleasant person to be around; she has a very bossy attitude that isn’t afraid of tearing people like Yui down, though in a much more malicious way than Yukino does. For reasons best described as “he’d feel bad about it otherwise”, Hachiman attempts to stand up for her… and gets shot down instantly.


My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: Episode 1


It’s time to start going over the episodes of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, starting with the first episode. In this episode, we meet up with each of the three main characters, and learn a bit about each one. So, for this episode about the opening episode, why not look at each of the three main characters in turn as they’re shown in this episode…


Monday, April 22, 2013

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, Ep. 3: Thanksgiving


One of the other shows this season that has become one of my favorites is Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (Japanese: Suisei no Gargantia). It’s well-known for being the newest Gen Urobochi series, though it’s not as grim or depressing as his past works. It’s still definitely got an edge to it, and it still does explore the nature of humanity extremely well.
For some quick background, Ledo is a mecha soldier belonging to a faraway space colony, whom, due to various circumstances, has ended up on Earth, which has been flooded over, so everyone lives on boats. Among a crew that is mostly fearful of the foreigner and his highly advanced artificially-intelligent mecha Chamber (who serves as a translator), Ledo’s interaction with these people is mainly through one girl, Amy.
White-Haired Pretty Boy is Ledo, with Chamber on the left, Amy on the right, and to her right, Bellows.

Ledo had just vanquished a pirate squad in order to protect Amy’s friend, Bellows, and now has to face the consequences of perhaps needlessly taking so many human lives, as a larger pirate crew is out for blood. But amongst all this trouble, Bellows does go ahead and say “thank you” to Ledo for saving her. Ledo’s reaction is one of puzzlement, strangely enough. Towards the end of the episode, after Ledo saves the entire crew from the larger pirate crew, everyone says “thank you” to him, and there, he finally learns that what they’re saying is an expression of gratitude, and he gets a chance to say those words himself, as his first words in the language of his new home.
One thing this show has been great about is taking things that we take for granted in our world and society and showing just how valuable they are. After all, to most people, “thank you” is just something we’ve been taught while young to say after someone does something for us as proper etiquette. In fact, for many people, this has become a largely automatic action, one where one’s feelings might not really be behind the words. This show, though, turns this bit of etiquette on its head: what if someone has grown up never hearing a single “thank you”, such that the entire concept of expressing gratitude is foreign to him?
What we can see from Ledo is that all his human interactions seem to be based on negotiations. All of his actions, including deciding to support the Gargantia crew against the pirates, are based on being able to attain that which is beneficial to him by offering something beneficial to the other side if necessary. There was no need for gratitude, since in his experience it was just every man for himself and gratitude provides no direct benefit for anyone (of course some people will talk about indirect benefits, but Ledo’s people sure didn’t).
In this way, when Ledo first learns how to express gratitude, it seems like such a huge moment. It's as if this is the start of something important for Ledo... say, discovering human relationship for the first time.
After this episode, I realized just how meaningful something as simple as saying "thank you" really is. It really is a selfless action, one with no direct benefit to the one who says it, but simply says, "I really appreciate what you did for me, and I want to let you know that so you know that what you did was worthwhile." It is a simple action of love, yet it is the spark that can start friendships or even lead to marriage, and even when it's between two strangers or people with no plans to develop a deeper relationship, it's a statement that reminds us all that we humans are all by and large looking out for each other, and that we are not alone in this world. Quite a lot for two simple words, eh?
There's even more to this for Christians, though. Thanksgiving is such an important part of the Christian life, that one of the types of sacrifices initially instituted in the Old Testament was a sacrifice of thanksgiving. And, of course, "give thanks to the Lord" is such an integral part of Christianity that it's even slipped out and become part of everyday language to say "thank God", even if the person who says it isn't even a Christian! Why is it so important to express gratitude towards God for all the good things He's done for us? I think the simple answer is: otherwise, we fall into legalism, or thinking that it is by doing good things that we are saved or that we are loved by God.

If our motivation for following God's ways is to try to earn salvation or God's love, we are missing the point of Jesus's sacrifice, in which we loved us so much while we were still sinners that he was willing to die for us so we can be saved. But for those who realize just how big this sacrifice that he made for us was, following God's ways is just the result of naturally wanting to thank God for what He did. Or more specifically, thanking God becomes the platform on which we develop a relationship with Him, and it is under this relationship that we naturally want to help God accomplish His will on Earth.

That said, it's all too easy for us to slip back into the world's ways of "do things to earn God's love", which is why God wants us to give thanks to Him: by thinking of the good things He's done for us, we realize that He already loves us so much already that we can do nothing to earn any more of that love, and from that, our gratitude re-tunes our hearts towards relationship.

Whereas before Ledo went along with the crew of Gargantia simply because he felt that to be most beneficial to him, in the upcoming episodes we can see how finally starting to have relationships with the people of Gargantia changes how Ledo does things. In the meantime, this show has made me realize just how important "Thank you" is. It's not just a couple of polite words; it is quite possibly the words on which society was built on.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

More Highlights from the Spring 2013 Season: 4/19/13 Edition


In addition to Yuyushiki and Oregairu, this season has had a number of highly enjoyable shows, as well as shows that show promise. Here I will go over all the shows that have caught my interest, and my thoughts on what has transpired in them so far. Shows will be presented in alphabetical order.


Friday, April 19, 2013

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: Introduction


The Spring 2013 season has been pretty good so far, with a decent variety of titles such that pretty much anyone can find something worth following. And while I’m finding plenty to like this season, one title has stuck out as being particularly enjoyable while having some interesting characters and portrayals of relationships… or lack thereof. It’s not exactly a show that’s been touted to be a Big Thing this season, and reviews have been rather across the board on how good the opening episodes are, but that doesn’t change how it’s a show that I’m just really enjoying now. And that show is…

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
This particular light novel adaptation comes under many names. The Japanese name, やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。(Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru), is, of course exceedingly long; it translates to My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected, which can be considered an official English title as it appears (in English) at the beginning of the end credits. As for the English title Crunchyroll uses, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, that is an official English title used by TBS, the show’s production company, probably in order to have an English title that isn’t horribly cumbersome to type out. Finally, like many shows with exceedingly long names, there is a portmanteau name, Oregairu, which is handy for those who want a quick way to refer to this show… like me. So that’s how I’m going to refer to this show from here on (except in the post titles, where I will use My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU).
For various reasons, the Crunchyroll broadcast is delayed one week from the original Japanese broadcast, so while three episodes of the show has aired, I’ve only been able to watch two of them. Those two episodes, though, have been quite interesting.
To start with, we have the male lead, Hachiman Hikigaya, who views every kind of “youthful” experience his fellow classmates pursue as delusions or lies. The show features a lot of his monologues, which reveal the very cynical way he views the world and the people around him; these can be very amusing on their own, though they do sometimes also reveal that he himself has gone through his own hurts in life that have led him to have the cynical view he has now.
His teacher is quite concerned about this, so she directs him towards an empty club room after school, where the extremely popular Yukino Yukinoshita waits. Turns out, she single-handedly runs the school’s Service Club, which supposedly helps people with their problems… not that Hachiman particularly wants any help with his “problem”, mind you.
A large part of the show's appeal to me is the characters. I've already talked about Hachiman; as for Yukino, she's definitely a very sharp-tongued one who is not afraid to say what she thinks even if it's not what the other person wants to hear; despite this, she can be quite caring, as is shown when they help their first real client, an energetic girl named Yui Yuigahama: she says what she thinks will benefit the other person, however harsh those words might be. Yui eventually becomes a regular "member" of the club, and her cheerfulness provides a fun contrast to the other two, who often trade verbal barbs with each other in a sort of Koyomi Araragi/Hitagi Senjyogahara-like way. All of them have trouble making friends to some extent for various reasons, so the show looks like it will document their attempt to have meaningful relationships for once (kind of like Haganai, but more cynical and with much fewer dirty jokes). I also find the characters rather relatable, especially for one who considers a lot of high school life to be, well, a mess.
Over the next week I will comment on each of the first two episodes, and then I will blog on each episode every week after I watch it. Consider this my trial in weekly episodic blogging. Even in these first two episodes there's a lot of things worth talking about, so I'm looking forward to going over them.
This is a pretty easy show for me to at least encourage others to try out, mainly because there is zero fanservice (of the sexually revealing kind) to speak of. There is some language, though, and not just in the subs (the b-word is is actually spoken in English), but that's it.
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My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Review: The Pet Girl of Sakurasou




Show Information
Title: The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (Japanese title: さくら荘のペットな彼女, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo)
Length: 24 episodes x 24 min./ep.
Aired: Fall 2012 -> Winter 2013
Studio: J.C. Staff
Available for online streaming: CrunchyrollHuluThe Anime Network
Home Video License: Sentai Filmworks (will probably be released late 2013/early 2014)
Review


Okay, I cannot blame anyone for immediately thinking that a show with that kind of name (and the Japanese name, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, is no better, since it means the exact same thing in Japanese) has to be no good. And yet, The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a show far deeper—and much more respectful—than its seemingly misogynistic title might suggest, and has defied expectations to be one of Fall 2012’s best shows, and the best show to have aired in Winter 2013.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Films on Blu-ray and Aniplex of America import releases


The latest news on the North American anime-on-home-video front comes courtesy of Aniplex of America, who have announced that the first two Puella Magi Madoka Magica films will be available on Blu-ray on July 30th, 2013. For those who have heard of Madoka Magica but don’t know too much about the films, these two films, spanning a total of 240 minutes (4 hours), basically retell the entire TV series in a somewhat more streamlined way. I have yet to actually see the films, but I have seen the TV series, and as many others can attest to, it is a great series that turns a lot of typical “magical girl” tropes on their heads, while the ending is one of the most beautiful endings I have ever seen in anime (and for Christian viewers, it even reflects the Gospel to some extent!).
But this isn’t so much a post about Madoka Magica as it is an anime industry post (the first on this blog), so let’s talk about this upcoming Blu-ray release of these movies.
Just from hearing about it, I’m sure Madoka Magica fans will get excited at first; after all, Aniplex of America (henceforth referred to as AoA) just conducted a bunch of screenings across the continent; having the Blu-ray release come so soon… that has to be too good to be true, right?
Well… maybe. You see, the July 30th Blu-ray release of these films will be the latest of AoA’s import releases.


Yuyushiki, Ep. 1: The Joy of Watching Anime


I had said in my introductory post how, as a Christian, I watch anime looking out for God’s truths hidden in these otherwise definitively non-Christian shows. However, that is really only half of why Christians can watch anime (or any other form of secular entertainment) and still glorify God. As for the other half, I was reminded of that after watching the first episode of one of this season’s new shows, Yuyushiki.
From left to right: Yukari, Yuzuko, and Yui. Would have been called Yuyuyushiki, except the producers could never say the name right.
Now, I know this will sound odd, but I consider Yuyushiki to have the best first episode of this season, with pretty much nothing being able to come close. Why? What about more “serious” shows like Attack on Titan or Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet which are more “meaningful” and “interesting” shows?
Well, the answer to me is simple. Yuyushiki is the only show to put a smile on my face for 24 consecutive minutes.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Welcome!


Welcome to my anime blog, “A Series of Miracles”. The title comes from the anime series Nichijou, a.k.a. My Ordinary Life, in which a character mentions that “our everyday life may be a series of miracles”.
Which isn't that hard to believe when random wooden toys fall from the sky.
Those words have inspired my life, to find the small miracles in my own everyday life. It has also inspired how I watch anime, to look for those moments in shows which I can only describe as “a miracle of animation”. As I invite those who are reading this to join me in discovering these small miracles in the world of Japanese animation, I would like to talk about the three things that define my anime experience, so you may know where I come from.
1.       I am a Christian, and I view anime from a Christian perspective.
This, I believe, is the most important thing to know about me. To deny me of my faith is to deny me of who I am, because I define who I am based on whose I am: I belong to Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, the Creator of this universe and the one who loved me so much that he died for my sins.
I say this not to tell you what you should believe, but that so you know what I believe, and that this does impact how I view various anime. I do invite those who are not Christians to follow along and perhaps learn more about what Christianity is about. At the same time, I probably will also make plenty of posts that have no direct references to Christianity at all… but even those will be so influenced by the worldview that my faith has given me that I feel it would be near-impossible for me to write a completely secular post.
If you disagree with anything I say because of this and you feel you must say something back to me, all I ask is that you be civil in posting comments. I am fully willing to engage in conversation with anyone who wishes and who seems like their head is on straight. On the other hand, I refuse to waste my time trying to talk to raving lunatics.
Now, for the Christians reading this, you may be wondering, what is a Christian doing watching shows from a country where 99% of people are not Christians? Surely nothing good can come from watching a bunch of shows made by non-believers, right? Well, the funny thing about stories is, even if the writer had no intention of writing about God's truths, they oftentimes nevertheless appear in those stories, waiting for us to fish them out and share them with the world. 
This does mean that we have to be discerning about what we watch. It means being in the world without being conformed to the world, using our renewed minds to determine what is good, acceptable, and perfect (Romans 12:2). There's lots of good in anime to be found, but there's also a lot of trash, and sometimes the good is buried in the trash. Being a discerning anime watcher isn't always easy, especially in the last case of "good buried in the trash", and different Christians will have different standards for what they can tolerate in a show. 

To any Christian looking to watch anime, doing so prayerfully alongside the Holy Spirit is a must. To help out, anytime I recommend or review a show, I will indicate that which Christians may find offensive or a stumbling block (the latter particularly referring to sexual content).

That said, for other Christians reading this, I would love it if you followed along with me as I explore the world of anime, whether you watch it with me or whether you simply read my posts. And again, if you disagree with me, feel free to engage in civil conversation with me in the comments section.

Now for the second thing that defines my anime experience...

2. I like watching shows well outside the "anime mainstream" and what people might normally consider "entertaining".

What does this mean for me? Well, first of all, it means don't expect me to blog on, say, Naruto. Though that's more because I just don't have time to try to watch all those episodes...

More notably, it means I like to watch a lot of shows that will probably be hard sells for the average person, especially those who are not normally anime fans. This is most notable regarding my love for "slice-of-life" shows, which turn off a lot of viewers due to their slow pace and lack of overarching plot. Add in a love for shows with bizarre and unusual plots, and I can definitely understand if a show that I talk about is one that you've never heard of and you have no interest in watching. But those are the types of shows I like. You won't hear me get super-excited about Bleach, but you could get me talking a lot about Hidamari Sketch, if you're more interested in a show about the everyday lives of an apartment of (mostly) art students than an action-packed supernatural thriller.

This does not mean I avoid all action and "mainstream" titles, and I'll probably cover at least a couple of those shows too. But my interest is not in watching all the popular anime.

Finally...

3. I am also interested in the anime industry, particularly the North American anime localization industry.

In addition to posts about the shows themselves, I will also make posts about the anime industry, in particular with what's going on in North America regarding anime localization, including both legal streams of currently-airing shows through sites like Crunchyroll and physical releases of anime on DVD and Blu-ray. In addition, my coverage of shows available only through fansubs will be very minimal. (Though this is more because it is much more convenient for me to watch a show streaming or on DVD than through fansubs.)

I encourage all anime fans to, when possible, watch a show through legal means like legal streaming sites or by buying DVDs and Blu-rays of anime. I will not make any statements on the morality of fansubs, but at the same time, I would like to remind people that there are humans behind the process of creating anime and bringing it to North American fans, and they rely on these legal means to make a living. Even streaming a show for free through a legal site like Crunchyroll provides a bit of revenue for the creators (primarily through ads). Of course, what you do in the end is your choice, and I won't call anyone out on their particular choice.

So that's it for an introduction. Stay tuned for my first official post about anime.

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