Anime summer season afterthoughts (aka. ASSA)


No way am I walking out of September without posting anything! (evidently too late at the time of publishing)

Just because I haven’t been writing doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching anything.

The truth is I’ve been diverting practically all my writing energy to work (having taken over my company’s regional monthly newsletter) and studying (I’m taking my JLPT N2 exam in December, so am practising my kanji an hour a day).

But when I’m not doing any of those, I spend my Tuesdays and Saturday nights catching up with six shows a week.

And now, to cut to the chase, these are my ASSAs, starting with which one aired first at the start of the week. Continue reading “Anime summer season afterthoughts (aka. ASSA)”


『君の名は』”Your Name” Original Soundtrack review

For the longest time, I wondered why RADWIMPS’ music was never featured in any series. Since Order Made in 2006, they have released and marketed their music by conventional means, i.e. album/digital sales. The only notable effort  to break out of its mold was when vocalist Yojiro Noda embarked on a solo side project as illion and star in a live-action movie earlier this year.

But when the band announced its involvement in Your Name (Kimi no Na Wa 「君の名は」), the realisation hit me that this was RADWIMPS we’re talking about. If they wanted to write music for a show, they don’t just contribute a song as a main theme. They compose the whole thing. They become the composers and literally set the direction and tone for the entire run.

RADWIMPS as composers. And for an animated film by Makoto Shinkai (5 Centimetres Per Second; The Garden of Words) of all people. Of course. It all makes perfect sense. Continue reading “『君の名は』”Your Name” Original Soundtrack review”

Defying gravity: What I learned from aerial pilates

OK, so this is not related to anything Japanese, but it’s something that I’ve thought about sharing since I started it.

Because you know, fitness and taking care of yourself.

I’ve done pilates before, but just the regular ones on the mat. You follow the instructor in twisting and concorting your body into poses that a regular person wouldn’t do, and you’re supposed to feel all refreshed and energised at the end of the hour.

Not me. I had rashes from poorly cleaned mats. And I felt no different from when I started. It did correct my posture and elongated my spine, though. But I went back to full on cardio (running, cross-training, rowing, etc) at the gym since those are far more accessible and hassle free than booking classes and competing with other gym members for slots.

But then I switched gyms, and running got very boring after a while. I hadn’t done pilates in a while, and since aerial pilates is becoming a new thing for workouts, I decided to give it a try.  Continue reading “Defying gravity: What I learned from aerial pilates”

RADWIMPS announces new album release in August 24

RADWIMPS has announced in an email newsletter today that its new album, “Kimi no Na Wa” (Your Name) will be released on August 24. The album title also happens to be the name of the theme song the band wrote for Makoto Shinkai’s latest animated feature of the same name. “School of Rock” will stream one of the tracks, 「前前前世」on July 5. Official site: reading RADWIMPS announces new album release in August 24

J-music fixes that are not AKB48 (or similar)

Japan’s music industry is a contradiction that has as many creative people as it does tacky and full of fluff. There are many talented artists with an equally diverse range of tastes, genres, and styles. Surprisingly, discovering new music is still done through television music shows (like Music Station), interview spots, and as theme songs in anime, drama, movies, and commercials. For a country that aims … Continue reading J-music fixes that are not AKB48 (or similar)

Adele’s “Hello” (covered by Taka, ONE OK ROCK)

I’m not a huge ONE OK ROCK follower, but there’s no denying the band’s growing influence. Goose house is the only band I know that does covers really well, albeit Japanese songs. But because Taka’s English proficiency sounds more decent than most, I’m not surprised he would attempt this. I didn’t think he’d attempt Adele though. I certainly didn’t count on that. And in the … Continue reading Adele’s “Hello” (covered by Taka, ONE OK ROCK)

Most amazing Mumei fanart yet

  STOP THE PRESS RIGHT NOW. Because while Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is a show that anyone looking for good storytelling with gorgeous art direction should watch, the fanart by illustrators like WLOP is taking character design to a whole new level. The original art by this amazing Hong Kong-based artist is available on Deviant Art. He/she is also producing a webcomic called Ghostblade that’s been in production … Continue reading Most amazing Mumei fanart yet

Junichiro Tanizaki’s “Naomi” is a b**tch.

I suppose folks in the anime circuit would think of these two when I mention Junichiro Tanizaki and Naomi: Watch Bungou Stray Dogs, by the way. This series has a nice balance between thriller/mystery and silliness. Sadly but unsurprisingly, real-life novelist Junichiro Tanizaki looks nothing like his cartoon counterpart. But his book, Naomi, was quite something. A quick background: Junichiro Tanizaki (1886 – 1975) is considered to … Continue reading Junichiro Tanizaki’s “Naomi” is a b**tch.

What the Japanese won’t eat 

My office had a little party this afternoon, and there was plenty of food to go around. Under normal circumstances, the Japanese in my office are quite adventurous and would eat anything in our diverse local cuisine. Everything, except this.   I found many hovering around the tray containing these little brightly colored chewies wondering what they were, and refusing to even touch it. I … Continue reading What the Japanese won’t eat