Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Honor Student At Magic High School, Volume One: Review

“Spin off of the best selling light novel” this could have been the kiss of death, for The Honor Student At Magic High School (here after referred to as Honor Student)l as adaptations of light novels tend to have a (often well deserved reputation). For being overwritten and larded with exposition-filled dialogue that violates the show don't tell rule of writing. Honor Student thankfully does not do that while a certain amount of internal monologue is used to establish character motivation it never feels like I could have been shown this instead of having a character's thoughts expressed in prose. Told from the perspective of the beautiful (background characters exposition on how lovely she is something that made me smilingly remember the first volume of Clamp's X with characters ex-positioning on how helpful and lovely Fuma and Kotori Monou are) Miyuki Shiba who adores her older brother the taciturn Tatsyua. Nothing much is explained and I suspect having read the original light novel series this is based on would have helped the learning curve is not too steep. While certain parts feel like padding such as Honoka Mitsui fretting over how to become Miyuki's friend for several pages it's endearing and gives the story a human element that is needed given the often times cold explanations of technological matters. Still the world it's self is an odd mixture of post-apocalyptic sci-fi in which magic is actually a scientifically reducible phenomena combined with slight social criticism of the arbitrariness of the educational system. It could end up being a muddled confused chimera of several different kinds of stories but thankfully none of the “seams” connecting the story feels noticeable. While characterization is flat Miyuki only wanting to be praised by and spend time with her brother this crosses over into some almost incest feelings on Miyuki's part and others even thinking of her and Tatsyua as a couple. It's never obnoxious although it might be a deal breaker for some. The balance of the series between school days comedy and a dark hidden political world can be off putting but the lighter elements balance out the dark almost Ghost in The Shell style distopia. Still not much is explained and while some kind of prior knowledge might be needed thankfully jargon is explained in the back so if one is left mystified by what a C.A.D. Is it's explained in the back. As a first volume the world is set personalities are established and a entertaining time is had. Still can't wait for the original novel series to maybe at least fill in some holes in the story.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why I Came Back

Well I know I said I was leaving blogging after a "spiritual crisis" yet after two months of completely cutting myself off from Anime and Manga I am back and willing to try and give reviewing another shot simply because I love criticism. I'm not interested in trying to be "famous" (I never was to begin with and I still don't care if I get a following). Yet the two months I was away have made me clear of one thing the reviewing community is a rather insular community not in that tastes in Manga or Anime are the same but the overall worldview of various bloggers is essentially the same a kind of amorphous PC thought process where terms are used than not defined. These people are entitled to there opinions. Yet I think what is getting lost is the idea of Manga and ANime as a mass medium parts of the online community sadly feel like the 80s era PMRC except instead of being to the right it's from a more insidiuos idea of a poorly defined nedbulious term like "Social Justice" or "represintation". These type of discusions where one side is percived to be on the side of the angels and the other is not only wrong but evil or guilty of criminal actions. The recent monologue about Gamer Gate in mainstream media. Or the constant blaming of 4chan for promoting violence and misogyny. Not saying those things do not happen on 4chan they indeed do but that it's often times far eaiser to blame 4chan than do nothing that actually think about why someone shoots up a school or make it all about your own ideological enemies or yourself and your "special unique snowflake pain". But I digress I'll be getting back into reviewing expect my first review to be The Honor Student at Magic High School, Vol. 1 in November and I will probably be getting back into some sort of weekly anime review when the winter season starts up with two maybe three shows max I'll be reviewing. Also be advised that I'll also be reviewing novels as well and as those require me to read an entire novel they may take longer although the only novels I'll be reviewing are The Irregular at Magic High School by Tsutomu Satō wich is a series I'm convinced I'm one of the few people that actually like it there is this whole concept or "ironic enjoyment" the whole "so bad it's good" kind of thought process and I simply don't see it. While Satō's novelhas been controversial with some I think that has more to do with philosophical misgivings on the part of some rather that the strengths of the work in question. But that is all something I'll be covering in the review when in comes. the other novel is Legend of the Galactic Heroes by Yoshika Tanaka. The space opera epic that was thought unlicensable for years due to it's sprawling story-line and 110 episode OVA franchise. I have no idea what to hink about this series except that it's old Sci-Fi and Sci-Fi along with fantasy are the two genres of fiction I read the least of. So this is really a stsab in the dark as far as wether I will enjoy it or not. As far as other sereies it's honestly not much just My Monster Secret by Eji Masuda and Dragons Rioting by Tsuyoshi Watanabe. With My Monster Secret being an gag/harem romantic comedy with the anime having a plotting similar to a 90s series like Tenchi Muyo or Love Hina. While Dragons Rioting is a mixture of fan service and the battling school sub-genre of battle manga that was popular in the 60s and 70s with titles like Men's Gang and ridiculed by the comedy series Cromartie High School. Both simply feel like fun I'll probably end up reviewing both along with LGH and Mahōka but don't expect anything beyond those five series to be reviewed. While I have no idea what is comeing out in winter simply expect reviews to come regularly but not as fast as they wehere in the past for Manga and now Novels. Although reviews of books dealing with Manga and Anime may come as well. Few opinion peices becuese I don;t honestly find puting my personal opinion on something online all that helpful. simpyl consider this just a place for reviews not commentary on fandom or cultural politics inside it I simply find that too draining becuese noone is willing to think criticly or refelectively on something as subjective as art. Also I find being heavely involved in the whole game of personalites involved in fandom is exhausting and leads to a unhealthy "enmeshment" in fandom. So here's to comeing back and hopeing to reflect more and be able to write a little bit better as far as reviews go. A new day after a break but it feels good to be back none the less.