The Bluegown Blog

Welcome to my blog - everything from porn to birdwatching, via books, comics, movies, planes & trains!   All messily stacked under one roof for your reading pleasure...

By alicebg, May 16 2017 06:56PM

From its gramatically-challenged English title on down, Riddle Story of Devil - also known as Akima no Riddle - is one of the strangest concepts in anime - and that's saying a lot. Riddle has elements of many, many other animes (not least the ones previously featured on this blog), but comes up with a synthesis that is wholly unique, for better or for worse.

By alicebg, Apr 6 2017 06:56PM

Stduio Ghibli was one of the giant names in anime, and one of the few Japanese studios to consistently break through in the West. For their final feature-length project, they rather curiously chose the classic but still little-known children's book When Marnie Was There. The result is an impressive film, but one that still demonstrates the cultural and conceptual boundaries that separate anime norms from western conventions.

By alicebg, Mar 2 2017 07:54PM

Generally speaking, anime - no matter to which particular genre it might belong - deals in the fantastical. There is a heavy bias towards fantasy and sci-fi elements, with magic a strong underpinning force. Even sitcoms (such as Squid Girl, to be reviewed in due course, and Yuru Yuri, q.v.) will frequently embrace the bizarre. Sweet Blue Flowers is a rare example of what might be termed documentary realism in Japanese animation, which makes it particularly noteworthy. It doesn't hurt that it's also rather good.

By alicebg, Feb 6 2017 07:36PM

As you may know if you've visited this blog, like, ever, my absolute numero uno amine is Strike Witches (q.v. all over the shop). I didn't believe such a bizarre concept as Strike Witches could have been arrived at spontaneously, so I've sort of been looking for likely antecedents, and I think I may have found one in Stratos 4. Certainly, when it comes to mashing together disparate elements, Stratos 4 is right up there with the best of them. And yet, curiously, the show doesn't really do anything to separate itself from the pack.

By alicebg, Jan 16 2017 07:44PM

*Okay, who's up on their Indigo Girls references?

Some years ago, when I first started getting heavily into anime, I drew up a list of the titles I was most keen to acquire. Strawberry Panic was at no.2 on that list. It took a while: Panic has never been released in the UK; was not available on the Grey Market; and second-hand copies in the US were prohibitively expensive. The version I eventually obtained appears to be a US pirate (though I didn't know this at the time) - not ideal, but it did finally enable me to watch the series. So, what did I think?

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