I’m sorry to say I’m going to be going on a two week break starting now to sort some things out and focus on some self care. These last couple months have taken a lot out of me and I think I need to take a break from everything except work for a bit. You can still catch me on Twitter (@amziebka) or instagram (@am_ziebrah) chatting about the shows I’m watching and manga I’m reading. I’ll be back in two weeks with new content including the last half of my Fruits Basket read-through.
Thanks for sticking with me!
Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. Anime Boston is coming up next week as is Easter weekend, so the next news post may be cancelled, but I’ll let you know. As for news items this week: the Studio Madhouse employee who collapsed seeks compensation for more than 200 hours of unpaid overtime; Disney+ begins to announce the new Marvel series coming to its platform; and the Library of Congress considers digitizing its whole collection over the next couple years. Be sure to check out the articles and videos linked below and let me know if I’ve missed anything. As always, enjoy your Sunday! Continue reading
I think Kaguya-sama was probably one of the only romance anime that came out of last season to really capture my attention. There were definitely a few too many shonen harem anime during the winter, and that’s not usually a genre I know I’ll enjoy. But I think Kaguya-sama did a phenomenal job capturing the vast majority of anime fans in the US and Japan, making it arguably one of the stand-out hits of the season. I certainly enjoyed myself immensely, and I have a hard time getting both the opening and ending themes out of my head even when we’re now into the Spring season. A-1 Pictures did a great job with the animation, creating an aesthetic that is truly visually interesting and isn’t something I’ve seen for quite some time. And while the focus is certainly more on comedy than romance, there is definitely enough quintessential romantic moments throughout the series to be entertaining on both fronts. So if you’ve been holding off on picking this series up I would highly suggest checking it out especially if you’re looking for a good laugh.
Kaguya-sama follows Student Council President Miyuki Shirogane and Vice-President Kaguya Shinomiya who seem like they would be the perfect couple. Shirogane leads the school with his grades and is generally respected by the school and the community. Kaguya is the daughter of a wealthy conglomerate family, second only to Shirogane in grades. Both of them hold feelings for the other, but neither wants to be the one to confess first, because to confess would be to lose. So begins the war to make the other one confess their love first through trickery, mind games, or whatever’s necessary. Continue reading
And we’re back with another look at Fruits Basket, this time volume five of the collector’s edition. I’ve been surprisingly having a lot of fun rereading this series and even more fun reviewing it. I’ve been loving taking these deep dives into each volume and pulling apart the different arcs of character growth and philosophical or thematic elements. I think it’s a really interesting series that not only is great to read but has made me think more about how I personally think about certain aspects of my own life and my own thoughts. And I think that is one of the main ways to identify if a series is truly great: if it makes you reflect on your own world and life views. Series like these are the ones that stick with us the longest because it builds an emotional attachment or adds an emotional connection. I don’t think I had this kind of connection back in high school when I first started reading this, so reading Fruits Basket now when I’m in a different stage of my life has created this new experience for me. But that’s a discussion for another day.
Volume five starts us off in the story with the onset of summer vacation. Yuki, the newly appointed president of the student council, sets off to meet his new council members and take care of business before the new school year begins. Meanwhile Momiji has made plans for all of the current Sohma zodiacs to have some fun in the sun at of the Sohma family vacation homes. Tohru, Kyo, Yuki, Haru, Kisa, Hiro, and Momiji all venture off to the beach while Shigure hangs back and plots from the shadows. His plotting leads to the surprise appearance of Akito at the summer home. In the middle of all of this we also get stories of Hana’s history with Tohru and her psychic waves, Uo’s meeting with the mysterious Kureno, and Hori’s history and relationship with his ex-fiancee’s friend Mayu. Lastly, we get two short glimpses of the last of the zodiac members, the rooster and the horse, Kureno and Rin. Continue reading
Welcome back to another installment in “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I’m finally back after a very long and tiring weekend at PAX East, but I had an amazing time and will be getting some more reviews up this week hopefully. My Fruits Basket read-through is still going on and volume five’s review will be posted sometime this week, so keep an I out or feel free to catch up on 1-4 if you haven’t already. In terms of news items this week: Studio Madhouse is in the news after one of thier employees collapsed from overwork; Netflix has announced the casting for the Cowboy Bebop live-action series; and Captain Marvel has hit the 1 Billion worldwide sales mark. Be sure to check out some of the articles and videos linked below and, as always, enjoy your Sunday! Continue reading
It’s that time again, time to take another dive into some nostalgic shoujo romance, more Fruits Basket. Volume four brings us about a third of a way through this series with twelve volumes total to look forward to. The story is still slowly unfolding here, with more introductions and a closer look at the intimate lives of both the zodiac members and Tohru’s friends. This sort of mystique and dread that Akito inspires permeates everything in this volume and I’m sure we’ll be seeing that ramping up in later volumes as well. With the introduction of Hiro, the sheep of the zodiac, and Ricchan, the monkey of the zodiac, we’re getting closer to bringing together the whole cast and with it their histories and interlocking relationships. I’m enjoying myself immensely as I read through this story. It’s packed with discussions on mental health, psychological trauma, life philosophies, and societal issues. I think I’ve forgotten over time just how deep this series goes, and I’m really looking forward to getting pulled down further into the story.
Volume four (chapters 37-48) starts us off with another introduction to the zodiac cast, Hiro the sheep, who happens to be close friends with Kisa. We’re drawn into his story of jealousy as he sees Kisa hanging out more and more with Tohru after her struggle with bullying. Then a shopping trip turns into a look at Uo-sans past as a former gang member turned Tohru’s closest friend. But Fruits Basket doesn’t save the characterization for just the main characters, even the fairly annoying Yuki Fan Club president, Motoko, gets her own chapter to shine in as we learn just what makes her tick and her feelings about handing off the fan club to the next generation. The rest of the volume is filled with our introduction to Ricchan, the monkey, but we also get quite a bit of characterization and backstory on Haru, Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru as they all struggle with thinking about their future after school. Continue reading