Friday, April 13, 2018

Day 12 - Thirty Days of Anime

Day 12 - Food Porn Anime 

Food porn refers to works that have food taking the central focus of a story as well as the artistic presentation of meals. Anyone who’s watched even a handful of anime has probably noticed: There’s a food money shot in nearly every episode. Here is a list of popular series (I've seen) to prove this!

Koufuku Graffiti | Gourmet Girl Graffiti

Koufuku was the first anime I've come across where the character's expressions while eating are so suggestively salacious that it's borderline obscene. Not that I am complaining. But it was certainly a shock when I first saw it.

In its simplest terms, about girls enjoying food together.  You'll learn the basics of each recipe and watch the girls eat it. Within it discusses how food tastes better when you are with friends and does a little philosophizing on what different foods are good for different seasons or occasions.

Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma 

It is the most popular cooking series and for good reason. It combines the excitement of a shounen series, the gags of a comedy series, the all the amazing food of a competitive cooking series into one tidy and addicting package. The series employs chef Yuki Morisaki to help come up with the recipes and cooking techniques for all the food found in the show.

Like in other shows, it is occasionally weirdly sexual. Like in this clip from the first episode.

This show brings a new meaning to the portmanteau “foodgasm.” The chefs are such good cooks that a mere bite of their food can send the taster into, well, an orgasmic paroxysm, which the anime (and, to be fair, its parent manga) takes great pains to illustrate: clothing shreds, girls squirm their upper thighs together, and – and there's no way to put this delicately – juices spew from people's groins.

Isekai Shokudo | Restaurant to Another World


I've mentioned this series in a previous post. It's the story of the Western Restaurant Nekoya, owned by a man who is only referred to as "Master". He is the grandchild of a couple who opened the restaurant and inherited it when his grandfather died 10 years ago.

An outstanding culinary master, he enjoys cooking for the eclectic group of patrons that visit every Saturday, as they deeply enjoy his cooking. Resulting from the mingling of so many diverse beings within one space, the restaurant has become a neutral region, since none of the guests — whatever their personal differences — want to miss out on the Master's cooking.
[Watch the trailer here.]

Isekai Izakaya ~ Koto Aitheria no Izakaya Nobu | Japanese Food from Another World

Much like Isekai Shokudo, this brand new series (it premiered April 12), izakaya “Nobu” is a modest establishment, staffed by only two people: master, Nobuyuki Yazawa, and server, Shinobu Senke. Despite its humble appearance, its entrance is mysteriously connected to an ancient city from another world: “Aitheria.”

Nobu’s patrons consist of lazy palace guards, incognito clergymen, and the Waterworks Guildmaster – certainly not your average clientele. But once they enter Nobu’s doors, they are greeted with the finest alcohol they’ve ever tasted and dishes the likes of which they’ve never seen. [Watch the trailer here!]

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Day 3 - Thirty Days of Anime

Day 3 - Sailor Moon

Is there anyone under 30 (or even 40) that has not heard of Sailor Moon? The original series ran in the 90's and has been credited as inspiring the TV series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and a host of other "magical girls" anime.

A reboot of the series was released in 2014.

Sailor Moon is the story of teenage age named Usagi, who befriends Luna, a talking black cat. Luna gives Usagi a magical brooch enabling her to become Sailor Moon: a soldier destined to save Earth from the forces of evil.

Luna and Usagi assemble a team of fellow Sailor Soldiers to find their princess and the Silver Crystal. They encounter the studious Ami, who awakens as Sailor Mercury; Rei, a local shrine maiden who awakens as Sailor Mars; Makoto, a tall transfer student who awakens as Sailor Jupiter; and Minako, a young aspiring idol who awakens as Sailor Venus, accompanied by her talking feline companion Artemis. Additionally, they encounter Mamoru, a high-school student who assists them on occasion as Tuxedo Mask.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Day 2 - Thirty Days of Anime

Day 2 - Kino's Journey 

Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World is more than just a masterpiece in its art and animation. It’s also an aesthetic and philosophical experience that can inspire those who watch it. Many of the stories work as parables or fables, which contain messages within them that are meant to be insightful or instructive (paradoxically, even a parable with no message at all can teach us something when we attempt to find one). The fundamental nature of these types of stories is that you really get out what you put in – that is, the message you get is highly dependent upon what framework you’re using to look at them. 

This means that Kino’s Journey has a lot to teach us, and also that any analysis must be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, the powerful nature of the parable is that many frameworks will tend to give relatively similar (or diametrically opposed) answers, and so the results of any analysis are valuable and somewhat universal. Comparing multiple frameworks can then frequently lead to somewhat universal messages that speak to the fundamental nature of the human condition.

The show takes place in a world much different from our own. The people of this world live in small “countries,” which are actually the size of a town or city. Every country has their own laws and customs that make them entirely unique. Some countries are separated by walls; others move throughout the globe on Caterpillar wheels. Each has its own technology, as well. Some countries have a futuristic tech, while others live in an almost medieval setting. The different customs and technology create an aesthetic of mystique that fits the show perfectly.

Kino quietly observes each country she visits without getting involved in politics unless she absolutely has to. Her mostly neutral disposition allows the viewers to make judgments of their own in each episode. Sometimes her actions could be categorized as morally grey, such as assassinating the previous ruler during the tournament.

However radical her actions might seem, she always leaves the country free to take their future into their own hands. This leads to a number of different outcomes, both positive and negative. But it goes to show that Kino’s outlook is just one more philosophical lesson the show imparts to its audience: that everyone has a different perspective, and it’s important to respect that.

[Watch the trailer here.]

Monday, April 2, 2018

Day 1 -Thirty Days of Anime

This month, I will be talking about my most recent obsession: Anime

I've been watching a whole lot of it this past year and a half. It started out as research, which developed into an actual appreciation of the art/medium. I started adapting the anime/manga style in my own work - particularly the "chibi" style. It's a lot harder than it looks. 

While my style of drawing was heavily influenced by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and the X-Men animated series from the 90's - I'm drawn (no pun intended) to the "kawaii" look of the chibi and shoujo anime/manga. 

My first entry is about my current favorite show - which recently wrapped its first season. The hard to explain, often nonsensical, best described as "Shitposting: The Anime". 


Aired: Jan-Mar 2018
No. of Episodes: 12
Genre: Comedy, Parody, Absurdist Humor

Pop Team Epic (Poputepipikku) turns absurdist comedy up to eleven with its pop culture references and surreal hilarity.

The show chronicles the misadventures of two profane 14-year-old girls: the short and quick-tempered Popuko, and the taller, calmer Pipimi, as they encounter a variety of both mundane and bizarre situations and respond to them in equally bizarre and/or exaggerated ways.

Humor is of course entirely subjective even at the best of times, so it's almost certain that Pop Team Epic isn't going to click with everyone. Many of the sketches don't feature conventional punchlines and instead simply revel in surreal situations, while others may require an understanding of who or what is being parodied.

Rest assured though, the breadth of Pop Team Epic's pop culture repertoire is suitably impressive so chances are no one is going to be completely lost in a myriad of obscure references. The series as a whole includes the likes of Your Name, Street Fighter, Robocop, My Neighbor Totoro, The Shining and so much more. The fact "Let's Pop Together" is a near-faithful recreation of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Let's Groove" music video should tell you just about everything about how diverse it can get.

Where can you watch it: Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime Video, Funimation

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Rediscovering My Appreciation for Anime

I recently rediscovered my appreciation for anime. As an artist, I'm inspired by the stunning visuals of this art form. But more importantly, I'm learning that this storytelling medium has many different genres other than robots, magical girls, or exotic pets.

Here (in no particular order) are 5 of my favorite anime series from the past few years.

Kimi ni Todoke | From Me to You

Aired: Oct 2009 - Mar 2010, Jan - Mar 2011
No. of Episodes: 37 
Genre: Drama, Romace


Socially inept and often misunderstood (and feared) Sawako is actually a sweet and timid girl who only longs to be able to make friends and be liked by everyone else. When Kazehaya, a popular boy, begins talking with her, everything changes. She finds herself making new friends and talking to different people.

It's a self-help guide for anyone looking to change how others perceive them.

Where can you watch it: Crunchyroll, Hulu

Hozuki no Reitetsu | Hozuki's Coolheadedness

Aired: Jan-Apr 2014, Oct-Dec 2017
No. of Episodes: 26
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural


Think of this as if Parks and Rec were set in the Japanese version of hell. This a comedy about Hozuki (a beaurocrat in hell), who works under King Enma (the King and Head Judge of Hell) who determines what kind of hell the dead will be sent to. The serious-minded Hozuki attempts to manage and troubleshoot unusual problems which occur in the Japanese hell.

Recommended to anyone working in local government.

Where can you watch it: Season 1 on Crunchyroll

Goruden Taimo | Golden Time

Aired: October 2013 - March 2014
No. of Episodes: 24
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance


Law student Banri is an amnesiac who doesn't remember anything before his accident after this high school graduation. He meets Mitsuo, a popular rich and handsome student; stylish Koko, a spoiled and obsessive woman who is revealed to be Mitsuo's childhood friend; and Linda, a second-year student, who unbeknownst to him, was his best friend in high school and holds herself responsible for his memory loss. As the series progresses, Banri deals with his slowly re-emerging memories, which often come into conflict with a relationship that blooms between him and Kaga.

It's Memento without the sinister plot.

Where can you watch it: Crunchyroll

Isekai Shokudo | Restaurant to Another World

Aired: Jul-Sep 2017
No. of Episodes: 12
Genre: Fantasy


A restaurant situated in a mundane corner of an undisclosed Tokyo shopping district which, despite its name. It opens during usual business hours though closed during holidays and weekends. But secretly it is also open on Saturdays, as on this particular day it creates doorways to another world inhabited by elves, dragons, animal men and other fantastic creatures, who enter the restaurant and partake of its exotic food, with many of them becoming regular patrons

Where can you watch it: Crunchyroll

Kino no Tabi - the Beautiful | World Kino's Journey - The Beautiful World

Aired: Oct-Dec 2017
No. of Episodes: 12
Genre: Action, Adventure


Accompanied by a talking motorcycle named Hermes, Kino travels from country to country with vast differences between political, social, and international. The most significant difference between one country and another is their political structures and how they have answered the questions of, “what rights do individuals have in comparison to each other?” “what rights do individuals have in relation to the state?” and “what rights do states have in relation to other states?" 

If you are into Philosophy, Political Ethics, or just too deep for everyone else around you - I highly recommend this show.

Where can you watch it: Crunchyroll, Hulu