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10:00 AM on 04.09.2014

Monthly Musings: So Moe It Hurts

Hola, bounty hunters! It's that time again. Time for me to assign an arbitary writing assignment for you all to tackle in the hopes that senpai may notice you! Well, too late. Senpai is too busy noticing me to notice you prop...

Brittany Vincent

Super Rabu Rabu: Sunset on the Bank photo
Super Rabu Rabu: Sunset on the Bank
by Marlin Clock

[Community member Marlin Clock is featured here as the winner of March's Monthly Musing c-blog contest. Is someone cutting onions or something? Excuse me.]

First off, I’ll get the obvious spoiler warning out of the way. Nodame Cantabile is a great show and if you’ve any desire to watch it I urge you to do so. While the Japanese language version is unavailable legally, a dub-only version actually still exists on Sony's oft neglected Hulu competitor Crackle.

Nodame Cantabile has the distinct honor of being my favorite romance anime of all time. Nodame is such a loveable klutz, and Chiaki was always a great foil as one of the few instances of male tsundere. What made me love the show so much was that it wasn’t solely a romance. It spent more time focusing on character’s personal problems as a way for them to interact and grow closer. Unlike some shows which seem to star cardboard cutouts, we got a show where we intricately knew each character. The relationship we see is slowly built from their shared experience in college as Chiaki grew to care about Nodame.

This all culminated in my favorite romantic scene of all time, sunset on the bank. Chiaki finally realized how much Nodame meant to him after coping with his fears. Her constant support finally got through to his cynical heart. However, just as he realizes his feelings, Nodame is crushed in a piano competition. Hurt and tired, she lashes out at Chiaki just as he tries to confess to her. In the end, he rushes as fast as he can to find her. On his way to see her, he gets a phone call from her, talking about her recent luck applying to become a pianist abroad. In a great bit of comedy, Chiaki actually sees Nodame out of the taxi and, flummoxed, tells the driver to stop confusing Nodame to no end. As he walks towards her, she starts to talk about her aspirations for the future, oblivious to his presence, until finally he surprises her with an embrace.

As a story about musicians, it’s no surprise that music plays one of the biggest parts in making this scene instantly memorable. The soundtrack is very subtle as Chiaki approaches Nodame, only slowly building up until the embrace, where the music cuts out for a second before launching into a soaring piece using the motif of the opening in a great sonata that perfectly captures the mood of Chiaki and Nodame sharing their first romantic moment. True to form, the comedy breaks up the sweet moment by having Nodame’s dad of all people happen upon them, mind that he’d never even met Chiaki before.

Romance has always been one of my favorite genres in anime. When done wrong, it can turn into an absolute mess, but a real gem comes every few years that really tugs at your heartstrings. I’ve always felt anime has some of the best potential to make us relate with its characters and experience them growing together as romance blossoms. Among those, Nodame Cantabile has always held a special place in my heart. The relationship between Nodame and Chiaki is nowhere near perfect, but watching the two of them grow together as they understand their passions and cope with their fears was one of the most satisfying experiences I will ever watch.

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Monthly Musings: Your Favorite Anime Ending Song photo
Monthly Musings: Your Favorite Anime Ending Song
by Brittany Vincent

It's a few days late, but welcome to February's Monthly Musings post! I've been knee-deep in adult errands like "getting an apartment" and "buying a car" and other fun things like that, but now it's time to get back to more important things -- you know, since it's like someone cast Blizzaga out here in Louisville. In any case, we've chosen a winner for January's blog post. Though there were several fantastic entrants and the most we've had in some time, it was jel x who ended up taking home the gold. Congratulations and keep an eye out for a message from me via PM so we can get your prize out to you!

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6:00 PM on 01.02.2014

Monthly Musings: Your favorite anime opening

Oha-lucky! Wow, it's already been a whole month. It's already 2014, too! The last time we gathered, dear Japanator community, it was 2013. Well, this year is the new hotness, and I'm back with another topic for you to tackle....

Brittany Vincent

5:00 PM on 12.16.2013

Reminder: December's Monthly Musings is live and hateful

Hey there, space cats! The lovely month of December is at its halfway point, and with all the holiday cheer we've been spreading around, it's hard to be in a bad mood. But that's exactly what December's Monthly Musing is about: things you hate about anime. It's your chance to be super negative and jerky, and we want to know what grinds your gears! 

Brittany Vincent

Monthly Musings: Your anime gripes photo
Monthly Musings: Your anime gripes
by Brittany Vincent

Well, well, well. November was a heck of a month. We saw a resurgence in c-blogs, and plenty of fabulous dressers, but in the end there can be only one.

Here we are, born to be kings
We're the princes of the universe

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12:00 PM on 11.28.2013

Fabulous Dressers: Penguindrum

[Community member jel x is featured here in another promoted Monthly Musing c-blog! jel x has chosen the world of Mawaru Penguindrum to talk about this time around. If you want to participate, there's stil...

jel x

3:00 PM on 11.27.2013

Fabulous Dressers: Golden Time's Koko

[Community member Lifesong is featured here in our very first promoted Monthly Musing c-blog! Watch as Lifesong sings the praises of Golden Time's Koko. If you want to participate, there's still time!] There is an unspoken ru...


Monthly Musings: Mephisto Pheles, Fabulous Dresser photo
Monthly Musings: Mephisto Pheles, Fabulous Dresser
by Karen Mead

One of the benefits of watching Blue Exorcist recently is that I've become familiar with fashion fiend (and classy-demon-about-town) Mephisto Pheles. Not only is this man rarely seen without a top hat AND cape, both of which confer +10 fabulousity, but he also wears a pink ascot with polka dots on it. Loud? Flamboyant? Perhaps, but when you're a demon who's lived for thousands of years, basic black just loses its charm, don't you think? Mephy (as his friends call him, or would if he had friends) is a fabulous dresser, bar none.

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3:00 PM on 11.06.2013

Reminder: November's Monthly Musing is going on now

Hola, bounty hunters bloggers! This is just your reminder that November's Monthly Musings blogs should be going up left and right, but at the time of this post I can only see one on the horizon. Shucks howdy! Now, I know it's...

Brittany Vincent

Monthly Musings: Fabulous dressers photo
Monthly Musings: Fabulous dressers
by Brittany Vincent

Don't panic. Grab a towel. Ben hasn't gone anywhere, like many of you were concerned about -- he's still on deck! I'm sure most of you were thrilled to see the new dawn of Yotsuba comics yesterday, so don't worry! If he were gone, that would be...problematic, since he's helping to show me the ropes! I am, however, going to be handling the Monthly Musings from here on out, so if you haven't yet read over my introductory c-blog as Japanator's new CM, pop over and do so! I'll wait. 

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8:00 AM on 10.29.2013

Remake-Worthy: Lunar Legend Tsukihime

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Type-Moon and its works. I wrote a giant post about them earlier this year, for goodness' sake! And in said post, I mentioned the ever-dreaded Tsukihime anime adaptation. Or, if you really...