Banana Fish #2: In Another Country

This week’s episode is titled “In Another Country” which happens to be a Word War I short story written by Ernest Hemingway in the 1920s. Just as the title says, the story depicts a wounded soldier undergoing recovery in another country, struggling with isolation and inadequacy. That’s right folks, Banana Fish has Hemingway references, and that alone should tell you just how freakin depressing things can get here. Continue reading “Banana Fish #2: In Another Country”

Banana Fish #1: A Perfect Day for Bananafish

The summer season is finally here! And it is indeed a perfect day for Banana Fish. My life has known no peace ever since I read this godforsaken manga, and now that I’ve seen the first episode of the new show you can bet, dear reader, that I’ve been unable to think about anything else. I’m a huge fan, I mean.

Before starting, it’s important to remember that Banana Fish is intrinsically a product of the 80s; it’s practically impossible to truly remove its roots–even if you modernize it. I’ve written a primer in the past where I mention some of the problematic aspects of the story, including its depictions of race and queerness. It’s unclear whether or not this adaptation will make the changes necessary to address some of its most questionable elements, but some things are just so rooted in the story that I’m not expecting them to be changed. Continue reading “Banana Fish #1: A Perfect Day for Bananafish”

Pastel Idols & Space Magic: Magical Angel Creamy Mami Retrospective

In the early 1980s, the magical girl genre was going through a different phase from what we know nowadays. Unlike some of the most well-known series today, the magical girls from that era weren’t necessarily superheroines, but they were still inspiring (or helping) figures. If there was any stake, it could be in keeping others from finding out about their magical powers–and in some cases, their alter-egos–otherwise there were usually consequences such as losing them.

Those magical girls didn’t necessarily need something to fight for or a particular reason to have their powers. Sometimes they just got them for the very respectable purpose of doing whatever the hell they wanted, with only the show’s morals–and their own powers–as limits. Continue reading “Pastel Idols & Space Magic: Magical Angel Creamy Mami Retrospective”

Clear Card: When Beloved Series Rely Too Much On Nostalgia

With the re-watch I did not too long ago, the original Cardcaptor Sakura (and my love for it) are still pretty fresh in my mind. Its amazing characters and magical, welcoming world stole my heart to the point that I would watch anything just to get more of it. Well, its long-awaited sequel Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card just finished airing, and it feels like that’s exactly what this series was counting on: nostalgia, undying love for the original to keep watching it… while rarely offering you more.

Acknowledging love for the original it’s not a bad thing by itself, after all, Cardcaptor Sakura is an important childhood favorite for many, and it’s still remembered very fondly. Heck, I would argue that it’s still a very important show nowadays, and it has plenty of reasons to be especially meaningful for girls and queer folks. Continue reading “Clear Card: When Beloved Series Rely Too Much On Nostalgia”

Sun, Moon & Stars: Cardcaptor Sakura Retrospective

I remember Cardcaptor Sakura from the days when Cartoon Network (my then favorite channel) aired most of the big shonen and shojo hits of the era. Although I liked it (Sakura was the sole reason I owned a couple of roller skates), for some reason, I didn’t remember much of the show itself growing up. I suspect it might have been because it aired while I had school, which would, of course, mean that I never watched it much, but I’m not really sure. However, I’ve always wanted to go back to it, and the winter season bringing us a sequel was the push I needed it to finally do so.

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Spot the purple: Death, mystery and the other worldly

Lately, I’ve been reading Patti Bellantoni’s “If It’s Purple, Someone’s Gonna Die: The Power of Color in Visual Storytelling”, because I love learning about color. I promise that my obsession with purple it’s not related to that catchy title, although I have to admit that it’s a color that always seems to find me.

While reading this book (which use live-action films as examples), I got the idea to kickstart what I hope can be a series of “spotting” the use of color in the shows I’m watching. This is mostly because I find interesting how anime and cartoons can get away with portraying things in more exaggerated, artificial ways, meaning that artists can take certain liberties that live-action filmakers might not. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s use of color it’s a very interesting example.

Continue reading “Spot the purple: Death, mystery and the other worldly”