Koufuku Graffiti episode 1

Slice of life isn’t easy to write. Since they can’t rely on a strong, overarching plot, they need a strong hook at the beginning. The audience has to be invested in the characters to follow their daily lives every week. And it’s a tricky thing–it’s practically impossible to get someone interested in Aria or Hidamari Sketch unless we show them an actual episode.

When I resolved to watch Koufuku Graffiti, I had little expectations–there’s going to be food, and it’s going to be portrayed in a sensual (!) way, but what I got was something less racy and more heartwarming.

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12 Days of Stuff #6: This Crazy Language I’m Learning


I’m supposed to study Japanese right now. There are kanji characters I have to write to practice my handwriting, grammar patterns to digest, and particles to decipher. (Those goddamn particles.)

I’ve been doing this for a year. And it’s really fun.

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12 Days of Stuff #5: 2014, the Year of Interesting Adaptations

Most anime is made as an adaptation of something. Usually this means that the anime is made as an advertisement, because TV anime is free and manga/books/games aren’t. Last year, some anime adaptations were made that took liberties with their source material, and this made them quite interesting to me. I had no desire to seek out the originals, but I enjoyed the shows for their own sake.

They are: Wixoss, Rage of Bahamut, Sabagebu, and Girl Friend Beta. There’s also a bonus at the end of this post, so keep reading!

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12 Days of Stuff #4: Barakamon


Barakamon is one of those stories where an artist struggling with a block moves to the countryside to rediscover what he is lacking. Unlike the majority of those stories, however, Barakamon was an excellent show, its vision executed in a way that was both funny and sincere.

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12 Days of Stuff #3: On the labels we call ourselves

This year I read an essay that advised to keep your identity small, because the labels that we attach ourselves to can keep us from thinking objectively about stuff. A month later, some weirdo thing on the internet called *****gate happened, and I immediately thought, “well, if these people didn’t identify as *****s and took personal offense on an article proclaiming that *****s are over, then we wouldn’t be having this problem.”

(But that’s not the topic of this post.)

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12 Days of Stuff #2: Hanayamata and Locodol, where cute girls do awesome things

Last summer, I watched these shows. These are those shows that get categorized as moe shows, which just means that a snooty community of anime fans won’t watch it, because of reasons. What is a moe show, anyway? I honestly don’t know.

I grouped these shows together into one post because they have some similarities. Both have a predominantly girl cast, who are still in school, and have extracurricular activities that they are quite passionate in. Because of this, I want to make up my own subgenre for these kinds of shows: hobby anime, because it’s about the characters engaging in something that’s generally not competitive (it would be a sports anime if it was), forming meaningful relationships and maturing in the process. Cute girls doing cute things? More like cute girls doing awesome things. But that’s enough of living in the database (wow wow).

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12 Days of Stuff #1: No Game, No Life is terrible and I’m terrible for watching it

Merry Christmas! For this year, I’ll be writing about… all that stuff that’s accumulated in my head but couldn’t be written in a timely manner because of reasons. But since I’m on holiday, I can indulge myself a bit.

One of the more popular shows this year was No Game, No Life, and I had no shortage of people recommending it to me, because they know I like games, so I should be totally cool with it.

Spoiler: I wasn’t.

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