A (Humourous) Guide to the Japanese Language

So the other day I was taking a nice, nightly stroll around Kawaramachi after watching Godzilla: King of the Monsters (which was actually a good movie) and caught a Starbucks in the corner of my eye which allowed you to enjoy your nice cup of pumpkin spiced latte coffee near the banks of the Kamogawa River. Intrigued by this prospect, I went inside and, as always, ordered my coffee in Japanese. However, on this day, I also brought along my coffee tumbler so I asked the barrister, in Japanese, if it was OK for him to put the coffee in the tumbler instead. Instead of asking him “Kore, ii desu ka (Is this ok)?” I accidentally asked him “Koko ni ii desu ka (Is it OK to have my coffee here [while pointing at my tumbler])?” It took a brief second for the barrister to realise what I actually wanted to say, to which he replied with “Hai. OK desu (Yes, that’s OK)”.

So this embarrassing language blunder is only one of many times where I’ve accidentally said the wrong thing while having the right intentions, but I guess this is just part of the language learning process, right?

Continue reading “A (Humourous) Guide to the Japanese Language”

It’s a (Wo)man’s World: Looking at Higurashi From a Feminist Perspective

The fictional town of Hinamizawa is not new to those familiar with the Higurashi series. Fans will know that this town is filled with many mysteries: from its storied past to the mysterious deaths and disappearances that happen during the Watanagashi Festival. What makes Higurashi an intriguing series is that it raises more questions than answers. As the title suggests, I will look at how Higurashi can be read as a feminist text through its use of strong female characters and subversion from society’s expectations of women. For the purpose of this article I will refer to each arc in the series using their original name. For example, Chapter 1 will be referred to as Onikakushi, Chapter 2 will be referred to as Watanagashi and so forth. Note that this article will also contain spoilers so please read at your own discretion.

Continue reading “It’s a (Wo)man’s World: Looking at Higurashi From a Feminist Perspective”

Land of the Rising Queer: Depictions of the Anime Lesbian

[Image via Anime Planet]
[Image via Anime Planet]
So this was an essay I recently wrote for my film seminar on the depiction of lesbian characters in anime in relation to Japan’s view on homosexuality. Aoi Hana was the case study I used in the essay. If you have the time and/or perhaps interested in what I wrote, please give it a read. Let me know in the comments section what you thought about it.

Continue reading “Land of the Rising Queer: Depictions of the Anime Lesbian”

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – First Impressions

Gundam 1

Ask any anime fan to name a Mecha anime and chances are the Gundam series will be one of those answers. For a very long time, Gundam has been synonymous with the Mecha genre. The series has expanded its popularity through video games and body kits. In all honesty, this is actually the first Gundam title that I am watching; I’ve heard about the others but never watched them. From what I’ve watched so far, I am getting a sense that this one will be more darker in tone compared to the others, which is a good thing in my opinion.

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Concrete Revolutio – First Impressions

Concrete 1

Going in to this anime I really expected a lot from it: the plot sounded interesting, it’s produced by Bones (one of my favourite studios since Eureka Seven) and the art style was quite fascinating and different. Sadly, Concrete Revolutio failed to deliver in its first episode. The plot was actually quite confusing and the events being played out didn’t make much sense.

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Gakusen Toshi Asterisk – First Impressions

Asterisk 1

Futuristic Academy Fighters (yes, I made that up now) seem to be quite a popular choice of genre these days, especially in shounen anime. This one is no different: new/transfer student entering an academy where everyone fights each other to determine who’s the strongest of them all. Main character shows potential to be very strong but we have yet to see his full power. While Gakusen Toshi Asterisk adds nothing new to the genre, it’s quite entertaining so far.

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Gamer’s Corner: Killer is Dead


You just gotta love Japanese games. No matter how crazy or over-the-top they might get at times, there’s still something special about them that you can’t help but enjoy while playing them. Killer is Dead is definitely no exception to this. From hacking and slashing enemies with your katana to picking up chicks at the bar, there is something for everyone here in this wild, crazy and stylish game.

Continue reading “Gamer’s Corner: Killer is Dead”

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