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It’s Monday again. That means that the weekend is over. However, it also means that there is a new general discussion thread. So, it isn’t all bad! As always, feel free to use this thread for questions, comments, recommendations, etc.

As always, remember to be mindful of spoilers. If you want to know more about how to handle spoilers in this community, check the guide here (also linked in the sidebar).

  • @wjs018OPM
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    30 days ago

    Instead of talking about seasonal shows I watched this past week, instead I wanted to talk about something else I got to watch. A while ago, I posted a news story about Studio Ghibli Fest that is happening over the course of the year (at least in the US). On Sunday, I got the chance to watch Spirited Away on the big screen, so I thought I would share some thoughts. Putting most of it behind a spoiler tag in case any of you out there have yet to partake of this incredible Ghibli movie.

    First of all, it was really cool to see this on the big screen. Where I was living at the time the movie first came out had very little in the way of movie theaters and I was never able to make it to a showing. The other parts of this experience that I found notable was that there was almost nothing in the way of lead-in trailers. The only video clip they showed prior to the movie start was a ~5 minute tour of Ghibli Park (which looked pretty cool, especially if I was a kid). Then it rolled straight into the movie. One of the children in the theater next to me even asked their parents if the movie started as the title card was pulled up on screen.

    Spirited Away Thoughts

    Alright, we are behind a spoiler tag now, so story discussion time. Due to my schedule, I watched a dubbed showing, whereas I had only ever watched the subbed version before. Overall, it took a couple minutes for me to get used to watching something dubbed, but it was very well done and I stopped thinking about it pretty quickly.

    I had forgotten how unlikeable Chihiro’s parents are in this movie. It is hard to imagine what compelled her to go through so much in order to try to save her parents since I don’t think there is any scene in which they seem to be good parents during the whole runtime. Even at the end of the movie after Chihiro has saved them and they are leaving, they are still getting annoyed with her.

    I was in the theater with a couple irl folks and one of them afterwards was talking about how Yubaba isn’t exactly evil in the traditional villain sense, and felt more like an exploitative capitalist. Thinking about this some more, I think that she certainly does evil things, like taking peoples’ names, stealing things (like the seal from her sister), and essentially imprisoning her child. So, I think that we are supposed to see her as evil. However, the movie leaves you with a much warmer impression of her than it started with. She lets Haku pressure her into giving Sen a chance to save herself and her parents. She also seems to be truly welcoming of having her baby home after it has returned. She then lives up to her end of the agreement.

    My favorite part of this movie upon rewatching it is Chihiro’s escape from the bathhouse and her trip to Zeniba’s house. The movie up to that point felt quite hectic in my opinion. It is Chihiro (then Sen) reacting to all the strange things happening around her. She finds herself suddenly thrust into an alien world surrounded by danger and is fighting to survive. She begins to assert herself in the movie when she deals with the polluted river spirit. However, I didn’t feel like she had taken charge of her own destiny until she decided to save Haku and travel to Zeniba…then ultimately her escape following her return to the bathhouse.

    Overall, I really enjoyed my experience. I also found out that my local theater has pretty tasty churros that they will deliver right to your seat in the theater. I am hoping to do more screenings for Ghibli Fest over the course of the year. The next movie that I have an opening in my schedule for is Mononoke. So, look forward to my thoughts on that one after I see it in July.

    • molave
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      529 days ago

      I was mentally in the pits at around the time I watched Spirited Away for the first time. The scene of the first evening (where the spirits appeared for the first time) lit up something in me. Maybe I could call it “childlike wonder”. I was also very happy for the greater part of the year following that, making me think that the movie had some contribution to it. It could be because it was a period where I could look at the smaller and more mundane things and life and find something positive out of it.

    • @Rottcodd
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      229 days ago

      I’ve watched Spirited Away more times than I can count.

      It’s a great movie overall, but I really watch it just to see specific scenes - Chihiro going headlong down the stairs and crashing into the wall, Sen’s face underwater, Lynn calling her a dope, the soot balls bringing out her shoes and especially the train seeming to float on the water. That last is a visual treat to rival 5 Centimeters per Second.

      I’ve never seen it on the big screen. That would be nice.

      • @wjs018OPM
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        229 days ago

        the train seeming to float on the water

        Stay tuned for a clip post coming this week! This part really stuck with me too. I love it when a movie or show isn’t afraid to just dedicate a big chunk of time to set a mood. No dialogue needed, just atmosphere. That is also part of why I think I like the road trip portion of Suzume so much as well.

  • @hitagiMA
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    429 days ago

    I have only one more movie left to watch from Satoshi Kon. I’ve seen all of his other works. The most recent one being Tokyo Godfathers which steered a bit away from what we normally see from Kon. This one is probably the most “normal” of his works but I guess the charm of it comes from its characters (a runaway child, an alcoholic man, a transgender woman) all of whom are homeless appearing to be like a nuclear family. It’s pretty rare to see such characters in a more grounded Tokyo in the anime medium but they aren’t accurate depictions of homelessness either, nor did that seem to be the point of the movie. I also liked how pieces of Paranoia Agent are visible here (or the other way around).

    I’m excited to watch Paprika later today or this week. That should wrap up my Satoshi Kon viewing experience. After that, I’m not sure if I should also complete the works of other anime directors. Maybe Hideaki Anno next?

    • @wjs018OPM
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      229 days ago

      I think it is interesting to go through a single director’s work like that. After watching Spirited Away this weekend, I was talking with my wife about our favorite Ghibli movies, and looking them up it made us realize that Grave of the Fireflies and Tale of the Princess Kaguya were both made by the same director, Isao Takahata. Those two movies are so emotionally heavy that they will absolutely wreck me any time I watch them. So, it made me curious to check out some of their other work…when I feel like I need a good cry.

      As for Anno, I just looked them up on AniList to refresh my memory on their full list of works (it is a lot). However, I didn’t realize that he actually has a couple voice acting roles in addition to his huge body of animation/directorial work. Most notably, he voices the main character of The Wind Rises.

  • @wjs018OPM
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    30 days ago

    Weekly ranking roundup:

    1. Anime Corner - Full Results - Weekly Winner: Kaiju No. 8
    2. Anime Trending - Full Results - Weekly Winner: Whisper Me a Love Song
    3. Reddit Karma - Weekly Winner: Mushoku Tensei

    Credit to /u/Abysswatcherbel for making the chart for reddit karma and /u/Nooble5 for the AT chart.

    Three charts, three winners this week. Something I noticed this week is that Go! Go! Loser Ranger! is really low on AT’s list at #19 while being in the top 10 on both the other lists.

    • @zabadoh
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      429 days ago

      The story that I read on /r is that GGL Ranger in Japan is in Disney+ jail, i.e. It’s a Disney+ exclusive, not on broadcast TV, and there aren’t many Disney+ subscribers in Japan, therefore low public awareness.

      That’s really a shame, because it’s one of the outstanding shows this season, IMO.

      And keeping the show behind a paywall from the biggest base of sentai show fans, i.e. Japan, isn’t going to help its popularity.

      • @wjs018OPM
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        329 days ago

        Yeah, I have heard lots of complaints about Disney Jail in the past. I didn’t know the full scope of the issue until the recent MB video about it though. The show has been really good so far and I have been enjoying it more than I thought I would based on the preseason previews.

      • @wjs018OPM
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        329 days ago

        I pulled up week 4 totals for the past couple seasons for comparison (source is animekarmalist.com):

        Season Wk. 4 Winning Show Score Total
        Winter 2024 Frieren 5841
        Fall 2023 Frieren 6192
        Summer 2023 JJK S2 6671
        Spring 2023 Oshi no Ko 6847
        Winter 2023 Vinland Saga S2 5256

        So, this does seem pretty low by comparison.

        • @zabadoh
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          229 days ago

          Yeah, it doesn’t seem like there’s a huge breakout hit this season.

          There are some good shows, but there aren’t any great shows.

    • @glilimith@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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      26 days ago

      So, fun story: I go to the hidive homepage and it has a “continue watching” section where I see something I don’t recognize. I check the information they gave me - the episode’s title and description - but those are pretty vague and don’t help. So, I click it, guessing it’ll take me to the show’s page… Nope, it takes me to a page about the episode, with basically the same information as I had before. But there’ll be a link to the main show page there, right? Of course not. So, I go to play the episode, hoping there’s a link in there, and the closest I can find is the back button… that takes me back to the episode page. As far as I can tell, there is literally no path from the continue watching section to a show’s page (I did eventually figure out what show it was after looking for the OP in the episode - it was Dark Gathering)

      Also check out this screenie I took of the (4-pixel tall) only place the title is written on Whisper Me a Love Song on the front page (because it’s so small in the splash image)

      • @kandoh@reddthat.com
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        225 days ago

        Yes! I had the exact same issue with an episode of The Executioner and her Way of Life. Somehow it created a playlist for recently played videos instead of a playlist of the series I was watching, so when the episode ended it didn’t start the next episode and there was no way to navigate to the series from the video. I had to manually search for the series to get back on track.

    • @wjs018OPM
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      227 days ago

      They even recently updated their player and it is still pretty bad. I only really use their web app, but I have heard that their apps for other devices (tvs, consoles, etc.) are also pretty bad. It boggles the mind how there are still so many issues after a complete revamp like they did ~2 months ago iirc.

  • @Rottcodd
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    429 days ago

    So last week I yet again rewatched an unusual favorite - one that I rewatch fairly often, but have never seen discussed anywhere - Kemurikusa.

    It was obviously made on a limited budget, and Wakaba is sort of tedious and annoying with his non-stop chatter about how interesting everything is, but still, there’s just something about that series that really speaks to me.

    A lot of it’s the world. It’s so bleak and such an odd combination of familiar and alien. And it’s so well presented.

    Mysterious settings are tough to do well. If they’re too alien or too inconsistent, then they just end up weird and inexplicable, but if they’re too familiar and logical, then it’s too easy to figure out what they’re all about and they lose that sense of alienness. The world of Kemurikusa is neatly balanced - it’s thoroughly bizarre underneath the familiar trappings, but it always feels as if there is some underlying logic and order to it, even though we don’t know what it is. Obviously at this point, I know its secrets, but I can still feel that sense of slowly unfolding mystery - that there is a logical explanation for all of it, just out of my grasp.

    And a lot of it’s the characters (except for the most part Wakaba). They’re all anime archetypes, but… well, let’s just say that even that is part of the underlying logic of that world. There are in-universe reasons why they’re each who and what they are. And they are all appealing in their own ways.

    And the story ultimately is very compelling. It retains most of its mystery right up until the final secrets are revealed, and then all the pieces fall into place.

    I’d really like to see this get a remake some day. I like it already, but I can just imagine what it could be with a bigger budget and another episode or two (the last bit before the climax in particular was obviously rushed).

    Anyway… I enjoyed it as much as I always do, and just wanted to say something about it…

    • @wjs018OPM
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      229 days ago

      Interesting, I haven’t watched this series, but a lot of what you wrote about is similar to what I like about some other series like Heavenly Delusion or more recently, Usuzumi no Hate (manga). Hell, this alien yet familiar world building could even describe a show like Adventure Time, albeit with a more whimsical flair. I will check this one out.

      • @Rottcodd
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        228 days ago

        Wow…

        Sort of peripheral to your point, but…

        Heavenly Delusion was new to me, so I looked it up and discovered the original manga is by Ishiguro Masakazu, the author of one of my all time favorites, SoreMachi. I don’t know how I didn’t know that this existed, but I’m all over it now.

        SoreMachi is a sort of breezy SOL with bits of weirdness tucked around the edges and an absolutely stellar cast of characters. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with the weirdness front and center.

        Anyway - Kemurikusa is indeed broadly similar to Usuzumi no Hate, but with the significant difference that the characters themselves know next to nothing about the world - aside from what they’ve gleaned in the time they’ve lived there, it’s as alien and inexplicable to them as it is to us. Actually, in some ways, it’s even more alien to them. We can recognize that they live in a derelict railroad car and travel through city ruins, but to them, it’s just a box with round things that they found and the world is just a place of open spaces and enclosed spaces.

        But now I’m off to binge the Heavenly Delusion (Tengoku Daimakyo) manga.

        • @wjs018OPM
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          228 days ago

          The anime adaptation of Heavenly Delusion is excellent and I highly recommend it. My main complaint about it is that the season ends at a really interesting point and there has yet to be any season 2 announced. After watching the show, I quickly binged the manga because it is always setting up tons of mysteries and presenting clues that only pay off way, way later.

          • @Rottcodd
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            227 days ago

            I read through the first two volumes of the manga yesterday - through chapter 13 - then went back and reread the first volume, since I unsurprisingly could make no sense of it at all the first time through. That was all my brain could take.

            I should get through quite a bit more today, since I have a feel for what’s happening now. And I’m absolutely enjoying it - thanks for the heads-up.

  • @glilimith@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    26 days ago

    Been MIA for a little while because I broke my hand a little bit and it’s been hard to type. Everything’s looking much better now and I seem to be recovering well, so I’m back!

    I showed my friends the sampling platter of anime I’d prepared and they chose their winners pretty quickly, so Tonari no Yokai and Windbreaker are joining Dungeon Meshi in our lineup (definitely the best of the season, IMO)

    Meanwhile, I’ve trimmed my own watchlist down to what I think is a manageable size: Astro Note, Bartender, Vampire Dormitory, Whisper Me a Love Song, and Yatagarasu. I’m still trying to stick with Spice and Wolf, but I can feel my motivation failing, so I’ve switched to the dub, which should have a lower motivation requirement (since it doesn’t require reading).

    In non-seasonal news, I convinced my family to join me to see Spy x Family: Code White in theaters, and it was a really fun time. I’d heard that the movie was accessible to people who aren’t familiar the show, and my mom can confirm that’s true, lol. Very nice little self-contained story that managed to not feel redundant with the show even though it’s written to be optional, and the animation was amazing as expected. My brother and I had a great time and Mom didn’t resent us for taking her (she’s not into animation and I think only went because she felt bad for me and my broken hand, but still seemed to think positively of it in the end), so that’s a complete win.

    • @wjs018OPM
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      326 days ago

      Hope things are improving with your hand! When I was younger, I broke my arm pretty bad and had a lot of nerve damage that prevented me from using several of my fingers fully for a year or so. I got lucky in that it was my non-dominant hand and that I did it long enough ago that I very rarely had the need to type as computers were not as ubiquitous as they are today, so I was doing a lot of writing instead.

      Tonari no Yokai mostly flew under my radar before the season started, but have seen some good feedback. A glance at the tags and I see iyashikei…I might have to check this one out.

      • @glilimith@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        326 days ago

        Oh jeez, that sounds rough. I’m glad you were able to recover, even if it took a while. Luckily mine is just a small fracture in one of my wrist bones, not even displaced or anything, so by now I’m mostly just dealing with building back up my range of motion from being immobilized, though it’s been a rough time because it’s my dominant hand, lol.

        I definitely recommend Tonari no Yokai, and ya it’s pretty iyashikei. I think it strikes a similar tone to Natsume’s Book of Friends.

        • @wjs018OPM
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          326 days ago

          Natsume’s Book of Friends

          Sold! I might not have time to watch it this season, but this definitely is on my list now. I am a big fan of Natsume (looking forward to a new season this fall).

  • @zabadoh
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    226 days ago

    Dungeon Dursthay is shaping up to have a strong lineup of shows:

    • Dungeon Meshi
    • Wind Breaker
    • Yuru Camp
    • Salad Bowl
    • @wjs018OPM
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      226 days ago

      Thursdays are definitely pretty strong this season. I have also noticed that Tuesdays are pretty barren. Last season also, Level 99 Villaness was one of the only shows on Tuesdays. With the shows I am watching this season, Mondays are my busy day of the week:

      • Tsukimichi
      • Level 2 Cheat Powers
      • 7th Prince
      • Spice and Wolf
  • @zabadoh
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    229 days ago

    I’m done with Tonbo and Highspeed Etoile as of this week.

    I’m losing patience with Astro Note, and Boukyaku Battery too.

    • @wjs018OPM
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      229 days ago

      Astro Note is one that I was keeping an eye on reception to see whether it was worth checking out or not. However, the reception has been mixed, so I might take the time and work on the backlog a bit (currently catching up on Zombie Land Saga).

  • @zabadoh
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    228 days ago

    I did notice that !anime@lemmy.ml had a surge of views over the weekend, and almost reached our active user count 😆

    I can’t figure out what was going on… A lot of upvoting, but comments the comments and posts were as dead as ever.

    The number’s dropping back down to their normal levels today.

    • @wjs018OPM
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      228 days ago

      Ever since the lemmy 0.19 update, users that vote are included in the activity numbers for community/instance sidebars. So, this means that if a post gets popular and garners a lot of votes, it can dramatically boost the numbers, but those users that aren’t commenting/posting often don’t stick around. A similar thing happened in this community after the post about Toriyama’s death got tons and tons of engagement from people that aren’t normally part of this community and haven’t really stuck around.

      Just the nature of the beast when it comes to this type of social media. Back when this community was revived after the ml defederation, I used to pay a lot of attention to the relative numbers between the two communities. These days though, I am happy with the community that has developed here and we are no longer having to tiptoe around hostile instance admins.

      If I could wave a magic wand, there are lots of things I would change about how discoverability works within lemmy. However, one concrete thing I wish I could change is how the default “Smart Sort” on the Lemmyverse community browser does its weighting. In my opinion it too heavily favors subscribers over active users. This hurts any communities (like ours) that became active after the initial reddit exodus. The end result is that communities with large, but inactive subscriber totals are presented above communities that have fewer subscribers but are more active. By comparison, the community search from feddit does a better job imo.