Ten years of Mikotoism

I started Mikotoism ten years ago, when I was just discovering the world of anime. Feeling the urge to share my newfound passion, I started a blog and wrote trashy things about trashy anime. Over the years, my interest and enthusiasm for anime and blogging have gone up and (mostly) down, but have never fully disappeared.

I have mixed feelings about how I’ve handled my blog and my readers. I “restarted” my blog many times, trying to chase some ideal, and I never found a way to connect with my frequent readers outside of my own bubble of a blog. But overall, I feel mostly pride. Looking back, it seems like I’ve been able to accomplish something truly concrete by writing all of these posts.

I’d like for this to be my last blog post, but I don’t think I can hold to that. I want to thank everybody who visited my blog in the past, and anybody who stumbles on this site in the future. This is ten years for Mikotoism, ______ism, some aniblog, Misaki Thursday, and flomu.

Thanks for reading.

The best of anime: 2018

Best anime of 2018

  1. [Winter 2017/18] A Place Further than the Universe
  2. [Fall 2018] Bunny Girl Senpai

Honorable mentions:

  • [Winter 2017/18] Yuru Camp
  • [Spring 2018] Hisone & Masotan
  • [Spring 2018] Hinamatsuri
  • [Fall 2018] Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 5 (still airing)

This list was incredibly easy to make. Throughout the year I tried to give everything a chance, ending up covering forty series, including all of the ones people seemed to like on reddit. In the end, this year had many good shows I could recommend, but only two stood out as truly great: A Place Further than the Universe and Bunny Girl Senpai.

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Index III Episode 10

Nothing about this episode makes any sense. This is total shit.

  • Touma sees blood and gets pinned down by… a FLIGHT ATTENDANT?
  • Then he gets shoved into the bloody, gory room??
  • Captain says “I need to protect the passengers” and then goes back to doing not a goddamn thing while a terrorist is strangling a girl RIGHT NEXT TO WHERE HE STABBED A CREW MEMBER???
  • Terrorist manages to get away and HIDE ON A FUCKING PLANE??? How the fuck do you hide on a plane?
  • Terrorist threatens to kill EVERY PASSENGER, ONE BY ONE!!! And all he has is a bone knife?
  • Normal high school student defeats terrorist with one punch…

I don’t usually get angry after watching anime, but this was atrocious. At least it wasn’t as bad as episode 6, though…

Also, they forgot to draw the rest of Stiyl Magnus’s cigarette.

This series is sitting at 3/10 right now. I have to finish it, though, or I’ll be betraying Mikotoism forever.

Spirit of Wonder – Scientific Boys Club

I got around to watching all the anime adaptations of Spirit of Wonder (by Kenji Tsuruta of Emanon fame) this week, and I have to say… MAL reviews and scores for these are really low. At first, I thought this was just a matter of taste. The stories can be super slow (think Aria), and it’s not really your typical sci-fi fare.

But after reading reviews for the Scientific Boys Club OVA, I think people are just missing the point. I wrote my own review about it (giving it an 8/10), but I want to write down a few more notes on it here.

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On physics in Bunny Girl Senpai

I’m at episode 5 of Bunny Girl Senpai, and it has been the distillation of everything I liked about the Monogatari series. The conversations between the characters in Bunny Girl Senpai aren’t just filler phrases like in your standard rom-com. I wouldn’t call the conversations clever, but they’re interesting, and often unpredictable. At the same time, there isn’t any of the artistic bullshit that SHAFT likes to pull with Monogatari. I thought I liked that stuff, but now that I’ve seen it removed, it feels so distracting and detracts from the actual content.

wrong show kiddo

I can’t give the series full points, though, because the science-y explanations for the supernatural stuff are so long and boring.

As someone who works in physics, hearing an explanation of Schrodinger’s cat is like hearing grandpa’s favorite war story for the hundredth time. I don’t want to sit through a poorly translated version of what an anime character has to say about this thing I know far too well. But what’s worse is how it appeals to the (dumb) view of science as this strange, esoteric thing that could almost be supernatural. When Futaba talks, I get that the point is to lend an air of mystery and intrigue, not credibility. But when I listen to this stuff, it carries none of that connotation because it’s simply not exotic to me.

On the flip side, I have to give the series props for drawing inspiration from physics concepts. Even though they muck up the explanations, at the core there’s definitely a connection. For example, Schrodinger’s cat and the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics say that nothing is determined or “real” (there’s a double meaning here, I think) until it is measured. I think it’s cool how they translated that into Mai disappearing unless people remember her. It’s very sci-fi, and more interesting to me than the more symbolic stuff from Monogatari.

The problem is that despite their own disclaimers, they use the physics stuff as a straight-up explanation of the plot points, which is totally wrong. It feels a little demeaning to be told that a basic concept that I’ve learned explains some mumbo jumbo in an anime.