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Flower language in Heike Monogatari

“The color of the sāla flowers reveals the truth that the prosperous must decline.” -The Tale of the Heike During her time at Kyoto Animation it was a truth universally acknowledged that any Naoko Yamada work must use flower language in some capacity. This remains true in her first work with Science Saru, an anime adaptation of the Japanese epic,...

Hundreds of ways to say hell is other people and also love is other people: Evangelion 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time

There are myriad reasons why I feel unqualified to talk about anything related to the Evangelion franchise, but the primary one is that it’s not my thing. It’s a lot of other people’s thing, but not mine. Evangelion 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time, is the first time I felt myself so deeply affected by an Evangelion product. My thing is the much less acclaimed...

Costuming in Sailor Moon (Part 1: Le Smoking and Tuxedo Mask)

Was this post inspired solely by the fact that Tuxedo Mask has an attack in the manga called “la smoking bomber” and reading way too far into that? You decide. A brief history of Naoko Takeuchi and her relationship with fashion Sailor Moon‘s creator, Naoko Takeuchi, drew inspiration from high fashion advertising and runway shows — as well as movie...

Welcome back to Love Live!, Takahiko Kyougoku (visual direction in Love Live! Superstar!!)

The opening sequence to the original Love Live! School Idol Project still charms me to this day. It was made back when Love Live! was a budding multimedia adventure and not the successful franchise it is today, the time period of its latest iteration, Love Live! Superstar!!. It features a shot that’s actually rotated in a spinning motion like you would...

What we leave behind: On returning to Maid Dragon

Yasuhiro Takemoto left behind a legacy. There isn’t an artist in the world who doesn’t think about how people will view their art. If they say that they’ve never thought about this, then they’re lying. Once you release something into the ether, it’s no longer wholly yours, but yours and others. And the other people who experience your art may find...

The flowers of Wonder Egg Priority’s opening (and series reflections, I suppose)

Following a three-month wait for a finale that was half-recap and half-nonsense, Wonder Egg Priority will go down in anime history as yet another promising passion project that was stymied by poor planning — exacerbated by the general state of the industry. Wonder Egg Priority‘s production woes have been thoroughly documented and were especially apparent...

Colors and Cinematography in SSSS.Dynazenon

The opening shot of SSSS.Dynazenon is purposefully reminiscent of its predecessor, SSSS.Gridman. Anyone who has watched Gridman immediately will recognize the sequence of shots. This time, these snapshots begin with a nod to students’ various backpacks, which were used to define and color-coordinate characters by their tokusatsu archetypes (or defy...

Flower language in Wonder Egg Priority Episode 11

Wonder Egg Priority has always paid specific attention to lighting when Rika Kawai is onscreen. In the midst of her many quips about how she would look beautiful in a flower field but others wouldn’t, Rika’s flowers reflect her state of mind and most importantly, change color based on the lighting. Sometimes the lilies in her field appear white —...

Daisies/Asters, Camellias, and how Wonder Egg Priority frames Shuuichirou Sawaki

The most contentious character in Wonder Egg Priority continues to be Ai Ohto’s teacher, Shuuichirou Sawaki. Outside of what exactly is going on with Aca and Ura-Aca’s seeming quest for immortality, who is on what side, and (in my opinion the most and only important part of this) how young women’s pain is exploited by a variety of people in powerful...

Flowers for Momoe Sawaki: Wonder Egg Priority Episode 10

Momoe Sawaki’s addition to the Wonder Egg Priority cast in the series’ fourth episode also introduces two major hiccups to the series’ narrative. The first — and seemingly at the time, more pressing one — is that of Ai Ohto’s teacher Shuuichirou Sawaki and the fact that he is framed as predatory by the series itself, is linked to the death of Ai’s friend...

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