School Uniforms

School starts tomorrow, so today the podcast is all about school uniforms.

This is the seifuku and the gakuran, which are the standard school uniforms in Japan. We’ve seen these in anime, too.

Seifuku Gakuran

Here are some examples of the “old-school” (so to speak) gakuran with the school cap:

SchoolCap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Up On Poppy Hill

From Up On Poppy Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'ello Gov'na

‘ello Gov’na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School uniforms appear in anime to define characters…

Can't wait to wear my summer uniform.

Can’t wait to wear my summer uniform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…or as a basis for their designs.

Say your prayers, sailor brats.

Say your prayers, sailor brats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes characters express their individuality through modifying their uniforms. “Cool and spicy” Amu is the only person in her class to rock those giant socks. The girls of K-ON! all wear the same uniform as each other, but they shorten their skirts as a symbol of youth and freedom.

Amu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KONjump

 

 

 

 

 

 

(and notice how they’re still different from one another in terms of their hairstyles, socks, and shoes).

 

Sometimes anime uniforms don’t make much sense, but they still look damn cool.

OuranMaleUniformOuranFemaleUniform

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vampire Knight

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Sailor Moon Crystal

This week’s episode is a review of Sailor Moon Crystal. I talk mostly about the art, since that’s the biggest change from the old anime. I also mispronounce things, ramble, tell deep personal stories, and squee over sparkly things.

sailor_moon_crystal

 

SPOILER ALERT: I talk about the first episode of Crystal in detail, so you may want to watch it before listening to this episode.

The New Sailor Moon

I’m back, and I’m talking about the new new Sailor Moon and the new old Sailor Moon. Most of this is speculation because I can’t actually see the new old Sailor Moon. But, hey, at least I got a podcast out this week.

Here’s Viz’s website.

I am looking forward to hearing the new English voice cast, but I still miss Terri Hawkes. And Katie Griffin.

My Top Three Anime

Is it “anime” or “animes”? Grammatically, it’s “anime,” because Japanese words are the same pluralized as they are singular, but it seems awkward to say. I tried to get into the habit of saying “one ninja, many ninja,” but “ninjas” just sounds better. Besides, isn’t it always “many ninjas”? Just because you don’t see the other ninjas, it doesn’t mean they’re not there. They’re hiding, duh.



Anyway, as you can maybe tell by the rambliness of my blog post and podcast, I’m a little bit under the weather. Stupid end-of-winter cold. Go away! TBH, I didn’t even have the energy to do this podcast, but… I can’t skip this week! It’s the one-year anniversary!

I really did mean to do a whole shebang with several top three lists, but… things got rambly and I can’t focus due to this cold medicine, so… Happy anniversary! I’ll be back next week with something more coherent! Yay!

sailor-moon-characters

PizzaCatsVitoryPose

Ranma

Anime Eye Colours

On today’s podcast, in which I ramble in a distracted hurry, I discuss anime eye colours and what they mean. Possibly I overanalyzed it, but there seem to be tones of evaluating people by race, apparent intelligence, and behavior. I hope I’m wrong – anime, you’re not bigoted, are you? I know you’re better than that. Anyway, here’s the podcast:



The previous podcast episodes I mentioned: Anime Hair Colours and Lost In Translation.

Let’s compare “Kuroshitsuji”‘s images of Sebastian and Ciel with that of Prince Soma.

Monochrome (kiss?)

Monochrome (kiss?)

So colourful!

So colourful!

Oh, and I might have made a mistake. Excel’s eyes are green when I said they were blue. Still, they’re light in colour, so maybe the pattern still works. What do you think?

She's a loud personality.

She’s a loud personality.

Genki Desu!

Genki Desu!

Here’s an example of contrasting normal/subdued with bright and loud. Even though Neptune’s hair is blue-green (which can’t be natural), the muted colour is more subtle than Usagi’s highlighter yellow hair. And look which one is the klutzy loudmouth and which is the sophisticated beauty.
MoonWhat

And the blue-eyed blonde pattern continues…
ep1tinysidemouth
StupidVenus
TamakiSuoh
pantyanarchy
ppgzbubbles

That’s not to say that ANY anime character with blue eyes and blond hair means trouble. Sometimes, it just means they’re white, and the extra fair coloration is to make them look as un-Japanese as possible. It’s not necessarily a purposefully mean kind of Othering. Look at “Hetalia,” for example. Most of Europe is blond, as are the North America brothers. Yeah, America and Denmark are obnoxious and loud and totally fit the gaijin stereotype, but look at Estonia, Norway, Germany, and Holland. Then again… if there are so many people with typically white physical traits, then maybe the white people don’t stand out as foreign in “Hetalia.” Something to think about…

But let’s go with another, clearer example: John Brown from “Ghost Hunt.” He’s Australian, and is clearly the only non-Asian cast member, yet he’s depicted as friendly, responsible, and caring. This gets especially interesting when you compare John to the brown-eyed, brown-haired, fully Japanese Mai and Ayako. Mai is “just yer average high school student,” of course, and Ayako is a Shrine Maiden. And THEY’RE the ones who are a bit lost and emotional. So, no, it’s not applied as a straight-up stereotype. The pattern is adhered to often enough, but not all the time, and not in a purposefully hurtful way. More often than not, it seems to be stock character design, rather than an accusation. I knew you wouldn’t be racist, anime. I know you’re cool.

I’ll just leave you with Tamaki “hugging” Kyouya.
TamakiKyouya

Relationships in “Sailor Moon”

Romance, just in time for Valentine's Day.

Romance, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

In today’s podcast, I talk about “Sailor Moon.” There were a number of spoilers mentioned from the manga and from the obscurest of the movies, just so’s ya know.

True love?

True love?

Just a normal family...

Just a normal family…

This episode is an in-depth analysis of “Sailor Moon” characters and their relationships.

——> <——

Love is represented in lots of different ways…
HarukaMichiru
…by lots of different personalities.

Rei knows what she wants and goes for it...

Rei knows what she wants and goes for it…

...wherever that may lead her.

…wherever that may lead her.

Studious Amy never gave up her love of learning...

Studious Amy never gave up her love of learning…

...which led her to true love and a bright future.

…which led her to true love and a bright future.

This domestic goddess knows how to kick butt.

This domestic goddess knows how to kick butt.

*Rainy Day Man, on your shoulder I cried...*

*Rainy Day Man, on your shoulder I cried…*

Love yourself for who you are!  Sailor V says!

Love yourself for who you are! Sailor V says!

I consider “Sailor Moon” to be a truly well-written romance series because it deals with everything love CAN be, not just what fairy tales and popular belief says it SHOULD be.

OMG! Isn’t Valentine’s Day, like, so totally romantic?!
HeartEyes

Multi-language Theme Song Covers

Welcome to the world (and I do mean “world”) of anime theme song covers.



Here’s the Sailor Moon theme song in German, Italian, and French:


This is “Shissou” (the ending theme song to Ouran HSSC) both in the original Japanese and the English cover:

And finally, a collection of different language versions of the Pokémon opening theme song.