Haibane Renmei Episode 1: Becoming a Haibane

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Haibane Renmei‘s first episode begins with a long shot of Rakka falling through the sky, then moves into a close-up – this establishes the mystery of the show rather well, since there is no known location to be seen until the very end of the opening credits (when the town of Glie appears). Rakka is currently suspended in the air, without any real direction, her only companion a raven; she asks herself questions and ponders her situation, emphasizing the confusion of the scene. She happens to be in the same boat as the audience – the fantastical nature of the shots, as well as Rakka’s own confusion, make this a unique sequence, as even the central character is completely new to the experience, and has no knowledge of the town she is about to enter.

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Captain Harlock Episode 1: Fighting Corruption to Save Earth

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The Earth of Captain Harlock suffers from now-disappeared oceans and a divided society – although the planet contains high technology, boasting spacefaring vehicles and the ability to farm on other celestial bodies, Earth seems rather stagnant socially, with people now complacent in their behavior and deferring to overarching governmental control of the city. From the opening scenes, one can see a metropolis overrun by derelict ships, practically empty streets and glistening towers; these initial shots of an enormous metropolitan city provides a rather somber vision of a future where people bemoan the fate of the world but do not seem to have the energy to pursue life elsewhere. As the narrator reminds us, space provides an excellent place for humanity to begin anew – Earth may be at a somber moment now, but through cooperation and effort people can rejuvenate the planet. As it stands, however, Earth seemingly lost its way when the seas dried up; recovering from such a disaster will take time, but people do not appear interested in putting forth the effort.

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Sailor Moon Episode 1: A Legend Begins

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Sailor Moon remains one of the most famous manga ever published, and its anime adaptation equally stands up as a hallmark of mahou shoujo productions; the title helped formulate key concepts in the genre, such as the team dynamic and special attacks unique to each girl. Before Sailor Moon, works such as Mahou Tsukai Sally and Himitsu no Akko-chan originated the genre, but they owed more to Western-style pop-culture witches (such as Samantha Stevens from Bewitched, in Sally‘s case) than what is seen now – Tsukino Usagi revitalized the magical girl, making it into a phenomenon where such works as Pretty Cure and Madoka Magica continued the tradition into the 21st century. As an anime, it still holds up after 24 years; it carries the classic theme of light versus darkness in a very Buddhist vein, with Usagi as the eventual leader of a group of Scouts dedicated to fighting the forces of corruption.

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Anime and Depression

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Viewers of my old blog may remember a post I wrote describing my depression, anxiety and Asperger’s – right now, I’m currently in the midst of constructing a new blog, since I deleted my two previous ones after depression particularly hit me, and I still feel depression from time to time. As of this moment, I’m a bit nervous (curse my sleep schedule!), but I’m grateful for being able to write again after a couple months; I think writing in and of itself is therapeutic, because it allows me to relax and write about something I thoroughly enjoy, thereby helping me overcome my depression.

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Flying Witch Episode 2: The Arrival of Spring

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Spring has officially arrived in Flying Witch, and the opening shots show a curious figure descending to earth and walking around the country; multiple shots of the landscape greet the audience, with a castle and temple as prominent locales. The tranquil scenery reminds the viewers that the winter has passed – green becomes the dominant color here, as the trees are ready to bloom. Flying Witch takes its time to establish its environment before moving into the action; like Non Non Biyori, this anime employs several shots of the surroundings, offering images of a calm, bucolic countryside that contrasts with the more hectic life of the city. This happens to take place in Aomori, capital of Aomori prefecture; the castle in one of the above shots is based upon Hirosaki Castle, found in the city of Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, so it serves as a great landmark to remind viewers of the show’s setting.

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