Animegraphy: A Yearly Musical Delight

Every November from 2012 to 2015, an editor who goes by the name of Qyll would produce music videos showcasing anime from each year. The series was called Animegraphy, and it was a truly spectacular tradition that gave anime fan a reason to be excited for November. They usually contained about four or five songs and could easily switch between upbeat and fun, romantic, sad, or action-packed. And they only got better and more polished as the years went on.

Sadly, 2015 was the last year for Qyll’s amazing series, and many newcomers have stepped up to continue the tradition. Today, I want to share all of Qyll’s Animegraphy music videos and even one that I believe to be a worthy successor. Continue reading

A Review of ユーリ on ICE!!! (Originally posted December 27th, 2016)

Yuri on Ice, Directed by Sayo Yamamoto and created by Mitsurou Kubo, is the latest project from Studio MAPPA, who’s previous projects include Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watanabe’s Kids on the Slope, the beautiful Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, and the very bizarre Punchline. Yuri on Ice has also the been the subject of much debate over the implied relationship between the two main characters, with some heralding the show as a masterpiece for that element in it of itself. But can this thoughtful experiment in characterization stand on its own, or does it fall flat as a paradigm of pandering?

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Why Shirayuki is My Favorite Female character

Spoilers below, click here for my review of this show

In the first episode of Akagami no Shirayukihime our protagonist Shirayuki works as a herbalist in the country of Tanbarun. Born with exceedingly rare red hair, she is told that she must become a concubine for Raji, her country’s prince, giving up her life as a herbalist. She spends a long time thinking. Soon enough it is night time. and she makes a choice. Rest assured, the question of whether or not she would become a concubine was never even contemplated. She wouldn’t give up her career so easily. No, instead she pulls an all-nighter, concocting medicine for everyone she knows in town, before cutting her hair and leaving the bright red ponytail on the window sill before fleeing the country. This act of defiance would become one of the many reasons that she is my favorite female character of all time.

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A Review of Akagami no Shirayukihime (Originally Posted March 7th, 2017)

It seems that every year, I grow to appreciate the art of animation every year, by growing fonder of different studios, actors, techniques, narrative styles, and directors and the conclusion I have come to is that without Japanese animation, I would not harbor the appreciation for storytelling that I possess now. It takes a special kind of show to remind me of that to the point that I am left breathless by what has transpired. Akagami no Shirayukihime, or Snow White with the Red Hair, is that show.

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What Am I Watching? April 23rd, 2017

In this new series, I share what shows I’m currently watching, either from the current anime season or from my backlog. I like to try and clear out my queue before watching new shows but I make exceptions to this rule when it comes to sequels that are currently releasing. Here’s hoping I’ve finished these shows before I make another post like this. Feel free to comment what you think about the shows below and don’t hesitate to recommend some other shows that you really like from this season.

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A Review of Bakemonogatari (Originally Posted November 6th, 2016)

Since I have posted reviews on Facebook and Myanimelist before I started this blog, I figured I’d reupload those reviews on Fridays for the next couple weeks. Enjoy!
Anyone who has studied film has probably heard of the French New Wave (La Nouvelle Vague), a movement of French filmmakers breaking off from traditional Hollywood filmmaking to produce their own, low budget, artistic works. The Nouvelle Vague was highlighted by films that compensated for their low budgets with inventive camerawork that changed a story could be conveyed through jump cuts and excessive environmental imagery. Characters would foreshadow events, break the fourth wall, and display a sentient knowledge of their existence as fictional characters, accompanied with extensive knowledge of the genre they inhabit Continue reading

Is Bones The Best Animation Studio in the World? – Parts 2 and 3

At this point, it is pretty clear that Bones are masters of choreography and even clearer that I am a HUGE fanboy of their work. Last time I showcased fight scenes from the Cowboy Bebop movie, Sword of the Stranger, Darker than Black, and Mob Psycho 100. The quality of those fights truly speak for themselves but fights alone aren’t what make Bones special. It is their reputation for constantly creating new, imaginative works across genres and demographics, and still managing to approach each project with love and care. In that respect, today I will talk about consistency and variety, two qualities that make Bones one of the best in the business.

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Is Bones The Best Animation Studio in the World? – Part 1

When you think of your favorite anime, which shows come to mind. Maybe it’s a sprawling epic like Fullmetal Alchemist or a feel-good nostalgia trip like Ouran High School Host Club. Perhaps you prefer to watch a shonen series like Soul Eater or a comedy like Space Dandy. Otherwise, you might be more interested in recent projects like Mob Psycho 100 or Kekkai Sensen. Either way, it’s pretty cool to think that every single show I just mentioned was produced by the exact same studio. Bones.

Bones was created by Masahiko Minami, Hiroshi Osaka and Toshihiro Kawamoto who previously worked at Sunrise, the studio that gave us Cowboy Bebop and Trigun. Ever since the early 2000’s, Bones has established itself firmly as one of the biggest and best animation studios in Japan. They have made some of the most beloved anime and are still making masterpieces today. It was around the time that I watched 2015’s “Akagami no Shirayukihime” that I concluded that Bones was my favorite animation studio. I wondered then, could Bones be the best animation studio in the world?

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Welcome To My Blog

(The following will be included in the “About Me” section of this blog)

My name is Matthew Magnus Lundeen (or Sakura Sunrise on Steam). Ever since the winter of 2014, I have fallen in love with Japan’s animation industry and grown to appreciate visual direction and choreography so much that I have become more appreciative of those same qualities in American media.

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