I went back home to NYC for the weekend. While there, I officially declared my visit the Japanese Weekend: I only ate ramen, pork katsu and curry, and Japanese barbecue, and cream puff pastries from Beard Papa. I bought more books at Kinokuniya than I should have. I watched anime until I fell asleep. All in all, I enjoyed myself more than I had in a long time. Continue reading “Weeaboo Weekend”


In the world of PSYCHO-PASS, paper media has virtually vanished. Makishima Shogo, the central villain of the series, tells his partner that reading a physical book provides his senses with a soft reboot. Books are tactile. Books have an odor. Used books have a history like people do, where the wear and tear of life eventually shows on the surface. The oil and sweat from our fingertips warms and warps pages, and the spine creases where our favorite page is (or just the page we always fall asleep reading). Continue reading “literary deathmatch”

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One restless night, I logged into Netflix and began Fate/Extra Last Encore. I was so bemused by the show I thought I’d slept through important scenes, or assumed I’d dreamed up some of what I saw. Turns out I was awake: everyone dies in the first episode, which I thought I’d hallucinated, and in similar fashion to the rest of the franchise, dying was only the beginning of the adventure. Continue reading “Fate and Death and Rebirth”


Yesterday, I dragged my wife to the theatrical premiere of Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel, because I’m a nerd. She had no idea what the anime was about. The film barely explained the concept that underpins the franchise, which can easily discourage newbies from diving in. The question is, of course, was the film made for anyone but the true fans? Does it have to appeal to anyone else? Continue reading “the Fate of a franchise”

For those of you who don’t know, I love anime. Toonami and Fox Kids were an after school ritual growing up, and in college I learned kids like me never really grew out of watching cartoons. At some point I came across Bakemonogatari (Monster Tale), a ultra-dense and visually stunning adaptation of a light novel series. After watching all the seasons, I picked up the only media extension I’d yet to consume: the prequel novel, Kizumonogatari, by Japanese writer Nisio Isin.  Continue reading “Book Backlog: Kizumonogatari”