Reviews Starting Next Week! Also, Other News

Hey there!

So it’s about time I finish with this long absence, huh? Well, I kind of already finished the absence by posting my Space Patrol Luluco reflection earlier in the week.

Anyway, starting next week, you’ll see me begin to post reviews here again! I’m again going to try to aim for Fridays for each new review, but, as per usual with me, it may end up being pushed back to Saturday for some weeks. I’m going to try hard to keep people up to date through my Twitter (@AnimeBirdTweet). You can continue to see my tweets at the bottom of every page on this site.

The reviews I’ll be posting over the next few weeks will be quite interesting. A lot of them are well-known shows, to be honest, but it’s not just that. The shows I’ll be reviewing are shows that I either really like or really dislike. Not every show can be a winner, huh?

I also have some other news to share as well:

I had tried this thing for a short while to live-tweet my reactions to shows I was about to review, doing it with the show “Flowers of Evil”. I kind of stopped after the third episode because 1) I haven’t gotten around to watching any more episodes and 2) it honestly kind of stinks needing to pull myself away from the screen every so often to write a response. My Twitter bio still states that I live-tweet shows, but that’s probably not going to continue. I know I only tried it for a short period of time, but I just don’t feel it’s the thing for me; at least, not at this point… maybe we’ll try again later down the line? (I will still be finishing Flowers of Evil at some point and writing a review for it.)

Another thing I have written in my Twitter bio is the fact that I’ll also be talking about video games! And indeed I will be. I’m more looking at doing reflection and editorial pieces for right now, and there’s no set schedule as for when I’ll be posting any of that, but it’s good to mention for when I do start posting them and people (hopefully don’t) get confused.

I also do want to try to do more reflection pieces and telling stories about anime as well, not unlike my Space Patrol Luluco one. I think that perhaps that’s what’s kind of missing from this site… well, that and a writer who’s able to keep a consistent schedule lol. Reflections and stories, in my mind, will help me and this website be more unique; I’m not just some guy prattling off my unwanted reviews on random shows, but I’m also sharing my stories and thoughts about them, and thus sharing a bit of my world with you.

As for right now, though, there isn’t a fixed schedule for much any of these things, beyond the reviews every week. This of course may mean that nothing get’s posted at all in the reflection/stories/video games sections, but we’ll see.

I see myself probably taking another break again, most likely in August or September, and lasting until at least October. I’m saying this now just so when I do inevitably disappear off this website, it’s not completely without warning.

I feel that’s probably how this website is going to go: I’ll post for a little while and then disappear for another while. I tried to fool myself into believing I could consistently post things here ad infinitum, just like the bigshot anime reviewers and the other people doing their best here on WordPress and elsewhere… but I don’t see that being me. Talking about anime and running this website has always been nothing more than a hobby, a side activity, for me, and so I shouldn’t push myself to try to write and post things here when I just don’t want to.

So I’ll most likely end up continuing to take breaks every now and then from this site, during which you won’t see anything posted from me. Now that I’ve said to both you all and to myself that I will be taking breaks, though, perhaps these breaks won’t end up being as long as my previous ones have been? I’ll also try to give more warning before I decide to hop off for a while, and not just silently leave things be for weeks and weeks.

At this point, I think that’s most everything I wanted to share or say about this website. I kind of ended up writing most of this as a single, giant stream of words coming from my mind to this screen, so maybe I’ll have a more organized post later reiterating some of these things and also talking a bit more about my motivations? We’ll see, I guess lol.

Anyway, look forward to my reviews, starting up again next week!

Jayke (AnimeBird)

Space Patrol Luluco – One Year Later

To be honest, in the past few years, it’s been harder for anime to really reach out and grab me, draw me in, and get me whole-heartedly invested. I’d say there’s a couple reasons as to why, but that’s another discussion for another time.

One of those exceptions, though, was Space Patrol Luluco. It caught my eye in April of 2016 due to it being a new short-length series created by animation studio Trigger, the animation studio that had recently gained fame for its work on Kill La Kill (and Little Witch Academia, to a lesser extent). When I saw that first episode drop, I was like “sign me up!”

The first episode did really well to draw me in that day due to its fascinating background work, its highly-cartoonish character designs and animations, and its sense of timing for its comedic moments, with a small dosage of overdramatization on top of it.

The series as a whole is hyper, chaotic, dramatic, and aware of all of it.

I wrote my review for Space Patrol Luluco relatively soon after I had finished the series, and even wrote an accompanying piece for it talking about the forces behind the show’s creation (although I feel that’s of my lower quality pieces on this site). It’s been a full year since the release of that final episode, and four days short since the release of my review. I rewatched the entire series today to somewhat celebrate and commemorate the anniversary, so the big question is… what do I think of the show now?

(Warning: since this is my reflection on this series, I’m not going to be devoting paragraphs to explaining the plot/setting, and my discussion is also going to be pretty spoiler-laden. Soooo… yeah.)

Honestly, the show is a lot of fun. If you simply let yourself just get caught up in the action, drama, and the quick, snappy flow from one scene and episode into another, you find yourself in a storm of excitement as everything falls into place in the final two episodes. If you sit down and give thought to everything happening on screen too, the show did its job well enough for things to make a relative amount of sense, although the fast pacing may muddle that.

For my first watch-through last year, I didn’t notice (or give much thought to) Nova’s indifference to everything throughout nearly the entire series (due to him being a Nothingling). Thus, I sensed Luluco’s frustrations with his mixed messages and such as just her “being a flustered teenage kid”. This led to me being a bit more confused as well when the plot twist occurred in episode 10 where his double agentry was unveiled.

This show revels in being dramatic, over-the-top, and ridiculous. This all lended itself well to the comedy of the first episode, and also to quick pacing and tone of the overall series. Indeed, Space Patrol Luluco seemed to be at its weakest point at episode 10 (and also episode 8), which was basically the plot dump episode. The show quite literally had the characters all sit down so the main villain could spout backstories and explanations at them, instead of their usual antics of action-explosions-justice! that was present throughout pretty much the rest of the series.

I could sense the show was trying to add some levity and silliness to it with Midori’s moments in that episode and the Blackholeian’s long-winded descriptions of middle schoolers. As well, honestly, the plot as a whole isn’t nonsensical either. It didn’t seem like it was pulled out of their you-know-where, and the show gives you just enough time for you to think yourself “Huh, I guess that does make sense” before ending the episode or whisking you off to another thing. The plot isn’t the most deep or groundbreaking, and it ends on this “love conquers all” thing we’ve seen many a time before, but it’s overall not bad. For the show’s purposes, it does fine enough. You can tell the creators have more fun with the action-explosions-justice! though.

Thus, after Luluco goes through the essential character development scene in episode 11 and comes back from Hell, the show basically says “okay, back to the fun stuff” and it becomes hyper-awesome-action for the final two episodes. As I said a number of paragraphs ago, though, the hyper-action and overdramatics of it all is really exciting and a lot of fun. To be honest, I think that’s mostly what this show strives to be, is just super-fun, super-action, and over-the-top, and it very well succeeds in that regard.

It also sets up Luluco as Trigger-chan, basically the mascot for the entire animation studio, so that’s cool, I guess. I honestly don’t really fully understand the idea of a company mascot (such as Super Sonico), but hey, whatever.

My feelings towards the episode-long cameos to other series are not as negative as they were in the past. I’ve still yet to watch any of the shows that got cameoed here… Anyway, the cameos, although they definitely do serve to give fans of those shows a wink and a nod, also usually tie in fairly well into the main plot, overall (if not in somewhat contrived ways). Like the rest of Space Patrol Luluco, the cameo episodes are all intense, quick-paced, and usually full of action… with the exception of Episode 8, “The Trap of the Mystical Power”. This episode was slower paced, and everything in it seemed to drag just as much as well. It’s a relatively important episode to the overall plot (although, again, the situations in it are fairly contrived), but it still feels like this show’s other weak point.

All in all, though, I have a lot of positive feelings about this show. Rewatching it all today was a lot of fun, and it got me motivated and excited enough to want to come here and write this reflection!

My biggest hope, now, is that Crunchyroll/Funimation will go ahead and release a physical copy of this show. Since Crunchyroll is on the production committee for this show, they assumedly have all distribution rights outside of east Asia. Short-length anime usually don’t see a physical release, however, but I’m still going to hope for this one!

What are your thoughts on the show, one year later? Has it brought you as much excitement and enjoyment as it brought me? Or maybe you got other feelings out of it? Let me know in the comments!