FreezeFrame: Bittersweet Akiko Jam

No music. No zoom-in slow-motion replay. Sometimes, the unbiased reality is more painful than any dramatic interpretation. In what could have been a recording from a security camera, we’re exposed to a brutal scene in which the mother we’ve come to love as our own is plowed over by two tons of drunken SUV, with nothing but a smashed strawberry cake as a final punch line.

My heart is in pieces, laying somewhere between the shards of windshield and makeshift Smucker’s. Kind of gives a new meaning to “Akiko Jam,” doesn’t it?

FreezeFrame: All-Star Memorability


If you’re like me, you waited the whole year for the NBA All Star Weekend to come around – and while Friday and Saturday’s festivities were quite entertaining, were left a bit disappointed at the actual All Star game. There were moments – just a few brief moments – of excitement, but otherwise, the pace and excitement fell back as quickly as it had picked up. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, no problem, you didn’t miss anything besides LeBron embarrass himself with a failed off-the-backboard dunk attempt.

Anyways, I was bored to the point where I started thinking about the all stars in the current anime season. Yeah, the game was that bad.

FreezeFrame: Rationalizing Lunar Bunnies

This would make a nice figure... o wait...

Four years ago, I was into stuff like the South Park, Futurama, maybe some Friends and Seinfeld once in a while. Sure, I knew about anime – I grew up watching Ranma and Kimagure Orange Road – but if you told me that four years later I’d be speaking Japanese and saying stuff like “fight-o! da yo” or “sonna koto iu hito kirai desu!” I’d probably think you’re crazy and go back to watching Yu-Gi-Oh reruns on the WB.

Ara ara, how people change.

FreezeFrame: Widespread Enjoyment

The eyes, look at me in the eyes

I’ve always liked Shrek for its approach on the “family movie” genre – Shrek seemed to be the first major piece of American animation that had elements catering exclusively to the PG-13 and up crowd. Say what you will about Aladdin and his phallus-palace, but Shrek was the first to have no qualms about dishing out the adult jokes. Similarly, Japanese anime studios are very keen on their audiences – as far as the past-midnight shows go, it’s not a concern of age group, but rather one of… “moe preference.”

Since Manabi Straight is an anime about grade-schoolers, that means it’s a kid’s show, right?


FreezeFrame: Extreme Makeover Home-o Edition

It's a Trap!!

And so OtoBoku ended without much fanfare – nothing really happened besides a dance and some more blushed sighs of ecstasy – but it was consistently entertaining to the point that it left me satisfied, ending up in my “burn” pile rather than a reluctant trip to the recycle bin. As one that’s seen his fair share of hgame based animes, I knew I wasn’t in for much, but c’mon! It was the dazzling debut of the ultimate trap character! Couldn’t there have been some spectacular wardrobe malfunction in front of the whole school? Couldn’t Takako have abused her position of power to get…something extra? Since they’ve already contrived this crazy scenario with some estrogen-enhanced athletically-gifted academically-superior Pantene commercial-worthy guy reaching the upper echelon of an elite girl’s school worthy of Lobelia’s ranks (whew), why not take it all the way instead of just settling back into another typical sappy romance blushfest? Well, it didn’t turn out all that bad so I won’t complain – luckily we have another show to shift our focus to, one with no qualms about finishing what they started.

FreezeFrame: It’s a Trap!!

It's a trap!!

Where else can you find a genre that shamelessly flaunts underage girls as an object of desire, where every girl fulfills some sort of perverse fantasy, where the only human with a pair is the nondescript main character? To some, the Harem genre has become the general definition for anime itself – and for good reason – by the sheer number of shows produced, the Harem has gradually worked its way up. One can’t help but think that anime has evolved (or degraded) into a visual showcase for cute animated girls.