My 2 cents regarding romance anime. I’d been musing on this topic for some time but then came to the conclusion that I’m stupid and tongue-tied and it’s better to just dump everything here.

The premise is – I like such stories. And at the same time I’m trying to avoid anime, which genres contain “romance”. Mostly because it’s an extremely hard task to show such a delicate topic without dropping to something vulgar or boring.

Yes, ideally we should have a main story where the plot line where two people are becoming a couple is on the background. Unfortunately, typically we have either one or the other. I want to cheer for characters we’ve already loved for other reasons. I wish we had more Yoko+Kamina or Lina+Gourri moments but at the same I understand that it would’ve ruined the main plot. And that because of the limited amount of such moments we enjoy them so much. Or I wish that KareKano had more, hm, activities in addition to their famous hat. And I want these “love time” moments to look organically in the world of the anime. And I want to see that people are getting closer not because the authors decided that they had to (how many those moments have we seen already?), but because there’s something between them.

Yeah, all this “I want” and “I wish” is probably the main reason that I rarely can enjoy romantic stories. That’s why Honey & Clover, in my opinion, is one of the best romantic stories we can find – thanks to the realistic characters, despite all theirs quirks and artistic nature, and to their believable feelings and actions (well, not that I completely agree with the idea of the Takemoto’s travel to Hokkaido…) Others… well, Nodame Cantabile is close. I like the first half of “Your lie in April” (the second part is about totally different things).

One more reason I don’t like typical romantic stories is that all of them sooner or later show us the moments “after a boy and a girl started dating”. Usually this is very awkward. 25 episodes without even holding the hands but with a couple of inevitable obstacles on their way to happiness. Love triangles, he’s late on the date, discharged batteries, “I knew that you’d never loved me”. Exaggerating everything: ” -You’ve never understood me, I’m so difficult, we should break up! -No, I understand you! -No, you don’t!” Then, one episode later, character #1 realizes that he/she was wrong. The shows consisting of 26 episodes repeats this not very tricky pattern several times. Orange (meh), Glasslip (meh), Bokura Ga Ita (MEH)… Again, it’s very difficult to get us feel that nerve, to make us believe that it’s not just a desperate attempt to keep our attention. I could believe Spike in Cowboy Bebop where he was ready to run to the opposite side of the universe just having heard one name. But remember characters of “Silent voice” and their suicide attempts? Or Nana and her problems?

Regarding these “after stories” – I’m really surprised, but Monogatari is one of series where relationships work, Senjougahara and Araragi have found their way to be together and I believe them.

The last thing that’s wrong with a typical romance anime is what characters do together. They can give each other presents, they can go home together… and that’s about it? Holding hands, kisses – c’mon, seems no one needs such vulgar things! I hate when it’s considered normal to show several dozens of episodes before characters can touch each other. At the same time – I don’t want to see sex scenes in anime. I’m not a prude but such scenes are usually made so embarrassingly badly (like in, Takhisis forgive me, Kuzu no Honkai) that I’d prefer to see a hat instead of this horrible scenes of vicious kisses and whatever.

Visited the pride parade in London. Hadn’t been to such events before, so it was really interesting what it looks like.

Not all people have put up with such parades. The caption here is “Homosexuality is sin. Jesus saves from sin”

One of local politicians was using the event for self-promotion

Local drag queens

More protesters

Dogs are always super-cute, whether it’s about parades or not

I’m a horrible photographer – the post in the very center =(

Two guys got married during the parade

Some churches are adapting amazingly quickly

Ha, in addition to the Rule 34 there should be another rule – that it’s possible to find cosplay dedicated to anything (didn’t expect to see one based on The Order):

Ultra-short review of The Order: 1886 – it’s a fine game in general, with very bland characters and predictable plot. But graphics… oh, man, this is the best graphics I’ve seen so far – ideal materials, beautiful lighting, great antialiasing, altogether it looks very consistent. Ready At Dawn’s graphics and engine teams rock =)

Recently I recalled that I’d had an MyAnimeList account and decided to take advantage of this fact. My initial idea was to use this account for a list of anime I’m planning to watch later (too easy to forget, my memory isn’t any better than Gourri’s). But of course, then I started filling the “Watched” list, being able to control the fate of any series just putting a score. And trust me, I was laughing like a madman. Very addictive process. Curious now, what number of finished titles I’m going to end up with. Simple math tells me that it should be somewhere around 350 (well, about 5 TVs every season => 20 per year + OVAs + movies) – not so many, eh? MAL knows, at least, about 11713 various anime – so there’s still a long road ahead.

Small anime observations:

Observation number 1 – I finally dropped My Hero Academia. I’ve been complaining about this show quite a lot, although,┬áprobably, I shouldn’t have – I just don’t like shounen anime after all.

Observation number 2 – Taking advantage of the blandness of the current season I’m going to switch to the “catch-up” mode and try to swallow as many famous series I missed as I can. Shame on me that I skipped so many in the first place. Ergo Proxy is the first victim and I must confess – this is one of the slowest anime I’ve seen, despite the fact that the main heroine has been taken to the hospital 3 times already (and I’ve just finished the episode number 7).

By the way, it’s funny to check ratings on MAL (I was looking for anime I was going to watch but forgot) – so many new shows on the top! It’s funny because imdb’s “top rated” list, for example, is more or less uniformly distributed in terms of the year of release.

Observation number 3 – Zaregoto, OVA I mentioned once or twice, might be an ideal story for Akiyuki Shinbou. This is a “closed room murder” detective, with tons of dialogues. Who’re you gonna call if you need to make an anime that barely contains anything except conversations and out-loud musings? The answer is obvious. Characters act a bit weirdly (why the hell did they decide to bury corpses, for example?) but, in general, this is a good anime.

IELTS score has been announced and I managed to get 8 – it’s much higher than I expected! (listening – 8, reading – 9, writing – 7 and speaking – 8)