Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Direction This Blog is Going

It's been a long time since I've made a post like this (or made a post at all, really), and I figured I owe it to anyone who actually reads this to give you some insight into why things are they way they are. To be fair, though, I really doubt anyone more than the few people I've managed to rope in on Facebook actually take a glance at this place, and I'm probably screaming into an echo chamber, haha.

I started this blog to give myself an excuse to actually WATCH all that anime I was collecting. I didn't have a job and had just been forced to leave college, so I had a lot of time on my hands and wanted to do something with it. I don't come from a happy household, and due to a lifetime of being made to feel like a sack of shit, I wanted to at least be doing something 'productive', as my dad would so often say.

November of 2012 I can't even remember if I was living at home or at my grandparents; my grandmother had died in August of that year, and while I still TECHNICALLY lived with my parents (on paper, still do despite being out of the house), I had jumped ship to live at my grandparents' house since my mother was there and I couldn't stand being around my dad anymore. I holed up in the parlor (barely used, it was a couch to sleep on) and mum and I stayed at that house for a few months while she got over her mother's death and helped out around the house to get my grandpa acclimated to living without her. I had been housekeeping for them for years already, so it was pretty easy. (For those wondering, my grandpa is extremely resilient---they were always social folks and helped out in the community, and he still does, giving people rides to the doctor, playing scrabble at the senior centre and joining in the local golf league. Pretty sure he cooks more than my mom does now.)

I needed to show that I was doing SOMETHING with my time, and watching anime then writing about it was a way to show that at least I had SOMETHING, ANYTHING going on. Mum and I moved back to my parents' place around late winter/early spring of 2013, and I had continued housekeeping there. I was also volunteering with anime clubs around this time (still do), so I had a few irons in the fire to show that I wasn't a COMPLETE hikikomori. Eventually, though, it wasn't enough (of course, lol), so in addition to looking back into college, I got a job and at the same time, a boyfriend, in September of 2014. My time eventually dried up, since by this point I had 2 jobs, a boyfriend, and was still volunteering.

By December of that year, though, I was let go from my job and depression reared its ugly head again. It took me 8 months to find a job again, and during that entire time I was juggling avoiding my father as much as possible (it didn't help matters that by this time he had injured himself bad enough to be forced to retire from his self-employment and take a retail job, so he was in pain AND angry over his job), looking for work, going to the local government offices to apply for state insurance and maintain my relationship with my boyfriend. By that August I ended up moving out of the house and into my boyfriend's parents' place (we live in an outbuilding, thankfully), and one of the places I volunteered at hired me on as a paid employee. So while things looked up, my time dried up again, and combined with the depression it became too much of an effort to keep on a continued schedule of watching and reviewing things. (One 12-episode series in a regular format is 6 hours of content, did you realize that!?)

At present I can't and won't make any promises that this little corner of the internet is coming fully out of retirement, but at least it's alive, just dormant. Stick around if you can, since there will be new content, just at a slower, less consistent pace. Roxy's still around and I've encouraged her to review things as well, and I'm trying to fulfill a New Year's resolution by studying Korean, so there may even be some Korean Dramas or shows in here, who knows.

Through this entire post, and the history of this blog, thanks if you've stuck around (I understand if you haven't, haha). It makes me so excited to see the pageviews on each post, and even moreso when I see that some of them come from all over the world. It means a lot. It also makes me think about how, if people are actually reading this, I should make some more stuff for it. It's encouraging. So thanks.

(If it's no trouble, leave a comment, even just a hi, or a :), or a single letter. Means I'm not writing this to myself, haha.


Oshiete! Galko-chan

Raunchy, chaotic, and cutesy, Oshiete! Galko-chan is a short-form series with 12 8-minute episodes to its name. Beginning life as a manga almost 2 years ago, the series is continuing and the anime ran from January to March of this year. It's bright and colourful, which matches the silly overall feeling, but the level of perversion in this series gives Family Guy a run for its money. Be warned.

From left: Otako, Galko, Ojou.

The show follows 3 high school girls in a slice-of-life type setting, with questions being asked multiple times over the course of the show that are then answered with the actions of the characters. The titular (or, should I say, tit-ular) character is a girl nicknamed Galko because of her stereotypical Gyaru look and perceived free and loose lifestyle, punctuated by her (quite large) breasts. As is common with most anime, all of the stereotypes and rumours are completely false, and she's actually quite the opposite in personality. Her best friend, Otako, LOVES taking advantage of this to make Galko the butt of her perverted jokes. In the meantime, their mutual friend Ojou tries to get in on the action, but mostly because she just desperately wants to be friends.
In the end, it all comes back to sex jokes, but at least this one wasn't aimed at the usual.

It's all gag humour, all of it. Basically every joke, and perverted gag humour at that. At first it's funny, then you just start to feel bad for Galko, then (like her), you grow numb to it and just wait for the next one to drop. It's not too much a bad thing, it just relies too heavily on this type of humour; despite her name being in the title, the show would benefit a bit if it could take some of the pressure off Galko. Assumptions and misunderstandings mean nothing if they don't have some truth to back them up, and in this regard, most of the tension falls flat. Just because a girl has blonde hair, big boobs, and is tired in the morning, doesn't mean she was out all night partying. But I suppose that's the point?

I can confirm that this is untrue.

At the very least, we DO get to know some of the other members of Galko's class (with some even being included in the opening, to my surprise), and perhaps because of the probing subjects, there's a good amount of character depth to some of them, mostly Otako and Galko. The final episode serves as a backstory episode and seems to even take some nods from The Breakfast Club. The entire series serves to make fun of Galko (or, at least, stereotypes of people, if you want to get philosophical about it), but by doing so, we get to see more of her. She's a great cook, likes to read, and goes out of her way to look after her classmates.

Galko gets flustered from reading about kissing scenes, so you can imagine what she's feeling right now.

The music wasn't really memorable, though I do remember thinking that part of it sounded like background music for a mini-game or perhaps even shojoesque elevator music. The opening was nice (though my copy wasn't subbed, so I skipped it a few times). Animation was average, but the artwork itself sparkled and shined, sometimes literally. They took liberties with some of the colours to give it depth and make it pop, and it really paid off (such as using a dulled pink to convey the shadows in Galko's hair). Even barely-speaking background characters were given personality, so at least we can know the creators cared, even if it was just a little.

DO NOT under any circumstance show this show to anyone younger than high school. The period jokes ALONE should have been enough for that, but to further things, the first lines spoken in the first episode were "Is it true that people with big boobs have big areolas as well?" Watch with discretion and probably at home. It's ecchi at best, thankfully, so there's no ACTUAL nudity. The worst I can remember was bare breasts covered carefully by hair.
In the end, it's shown that underneath the surface, Galko is a contentious, observant, and kind person.

Galko-chan is available from HorribleSubs, PosedLook, DeadFish Encodes (with BakedFish covering the redos), RabbitHole (Chinese), Krosis (Italian), and PuyaSubs (Spanish). While it's not licensed for any official releases outside of Japan yet, the manga has been licensed by Seven Seas entertainment and is set to start in North America in November of this year.