The phrase ‘Japanese culture’ will stir vastly different ideas depending on whom you choose to talk to. To some, the first thing that springs to mind is undoubtedly Shinto temples or giant Buddha statues while to others it might be the iconic tea ceremony.
For an increasing number though the initial thought is of the country’s thriving ‘youth culture’, most notably: anime. Western countries led by the US have, in recent years, seen a spike in people becoming increasingly engaged with the medium with the number of anime titles available on popular and specialised streaming sites.
It is then the perfect time to be writing about why now is the time to open up the tab on Netflix you’ve yet to open and watch your first anime since the original Pokémon.
Okay – you know what I’m here to talk about, so let’s try and point out some stereotypes that…
Not every anime is meant to have a deeper or sentimental message and of those that attempt to include one, the majority spectacularly fail in a haze of melodrama and tears. That is why Your Lie in April is so special. The show you are about to read about takes real and serious issues and creates 22 well paced episodes and a cast of interesting, often funny, though not always perfect characters.
Background and plot
Kousei Arima was once the child prodigy of all child prodigies in the world of piano, dominating competitions on a national level and generally annoying all of his competitors with his brilliance. During one competition however, following the death of his slave driving mother he breaks down, losing the ability to hear the notes he plays, thus fading into the obscurity of middle school Japan, and the introvert character type that would be typically expected to follow.
I do like trying new things here, in fact we all do. It’s why I try writing new types of articles and why you might, after watching Sword Art Online, decide to watch Log Horizon. In this new article format I’m going to be picking two shows that are similar or are often compared. And yep, you guessed it, for my first comparison I’ve chosen one of the biggest clashes in the recent anime world: MMO vs MMO – Sword Art Online vs Log Horizon.
At a very basic level, the link between the two shows is their grounding in an immersive RPG world that they players cannot escape from. In SAO, we have the world of Alfheim, where ten thousand players have been trapped by evil mastermind and game creator Akihiko Kayaba and if they die in the game, they will also die in real life. In comparison, in Log Horizon we have Elder Tale a desktop MMO that after an update became the reality for all of the players around the world who were logged in.