It’s been a long time since I spent any time on this blog, and while I have good reasons for that, seven months isn’t exactly what I’d call a short absence.
“One of my current favourite anime is a show called Bungou Stray Dogs. It’s a mystery and supernatural series (with a healthy dose of action for good measure), adapted from an ongoing manga by Asagiri Kafka. The story tells of a boy named Nakajima Atsushi who has been cast out from his orphanage and left to fend for himself. Starving and close to death, he encounters a strange man drowning and upon saving him, he becomes entangled in a new world of supernatural abilities and the organisations that use them.
On the first weekend of March, the first movie (Dead Apple) was given a cinema release after months of anticipation. I didn’t have chance to go on either Saturday or Sunday but I refused to miss it so I hopped on a train after work on Monday and made the afternoon showing…”
I know I’m a stereotype when I confess that I became seriously interested in Japan through watching anime. Like so many people my age, I was introduced to Pokemon, Digimon, and Sailor Moon during childhood, and my love for the genre has stayed with me for at least seventeen years. So much so, that I probably shouldn’t admit how many series I’ve actually watched.
But one of my current favourites is a show called Bungou Stray Dogs. It’s a mystery and supernatural anime (with a healthy dose of action for good measure), adapted from an ongoing manga by Asagiri Kafka. The story tells of a boy named Nakajima Atsushi who has been cast out from his orphanage and left to fend for himself. Starving and close to death, he encounters a strange man drowning and upon saving him, he becomes entangled in a new world of supernatural…
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Phrases I never thought I’d say:
“I’m going to work in Japan.”
“I’m going to a week long seminar in Tokyo.”
“I’m going to be living in Kanto.”
Over the last few months, those phrases had become commonplace, gradually becoming part of my new reality. I’m still slowly adjusting to that reality and even as I look at my plane ticket, my visa, or even my offer of employment, it doesn’t feel a hundred percent true.
But it is definitely happening.
Reigen Arataka claims himself to be the next big thing in the world of psychics; which (considering he has no supernatural ability) is a bit of a bold claim. He runs an exorcism agency in Seasoning City, where he hires a middle schooler named Kageyama Shigeo for 300 yen an hour. Kageyama, also known as Mob, possesses real extrasensory perception so Reigen uses him to defeat spirits whilst pretending to act as his mentor. The duo ‘team up’ to help their clients but there’s one big problem… it’s only a matter of time before Mob explodes.
In high school, many girls are preoccupied with finding their first boyfriend. So when Yuma starts dating Takeda, she’s happy… but also completely nervous. Her best friend, Hotaru, decides to take matters into her own hands and volunteers herself for ‘practice’.
On an abandoned subway car, a mysterious hooded figure launches their attack on a young woman. Under pressure and out of options, she unwittingly unleashes a power that derails the train, setting off an explosion. The woman (named Rhonda) narrowly escapes with her life, and when she regains consciousness she finds herself in an underground hideout being looked after by two children. She leaves hurriedly, not wanting to get the kids involved, and rushes to a temple where a local gang has set up base. Unable to pay tribute to the leader, Rhonda finds herself in trouble, until she reveals her identity as the daughter of an influential man… and the woman who’d killed him. The gang leader attacks her, which triggers her ability once more. Her power is recognised and she is granted passage through the gang’s territory.
Not knowing what’s happening to her, Rhonda searches for a mysterious person known as The Goat, who may just have the answer…