Dorrie’s Anime Watchlist #1

So I recently got a freelance part-time job where I basically get paid to write and talk about anime on the internet. Sounds like a pretty rad gig, right? I must admit, it is a perfect fit for me, but because of that, most of my free time now consists of watching anime until my eyes bleed. I’ve gotta stay in the know, after all! I’ve been an anime fan ever since my baby Dorrie days of watching Pokemon and Hamtaro on the CN, but for most of my life, I’ve considered myself to be more of a casual watcher. You will definitely not be finding me bingeing 600+ episodes of Naruto and One Piece, but you most certainly will catch me shouting, “Damn, Yuno,” at my computer screen just about every five seconds while in the middle of an intense episode of Future Diary.

In the past month or so, I’ve completed at least 10 different anime. That sounds like a lot, but most anime are only about 12-26 episodes long, which makes them a breeze to complete in just a few sittings. Unfortunately, this also means that I had trouble picking one specific show to talk about for this week’s blog.

Which brings me here. I’ve decided that every couple of months, I will be compiling a “watchlist,” of anime that I am currently watching or have recently finished watching that I want to recommend to you all. There are hundreds upon thousands of shows that are accessible to viewers in the US that either have good English subtitles, or an English dub if you don’t feel like reading while you’re watching TV. Of course this means that there is a lot of pure unadulterated crap out there, and I definitely watched my fair share of crap this month, but this is supposed to be a positive blog, goddamnit, so I only want to highlight the good stuff (in my opinion, of course). So without further ado, let’s talk anime, babes.Read More »

OK K.O.! LET’S BE A MODERN CLASSIC!

One of my favorite cartoons as a wee lass was the original 1998 series, The Powerpuff Girls. I watched the show religiously, owned almost every piece of merch – hell, I think I wanted to be Buttercup when I was in nursery school (although my personality aligned a lot more with Bubbles). The show had a colorful, anime influenced style, and even more colorful characters that anyone, child or adult, could get to know and love. It was very easy to get into: it followed a “monster of the week” formula and wasn’t serialized, so you could watch just about any episode and understand what was going on. This is how most cartoons were back in the late 90s, and the kids who watched them way back then are now the ones creating new cartoons on those same children’s networks, like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

But Dorrie, you may ask, why are you talking about The Powerpuff Girls when the title of this blog clearly pertains to a completely different cartoon? Well, if you must know, it is because whenever I watch an episode of OK K.O.! Let’s be Heroes, I feel this sense of nostalgia that brings me back to those days of Saturday morning cartoons like The Powerpuff Girls. I can so easily picture little baby Dorrie watching OK K.O., and enjoying it just as adult Dorrie does. I really have to thank creator Ian Jones-Quartey for this bouncy, action packed piece of media because it is filled with as much heart and soul as the cartoons that I worshipped back in the late 90s and early 2000s, emulating that same style, but with a fresh and non-cringeworthy modern twist.Read More »

What’s so Great About the Death Game

(Apologies for the lack of posting last week – I’ve recently undergone an exciting change in my life, so things have been a little busy. That’s why this week, I am ecstatic to be covering not one, but TWO of my favorite franchises. Get ready!)

To all my fellow fans of quirky, messed up Japanese murder mystery games: What a time to rejoice! If you follow me on twitter, then you know it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of game developers Kotaro Uchikoshi and Kazutaka Kodaka, the creative minds behind the Zero Escape and Danganronpa franchises. With this knowledge, I bet you can imagine my excitement when I heard that these two creators have announced that they’re starting their own Tokyo-based company, Too Kyo Games. They have already released information about several new projects in development, including an anime, and a few different games. Along with Uchikoshi and Kodaka, several other creators from Team Danganronpa are on board with the company, so we can expect a lot of top quality content in the coming years.

Zero Escape and Danganronpa are major influences in my screenwriting work; I admire their unique approach to crafting strange, but amicable characters as well as meticulously convoluted plot twists. These games are downright sick, leaving no character safe from their malevolent “death game” narratives, no matter how lovable they are. What is a “death game,” though, and why is it such an ingenious method of horror storytelling? I’m not talking about Hollywood torture-porn gore fests like SAW (although those movies are a lot of fun after a few cocktails) but games that test the mental endurance of their players, and just how far they are willing to go for their survival. Since Zero Escape and Danganronpa are often associated with each other, I thought I would use them both as my examples for why “death games,” are so great.Read More »

The True Horror of The Blair Witch Project

*SPOILERS FOR THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999) – READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.

If you were to ask me what my favorite horror movie of all time is, you might hear the sound of my brain making “dial-up” noises, followed by a short-circuit. With so many brilliant, innovative scary stories out there, it feels impossible to pick just one. As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I’m a fan of non-traditional horror, or horror that thinks outside the box just a wee bit more than your average ouija board flick (nothing against those types of narratives, just personal preference here). One movie that will always pop off at the top of my head, however, is the masterful piece that kickstarted the popularity of the famous “found footage,” genre – Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s 1999 cult classic, The Blair Witch Project.Read More »

Why are Horror Movies Turning into Action Flicks?

*Light spoilers for all of the Alien films, Jurassic Park, and Jurassic World, read at your own risk.

Are we really in a “Golden Age of Horror”? On one hand we get films like Get Out (2017), The Babadook (2014), and Hereditary (2018). On the other hand, we get films like… Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016). Horror films are either incredibly creative and dynamic or so god damn banal and obvious.

But there is a noticeable difference in horror productions now. For roughly thirty years studios have been remaking horror films into blockbuster action flicks. The most obvious contender is The Mummy (2017). However this trend isn’t limited to The Dark Universe franchise, it has seeped into others. If one looks at the trajectory of the Alien franchise, you can clearly see it’s deviation from its horror roots. Sure, Alien: Covenant (2017) has horror elements, but by the second act it ultimately becomes an action film. Two androids beat the shit out of each other and a Xenomorph is shot out into space for the hundredth time in the franchise.

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Doki Doki Literature Club: A Portrait of Uncanny

*SPOILERS FOR DOKI DOKI LITERATURE CLUB – READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION

Happy Monthaween, everyone! Who else is madly in love with the month of October? I know that we have until the 31st for the world’s greatest secular holiday ever, but goddamnit, I just don’t feel like waiting. To celebrate my undying love for Halloween, I’ve decided that all blogs written this month will be horror themed. I must admit, I’m a bit of a horror addict. Whenever I watch or play something that is really, really terrifying, I get this rush, not too dissimilar to the feeling people get after they ride a rollercoaster. Call me a masochist, but I just can’t get enough of that feeling like I’m about to implode from sheer terror.

What kind of horror gets me jazzed, though? Horror has become an umbrella term, with so many subcategories from slasher to psychological thriller. I suppose I would call myself a non traditionalist, in the sense that the more typical things like haunted house movies and monster flicks don’t really do it for me. No. I crave horror that digs much deeper. Horror that doesn’t make you scream, but instead leaves you shaking because you feel like something is slowly and painfully crawling under your skin. Horror that stays with you well after the show is over. If you’re looking for an example of what I’m talking about, then look no further than Doki Doki Literature Club.Read More »

I See You, Bojack Horseman

*SPOILERS FOR SEASON 5 OF BOJACK HORSEMAN – READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION

Every time I begin a new season of Bojack Horseman, I can’t help but feel this knot in the pit of my stomach. Shakily clutching my Roku remote, I think to myself, “Will this be it? Will this be the season where the writers’ room completely falls apart, and turns this masterpiece into more soulless Hollywood schlock?” I only think this because: 1 – I’m a cynical 22 year old, and 2 – I can say, without a doubt, that this is my favorite show. Ever. Of all time. Every single episode manages to deliver both razor-sharp wit and gut-wrenching raw emotion that can make anyone, human or horse, star or civilian, look themselves in the mirror and ask, “Am I the best version of myself that I can be?” Thankfully, season 5 is on top of its game, and has given me so much to think about that I can’t seem to focus on anything else. Seriously. Ask my family and friends, they’ll tell you it’s all I talk about.Read More »