For a lot of people, life is just one long kick in the urethra, and sometimes when you get home from a long day of getting kicked in the urethra, you just want to watch a show about good, likable people who love each other, where, you know, no matter what happens, at the end of 30 minutes, everything’s gonna turn out okay.
– Bojack Horseman
This is not your average series.
Of course, I suppose that those who have not watched the series before may not be quite enchanted with the first episode. In fact, rotten tomatoes gave he first season a 65%, but the following were 100%, 100%, 97%, and 100% in the following seasons. Evidently, this is laying a lot of ground work and building character relationships that will become important later on. Though the comedy may be obvious, the dark side of the show has yet to rear its ugly head.
For now, lets take a moment to be captivated by the iconic intro song:
Back to the point:
Right from the first episode we have some important background information shown in a somewhat rigid way, though granted the message is clear. From this episode we understand that Bojack is a has been movie star from a sitcom in the 90s. He is self-depressive, cynical, lazy, and (for lack of better words) a total asshole. We first see his interaction with Todd, a squatter type of guy who has been living on Bojack’s couch for quite some time. Not much to that scene other than gathering background. The meeting with the penguin is also primarily to build plot points, so no need to dwell on it.
The first real taste we get of who Bojack is going to be is when he meets Princess Caroline (PC), his now ex-wife, but still his agent, at diner, where PC pulls the plug on their relationship. We see Bojack use misdirection, and while the character PC is pulled into this notion, the viewer is distracted by Bojack’s rambling about getting fat from eating to much bread. The fact that Bojack has trouble, or is almost unable to face any problems he encounters is a massive point to highlight, as the majority of his self-loathing and alcohol abuse is both fueled by and propels his inability to manage himself and make good decisions, resulting in his pitiful state.
This is, perhaps, a reality of Bojack that becomes painfully clear later in the season, but also leads the viewer to reconcile with their own actions. Why can’t Bojack fix himself, even with people around him trying to help him recover and regain his fame? Why can’t I reach the things I want to achieve for myself? Why do I hold myself back? Of course, this is only the first episode, so these questions are introductory. However, Bojack’s character development mirrors that of the engaged viewer. As Bojack delves deeper into trying to understand why he does self-destructive behaviors, the viewer also asks themselves, why? Understandably, Bojack Horseman has taken off for this exact reason, and I guess my mission is to help people understand what they are feeling by telling my own stories as well. The journey is just beginning…
Hello ladies and gentlemen, or whatever you refer to yourself as. I guess social norms have changed a bit since I last blogged frequently haha! Anyways I have a new project, as it seems that I am still getting a fair number of viewers coming through on a daily basis. I feel ashamed that I haven’t watched an anime in about a year, however, I have been busy with other shows, such Bojack Horseman.
To make an anime comparison, Bojack could be compared to a mix of Gin from Gintama, Hachiman from My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, among other types of cryptically comedic, yet simultaneously dark characters. Him, along with many of the other characters in the series have captured not only my heart, but also have latched to the darkest parts of my own person. I truly believe watching this show makes you reflect about your life and your own actions, and in that way it has been a massive success.
Accordingly, I have decided to create a critical analysis series on Bojack Horseman, as a way to point out the complexities of the show to help others understand, as well as to develop my own understanding of what the show means to me and what exactly I have learned. With stellar reviews (after the first season at least) of almost 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, it is a must watch! This post serves as an announcement, as well as some background on the series. Enjoy!
Wikipedia Synopsis and Premise:
BoJack Horseman is an American adult animated comedy-drama series created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg. The series stars Will Arnett as the title character, with a supporting cast including Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, and Aaron Paul. The series’ first season premiered on August 22, 2014, on Netflix, with a Christmas special premiering on December 19. The show is designed by the cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt, who had previously worked with Bob-Waksberg on the webcomic Tip Me Over, Pour Me Out. Alongside having a satirical take on current events, politics, and show business, BoJack is lauded for its realistic take on dealing with depression, trauma, addiction, self-destructive behavior, and the human experience.
The series takes place mostly in Hollywood (later known as “Hollywoo” after the ‘D’ in the Hollywood Sign is destroyed in a romantic gesture), in an alternate world where humans and tailless anthropomorphic animals live side by side. BoJack Horseman, the washed-up star of the 1990s sitcom Horsin’ Around, plans his big return to celebrity relevance with a tell-all autobiography that he dictates to his ghostwriter Diane Nguyen. BoJack also has to contend with the demands of his agent and on-again-off-again girlfriend Princess Carolyn, the misguided antics of his freeloading roommate Todd Chavez, and his friend and rival Mr. Peanutbutter.
The process of writing for me works best when I develop the elements that I am going to be working with. Later in the process I plan to do research into lifespan and anti-aging science, as well as on specific ecology of terrains, human biology and genomes, culture of chosen locations, and disease, for now I plan to elaborate on character profiles, and let the story line come together based on how I think they would react.
The main cast hinges on three major characters, originally named Shinbou, Rika Murphy, and John Renzel. I have decided to change up these names to be more contemporary and flow better with their personalities. I am currently working on creating more accurate depictions for each character, but for now enjoy the cheap looking avatars I crafted online along with the sims I made for them! And yes, except for Shinbou/Everett, everyone somewhat resembles someone I know in person (including myself).
I decided the name Shinbou would not be carried throughout the story. Instead he is “Project Shinbou”, but John gives him the name Everett to use and call himself. Everett is tall, naturally built man, with dark hair, medium skin, and hazel eyes containing flicks of gold. As said before, Everett blocked out human empathy for all but John after the stress of experiments were driving towards insanity. As a result of the genetic altering, he is very quick to understand and incredibly sensitive and observant. These genetic altercations were based in anti-aging research, thus Everett is very robust and heals very quickly. His personality will slowly come out in time as a very thoughtful, quiet man. As he learns how to be human and withdraw his block on empathy, Everett becomes much more emotional and prone to expression, though with his past of abuse, this becomes violent at some times. To Everett, I give part of my personality, such as the tendency to block people/suffer alone, as well as react emotionally at times, however I also want him to have my quiet and observant parts of my personality which allow him to learn quickly, both material and people (just as I did in college).
John will be based off of one of the most thoughtful and kind of my dear friends. I am not fully incorporating his personality and quirks into John because I need John to hold a different role in the friend group. John will be a very sweet man, but inexperienced and a bit of a idiot. That being said, he is meticulous in both his morals and research, so while he may lack the creative intelligence to succeed in the lab where he works, his role in the greater Shinbou project is indispensable, due to his relationship with Everett. Like my dear friend, John with be incredibly kind of heart, offering care to those he deems good people, but also acting the utmost civil and as a mediator when solving disputes. Although his emotions may get the best of him at times, he stands to support the people he cares about and guides with morals in the front of his mind.
I knew from the beginning, this is the character I am going to struggle the most with, as she is in part an expression of myself. I plan to combine the quirks of my sisters as well, and bring in elements of mental instability and depression. She will be similar to Everett, but in a much more familiar way to my more recent self. Caring and observant, but with a nasty temper when angered (rarely), with a very particular soft spot to those who are injured at heart. I want Kayla to be a lot like my youngest sister too, who is very stubborn and naive, but with good intentions. When she enters the Shinbou project, she immediately connects with Everett, and wakes John up from the complacency of his attitude towards the scientific abuses and opposite side of the moral spectrum. He and John appreciate each other for their strengths, which are fairly similar, as well as their differing weaknesses. Kayla helps them escape and connects them on a runaway mission where they stay with various friends of Kayla’s.
This man is perhaps one which I understand the most, as he has been very important to me in the past year. Tyler is an old friend of Kayla’s, and they have a complicated history. Tyler is stubborn, aggressive, and drinks a lot, leaving people with a bad taste in their mouth when they first meet him. When Drunk, Tyler spews profanities and has a difficult time staying peaceful. However, Tyler is extremely self-disciplined, and endlessly intelligent in the realm of engineering. With a secret soft side few see, Kayla receives a warm welcome, but John immediately dislikes him, and Everett is caught in the middle. This is their first stop after escaping, and Tyler takes them in, and vows to get Everett in shape, as he has been emaciated for years. They stay with Tyler for 6 months until Everett gains his strength. Tyler grows close with the entire gang, but just like before, Kayla and Tyler become too close, resulting in a painful realization that they must leave to their next stop: Elen.
If you knew her in real life, you better believe that you will never meet another soul that even comes close to being similar to my friend. Elen’s character is a master of sorts at reason, both in people and studies (mathematics major). She comes off as batshit insane at times, and though technically unstable, is one of the most reasonable, but still caring, people you will meet, who can figure people out very quickly. She is married to a massive mountain man named Igor (not shown) with similarly keen eye for reading the room (but just doesn’t care and says whatever), and adopted a slim tall Asian boy she found running away from home. He has the same cryptic humor and passive aggressive style as Elen. Elen acts as a very different type of influence for Everett, as she more of less teaches him during their stay about how to express your emotions in a rational way, and how to both respect other peoples boundaries without losing your own.
Marija (Mari) Juric
Mari is a very unique and misunderstood girl in real life, and I want to capture her mysterious demeanor. Mari is a security guard for the Shinbou Project compound, called ChromoTech, and works under the command of project supervisor Mallory. I want to take some the traits of my friend to create a character who is a sweetheart, but savage with quick instincts. Despite this Mari can be a bit of an idiot at times when it comes to technology and book smart related at times. She was the original security detail before Berto was hired to work alongside her. Mari can be very cold to most people but bonds with Kayla and John because of there open and caring hearts, however, she never fully warms up to Everett. Mari’s bad side is murderous and apathetic, and she is generally untrusting of men. She is a second degree black belt (in real life too).
Berto is a sleazy guy, who joins the security detail as more of a technical help, however he is also a second degree black belt. Berto is very aggressive in his pursuit of women and has a bad reputation, especially because men see him as threatening. This is mostly because Berto is also an idiot, but moreso in his distractibility and laziness, but he can pull through when people look to him for help. Berto also has many soft sides, so there are ways to win him over other than pure earning of respect. Berto is also somewhat mysterious, but acts the fool to divert attention from himself. Berto and Mari end up bonding as Mari uncovers the sweet and intelligent man who hides under the sheath of childish idiot. He originally does not get along with any of the main three characters, but Kayla and Shinbou eventually win him over.
I do not believe that any good story has a truly bad side to it. This is true of the girl who I used to be friends with, but parted with due to the fact that it was a toxic relationship. Keep in mind I have used only her personality traits to create her life, and the backstory is not accurate to her own. Mallory’s story is basically this: she started the project with John’s uncle before he passed away, as the anti-aging research was for her mother, who was slowly slipping away from dementia/alzheimer’s. John had come to work with his uncle on many occasions and was the only person who could bond with Everett, she she was forced to keep him on board, even after John’s uncle passed away. She is incredibly manipulative, but hides it under a screen of sweetness, only to beat you over the head if you are not grateful to the degree she desires. She is very emotionally invested in her work and uses her vast knowledge of biology and chemistry to develop tests for the proposed drugs.
The following are the characters for the series in SIMs form.
I was not quite able to specify them to the exact look I wanted to but imagine their heights as listed. I am actually not very happy with the details and forgot to add some of the minor ones: ie, tweaking skin color and eye color, not accurate hairstyles, poor clothing options, and stuff like that.
Hello dearest readers who still tune into WordPress articles today! After a well over two year long “hiatus” from blogging about anime I have returned, but perhaps not in the same way.
I am sorry to say that it has been at least a year since I laid eyes on anime. Although it saddens me that I do not think I will return to watching, there was a part of me that could not escape the artful storytelling that anime possesses. I see my life as a movie, but it has not been until recently that I realized it translates the best in drawn form. I do not have the skill to draw it, but after two years of college, I think I am nearing the point where I can describe how I see the world in writing, so that people may understand even a fraction of what I am trying to communicate.
I am writing a book. This one is just a warm up to tell you a story about myself. On February 25th, 2016 I wrote a post about writing your own book, and the ideas I had circulating in my head about possible story ideas. While the files of those proposed books have been lost to a flash drive I am unable to find, in a creative drought, I dug up this blog and have decided to pursue writing once again. To be precise, I am going to write on Shinbou.
“A story about a man named Shinbou, who has been engineered to be genetically “perfect”. Because the researchers fear his great intellect, incredible strength, and absolute superiority, they lock him away underground to research him to profit from their fame. Smart enough to realize this, Shinbou protects himself by abandoning his humanity (empathy) and rejecting almost all human contact. The only person that Shinbou will tolerate is a male researcher named John Runzel, who is somewhat of a childhood friend. One day, a young girl from America named Rika Murphy, one of the only females to be involved in the program, joins the research team to teach Shinbou english. It comes to a surprise to the researchers when Shinbou accepts Rika. Rika, Shinbou, and John become close and are soon caught up in a storm of events in a story that tests their friendship and challenges their will to survive. How will they rebel against and survive in a politically and socially corrupt world?”
Shinbou is the most recent of my story ideas, as well as the one that I might decide to pursue. As of now, I have no idea how I am going to end it. The scenes I have written about include: the moment Shinbou was conceived, how John and Shinbou became friends, Rika’s introduction, and four months after they escape. Shinbou is very sharp and intelligent, but very sensitive, while John is also sensitive, but a little rough around the edges. Rika on the other hand is naive, but a kind person with a rigid moral compass. The novel will deal with societal issues around genetic engineering, as well as moral confliction surrounding murder, drugs, and other difficult topics. I also want to work in some general romantic undertones. I am really excited about this and I want to finish it, so let’s hope I get my shit together! I started this January 2016.
Shinbou (8 pages)
Since writing this except, among the others on my old post, I have grown 1000x overs, as both a writer, and a person. It would be a waste of time to try and cover the enormity of gifts that college has given to me and my personal development. The people I have met have changed who I am, and I have realized that no matter how many books, movies, or anime you consume, there is nothing quite like watching the real thing. Thus, I am recreating the characters in the new Shinbou with the traits (both good and bad) of my closest friends. There is no one in the new book who will be born purely out of my imagination, rather they will all contain a piece of someone I know.
The reborn purpose of this blog is to connect with lovers of storytelling, specifically those of an anime background, because perhaps the understanding of character development and analysis is more of a underlying standard in the community. Either way, I welcome the input of any and all that wish to contribute to the ideas I will be publishing. (I will probably be posting character profiles soon, and the edited premise).
Thank you for your support, in whatever form (if) you chose to give it. Love, Sloaner
Now, I have been culprit to many large promises that I have not been able to deliver on in the past. Perhaps, this post is a resolution to and realization of my time constraints and work efforts.
This blog is not my goodbye, but rather a call for a little break until I can properly adjust to my new school.
On Monday and Tuesday, I had my orientation at Santa Clara University, which changed my plans. There are so many amazing, intelligent, driven, people in college, and they also happen to be loads of good fun. Even the small handful of people I met at orientation were all people I could see myself being good friends with long into the future.
In about two months, I will begin studying at SCU. It has come to the forefront my attention that the quarter system will be a brutal adjustment (10 week classes instead of 15). As I greatly value my education, I had already planned to cut back on anime to leave large blocks of time to study.
Between classes, meals, socialization, exercise, studying, and (of course) parties, anime has lost its place in my list of priorities. Experiences are irreplaceable, and at this point in my life, there are tons of (now realistically accomplishable) things I can do other than anime. In this light, I will probably not be watching anime with any consistency or devotion.
A short history moment: I have been watching anime on and off since I was in seventh grade, but the last two years have been a crazy ride packed full of hundreds of anime. I started this blog about a year ago, when I was searching for anime and found Wrong Every Time, which inspired me to write about anime.
I have never watched so much anime for so long. I’m burned out. Though I can hand it to these Japanese Cartoons for sharpening my sense of storytelling, production, and finding inspiration, it is time to put it all down for a while and digest, as well as adapt to my new lifestyle.
I know I could probably keep blogging, but the quality drop would be disgraceful, and it would feel more like a job than a fun hobby (which is why I write in the first place).
With that, I leave you all with a gesture of gratitude for your attention and support of my writing, and a sentiment that this blog is not get dead. Maybe look towards winter or spring for my eventual return to anime.
And the Summer season continues! So far we have had two fantastic looking animes appear (Orange, Amaama to Inazuka), along with a whole group of good and okay animes, with just a handful of total duds. This particular round was pretty solid, and I’m excited for the coming season!
For these blogs, I will write as much is as necessary to get my opinion across to you, the reader. I’m doing the good, the okay, and the ugly (maybe even the best if something qualifies) to break this blog up a bit.
Time to start it up!
91 Days | July 8
Now if I am being honest, 91 days is not for everyone. It is quite particular, but I find it very good. There is a calm and unforced realness the this anime contains (similar to Amaama to Inazuka and Orange), which forces the viewer to continue watching. Perhaps the drama of all three is what probes the viewer to continue. 91 Days is already working with some heavy themes like revenge, and building complex relationships to play off of the characters and events. Though perhaps one of the least heartfelt show of the season, it does present immense positive potential. At this point, I’m thinking the main enemy of this show will be falling into a cliché one too many times. Though it has avoided that so far, no promises. If it all works out, 91 Days looks like it is going to be a memorable thrill ride!
Amanchu! | July 8
Don’t get me wrong, this series is really good. The slowness of it just really gets to me. I suppose that is a major pitfall when it comes to slice of life; it is so easy to be swept away in roundabout thought and contemplation that you lose the viewers attention. I do believe, however, that when the cast expands, this series will become worlds better. Right now, it’s just a little too slow and focused on “Teko”. That being said, the character development, premise, music, and visual are wonderfully and substantial.
Alderamin on the Sky | July 8
You see, Madhouse has this magical way of creating good anime. At the very least, Alderamin is visually pleasing and well executed. Personally, I think there is a ton of potential to either get really good, or be a mediocre shitter. The characters are pretty unique and avoid troups, which is a nice change. The storyline isn’t clear yet, but the anime works decently without a totally clear direction. What we need now is some good character and thematic development to bring this anime to the next level.
Konobi | July 7
Aka The Art Club has a Problem! The cast seems pretty good on this one, but other than that this series is looking to be your average school romantic comedy. Not much else to say with that.
Handa-kun | July 7
Just let me clarify: I have not seen Barakamon prior to this, but I have heard that it is very good. Now, Handa-kun does not seem like a very good anime at all right now. The first half was awful, consisting of a subpar comedy skit with characters no one cares about. The second half was pretty humorous, but the overall was not impressive. I’m looking for this series to become a solid comedy, as I can’t imagine it being very good as anything other than comedy.
CHEDC LOVE 2 | July 7
Could it be, but yes it is: SUGITA! Okay, on another note this series is just as silly and stupid as ever. The animation has taken an upgrade, and it looks like we have some new characters, but other than that this show is a hilarious, satirical, train wreck.
Thank you for reading! There is one more blog coming with my final thoughts for summer 2016. I hope you enjoyed my blog and happy anime hunting!
And we are back with more Summer 2016 anime! So far, we have had a pretty solid season present itself, but let’s see what else is out there! For these blogs, I will write as much is as necessary to get my opinion across to you, the reader. I’m doing the good, the okay, and the ugly (maybe even the best if something qualifies) to break this blog up a bit.
Also, I have decided to not watch the premiers of the typical school battle harem shows, since those never really turn out very good anyways.Additionally, I have decided to do a separate write up for Relife, since it premiered all at the same time.
Let us begin!
Amaama to Inazuka | July 4
This anime is going to be very very good. The atmosphere is perfect, the father darling relationship is darling, and the notes of darkness work to reach the viewer emotionally. This one will be one to watch for this season. Unlike some other animes that rely on cuteness, Amaama to Inazuka has an intriguing, heartfelt narrative, that uses the cute, colorful animation to express genuine emotion in the most adorable way possible. It really wins “BEST” title, and I hope the following episodes continue with the same balance of sweet and heartbreaking.
Cheer Danshi | July 5
To my great surprise, this series is looking to be one of the better ones this season. I though we were looking at some typical BL ridden, sloppy, unsubstantial sports anime, but Cheer Danshi actually looks like it is going to have something good. Maybe it is just me, but I love that they are college age. It takes pressure off the anime to fall into a typical circus of high school animes. For whatever reason, this difference makes the story and presentation come off as a thousand time more life-like and relatable. The characters are also quite likable in their own way, and the humor is pretty decent. I am excited for the episodes to come!
Servamp | July 5
This is by all means workable. The screamo right out the gate was a little surprising, but this anime presents a decent canvas for something to happen. The one downfall for the characters is that they are cliché, but as long as they are developed right I don’t think it will be a problem. The animation is up and down, but cinematically strong in the good moments. The story and sound are solid. The humor is also decent and I appreciate how it is incorporated into the rest of the anime well. I think overall this is just a decent anime with potential to grow into something decent.
D. Gray Man | July 4
Now, I am also conflicted as to whether I should bump this up or keep it here, but let me continue. Two main things: this picked up where it left off in a very unglamorous fashion, and the styling is different, but not all bad. One of the greatest downfalls of the original D. Gray Man is the half-assed animation. Luckily, it seems like this animation will be a vast improvement. On the other hand, the voice acting is tripping me up a lot. The voice actors have changed for a number of the characters, and presentation of the lines is far more overdramatic and off-putting than the original season. Seriously though, the voice acting has taken a hit. Also, Allen’s personality seem to be very… off to say the least. I think his voice actor’s voice it too high and the producers are trying to play him off too much as a wanna-be punk. On the other hand, the rest of the series seems to be pretty well off, so it really is a waiting game to see if the voice actors and vocal styling will settle.
Taboo Tattoo | July 4
A lot of people are critiquing this anime for being painfully cliché and contrived, and I totally see why. At first I was convinced this anime belonged in the “ugly” folder. I really do see the complete and total potential to be really bad. Despite that, I think there is something quite workable and build-able here. The art is very unique, and although it comes off as eh quality, the colors fit the strong themes and storyline. The story and characters are cliche to say the least, but not too unlikable. So really, this anime actually has the potential to be really good. It took me a moment to realize, but SUGITA is also in Taboo Tattoo, so I will hold out hope that this anime follows the path of the best potential.
Arslan Senki 2 | July 3
Well, this is basically the same exact show. It is a little rocky and pretty cliche at times, but Arslan Senki is a solid watch all in all. The awful CGI is back, which is a down. But, Gieve, aka the best character, is also back on screen, so hopefully the show will improve from the slump it fell into last season.
Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu | July 5
I’m not blown away, but it’s a short so I didn’t expect to be. As far as comedies go, FudanshiKS is a solid pick for this season. I smiled throughout the episode, and there is room to grow! I guess this show is much more…. straight than I expected? haha!
Mononokean | July 5
Honestly, this anime isn’t all that awful, it just feels like I’ve seen it about 6 time. From the characters, to the storyline, to the dialogue, all the way to art and music, I’ve seen almost the exact combination. The humor is also a pretty bug let down; I couldn’t even crack a smile. So while this anime isn’t god awful, it really is not worth watching, unless you haven’t seen any school yokai animes (like Rinne).
Scared Rider Xechs | July 5
Yeah, this anime is a real shit in the punchbowl. The animation is bland, the soundtrack not amazing, the characters are slices of plain bread, and the story lack direction and focus. I really doubt this anime is going anywhere pleasant.
Thank you all yet again for reading my blogs! Happy anime hunting!