One contribution I do (with my limited skills) for my family’s Christmas cookie baking is to get the walnuts ground up. To do so I first have to separate the bad walnuts out from the good and I try to do so as accurately as possible because I don’t want to throw out good walnuts nor let bad walnuts through. To check my accuracy I’ll eat some of the ones I decided were bad to see if they were in fact bad. Over the years I’ve gotten really good at getting this right and that means I’ve eaten plenty of bitter walnuts without finding a good one I erroneously separated out.
I’m reminded of this as I look over this winter season of anime. After separating out the series I thought would be poor, I gave several a taste test to see if I was right or not. (I dislike the idea of missing a potentially decent or good anime.) This season, I was dead on and now I have that metaphorical bitter taste on my tongue from all the series I’ve had to drop this season – eight – which is much higher then the normal 2 – 3 series per season. And there’s a couple more series I’m on the verge of dropping.
At least that gives me time to do these anime quizzes. Speaking of, here’s the answers to this week’s quiz.
Question 1: Name the anime that features these three characters – Mugen, Jin, Fuu.
- The answer is Samurai Champloo, the first and probably best anime series of the animation studio Manglobe. It’s also my favorite work from Shinichirou Watanabe.
Question 2: Name the anime that features these three characters – Keiichi Maebara, Mion Sonozaki, Rika Furude.
- The answer is Higurashi no Naku Koro ni or one of it’s sequels.
Question 3: Name these four series.
- These four anime series are A – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, B – Btooom!, C – Ristorante Paradiso, and D – Michiko to Hatchin.
Question 4: Name the animation studios that animated these series.
- The four animation studios are A – JC Staff, B – Madhouse, C – David Production, and D – Manglobe. Ristorante Paradiso was the first series produced by David Production (who is now best known for animating JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) and was a nice slice-of-life series that focused more on adults.
Question 5: What connection do these four series share?
- These four anime series were all directed by women. Atsuko Ishizuka directed Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo and more recently No Game No Life, Kotono Watanabe directed Btooom!, Mitsuko Kase directed Ristorante Paradiso, and Sayo Yamamoto directed Michiko to Hatchin which I thought was a much stronger work then her more recent Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine.
Question 6: This clip is one example of a reoccurring homage/call out many animators do to a famous animator. Name either the famous animator or what this homage is called.
- The animator is Masami Obari and this clip is an example of an ‘Obari Punch’. Obari was drawn to becoming an animator after being wowed by Kanada’s animation and, while definitely being influenced by Kanada’s work, developed his own style that, in turn, influenced a great number of animators of the next generation who grew up during his most productive period of animation, the 1980’s and early 90’s. Obari liked to insert “poses” into his animation and the idea of his characters having special moves which is where the ‘Obari Punch’ comes from. A recent example of an ‘Obari Punch’, drawn by Obari himself, is shown below.
Question 7: Arrange these four anime series from oldest to newest.
- The correct order is A, D, C, B. Figure 17: Tsubasa and Hikaru, A, began airing May 2001. This was followed by Noein: Mou Hitori no Kimi e, D, October 2005; then, Silver Spoon, C, July 2013. With the newest being Sora no Method, B, from October 2014.
Question 8: These four anime series contain a geological similarity. What is it?
- All four anime series are set on Japan’s north island Hokkaido. Maybe I’m watching too much anime, but, by paying close attention to the background in anime like these, it’s possible to see how the cold, snowy weather there has affected the style of architecture used, setting them apart from their warmer southern brethren, and that is something I find interesting.
Question 9: This is a back of the envelope calculation – Not counting the current times or future settings, what real life time period is most often seen in anime?
- The Sengoku period aka The Warring-States period. There’s been at least one new anime each season for the last several years that has taken place during this time period. I’ve liked many series from this time period, Hyouge Mono is maybe my favorite, but even I am starting to get worn out by this constant attention to the same dozen or so characters.
Question 10: Who is known as the “Godfather of Anime”?
- The answer is Osamu Tezuka. Also known as the Walt Disney of Japan, he pioneered the look – big eyes, etc. – in his manga that would come to be the standard for manga and anime in Japan after being influenced by Walt Disney, among others. The manga he drew included Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Black Jack, Unico, and Phoenix. He also founded the animation company Mushi Production, Mushi Pro, and later Tezuka Productions. These animation studios animated many of his works including Astro Boy which was the first popular animated TV series in Japan.
- The answer is Tomoaki Maeno. The four roles, from left to right, are Decim from Death Parade/Death Billards, Junichi Tachibana from Amagami SS, Naotsugu from Log Horizon, and Makoto Shimada from Haikyuu!!.
- The answer is Daisuke Namikawa. The four roles, from left to right, are Hisoka Hunter x Hunter (2011), Tooru Oikawa from Haikyuu!!, Shrade Elan from Aquarion Evol, and Squealer aka “Yakomaru” from Shinsekai Yori.
- The answer is Marina Inoue. The four roles, from left to right, are Kana Minami from Minami-ke, Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagann, Armin Arlert from Attack on Titan, and Yozora Mikazuki from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.
Question 14: The song “Unistall” is the opening song to which anime?
- The song “Uninstall” is the opening song to the 2007 anime series Bokurano. I’ve not seen Bokurano but I instantly fell for the song when I first heard it during the Anime Music Tournament.
Question 15: The song “Tabi no Tochuu” is the opening song to which anime?
- The song “Tabi no Tochuu” is opening song to the first season of Spice and Wolf.
To tally results
Ian K – 8 points (21.5 total points)
miharusshi – 9.5 points (I gave half credit for #4, 38 total points)
Jim D – 6.5 points (I gave half credit for #7, 29.5 total points)
medievalotaku – 7 points (I gave half credit for #3 and #5)
Tune back on Monday for next week’s quiz.