Problems in Redwall

I hadn’t planned on writing about Redwall. I don’t meant to be reductive when I say that it’s a kid’s book, and finding depth and writing insight within it wasn’t something I expected. That’s not to say that books written for children always lack depth, but they aren’t known for it. I read Redwall because…

Film Analysis – Ikiru, by Akira Kurosawa

As I watched Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa’s acclaimed 1952 masterpiece, it became apparent how much this film has influenced the entire history of film-making, at least past its release. I recognized methods of storytelling, character arcs, and cinematography that I’ve been seeing in films for my entire life. I even recognized the plot arc of the…

Book Review – Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

I’ve read more science fiction in the past year than I have in my entire life, largely thanks to the influence of Neal Stephenson and Ursula LeGuin. I have some large sections of my sci-fi puzzle missing, and Orson Scott Card was a big piece of that. I knew very little about Ender’s Game going…

Eating Vegan – Two Months In

At the beginning of December, I posted a blog about how I was becoming a vegan, in no small part due to the influence of a documentary called Cowspiracy. I’d started down the path of zero animal-product consumption a week or two before that, and it has been nearly two months of eating lots of…

Japanese Curriculum in Review

At the end of November, I designed my self a curriculum for the fall centered around Japanese culture. I’ve been fascinated by the country of Japan for most of my adult life. Where this fascination springs from is a mystery, though it likely began with playing numerous Japanese video games as a young person. That…

Book Review – Sabriel, by Garth Nix

I’ve been interested in this book for a long time because at some point, and I don’t remember when, someone read me a paragraph from Sabriel that was beautiful. Having now read the book, I have no idea which passage that was, but that’s largely due to the book having elegant and pleasing prose throughout…

Film Review – A Letter to Momo, by Hiroyuki Okiura

A Letter to Momo is a touching film designed to evoke emotion in anyone who has loved a parent or lost one (which is most of us). It accomplishes this¬†with humor, good character development, and genuine feeling. It mimics the work of Hayao Miyazaki in an obvious and reverential way. It’s beautifully animated, if traditional,…

Film Review – The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi, by Takeshi Kitano

Finally, we come to my first and only samurai flick of this curriculum. Oddly enough, I mistakenly added Zatoichi to my list thinking it was a different film. I had planned on watching The Twilight Samurai, which is much different, but mistakenly substituted ‘blind’ for ‘twilight’ in my Google search and came upon Zatoichi. I…

Game Review -King’s Quest: Rubble Without a Cause

King’s Quest Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember stands out for me as one of the best gaming experiences of 2015. I’d never played the Sierra King’s Quest games, which had come out not long after I was born; my days of PC gaming didn’t start for another twenty years or so. Coming to The…

Film Review – The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, by Isao Takahata

Isao Takahata is fairly well known for his 1988 animated feature, Grave of the Fireflies, which is a heart-wrenching look at two orphaned children struggling to survive in World War II Japan. That film was hailed by many as a masterpiece of storytelling, and a touching look into the minutiae of war. Others found it…

2015 iPhone Gaming

One of the primary reasons I decided to get an iPhone over an arguably better Android device is that I was tired of always being behind in the mobile-gaming scene. Android has a bigger library, and more freedom where games are concerned, but it always felt like the big-name games, and what seemed to be…

Book Review – The Ark Sakura, by Kobe Abe

The Ark Sakura has all the makings of a novel I’d love. It has a Murakami-esque weirdness to it, and I could certainly see where Abe has influenced my favorite author, but the story itself never really comes together. Maybe it’s not supposed to.¬† Regardless, it has sparked my desire to read more Abe, and…