Zippy Lately (May 10 – May 16, 2010)

As you may have noticed I missed last week’s Zippy Lately, and while I do apologize the fault lies in the rain that flooded Nashville. Oh the frustration.

1. Japanator AM

The latest podcast to catch my ear comes from the site which we anime fans and otaku have long relied on for snarky, witty banter. That’s right I’m talking about Japanator. Japanator AM lets you take your Japanator experience to the next level by letting you not just read but also hear the thoughts of Japanator’s many fine commentators (I hear mind reading will be the final level of Japanator). From news commentary to the ever-popular running commentary on ongoing anime and J-drama, Japanator AM delivers. I know this sounds like an over-the-top pitch, but trust me I love Japanator AM and I seriously highly recommend you listen. (Click here for episodes)

2. Tumbling

(Excerpt from my Spring 2010 J-Drama Preview)

Tumbling at its core is a story about a high school men’s rhythmic gymnastics team. Like most high school sports dramas though gymnastics, while unique, is really a façade for the challenges of youth. In the first episode we’re presented with an immediate collision of emotions as Azuma Wataru, high school gangster, is forced to join a club to make up for high school credits he is missing. After seeing that the cute new transfer student is a tumbler herself, he reluctantly joins the men’s tumbling team. Takanaka Yuta, team captain, begrudgingly lets Azuma on the team only to have his fears realized as Azuma disregards practice, disrespects the players and the sport, and even brings the tumbling team to the precipice of disbanding. Together, reluctantly or not, Azuma and Takanaka must learn from each other if they are to succeed as a tumbling team. Regardless of whether you like men’s gymnastics, or even sports in general, Tumbling may appeal to you as relatable issues such as teen struggles, unlikely friendship, and devotion to life dreams comes together on the mat.

3. Shinzanmono

(Excerpt from my Spring 2010 J-Drama Preview)

Shinzanmono is typical of my favorite shows. The lead is quirky yet very smart and is played by an awesome actor, in this case Hiroshi Abe. Secondly, the show mixes comedy and suspense effectively. Lastly the show is a crime drama, which is my favorite genre. These elements make up many of my favorite shows, so I’ll have to admit that my faith in this show to succeed is quite high. The story takes place inTokyo’s Nihonbashi district, where detective Kaga Kyoichiro (Abe), a shinzanmono aka newcomer, has recently been assigned for duty. Following an initially dramatic entrance the tone of the intro switches to Abe who gets to deliver the cheesy title line “I’m a shinzanmono”. After Kaga coincidentally meets all of the main characters that will be involved in this episode, he is assigned a case where a middle aged woman is strangled. While Kaga certainly shows that he’s an expert at reading people, the audience is left with more questions than answers, presumably to keep viewers watching. As I mentioned before, I knew early on this would be the show for me; however, even for folks new to the crime genre, or new to Hiroshi Abe, I predict this will be an entertaining watch.

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