Floating Words

Musing about Storytelling in Anime

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The Death and Rebirth of Rakugo

The second season of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju is upon us, and it’s like this wonderful gem of narrative craftsmanship never left. After patiently waiting for us during the nine month intermission (did Yotaro never leave that stage?), time is traversed in the simple flip of a name. Yotaro, now Sukeroku III, invites the audience to partake in the story’s second act. Tearing down the fourth wall in a way similar to a rakugo performance, he turns us into collaborators… Continue Reading →

The Tetris Moment, Example 4: Zero Requiem

This is part 5 of 5 in a multi-part series about what I call the Tetris Moment in storytelling. There will be spoilers for important plot points of Code Geass in this essay. Zero Requiem Anime: Code Geass R2 (2008) Episode: 25 (of 25), “Re;” The first season of Code Geass was a bright, shining example of how great execution could elevate a show laden with fan service and product placement to astonishing levels. Always finding the right balance between… Continue Reading →

The Tetris Moment, Example 3: “I am your twin star.”

This is part 4 of 5 in a multi-part series about what I call the Tetris Moment in storytelling. There will be spoilers for important plot points of X in this essay. “I am your twin star.” Anime: X (2001 TV series) Episode: 12 (of 24), “Alternative” X tells the story of two superpowered fractions destined to fight for humanity’s future (or end) in the dooming apocalypse. While the Dragons of Heaven want to protect humanity despite its flaws and… Continue Reading →

The Tetris Moment, Example 2: “I offer them all.”

This is part 3 of 5 in a multi-part series about what I call the Tetris Moment in storytelling. There will be spoilers for important plot points of Berserk in this essay. “I offer them all.” Anime: Berserk (1997 TV series) Episode: 24 (of 25), “The Eclipse” In the introduction to this list, I mentioned different ways for the writer to set up their Tetriminos. They can chose to do so in secret, aiming to hit the unsuspecting audience with… Continue Reading →

The Tetris Moment, Example 1: “Just as planned.”

This is part 2 of 5 in a multi-part series about what I call the Tetris Moment in storytelling. There will be spoilers for important plot points of Death Note in this essay. “Just as planned.” Anime: Death Note (2006) Episode: 24 (of 37), “Revival” Death Note is the go-to anime for finding not one, but several memorable Tetris Moments. After all, the entire series is built around a supernatural game of cat-and-mouse, with the cat and mouse constantly plotting… Continue Reading →

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