Song of the Day: That’s My Job (by Conway Twitty)


I know that generally speaking, Song of the Day isn’t a category that I post in, but I hope you’ll all indulge me this once.

A lot of people these days might recognize Conway Twitty from various cutaway gags in the TV show Family Guy, but for me, it goes back to my childhood.  Watching Hee-Haw with my dad, riding in the car with my dad, waking up in the morning to dad playing Conway and other old country western music stars while he exercised before work.  While my musical tastes would always skew more towards rock and alternative, I will always link music like Conway’s to my dad.

This past Friday, I lost my dad, Donald Boucher, after several long years fighting cancer.  Like any father and son, we had our disagreements, but we always knew that we loved each other.  I moved halfway across the country away from my parents, so I’d make sure that every Sunday I’d call him, even if I had spoken to him on Saturday, so today especially felt extra hollow since I knew he wouldn’t be there to pick up the phone anymore.

This song especially gives words to my feelings better than I feel I’m capable, so I’ll let Conway take it from here.  I know that wherever dad is now, he’ll get to be listening to Conway, Hank Williams Sr, Jim Reeves, and all the others that he loved listening to while I was growing up.  I’ll miss you dad.

That’s My Job

I woke up cryin’ late at night – when I was very young
I had dreamed my father – had passed away and gone
My world revolved around him – I couldn’t lie there anymore
So I made my way down the mirrored hall and tapped upon his door.

And I said, “Daddy, I’m so afraid!
How would I go on, with you gone that way?
Don’t wanna cry anymore
So may I stay with you?”

And he said,
“That’s my job, that’s what I do
Everything I do is because of you
To keep you safe with me …
That’s my job, you see.”

Later we barely got along – this teenage boy and he
Most of the fights it seems – were over different dreams
We each held for me …
He wanted knowledge and learning – I wanted to fly out west
“Said I could make it out there – if I just had the fare
I got half, will you loan me the rest?”

And I said, “Daddy, I’m so afraid
There’s no guarantee in the plans I’ve made
And if I should fail, who will pay my way back home?”

And he said,
“That’s my job, that’s what I do
Ev’rything I do is because of you
To keep you safe with me …
That’s my job, you see.”

Every person carves his spot – and fills the hole with life
And I pray someday I might – light as bright as he.

Woke up early one bright fall day – read the tragic news
After all my travels, I settled down – within a mile or two
I make my livin’ with words and rhymes – and all the tragedies
Should go into my head and out instead – as bits of poetry.

But I say, “Daddy I’m so afraid
How will I go on – with you gone this way
How can I come up – with a song to say, “I love you.”

“That’s my job, that’s what I do
Ev’rything I do is because of you
To keep you safe with me …
That’s my job, you see.”

“Ev’rything I do is because of you
To keep you safe with me …
That’s my job, you see.”

Anime You Should Be Watching: Zombie Land Saga


I’m finally home, and with the final season of anime for 2018 finished, it’s about time to give my recommendation for one of the most surprising shows of the year.  The reason that I think this was such a surprise is because it takes what’s been a pretty stale genre, the idol anime, and given it such life (pun intended) that it really stands out.  Frankly, 2018 was possibly the best year we’ve seen in anime in over a decade.  Titles such as A Place Further Than the Universe, Hinamatsuri, Megalobox, Laid-back Camp among many others were such outstanding offerings that if you didn’t find something to enjoy this past year, then you just plain don’t like anime anymore.  But there’s been so many mediocre idol anime since Love Live lit up the charts that I was convinced that the genre was dead (more puns!).  But Zombie Land Saga came around and proved that there still can be good, compelling stories told about idols.

The basic premise of the show is that the producer makes an idol group by reanimating the corpses of some famous and no so famous idols and idol wannabes from the past.  He says that it’s to help revitalize the Japanese prefecture of Saga (It’s an actual prefecture and it works to make the title sound epic.  Will the puns never end?) and while that might be part of his goal, other reasons are revealed throughout the course of the show.

Each of the girls is considered a legend, but none are more legendary than the most legendary of legends, Tae Yamada.  Sure, nothing about her past is revealed in the show, and she’s the only girl who never actually “awakens” and remains in classical zombie state, but she is clearly the top idol in the whole group, even though the protagonist is technically Sakura, and the leader, or center, of the group is Saki.  Still, with her voice actress being Kotono Mitsuishi, who is eternally famous for being the voice of Sailor Moon, among many other prominent roles from the 90’s, Tae is definitely worthy of being called a legend.

The main thing that I think is great about this show is the fact that it’s an anime original.  Unlike most anime these days, it isn’t an adaptation of an existing manga, light novel, or video game.  The anime came up with its own ideas, and while there is in fact a manga adaptation, it came out after the fact.  This is rare, and it’s very refreshing to see, because a lot of anime that comes out these days are essentially advertisements for their source material.  Wanna know what happens next?  Read the manga/light novel or play the game!  That said, thankfully this anime has apparently done very well, because it ends with a big cliffhanger.  As one would expect, since these girls were legends in their own time, it was only a matter of time before someone recognized them from their past lives, and the final episode ends with a reporter putting two and two together.  Based on sales of the video, I think it’s safe to say there will be a second season that further explores this, and I’m personally looking forward to it.

Now I’ll leave you all with one of the moments from the show that made me look forward to it week after week, the epic rap battle between protagonist Sakura and the group leader Saki.

Anime You Should Be Watching: Asobi Asobase


Greetings all, as the supposed resident anime expert here at TSL, I’ve let a lot slip through the cracks due to crazy amounts of laziness, and let’s face it, a certain amount of sobriety.  Was I not drunk enough?  Was I too drunk?  We’ll leave that up to your imagination.  What shouldn’t be left in the realm of uncertainty is how great Asobi Asobase is.

To start with, this show looks like your standard, boring, slice of life that any anime fan worth their salt has seen a million times, right?  Oh, that’s just what these devious devils want you to think!  In fact, if you watch the opening sequence, that’s exactly what you’re supposed to think.

I’ll admit, I don’t know very much Japanese.  Just enough to get me into, and sometimes out of trouble.  But from what I can tell, that OP is nothing but innocence and typical SOL sugary goodness.  So you go into this anime expecting that, and somewhere in the first episode, like 10 minutes in, you’re in for a rude awakening.  Sure, this starts off as all sweet, sugary high school life of “Oh hey, let’s start an after school club!” But it quickly forgets whatever premise it ever had and completely devolves into “Let’s make these girls as effed up as we possibly can!”  I’d tell you the premise of this anime, but it seriously has no premise.  It’s hilarity done strictly for the sake of hilarity.  You’d still like some kind of starting point you say?  Ok, here’s the premise they initially start us with.  Hanako is a bored rich girl who wants to form a club to play games.  Kasumi is a girl who is terrible at English, whose sister always beat the crap out of her at games without mercy and has a complex about that.  Olivia is a girl who looks like a foreigner (something strange and mysterious to Japanese apparently) yet was born and raised in Japan and doesn’t know a lick of English.  Kasumi joins the club because she expects Olivia to tutor her in English.  Olivia joins because she thinks she can fool Kasumi, and also because she thinks Hanako is an idiot and likes making fun of her.  Hanako turns out to be the smartest member of the club.  Absolutely none of that matters past episode 2.  Hanako is borderline genius, Olivia gets exposed, Kasumi, well she’s got a lot more going on that just being poor at English.

As we watch further into the show, we get hit with full on craziness. How crazy could it be might you ask?  Well, one of the more normal segments revolves around Hanako’s butler? Maeda revealing that prior to joining her household he was a homeless man who was abducted by aliens and anal probed with a laser device inserted into him.  Yes, he shoots lasers out of his ass.  And it’s viewed as totally normal.

And I did say that was one of the tamer scenes, yes?  I’d be remiss if I didn’t share with you one of my favorite scenes I’ve seen so far.  If you need some sort of setup, I guess I’ll give it to you.  Essentially the girls are forced to sneak into the office of the student council president by someone who may or may not be a guy pretending to be a girl (totally is, no question about it) and they have to steal a certain file that contains information that this guy would rather not get out into the open, even though most of it is about the three girls in question.  Anyways, this is the penultimate scene.

This is the kind of humor you’re in for with this show.  If you didn’t find that hilarious, then this show isn’t for you.  I’m not judging (I’m totally judging) but that’s OK.

Finally, I gotta say, the ending theme to this is probably the best ED I’ve ever seen in an anime.  Ever.  But definitely for this season.  First off, I’ll share with you the ending theme that we get to see after each episode.

Totally different theme from the OP, right?  I think it’s great how they go from a sugary sweet opening theme to this total metalcore ending.  Gives the right balance between what you expect from the description, and what you actually get from the show.  I should mention that both the OP and ED are sung by the main three girls on the show.  Also, I really want to share with you all the full version of that song since I feel they really do a fantastic job of it.

To me, the amazing part is that none of the three main actresses, Hina Kino (Hanako), Konomi Kohara (Kasumi), Rika Nagae (Olivia) have ever really starred as the main voices in any show prior to this, yet they really come across to me as veterans in the industry.  Just the way they interact with each other and totally own their roles is something you’d only expect from long time veterans.  These are girls that I think we’ll be hearing a lot from the in the future in the anime business.

This offering from Rin Suzukawa is easily the best comedy I’ve ever had to recommend on this site.

Ultimately, this is a show that is much greater than anything anyone could say about it.  Comedy is super subjective, but if you don’t find this funny at least 80% of the time, it’s time to  play some Operation and have your funny bone checked.

Anime you should be watching: Hinamatsuri


I know, I know, I say I’m gonna start posting a lot, but seeing as it’s been a year and a half since I’ve posted, I won’t blow smoke up your keester.  I don’t post often, and I may not post for awhile again.  But the spring anime season has brought us such a gem of an anime that I absolutely cannot let anyone not know about it.  This rare masterpiece that I’m referring to is Hinamatsuri.

The basic premise of Hinamatsuri is this.  An alien girl, or possibly psychic girl from the future, who really knows?  Anyways, she shows up in a pod in the apartment of a fairly high ranking Yakuza member (the Japanese version of the Mafia).  She essentially blackmails him into letting her stay with him because he loves his expensive vases, and she can smash them with just a thought.  But that’s just scratching the surface.

When I first started watching this show, I did love it, but I felt that its namesake, Hina, was the worst person in the whole show.  I mean, you have Hitomi (see picture above) who is the pushover type.  She can’t say no or make a compelling argument in her defense, so she essentially gets used by everyone.  But, she’s so good at what she does that even though she’s being used, she winds up being the most successful 9th grader in the world.  Soon she’s the 9th grader that CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are desperate to hire.  All the while, she wants nothing more than to be a normal middle school girl.

Then you have Anzu.  Oh for the love of kittens, there’s Anzu.  She initially shows up as a rival for Hina, but Hina shows that she’s much more powerful than Anzu and immediately puts her in her place.  Anzu plans to go back to wherever they’re from, but her transportation pod is irreparably damaged.  Initially she realizes that shes much stronger than mere humans, but she is such a good girl that she doesn’t try to take advantage of it.  She winds up homeless, and then many tugs to the heartstrings are made.  Eventually everyone is left with the only conclusion, ANZU IS A GOOD GIRL.

Ultimately, it’s very hard to talk about this show and not spoil much.  Is this a comedy?  Yes.  Is this a slice of life?  Yes.  Is this a drama?  Yes.  Essentially, this is a show that’s greater than the sum of its parts.  Even the one shot throw away episode with Mao was entertaining and tugged at the heartstrings.  Very rarely will I honestly say that an anime is perfect, but Hinamatsuri is that rare show where everything works and brings you the most entertainment you will ever find in this medium.

Congrats to the Super Bowl Champion LI New England Patriots!


Around here, we celebrate the championships of the teams that us editors are super stoked about.  Anyone that has been following this blog for more than 1 year knows that I’ve been a New England Patriots fan since 1985.  So, now that the New England Patriots have won the first Super Bowl to ever go into overtime, and also have won the Super Bowl from the biggest deficit, 25 points, I, pantsukudasai56, aka Zachary Boucher, can yell and scream and enjoy all this, and there’s one thing I have to post.  I don’t know whether or not this has ever been our song of the day, but if I had to say a song that should be played all I can think is that we should all be listening to Pantera’s Walk.

To all the haters out there, RE-SPECT, WALK.   Walk on home boy.  You don’t have to like them, but you have to respect them.  The Drive for 5 is over, the New England Patriots are the greatest football team ever, and Tom Brady is better than Joe Montana.  Sorry Arleigh, it’s true.

Anime You Should Be Watching: Gate


I don’t know about anyone else, but when I was a kid, teen, young adult, and now older adult, I’d often fantasize about being able to go back in time with a modern military and just be some kind of unstoppable juggernaut.  Imagine bringing a machine gun to the Revolutionary War, or even a trained sniper squad capable of picking off the enemy generals the minute they peeked their heads out of a door.  Well, what if a portal appeared in the middle of New York City and out poured an army, comprised of fantasy blend medieval times soldiers (orcs and dragons along with humans, but only armed with swords and shields and bows and arrows)?  No doubt there would be a good amount of civilian deaths in the first chaotic moments, but when the national guard would be mobilized, there’s little doubt that it would be a complete rout.  This is more or less the idea behind Gate, which came out in the later half of 2015.

gateThis is very much a “wouldn’t it be cool if…” sort of anime.  You just need look no further than the protagonist, Yoji Itami.  Our first encounter with him makes us believe that he’s your average, everyday otaku, in Ginza for a doujinshi event when the portal opens and the army from another world appears.  But he’s obviously more than your average otaku, because while everyone else is panicking, he more or less takes control and directs the civilians on where to go and tells the police pretty much how to do their jobs, even going so far as to kill one of the enemy soldiers in hand to hand combat.  We soon find out that he is an JSDF officer (Japan Self Defense Force, think National Guard because Japan hasn’t technically been allowed to have a military since WWII) and through the course of the show we find out that not only is this slacker a soldier, but he’s also gone through Ranger and Special Forces training.

Japan sends approximately a brigade sized force through the gate to the other side, where they set up their base.  Naturally, the native forces do not fully comprehend just how much a disadvantage they’re at until the Battle of Arnus Hill.

Following this slaughter, Japan proceeds to set up shop, and because they’re Japan and not the US, Russia, or China (these three nations are also shown here, as less than noble as one would expect from a show made in Japan) instead of moving to conquer the region, they strive to win the hearts and minds of the populace and seek a peaceful solution to the situation that the Empire has brought upon itself.  Needless to say, the Empire doesn’t exactly want to admit they’re beat and it takes many more displays of overwhelming might before they realize that they’ve made an enemy of a force that they just can’t win against.

Now, this would hardly be a “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” scenario unless the main guy was fawned over by half the females in the land, and sure enough he gets his harem in short order.  First him and his squad rescue an elf girl, Tuka Luna Marceau, whose village was wiped out by a Fire Dragon.  Immediately after he meets up with a young female mage, Lelei La Lelena, and then an immortal female demigod of war, Rory Mercury, who happens to have essentially stopped aging at the age of 16 or so.  She also seems to be the favorite girl for people to cosplay as, possibly because of her affinity to dress in gothic lolita clothes, and also because she’s just plain badass.  Later on his harem adds a dark elf and even a princess from the Empire, in addition to many lesser characters who are more than happy to fawn over him.  For the most part, while he’s not unaware of their interest in him, he is fairly ambivalent towards  their affections.

What really makes this show tick though is that while yes, it kind of is a love letter to the JSDF, and its primary purpose is to show off all manner of military hardware, there’s also a lot of political machinations going on behind the scenes.  A lot of it is showing how the Japanese bureaucracy can make even simple decisions take far longer than it should, although that is a problem with any sort of government really.  But it also shows how the rest of the major powers in the world, in this case the US, Russia, and China, would react if a country like Japan were to come across a vast, untapped resource like this world that can easily be dominated with our modern military might.  They were all too happy to let Japan test the waters and cross the gate first, but once it was found out that they were fighting bows and arrows with Abrams and Cobras, they too wanted to try and get a piece of the action.  The show is 75% military and 25% political, which gives it plenty of action, with some intellectual maneuvering thrown in to keep it all interesting.

Even though I enjoyed quite a bit of it, it does still have its faults.  Like 90% of all anime produced these days, it does suffer from the lack of a real ending.  It’s based on an ongoing series of light novels written by Takumi Yanai, so the ending is basically “Do you want to see more?  Maybe we’ll have another season, but otherwise go read the light novels!”  I’ve long come to accept that this is the way of the industry, but it still leaves you feeling unsatisfied.  Many of the plot threads that were left unresolved probably are being wrapped up as the light novels are written, but that doesn’t really help with the anime, which just kinda swept them under the rug and hoped you forgot about them.  There are also a few scenes that could very well creep some people out, most notably where a 12 year old noble girl becomes infatuated with one of the Japanese diplomats, and during the civil war in order to save her, he announces that she is his fiance, then continues to announce that he fully plans to marry her when she turns 16 (the age at which girls can marry without restriction in Japan).  It’s not being forced on her since she had long been saying she wanted to marry him, but it still reeks too much of otaku wish fulfillment and trying to appease the lolicon crowd.  I don’t have a huge problem with it since it’s all fictional, but it just seemed a bit unnecessary to me, and the story could have advanced just as easily if she were already of age.  It also tends to over glamorize the Japanese SDF, making them out to be nothing but the most humane people in the world.  Well, except when they’re slaughtering their enemies.  It’s kind of understandable, since Yanai is a former JSDF member, but it still kind of comes off as ignoring the faults of any military organization and making them out to be infallible knights of justice.

Still, at the end of the day, it left me wanting to watch more.  The likelihood of more anime being produced is probably low, while it did get a 24 episode run, the disc sales were decent but not stellar.  Unless it’s determined that the light novel sales could be boosted by another season, I don’t expect to get to see more of this in animated form.  Which is a shame, because it deserves a proper ending to one of the more interesting shows to come out in recent years.

Anime of the Year:2016


I gotta admit, of everyone here, I am definitely the guiding light when it comes to anime.  This doesn’t mean that I watch everything and my word is gospel (Ok, my word is always gospel, because I said so) but I do watch a decent amount of every year’s offerings, in the realm of 1/4 to 1/2 of everything that’s been released (but since there’s been 180 titles released this year alone, and I can manage to watch at the most 20 shows a season if I’m super diligent, which anyone here will admit I’m not) the best I can do is 80 shows.  So it’s always possible that something has fallen through the cracks.  But, I like to believe that I have a good finger on the pulse of things that are good.  Hence, while I’ve long heard the cry for Re:Zerorem-x-ramHonestly, I hated the protagonist to death (anyone that’s watched the show sees what I did there) and I cannot in good faith pick that show as my favorite for the year.  But if not this show, then whom?  Yes, there have been multiple shows that are worthy of a high ranking.

Could I have gone with another highly rated show, Erased?

erasedWell, since I’ve brought it up right now, everyone should know that no, this isn’t my top show.  But, let me say that it was high on my list.  The thing about anime is that shows that appear in the fall and winter seasons tend to be much more highly ranked because they are much more recent in the otaku consciousness.  The fact that a show like Erased, which premiered in the winter of 2016, has managed to keep itself in my otaku brain, speaks volumes for it.  However, as much as I loved this show, it still is not #1 for the year in my expert mind.

Frankly, I could lead you, the viewer, on through many, many more shows, and honestly you’d be better off knowing about them, but really, that’s just not my style.  The last two shows I told you about are ones that I felt everyone reading this blog should experience, whether you’re a fan of anime or not.  Anime fans will have watched all these shows and then some, because that’s what us otaku do.  But for the otaku crowd, who may or may not have been reading this far to see what I think is the creme de la creme, my vote goes, without a doubt, to KonoSuba, or as it’s known in its full name, as Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!

konosubaSee, the thing about this show is, it has everything that a proper otaku loves, and it knows it.  It’s a complete parody of the whole “Loser otaku gets transported to a fantasy world and manages to kick ass while he’s there” trope, but it still manages to play it off and make it fun.  Totally different from Re:Zero, where the protagonist is flawed, to the point you hate his guts and want him dead.  In KonoSuba, the protagonist is certainly flawed, but in a way that’s completely believable, yet hilarious.  While with Re:Zero, naturally you can look at the situation and agree that, yes, if you or I were put in that situation, we’d likely behave in a very similar way, Konosuba instead says “To hell with realism, isn’t this how you’d want to act?”  And the thing is, the vast majority of us don’t want actual realism in our anime.  We want escapist fantasy.  KonoSuba gives us that in spades.  It’s a total parody of the whole “loser dropped into the fantasy world” premise that so many of us desire, without getting into the more realistic aspects that Re:Zero provides, like the fact that the loser dropped into the fantasy setting will remain a loser.

Again, let me tell you, this list is completely subjective.  If you follow my god-like opinions, then KonoSuba is the obvious choice for Anime of the Year in 2016.  However, if you’re a heretic, and would rather listen to the words that the godless believers would spout, then by all means, check out Re:Zero.  It’s probably better than I plan on listing it, because I cannot stand the kind of protagonist they give us, but maybe you, the readers, have a lot more tolerance than I do.