E. M. Neftelberg’s Books & Things

Hello! I’m E. M. Neftelberg! I’m an author, enthusiast, and general encourage-r of all things kind and good! Below are some things you may enjoy! Continue reading


The Edge of Dawn – Fire Emblem: Three Houses and the Legacy it Follows

Note: This review will not contain any plot spoilers! It will contain character design spoilers.

Picture it: 1 am on a Saturday night. A Nintendo Switch in your hands, freshly unplugged from the charger, and a song both triumphant and sad accompanying your epic exploits across the battlefield. Take out the giant monster on the field. Reach the targeted destination to halt enemy reinforcements. Pull this lever to deactivate the traps on the floor so your units can move freely. Once you finish this battle, you can go back to training up your favorite unit in that skill they need to finally become a certain type of fighter…and you can go catch a fish in the pond, and cook it with another character, and also have lunch with the character you’re trying to woo – but first, the enemy must be routed. It will take the point of literally nodding off over your console before you stop tonight.

That’s how dedicated I became to playing – and completing – Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

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Expositing on the Decline of the Family Adventure

As much as the summer heat takes its toll on my energy, memories of past hot days are filled with family outings. Growing up, we couldn’t afford to go on a fancy vacation every summer – who can? – but we didn’t need to, for the times we did venture out into the sun were day trips that hold a special place in my heart. Wandering boardwalks, visiting family friends, exploring places new and old…even those special vacations were treasured experiences. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that these days are much fewer and farther between than they used to be.

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Longing for Autumn

I’m looking towards the coming cooler months with anticipation. The changing colors, the sense of festivities in the chill air, the comforting and homey scents and foods that transport us to childhood…autumn is a season which seems to stir up nostalgia in many, many people. It’s more than just not wanting to roast the moment you step outside. It’s about a liminal time in the year.

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SARAZANMAI: From the Beginning to the End, We are all Connected

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve been talking about and sharing things regarding Sarazanmai, the latest anime created by Kunihiko Ikuhara of Revolutionary Girl Utena, Mawaru Penguindrum, and Yurikuma Arashi fame. His body of work is known for being wildly and bizarrely quirky, chock full of symbolic meaning that may or may not be explained, stylized repeated sequences, serious themes, and a key trait of keeping you guessing as to what really happened long after you’ve finished engaging with one of his series.

Now, I’m no scholar of Ikuhara’s work, nor am I a smart anime person who knows all of the things about everything who can tell you how you ought to interperet cartoons. What I am is a writer and someone who enjoys stories in all their myriad forms, and I want to chat with you about the themes and ideas I think are important about Sarazanmai. I feel that opening up a dialogue and sharing thoughts is one of the best things you can do when analyzing media, so there’s no pressure to agree, disagree, validate, or be snooty about perceiving something one way or the other. Alright? Alright. Continue reading