I haven’t been posting a lot lately. I do have various themes to write about, actually I’m collecting them on a sticky note, it’s just that I haven’t actually been watching a lot of anime lately, so I first wanted to enrich the blog with some direct anime discussion, based on my recent experienced, before even more rants about fandoms and phrases and opinions in general.
It’s not that I’m no longer interested in anime, but in the past months, it had to share my time with my rediscovered enjoyment of western media. Specifically, I just got into Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy franchise (those things are ridiculously deep), and also started to watch Stargate SG-1 from the beginning. I’m learning to appreciate anime’s brevity from a whole new angle. SG-1 alone has twice as many episodes as Legend of the Galactic Heroes, each of which are twice as long. It’s not even just the filler episodes, but the whole directing. 30 second scenery shots, ten seconds of dialogue pauses, even the OP is slow! And this is supposed to be American TV’s idea of explodey action! If an anime would have this many atmospheric scenes, it would be called an atmospheric ~healing~ anime by half of the fandom, and ~boring~ by the other. By the way, I like it, it’s just interesting to be reminded of how if we look at this the other way around, even the very basic elements of anime, that we take for granted, like the pacing, might be inherently strange for anyone else.
Anyways, welcome to September, the end and beginning of the eternal cycle. Soon one season ends, another one begins, so here we are, vocalizing our disappointments and pleasant surprises of this season, and our hopes and wishes for the upcoming one. As usual, I’m only listing that I have a reasonable chance of checking out,
in descending order of expectations actually, after finishing the list, I just realized that I can barely find anything that I’m truly hyped for, and very few that I truly expect to be crap but still checking out, so no, they are in no meaningful order:
Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai!
Ok, you know what? I’m officially a KyoAni fanboy. I sometimes hold rants about how they are only adapting pre-existing great novels, not writing them, so talking about KyoAni as if it would imply a certain content style is misleading. Haruhi, Nichijou, Clannad, K-on, or Hyouka, are as different from each other, as they are from every other series around them.
On the other hand, even if that’s the case, they all ended up being quite awesome anyways. So it’s either a HUUUGE coincidence, or besides fancy animation, KyoAni’s other talent is that of a critic; picking up great series from others, knowing that their fandom will like them. So here is Chuu-2 Byou, the first case everwhere they are not just browsing around the list of published novels, manga, and VNs, but from a light novel that they directly published after picking up the unpublished manuscript at a competition, that was specifically designed by them to look for new source materials. In a way this is the closest we have ever been to a “KyoAni-original” story.
On one hand, Urobuchi Gen. On the other hand, I’m wondering if after his recent double-success with Madoka and Fate/Zero, he is inevitably facing a hype backlash comparable to what Jun Maeda got, as people are getting more familiar with his style, and more interested in proving how overrated he is for being predictable. Just as Maeda has his “immature girls dying in the snow” formula, but Gen also has his own “Hapiness is a false emotion, the universe is evil, and we will all end up getting killed by an eldritch abomination” -thing, that will also get tiresome soon.
Not that I particularly cared about that, I’m excited about this new series anways, the premise sounds intriguing. A world where mental states can be easily measured in a rating? That could go in many ways, though my first guess is still that an eldritch abomination will feature into the story. Either that, or it will end up being a more oppressive dystopia than 1984.
Shin Sekai Yori
After watching the trailer, I can’t help but feel that it’s basically Fractale, with spooky music in the backround. The whole post-civilization setting wit the grassy mounds, ancient ruins, not to mention the obvious bad guys in the ridiculous ceremonial outfits, all just screams the same atmosphere. Then again, I had no problem with Fractale’s atmosphere, per se. In fact, I quite liked it. It has the same Cosy Catastrophe feeling as the one in Scrapped Princess, or Humanity Has Declined, or Sora no Woto. Just because we have no more cities, doesn’t mean that everything must be grey like in Fallout, in fact quite the opposite. Life goes on, even without us.
Currently reading it. Finished one route. Still not seeing it. Will read more.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
I love shoujo series, even though I have barely seen any. Lovely Complex, Kimi ni Todoke, and Kaichou wa maid-sama. That’s it. Even though I keep hearing about all these crappy shoujo romances that are apparently a combination o Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, with Mary Sue heroines getting dominated by rapists and stalkers, to me, the label always meant eccentric characters, (and not “Shana-clone #243” eccentric, or “Rei/Nagato-clone #143” eccentric, but genuinely amusing), and that art style that can be quite realistic and serious, but sometimes still turns into chibi or adds colored backgrounds for great comedic effect.
Apparently I’m just that good at picking out series that are not… about misogyny, I guess?
Yes, I continue to be more interested in the show’s occasional insights about the manga industry, and about creating art in geneeral, than the actual plot. It’s much less pretentous than many other stories with an artist plotline, that the writers usually grab to channel their own hatred of executives, and the industry, and their audience, and competition, so they end up with a show that only reveals their own warped worldview.
Bakuman is a fairly realistic, honest representation of the fact that mangaka are inevitably part of an industry, and trying to be popular is the goal, no matter how we look at it.
Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo
If you are only watching one trashy Light Novel series in this season, it should be Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo.
Assuming that just like me, you are also on your way of growing out your incest fetish and getting interested in brain-damaged girls, as seen in Denpa Onna.
Sukitte Ii Na Yo
Aaaah, so that’s what everyone meant when complaining about typical shoujo series! Well, I’m watching it anyways, at least it seems to have nice production values based on the promo art, and who knows, maybe it will turn out that I am right, and everyone else is wrong, just like usual, and most shoujo series are secretly all about refreshingly quirky characters and good comedic timing, that people didn’t notice because they were preoccupied with tending their prejudices.
Besides, it looks heartwarming.
Can’t tell if serious action story, or otaku fantasy. The PV has scenes of a schoolgirl getting exposed, but also lots of adult characters with non-traditional designs, that are more common in genuinely original stories. Worth a try.
Also, we can’t rule out that it will be somewhre in-between the two, a somehow basic and unapologetically otaku-oriented adventure story, that still takes itself seriously and/or has it’s moments of original thought.
We have no information about this one, other than the fact that it’s title is “K”. Which is probably the least amount of data we ever had about an anime in the history of the industry! Isn’t that enough to feel hyped?
The PV itself only provided two clues, first that it has some really nice animaton, and that it seems to be a reverse harem. Which are two equally shallow bits of infomation, one good and one bad, so they also only balance each other out.
Steins;Gate was great, even Chaos;Head was fine, until the VNs first ending after which I ragequit and never actually watched the anime.
That’s about it. there are also the following series that you might want to check out if you are not me:
Girls und Panzer – it might be funny, I guess.
Hayate the Combat Butler! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – sequel
Haitai Nanafa – ~healing~
Jormungand – second half/sequel
Kamisama Hajimemashita – female-oriented fanservice series
Litchi DE Hikari Club – You know, if you are into insane nazi gay torture porn
Magi – Labyrinth of Magic – for a shonn fighter series, at least it has style
Code:Breaker – shounen
Medaka Box Abnormal – sequel
Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne – if you didn’t heed my advice about Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo.
Seitokai no Ichizon 2 – sequel
To Love-Ru Darkness – sequel
Zetsuen no Tempest – If you would have still liked Guilty Crown without the ironic hype.