The 12 Days of Anime Christmas – Day 1: Like a Junkyard Dog

This is going to end spectacularly bad :P . Last year I had most of my twelve days of Christmas posts and my Secret Santa review written at this point of the month. This year I have nothing ready. So, if I am spectacularly lucky and can get through these 12 Days of Christmas this will be the third year of participating :) .

For today I am going back to February of this year and start with what turned out to be my favorite moment from anime in 2014 – Hunter x Hunter episode 116 where Gon faces Pitou.

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The Wonderful Frustration That is Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru

With every new season of anime there is a scramble by viewers to take the measure of each new anime – how good is it and how good (or bad) will it be. With even moderate experience with anime it’s possible to accurately guess the future prospects of roughly 90% to 95% anime after a few episodes. (Hence the popularity of the 3 episode test.) Some series can be a little stubborn like this season’s Shirobako; it was episode 5 before I was sure that Shirobako will be the mature office drama that I’ve been wanting done in anime form for a long time.

Then there’s series like Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru. It took nine – yes, nine – of it’s twelve episodes before the potentialities snapped into place and I can finally assert and predict that Yuuki Yunua wa Yuusha de Aru belongs with other titans of the season: Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis, Shirobako, and Parasyte.

Episode 9 of Yuki Yuna is a Hero was a spectacularly good episode, one of the best across all anime for this season; but, it’s not like this series has been slacking before this episode. Instead, from episode 1 this original series struck off the well-beaten path to chart it’s own course and it was difficult to figure out if it would be lost in the wilds or if would it find it’s destination.

I now think Yuki Yuna is a Hero will find it’s destination and the viewers that traveled with it will be rewarded for sticking with it. How we will rewarded remains to be seen. In light of a recent episode from another anime that really jolted me, I’m now hoping Yuki Yuna is a Hero will not end in a way that right now seems very possible. (Be warned there will be spoilers.)

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The Difference Between Success and Failure is Small – A Reflection on MAL’s Fantasy Anime League so Far This Season

An ill-timed decision to try out the computer game Civilization V and the subsequent major loss of free time has left The Null Set very quiet this month of October. To be fair to Civ 5, it’s only about 85% to blame. I put off the final look to the Summer season after starting Haikyuu!! and realizing it would be incomplete without accounting for Haikyuu!!’s performance. I intend to get to an impressions post for this season up already but I keep finding titles worth watching – the latest, Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru. Looking around for something to write about before we slip into November I remembered the calculations I did for the current fall season of MAL’s Fantasy Anime League and thought someone would be interested in them.

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What in the Blue Blazes is Aoi Honoo?

I might not have a Twitter account but I do have a handful of Twitter accounts bookmarked that I follow and about a month ago I started noticing references to a show called Aoi Honoo. The screenshots frequently made me laugh out loud but I was hesitant to give the show a chance because it was a live-action show and not an anime. The only live action Japanese TV series I’d watched was about half of the live-action Sailor Moon series 10 years ago which left me with the impression to expect this format to lack the ability to be taken seriously and I shied away from Japanese live-action TV series ever since.

I recently finally gave in when I had no anime in the queue to watch and I was bored.

Good thing I did.

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Sword Art Online is Annoyingly Bad

That Sword Art Online is annoying bad is, by no means, a recent realization on my part. I went into this second season fully expecting it to be. What does continue to surprise me is how well Sword Art Online can constantly find new ways to convince me that it is so annoying bad.

The recently aired episode 11 of the second season is hardily that different in this regard. I could point out several of the small to medium irking facets of the type common to each episode of Sword Art Online. However, there was a big whopper in this episode that I couldn’t pass over without comment.

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