Summer 2014 Mid-Season Anime Report – Part 2: #13 to #9, The Okay Stuff

[WhyNot] Free! Eternal Summer - 01 [D87811FC].mkv_snapshot_00.23_[2014.08.24_03.29.47]What’s strange about this season of anime is that it appears to feature anime series that are either not very good (hence the 10 series covered yesterday) or pretty good (the 8 series to be covered in the near future) with few series left in the middle ground of mediocrity. The five series that currently make up this group are featured below. My gut tells me that most of these series will raise up or stumble further before the end of the season. To find out if that will happen, don’t forget to tune back in for the season in review post. :)

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Summer 2014 Mid-Season Anime Report – Part 1: #23 to #14, The Stuff I Don’t Like

[Commie] Hanamonogatari [E055B3E8].mkv_snapshot_01.02.26_[2014.08.19_22.32.57]Before I start, I want to point out the new banner. I felt it was time to give the best anime currently airing some of the attention it deserves. If you’re not watching Hunter x Hunter then I don’t want to hear your complaints about the types of anime series that get made nowadays.

Moving on, we’ve now reached the halfway point of the summer season and it’s turned out to be a pretty good season for anime. If the spring continuing series had been a stronger group then this season might have placed somewhere near the top for best anime season. (This statement might be amended later if I can find the time to try Haikyuu!! and Baby Steps and like them.)

For this post, I’m not doing anything fancy; instead, I’m doing a straight countdown towards the best anime of the season starting with the worst of the worst …

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Majimoji Rurumo ep. 6 – *Dropped*

angry_glare
I am not pleased. Majimoji Rurumo no longer deserves its own screenshots.

Normally, I’d leave discussing why I dropped a series for the mid-season post or season review post because, much like a child, one shouldn’t reinforce bad behavior by drawing attention to it. However, episode 6 of Majimoji Rurumo really got my blood boiling and I’m not going to be satisfied with just burying it amongst all the praise I’ll have for other series like Sabagebu! and Barakamon at a later point; so, here we are.

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Studio Ghibli is Already Dead

spirited_away_01The much talked recent comments by Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki caused a stir and it wasn’t hard to guess why. To fans of animation, Studio Ghibli is one of the standard bearers of the art form. To everyone else, Studio Ghibli is the only redeemable part of the whole tawdry anime genre that is otherwise solely devoted to nudity and violence. What most people seemed to miss is that Studio Ghibli has been effectively dead since Hayao Miyazaki retired because Studio Ghibli has almost always been merely a vehicle to produce Hayao Miyazaki movies.

So no matter what happens in the future – barring something along the lines of pulling a younger Hayao Miyazaki from an alternative timeline – Studio Ghibli is now a different beast that happens to share the same name and history of an earlier animation company. Kind of like how the new Cleveland Browns football team is technically a continuation of the earlier franchise when in reality the original franchise left the city and became the Baltimore Ravens.

Names have power, though, and keeping the Studio Ghibli name going is something I and many other people definitely want to see happen. Pursuant to that happening I have a few suggestions.

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Finding a Way To Make the Wonky MAL Scores Useful

[Anime-Koi] Sabagebu! - 04 [h264-720p][A829CB07].mkv_snapshot_12.01_[2014.08.09_02.25.53]

I’m hardly the first person to realize the scores found on My Anime List (MAL) are not nearly as helpful as they should be. I could disparage the many users that seem allergic to using the bottom half of the grading scale or the owners of MAL for the current system and its lack of features; but, I’d rather be constructive which is why I was thrilled to discover the MAL Score Progressions club.

The MAL Score Progressions club attempts to extract actual useful data from the scores of currently airing anime.

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My Problem with –ists Who Believe in –isms

Ancillary_Justice_horizThe Null Set is supposed to have a little SF sprinkled in between its coverage of anime but I’ve been neglecting that promise of late. Sure, I discussed the classic era of the TV series Doctor Who back on March 24, 2014 but one has to go back to April 5, 2013 to find the last time I talked about print SF (a review of the March 2013 issue of Asimov’s SF Magazine). So, being semi caught up with anime I decided to cast around for something SF to discuss. I remembered reading a review of a book that I’d just finished that rubbed me the wrong way because I thought it did a great disservice to the book and now here we are.

The book is Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie.

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