With the slowly shortening days harkening the cold desolation of winter it shouldn’t surprise one when attempts to prolong the impression of summer’s warmth are taken. In my case I learned many years ago that geraniums are super-hardy for an annual flower and will hang on and bloom till a true freeze comes. Since then, I grow one container of geraniums every year with the intent to see how deep into winter I can keep them alive, reasoning to myself that it’s not really winter yet if there’s still a green plant flowering. Making it to December is almost a yearly occurrence and harvesting the last bouquet of flowers means it’s normally almost Christmas before I’m forced to admit it’s winter.
This year as I moved the geranium pot into it’s sheltered place for Operation Enduring Summer I discovered a stowaway in the pot, an orange mini-zinnia plant. I didn’t think much of it since I was focused on the geraniums. This November was a truly cold and dreary one and it became apparent that the killing freeze was going to come early so I collected the final bouquet of the year on November 11th.
Every day I would contemplate this bouquet to convince myself that winter was not here yet; but, being cut flowers they slowly withered. Eventually, the last flower blooming was the stowaway orange mini-zinnia. In the end it lasted almost a full month as a cut flower, outlasting the geranium flowers by several weeks. That flower’s life was a complete accident and, though, it spent summer secretly growing, it eventually came to represent the entire season to me.
Since I’m an anime (with a little SF thrown in) blogger I thought about how to I could wring a post out about this flower and it hit me. That flower is reminiscent of those anime series that everyone overlooks but they nonetheless became the heavy hitters of the season and are often characterized as the series that save that season of anime.
Continue reading The 12 Days of Anime Christmas – Day 4: The Nameless One Saves the Day
Last year for the 12 Days of Anime Christmas I talked about how thirsty I had gotten for real knock-down drop dead gorgeous animation and how when Little Witch Academia premiered it’s animation left me feeling slightly buzzed, pleasantly elated, and silly happy.
I wasn’t expecting to have that type of reaction from anime again but a year later and here we are again. This time the culprit is episode 3 of the OVA Yozakura Quartet – Tsuki ni Naku – more specifically, the fight between the two werewolves.
Continue reading The 12 Days of Anime Christmas – Day 3: Getting Buzzed on Anime Redux
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.
Continue reading The 12 Days of Anime Christmas – Day 1: Like a Junkyard Dog
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.)
Continue reading The Wonderful Frustration That is Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru
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.
Continue reading The Difference Between Success and Failure is Small – A Reflection on MAL’s Fantasy Anime League so Far This Season