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.
The 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.
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.
The fourth and final anime series that I found myself picking up this season is the comedy series Sabagebu!. I was extremely leery of picking up another cute girls playing Airsoft anime after Gainax’s C3 Club crashed and burned. (Thus furthering the idea that Gainax is now a walking zombie, a cruel parody of what it used to be.) And I wouldn’t have except for this one weird fact I learned about Sabagebu!.
One of the reasons I keep chugging along with this blog is that it enriches my experience with anime. Yes, I sometimes feel forced to watch series I’d rather not – cough, cough SAO II – to stay aware; but, that’s more than balanced out by the positives. For example, a hesitant recommendation by a commenter on my summer season preview post convinced me to give the shoujo series Ao Haru Ride a shot.
Given the title of this post, I can’t pretend the result of this trial is a surprise but pretend anyways and read on to see if watching Ao Haru Ride ended in success or failure.
It hasn’t escaped my attention that when there is a genre of anime that I’m not a fan of there’s always a “but”. For example: I’m not a fan of magic girl series but my top anime of all time is Puella Magi Madoka Magica; I’m not a big fan of mecha series but my #2 top anime of all time is Gurren Lagann; I’m not a big fan of shoujo series but my #3 top anime of all time is Natsume’s Book of Friends; I’m not a big fan of sports anime but I love Cross Game and Chihayafuru (also a shoujo series) to death and recommend them whenever I can. Another example is idol shows – I’m not a fan but my #4 anime of 2012 was AKB0048.
The takeaway from this is, obviously, never make a blanket statement about any type of genre and to keep one’s mind open to trying something new (even if the chances remain high of disliking something). This thought ran through my mind after I heard something about Locodol that tweaked my interest and so, with a big sigh, I queued up Locodol to give it’s shot.