The Best Anime Of 2014 – Part 3: VMA Awards

There’s a running joke in Shirobako about how the director will tell every department involved in making the anime that they are the most important in ensuring that the anime turns out good. They play it for laughs but the director is more right then not; each department and person is needed to give their best or else it will show in the final product somehow. It’s tempting to call the awards here – the Voice, Music, and Animation Awards – the icing on the cake awards, implying the quality of the underlying cake is unaffected by these VMA categories, but that’s just wrong. The easiest way to show this is if one had a magic wand and could change the anime series who will win the awards below with an “average” or even a “poor” level substitute and see how the series would have fared.

Or maybe the ability to jump to alternative world lines would be easier :) .

So, let’s see who’s won this year’s VMA Awards.

Continue reading The Best Anime Of 2014 – Part 3: VMA Awards

Test Your Anime Knowledge – Anime Quiz 8

I think I have a pretty typical knowledge and feel for classical music – i.e. very little – so it’s hard to judge the musical performances in Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso beyond what the various characters communicate to the viewer. However, this week on Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, episode 18, I was following along with the musical performance like normal when, all of the sudden, I started singing the words ‘Once upon a Dream’ from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty in time with the piano playing and then belatedly realized – hey, I know this song!. Finally, my meager knowledge of classical music came into play and I watched as a whole new avenue to appreciate and love Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso opened up. I didn’t have to be told it was an awesome performance; I knew it was an awesome performance and that was such a wonderful feeling. When they were done playing, I had to restrain myself because I almost jumped out of my seat to applaud loudly.

This series has been underappreciated from the start.

And speaking of under-appreciation, there’s a question on this week’s quiz that focuses on someone whose definitely underappreciated right now.

Continue reading Test Your Anime Knowledge – Anime Quiz 8

Anime Quiz 7 Answers

Merry Christmas in February!

Long time readers might remember that I’ve mentioned this family-created holiday in the past. For those that don’t know what Christmas in February is, it started over 15 years ago. My family makes too many Christmas cookies and some are always left over after New Years Day. They’d go to the freezer until Christmas cookies sounded good again – February – and we’d pair the cookies with a nice meal (a spare turkey bought super cheap at Thanksgiving or a spare ham/rack of ribs bought cheap for Christmas or New Years Day). It was a very short leap before we started to call this meal Christmas in February and for several years that’s as far as it went. Then a couple decorations were put up, most often bought in the after Christmas clearances and hadn’t been put away yet. Then a few years later we put up a cute little foot high Christmas tree and then we started buying a small gift for everyone and then some of the outdoor Christmas lights are left up and then a bigger Christmas tree was bought on clearance from Wal-mart and suddenly my family spends all of January looking forward to Christmas in February

And it’s not hard to see why. Christmas in February has most of the best parts of Christmas without the pressure and hassle of the real holiday and because we can pick the day to celebrate it, it’s even convenient for everyone as well.

This year the original plan was for me to write a two table continuation of my Christmas Dungeons and Dragons module and I spent all this week getting it ready but last minute cancellations due to the impending winter storm shelved the continuation for now. (Instead, the family and friends that are coming will play Werewolf, Apples to Apples, Cranium or something similar.)

So, Merry Christmas in February everyone! Tomorrow, I’m going to feast on Fried Chicken and quite possibly the best tasting homemade Kolbasa I’ve ever had, homemade Mac’n’cheese, fried Cubed Potatoes (seasoned with onion soup mix and season salt), and all the Christmas cookies I can eat :) .

And here’s the answers to this week’s anime quiz.

Continue reading Anime Quiz 7 Answers

The Best Anime Of 2014 – Part 2: Genre and General Story Awards

Characters, even the most excellent, need something to happen around them to give them an opportunity to be excellent. So, as we build towards the countdown of the best anime of the year, we next turn our focus to those anime that excelled in a genre format and/or general story way – Most Entertaining or Best Drama, for instance.

And another small change that I made to this year’s awards really helped me here. Before, I’d always pick the nominees for each category by season (to mean that they won their respective category for that season) which never presented much of a problem in the character awards because there’s always good characters to find each season. However, for awards like “Best Action” or “Best Slice of Life” there are oftentimes seasons where there is no standout example to pick. The trying to pick something for each season for each award would often take a long time as I tried to figure out how to put square shows into round award categories. The solution – which totally took way too long for me to figure out – was to just list those nominees that I truly thought excelled in the category with no regard to what season they belonged to.

K.I.S.S. – Keep it simple, stupid! I can’t tell you how often this little saying has been proven true – thanks 7th grade shop class. (Do they still offer shop class anymore? Do the Japanese have shop class and if so, where is my cute girls making stuff in shop class anime?)

Continue reading The Best Anime Of 2014 – Part 2: Genre and General Story Awards

The Best Anime Of 2014 – Part 1: Cast and Character Awards

One of the ways I’ve tried to streamline my yearly award posts this year (which helps to ensure that I’ll finish them) is to focus on those categories that are important enough that someone might be convinced to watch the anime based on the strength that anime has shown in the specific awards. This was always the unsaid reason why I would do these posts – to celebrate the great series from the last year and showcase those series that shouldn’t be missed from the year – and categories like “Best Power” weren’t strong enough to do so.

Continue reading The Best Anime Of 2014 – Part 1: Cast and Character Awards

Test Your Anime Knowledge – Anime Quiz 7

This quiz is the Wednesday of my planned run of anime quizzes. Yes, it’s the hump-quiz, if you will, since six quizzes have come and gone and there’s six more quizzes to do this season. I tried a couple new things on this quiz which hopefully turn out well. Any problems one has for this quiz can be blamed on my picking up of a nearly 400 page book – The Martian by Andy Weir – on Saturday and finishing it within 24 hours, leaving little time for all the things I’m supposed to be working on right now. :)

Continue reading Test Your Anime Knowledge – Anime Quiz 7

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