Day 11 – Surprise! – The 12 Days of Anime

Once a show has been on the air for awhile it is often possible to accurately gauge the future quality and what the show’s return on time invested by the viewer will be to a very narrow degree. This applies to very great series, very bad series, and everything in-between.

(For me, if it feels like a series could maybe, potentially get better in the future – above the level it’s currently at – then I will often stick with it to see if this potential is realized. This accounts for probably most of the bad series that I actually finish.)

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Day 10 – In Shambles and Shambling Along – The 12 Days of Anime

If Grisaia no Rakuen is remembered for it’s use of trauma and drama as a sledgehammer in the hands of an old muscleman whose been blindfolded, spun around seven times, and told to split a watermelon 20 feet away to succeed in getting the viewers to feel for it’s characters then School Live (Gakkou Gurashi!) will be remembered as being the wet noodle in the hand of a little kid, similarly blindfolded, spun around, and then tied to cinder blocks who nonetheless splits that watermelon into perfect little squares.

This is a long winded – I’m getting close to my bedtime – way of saying that I frequently had more than a few tears in my eye as I watched Gakkou Gurashi!. What could have been a lowly one-trick “what a twist” series or a generic knockoff of better series turned out to be one of best series of the year.

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Day 9 – Mea Culpa – The 12 Days of Anime

I am a horrible human being.

Sometimes how I respond to an anime is all I need to remind myself of this. For instance, I spent the entire run of Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story) worried that I wasn’t going to entertained enough because there was no way having the main couple stay together through the run of the series was going to be provide enough story and tension to fill up a two cour series. Yes, I’d feel twinges of guilt whenever I wish something “dramatic” would happen between Takeo and Rinko but that didn’t stop me wishing it at least once a week during the airing of Ore Monogatari!!. That I was proven wrong – that it was possible to construct a romantic comedy series where the main couple got together at the beginning and was largely drama free – was one of the good highlights of the year.

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Day 8 – Wait! This Is Going to Actually Work?! – The 12 Days of Anime

Know thyself!!

Today’s post will be short-ish since I did not plan ahead enough to address the typical low battery feeling of Monday; so, I’m going to pick a moment that is well-known enough that it needs little introduction.

One of the things “everyone” knows about anime that is actually true (as opposed to the false ones like: it’s only for kids, it’s just animated T & A, it’s super violent) is that anime contains some very odd shows.

These odd shows don’t always work, but, often enough they do. I, therefore, make sure to check out these strange series at the start of each season. The question that I ask myself is – Is this show going to work? In the case of this year’s Ninja Slayer, the answer was no. For Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches the answer was kind of. For Show By Rock!! and Joukamachi no Dandelion the answer was yes.

Today’s moment is the moment where the most unlikeliest series convinced me that it was going to work. That anime was …

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Day 7 – Living Up to Expectations – The 12 Days of Anime

To be honest I had an entirely different plan for today’s moment but that got thrown out the window as I watched the final episode of (what will hopefully be the first season of) One Punch Man today.

It pretty much left me a pile of jelly goo from awesomeness overload. It’s been several hours now and my brain is starting to think coherent thoughts again and my bones have reasserted their dominance over my physical form. My equilibrium still feels off, so please bear with me.

That I include this final episode of One Punch Man is beyond question, but, the question to me was how. I still stand by my statement that the previously talked about scene from Hibike! Euphonium is the best animated television scene from 2015 so I can’t just call out the animation.

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Day 6 – In An Alternative Universe Somewhere Else – The 12 Days of Anime

One of the problems animation studios face is never having enough time to do their work. Just about everyone knows this feeling in their respective areas of activity, including anime bloggers trying to finish their Saturday 12 Days of Anime post while it’s still Saturday somewhere in the world. Some people will froth at the mouth if a series misses it’s weekly broadcast or a movie that should have come out years ago keeps getting pushed back but, I try to cut these overworked studios as much slack as possible.

Even so, this perpetual rush-rush negatively impacts the general quality of anime series with the studios that best handle it being the ones that generally make the best anime. Most of the time it’s the animation that obviously wasn’t given sufficient time. More rarely, it’s the writing of the series that has been impacted. These series will often feel like they’re almost great or maybe they start great then slowly lose it or were a mess before miraculously finishing really strong.

Often, there is a moment where the viewer realizes that the anime they are watching genuinely had the chance at being a great series but needing a little more something, probably time and maybe a bit more talent. Today’s moment is the moment in 2015 where I most strongly felt that.

Continue reading Day 6 – In An Alternative Universe Somewhere Else – The 12 Days of Anime

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