Meanwhile at The Null Set, steelbound Realizes He Hasn’t Posted Anything For 2 Months and Scrambles to Come Up With Some Content

Along with this realization, I think I solved a question I’ve been pondering for years now – namely how can one best differentiate between a kid and an adult. The answer is that a kid thinks time does not go fast enough and an adult thinks time goes too fast. I fall into the latter category; I’m appalled that I haven’t posted anything in slightly over 2 months but it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s been 2 months. Where does the time go???

For those that are interested in why it’s been so long since I last wrote something, I’ll get to later down the page. First, let’s do some anime blogging and we might as well start with my thoughts on the new shows that made up the Winter 2010 season.

Sora No Woto

Status – Finished
Final Score
–  8/12 B+
In Short
– A-1 deserves praise for attempting a show of the caliber but it really needed to be a 24 episode series. It wasn’t, though, and as a result the pacing is too hurky-jerky, the story-telling is too compressed, and the characters are too flat for the viewer to really enjoy Sora no Woto as much as it should have been. Which is a shame because the world that A-1 created was a really interesting one that truly begged to be investigated more.

Chuu Bra!!

Status – Dropped after 4 episodes
Interim Score
–  2/12 F
In Short
– I knew I shouldn’t have bothered with this show but there was so few shows this season I figured what was the harm in watching a couple of episodes. Mistake, I could live with a merely poorly constructed fan-service show but I was not ready for this show. It was a poorly constructed fan-service show with a quasi-realistic portrayal of young teenage girls as they grapple with self-image issues. Each episode left me feeling unclean and wondering who exactly thought animating this show was a good idea. Thankfully, I could legitimately drop Chuu Bra after 4 episodes when it became apparent that the show, even without accounting for the creep factor, was a lousy show.

Katanagatari

Status – Waiting for the next episode
Interim Score
–  8/12 B+
In Short
– The first 3 episodes of Katanagatari aired this season and while it started off very shaky – each subsequent episode has shown a marked improvement over the previous. I think the key to liking this show is to not create the wrong expectations. This is a NisiOisiN story so even though it’s about sword fighters and medieval Japan – the emphasis is on the characters and their conversations and not on the blood/ gore/ action scenes that one might assume a show like this would focus on.

Seikon no Qwaser

Status – 12 episodes watched and still reluctantly watching
Interim Score
–  3/12 D
In Short
– For a show that tries to push the envelope in terms of fan-service, you’d think the animators could come up with something that wasn’t so boring. Scenes that should shock or titillate more-often-then-not leave me yawning, wishing that I could bean some sense into the manga/anime creators that think T&A is all that’s needed to carry a show. Sometimes I think they forget that the internet exists. The sole saving grace to Seikon no Qwaser is that one character is being voiced by Aya Hirano (aka Haruhi) and she’s absolutely awesome – truly one of her best efforts to date. It’s not enough to make this show a worthwhile watch to the vast majority of anime watchers but it is something.

Omamori Himari

Status – Dropped after 7 episodes
Interim Score
–  5/12 C+
In Short
– I continue to be weak against anime shows that feature the supernatural/Japanese religious elements so when a show like Omamori Himari comes along with it’s generic blandness and it happens to have a supernatural element to it – I end up watching it longer then it deserves and having a higher opinion of it then it deserves. It wasn’t a horrible show and I’d probably have finished watching it except that I decided one day that I was sick of the all the not-really-horrible but not-really-good shows I was watching and dropped it along with a few others.

Ladies versus Butlers!

Status – Finished
Final Score
–  4/12 C
In Short
– And yet somehow I finished this show,  though in my defense this show did have some potential and I found the opening song catchy. If they had skipped the harem of girls with one-dimensional personalities and focused on the triangle of the main guy and the two girls – drill hair and childhood friend it might even had been a good show but this is Xebec were talking about so that was just wishful thinking. This was probably the least painful fan-service show to watch of the season so if you absolutely needed your fix this was your bet.

Durarara!!

Status – 13 episodes watched and impatient for more
Interim Score
–  10.5/12 Strong A
In Short
– One of the best new shows of the season. For those that wanted Durarara to be Baccano 2, this first half of the show was probably a big disappointment. The very minimal body count and focus on character/story development was just two ways Durarara felt unBaccano-like. I’ll admit that this desire clouded my feelings for a while but I eventually got over it when I realized that Durarara was going to be 24 episodes long and it had the time to develop it’s characters in ways that Baccano didn’t and because the animators started to reveal parts of the larger plot of Durarara and it became interesting in it’s own way. I totally psyched for the second half.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu

Status – Dropped after 7 episodes
Interim Score
–  6/12 B-
In Short
– Another casualty along with Omamori Himari; I thought it started strong but it began to bog down in the middle and I wasn’t in the mood that day to put up with a show that could obviously being doing much better. Since then I’ve kinda felt bad about dropping it but I’ve yet to feel the urge to pick up where I left off so I guess it’s just best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Dance In The Vampire Bund

Status – 9 episodes watched and a desire to finish
Interim Score
–  6/12 B-
In Short
– I really had high hopes for this and I thought the first episode was brilliant but my disappointment grew as I kept waiting for the show to settle down and start telling a story.  since I like the Shaft/Shinbou combo I didn’t want to give up on it so after the sixth episode I decided to put it aside till I had all the episodes and had the ability to watch them together. Some shows, I’ve realized, work better when marathoned and just the other day I watched episodes 7-9 together and I liked it more than I was expecting. I hope this bodes well for the rest of the series.

Ookami Kakushi

Status – Dropped after 7 episodes
Interim Score
–  6/12 B-
In Short
– Another not-really-bad but not-really-good show that I decided to drop. In it’s favor was the fact that a competent animation studio was animating this and not Studio Deen who had done the previous Ryuukishi07 shows (Higurashi, Umineko no Naku Koro ni). This positive is negated by the larger problem of the source material recycling so much of the show’s content from those previous Ryuukishi07 shows. Also, I’ve gotten tired of how all these shows are placed 25+ years ago – I’m starting to think Ryuukishi either lacks the will to figure out how to do a mystery/horror series where the characters have access to cell phones, GPS devices, and the internet or lacks the intelligence to write a new story that doesn’t rip off his/her/its one other story idea.

Hanamaru Youchien

Status – Finished and Wishing for Season 2
Final Score
–  12/12 Perfect
In Short
– Saved the best for last. I can still remember how utterly stupefied I was when it was announced that Gainax’s next series was going to be Hanamaru Youchien. This series had J.C. Staff written all over it, why was Gainax doing this? I checked the manga out and was decidedly underwhelmed after reading the first 10 chapters. With absolutely no confidence that Hanamaru Youchien was going to be good, imagine my surprise when Gainax cranked this out of the stadium. Who knew the studio known for it’s hot-blooded action series could do such a warm, relaxing, cute, funny series. I think Gainax just became my preferred studio to do the anime for Yotsuba if/when the creator ever allows one to get made. Gainax also deserves tons of praise for having a different ending song/animation for each episode; I loved all the different songs and subjects. (Now if only KyoAni could do the same thing with K-On.)

I really should add one final show – Hidemari Sketch x ☆☆☆ (aka season 3) – since it aired this season as well but I’ve just seen the first couple of episodes and so I don’t have a firm opinion on it yet. After purging all the bad – mediocre shows of this season, I needed something to fill the space and decided it was time to catch myself up on this series and started with the first series. I plan on making a post about all the series I’ve been watching instead of the current crop of shows so look for my thoughts on this Shaft/Shinbou series soon.

And maybe I’ll even get around to doing my top shows of 2009 already and talking about the new spring 2010 shows as well. Now onto where I was for 2 months. 🙂

If it was just up to me, I’d probably just pretend nothing happened and keep blogging but I’m pretty sure there are at least a few people who were wondering what happened to me and so I’ll give a condensed version of the various reasons and we can go from there.

A normal February is a pretty depressing month already but this one was a bit harder to get through than most. The weather was truly atrocious; it wasn’t so much the almost unending amount of snow we got (about 45 inches) but the complete lack of sunlight we had. I checked online and for the entire month of February we had 7 hours of clear skies. It didn’t break down how much of those 7 hours occurred during daylight or at night but even in all 7 hours happened during daylight hours and I happened to be awake – it still essentially meant I went a month without seeing the sun.

Also weighing on my mind was that this February was the one year anniversary of my grandma passing. I’ll get myself wound up in anger if I think about it too much so I’ll just say that I consider my 3 aunts the reason why my grandma isn’t living today. Also, it’s very important for everyone to decide how much or how little medical care they want and get it in writing because you can’t rely on your family to have your best interests at heart – you could get admitted to the hospital for a serious but not life threatening reason and in the course of treatment your family could decide to remove your feeding tube and let you starve to death over the course of 3 weeks.

Factor in a really weak anime season and I just didn’t feel like talking about anime or do much of anything. March rolled around and almost like a switch the weather turned gorgeous. Temperatures shot up into the 60’s and 70’s and it was wall-to-wall sunny. I spent as much time as I could outside and the sight of the first flowers of the season  – crocuses – went a long way to improve my mood. I started to feel the urge to write again but I kept getting blocked.

I volunteered to be the Dungeon Master in a 6 part campaign for my sister, brother-in-law, and friends in Dungeons & Dragons. We were going to use a printed campaign but we were not satisfied with the quality of writing so I further volunteered to write one myself and it takes an amazingly large amount of time to create a halfway decent adventure. I also picked up a temporary job working for the census and it’s been leaving me really tuckered out when I get home at night. And of course to blog about anime I first need to watch anime. And I’ve also been slowly working on my top anime of 2009 posts because I’d like all the parts to be done or almost done when I start posting them. And once it got to be a long time between posts I felt reluctant to explain why it’s been a long time because I started a blog talk about anime and a little SF, not to be a personal blog.

As a result, even though I’ve been meaning to start writing again it’s been almost a month before I had the chance to sit down and write something I could publish. I guess at this point I should just listen to the wise words from Manabi Straight and say, “Forward, Go!!” and get back to blogging.

One guess on what’s one of my favorite new shows.

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8 thoughts on “Meanwhile at The Null Set, steelbound Realizes He Hasn’t Posted Anything For 2 Months and Scrambles to Come Up With Some Content”

  1. February and March were terrible months in Ohio as well…and you’re more north than me.

    That said, I’m glad you’re back and not quitting. I’ve been so worried about you!

    Like

  2. I am glad you are back 🙂

    Oh yes, you are right about time! I am amazed how fast it moves now…

    Sorry to hear about your grandma… It is sad when relatives don’t have your best interests in mind…

    It sounds like February was not a good month for you.

    It is nice that you volunteered for your sister. I hope you enjoyed writing 🙂

    Have fun blogging 🙂

    Like

  3. @Janette: Sorry to have worried you. I think I’d like to participate, if only to see how badly I’ll lose in my first match up. 🙂

    @Kitsune, udllpn, Joojoobees: thanks.

    Like

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