Tag Archives: anime

The Problem with Darker Than Black (and Many Other Anime)

The epic marathon reading of Brandon Sanderson continues – the latest to fall before my hungry eyeballs were the first two 1000+ page novels of The Stormlight Archive – which leaves The Alloy of Law as the last Cosmere universe novel I still need to read before being caught up.

Reading the various novels by Brandon Sanderson back-to-back like this focuses my attention on one of the parts to his writing that amazes me that might otherwise go unnoticed or under-appreciated. That is, how well he can create a magic system for each novel/franchise that is completely different from all his other novel/franchises, detail how it works, explore the societal and personal ramifications of this magic system, and show how the various characters can work around the limitations of the magic system to solve problems. This feat of writing excellence was on my mind as I recently finished Darker Than Black.

And not in a good way.

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It Was 10 Years Ago

I was going through an old external hard drive the other day for a half-remembered song, finding the CD I’d ripped it from would have been a more labor-intensive process, when I stumbled on a file that made me realize I was coming up to anniversary. An important anniversary.

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Early Season Impressions: Spring 2015 – Seven Layer Cookies

Seven layer cookies, aka Magic Bars, are traditionally made up of seven ingredients that are laid down one at time into a cooking pan before being baked. The result is not a cookie with seven layers, but, if properly done, a cookie that has melded together into a very delicious treat. A good season of anime offers up many different types of shows that, when combined, sort of melt together and provide a satisfying experience to the viewer.

With the remaining series I’ve yet to cover, I thought I’d try to build a seven layer cookie of anime series and hope it would blend together into a first-rate treat. Of course, this wouldn’t be the best seven layer cookie that could be made with this season’s series because I’ve already covered many fine ingredients in earlier posts; but, I think there’s still plenty of noteworthy series left to choose from.

So let’s move to the first ingredient.

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Early Season Impressions: Spring 2015 – The Revenge of the Sequels

People seem to have a love/hate relationship with sequels. Chances are if the sequel is to a show they watched and liked then the sequel is looked at with either happiness or cautious hope. If the sequel is to a show they did not like they complain about how sequels are killing creativity and anime in general. I think anime, as a whole, is better off that sequels are made over not having sequels; I just wish we’d get more complete stories as a result.

Sequels don’t normally rate too much attention in these impression posts because people pretty much know if they’re in or out by the time the sequel comes out; however, this season features a pair of sequels that are clearly outperforming their predecessors and I wanted to make sure I mentioned them. This also gives me a chance to cover a significant chunk of the series I’m watching this season.

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Poll: Which New Anime Series Has the Prettiest Cherry Blossoms?

I’ve noticed before that anime series seem to often air at the same time of the year as when the viewers would watch it in real life. For this spring season that means these anime series would feature the Japanese staple – beautiful cherry blossoms and more cherry blossoms. I’m not complaining, though I’m more of a fall colors person myself; however, I was curious to see just how many series had cherry blossoms in their first episode.

The end tally was 10 series out of the 23 I started watching this season had at least one blooming cherry tree somewhere in the first episode. Curiosity sated, I realized I found my next poll question. (The recently current one about the best anime of 2014 is so last year). This poll can be found to the right. Below are examples of the cherry blossoms found in those ten anime series which one can peruse to make an informed choice.

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Early Season Impressions: Spring 2015 – The Surprises

I’ve over extended myself this season; there’s too many watchable anime series to catch that promise, minimally, that they will be worth the time invested. Of the 23 new series that I’ve watched, there is only one – Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation – who has earned enough enmity from me through it’s own incompetence that I’ve dropped it (gladly so, btw). At the same time, there seems to be only a few series with the chops to even attempt attaining the level of being “great” or the slightly lower “very good”. Further, there are only two series that have even a remote chance of pushing themselves up to the “exceptional” category.

Another aspect of this season is how few the number of surprises (good or bad) there have been. The last time I tried to predict which series were going to be the top series of the season (Summer 2014) I was only about half right and made several glaring mistakes. For this season I attempted the same thing and the list I drew up before the season started looks, four weeks in, to be very spot on. Yeah for me, but, boo for this season being so predictable. The high number of sequels, 8 out of the 22 non-dropped series, does play into this lack of surprises. (If the Lupin series does actually air starting in May the sequel number will be bumped to 9/23 or ~39% of the series for the season.)

That’s not to say there hasn’t been any surprises; there has been a few moderate ones and that might be the best place to start.

Continue reading Early Season Impressions: Spring 2015 – The Surprises