This post marks the 500th post I’ve written for The Null Set. Stack that milestone on top of the other ones that I never thought I would actually accomplish. I had wanted to have my fifth year anniversary post last month be my 500th post for the symmetry of it but I didn’t get this look back at the anime of 2012 done in time. 😦
Oh well, this post is almost as good because there is nothing I spend more time on here then these yearly looks back at the anime series that aired.
Step three for awesome anime – after creating memorable characters and giving them a worthy stage – is to use every part of the production process to bring-out/enhance the positive aspects of the anime and hide the negative aspects. Getting the right seiyuu can be the difference between a character being a success or failure. Inappropriate music can ruin the climax of a series and nothing can make a whole anime series fail as assuredly as poor animation quality. In the right hands, a small budget can be overcome through creating the right animation style. Stellar OP/ED with it’s combination of music and animation can build excitement and anticipation for the anime and ensure viewers come back next week.
There’s other parts to an anime’s production – like script writing, cinematography, sound editing, etc. – that won’t gets awards here because I’m not knowledgeable enough in these areas to put any confidence in picking winners. Which is why I call this set of awards the Voice, Music, and Audio awards. I’m hoping, yet again, next year I’ll be able to include a few more areas of the production to these awards.
If I didn’t already say so, I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas!
I know nobody wants to spend a bunch of time reading blog posts today so I’m going keep it short. I wanted to start with a love powered moment and end with a love powered moment and the instant I saw this scene I knew I’d be picking it for this the last day of the 12 Days of Christmas (though technically, the real 12 days of Christmas starts on Christmas).
The scene is Rikka’s confession of love to Yuuta underneath the bridge in episode 10 of Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!.
I could say this scene is today’s moment because of the massive level of work Kyoto Animation put into it so that it would be the very definition of perfection but that’s doesn’t really explain it correctly. The better explanation is that I felt the genuine, sincere love Rikka and Yuuta have for each other – not mere affection, lust, interest, or the facsimile of love that are so prevalent in anime, especially in so-called “romance/comedy” anime series – and it just melted my heart. I want to Remember the Love because it is the reason for this season and that makes it the perfect way to end.
Good job Kyoto Animation, that’s why you’re the best.
If I was to complain about the current generation of anime I would say, among other things, that there’s not enough emphasis on what happens after the boy gets the girl or the girl gets the boy and there’s still too many loser male main characters. Neither are inheritantly bad; but, with the former, it’s because it went past the happily-ever-after that the second season of Clannad was so unique and great. And, the insistence by some on the latter really restricts the type of series that can be done and often feels like mere laziness on the part of the creators. Just look at the reaction from fans with Melancholy of Haruhi, Gurren Lagann, Steins;Gate, and Space Brothers to see what’s possible with non-loser male main characters.
The recently released anime movie A Letter to Momo was overall a very solid movie that could have reached much higher if it could have fixed a relative small set of minor problems and put the elbow grease into polishing the various components to perfection. One area that needed a bit of polishing was, surprisingly because this is Production I.G., the animation work. If they had done so, they almost assuredly wouldn’t have allowed my biggest animation pet peeve to occur. Look at the screenshot below to see if you can figure it out.
Probably not in the way you’re thinking; I don’t think Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai (Chuu2) will put up anywhere near the same sales numbers as Madoka.
Shaft, the animation studio behind Madoka, is not a new animation studio. It was founded in 1975 and was a minor animation studio that produced only a few of it’s own animation series and movies for much of it’s history. That began to change when Akiyuki Shinbou was brought in to direct Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase for them back in 2004. After that series he stuck around and has directed to some degree almost every series Shaft has produced since then. Their profile slowly increased, in spite of the low budgets and hurried deadlines, and they had the chance to work on a wide variety of series like Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei to Hidamari Sketch.