I could entitle today’s entry as “Getting Buzzed on Anime: Part the Third” because this will be the third year in a row that I’ll make mention of what I feel is the year’s moment of best animation but I don’t want people to think I’m a lazy anime blogger. (Yes, I can just hear you, all five of you, if I really cared about that then I’d’ve written a few more posts this second half of the year 🙂 .) The first year saw a moment from Little Witch Academia picked and last year it was a fight scene from Yozakura Quartet – Tsuki ni Naku.
What does it say about me as an anime fan that I remember being excited when KyoAni’s Kanon came out because of how good it looked and now, when I look at it, I think about how dated it looks? Probably volumes and in ways I couldn’t even fathom myself.
The limited slice of this question I’ve been pondering is how fans of anime for a longer period of me (~13 years) handle this slow shift of style over such a greater degree of change – many I think don’t, having been imprinted on an earlier style, and either stop watching the newer stuff or complain about the new airing anime loudly – is it something that’s only noticeable when looking back at older, watched, anime or is it a sudden and jarring thing that takes a conscious decision to embrace time and again.
I’m curious to know, though, I guess if I’m patient I can find the answer out myself over the next decade or two. 🙂
Enough introspection, introspection is apparently nowadays a bad thing, so let’s hit the streets and make a mess with the answers to this week’s quiz.
One of the best – or more acutely, entertaining – parts of watching anime is keeping up with the anime blogosphere to see how they’re reacting to the anime I’m watching. The best is when a sizable percentage of writers get fired up over the same anime because, dollars to doughnuts, there will be fireworks. It might be something epic that causes people to put 110% in to displaying their love and admiration. It might be something controversial that causes spirited discussions and strongly worded rants on both sides. It might just be something normal that happens to catch everyone’s attention and pulls everyone together to share in the same experience.
I often steer clear of these events because, either, I don’t feel like contributing and rather enjoy what others are saying, or, I feel like contributing but someone has already made my point better than I could have.
Two carryover series that kinda surprised me are Ixion Saga: Dimension Transfer and Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. I was positive that Ixion Saga: DT had wrung out all the possible comedy to the show during the Fall season and I had all but consigned the series to my dropped series list when it found a secret stash or something and improved enough that I know I’m going to finish watching the series. The other, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, had moments of greatness interspaced between the meh during the Fall season. It was a real uneven rollercoaster that I was expecting to see fall apart during the second half but it too suddenly improved. It’s problems got smoothed out, the pacing became perfect and the storytelling was (is) almost constantly great.
And two more carryover series – Space Brothers and Hunter x Hunter – have been given the go ahead to carry on past this season so I can’t bemoan their impending ends (yet).
I don’t want to turn myself into a liar therefore I won’t cover anymore of the carryover series and will move on now.
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.
Because a tally of awards only gives a rough idea of the overall strength of an anime, I wanted to close this examination of the spring season with another way to look at the various anime series – a countdown – pitting the strengths of one anime against another to find the best anime of the spring 2012 season.
Why twelve? That happens to be the maximum number of series I can have under my two criteria. The first condition is that the anime has to good enough to be worth listing because anything less and series that don’t deserve to be included are included. The second is that the maximum number of series to make it in the top list can be no more than half the total number of series because I have to stop somewhere.