This summer hasn’t been kind enough to leave me with as much time as I’d like to watch/read/write about anime – with the passing of Labor Day and the gathering momentum towards winter, I’m not complaining, just explaining why it’s taking me almost two months to respond to a piece one of my favorite blogs wrote. The blog – Medieval Otaku – wrote back on July 25 this post: “Interest in Project Itoh: Empire of Corpses, Harmony, and Genocidal Organ”. In it, he links to a very enlightening Youtube video and asks if anyone was interested in the noitaminA produced animated movies of Project Itoh’s books.
If asked, that would be how I would characterize this season so far. Look at this line-up: Noragami Aragoto, Haikyuu Season 2, Owarimonogatari, and One Punch Man – aka sequel to my #11 anime of 2014, sequel to my #5 anime of 2014, sequel to my #2 anime of 2009 ~ #7 anime of 2012 ~ #7 anime of 2013, and an anime that seems destined to finish at least in my top 10, if not higher for 2015. Sequels can be a bit touchy but all of these three sequels have started very strongly and seem set to be worthy additions to their respected franchises. Or looked at from another direction we have series from Bones, Production IG, Shaft, and Madhouse; we’re short just Kyoto Animation from being able to say this season has basically all the established top quality animation studios. (Waiting for the Sunrise fans to say something 🙂 .)
Yes, the top fifteen. I’m not trying to be 50% better then those top 10 countdowns 😉 . The idea for this countdown is that it contains all the series of merit from the past year that finished or aired enough episodes that I feel confident about including it here and is planned to be a longer running series. That means the exact number will fluctuate between years and is influenced by the diversity of shows I end up watching. The only hard and fast rule for the number of series included, beyond needing to be an anime of merit, is to have no more then 25% of the shows I’ve finished listed. The only way that there’d be a need to list more then 25% is if I’ve gone soft in my judging and this is a check against that. For this year, I finished 76 series so the list can contain a maximum of 19 series.
Before we get to that top 15, there’s two more awards to give out.
I’ve almost completely gone through the new books I got for Christmas already and started casting around for something new to read. (I’m holding off on The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu [himself, one of my favorite new authors] because I want lessen the time I have to wait for the sequel to come out, if only a little bit.) I remembered npr did a top 100 science fiction and fantasy of all time vote/poll list that yielded a very respectable list so I started at the top and decided to read the first one that I hadn’t read and tugged at me to read. I got down to number 11 and saw The Princess Bride and knew I had my next book.
I probably shouldn’t have waited so long to read the book since I love the movie of The Princess Bride to the point that I believe that the people who don’t probably aren’t humans and are probably pod people scheming on taking over the world.
Reading the book lasted all of two days because I just couldn’t put it down. (I was up to 6 AM last night in a mad dash to finish.) There’s parts of it that are different enough that I think everyone who liked the movie should read the book. However, the spirit of what made The Princess Bride exceptional shines just as clearly in the book as it does the movie so there’s no worry about the book disappointing after watching the movie. It’s easily understandable to see why the book finished at number 11.
Anyways, here’s the answers to this week’s anime quiz.
Last week I was cautiously optimistic about this Winter 2015 season of anime but this week I watched all the other anime series I hadn’t gotten too and yeah – there’s some real garbage this season. I’ve grown adverse to dropping anime unless I’m sure there’s no chance for it to redeem itself and, even so, I dropped three anime this week: Juuou Mujin no Fafnir, Junketsu no Maria, Sengoku Musou. I probably should just drop these two as well, Assassination Classroom and the latest season of Milky Holmes, because I’m almost 100% positive that these series will be a bust as well. Oh well, there’s always next season 🙂 .
Enough with the despair, let’s get to the answers to this week’s anime quiz.
One of the reasons I keep chugging along with this blog is that it enriches my experience with anime. Yes, I sometimes feel forced to watch series I’d rather not – cough, cough SAO II – to stay aware; but, that’s more than balanced out by the positives. For example, a hesitant recommendation by a commenter on my summer season preview post convinced me to give the shoujo series Ao Haru Ride a shot.
Given the title of this post, I can’t pretend the result of this trial is a surprise but pretend anyways and read on to see if watching Ao Haru Ride ended in success or failure.