Seeing as I had no confidence in the summer season, I decided to invent a backlog of shows to watch from one of three different areas. The fourth show on this list was Noir a show that aired in the spring of 2001 and which I had never started or even had an inkling to watch before. I marathoned it, and these are my thoughts on the series.
Seeing as I had no confidence in the summer season, I decided to invent a backlog of shows to watch from one of three different areas. The third show on this list was The Severing Crime Edge a show that aired in the spring of 2013, and was a show that I had previously dropped. I went back and marathoned it, and these are my thoughts on it.
Seeing as I had no confidence in the summer season, I decided to invent a backlog of shows to watch from one of three different areas. Second on this list was Paradise Kiss a show that aired in the fall of 2005 on Noitamina, and was a show that I had previously dropped. I went back and marathoned it, and these are my thoughts on it.
I’m about finished with all of the spring shows and I can’t help but feel I’m witnessing the slow death of the medium. Maybe I’m just getting to familiar with shows doing the same stuff over and over again. Then I finally got around to glancing at the shows that will be airing in the summer. I now believe there is no intrinsic value in the modern world.
In watching recent episodes of No Game No Life, I’ve come to understand a component of the series as a different sort of thought exercise than I imagined it could possibly present going in. In my mind, the series has become a much bigger social commentary than one would expect about a pair of NEET siblings who happen to be unstoppable at any sort of game. At the center is one basic question: how much should the social contract that holds society together be valued?
Back in January with the sole purpose of expressing just how much I did not like the first episode of Space Dandy, I thought it would be funny if I could go through the entire calendar year with that being the only show I dropped. That was a terrible idea, and as one who tends to lack perspective on most things I needed a reminder. Fortunately, Freakonomics Radio chose to re-broadcast their episode on quitting. Which reminded me of how I made this terrible mistake to begin with. I got caught up in trying to make a dumb point about a show I didn’t like.
The name of this post (minus the Pointless Debate portion obviously) was derived from an idea for a panel I had for conventions. Now, the whole idea of me standing in front of a bunch of people telling them to not watch something in the middle of a commercial event devoted to people who watch it seemed rather absurd. Also, knowing how Baka-Raptor’s attempt at stand-up comedy at the closest thing to a local convention for me went, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. So instead, you get a blog post with a sample of some things I would have hypothetically said in front of the 3 people who went to my panel so they could use a room to eat on a Sunday afternoon before the organizers pulled the plug on me for spreading propaganda.
While in the midst of messing around in spreadsheets that are part of The Best Girl Project, I realized that I should probably get around to telling the few of you how I experienced a season in which I dropped just one show and completed 27. Including the “movie” that was also part of the season, it means the Winter 2014 season now has the joint most anime I’ve watched matching the Spring 2011 season. It’s also my lowest rated season with at least 10 shows, so make of that what you will.
It’s back again, the bi-annual competition where stats driven gurus figure out that they don’t have a clue about the taste of a bunch of anime fans. For me, it’s that time of year where I show all of you that I don’t have a clue what the hell I’m doing. So I’ve set out a target of finishing in the top half of the table in the group. Even when legitimately trying, I’ve never come close and with rule changes I can’t even tank properly either. If only there were a place I could simulate tanking in a sandbox.
So here is my team:
Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin
Seikoku no Dragonar
No Game No Life
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousai
Obviously the plan is to stick Mahouka in after the first week since I will be down in the 400s on the table. For as generic and exposition-filled as it is, it will probably crush everything else this season. After all, I believe the MAL fanbase likes everything explained to them like they are 5. The second show on my bench, shortened to the ugly looking Gaworare in places, is a complete reach and will only see the light of day if I monumentally screwed up in my starting lineup.
In picking my starters I started for the shows that I wanted to avoid. That meant the following categories of shows were eliminated:
- Sequels or Spinoffs of Any Kind
- Sports Anime
- Children’s Anime since I’m Actually Trying
- Anything with a Name-Based Pun Title
- Any Game Spinoff that is not from an eroge
- Anything with Mecha
- Anything with Idols
- Any Harem Show with a Female Lead (so called Reverse Harems)
- Anything that is plain Romance
- Anything Yuri that isn’t Fanservice Trash aimed at men
- Anything by Gainax/ZEXCS/White Fox/J.C. Staff
- Anything by Shaft that features NEET main characters
- Anything by ARMS because Wizard Barristers
With those 13 rules in place, I was left to pick 7 out of the remaining 8 shows. That meant I had to choose one to get left on the cutting room floor. So Hitsugi no Chaika it was because I couldn’t imagine people being interested in a show about a guy trying to find a job accompanied by a small girl. Wasn’t this exact plot used in a fall show?
Now for the reason why I used a post on this was to come up with a challenge for readers here. Of course coming up with this is hard since no one really comments here. So anyone who does comment on this or any other post tagged with “Fantasy Anime League” this season and has a team in the competition will be entered into a weighted lottery. Those who do worst in the FAL league will have a greater chance of winning but even the best placed commenter has a chance at it. The winner can pick a show I have to write on in any future season preview post for up to one year. I shall call it the “Emperor J Tank to the Bank” challenge.
Also, feel free to tell me how wrong my 13 rules are in the comments. They are in a state of refinement for future seasons and I would like to do better in the future with better defined rules.
Here you go people. Apologies to Neregate for being the source of desecrating their charts, but they deserve credit for putting this together.
When I talked about my plan to watch as many shows as I felt I could, I failed to take a bunch of things into account. Namely that it is very hard to keep up with 30+ shows at a single time. It’s pretty much cut into the free time I have left so my other hobbies (like suffering heavy defeats playing the latest FIFA games online) are effectively non-existent. I guess that’s why critics are able to do this because that’s their job rather than a hobby.
So with that in mind, I go into this spring season with the caveat that I will watch as many first episodes as I can, but I will continue those shows that I feel I need to keep watching. No boasting about how I’ve dropped a show. No trashing shows I did drop outside of what I did watch. Yes, it’s pretty much a retreat back to how I was before, but I think quitting has a bad reputation. In any case, on with the preview where I think I may end up with more free time this spring than I thought.
Continuing Shows That I Will Watch
Nisekoi – it’s pretty much what I’ve expected up to this point. It seems like they’ve really pushed off introducing Marika, which is a definite minus. However, the 20 episode run is an unusual number that I can only really put down to an event happening in June that would impact late night television in Japan. (Yes, I know exactly what that would be.)
Nobunaga the Fool - I have no real idea what is going to happen with each episode. I guess I’m imagining Nobunaga unifying both the East and West stars because the plot dictates it, but how it gets there is a mess.
Sequels/Spinoffs That I Will Watch
Date A Live - It’s harem trash that I can’t help but continue watching. The recent OVA featuring Best Girl Origami reminded me of why I kept coming back to the show. There’s an awareness of how silly it contrives itself to be. That works well enough for me.
Sequels/Spinoffs of Shows That I Dropped or Did Not Watch and Will Therefore Not Be Watching with No Explanation Why
Cardfight!! Vanguard: Legion Mate-Hen
Dragon Ball Kai: Majin Buu-hen
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R
Kiniro no Corda: Blue♪Sky
Love Live! School Idol Project Second Season
Pretty Rhythm All Star Selection
Puchimas!! Petit Petiti Idolm@ster
Soul Eater Not!
Children’s Shows I Would Not Watch
Disk Wars: Avengers
Monster Retsuden Oreca Battle
The Rest of the Pool
Abarenbou Kishi!! Matsutarou – The first of the sports shows this season is about sumo. I’m not really optimistic about this one because it doesn’t seem different from the average sports show.
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky - Another game adaptation which is set in a slowly ending world where people use alchemy. The more this show goes away from the game dynamics, the better it will be. I just remember trying to play a game with Atelier in the title and just struggling to figure out what the hell was going on. Maybe I’m too dense to play Atelier games.
Baby Steps - I don’t think they protagonist in this show is going to cause a mass extinction via tennis, so that’s a plus. On the downside, there’s little entertainment value in this sports show that plays as a straight romance.
Black Bullet - This looks so stupid. It’s another one of these kids get superpowers in a post-apocalyptic world which would only exist in anime. I can’t see past the first episode without banging my head on a table.
Blade and Soul – I don’t know much about this one to be honest. A straight up story of people playing in an MMORPG seems pretty boring to me, but Log Horizon has done pretty well in that regard. Maybe this is just more of the same.
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou – This looks like a straight romance series with a protagonist who has to deal with the terrible neighbors that he has. Getting MC-kun hooked up with Sempai-sempai will hopefully prove to be interesting.
Brynhildr in the Darkness – Another show where a guy matches up with a girl who has magical powers. Anyone watching Buddy Complex from this season will relate to the fact that I expect the main character to go into traumatic flashbacks when he has to deal with the new main girl who looks like the girl who died when he was a child.
Captain Earth – This has mecha invaders from Uranus. That seems scientifically improbable. As is the probability I have patience for this show past episode 1.
Devil’s Riddle – Reading the description on this, it would seem like it’s a normal shoujo romance type show where a girl falls in love with the boy she is supposed to go after. But wait…there are a bunch of female assassins after the main guy. Put this one in the category of High Concept Harem Variant.
Dragonar Academy – This is going to be an appalling mess of a show. Think Zero no Tsukaima with a plot that makes no sense and amps up the fanservice even more. The main character gets a young girl as a dragon and I’m guessing that means she has something against clothes. The best this can hope for is to be better than Dragon Crisis.
Fuuun Ishin Dai Shogun – This is just about the dumbest looking revisionist history idea I’ve ever seen in anime. Will I watch it hoping it’s as bad as it seems? You know I most definitely will.
Haikyuu!! - A shounen sports show with high school students playing volleyball in a long game of revenge, this looks pretty unrealistic. The main character is too short to really succeed at even the high school level, so they will make him jump unrealistically high to make him seem normal. Kurobas is much more realistic than this.
Hitsugi no Chaika – The main character is a retired soldier at the age of 20. Since he seems to be uninjured, it feels hard to sympathize with a character who then comes across a girl with a coffin…who happens to have magical powers. This seems to be a theme this season.
Inugami-san and Nekoyama-san – This show seems to be about yuri shipping based on the names of the two characters. You see, Inugami likes cats when she should like dogs and Nekoyama likes dogs when she should like cats. Oh how original…
Irregular at Magic High School – This is from the top selling light novel series about a world of magic users and how unjust it is towards the protagonist. That’s okay because he’s really great at what really matters, though it can’t be measured so he is seen as a lowly ‘weed’, whereas his brocon sister is top of her class. It’s Self-Insert Wish-Fulfillment at its highest level.
Is the Order a Rabbit? – So a regular cafe show where cute girls just do cute things based on their names. I can’t see much coming out of this honestly.
Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara – Having read the manga for this, prepare to be amazed when this show completely loses direction. So it goes from a fun high concept show about a guy who can literally see the flags that he is tripping to a grand conspiracy.
Kenzen Robo Daimidaler – Quite possibly the classiest mecha show that will ever be made. I read the first chapter of the manga which had an enemy mecha with it’s main cannon placed between its legs. The protagonist was also thoroughly unlikable to make some of the jokes work. Ultimately, I think this may end up in the pile of Misogynistic Power Fantasies with Mecha.
Knights of Sidonia – I briefly remember watching a trailer for this months ago and coming away not impressed. It was like they looked at Arpeggio and decided that they needed to have the CG characters look even less lifelike. It was also very pretentious, even by the standards of an advance trailer. I just hope the space battle set pieces look as good as possible.
Magical Girl Wars – I guess this is a show where magical girls battle each other drawn from character designs from Pixiv. Doesn’t this inherently mean that the one from Tokyo will win in the end?
Majin Bone – Some mecha show from Toei. That’s as much as I know.
Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to – This is a 4-koma adaptation with a perverted mangaka and the female assistant(s) who put up with his antics. It’s as hilarious as that sounds.
Mekaku City Actors – This is one of the NEET focused shows this season. This one is about a boy who is forced to go outside thanks to a character in an online game. I’d say this is probably the least objectionable of these shows this season.
No Game, No Life – Another one of the NEET shows, but this time it’s about a pair of siblings who go to another world which plays out much like Problem Children. Clans play games with outcomes that are absolute. It’s a shame the pair are thoroughly unlikable since I stopped caring about them quickly in the manga adaptation.
Normal High School Girls Tried Being Local Idols – Oh look, another idol show. I guess this just has to surpass Wake Up Girls in budget to really succeed with fans of the genre. As far as plot, I think it appeals to the same audience who hates the Tokyo-based idol factories.
One Week Friends. – This basically appears to be 50 First Dates only with the time period being a week and the location being a Japanese high school. The larger question of how a character with a memory that resets is able to attend school will likely remain an extremely open question.
Ping Pong THE ANIMATION – Tatsunoko is involved in Wake Up Girls, which has me under the belief that this will look exceptionally poor. With Yuasa directing it, that shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance. The thing that I think will get in the way is that the characters will not be interesting enough.
Ryuugajou Nanana’s Buried Treasure – This would be the NEET series about the poor student who moves into an apartment that is haunted by the ghost of an attractive girl who was a NEET. I get the feeling that this will be very much like Dusk Maiden or whatever that show was called with the ghost. It’s almost the same plot.
Sadon Desu – Very much another one of those shows about a club that does nothing. I hope the tea ceremony club will be as entertaining as D-Frag this season. I doubt it because I think only one good show of this type is allowed per year.
selector infected WIXOSS – Turns out this is a J.C. Staff original. I guess this is about some girls being sucked into a game because they have weaknesses. It’s like they are hoping to channel the spirit of Madoka into something that isn’t as dark but still commercially viable. Good luck with that.
Tricks of the Gods – Oh look, an otome game adaptation. I hope that this actually isn’t completely dependent on tropes within the genre and abuses its audience like every other adaptation from the audience. I’m hoping for a bit too much in this case, but it frustrates me that it’s assumed that otome game players are also masochists.
The World is Still Beautiful – And finally, we have the show about a girl named Nike. That’s just so much potential gold that can come from ignoring how that is actually pronounced. So I can pretend this is a show about how the world of athletics is beautiful in the state of Oregon because they have so much money from our heroine. Then completely ignore that it’s a love story set in a fantasy world.
So that is that for the season preview for this season. I would definitely be interested in knowing how wrong I am about the new shows in the coming season. I will also try to watch any shows that are recommended by you, my loyal
reader…readers(?). I will also be attempting to compete in the newest edition of the MAL Fantasy Anime League. I take pride in failure since I have no idea how to compete to win. So maybe someone out there can point the way. When I go ahead and post my team, I will pose a Cart Driver-esque challenge that will apply to the summer.
For those who care about the “regular” chart I use. That will be up shortly.
When watching recent episodes of Wake Up, Girls, a series about a struggling Sendai-based idol group of the same name, I could not help but think that I was watching a show that made the experience of watching idols feel much more like watching a sport than pure entertainment. While the sense of conflict around anything I-1 Club related is clearly exaggerated for dramatic reasons, it adds a needed element of comparison that makes the rest of the show.
2013 was definitely a show filled with many shows of assorted variety. It probably says a lot that I can think of tons of shows of appalling quality yet struggle to come up with more than one show that I genuinely loved. Anyway, let’s rank these things and move on with out lives in 2014 because that’s truly for the better.
This was a strange year for the fact that there were three series with a very strange common element. Yes, judging by the title of this post, they all have to do with demon kings venturing over to a different world and having to deal with the economic consequences of their actions. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, Hataraku Maou-sama and Yuushibu deal with this concept in different ways even as they are filled with light-hearted moments throughout. For the purpose of this post, I’ve decided to evaluate them on how deeply they get into the realm of economics.
In the last couple of spring and fall seasons, Fantasy Anime League has taken place on MAL. While some people out there take this deadly seriously or devote entire pages of coverage to how they are doing in that particular edition, I haven’t much talked about my own entries into the competition. That’s because I enter each time without any sort of clue what the hell I’m doing.
During the course of a normal year watching anime, I drop a lot of shows. It ends up being about 9 out of every 20 from my reckoning. That said, I make many, many mistakes in the eyes of my readers, followers on twitter, or people who even think of the name Emperor J. That includes those who have lived in mountain monasteries their entire lives and have no concept of blogging in their minds. So to further their confirmation bias of my taste, I present to you the list of my worst drops as rated by MAL and other comments throughout the year.
“No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.”
― John Steinbeck, The Winter Of Our Discontent
I suppose I should preface this season preview post as coming on the basis of a rough couple of weeks personally and an evening of impromptu off-road driving. Anyway, winter usually is a dead period for my anime viewing and because of the quote I used above I can only suppose it is the same for you my lone reader. I’ve been in the anime viewing business for a long time, so I’m going to spend the time reflecting on all the great anime that I watched in the winter season of 2004. That’s because everyone gets jaded and remembers how good things were, right?
Let’s see, there was Paranoia Agent, Kon’s TV masterpiece which was surreal and filled with important social commentary at the same time. That really wouldn’t come to air now would it? Then I also watched, what was it…
The winter of 2004 was shit.
By most reasonable subjective measures, the eroge adaptation Walkure Romanze is not a very good series. It’s so derivative that it could also be considered Infinite Stratos with horses and armor in place of personalized mecha suits. The harem lead in this piece, Takahiro, is just as overpowered as Ichika is in that series and just as oblivious to the emotions of others, but still has all the girls after him for pulling off moments of brilliance. That’s not what I’m here to talk about in this post, though. Instead, there is an incredible (by the standards of harem anime) attention to detail in the show’s universe that is undermined by the quality of everything else.
Infinite Stratos at its best is a whimsical harem series with a bland protagonist who comes good in spots and the real focus is on the girls who have affection for him. This formula worked well enough in the first season for the fact that it kept the story and character development as simple as possible. With enough demand for more IS, a second season was ordered up and ready to go into one of the most packed seasons in recent memory. I wouldn’t be the first person to say that it has been a disappointment even by the first season’s low standards, but why did it have to be this way?
So it’s that time of year again where I am legally obligated to point out how long this particular blog has lasted. It’s now reached the point where in many nations I would now be qualified for citizenship for simply being able to hold down a job and not commit any crimes that would see me deported. The caveat to that being that I’m working in the aniblog fast food joint washing dishes while others who emigrated with me are now captains of industry.* That’s enough for the depressing bits in this post (and the many other drafts that are far worse than that you will not see). Instead, I’m going to keep things simple with five things I’ve learned since this blog started.
There’s a key transformative moment in the 5th episode of White Album 2 when the 3 characters that are the focus of the love triangle at the center of the story begin to care about each other as a group. Setsuna and Haruki leave their own classes in order to console Touma after she ran out of class with the score she was working on. Up until that point, these were largely characters that were acting as individuals acting on their own teenage hormones or path of least resistance. So what changed?
Since there’s little in the way to talk about this week from the currently airing shows, I embarked on an experiment yesterday. By MAL’s reckoning, I’ve dropped 362 series and those would have been for a variety of reasons. So what would happen if I gave some of these shows another shot? In all seriousness, it sounds like a better idea than talking about every show that I have dropped this season. So how would this experiment go?
The third episode of Outbreak Company finally sees the protagonist of the series, Shinichi, come under real threat in dealing with the culture of the new world he finds himself. In the episode, the school that he had built to spread otaku culture with the backing of the Supreme Ruler Petrarca was taken over by a reactionary faction that opposed the existence of the school and how it affected the balance between the three races of the Holy Eldant Empire. Eventually a bit of modern technology and magic get them out of the crisis, though not without consequence. After three episodes, I’ve felt the desire to chime in on how this series has dealt with cultural assimilation.
If I’m perfectly honest about the last week of the season, most of the final episodes I saw this week ranged from poor to mediocre. There were maybe two that I enjoyed, but I think that seems to be a theme lately. Put the climax of the story in the penultimate episode then just throw something together showing the cast having fun in the last episode. I get that it’s really just to sell the discs to the hardcore fans. I only finished 10 shows this season which was a bit lower than normal. I now present what I made of those 10 series that made up my summer.
The last episode of Kiniro Mosaic made the series a rather interesting subject on the topic of adaptation. The series has been very much a 4-koma adaptation in nature with the start and end being anything but. In the process, there were 3 very different stories told throughout the course of the series; daily life as fantasy, daily life and pure fantasy. The separate parts are well enough constructed that they can be completely isolated from each other in my view, but its really the ending which grabbed my attention.
Katsuragi Keima for most of the time I knew his existence as a character from The World God Only Knows‘s universe was a fairly average harem lead noted for his lack of affection for any other human beings. He viewed people very much like characters in the visual novels he played; either they were characters he had to conquer and pursue down their various routes or they were simply mob characters that could safely be ignored most of the time. This served him quite well in his job helping Elsie capture loose spirits that inhabited girls with gaps in their hearts since he could follow them. There was still a big question the remained with this approach. What would Keima do if he found himself affecting a girl’s genuine feelings?