The Return of the Recap 41

Oh, you thought you could get away from Origami this week did you?

Oh, you thought you could get away from Origami this week did you?

Sigh. It’s a week where someone forgot to tell these people that their final episodes were this week. The amount of mailing-in was at historic levels for a week that should have concluded this week. Instead, the creative talent decided to go on summer vacation and sent in whatever they could get in as a conclusion. Anyway, as a courtesy to you my loyal single reader, I’m going to put in a bit more effort than that on recapping the week in shows I watched. Not much more than that though.

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The Return of the Recap 40

Yeah, this isn't the sort of thing that makes my top 5.

Yeah, this isn’t the sort of thing that makes my top 5.

In a little under 2 weeks time I will be heading to one of those other popular conventions with at least a couple of those unidentified figures I used in the Anime Boston post. In the meantime, that means having to deal with making sure I’m not going to end up with a building on fire when I return from work and at least getting somewhat comfortable with the shoes that people are actually watching.

Also on my mind this week was the topic of discussion of anime. My views just so happen to be so far out of touch as to not get anything like that on social networking sites or forums. Then again, those people have to want to care that I exist so it’s really a complete failure on my part. My own relevancy is something I’ve touched on here many times before, but it seems more than ever I watch shows no one else is, and of those I do watch no one else really can be bothered to express a simple opinion. I guess that’s my lot in life.

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The Return of the Recap 39

Cosplayer A and Cosplayer B (yuri scene not used)

With a screenshot like this, it’s a shame Photo Kano had to disappoint this week.

The idea of passion was on my mind this week as I was reading posts on Valvrave of all things. Flawfinder in his post on the episode, really couldn’t be bothered with something that hadn’t earned the right to do a rape scene. It’s all pandering to fans and that sort of thing. The discussion on Twitter took a turn to the classic moral quandry of a series that is Yosuga no Sora since that also had a rape scene in it as well. I really wanted to say that it didn’t handle it badly, but I didn’t think it would find much of an audience. I think it feels like there is just little desire on my part to try to make any sort of passionate argument, so I think of making fence-sitting contrarian crap arguments instead.

So I’m going to try to be different in this week’s recap. Tell me if I fail in the comments to be passionate in my views on any of this week’s entries. Continue reading

The Return of the Recap 38

aiura38topA certain incident of what was called aniblogger drama, which I’m not going to talk about specifically here, had me thinking of opinions on anime in general. I personally try not to come off as cynical about some of the series I’m watching. There’s the odd Urobuchi hating women moment from time to time, or occasionally there’s a show that I think can do much better than it is capable of. Ultimately, I hope to avoid the whole looking jaded thing as I write for you few readers out there.

Regardless, it got me thinking of opinions in general, plus it also helped that the book I’m reading recreationally covers the same area. Nuance is something I try to value when discussing anything I’ve miraculously happened to be watching at the same time as someone else. Being able to justify the existence of a series I’m not particularly a fan of, which could be something like the Tokyo Mew Mew dub, and convincing someone it isn’t a crime against humanity is a fun exercise. However, what I would say is that it is much easier to build a readership by holding views that have no nuance at all. A world that is black or white is easier to grasp in a brief read than one with nuance. What a terrible world that is.

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The Return of the Recap 36

pk36topSurprisingly, or maybe not, it’s actually really hard to find pictures of some characters from Photo Kano that aren’t perverted. That above was the best I could do with a few minutes effort from a certain popular Japan-based artist’s hub. It wasn’t a particularly different week or interesting week, rather I’d think of it as just another week in the middle of the season. That didn’t mean there were no standout episodes, there were 2 of those this week, but the spring season is turning into a bit of a letdown.

Also, a bit of news. Next week I will be blending into the scenery at various locations in downtown Boston, so I will not be doing the recap. Also the Maou-sama post will be delayed if I post it at all. No repeats of the 3-state Koichoco post from last year. Continue reading

The Return of the Recap 35

pk35topI decided to do something a bit different than I’ve normally done this season when putting together the weekly rankings. Instead of keeping a running ranking as I have done, I waited until the end of the week to put them together. Then I came to find out that I’d rated 2 series in my top 5 for the first time this season, including the number 1 vote. So why not do something entirely different for the whole post? This won’t end well will it?

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The Return of the Recap 34

Since it's Cinco de Mayo, may as well throw in Mexico's greatest anime character.

Since it’s Cinco de Mayo, may as well throw in Mexico’s greatest anime character.

Yet another week has passed in the world of animation from Japan, as well as real time of course. It’s safe to say that we are now firmly entrenched in the middle of the season. Typically, I find that this isn’t a very interesting part of the season. Usually, the really terrible shows have been weeded out by now. Those that do fail in the end will be known about 5-7 weeks from now. So what we are left with is a bunch of shows trying to make things interesting. So how did they do this week?

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The Return of the Recap 33

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Since the last installment of this particular feature, the following has happened to all of the shows I had been watching:

  • Oregairu – since picked back up after I dropped it on episode 1, see I can change.
  • Space Brothers – Dropped after the 3 consecutive recap episodes reminded me of how badly this series has been edited.
  • Devil Survivor 2, Attack on Titan, Aku no Hana all dropped for being too boring in my opinion

I sometimes worry about stuff like this, probably too often. I find a series boring, it then becomes popular. Or the reverse, I like a show so much early only to have it go in a terrible direction. It feels like I cannot win sometimes. It just becomes a problem having my finger so far off the pulse of what the rest of this community is watching  that I just kill conversation, or get left out entirely. Perhaps I intentionally isolate myself when it comes to the series I watch. Yet it just feels like I’m insulting people by responding “oh, I dropped that” when a show comes up in conversation.

Anyway, that’s obviously not of much concern to you my readers, you want my thoughts on the shows that I’m still watching instead, so here you go.

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We Don’t Need Another Spring Preview Post

遥

I’ve always tried to make my preview posts a little different. Whether that is through projecting my own ending based on the title name, or just writing crap all over a chart, I’ve tried to make them all different from each other. To be honest, you shouldn’t really go to me for season previews since I hardly know what I’m talking about, and there are better options available. I’ll try to do my best to make this interesting since there are a small number of you out there that subscribe. Fortunately, the anime getting the most buzz is

SEED Destiny Remaster

I had to try that once. There’s no way in hell this is getting 13 comments let alone 130.

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LMT’s Best of 2012

I think they got some things reversed here.

I think they got some things reversed here.

After yesterday’s rather absurd end-of-year ranking based solely on week-to-week viewing, I thought it may be best to provide a real ranking of the series that finished in the year 2012. Rather than just settle for just a simple top 10, I went over the top and just went for all 37 I completed this year. The first 27 of these will just be short descriptions of why I did, or did not like a particular series. After that, there’s a bit more detail. I hope you enjoy this, and feel free to let me know how wrong/right I was about the anime that aired in 2012 in the comments. Continue reading

Pointless Debate #28: 1 Week and 19 Episodes

This was high quality over the last 6 months

I’ve heard it said somewhere that after a while of blogging anime, you reach a point where you either hate everything or you think everything is pretty good to the point where it all gets the same score. Needless to say there were specific examples of those 2 when someone pointed that out to me and I think some of you probably know who those are, but out of respect I won’t name them.

One character I did find consistently entertaining in Nichibros

In the post Legend of the Galactic Heroes world of Lower Mid-Table I was probably heading in a world where I overrated stuff I really didn’t like and tried to find reasons to hate on anything good. This isn’t healthy because it’s pretty much denial of how you really feel about things. Do I really like Highschool DxD as much as I made it out? I think it was a good genre piece fitting of ecchi harem, but if I were to put it out against everything it really isn’t that good. Did I think Nichibros was terrible? There were some segments that dragged on-and-on, but overall it was a good situational comedy.

Then, came the week that began on the 9th when being stretched by a number of projects (Anicorpse and FAPcast) as well as getting new posts in for Apollon, Pirates, and Upotte meant there was little time to catch up on series I watched purely for entertainment. When I did, however, I was in for what was probably the best week of currently airing shows I’ve seen in at least 4 years.

The 20 fantastic episodes I got in this week were as follows:

  • 2 episodes of Mysterious Girlfriend X
  • 2 episodes of Sengoku Collection
  • 2 episodes of Space Brothers
  • 2 episodes of Sankarea
  • The 15th episode of Mouretsu Pirates
  • The 5th episode of Ozuma
  • The 2nd episodes of Kuroko no BasketNatsuiro Kiseki, and the new Lupin series
  • The first episodes of Dusk Maiden, Nyaruko-san, Apollon, TsuritamaJormundgand and even Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan

I think many people who have seen a lot of visual media have had a certain feeling. A feeling I would describe as “I wish I could see that again as though it was the first time.” Over the last two seasons, I’ve generally ended up watching 6 or 7 currently airing shows, finished them and quickly forgot that they existed. The last really memorable one for me was Steins;Gate that really stuck around. I wasn’t expecting much out of this season either to be honest.

Tokugawa Ieyasu, big in Japan...again

Then came this week, when I felt reborn as a fan by the end. Mysterious Girlfriend X had me completely lost in the best way possible on how the relationship at the center had progressed so quickly. Sengoku Collection is the genderbent Warring States warrior series that doesn’t actually pander. Space Brothers reminds me of my childhood when I thought making it to space was but a matter of time rather than an impossible dream.

Don't worry Jigen, you'll find your place in the world

On the other side, Sankarea made me disgusted with how cruel the world can be and how people who do nothing to help those in danger can be just as bad as those committing evil. The story of Fujiko Mine served as a reminder that for certain people love really is impossible. Ozuma provides a the textbook case of how sticking to purity of ideas over all else doesn’t really work in a changing world. Jormungand shows the tragic after effects on a child who has only ever known how to kill, but he has hope.

I see Tony Taka character designs and wonder why they are still wearing clothing.

Which is where I choose to end this on a lighter note for the rest of the crop that reminded me of just how the normal can still be entertaining. Kuroko gave us the first of the legendary crop of players and for a shonen show he was surprisingly likeable, even if on a totally different level from everyone else. Natsuiro Kiseki had a fantastic chase through town involving 2 characters magically stuck together, what will they wish for next? Pirates had THAT Chiaki face. Dusk Maiden was all about Okonogi’s amazement at the vast school even if she’s not the main character. Tsuritama had the coolest grandmother ever. Apollon reminded me of discovering a new kind of music that you love for the very first time. Nyaruko-san felt like the comedy that didn’t take itself seriously at all in the best way possible. EvenBread: The Animation as I call it felt like the slice-of-life show where nothing happens that I could feel like watching.

I just had to run this pic again. It's required now for all Chiaki mentions.

That pretty much summed up one of the rare weeks where it felt like everything clicked. Has anyone else had a run of shows like that out there?