The Return of the Recap 15

If this doesn’t bring as much joy to your life as it did mine on Thursday, you have a heart of ice.

There were all sorts of wacky tales that were told over the family table on Thanksgiving. The sorts of re-imagining of the modern world that would make all sorts of amazing fictional dystopian tales. Unfortunately, these were all told to each other unironically . Sometimes you just have to sit back and realize there are some battles that aren’t worth fighting. Especially when you have to see the same group in 5 weeks for more Amazing Tales Without Irony.

So what’s on the docket this week? For the most part a typical week. The terribad entry happens to be one of those early works that made it to the west in an era when anything was considered good if it was on TV. The erratic availability of Seitokai no Ichizon means that it returns this week after having last week off. And I probably completely miss the point on Chu2koi again.

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The Return of the Recap 13

Unlike a certain other show, the blood being sprayed on another character actually had impact here.

What a way to kick off year five of this adventure with a recap of what I have watched over the last week. Without having to watch 50 odd episodes, I can actually provide a little more detail than I did last time. That doesn’t mean there is little on my plate, however, so I haven’t been compelled to catch up on anything I dropped earlier. As far as the real life stuff that this space is known for, I’m in a bit of a transition career-wise, but I still have the time to engage in experimental cooking in my spare time. Continue reading

The Return of the Recap 12

Football Manager 2013 is out. As if I didn’t already have enough distractions

Well that was a particularly long time off from this blog, probably the longest since I was averaging erm, 2 views a day. Personally I needed a bit of a break from real life as there’s lots of change going on there. So off I went to that country that is most famous for being the setting for the K-On movie, and some other more minor contributions in the last 1000 years. But enough about that, this is the column about what I watched in the last week. And it’s a lot, so let’s just get started.
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The Fall 2012 Season in Outlandish Predictions

It’s that time of year again to bust out the charts to see what exactly there is to watch for the coming season. As I have meticulously tracked this, the fall season is the lowest rated of all when it comes to my own rankings. Needless to say, the notion that the spring and fall seasons are the best does not apply to me. So in an effort to spice things up and maybe laugh in the unlikely event these actually happen, I present predictions that should not happen this season for each show.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Fall 2009

Aoi Bungaku, best watched after taking large quantities of hallucinogens

Wrapping up this 40 season retrospective is the season that has just finished. I will probably have to revisit this season in the future to give a full opinion on it as a whole, but I am not too terribly optimistic. My trademark poor taste in shows to finish strikes yet again, though I would struggle to find anything outstanding this season that I’ve missed.

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An Anniversary of Sorts…Impressions and Reflections of Falls Past and Present

Burned out? Not so much as completely devoid of ideas.

Burned out? Not so much as completely devoid of ideas.

One year ago today I started this little project in writing having really no idea what I wanted to focus on and perhaps mainly as a way to kill time since I did not have anything to do the next day. With almost half of my posts in the past year devoted to Legend of the Galactic Heroes, as great as that is, I still think things haven’t quite gone to plan. Since I have a tendency to perhaps overreact to anything new in the most negative way possible (see my Worst Spring Ever posts from the first week of April), I though I would reflect on how this fall compares in the short term compares to last year.

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Watching Anime With Extreme Prejudice Part 2

Seitokai no Ichizon is actually lower mid-table in the MAL ratings for this season, but does the concept show a lack of ambition?

Seitokai no Ichizon is in the top half of the MAL ratings for this season, but does the concept show a lack of ambition?

A few months before I started this blog, I decided to take a trip back in time and find out if I had in fact been living a lie, or if anime really was better back in the day. Ten years seemed a decent enough cutoff, so I watched all of the Summer 1998 new shows , all three of them.

This number wasn’t all together too surprising to me, as the explosion in number of new shows had a clear starting point, so watching all 3 should have been easy enough. Turns out it didn’t quite work out like that.

Serial Experiments Lain was something I had always intended to go back and watch at some point anyway. I definitely wasn’t disappointed, but as the best of these shows it looked worryingly dated. A symptom of trying to use technology as the defining plot element in all likelihood.

NightWalker ended up simply being an episodic rehashing of various Western monster cliches packaged into a short series. The ending is also shockingly ruined in the final minutes while hilarious alluding to a second season that never happens.

Shadow Skill seemed a pretty average fantasy/action series with an animation budget that seemed to approach zero with each passing episode. I ended up dropping this before I got to the supposedly awful ending.

So 1 out of 3 dropped, which is about on line with how I am in general, but I don’t think it really means anything here. It could mean I could not want to watch anything longer than 13 episodes (Shadow Skill being 26). More likely, it means I simple watch for the purpose of being entertained and nothing more than that. Instead there was something else that struck me about these three shows. There didn’t seem to be any catering toward a niche audience.

Because steam always follows people as they walk and has defined edges...

While the steam may be opaque the attempt to drive DVD sales is as transparent as ever

The hallmarks of a lot of more modern anime that I watch like token onsen episodes, blatent attempts to sell more DVDs, casts of characters with no depth so they are easy to write for. Instead it seemed like was about trying to put out the best product possible within whatever meager constraints they had and hoping the quality would sell the show. Essentially all three showed ambition even if 2 of the 3 utterly failed to make a mark on me.

The conclusion I ultimately reached was that in 10 years anime had slowly gone from something desperately trying to reach mass appeal to something that was just content with the safety of a niche audience in 90% of the cases, but lacks confidence in selling itself to that niche. What does the new product say about its intended niche audience though?