There’s a stereotype out there that if one blogs about anime they will eventually come to hate that which they watch. Paradoxically, this also makes them more popular with readers. Now I have been doing this blogging thing off-and-on for more than six years now and I can’t really say I’ve come to hate it any more than I did at the start. Does that also explain my perpetual lack of readership to this blog more than anything else?
Writing about any sort of visual medium tends to break down into three different types in my opinion. First is the completely neutral factual approach. That would be taking the Wikipedia approach and saying something like “Sora no Method was created and written by Hisaya Naoki who also worked on Kanon while at Key.” Nothing controversial about that style, but it’s probably the most useful in general. Second is more of a constructive criticism approach along the lines of “Sora no Method is written by Hisaya Naoki and while promising at the beginning fails to live up to the standard of his past works.” That’s pretty straightforward as well, but it can seem a little too forgiving of a series where a reader might be looking for a black or white opinion. Finally, there’s the full on advocacy/hatred angle which would look like “Sora no Method is yet another fantastic show from former Key writer Hisaya Naoki that will appeal to everyone who has taste/Sora no Method is yet another crap work written by Hisaya Naoki since he learned from Satan incarnate Maeda Jun.” That last approach will appeal to a larger audience than any of the others for the simplicity. It also does not make it any less valid a way of making a point either. If a writer loves/hates/is mixed about a show, they can go whatever direction they want.
So when it comes to shows that have been covered by myself over the years, I’ve been largely neutral with a few exceptions. For instance, when I wrote about Koichoco a few years back, I really did not like the show by the end of it. I really wanted it to be better the whole time, but it let me down. I still felt that the experience of watching it and the fun challenge I had in writing one particular post left me feeling that I was a better viewer for having watched it. So I hedged a bit on the opinion and probably felt that I didn’t convey my thoughts on the whole show with a sufficient edge to reflect how much I did not like it after all.
To conclude this particular post, I will just answer my own questions. Do anime bloggers hate the anime they watch? A good number do and probably feel pressure to continue watching those shows because they get the most views/comments from readers. Does that make them more popular because they hate them? I would argue instead that they are better able to reflect an opinion that many people hold, so it draws readers to them. Does my lack of loving/hating certain anime make me less popular? It clearly does not since while I can start writing hate posts about Kill La Kill or Space Dandy all I want, my opinion does not hold much weight, nor am I really putting that much work into expressing a contrary opinion.
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.
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 LMT’s Best of 2012
So this 12 Days thing is running near a close, so I thought I would actually do something most people do with this sort of topic, actually write about 12 moments in anime that occurred this year. I know, really original, right? So I’ll try to avoid some stuff I’ve gone on-and-on about over the course of this series of posts and limit myself to one thing per month. Can I pull it off? Find out below.
This week’s final episode of Koichoco had Yuuki running around answering pay phones on election day as the time to give his speech nearly comes and goes. At the same time, the mystery of the photos Kana took in the opening minutes of the series is solved. Yuuki manages to rescue Chisato before eventually giving something vaguely resembling an election speech. He wins the election, the Food Research Club is saved and everyone seems happy,
The 11th episode of Koichoco allowed super-agent Yuuki to partner with Michiru to complete a rescue of Kana before getting married to Chisato. There was also the matter of a bit of sad girl crying bonding between Chisato and Mifuyu. In addition, Yuuki has also taken the lead in the presidential polls, but that comes at a price. Finally, in a rather bizarre disclosure, ludicrous amounts of money pass through the school illegally. If none of this makes sense, you aren’t alone.
The 10th episode of Koichoco finally brought the series back to the mystery which opened the first episode. In the process, it had to go through Yuuki and Chisato’s relationship hitting the pointy rocks near shore. Then, it went to the mystery behind Michiru’s broken harmonica, which then led Yuuki into the darkest of the secrets of the Public Safety Commission. All the while, my interest was taken up by minor details that had nothing to do with the plot whatsoever. It was that kind of episode.
The 9th episode of Koichoco saw the beginning of the campaign proper and the continuing growth of Yuuki’s character with any female character. The campaign got underway as Mouri continued to seal up support amongst the Public Safety Commission for Yuuki’s candidacy. However, the first event was marred by bullying against Isara which led Yuuki to add something that would be deemed a losing issue by Chisato later on. Meanwhile, the very person responsible for the Public Safety Commission being unable to run a candidate returns from suspension poised to screw around with Yuuki’s campaign since she believes Yuuki will not be made a puppet.
The 8th episode of Koichoco focused primarily on the relationship between the Shinonome sisters with a bit of added clarity on Yuuki’s relationship with Chisato. The episode begins with a game of shogi as I hinted at last week where Satsuki spent most of her time trying to tempt Yuuki while they waited for an opportunity to flee. Hazuki then entered the next morning to provide interference. The next night brought with it a test of courage and the aforementioned clarification to Chisato. Finally, Hazuki confesses to Yuuki leading to another game of shogi to compete for him with Satsuki, where a lengthy exposition dump revealed the origin of their conflict.
The 7th episode of Koichoco has very little to do with the election and is more about Yuuki bouncing from girl to girl with predictable results. It starts with Mouri giving the Food Research club the true story about how many votes they will need to win in the general election and how they can get there. The episode then heads off into onsen episode territory where he ultimately ends up getting in the middle of the troubled relationship between the sisters Shinonome.
And so another week passes in this rather ordinary summer. The weather has thankfully been cooling off. On the other hand, the new season of my other fandom has kicked off this weekend. That could mean the end of these weekly recaps even though they feature the only shows other people are watching since episode 4 proved to be the ragequitting point of Koichoco for a good number of people. So here is how they turned out:
The 6th episode of Koichoco picks up from the cliffhanger of the last episode and ultimately takes the show through the completion of the primary. It begins with the prospect of Mifuyu’s romantic fiction being read by Yuuki, which is successfully avoided by clumsiness and improvisation at the speaker’s podium. Then, it comes down to the election returns and whether Yuuki can make the 10% threshold and more. He barely does, but the result reveals more troubling news about his support.
After seemingly an eternity being pushed back for athletic nationalism, Koichoco was back for 2 episodes this week. This first episode of the two was mainly about preparations for and fundraising during the bazaar. It was also about character development between Yuuki and Mifuyu. Also, much of the cast was in Madoka cosplay for a bit, so there’s that too.
Since there was no Koichoco episode to write about this week, I figured now was as good a time as any to revisit the weekly roundup posts that were never popular here in the first place. Why would anyone go here for this stuff anyway, but I digress. Summer typically isn’t a good season for me to watch lots of series and I don’t think I missed out on much from last summer. Combined with the fact that I evidently have an extraordinarily bad history of voting in the Anime Power Rankings which I have been tracking my own votes throughout the year, I could throw in running rankings as I do these posts if it becomes a regular feature.
The fourth episode of this series is primarily about money and how it should be spent on campus. Yuuki begins the episode by running into Isara, who is putting up new lightbulbs around the school to earn extra money. He then heads to the clubroom where campaign finance is the topic of discussion. After formulating a plan to raise campaign funds, the club members get to work. Yuuki later runs into Satsuki, who urges him to read her manifesto. At the same time Isara is confronted by a group of students who proceed to humiliate her.
The 3rd episode focuses on a combination of planning the first part of the food research club’s push to get Yuuki beyond the primary and the differences between the two Shinonome sisters. The food research club gets some help early in the form of a visit from the current president, who passes down his knowledge of winning an election. However, he is doing it for the sake of his public safety committee’s chances of winning future elections. As the club members get to work on the campaign, Hazuki confronts her younger sister Satsuki to find out if this whole campaign is personal.
The 2nd episode was about convincing the reluctant Yuuki to run for student council president even though that was the last thing he wants to do. For the most part, the episode was largely about Yuuki running into people and having to constantly correct his name as he tries to get to the food research club on a Sunday. Right before he does get there, he has conversations with the student council president and Satsuki, who both agree that it would be good if he ran. Then, at the food research club, he delivers a stirring speech trying to promote Chisato for the attempt to run the job, only to ironically have it convince the club members of his own merits.
The opening episode begins surprisingly with a story of political intrigue, attempted murder and scandal in the background as the food research club at the center of the story tries to ensure it’s own survival. The episode begins with one of the students capturing photos she was never meant to take, and is run down by a car because of what she knows. The story then resumes with the food research club getting together to sample some new candy before their advisor runs in to tell them the club might be disbanded. A meeting of the student council ensues and an attempted coup by the head of general affairs is stopped by the head of the financial affairs Shinonome Satsuki who both points out how it would make preparations for the upcoming presidential election harder, but shows suspicious data that implicates general affairs chief in a scandal of his own. Meanwhile, the food research club tries to find a candidate who is viable and will help keep their club alive before ultimately deciding that the protagonist Oojima Yuuki should run himself.
The start of summer (or winter Southern Hemisphere folks) brings with it plenty of things. Where I’m at that means heat, humidity and ridiculously inflated utility bills in a quest to maintain some adequate level of comfort. On a much more relevant note, it also means another new season of series to watch. I think in the past, the summer season has largely been dismissed as inferior to the spring and fall seasons. So I decided to look back 5 years to see what came out of that summer. Continue reading The Lower Mid-Table Summer (of Failure) Season Preview