Each year there seems to be an ever growing number of series that are fantastically action-filled and fun to watch as long as one does not care about such matters as plot or character development. I may not have watched much in the 2nd half of the year, but the winner of this category in 2016 was established before summer began. I’m decreeing that the award for Brainless Entertainment in the medium of anime is awarded to Big Order.
Previous winners of this award that I just made up for this post include Triage X, To Aru Majutsu no Index II: The Punchening, Sekirei, and Needless. Hell, I didn’t even watch that last one until I was getting utterly blitzed by endless panty shots, but I digress. The things these shows have in common are tons of fanservice shots, plenty of action, and the complete ability to have no idea what the plot was having watched all of it.
So here’s what one needs to know about Big Order*:
Eiji is fucking clueless as a leader, but he knows he’s a mere puppet
In the manner of Star Trek, Eiji’s crew sends him out because why the hell not, he’s the main character.
Eiji is also into his younger sister…yeah in that way.
Rin in funny for dying repeatedly in one episode, but because she’s immortal she keeps coming back for more punishment.
Iyo is best girl
Big Order also shows the most comical understanding of how humans reproduce in anime
Half the 10 episodes are devoted to something like NTR bullshit, yet I still finished
If none of that has turned you off from watching the best brainless anime of the year, then go ahead and enjoy Big Order. I’m not being paid to say that either since who the hell would take my opinion on this blog seriously to begin with.
I’m not too big on bandwagon jumping. My votes in the Anime Power Rankings reflect that. Plus, the spring isn’t actually looking all that promising. So following Inushide, Lostty, Caraniel, and Yumeka (along with many others who have probably done it, but I hadn’t seen) I’m answering a set if 50 questions that have been going around this particular blogosphere.
I’ve been slacking of late as far as the non-episodic posts. Blogging 4 series at the same time tends to lead to burnout rather quickly, so I plan to get to that when times aren’t as busy. Now that it’s down to 3 series I have a programming issue I haven’t had to address in many a year. I guess people want to see more insight into the personal lives of the people they are following because it makes it easier to relate to them. There’s quite a bit of that on Twitter, but these questions are supposed to address that. Here goes nothing
1. Who is your favorite male anime character?
This is really a hard question to start with because I generally have a hard time deciding on one. Ask me in 10 minutes and my opinion would change. I’ve gone from thinking Vegeta was utterly badass to going through various generic main characters because of the rest of the cast. I even had Kuroda from Giant Killing in this high tier of characters. Ultimately though I had to settle on Jinto from the Seikai franchise. The man takes action when necessary, and fully commits himself to the one he loves.
2. Who is your favorite female anime character?
This one is actually much easier. That would be one Hildegard von Mariendorf. Who could not like a character who was the perfect foil for the man who conquered the entire galaxy? Her marriage was rather farcical given that it came as a result of the two of them giving n to their passions. If anything, it actually made her character that much more endearing.
3. What is your favorite anime soundtrack?
I’d probably go with the OSTs of Macross Plus. It was the first anime I watched where it felt like the music mattered. It was essential to the plot as is the case in most of the Macross series. It then led to a rapid gathering of much of Yoko Kanno’s collection to that point. This was over a decade ago, I should add and this OST still gets into my music rotation.
4. What is your favorite anime opening + animation?
Eden of the East, at least the broadcast version because the music from the Mancunian band does feel necessary. The animation itself actually gives a full synopsis of the plot and the sense of desperation coming from Akira and Saki.
5. What is your favorite anime ending + animation?
Oh boy, endings. I don’t really watch many of these. Kare Kano probably doesn’t count since it isn’t animation. I’ll go with the ending from the 7th episode of Hanamaru Kindergarden. A tribute to silent film before a silent film could win an Academy Award. Unfortunately, I think everyone involved has probably moved on to a different studio by now.
6. What is your favorite anime scene?
Episode 82 of Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Anyone who’s watched it will know exactly what scene.
7. If you could meet an anime character who would it be?
I’d probably go with Fumihiko Matsumaru from REC. The guy works in an office all day and probably has good tales to tell over large amounts of beer.
8. What anime character is most similar to you in terms of personality?
Watashi from Tatami Galaxy, in the worst possible way.
9. What is your favorite thing about anime?
If I was completely and totally honest, I would probably say because it’s different. Not different in the way that those straight-to-Sci Fi Channel movies were during my teenage years, rather it’s more like a grocery or liquor store. There’s a section devoted to stuff from abroad, which makes it seem unique from everything that’s considered normal. It may cost a little bit more, but it seems like it’s different.
10. What is your least favorite thing about anime?
The thought that it could be considered a special product just on it’s own. Anime is capable of being just as bad as even the worst live-action movies and TV shows. I guess this is more an indictment of certain fans over anything else. So sticking entirely to the topic, I’d split it between the name used to define a block of 12 episodes at a time and the phenomenon of officially shortened titles.
11. Who’s your favorite anime couple?
Jinto & Lafiel from Crest/Banner of the Stars. When the question going around the aniblogosphere was “What anime would you want to see?”, all I could think of was more of those two. I don’t think anything else comes close.
12. Who is your favorite anime animal?
Leader from Honey & Clover. Though if we can count just non-human entities I would go for Chizuru from Kanokon, purely for superficial reasons.
13. What anime would make a good game?
The World God Only Knows as a dating sim would be incredibly meta
14. What game would make a good anime?
This is going to be a bit difficult as I don’t play that many games that translate into a story. Just for the hell of it, any of the new Street Fighter games to be adapted as top quality terribad viewing.
15. What was the first anime you ever watched?
This is sort of a difficult question. It could really be a number of things when I was a kid, like Speed Racer, Voltron or Robotech. Purists may not count that, but under other conditions it could also be Dragonball Z, Ranma 1/2 or Sailor Moon. It’s not a simple question to answer.
16. Do you think you’ll ever stop watching anime?
I could make this question morbid, but I’ll just settle for it’s highly likely that I would at some point in the distant future.
17. What is your favorite genre of anime?
I’m not really one for picking a favorite genre. That said I do usually consider what genre a show is trying to be when trying to rate it.
18. What is your least favorite genre of anime?
See the above answer if I’m trying to be fair. If not, then I would just stick to the “slice-of-life nothing happens ever” genre.
19. Are you open about watching anime with people you know?
There’s one guy at work who I took to ACen last year who knows. The rest of the people I know have never even bothered asking what I’m into. So I guess it’s more of an “if I’m asked directly about it” question than not.
20. Have you ever been to Japan?
No, but maybe some day when I actually have the money to do so.
21. What anime was the biggest letdown for you?
Clannad, which was supposed to have this emotional appeal to a large audience. I just wanted to violently throttle Jun Maeda into unconsciousness after watching it.
22. What anime was better than expected?
Probably Kaiba had the biggest jump between what I was expecting and what I watched. I really high on the show based on initial impressions and how poorly the show did in sales, and that it’s unlicensible outside of Australia. Turns out it was an absolute joy to watch. It’s a shame there’s little interest in it.
23. What is the best anime fight scene?
This is actually a pretty hard one, simply because I really don’t want to count mecha battles. For the way this battle concludes with the completely out of left field athletic ability of one of the participants, I choose this:
24. Who is your anime waifu?
I never really understood this concept. What the hell does it even mean anyway? As soon as someone can give me a logical reason for having one, I will get around to choosing one.
25. What was your favorite video game as a child?
Probably Sonic 3 & Knuckles, that locking mechanism was state-of-the-art for 1995. Think I got hundred of hours out of that game.
26. Most embarrassing moment?
You would have to talk to me in person to get this story, sorry.
27. Can you drive?
Yes, though it feels like I have a target on my rear bumper sometimes.
28. Are you mature?
I don’t think so. I do lots of stupid crap all the time and waste time and energy on things that I really shouldn’t.
29. What year were you born?
1983, 16 years after the Summer of Love.
30. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Dogs because cats just use people for their own ends.
31. Describe yourself physically.
6 feet even, and otherwise I don’t stand out in any particular way.
32. What would you name your first child?
I honestly haven’t thought about it because I’ve never thought the possibility I could have a kid was realistic.
33. What is the worst injury you’ve ever had?
I impaled my leg on part of a tree when I was 8, that’s probably about as bad as it gets.
34. What is your worst habit?
Always hiding who I really am from people. So fear is my worst habit.
35. Do you drink or smoke?
Yes…alright, I don’t smoke is that fair enough?
36. Do you have a tattoo?
Of course not. I just think any tattoo on me would look terrible.
37. Are you a morning or a night person?
Mornings because that’s just how I grew up in maximizing video game time when I was a kid.
38. Have you ever slept past midday?
Now that I think of it, probably not.
39. Do you regret anything?
Tons, I have that recurring wish that I could go back 11 years ago and change what I did then. I’d probably use that ability for evil, though.
40. Can you count the number of friends that you have on one hand?
Sometimes it feels like I have many, other times it feels like I wouldn’t need any hands to count. It really just depends on when I’m asked this.
41. Do you wear glasses?
I go with contacts. I was picked on when I had glasses as a kid, plus my parents basically picked for me. I still have a pair, but it never goes out in public.
42. Are you a picky eater?
Not really, I’ll actually try most things that look somewhat edible. I used to hate anything with mushrooms, and though I don’t love them, I will at least eat stuff with them in it. I do know people at work who consider pizza a vegetable, so I’m not terrible.
43. Would you die for someone?
As I am now, I probably wouldn’t. If I had kids then it might be a different story.
44. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Charisma to the extent that I could convince anyone to do anything I wanted. I’d be like the guy in these commercials:
45. Do you believe in the supernatural?
Not really, that’s something used to make more money be those selling supernatural goods or the idea itself.
46. Would you rather be rich or famous?
Rich, so I could use the money to become famous. Like donating enough money to have a hospital wing named after me, or kicking my Congressman out of office.
47. Have you ever committed a crime?
You’d have to ask me in person to get the answer, it’s related to the earlier question.
48. Time traveler or ghost?
Time traveling because screwing around with history and having untold consequences sounds exciting.
49. Does anybody have a crush on you?
I think my existence probably doesn’t register enough to make this possible.
So I seem to have hit some mark for continuing to blog for a length of time, but I can’t seem to put myself in a position to celebrate it at all. Hence the use of a day count rather than a number of months or even years. I haven’t really felt good about the last year as far as my writing. Last year I said I had 2 paths to go toward, thoughtful analysis or writing on something popular. It seems I’m pretty well incapable of the former without being incredibly boring, and the latter seems to have been a complete miss with Haganai.
Duration isn’t exactly something I find worth celebrating in the middle of. At the end of it all, that’s fine if what came before it was great. However, it sort of feels like hitting Scamp’s famed 3 year mark is like awarding the winner of a 24-hour endurance race after 3 hours. Further more, I’m fairly certain that Scamp’s observation has skewed the survival of blogs as it has set a target that no one would have thought about before he wrote on it.
Before I get into the actual post itself, I have a few words on things I find interesting. There was a little conversation yesterday that began with my deeming banter between the Manchester United players Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones over the latter having Quagmire from Family Guy as the background on his iPhone as fairly banal. The debate eventually got caught up on the point that, could someone who appears to like only popular media and lacking in any sort of personality quirks could be interesting. Any thoughts on this topic would be welcome on this, as well as anything that follows.
Now onto the action in Haganai. The idea from the 2nd episode of having the cast play an RPG is repeated again with similar results. Plot wise, the growing tension between Kobato and Kodaka which conflicts with the growing closeness between Kodaka and Maria. The fake vampire versus a younger version of Index (before her entire schtick became eating), I don’t know how much I can take.
Being the serial dropper of series that I am, I set a new challenge for myself for the spring season. I would not drop anything I started. This was not without a few caveats for I had several already existing rules on what to watch:
Nothing from Madhouse (also known as the Grenoble rule which expires May 27)
No starting anything that would have no definitive end as I don’t want to spend a decade watching filler
Anything made for children under the age of 8 was no good (feral children scare me so why would I want to think like them?)
Finally, no sequels of shows I failed to complete the first time around
No worries however as I’m going to try to make this as entertaining an experience as possible. Just one more reminder, don’t expect much in the way of serious analysis (that was all used up on Giant Killing).
Given the fact that chii has recently posted on the meeting of the great characters Reinhard von Lohengramm and Yang Wen-li from Legend of the Galactic Heroes and pointed out that I’ve been blogging the series, this next post will probably baffle those who have a particular taste in heroes. So with the image above which pretty much cuts into the Basil Exposition-esque level of writing in the series, my opinion of To Aru Majutsu no Index protagonist Kamijou Touma stands out a little. This post poses my own reasons why I like this character while at the same time questioning my own beliefs in said appreciation.
The 10th episode of the series sees Touma and Motoharu continue their chase after Oriana Thomson with the remote assistance of Stiyl. After a brief battle between Touma and Oriana, more dramatic information is revealed about the item that everyone is chasing after and its potential effect on the world. Finally, Touma meets up with Index, then his family and finally Mikoto and her mother to great comedic effect.
The smug doctor appears to resolve Fukiyose’s situation.
With Fukiyose receiving medical treatment and the spell crippling Stiyl removed, Touma and Motoharu resumed the chase after Oriana Thomson. They eventually chase her down to a bus shelter where she hops on a bus with no one on it. Fortunately, Stiyl had left his runes on the buses in the last episode and he was able to disable the bus. After escaping the burning bus, Oriana went to work using her combination of psychological warfare and effective magic.
She starts by taking out Motoharu using a spell that knocks out those who are injured. Then, the battle with Touma starts with a series of spells she refuses to use more than once. She eventually gets to one that she says will kill Touma if he moved, but he runs through the spell and Imagine Breakers his way through more to connect a big right hand on Oriana. Touma then checks on Motoharu which leaves Oriana to escape without the large object she had been carrying. It turns out that the initial spell only lasted for a limited amount of time and that the thing she was carrying was just a signboard for an ice cream shop.
The Game Changer
As Oriana dresses the part for the next phase of her mission, more details come to life about the transaction she thinks will end with everyone happy. Meanwhile, Charles Condor reveals to Laura Stuart that there really is no such thing as the Stab Sword, but the legend they are really chasing after is the Croce di Pietro or St. Peter’s Cross. She immediately realizes that Academy City would collapse if the transaction occurred, or much worse.
Stiyl receives the news from Laura back at Academy City, and he and Motoharu begin to explain to Touma just what would happen. When the cross would be placed into the ground, the land would immediately come under the control of the Roman Catholics. Everything in Academy City would begin to favor them and no one there would find anything strange about it. Ultimately, it would lead to a world where everyone would be happy even if it created an immense burden on society. In addition, with Academy City representing the point where magic and science balanced; having the city fall under the hands of the Roman Catholics would practically give them control of the world.
The World of Happiness is Closer Than You Think
After thinking about the implications, Touma is confronted by Index who punches him for ignoring her feelings about wanting to cheer her on. Elsewhere, Mikoto and her mother run into Touma’s parents at a park. After her mother embarrasses her by revealing how she feels about Touma to his parents, the four head off to get something to eat. Before they leave, Oriana reappears to bump into Touya, who then proceeds to gawk at her and in the process getting on his wife’s bad side.
Touma’s separate lives come together at inopportune times.
Touma and Index later walk into a restaurant, the same one that the others went to. Immediately, Mikoto begins interrogating Touma about how he treats her and who exactly Index is. When Touya asks about Index as well considering she went on the beach sleepover, Mikoto ends up on the defensive. Index begins to ask questions about Mikoto’s relationship with Touma and the situation starts to get out of his control. Misaka’s mother moves in to ease the situation, which leads Touma to ask who she is. She then introduces herself as Misaka Misuzu, Mikoto’s mother, much to the incredulity of the others.
Index continues to follow its well-rehearsed story arcs. Fukiyose’s injuries in the last episode may as well be considered resolved. Then Touma was able to have his traditional mini-boss battle before the situation could be considered grave. Of course, it had to conclude on tradition end-of-episode lighthearted entertainment.
On that last part, I think it was quite interesting how the idea of everyone becoming happy segued into that final part of the episode. Touma, as essentially a harem lead, should have realized that a world where everyone is happy was quite close to him. As long as everyone accepted the situation where his relationships could exist separately, every one of his girls would seem happy. As soon as the questions start to be asked, the whole system looks like it would fall apart. Would Touma ever realize this idea? Definately not.
After ghostlightning once again set the agenda over at the creatively named THAT Anime Blog, and with followups from Rakuen at Borderline Hikikomori and Caraniel’s…Ramblings, I thought I may as well have a go at something like this too. Categorization of the characters in these posts have broken down into words like admirable, complex, entertaining and relatable. I would also think there are other ways to have favorite characters, which could even be in reaction to the favorites of others; positively or negatively. One could even have characters that are favorites for irony.
Before I start the 38th post as this series is starting to come to an end, that I did do a fairly similar look at this season in my anniversary post here. One thing I think I can say is that the fall season throughout this decade became a lot better by year. It is therefore no surprise I consider this miles better than the 2000-03 fall seasons. So for the few readers out there who actually read this before I started this series, this all might sound a bit familiar.
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.
So ghostlightning worries about the anime blogging microculture. It seems a bunch of blogs have halted and that this may point to a trend. A while back I read that there were probably millions of blogs that were dead and no longer being updated (including 4 of my previous efforts I’m sure). People losing interest in something is pretty much human nature considering the workload some put themselves through.
For me personally, the idea of someone blogging anime as a profession is patently absurd. Maybe in 20 years time, but not now. So for now, it exists mainly as the passion of those who write them. There’s a certain level of utility at which someone will keep writing. Commenters and other factors may increase that utility, word count and brainstorming may decrease it, but at some point someone will stop.
With this blog, that pattern fits me. I know I can’t do an episodic blog for the fact that it would seem more like work than actual fun. What I can do is watch a show the best part of 2 decades old once a week and put my thoughts together, and put up a weekly summary of new shows filled with references that no one has yet acknowledged as getting. Though I wish I could actually get comment discussion going, it’s not really essential for this to be the fun exercise it’s meant to be.
And as of now, there are no plans for this blog to stop despite the groans I can’t actually here from my non-existent readership.