Winter 2013 on Short Attention Spans

Maybe it’s because there’s almost a dozen short form anime this season that is getting unrivaled amount of attention, but there are not too many things keeping my attention, speaking purely from an anime perspective. Here are a few things that I’ve been gnawing on mentally. Bullet-bolded style?

I really enjoy Maoyu, but somehow it falls short of compelling. I guess it wouldn’t be right to say it is not compelling, as after each episode I wish I had the next one queued up ready to go. To me this is the #1 healing anime this season, partly because it models this really romantic take on a couple whose lives are driven by what they do, not by the romance between them. It is illustrated best by Maou’s hug pillow, both in a literal way but in a way where you actually see what’s going on. In my own experience interacting with people like this, it’s not always obvious. It’s kind of how two working couples can stand their time apart but really treasure when they are together, and the hug pillow is a short hand for that togetherness. It is also some other things, but Maoyu can speak to that itself. I also love how it’s just straightforward, unabashed plot and setting crap 80% of the time.

However it’s not compelling in a way where the Zettai Karen Children spinoff is–that’s just some solid anime. If there’s a quotient for “anime-ness” in anime, this show is full of it. The direction is competent and the plot, while somewhat veering into the path of way-too-familiar, stands enough between the ZKC references and that the setting does have some meat to it. It’s a great primer for people who want to engage the franchise and story without their skeevy-radar go off too much. Not that is a real problem for me anyway. It’s one of those rarely-sung title that somehow pops up on my to-do list every time a new episode comes out, and I make the time to watch it as soon as I reasonably can. For the record, I watched all of 2 episodes of the original Zettai Karen Children.

The Infernal Cop skit where they’re shooting underwater is still the best.

Is it me or Osaka Mama is actually a really serious moe anime? I mean it is serious about moe, not that it is serious.

Magi on CR seems uncensored. Magi on TV, maybe not?

There is no fog layer

That’s some choice words, Alibaba, for your animator-gods. That got me wondering–if we were to treat Crunchyroll (and by extension TN and FUNi) as channels of their own rights, shouldn’t fansubbers actually care more about raw sources? A Girls und Panzer with and without Katyusha is a world of differences. The broadcast’s calls impact these things, things that can drastically impact the viewing experience  (besides givens like the translation).

Cancer watch: I mean, is there some kind of cancer that is killing anime this season? Vividred Operation? Oh hey. I think if people actually cared about “moe cancer” they would’ve long figured out that it’s just the same handful of people making all this stuff they’re supposedly peeved about.

I thought Sasami-san episode 4 was wonderful, as usual. But I have no words for it this time because there wasn’t any room to talk about it outside the meta. Unless you got a creation tale or some legendary myths about Amaterasu’s body splitting into two or something. You would think given enough time, Shinbo’s work might actually approach that FLCL-esqe sensibility where it only makes sense because you’ve seen the anime in this exact way. This might be the closest he has gotten to that, yet. I mean, it made sense, right? I think another reason why I had little to say about Sasami-san episode 4 was because it is full of fanservice.

Anko mochi is the sweetest. And by sweetest I don’t necessarily mean taste. Tamako Market made sure of that, although in the end it may still sell short of its universal status as the default combination between mochi and filling.

Confession: I was never a Yukarin fan. Outside of Galaxy Angel I just never had anything to latch on. Her solo performer act is a spectacle but for me it was more relatable as an incubator of wotagei moves and an area of study of 2.5D culture than the content. I was still impressed at her moves in Oreshura though. As for Oreshura, unfortunately besides the Jojo references and how the girls may be cute, I’m not sure what else it has going for it. Oh, right, I love the color designs in the OP and ED.

It’s just the me who wants to play Ni no Kuni talking. He knows there’s no way I can watch all this anime and finish the game before 2014. The other me says that Kurousagi deserves my time every week. I’m inclined to agree. It’s not just that she’s a, well, bunny girl in the purest sense. She also is a very alpha-female kind of character that fanfictions would ship for protagonists and self-inserts. I mean, perhaps, if SAO had her instead of Asuna, I might have actually finished watching it. Maybe that’s it–I like girls who are treated like guys by the story (as opposed to the narrative)? I would ice her any day (speaking of games).

It’s kind of like, when people compare Maoyu with Spice & Wolf, I would say, “Horo would’ve eaten the two serfs.” I am kind of glad I skipped on Dog Days completely to go to that camp with Mondaiji. Maybe it is for the best.

Vividred Operation: Vivid Green is Miku, Vivid Blue is Kos-Mos, and Vivid Yellow is Mami (with a hint of Saber). I think that is really cool and I am almost shocked, after the fact, that it took this long for an anime to pull it together.

And that’s the end of my blogging attentions span. Maybe playing long, grinding JRPGs help to grow that. Somehow I doubt it.

PS. I’ve got to stop reading Peter King on Mondays. With the American foosball season over, maybe I will.


4 Responses to “Winter 2013 on Short Attention Spans”

  • praestlin

    Vividred and Maoyu are best of the season. For me at least.

    You’ve managed to put into words what I found most unique about Maoyu’s romantic dynamic. It’s definitely a romance, but the interesting thing here is that unlike pretty much any other romance in animu, it’s between two people with a job to do, and one they’ll do FIRST, before getting lovely-dovey. It’s both frustrated and driven by duty, which makes the downtime moments sweeter.

    I can understand why some people are going “why don’t they just fuck already” and complaining about it being forced – in a way the bits where Hero gets milquetoast and King gets flustered feel a bit distracting, but I can see why they’d need that style.

    The romance is pretty low-key as it is, and if they played it in the Kenshin-style “Tadaima-okaeri” call-and-response, it would be TOO low-key. The rom-com moments help solidify that it’s still a work in progress, one that they’ll make work, rather than an Athena born fully-formed from 2ch’s head.

    Wakaba is best girl. DAT THONG. DAT PONY. DAT MIKU.

    Green > Mayo > Hikki > Tomato
    Miku > Frills > Whatever VividHomu will be > Boob exhaust

    • omo

      As for Maoyu, I sort of left out a clause in regards to “this really romantic take on a couple whose lives are driven by what they do, not by the romance between them.” I think the problem you’ve described is why we call people “DT.” And the two main characters in Maoyu are super dense, which is kind of irritating as far as a drama generator goes.

      Wakaba huh. She does wear the ZR.

    • praestlin

      What’s DT?

    • omo

      Hmm. Watch Ixion Saga a bit.

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