Let’s get to it.
Top 12 TV anime!
There’s not a lot to say about it besides that, yep, I produced in 2012.
The iDOLM@STER is this franchise based on some video games. In recent year it spun off not only into new consoles and game genres, but in the form of an anime. Well, that’s very 2011. What is new in 2012 is how I now live with that fact and its consequences.
In 2012, I obtained an iM@S poster by playing jan ken with another fan. Which has its context in the overall idea of the games/franchise.
In 2012 I attended a couple iM@S panels. In fact I attended a con largely to do just that. It wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t producing.
I bought my first iM@S game in 2011, but I actually didn’t plug in to the DLC world (and all its ills) until 2012, and it kinda hurts! In a good way. But I am only several hundred dollars poorer than if I wasn’t producing. What probably costed more is the reputation loss for being associated with these things. It’s not like I had music creds to begin with but, man, these are not so good.
In other words, this is the sort of story where a simple decision can change your life. It’s like the parable about the mustard seed. If your attitude is right, it’s gonna go big. And maybe that’s a good thing.
No Kotori in that video! Would’ve been a perfect analogy. Right?
Funny thing is I wish I was joking; the song and video really do refer to the same notion as demonstrated by the parable. It’s just one is much more SRSBZNS than the other. Well, do we count marketing across the language and cultural divide through sub-cultural fandom a parallel to the Kingdom of God? I suppose both pay dividends.
I think a lot of the good things about anime and its community comes from these kind of experiences, where I meet people who have faith in the stuff, and the intangible things that connect us together. It could just be a hobby or a song or a favorite artist, but when idealism walks the walk good things happen. Other things happen too, but that’s for another post. More importantly iM@S is just a lot of fun. It is for everybody. In fact in 2012 I’ve seen all kinds of people enjoying iM@S fandom–you have King Author with his little plane there on one hand, on the other hand there was these twenty-something cosplaying girls from NJ/NY that run a panel by taking a normal car or mass transit. The World Is All One indeed.
Up next: Or is it “Gotta Catch Them All“?
Twenty-twelve is on its end and it’s time to submit to tradition and peer pressure. I’m not a big one on dates and what not but it’s always a good excuse to party and introspect; it’s not like we need an excuse to party anyway!
In a nutshell I liked 2012, when many of its anime offerings are actually rather good. We can start out on, say Eva Q, or Goro Miyazaki’s breakout film. Heaven is a place on earth. We could look at the seasonal offerings. I watched an episode of Lupin. I watched more K-ON. I watched more Strike Witches. There was Seitokai no Ichizon. Danshi Kokousei no Nichijou. There was high action from Fate/Zero’s exciting conclusion, to the drawn out visuals of Guilty Crown. We went to space with Space Bros and Rinne, and looked for the SISTER AMONG US while quoting Shakespeare in Zetsuen no Tempest, Waiting in the Summer. Well, it was more like winter, AMIRITE? One thing we did a lot of is go online and play games. There are just way too many of those anime this year. I still averaged about 20 series a season. On the related front of non-anime adaptations, there was even a Kenshin to go with the Kenshin OAV/film re-releases.
I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that TV anime has turned the corner. We are squarely in the post-moe era now. It doesn’t take Psycho-Pass to do this, although it is no coincidence that it is airing at the same time as Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai. I mean, seriously, when chuunibyou is a commercialized item, complete with a production committee, you know this trend is about to disintegrate into pay dirt and lose all actual cred as a fandom item. Nor is it a coincidence regarding the utterance of moe in Psycho-Pass–that lack of moe or anti-moe is the new dead thing. The rise of Urobuchi in the wake of his post-Madoka success was already a go-ahead signal for the major players to change gears. At least, if you are not a game developer.
Speaking of him, it is nice to see Urobuchi for once. The con circuit in 2012 was fun as usual, although AX felt a bit muted. In exchange I had a blast at all the other cons this year, even NYCC. I think it’s still good time to scale things back a bit personally. We’ll see what’ 2013 has in store–I hear Otakon has a big time guest lined up already, ready to go in January. Still, I think I’m probably most excited about the Otakon music fest being a regular item, although the vibe I got is more like it’s probably not going to be something you should count on. At least, not the way that AFA probably can bring home the mother lode of wota idols. Sphere is an awesome get, and those people in Singapore on that fated date can have all my jelly.
And yes, we outsiders party and don’t necessarily pay. It’s the way we’ve rolled for decades, and 2012 is no exception. But I think the one thing that remain after all this time is that I’ve partied enough. It’s time to take a vacation or something. Maybe I will. Or at least do something different. The industry is showing their first-born fruits of new media paradigms like SJ Alpha while their older siblings truck on. FUNi, AN, CR and even Aniplex all took a step forward in 2012.
The world is certainly changing. Maybe that fact alone will leave some with a bad taste in their mouths. But I’d like to think we’re definitely better off in 2012 than we were at any point in anime’s history, in the history of this fandom, on average.
Because, up next, we are ladies…?
Year in review 2012:
I’ll say it again: this movie is the best thing that has ever came of Studio Ghibli.
I say this for several reasons, but for a film that I’ve watched like a dozen times, it’s pretty amazing that I am still getting more out of it today, perhaps as much as I did years ago when I first laid eyes on it.
I mean, it captures so well a certain sort of Asian upbringing. Complete with idealized rebellion against the machine and exaggerated flirtation with future aspiration and kickstarting your dreams. It’s like what every Tiger Mom wishes for once they’ve leveled up to a certain level. How do you become an artisan? Or more importantly, how do you convince your parents about it?
That joke aside, another thing that got me was during the entire time I was like “this girl is just like some kids on Twitter!” and the way they checkout-card stalk each other is like a low-tech cyberstalking. And Concrete Road–us being privy to an in-joke like that is miraculous script-writing. And then there was the sweet flirting and the usual nonsense. Then it came the low-tech version of NaNoRiMo. In a way I appreciate Shizuku’s no-nonsense approach. No fancy websites tweeting wordcounts, and she’s writing to test herself. Which is reason as any to burn a couple months away. Armed with a pencil and a pile of paper, she does something so many older, more resourceful people have failed.
Now that joke aside, I think all that is just to attest to the strange timelessness of a teenager’s malaise, and how things may be not so different in 2011 attests to Whisper’s gimmick-free look and its powerful narrative. It’s the best Ghibli film.