I think the winners, barring the remaining contestants, are clear.
- Haruhi’s Melancholy is beyond cure.
- Ouran High School Host Club caters to only women and gay men, too bad.
- Nana is Madhouse at its best.
- Higurashi is probably Deen’s counterattack (on top of Fate…?) Or is it Simoun?
- School Rumble 2 is still full of nimble jokes.
- And Aria seems all too much an island escape when the world is mired at war.
Notice how each of those are spearheaded by a different significant production studio. Deen, for example, has their lovely Simoun flying machines complete with sound effects akin of Vader’s Custom TIE. It’s a war out there. Well, with exception of Bones and Madhouse, who also manages to hit really, really hard with Juuousei, the Lord-of-the-Flies tale of survival and becoming something more; and Black Lagoon, probably my #1 selection for the masses this season. Sucks to be Gonzo right now, though…wait a few months? This season, it seems, the studios have taken cues from 1-2 years ago and suddenly every one of them produced shows that started at around the same time, all very appealing.
And they fight like as if it’s a war–in the flea market of our minds. Some of the arsenals include kiss. Lots of kisses–girl-girl, girl-boy, boy-girl, boy-boy (well, we tried to avoid this one). Lots of blood, even more action (some involving kissing); comedy shoujo-style, comedy-no-style, no-comedy. No romance, lots of romance, mostly in-between. Low blows. Guns; lots of guns. Hot moms, lots of sisters; bunny girls? CG, fake CG, CG-looking-like-it’s-not, REALLY BAD CG. Snail-pace, non-linear storytelling, action-packed. And of course, fanservice; the shoujo/josei crowd is still at the lead of that (so much sex in Nana, so little time), of course, closely followed by the snuffy Tokko (funded by Manga Entertainment???). Can maid boys beat out magical girls from the 90s? Only if you’re a dream user…
The casualties are lost in the mindshare bloodbath, deemed to wander in the obscurity known as “faint recollections” when one browses through a list of anime at their favorite torrent site or wallpaper listing. Who the hell cares if your close friends are gargoyles or a badass tank AI?
It’s fierce, and as well it should be. That said I am not holding my breath; the second half of this year has some of the more exciting titles coming out. UFOTable’s newest project and more KyoAni in the form of Kanon are just some rememberable teasers waiting to happen.