Summer 2013, < Three Episodes After

The anime blogging ritual continues.

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Overall I thought this season yet again features a lot of solid shows. Even questionable entries like Fantasista Dolls or Inuhasa (for different reasons) give me reasons to want to watch it week after week, even when I wish just the opposite. The problem, if there is one, is that the shows with the most potential, the ones I like best, can only be engaged at an arm’s length.

By that I mean it’s hard to cheer for them. Let’s take Genshiken Niidame or Watamoe or the Monogatari series as a counterexample. These are pure otaku fodder. I can sleep with them in bed, carry it with me and read it on the train, what have you. That’s the typical case for late-night style anime. But entries like Gatchaman Crowds and Uchoten Kazoku, both fascinating pieces of work, require a level of rigor in order to engage them fully. It feels wrong, for example, to indulge in making dirty doujinshi of, say, Benten (but maybe not Utsutsu). Not that it won’t be done, of course, but there’s just something off kilter about theses two works. Maybe it’s the visuals? Maybe it’s just me? Probably it’s just me. It makes me want to watch them in theaters, or talk about it at cons with like-minded people. Or blog about them in a way to distinguish them.

I can’t say how it feels to engage all these works from a distance further than that, though. It must feel kind of ordinary and boring when, at a large enough distance, invariably everything seems to be the same thing, day in and out.

Genshiken Nidaime – What made the original series charming was that it was never really about being an otaku, but about being  humans that happened to be otaku, so otaku can relate. So Nidaime simply continues the trend. I think the real risks it runs with Niidame is no different than with the original, which is seeing Japan’s typical failings rear its head. Because ultimately Genshiken is still just about a bunch of Japanese kids.

Watamote – I watch this because it’s pretty funny. Like Author I checked out some of the manga–the 4koma spinoff specifically–after the anime. I already read a few chapters of the manga back when 4chan think it’s the best thing. I don’t know, it’s not that good. I think the mangaka team realized where their strength lies, though, seeing the spinoff being what it is. The anime is equally remarkable, but with addition of Kitta playing a great Tomoko and with Oonuma Shin playing his tricks depicting psychopathy. Remember the voicemail scene from ef? I think we’re in good hands.

Monogatari Series – This is the sort of anime that you gotta just get on right next to, like Senjogahara getting it on with Hanekawa. Otherwise it’s kind of boring!

Fantasista Doll – I can’t watch more than 3 episodes of this, so I’ll ride it as much as I can. What gets me is not just the character designs, but the strange combination of characters. Also it’s kind of ludicrous. I mean, Funta nails it in the OP with those goofy and puffy refrains (hey! hey!).

Sunday Without God – This is also kind of ludicrous but while I enjoy and appreciate the creative setting, its chuu2 power levels are too much for me. The characters are insufferable although it might be fun to see a whiny Aki Toyosaki character. Or maybe I should just go watch Last Exile Fam or something. I think I stated as “both the best and worst of chuunibyou” which is still, well, something.

Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen – It’s fun! Any anime with d-mail is kind of fun, I suppose. And this is without any real nostalgia factor playing. Other than Hina and the twins I don’t really care about anyone in the show. I guess I’ll stick with it, it’s not every day you can hear that mid 00s seiyuu cast going at it. I still am weak against certain modes of Nogawa Sakura.

Kaminomi season 3 – The feel of the show drastically changed. I’m not sure I like it, but it’s somewhat engaging. I think Rozen Maiden has it better, but at this point I’m too invested in the series to drop. Maybe time will do that for me.

C3-bu – It’s pretty fun. I also wonder how much of an influence Gun Smith Cats had on the creative direction of this show. With that said I think I’ll stick it out.

Free – I guess I am uke to Kyoani’s seme. Actually, this series feels a bit like Tamako Market. You got the dedication to the craft, you got the unconventionally motivated genius, you have a bewildered girl whose eyes are opening for the first time. Free will be much better with a talking bird (I guess Nagisa fits the role, sans Dera’s wisdom). It probably will sell better than Tamako Market, all signs indicate.

Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA – I really enjoy these Type-Moon spinoffs, partly because they are really good once you are engaged with it on the same level. Kadowaki Mai’s Ilya shines. Ruby is doing her job although I would say she’s the weakest link so far. I’m in for all the Rin fanservice (although at this point it reminds me of Fate/Extra more so than any other work with Rin in it).

Day Break Illusion – The other Kadowaki Mai magical girl anime, I think this is the sort of show that you have to watch it through, or at least in significant chunks, to really pass any useful judgment. The narrative framework is not too unlike, well, an alt-Gundam anime, as far as character development goes. It’s not so enjoyable, but I think the story is worth watching it for.

Servant x Service – It’s like Working. It’s also like work because I’m obligated to blog it. Other than all the sexual harassment, there’s nothing you would not expect (and maybe even the sexual harassment).

K3 – Why bother with 3rd rate otaku crap (not that otaku crap is third rate, but this is third rate even among otaku crap) this when Tamayura is also running? Actually, this is more alone the Yuyushiki train of thought. Which is another show I didn’t finish and I would prioritize that over the Chronicles of Going Home Club at the moment. Hell, prioritize GJ-bu over all this -bu crap.

Tamayura ~ More Aggressive – Considering I went to the new season event, considering the voice acting lineup, considering it being SatoJun’s primary bag post-Aria, how can I not watch it? It even has an ILM camera. And it is a hip, controversial, and culturally apropos digital camera. However it has the same problem with Tamayura season one, which is the low engagement level. I thought being More Aggressive means literally that, and it is, but I guess a fast turtle is still turtle speed. Also, I guess I never blogged about Tamayura (either the first two go-arounds, huh).

Inuhasa – It’s almost good for its terribleness, but wavers too much in the twilight zone. Worth watching a little (at least OP/ED).

KINMOSA – Episode one was very strong, and that sets the pace for the rest. Unfortunately the normal 4koma stuff from episode 2 and onwards seems to hit and miss like usual, so there’s nothing outstanding besides the subject matter: weeabooism. This might be the show I want to watch but end up dropping due to time reasons.

Gatchaman Crowds – I was a big fan of this franchise way way way back. This new stuff is not really what I’d call Gatchaman, but more like a Gatchaman-themed Nakamura Kenji anime. Which is fine for me, because I dig Nakamura Kenji shows in general. And here he’s bringing back that too-cool-for-noitaminA game. It is probably okay–most fans of Gatchaman are old enough to understand what Nakamura is doing. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean people will enjoy what he is doing…

Love Lab – For the light-hearted, all-girls humor category this is a strong contender. I might prefer this over the more pandering-specific successes in the past. This might be another show I want to watch but end up dropping due to time reasons.

Silver Spoon – I know eggs come from the poop hole. I guess I always thought Moyashimon was already interesting w/o the human electron microscope bit, so maybe this is exactly that.

69Bu S2 – Show you guts cool say what I mean they’re the best aren’t they. New characters immediately make this second act a little more interesting from the get go. Maybe it’s like “Go to Koshien, do not pass Fanservice, do not collect $200.”

Sympogear G – Probably tops DxD in terms of anime I am not watching but want to watch. For similar reasons.

Danganronpa – Sasuga NISA, I will be calling this Trigger Happy Havoc forever. Also, really not my kind of show but funky and interesting. Will drop after watching only episode 2. In some ways I think my experience improved by skipping episode 1.

Neptunia the Animation – Like Danganronpa I might just try a few episodes. I tried ONE. Okay, this is really good fap material if you’re into that, but much like the video games there’s this irritating dichotomy between what I like and what I can tolerate, and the IP bounces between the two without any ability to make up its mind. Well, a few episodes will be tried. I know I can tolerate this show, but why do that when I am not always promised with that carrot on the stick? There are other anime to watch this season.

Trigger Happy Havoc: Kyouko & Sayaka

And as usual there’s the list of continuing shows:

MJPR – Getting somewhere finally.

Space Bros – half a season behind is not too bad.

Really behind on Railgun, but I guess we’re through the “money shot” episodes.

Eoten Jaegers – Yeah.

Shorts:

Teekyuu is a natural.

Senyu. is a wannabe.

Turning Girls, turning girls.

In conclusion: not enough hours in the day for all this crap.

PS. I was turned to this academic-y blog and I thought these 2 posts are worth a look-see.

PPS. There are a couple things I want to address from last season, namely re: this and re: that. Not sure when I can write about them though.


One Response to “Summer 2013, < Three Episodes After”

  • praestlin

    Lovely link for the fantastic memes piece, thanks. Not the best help when trying to unpack anti-otaku prejudices (“Different standards!” doesn’t carry weight with normals), but a good thing to note.

    Looking forward to your own reactions to Yahari. I read the other guy on Japantor and he caught a lot of flak from the comments for using normal standards on it.

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