I watched 3 episodes of Anime-Gataris. It reminds me of anitwitter in that it has all these really low level takes. Unlike anitwitter it wasn’t funny or even occasionally insightful, or all that updated–tons of old takes. What I find more troubling in Anime-Gataris is that it lacks the double layer of awareness that I am coming to expect of my meta anime in 2017. Imoto Sae is a good example of what Anime-Gataris is not, for a recent example.
The result, I don’t know if it’s fair to say, is that Anime-Gataris reminds me a lot of the Big Bang Theory. A character and situational driven comedy poised to drop bombs on nerdy references…is exactly what both are. The problem is the jokes and references are fine and well and good in Anime-Gataris, but I’m not sure if it’s for an audience that really wants to get all the jokes. To use an example, it’s like how Garnidelia’s Aikotoba has a space in it on ANN’s listing of Anime-Gataris, and not a no-space or even a dash. (Do you get what I’m trying to say by this meta joke?) If it was proper anitwitter, “A~I~Ko~To~Ba” or something just a little more ~woke~.
The problem at a glance with Anime-Gataris, and other shows like it, is that they are the sort of despised creatures of the 00s in that mid-Azuma, database creation space. I think on a certain level I’m intrigued to see that “character X is supernerd into [vertical Y] and character Z plays the outsider getting in” template is applied to actual anime and not as a derivative work, because that’s how everyone outside of Japan sees things. [Which leads to a bunch of thoughts in my head about oversea fan-catering-isms, but that’s besides the point.] We’ve had enough of this with games, cosplay, Akiba culture, idols, whatever. Finally one on actually anime as disposable entertainment.
Anime otaku is really an underground and hardcore breed of otaku in Japan, ultimately. There are a lot of “poser-likes” who are aware of the meta but don’t play, to use a CCG metaphor. The type of people who watches 10+ shows a season over the span of a few years (minimum) is what makes up real anime otaku I think. Except I think there are more people who don’t watch that many anime and know what’s up, than those who do.
Maybe in 2017 it’s time to have another show like this (yes, it’s novel), in this way (no, it’s tried and tired). Like at this point I don’t even care for its curious, gloves-on references to other properties (such as..Dub Tones? Or whatever Love Live is). It just feels like a by-the-committee effort to milk actual anime otaku, in that flat kind of way that I know oversea nerds like. Of course, this is also counting on Anime-Gataris to carry out its plan to develop its characters as usual and provide some compelling hijinks, but until it makes an IDOLM@STER reference, all it’s doing is saying the things I’ve been hearing people say for the last 20 years.
I guess I judge this kind of things on actual merits, not on superficial performances. So while I will observe Anime-Gataris from afar, I’d suggest people actually go watch all the shows referenced in Anime-Gataris first before watching Anime-Gataris. You are guaranteed to spend your time better that way.