Category Archives: Darker than Black

Seasonal Impression Mashup (Take 2)

THIS IS ANIMETA!

Instead of posting my first impressions (who cares about first impressions anyways? LOL an exercise at judging books by covers), I’d just like to reflect how this time of the year was this year and last year, and hopefully those things will chime with you and give you some idea what the hell I’m talking about. For one, I’m tired of being judgmental about anime. It’s not healthy to do it all the time, y’know?

But like last year and every year before that, some anime are more interesting than others. I remember last year I was reading a few blogs about Canvas 2, and heard about some long ass dumb debate on Animesuki forums regarding Canvas 2’s controversial ending. “Well, isn’t that interesting?” So I embarked to marathon it, finding it fairly compelling to watch. Or maybe those things happened out of sequence? I recall waiting for the last fansubs to come out in order to hold back from the full impact of the first impression of the ending would have on me.

I imagine some time this past year a lot of anime viewers took the same trip with many other shows. Simoun, Suzumiya Haruhi, and many others? But in the larger scheme of things anime companies are looking to expand their territories in the minds of its viewers: to grow more fans, to grow more people who’d give their shows a try, to grow more marketing opportunities and foreign interests, and of course, clamoring and accolades and $$$.

It’s no surprise that the big guns get out this time of the year. Shows like Saiunkoku Monogatari is wrapping up its year-run (3 cheers for Shuurei~) but what will take its place? It’s probably licensed, so a job well done. Gainax’s Gurren Lagann looks to capture a similar sort of thing, in a totally different way, on a different TV channel. Will it run a similar path? Or even a more lucrative one because of Gainax’s leverage and the genre itself? I don’t know. But that’s hardly the only player in the field. If there’s grass, you can play ball–even if that grass is made of dead people. Gonzo earns its name by resurrecting William Shakespeare himself in their adaptation of Romeo And Juliet, so … all is fair in an anime about love and war?

But no, it’s not fair. I have less time than ever to watch all these new shows (yet I do it anyways?) and that’s not counting a couple other shows that I’m dying to catch up from last season (Nodame most notably). Time is a cruel mistress indeed. On top of my obligations as a somewhat responsible human being, do I have to stress through plowing through countless raws, one show trying to outdo the other, appealing from one genre to the next and across and all over? It really pays to be an elitist asshole right about now.

We even have a space conquest anime about various alien races … at the same time with a doomsday anime with Shoji Kawamori mecha designs. Grah. Plus a new Bones anime. It’s like being a bee buzzing over a lovely meadow during springtime [insert Bee Train joke here]. The serial nature of anime means you’re really making an investment now to follow a show, which sort of locks you in for some time. Maybe that’s why first impressions are so important?

But blah, having a compelling pilot episode, as important as it may be, is not of what good shows are made of. Darker than Black, for example, calls on you to wait for episode 2, and I get the feeling of what makes that stuff good is all there.

It’s a frantic time of the year, but also a good time of the year. It’s just that I’m way too busy to celebrate?