Winter 2013/4 Season Expectations and Write-ups

A new season is coming up, so once more I look at the incoming listing of pain and suffer anime and choose what to watch next. The list will cover how likely and what form of write-up I’ll give each show, and how interested I am in it currently. I mostly went by random internet chatter, RandomCuriosity’s preview post, and the Neregate’s chart, I don’t really watch previews, which bit me in the ass with NouCome/Yuushibu last season, so let’s hope we don’t get a repeat this season.

I’ll give my current opinion on the shows that carry over. Show-names with a strike-through means I don’t plan to pick the show up, but wanted to discuss it. Interest scale is out of 3 stars.

Sunday:

Nobunaga the Fool animeNobunaga the Fool – Sci-fi, over the top historic figures who fight, an anime-original which always is promising… I’m so ready. Also made by people who make good-looking shows.
Interest Rating: 3/3. I want this.
Write-up Potential: Dunno how far they take the ideas, post-episode notes with a chance of being upgraded.

Space Dandy – This show has hype riding in its wake, with Watanabe Shinichiro who is best known as the director of Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop at the helm. The show seems to go over-the-top, with a womanizing, alien bounty-hunter dandy-man at the helm. It seems really weird and over-the-top, so it could really go anywhere, but we have to trust in Watanabe.
Interest Rating: 2.5/3. It has hype surrounding it, it has pedigree, but it’s weird, so we’re going to have to see where it goes. Anime-original as well.
Write-up Potential: Potential for in-depth episode write-ups, but it’s always nicer to watch a spectacle without pause, and this is going to be a spectacle.

Buddy Complex – Sunrise, the studio behind most mecha, returns for another mecha story, about clashing super-powers and the power of friendship. Looks interesting enough.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3. Will give it two episodes.
Write-up Potential: Post Episode to not at all.

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Kara no Kyoukai Film 4 – The Hollow – A Film About Nothing(ness)

Kara no Kyoukai 4 / Garden of Sinners - The Hollow / Garan no Dou animeKara no Kyoukai, also known as Garden of Sinners, a series of 7 films with a psychological / supernatural focus. The fourth film is called “Garan no Dou” or “The Hollow”, and is 45 minutes long, and seems to occur after the second film, and between the third film.

An important note – these write-ups are written after watching each movie, not the whole series of movies. Spoilers of movies beyond the one numbered in each entry will not be tolerated.

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. This time it’s slightly farther from a review, but I do note character personalities quite heavily. There will be a fair amount of spoilers.)

I took notes for this movie as well, about half of what I did for the previous entry. I took relatively few images this time, here is the album.

First, let me begin with an amusing anecdote from a philosophy class I’ve taken, which was about “winning arguments”. One side claims that “Nothing(ness) can’t be the subject of a sentence,” so the other side writes down that sentence on a piece of paper and shows him that it is indeed the subject of a sentence, and wins the argument.

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Anime Power Ranking Thoughts – Fall 2013 Week 12 (December 15th-22nd)

Due to the holidays, Desu ex Machina which runs the weekly Anime Power Ranking (APR) where anibloggers get to submit ballots on the episodes/shows of the past weeks, didn’t run an APR last week, so I’m going to share with you the ballot I would have sent. Each link in this post is to my write-up of said episode.

Samurai Flamenco Episode 11

Samurai Flamenco / Samumenco anime episode 11

Sentai delivered so straight that it’s crooked!

This is the weakest anime of Samurai Flamenco thus far, and my least favourite (no, the two do not necessarily go together). While every other episode up to now maintained the themes of the show, and even when we had the “craziness” it was a logical continuation of the themes (what people wished for) or had a new thematic discussion (the growth of evil), this episode hadn’t done either of these things. The crazy sentai references didn’t bug me (and in fact reminded me of my childhood TV-watching), but it was “just an episode where things happened“, rather than one where the show advanced, or even paid any attention to its themes.

I hope that after using one episode for it, it’ll return to its normal nature next episode.

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12 Days of Anime #1 Moment of the Year – “I Am Human!”

The most impactful moment of the year for me is a speech, which ran more or less continuously for nine minutes. That’s quite a long speech, and something that is easy to mess up, which makes how great it is all the more impactful. The speech in question appears in episode 9 of Maoyu (Maoyu Maou Yusha / Demon King and Hero), which aired this year. “The Red Scholar” spread knowledge and science to better the lives of the hungry poor, which has the political Central Church denounce her as a heretic, and then she gets a chance to make a speech in front of the people, a very moving speech, a defiant speech, about life, and the human spirit. You can and should watch the speech here.

Maoyu Maou Yusha / Demon King and Hero Anime episode 9

“I am human!” – A moment of triumph of the human spirit.

You can watch the speech here, it does omit what others do and say afterwards, but this is the important bit. I heartily recommend this show, which I wrote an editorial about – the speech is good on its own, better after you watch the show, and the show is worth watching. Just how good is this speech? After seeing Armin’s ridiculous speech in Shingeki no Kyojin I had to go and watch this speech to see a speech done right, where the emotions are conveyed by more than just a character shouting.

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12 Days of Anime #2 – Nine Great Anime Related Moments from 2013

Tomorrow I’m going to post the anime moment that had left the deepest impression upon me this past year. I’ve already written of 10 moments, but here are nine more moments that I thought merited a paragraph each, of an exciting, impactful or “other” moment in my anime-related life from the past year. Why nine? Because tomorrow is the tenth, the big one (Order of following moments is arbitrary).
Moments will be included for: Sword Art Online, Samurai Champloo, Oreimo, Little Witch Academia, Suisei no Gargantia, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Valvrave the Liberator, ToraDora!, and Kyoukai no Kanata.

Studio Trigger's Little Witch Academia Episode 1

This sense of wonder, isn’t this why we’re here?

1. Little Witch Academia – A Simple Joy: This had been 20 minutes, and, well, just like the previous moment, it filled me with inexpiable joy. I felt like the character had in the opening sequence, I felt like I did when I’ve been taken to the cinema to watch Disney films as a child. There’s nothing extraordinary going on here, but as an experience? It struck me to the core, and I’ve rewatched it several times since. It’s not simply childish, it made me feel like a child, a much worthier feat. Every time I rewatch it, I get more excited, this is probably my #2 moment of the year.

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12 Days of Anime #3 – Gatchaman Crowds Was Created Especially for Me

Most shows are either plot-driven or character-driven, so it’s nice to have shows that differ. Shin Sekai Yori which made it into the 11th moment post (They Still Make Mature Anime), is a setting-driven show, where much of the focus and the author’s care is about expanding the world within which the show takes place. Gatchaman Crowds belongs to an even rarer category, a true-blue theme-driven show. There aren’t many of them around, especially not well-done ones, so Gatchaman Crowds was a special treat for me.

Gatchaman Crowds anime

Ichinose Hajime’s smile can ward off the darkness

Not only did I enjoy watching Gatchaman Crowds immensely, I also enjoyed thinking and writing about it (see my lengthy episodic notes on the show), I enjoyed discussing its themes and ideas (of which there had been too many to count) with others (on reddit), and I’ve enjoyed the show itself. I enjoyed it for its themes, and I enjoyed it for its characters, and its bold nature in knowing what it wants to do and going for it, in its quirky nature.

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12 Days of Anime #4 – Watching Avatar Wan’s Tale Is a Mythic Experience (Legend of Korra)

Avatar: the Last Airbender is a great show, and I have many friends who’ve watched it, including with their children, a point I touched upon in my post about demographics, and as such I was quite excited for Avatar: The Legend of Korra. I liked that show fine, and had been quite excited for season 2, which aired this year. One Saturday I woke up to watch that week’s Legend of Korra, only to find out that we had a double feature on our hand, and quite a double-feature it’s been.

Beginnings - Avatar Wan - The Legend of Korra

The greatest human, standing between spirits and mankind.

“Beginnings” comprises episodes 7-8 of Korra’s 2nd season, and transports us 10,000 years into the past, to the birth of the first avatar, Wan. Alongside Wan’s story, we get to see the birth of bending, how humans finally emerged from their confined walls (almost zoos), and how darkness found its way into the world, as the world of spirits separated from the material plane. That is quite some “Just So Story” (Rudyard Kipling, for anyone wondering what I’m referencing).

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