12 Days of Anime – Moment #12 and Introduction – Getting Back on the Saddle

For those of you who don’t know, the 12 days of anime is an event anibloggers engage in, where they relate 12 moments that are related to anime from the past year – moments which made them smile or angered them, from current shows or older, moments where they went to conventions, made dramatic poses, sung the Poke’Mon song at work, etc. Though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I’ve decided to join in this year. Aside from my moments, I will also share moments provided by people on reddit, to whom I am thankful.

Outbreak Company Anime episode 2

…but without the free time, it’s more like hell.

Well, my #12 moment? It’s only proper to start in the beginning – resurrecting this blog from its three-years’ slumber. On April 1st I’ve declared the blog is coming back to life, and a few days later I’ve made one of the entries I’m still more pleased with, my editorial-review about Sword Art Online, where I discuss falling in love with a show and its characters, and perhaps describe the process of infatuation in general.

I’ve been watching a bunch of airing anime since January, but since Spring I’ve watched over 13. I’m currently watching 9-10 currently airing anime, which is actually a hassle, since I write about almost all of them to a degree (you can read my thoughts on the Episodics page). It’s fun to watch a lot of shows, and it’s fun to discuss them with people who share your excitement, but it does hurt my ability to get through my ever burgeoning backlog, and also my ability to write longer editorials, so I’m probably going to (try hard to) limit it next season, with less shows watched, and less shows actually covered.

Aside from the new blog, and related to all of the above, I’ve been spending time checking other people’s blogs, talking to anibloggers on Twitter, and spent copious amounts of time on r/anime, the sub-reddit related to anime. So much time that it had again, sometimes impacted my actual anime watching, but it’s been fun. Thanks to all of you reading this, or reading the rest of my posts, and engaging in discussion! Here’s to another year.


And now, here are thoughts shared by others, related to “beginnings” dealing with anime/anime community:
SohumBStarting to watch currently airing anime:

and thus finding /r/anime (and later, the /r/trueanime This Week posts). So many of this year’s littler moments came from either watching something alongside a community or in discussions with that community, whether it was Kyousou Giga or White Album 2 or Uchouten Kazoku or Gatchaman Crowds or Chihayafuru 2 or Golden Time or TWGOK S3 or Gargantia or even frigging Railgun S and C3-bu and Kill la Kill :PI’m writing way more – and more permanent – words than I ever did, and hopefully I’m slowly getting better at analysis too as I do this more. And – I have nothing to compare with, but these two last seasons have felt embarrassingly stuffed with riches. This world is my world now, and am I glad I am here.

cptn_garlockFinding /r/anime through Sakurasou

This was the first year I’d ever started watching anime as it aired, and through a series of browsing and boredom, Sakurasou was the first show I followed. I fondly remember reading /u/Bobduh‘s weekly rants about how bad Mashiro is play-by-plays in the discussion threads. And since then, I’ve been a regular here – you guys have even been my most consistent source of gold (y’all are so easy to play)! Here’s to another year of anime, guys! Let 2014 rock as hard as this year!

RedcrimsonCode Geass – Look Mom, I’m on the internet!

For some context, Brian Hanson used to write the Answerman series of columns on ANN. Brian would submit questions to his readers, and publish some of the answers in the next column. I’d submitted quite a few during his run as Answerman, but in March 2013 he posted one of my responses about my irrational love for Code Geass. It was nothing I couldn’t have posted on a blog, or on Reddit, but there’s a certain satisfaction and validation to be had in someone else, particularly someone I respect, deciding that my ramblings were good enough to post in an article for a major website. Maybe I actually know WTF I’m talking about? Sadly, Brian has since moved on from ANN, and Justin Sevakis took over the Answerman column. And the reader response section has been discontinued. But I’ll always have that one little triumph.

Ch4zu: 

  1. Starting to watch anime. It’s kind of the most important moment of 2013 for me regarding anime I’d say! Which is why I have more elaborate or general things listed than other people here. I’m experiencing everything you guys experienced several years ago now for the first time, and it’s glorious! I’ve seen Naruto, Fairy Tail & Bleach before this, but in my opinion I started in May when I watched Death Note as first real series.
  2. Discovering /r/animeI’m not saying that /r/anime is the pinnacle of discussion forums, but reddits format either shows you thought-out or popular opinions.Seeing the popular ones is interesting just to see why people say or enjoy things. From bandwagonners going ‘SAO was horrible’ as to why certain genres/production studios are popular; for someone who’s studying communication sciences it’s always interesting. And the thought-out posts learned me things that made me look more critical at anime, and that actually helped my viewing-experience. I tend to notice good aspects of a show more or I can identify why I dislike the shows that I didn’t enjoy. It’s not a skill I was born with.

FalconhaxxDiscussing Winter 2013 shows with other people here on /r/anime, and especially Sasami-san@Ganbaranai with /u/aafarr2.

Out of all the shows I’ve discussed, Sasami-san stands out because of the fact that the speculation created by us was the most entertaining thing about that show. Every week, we would guess what everything meant and what would happen in the next episode. In the end, we got very few answers, but the speculation itself was immensely enjoyable. However, that’s not the only show that I liked writing about. OreShura was also very entertaining for comedy-related reasons, and because I somehow created my own arbitrary point system for characters(episode writeups here).

UnorthodoxByNatureThe start of my collection: 

I’ve been watching anime for over two years and during that time I’ve always wanted to start my own collection. I received my first aime Blu-Ray/DVD on my birthday when my parents gave me the Serial Experiments Lain complete collection. I was so happy and I even marathoned the series the same day. Throughout the year, I have been adding to my collection with my later purchases of the Evangelion Rebuilds 1.11 and 2.22 (and pretty soon 3.33), Akira, Howl’s Moving Castle and other titles.

deffikTook a break from gaming, got back into anime and rediscovered it: 

Past year I spent way too much time playing Guild Wars 2, grew bored of it a little bit during summer vacation and one day I got a though ‘hey there should be new non-filler eps of Naruto up’, catched up pretty quickly and that led me to a conclusion that I need some more. Decided to re watch original Saint Seiya series that I loved when I was a kid in order to watch the Hades Arc (something I always wanted to watch). That’s the ‘getting back into into anime’ part. Rediscovering anime happened the other day, when I was listening to podcast/interview show that my guildies made to get members of the guild know each other more and there was one guy who absolutely loves Lucky Star. After I got back googled what Lucky Star was, though that there is no way that I’ll enjoy it because what is there to enjoy? See I liked shonen anime pretty much and thought that the rest was boring (the only non shonen Anime I saw prior to that date were probably Bebop, Onegai Teacher and Hotaru no Haka several years earlier) but decided to give it a shot.

And I got sucked into Lucky Star, no idea why, but I enjoyed it immensely. Watching it made me realize that there are other genres/titles that I may enjoy, it made me curious of other anime titles. From there it’s been an awesome ride. ‘Romance shows? Nah that’s for girls.’ Wrong again. ‘Sport series about some kind of traditional Japanese card game and poems can’t be good’. Wrong again. ‘Why would you mix cute girls and tanks?!’ Oh my god.

And the list goes on.

So, readers, do you have a moment related to beginnings and anime this year?

9 comments on “12 Days of Anime – Moment #12 and Introduction – Getting Back on the Saddle

  1. Sejin says:

    Hey! First, I just want to say that I only recently started reading some of your posts (your posts about Kara no Kyoukai are what got me here), and I enjoy the thoughtfulness you bring to your writing.

    My beginnings- and anime-related moment this year is when I decided to start trying to pay more attention and give more thought to what I watch. Previously, I tended to turn my mind (mostly) off and watch most things solely for entertainment. I’d been following JesuOtaku for some time and I really enjoy how she’s able to analyze things and that she seems to be able to notice and piece together so much. Over time, that got me interested in being able to do the same, not for any minimal desire I have to review things, but because I began to notice that there’s a lot that I’m missing when watching things, and I think being able to pick up on those things and piece them together myself (as opposed to having to go to someone else and have them spell it out for me) would really enhance my enjoyment of various shows and movies.

    Kara no Kyoukai has been my first attempt at this. While I’ve had some very helpful, illuminating, and immensely enjoyable conversations about it with someone on MyAnimeList, there’s a part of me that regrets it being my first serious foray into analytical and thoughtful viewing. As it’s one of my favorite series, I kind of wish I was able to piece more of it together on my own and be more certain that my observations are accurate without having to get my homework checked, so to speak.

    But, I suppose it is what it is, and it’s a very new and surprisingly stimulating experience trying to pay more attention to what I’m watching.

    • Guy says:

      Thank you! I was supposed to watch Kara no Kyoukai 4 on Thursday, but being Thursday it got delayed, and once something gets delayed everything cascades. That yesterday I had about 5 hours without electricity due to a blizzard certainly hadn’t helped matters, so there’s little chance of me getting through the 5th movie today as I’m supposed to (as part of the club), also have school assignments to get through, you know? I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay, and thinking about things a lot is sort of my niche, even if I ramble a tad.

      I applaud your new experience myself. I actually complain every so often when people say they don’t know how to analyze anime because they’re new to it, but can analyze other media. And don’t be sad with regards to Kara no Kyoukai being your first work – we have to start somewhere, and we always get better – both because we have more experience at this form of analysis, and because the potential pool of what we can compare a work to grows as we keep consuming more media.

      Finally, as I touched upon in my “Do you want to watch anime” post where I suggest Neon Genesis Evangelion, Madoka and Gurren Lagann, it’s nice to watch a show, even if you can’t appreciate it fully, then come back to it after you’re more experienced. I think this is doubly relevant in the case of something like Kara no Kyoukai, which is told in a non-chronological order and slowly reveals the image to you. You’ll have newfound appreciation for various moments just by watching it again, even without additional experience.

      P.S. In general, I’m not terribly fond of the MAL forum, which is filled with needless posturing, you should also take a look at reddit’s /r/anime. Far from perfect, but it’s there. /r/TrueAnime is dedicated to discussing things more in-depth, so you might want to give it a look as well.

      • Sejin says:

        You’re welcome!

        I definitely agree with you about re-watching things. When I watch something, my mind goes first to the characters and story, then ideas and concepts, and I don’t automatically notice things like color and music, which makes it harder for me to pick up on recurring things that could indicate symbolism or that just help to create a certain mood (like what you mentioned with the red and green used in Kara no Kyoukai to indicate something bad or dangerous is about to happen; that went completely over my head every time I’ve watched it). On a re-watch, I sometimes notice a little more. In addition, I previously didn’t think very much about things I watch, after or while viewing. I need to practice becoming and staying mentally engaged in what I watch. I’ve seen Kara no Kyoukai three times now, and I’ve picked up on more each time, especially the most recent time.

        What I decided to do to start being able to pick up on things I’d normally miss is to try to make sure I take note of color: what characters are wearing, what color the background is, what’s in the background, are there recurring colors and, if so, when do they occur. I figure it’s a good place to start with regard to learning to pay more attention, starting with one thing and then building on it as I improve.

        As far as MyAnimeList goes, I initially only signed up there to keep track of what I’ve seen and own, and what I want to see in the future. I had no intention of interacting with other parts of the site or with other users. My discussions with the person I mentioned were entirely unexpected, and so far they are the only person I’ve engaged with on that site at great length. I figure it’s like any place else that caters to a wide audience (in this case the wideness has to do with how much people like discussing things in-depth). Not everyone wants to get into the nitty gritty of in-depth analysis and discussion, and it doesn’t make sense to ask things of people that they are unable or unwilling to provide. It just ends up being frustrating for both parties and leaves them with a bad taste in their mouths.

        Thanks for pointing me towards reddit! I’ve never been on it, so I’m completely unfamiliar with it (I’m very out-of-date when it comes to the multitude of ways to interact with people on the internet due to my own preferences for interaction). But, I will definitely give it a look.

    • Guy says:

      Reddit has its own issues, true, but if you go there I strongly suggest using Firefox, Opera, or Google Chrome, and installing RES (Reddit Enhancement Suite), which makes it so much more useful.

      You’re very much correct about having to find the right people to discuss shows with, both in general and in terms of specific franchises, bloggers or specific communities dedicated to discussing shows more in-depth (such as TrueAnime on reddit) are probably the way to go. You can see in one’s blog-post exactly how in-depth they go about something, usually, and they’re usually interested in more follow-up discussion.

      I guess picking something arbitrary like colour is a good way to go about it, to force yourself to focus on something, but all too often colour isn’t actually used to signify much. I find music more relevant more often, and easier to notice – everything you watch is in colours, whereas music isn’t always there so it’s easier to notice when it’s brought up. You can also force yourself to write down notes after watching any episode/movie, anime or otherwise, as well as books, manga, etc. I would suggest against taking down notes while watching something – I’m doing it, but it actually makes watching some things take much longer and can be somewhat tiring.

      And yes, when you watch something the plot, and trying to understand where it’s going envelop you, while rewatching you know what’s going to “happen” so your mind is free to focus on more things, and interpret things in terms of what will happen. Taking down notes while watching somewhat removes you from the plot, so enables you to notice more things happening, but also can diminish enjoyment of the plot itself somewhat for the same reason.

  2. Aeternix says:

    Hmmm, beginnings. Well, it was through your writings on Samurai Flamenco that brought me to this blog. Since then I’ve enjoyed reading a lot of your clever posts (so there’s one beginning). Another could be that I’ve started to pay attention to airing anime now. Before this, as an anime watcher, I was mostly content to watching older anime that appealed to me. I would pick and choose based on reviews and how similar it sounded to what I’ve liked before (I am a big fan of the philosophical nature of anime, can’t get enough of the more ‘brainy’ shows). So it was to my surprise that a friend recommended watching Attack on Titan this season. Ever since then I’ve been dedicated to one anime per season and watching shows outside of the airing season, like Clannad, that I would never have dreamed of watching due to my limited tastes.

    So here’s to beginnings and many more discoveries in the future!

    • Guy says:

      It’s always good to broaden one’s horizons. One airing anime sounds like a nice idea – each season I watch numerous shows that I know in a few years no one will even remember or bring up unless solicited, but when you go back you can know what sort of show you’re going to get, and what held onto some value/piece of the mind-share. Then again, it’s really hard to watch shows like Madoka and have the same experience people who watched it while it aired (like me) experienced.

      Also, I much prefer marathoning shows, which is another thing that makes watching currently airing shows a bit more of a hassle.

      Anyway, welcome, and I hope you continue enjoying my posts and your time here! :)

  3. Artemis says:

    Although I’ve been blogging on a personal level for about the past decade, this year marked the time where I decided it’d be sweet if I could start my own public and anime-specific blog. It sounds simple and perhaps even egotistical, but it was a pretty big thing for me, especially since I wasn’t really used to (and still sometimes struggle with) anyone at all being able to read and comment on my posts. That said, it’s been extremely rewarding for the most part, and I’d like to think that I’ll be continuing for a long time to come. So as far as anime-related beginnings go, I think that has to be my top moment of 2013.

    • Guy says:

      :)

      Yeah, there’s one comment in your ‘About’ page that made me wince, and you probably know which one. You’ve also once said something about welcoming any and all comments on your blog, and I’ve been thinking every so often, that I wish that sentiment on your part would never change, I really do.

      Well, you did work hard to get people to come to your blog, and it worked, so congratulations on your new start, and may it keep on going well :)

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