12 Days of Anime #2 – Nine Great Anime Related Moments from 2014

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: Nobunagun, Mushishi, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Chihayafuru, Princess Tutu, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (and Stardust Crusaders), Log Horizon, Hunter x Hunter (2011), and Madoka Magica: Rebellion.

Princess Tutu Anime - Kureha / Rue standing over Prince Mytho

1. Princess Tutu is a Magical Show: Princess Tutu is hands down the best show I’ve watched this year, which makes me not finishing it even worse. I’ve listened to a lot of classic music and ballets as a child, and Princess Tutu using them all was splendid. The story is basically timeless, speaks to my love of narratives and meta-narratives (similar to The Witches’ sub-series in Terry Pratchett’s The Discworld series), and the more thought you put into the show, the more you get into it. Would be a great show to watch with one’s children, for the older readers of my blog.

Nobunagun anime episode 1 - Crazy Oda Nobunaga

2. Nobunagan’s Delicious Madness: I really liked the early episodes of Nobunagun, a good usage of colour, a lot of energy, and Oda Nobunaga’s crazy face, how when he appeared, you just knew everything is going to burn. Manic, a pyromaniac, a sense of movement and exuberance. But maybe that’s just me. Sadly, it didn’t last long, and most episodes had a distinct lack of Sio’s alter-ego, and thus most sense of energy.

3. Mushishi Strikes Back, Avatar: Legend of Korra Strikes Twice: A good year for sequels. I’m a fan of The Legend of Korra, and getting season 4 just a few months after season 3 ended was completely unexpected. Good things? Back to traveling the world, the first few episodes of season 4 being flat-out amazing. It’s been a good ride. Mushishi was completely unexpected. One of the best anime seasons of all time getting a new season 9 years after the first ended is virtually unheard of. And it was great. Still need to watch the second half.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Episode 9 overview - Kakyoin Noriaki licks a cherry

4. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders and the Licking Fetish: Stardust Crusaders was very “monster of the week”, and aside from gags, it was noticeably weaker than the first season and first two parts (Phantom Blood and Blood Tendency). Of special note was the author’s apparent fascination with murdering dogs within the series, and having characters constantly lick things, whether it’d been cherries, lollipops, or the inside of a toilet. I just have no idea, but it’s certainly been memorable.

5. William Massachusetts’s Speech – “We Are Gamers!” in Log Horizon: Sadly, this speech wasn’t nearly as good as last year’s #1 moment, the “I Am Human!” speech from Maoyu, also written by the same author, but this speech from the 10th episode of Log Horizon’s 2nd season was still worthwhile. It encapsulated much that is human, from feelings of loneliness and alienation, to the fact we over-identify with material in order to feel connected to others, and how it might make us act. A good speech. Someone should hire Tono Mamare as a speech writer.

6. Chihayafuru, From Anime to Manga: This year had two anime marathons worthy of note. The first was when I’ve watched Chihayafuru’s 51 episodes over three days. I’ve really enjoyed it. I actually enjoyed it enough that I went and kept reading the manga immediately after, something I often say I’ll do, but very rarely actually engage in. The early episodes of the series were very heartfelt, and the relationships later on struck me as worth watching. The 2nd series didn’t cover enough time to my liking, but that’s in retrospect. I’ve found the entire thing engrossing. The last time I’ve went from anime to source material immediately was Sword Art Online after the first season.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime episode 6

7. Watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (1st season) with GG Subs: When I originally watched JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure this year, I’ve used GG’s subs. After 6 episodes, I moved away. No, the subs didn’t troll, and I actually think they added quite a bit to the experience, perhaps even too much. I’ve went to the translation group’s IRC channel later to commend their efforts. Words and slang had a distinct late 19th century Britain era feel to them, and were often over the top as JoJo is wont to be. Episodes 5-6 gave us medieval knights, and often it was almost hard to understand what they were saying. It may have not been a purely good experience, but boy, it sure was an experience. I do suggest trying to find GG’s translation of episode 6 if you’ve already watched the series.

8. Watching Hunter x Hunter and The Shounen Disease: The other show I mostly marathoned this year was Hunter x Hunter (2011). I actually paced myself to not watch it too quickly, so I’ve watched the first 135 episodes in about, erm, a week, or was it two weeks? It had many moments worthy of mention, but what entertained me most was the thought about how the energy that gives people super-powers in the show, and how one survives its manifestation? It made it sound like a disease, a disease that makes one a shounen protagonist, and which one can only catch if one has a shounen mentality. It had plenty of moments, like absolutely loving Pouf’s tragic figure and music, The King’s final scene, the final fight with the King, Biscuit’s serious nature, and others. But the meta-moment kept me smiling all over.

Princess Tutu Anime - The nature of characters

Another Princess Tutu shot, very fitting for Madoka: Rebellion.

9. Finally Watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica 3: Rebellion (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica: Hangyaku no Monogatari): Madoka: Rebellion didn’t air where I live, so I had to wait a few more months for the Blu-Ray to come out and the nice people of the internet to make it available to me. Rebellion was a spectacle, even those who didn’t like it can’t deny that. Thinking about Rebellion was interesting, thinking about making it fit alongside the original franchise was also interesting. My article about it dealt with a meta-explanation for it, and how it’s actually a meta-narrative about the relationship of the author (Urobuchi Gen) with the fanbase. And that’s actually my moment, more than Rebellion was a moment in and of itself, discussing it with the rest of the fandom was its own very special experience, and creating yet another data-piece in the discussion of said film, and franchise.

So, dear readers, I guess the question here should be obvious – any moments that stuck out in your memory from the last year, from anime or other media, that you’d like to share?

3 comments on “12 Days of Anime #2 – Nine Great Anime Related Moments from 2014

  1. SirCalvin says:

    If Tutu is the best show you’ve watched this year, does that mean you put it over Ping Pong? Not that I’m complaining, it was absolutely incredible. I’ve actually recommended it to my little sister and it made her tear up, just from how powerful some of the emotional moments were.

    Also, it’s funny how you compare it to discworld. I just read a lot of Prachett this year, and it’s crazy how much some of his books made me think of Tutu. The witches are definitely my favorite storylines of his.

    I hope you find a free afternoon or so to finish the show sometime soon. It’s well worth the time, as you probably know :)

    • Guy says:

      My favourite sub-series is definitely The City Watch. The Witches I like more in a meta-narrative sense, but their stories are too similar to one another. It’s sort of meta-commentary, I guess, but it truly is just one story being told repeatedly. Carpe Jagulum and Lords and Ladies in particular.

      If I don’t take any notes, it’d be less than an afternoon, if I try to take even minimal notes, it’d be more. The note-taking monster had gobbled me whole!

      Yes, I think Tutu is better than Ping Pong, though not in the same ways, and it might end up with a lower score. It’s not doing each and every thing it did perfectly, as Ping Pong did, but it’s much more exciting, and pushes the envelope much more, and that’s worth quite a bit.

      • SirCalvin says:

        I still have to read Carpe Jagulum, and the last watch novel I finished just a week ago was Jingo, so I guess most of the guard stuff is still ahead of me? Sounds exiting!

        Whew, note taking sure sounds like a lot of work, but I guess it’s good way to get more out of the stuff you watch. I’ve been meaning to start it too, probably with one of my backlog-shows, just as something to get me writing again…

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