Controversial Anime Opinions – A List of Grievances

Yesterday, my blog had broken through its old visitors’ count in one day, as a result of my comment in a Reddit thread titled “Controversial Anime Opinions” where I had the “top comment”. I’ll begin with reposting my list of opinions – note, opinions only, and the whole assumption is that these are controversial, rather than iron-clad truths (for the most part):
Some of the more relevant shows mentioned in this list: Sword Art Online, Angel Beats!, Girls und Panzer, “Big Shounens”, Spirited Away, Code Geass, Btooom!

Cover of "Spirited Away"

1. Sword Art Online is a solid show, with a non-horrible romantic relationship. (See blog post.)

2. Angel Beats! started great, but then worked hard to make me lose my respect for it, episode by episode, until the final episode had betrayed the show completely – I don’t think it’s bad, but I think it’s disappointing, which might be even worse, because it could’ve been so much better. (See blog post.)

3. The Big shounens aren’t terrible, and watching them is fun and doesn’t cause mind-rot. A lot of the blame can be laid at the feet of the anime studios – even without fillers, the padding they add within episodes not only killed the pacing, but actually changed the way you look at the characters – and even still, these shows are enjoyable, to me and many others, even as thinking adults.

4. “Favourite != the best” – that you love something doesn’t mean it’s great, that something is great also doesn’t mean you have to love or even enjoy it. And having something you love which isn’t the best doesn’t make it a “guilty pleasure” – it can still be good, and even if “bad” you’re still allowed to enjoy it without having to keep apologizing on its behalf.

5. Pursuant to #4 – belittling shows others like, or them for liking them, only makes you a douche. I mean, you can do it without being a douche, but if you seek their threads/discussions just to piss on their parade? No matter how articulate and polite you are there, you’re probably still a douche (though exceptions exist).

6. Many anime studios don’t care about anime-watchers, unless after the fact something is found out to be a runaway success, and sometimes even then – unless it’s an anime original it’s only here as promotional content, that we get to enjoy it is an afterthought (also see recent Index/Railgun news). We’re not even second-rate citizens, being western anime lovers.
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Anime Season Midterms – First Impressions – Summer 2013 (Friday)

Time for the 2nd entry, covering Friday’s shows. Definitely the busiest day with 7 shows released:

Part 1 (Monday-Thursday): Blood Lad, Makai Ouji – Devils and Realist, WataMote, The World God Only Knows Season 3, Free!
Part 2 (Friday): Gin no Saji, Rozen Maiden (2013), Stella Jogakuin Kotou-ka C3-bu, Danganronpa, Servant x Service, Love Lab, Toaru Karaku no Railgun S (continues from Spring season).
Part 3 (Saturday): Gatchaman Crowds, Kiniro Mosaic, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, Genei wo Kakekru Taiyo
Part 4 (Sunday): Monogatari 2nd Season, Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, Uchoten Kazoku, Genshiken Nidaime, Shingeki no Kyojin (continues from Spring season).

Gin no Saji - Silver SpoonGin no Saji / Silver Spoon – I’ve never laughed so hard at seeing a chicken lose its head. This show is proper slice and life. Character growth is a bit slow, but then again so it is in the real world, we have Hachiken, the city boy move to an agricultural high school. The setting feels a lot like an army camp, the colour of the clothing certainly has an effect on me as well. It has funny moments, the cast is likeable, and I just enjoy watching it.

One thing is that Hachiken is pretty spineless, which is one of the reasons he came to this school, he has unbased objections without really thinking things through, so a few moments after objecting to something he goes through with it anyway. I still want to see how they’ll handle him having to kill the pig he raised, it’s bound to be good one way or the other.
Watched: 7/13
Current Score: A-, if you like slice of life shows, this is probably one of the better shows you could watch.

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Project Madness – Summer 2013 Mid-Season Week Journal [Day 7 Update]

DAY 0 UPDATE:

Madness? I am Mad Scientist! Chaos, and invade!

The Summer 2013 season of anime shows is full of interesting shows. I should know, I’ve been watching about 12 shows on a weekly basis, with a couple more I’ve put on hold due to the insane amount of shows there are out there. As I’ve done for 3 weeks, I’ve covered the shows and episodes I’ve watched that week. These posts are monstrosities that run about 2,500 words, each. I’ve told this to a good friend of mine, and he said, “Yeah, I don’t read those blog posts. They’re 2,500 word-long monstrosities.”

So I sat down and thought to myself, what will I do with the mid-season overview post? If anything, I’m going to give each series more space, rather than less – no one will read that 4k word monstrosity! How will they know which anime are worth their time and which aren’t?
The answer was obvious. Rather than have one post, I’ll have several! So simple, so obvious, so ingenious. But how to split the posts? And then it hit me! By day. After all, it makes sense that one would wish to spread their anime consumption by days, to avoid days where they have idle time and days where they can barely breathe.
Looking over my schedule, however, I’ve come to an alarming realization: Not all days have enough shows! Even if I group them, some groupings don’t have enough shows. Once again though, once I’ve assessed my situation calmly, the solution presented itself to me quite clearly:

I must watch more shows.

I intend to cover the shows about their episode 5-6 mark, and many of them I’ve never started. So let’s take a short survey of where we stand:

Show name: Episodes watched/Out of how many episodes I intend to have watched – Sorted by Day:
Blood Lad: 2/5.
Makai Ouji – Devils and Realist: 2/2
WataMote: 4/5
The World God Only Knows: 4/5
Free!: 0/5
Gin No Saji / Silver Spoon: 0/5
Rozen Maiden (2013): 5/6
Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C3-bu: 5/6
Danganronpa: 5/5
Servant x Service: 0/6
Love Lab: 0/6
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S: 17/17
Gatchaman Crowds: 4/5
Kiniro Mosaic: 0/6
Fate/Kaleid liner Prisma Illya: 2/6
Ge’nei wo Kakeru Taiyo / Day Break Illusion: 1/6
Monogatari Series Second Season: 0/5
Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi: 4/5-6 (depends on how late the translation is.)
Genshiken Nidaime: 5/6
Uchoten Kazoku: 5/6
Shingeki no Kyojin / Attack on Titan: 17/18

That adds up to 55-56 episodes I need to watch before this week is over. Yikes, I thought it’d be 40. Now, if it weren’t for the fact I work full time, 56 episodes would be a breeze. But I do work full time. I hope all of you will provide me moral support as I attempt to watch anime, so you guys won’t have to! I’m doing it for you guys.
Another thing making this challenge more difficult is how many of these shows are moe or non-comic comedies, which I have issues with – but 5 episodes is usually how much I can give them before I give up, which is just about as much time as they have. Lucky me!

I might stop at 5 if I feel I got a good feeling of the show. I believe 5 episodes is how many you really need in order to get the gist of the show. Episode 6 is optional. That’d get me as low as 47 episodes (not relevant for the shows I actually enjoy).

I will post once or twice a day to this post, to keep you apprised of my situation, and to chronicle my state of mind as I descend into this endless pile of anime, armed with neither booze or caffeine, as I tend to consume neither!

DAY 1 UPDATE:

Sunday, August 4th, 20:50 – They say there is no time like the present to start, right? I am going to have to start with Blood Lad, a show I wasn’t that fond of when I watched the first two episodes, but it’s due tomorrow. So let’s start.

01:46 – Technically it’s tomorrow, but we don’t deal with technicalities here. Blood Lad and Gin no Saji had been watched up to the current episode; Blood Lad was all over the place, Gin no Saji was surprisingly fun. This means today I’ve watched 7 episodes. I need to watch either 7 or 8 episodes per day. But! This is the first day and it’s important to pace myself. We don’t want to be lead by a false sense of security and bite too much, only to burn out too quickly! I’ve also watched the newest episode of Uchoten Kazoku which aired today, and I’ve watched Shingeki no Kyojin earlier today. So I guess it’s alright.

I sadly didn’t find the time to watch Kamisama no Inai. I could still do it, but I’d rather get at least four hours of sleep tonight. Going to lose 1-1.5 hours tomorrow for some real life things. The first day is always easy, let’s see how I manage on the second day! Who knows, maybe I’ll even join /r/anime’s group watch of the Tatami Galaxy. HAHAHAHA. Ha.

DAY 2 UPDATE:

21:50 I feel buoyed by yesterday, a couple of shows are up to date. It might be my success, or simply the sleep deprivation is already seeping in, my insidious enemy.

I considered starting strong with all the slice of life and Monogatari shows, but I’ll probably have to be hauled for diabetes from the moe-infusion if I take that route, so I have to pace myself. I will now watch the weekly episode of The World God Only Knows. I think it’ll be men in speedos, in Free! afterwards.

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Weekly Anime Impressions – Summer 2013 Week 3.5 Impressions

Stella Jogakuin c3-Bu - A Girls' Airsoft Club. Gets weird this week!Well, another week, and another week in which I’ve decided to do a weekly run-down of the shows I’ve watched. I need to catch up on my blogging and finish some drafts I have half-written, hopefully this week. I did use my extra time from dropping/putting on hold a couple of shows and finished two books this week – The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi, and Neil Gaiman‘s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Both were fun if not super-deep reads.

Well, this week I’ve watched “only” 12 episodes, a marked improvement over last week’s 16, right? Right? Anyway, here is a breakdown, of the episodes and the shows as they stand as a whole. There will obviously be spoilers.
Shows covered: Watamote, Kamisama no Inai, Danganronpa, Uchouten Kazoku, Stella Jogakuin c3-bu, Rozen Maiden 2013, Genshiken Nidaime, The World God Only Knows S3, Gatchaman Crowds, Shingeki no Kyojin, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S (A Certain Scientific Railgun).

In a week or two we’ll reach episodes 5-6 of most shows, so I’ll probably pick up a couple more shows/pick them up again (*Blanch*) and probably drop a couple of shows as well. I can’t wait for this season to end, it’s just too good.

New Shows:

Have Me Hooked:
Shows that were impressive, I am highly intrigued and will keep on watching:

Gatchaman Crowds – This episode wasn’t as fun as the second episode, but part of the fun of episode 2 was how unexpected to me it’s been. The show keeps on dealing with the nature of leadership, diffuse decision-making, and the gamification of life. The way it deals with this concepts is quite multi-layered thus far, and I can hope it goes in a certain way. The show still has a lot of energy, and quite a bit of zaniness. It feels next episode we’ll get some more darker-plot-meat undergoing, rather than “merely” thematic-content.
Watched Episode 3.
To Watch? If you didn’t get up to episode 2, then certainly. If you didn’t like episode 2, I guess you can give it a drop.

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Weekly Anime Impressions – Summer 2013 Week 2.5 Impressions

Gatchaman Crowds Summer 2013 anime

Gatchaman!

Last week I’ve covered the first week of episodes. I am not sure if this will be a weekly thing or not, but I was quite busy with school-obligations in the beginning of the week, and I’ve watched 16(!) episodes from the Summer 2013 anime season, so I’ve decided to spend at least another post describing these episodes. Not all shows air at the same time, so for some shows I’ll cover episode 2, and for others episodes 2-3.

Also, I’m definitely going to be cutting/putting on hold some shows, including shows that are “solid”. I’ve had 15 currently airing shows on my watch list this week, and with me working full time, wanting to read books (I’ve read Steven Brust‘s To Reign in Hell this week), and wanting to enjoy all the games I purchased during Steam’s Summer Sale, 15 shows is just not sustainable.

I’ll break the shows down by how much I’ve cared for them, and also their nature. I will include second-third episode spoilers. I consider these things to be part of the premise, though.
Shows covered: Watamote, Kamisama no Inai, Danganronpa, Stella Jogakuin c3-bu, Blood Lad, Makai Ouji, Rozen Maiden 2013, Genshiken Nidaime, The World God Only Knows S3, Gatchaman Crowds, Fate/Kaleid Prisma Illya, Shingeki no Kyojin, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S (A Certain Scientific Railgun). I didn’t watch  Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyo (Day Break Illusion) and Uchoten Kazoku this week, but will catch up on them tomorrow, due to time constraints, and actually picking up two extra shows.

New Shows:

Have Me Hooked:
Shows that were impressive, I am highly intrigued and will keep on watching:

Gatchaman Crowds – I’ve watched both episode 1 and episode 2 this week, meaning this is a new show I’ve picked up. I’ve actually watched a few episodes of the original Gatchaman in a convention and have some faint memories of it. Anyway, this is sort of a Power Rangers show, but if anything it reminds one of a buddy cop show. The main female character is a happy go lucky super energetic girl, who doesn’t obey authority because it’s authority (she’s not rebel, she’s just oblivious to the power plays), and the main male character is a by-the-numbers, annihilate the alien scum kind of guy. The show also deals with the nature of leadership and power, and diffuse responsibility.
I’m not super crazy about the artistic direction, but it definitely is interesting.
Watched Episodes 1-2.
To Watch? Super interesting, hope they’ll keep with the endless energy displayed in episode 2. Don’t judge it by episode 1.

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Anime Season Begins – Summer 2013 Week 1 Impressions

Watamote - Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!For the first time I’ve watched over 10 episodes at a season’s start, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the multitude of shows I’ve been watching. I will most likely not post in this format weekly, and the next such post will come around week 5-6 of the season, as I believe many series take about five weeks to really get going and show us what they are worth. I might also drop some shows, hold off on some shows till week 5, or pick up new series after 5 weeks based on what people are saying.

I’ll break the shows down by how much I’ve cared for them, and also their nature. I will include first episode spoilers. I consider these things to be part of the premise, though.
Shows covered: Watamote, Kamisama no Inai, Uchoten Kazoku, Danganronpa, Stella Jogakuin c3-bu, Blood Lad, Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyo, Makai Ouji, Rozen Maiden 2013, Genshiken Nidaime, The World God Only Knows S3. Will also mention Monogatari 2nd Season, Shingeki no Kyojin and Railgun S.

New Shows:

Got Me Hooked:
These are the shows that I’m definitely picking up, at least until they fail to deliver for several weeks in a row.

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui (It’s your fault I’m not popular) – known as WataMote; This show follows an unpopular girl as she enters high school where she is sure she will be more popular. It doesn’t happen. This is a comedy, and sort of a cringe-comedy, which often make watchers uncomfortable. I laughed all along the first episode, I didn’t find it cringe-worthy, and it wasn’t due to sympathizing or empathizing with the main character. I am eagerly awaiting new episodes.
The casting of Nakamura Yuichi was played Kousaka Kyousuke in OreImo for a very similar role is very fitting. Also, super kick-ass metal opening.

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