Well, the year is ending, and I’ve actually watched a large amount of anime shows ending this year (over 60), so here is my list of the top 13 shows which ended in 2013. The shows and their positions are factored by how much I enjoyed these shows and how good (artistically, thematically) I think the shows are. Only full shows had been considered, no OVAs or movies of any sort. The names link to the show’s description and information on My Anime List (MAL).
This show is all about atmosphere. An oppressive atmosphere of self-inflicted fear, of being closed in, that one can’t escape. Not much actually happens in the show, but the constant fear of what is about to happen, of what is going to strike our protagonist drives both him and us as we watch the show. It’s hardly a “fun watch”, with each episode weighing you down until you seek respite elsewhere. Its masterful control of psychological horror and how well it conveys Kasuga’s life and the feeling of the town in which he lives make this show one that cannot be ignored, however.
It seems that had there been a second season a lot more would actually occur, and all that happened in this season was merely a precursor, but due to exceedingly poor sales, that is unlikely to happen. The rotoscoping is interesting, but believe it or not, the show I believe is closest to Aku no Hana is K-On! due to its absolute reliance on atmosphere over plot or character development.
I’ve been aware of fan-fiction for years, after all, I’ve began blogging on LiveJournal, many years ago. For those who don’t know there’s a tendency in fan-fiction to pick two characters and create a relationship for them, even if one doesn’t exist in the original material, which is termed as “shipping” these characters. In harem anime, such as The World God Only Knows (Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai) there are shipping wars under the name of “Best Girl” – Everyone argues who the best girl is, the one that will win, the one that should win, according to them.
Let the confession and shipping wars begin! Chihiro, the “Regular Girl”.
I myself had never truly taken part in such wars, in most shows whoever people argue for is based on who they as the watchers like, who they’d have been with had they been the MC (and thus you can see why some RomCom anime are based on visual novels, or have visual novel adaptations, so people could go along with their choice), rather than who the story fits. I mean, in OreImo (My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute), it’s just obvious that Kuroneko is best girl and who the MC should end up with. In Boku wa Tomodachi (Haganai – I Don’t Have Many Friends) the lack of decision has the girls equal, but they keep having to have outside forces push for Sena because Yozora is just miles ahead otherwise.
The final part, Sunday. Quite a few shows, some of them even air on Sunday, or late enough at night that I can’t watch them before I get back from work. Definitely a strong day in terms of the shows it contains, probably the strongest day. I work on Sundays, alas, making it not as pleasurable as it could’ve otherwise been.
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).
Genshiken Nidaime / Genshiken 2nd Generation – Genshiken Nidaime is one of my two favourite shows of the season. Most slice of life shows either have no conflicts (unlike real life) or are just a catch-all term for anime-sitcoms. Genshiken Nidaime returns us to the college club of the past where the characters discuss anime, manga, and video games, but as most of the old cast had graduated we have an influx of BL (Boy Love)-loving girls, and Hato-kun, a cross-dresser.
If you ask me, most so-called comedies aren’t really funny, and when they’re funny it relies on visual gags. Genshiken isn’t a comedy, but when it is funny it is funny because these moments are set up and resonate with the characters’ personalities.
This is a show that feels like someone took literal slices out of someone’s life and had decided to give them to you for you to taste and savor. The way the show deals with issues of gender-identity and sexuality is also relatively mature, certainly more mature than what you usually come across in modern media in general and anime in particular.
The cast is mostly quite likeable, and even if you don’t like all of them, then you can either relate to them or think of real people they remind you of, or just come off as real people, to one degree or another. This is definitely the show we need, even if it’s not the show we asked for, and dealing (maturely) with issues of sexuality and gender-identity will not help its sales, which is very sad. Watched: 7/13 Current Grade: A+. You should watch it if you’ve watched the original Genshiken. You should watch it if you hadn’t watched the original Genshiken, and then you should watch the original show.
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:
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.