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.
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.
“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.
Spice and Wolf is a series I’ve heard of for a long time, but never got to watch until recently. After watching Maoyu, which I’ve covered last week, I’ve been told that this show is exceedingly similar to it. Having enjoyed Maoyu quite a bit I’ve decided to check it out. Part of what makes it so similar is what makes this the 2nd out of three posts about “mind-expanding anime” which star Fukuyama Jun.
One reason I didn’t really watch the show could probably be seen in a recent Reddit thread where people had tried to give a “Boring tl;dr” treatment to show’s synopsis. Spice and Wolf was represented in that thread numerous times, and they didn’t even have to work hard to simplify the show’s concept: A small-time merchant travels around, teaching us concepts in economy. That sounds quite dull, right? But as some places have said, it’s not about concepts, and most concepts have been done multiple times each, but about execution.
(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. There will be very few spoilers in this post.)
Maoyu, as Maoyu Mao Yusha (Demon king and Hero) is more commonly known, is an anime that also takes the time to teach its viewers some real world concepts, and as such this post will be the first of the three “Mind Expanding Anime” posts, and all three happen to have Fukuyama Jun portraying a main role in. Maoyu at its base is a tale of changing the world through technological and mercantile advancements, about the side-effects and benefits(!) of war, and is a romantic comedy show, of sorts.
“Hello! I don’t want to fight” said the Demon King to the Hero
(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. There will be major spoilers in this post. I will also make predictions as to what I think will happen in the future in the story, not based on certain knowledge.)
The first episode is one of the better first episodes I’ve seen. The Hero storms the castle of the Demon King, ready to kill him in order to stop the ongoing war between humanity and the demons. It turns out however that the Demon King is a buxom young-looking woman, who tells the Hero that she loves him, doesn’t want to fight him, and wants to enlist his aid in bringing peace to both humanity and demon-kind.
Well, it’s time for this blog to return to life. I’ve wanted to make the return post on a Monday, and the first day of a month. So while this is April 1st, it’s not an April’s Fools Day post. This post is the official resurrection post for this blog, and unlike the last time I have a plan this time, to allow me to get things rolling and keep them rolling.
But first, Music Monday dictates, so a song:
I think this is a good song to get you pumped up and ready in the mood to keep on striving, it sure does that for me (even if I couldn’t find the version I wanted for you guys). I’ve been a huge fan of Jeff Wayne‘s The War of the Worlds ever since I’ve first heard it, back in the 4th grade. Originally a musical style disc from 1978, which is hard to guess from the sound of the music, based on H.G. Wells‘ novel from 1897.
The most well known piece and the blog-resurrection parts after the jump. Continue reading →