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.
Most shows are either plot-driven or character-driven, so it’s nice to have shows that differ. Shin Sekai Yori which made it into the 11th moment post (They Still Make Mature Anime), is a setting-driven show, where much of the focus and the author’s care is about expanding the world within which the show takes place. Gatchaman Crowds belongs to an even rarer category, a true-blue theme-driven show. There aren’t many of them around, especially not well-done ones, so Gatchaman Crowds was a special treat for me.
Ichinose Hajime’s smile can ward off the darkness
Not only did I enjoy watching Gatchaman Crowds immensely, I also enjoyed thinking and writing about it (see my lengthy episodic notes on the show), I enjoyed discussing its themes and ideas (of which there had been too many to count) with others (on reddit), and I’ve enjoyed the show itself. I enjoyed it for its themes, and I enjoyed it for its characters, and its bold nature in knowing what it wants to do and going for it, in its quirky nature.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well, I’m actually watching a lot of shows airing right now, so I’ll give each one a paragraph to help everyone else navigate this season’s shows. My opinion might change – there are more than a few series which were amazing until 4-6 episodes and then went downhill, but at 4-6 episodes you also get to feel you begin to see what these shows have to offer.
Let’s begin with new series:
Valvrave the Liberator / Kokumeiki Valvrave – We have a mecha show that really reminds me of Code Geass. Considering how much I love Code Geass, this is a good thing. We have kids running their school/country, we have mecha and inhumanity, we have an oppressive military empire opposed by a jackass capitalist empire… everyone is a jackass in this world, and thus far everyone also has redeemable qualities and isn’t a caricature villain. Good job thus far.
Only complaint is Fukuyama Jun gets a minor adversary role of A-Drei when giving him L-Elf who’s bound to get more time in the show would’ve been perfect. Watched: 5/12 episodes. Second season already slated for Fall 2013. Current Grade: A. Worthy of your time, unless you dislike school shows, dark shows, mecha shows, and political shows. In that case, what anime are you watching?
This is going to be a shorter editorial style of entry, about the anime known as “A Certain Magical Index”, or “Toaru Majutsu no Index“. Well, it is more about how I watched it in a manner very much unlike my usual manner, which had resulted in my not finishing it, and enjoying it less. It’s not that this technique is “bad”, it’s just not the one for me.
You can see my progression of watching the show (or lack thereof) in the monthly Media Consumption posts.
Misaka Imouto is shocked that I didn't finish watching the series.
So, before we get to how I’ve watched this series, let’s talk about how I usually like watching series. I like to blast my way through a series as if I were Kamina from Tengen Toppen Gurren Lagann. I sit myself down and watch a show, 8 hours, 12 hours straight. This usually “slays” most series, but sometimes it takes me two days to go through a series. Yes, this does mean that I don’t let my emotions nurture over time, but they do for me spring up quite forcefully, and I can remember and engage with the world the series is in as if I’m living inside it.