12 Days of Anime #3 – Gatchaman Crowds Was Created Especially for Me

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.

Gatchaman Crowds anime

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.

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Anime Season Midterms – First Impressions.

Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai

Well, we’re in the middle of the current anime season (Fall 2010?), and I thought rather than wait for all these anime to end, I’d say a couple of words regarding several series I’ve been watching, meaning to watch, etc. There’d obviously be longer posts after these shows end. Or at least the current seasons…

Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai – for short, Ore no Imoto, or even shorter, Oreimo. In English: My Little Sister Can’t be This Cute.
This show is like Genshiken (blog post) in a way. A show about otaku, exploring them. It is more comical though. Episodes 5-6 were a bit weird, but the show had definitely taken on slightly less hijinks and crazy anime lovers attitude, and a somewhat more “Slice of Life” stance. I have high hopes for it to keep going strong. I love it thus far. Good show, enjoyable cast, cute characters, some good laughs (albeit some weird moments like when Kyosuke fought their father..). But overall? WATCH IT. Right now.

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A Certain Magical Index – An Unabridged Entry to My Mind

The cover of the first DVD compilation release...

Today is the 4th of July, and today I had to stay awake for 26 hours. This makes me think of fireworks. There’s fireworks to be had in the USA (happy Independence Day to all of my American friends!), and there are fireworks slowly going off in my mind, demanding that I rest my head.

Seeing as this is the situation, and that a long weekend is coming up for you guys, but a lot of tests for me, I’m going to postpone my post on “The Question at the Heart of a Story” to Wednesday (or Thursday if I keel over), and instead, shower you lot with a condensed version of an anime review, or an omnibus of pre-episodic blog reviewing content.

Ok, the above probably didn’t make a lot of sense, did it? I’ve discussed my meta-experience of watching Toaru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index) on this blog before. Last month I finally finished watching the series.
Now, as I’ve covered on that blog entry, I wrote down my thoughts on each episode, sometimes after it ended, but sometimes (and this really disrupted my “flow”), I stopped an episode to jot down my thoughts as I had them, and later I wrote down how things panned out – did they get answered, or did the water get even murkier?

What I’m going to share with you are those thoughts. You can look at them as 24 episodes’ worth of an episodic blog’s review of a series in one post, but that is obviously not what they are. These are the thoughts I had during the time I watched each episode. I sometimes had thoughts on an episode as a whole. A good episodic blog would have taken each of those thoughts, and wrote at least a paragraph on them. It’d have found thematic strings between the disparate elements and connected them.

An editorial blog (such as this one) would have taken all those endless strings and weaved the ones the writer (that’s me) finds more interesting into weaving a compelling whole.
In the case of this series, it somewhat feels as if it’s based on a light novel series, as you can point to distinct “chunks” of the series that are different in focus and even theme than others, and are discrete. The arch-angel “arc” for instance was quite horrible.

Needless to say, this post will spoil the ENTIRETY of the series! BEWARE!
Thoughts after the jump!

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How to NOT Watch a Series – A Certain Magical Index.

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.

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Media Consumption: August; Main Test Crunch.

Another monthly media consumption post. Yes, this month is rather lean, because I had a lot of studying to do. And I have a lot more studying to do until the 13th of September. After the 13th of September I could return to my wanton consumption of books and anime. Dependant on whether I get a job or not, of course.

Movies:

  • Ever After: A lovely film. It’s not a great film if you compare it to movies in general, but as a cute fun movie, it’s very good. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. My favourite Drew Barrymore role.

TV:

  • Californication Season 1, reviewed.
  • Californication Season 2, aside from the last two episodes which aired in September. Feel free to head over and read the review post of season 1. Season 2 was not as good, but a thoughtful review is forthcoming.
  • House M.D. reruns of season 4.
  • Boston Legal season 4 and Damages season 2, one episode a week. Enjoying both.
  • Didn’t watch it yet, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I found out the last three episodes of Pushing Daisies were released, and I obtained them. One of my favourite series of recent years.

Books:

  • Sabriel by Garth Nix. A bildungsroman (coming of age story) which is enjoyable. I notice the pattern in which it was built much more now, on my second read. I need the other two books in the series.
  • Too many philosophy books to mention, and hardly enough.
  • Reading Wheel of Time books 6 and 7 not in order still, when I feel like it I’ll spend the couple hours to fix the connecting parts and finish them in order (this happens when you are re-reading books you’ve read half a dozen times before, you skip to the juicy bits).
  • Ribbon Drive RPG and Mix-CD(!). Not a book for reading, but here it is.
  • No Quarter Magazine #25, for Privateer Press’s Iron Kingdoms setting and games.

Manga:

  • Rurouni Kenshin 16. Need to step up and finish it this month, not to let it fizzle. Also planning to get back to reading Fruits Basket. Seeing the omnibus at the comic book store helped there I guess.

Anime:

  • 07-Ghost episodes 1-21 (up to date). I thought the show was slow to begin, well, it was. I found it odd as I thought it’d be a 26 episoder, but seeing as it’s based on a currently running manga series, I understand. But at this rate, it’ll take 500 episodes, dude.
  • Toaru Majutsu no Index(A Certain Magical Index) episodes 1-17. This series has different arcs in them, of varying lengths. It’s an enjoyable series, it has one of my favourite girls in anime (Misaka Misoto), but I’m not sold on it being anything special.
  • Voices of a Distant Star. Short, beautiful. The animation is not as good as I rememebered, but then again, I remembered just the story :)
  • Kannagi season 1. Reviewed.
  • Element Hunters episodes 1-2, reviewed. It was horrendous.

I might still do a review of August in terms of how this blog did, but August, the first full month of posts on this blog saw it receiving 154 comments (including my own) and 1,955 hits. Thank you to all the readers :)