Am I Done With Anime?

akira_out

*** This is primarily just a rant. You have been warned. ***

I suppose this is just me reaching my breaking point after having watched so much anime that I’ve become cynical towards the constant repetition and lack of creativity with shows these days. It’s just something I need to get out of my system. I’m not looking for an argument, I’m not seeking anyone else’s opinion and I’m not looking to be told how I’m wrong, nor am I trying to change anyone’s opinion either. I’m just ranting because I feel I need to.

This Winter 2014 season has been one of the worst seasons I’ve seen since I started watching anime. It’s possible that my tastes are simply changing, but despite watching the same number of shows on average that I usually do in a given season, it feels as though the quality and my enjoyment of said shows has been very low. While there were a few decent series, most were rather sub-par and the cream of the crop weren’t exactly at the level of the best shows from previous seasons. The top series were actually several that had carried over from the prior season, but even then some of those ultimately petered out.

Usually I’ll watch, or at least start watching, about half of the shows in a given season, excepting shows that are generally not aimed at me, genres that don’t hold my interest or others that just look plain awful or stupid. A good number won’t make it past the first episode before being dropped and, though I hate to do so because it gives me the mixed feeling of having wasted my time while also not persevering enough to stick with it to the end, one or two usually get the axe around the three-quarters mark when it’s clear they’re going nowhere.

The selection this past season had been pretty lackluster, so I doubt I even started watching a quarter of what was on offer. On top of that, several of the shows I did give a chance were so bad I dropped them after the first three episodes (*cough*Hamatora*cough*); there were even two that I had pretty much written off before the first episode was even over due to their sheer awfulness (I’m looking at you D-Frag and Witchcraft Works ). Most of the others were plagued by lazy, clichéd or just plain awful writing.

I found this all very disheartening.

Continue reading

Top 10 Heart-Broken Anime Girls

kanna_cryingHarem shows are the anime industry’s bread and butter these days, with studios churning out show after show wherein multiple girls vie for the affections of one (loser/bland) guy. It only seems logical that fans often have at least one particular girl in any given series that they end up rallying behind, which is why the creators often end things without any one girl being chosen, thereby keeping their audience sated while leaving themselves an opening for continued harem hijinks in the future.

But every once in a blue moon a show will make the bold decision, for varying reasons, to have one girl come out on top in the romance department. Naturally, with only one girl gaining exclusive rights to the male lead’s heart, it’s inevitable that one or more of the girls not chosen are going to end up heart-broken.

In these instances I often find that I have thrown my support behind the wrong girl, which leaves me almost as heart-broken as the girls I was rooting for. Hence the origin for this post listing the top ten anime girls that I felt the most sympathy for when their hearts were broken, even if we’re not really shown the extent of their heartbreak or it was obvious from the beginning that they had no chance.

Continue reading

Top 10 Good Anime I’ve Seen Ruined By Terrible Endings

kurozuka***As if the title didn’t already tip you off, be prepared for major SPOILERS!!! ***

I have a rather large collection of anime on my shelves, but if there is one thing I learned pretty early on it was not to blindly spend my money on a show that I haven’t seen or watched to the end. My experience has been that while the first few episodes might be great, never expect the rest of the show to follow suit or, in a few cases, even follow the same plot or genre; others just end on sad or tragic notes because anime has never followed the Hollywood trope of happy endings. That unpredictability is actually what interested me in the format to begin with since I was getting bored with the whole “happily ever after” cliche that Hollywood churns out. Of course, that in itself is a double-edged sword. While some endings hew towards happy or bittersweet, others took that factor to its extreme conclusion and just went all-out batshit insane.

Several times I got burned when I purchased a show that was great for almost the entire run of the show only to quickly descend into an absolute clusterfuck in the last episode or two. As a result I have made it a point to never drop a dime on a show that I haven’t already watched from beginning to end (and if you’re curious why I would buy something I’ve already seen, it’s to support the industry – and my crippling habit to collect things).

Continue reading

WTF Japan?!? – Lolicon

LOLI_BEACH_PARTY_motivator_by_purpletigerFinally we get to the WTF Japan?!? edition involving lolicon. I must admit that I’ve been procrastinating from writing this one because for me (and I would hope most people) it’s a pretty disturbing subject and it’s bound to get my blood boiling. But I’ve committed myself to this topic and it’s actually one of the main reasons I started this blog in the first place, as a place to express my thoughts on this subject matter, so as angry as it may make me, it’s something that I need to do.

One thing I’ve noticed over the past year is that my WTF Japan?!? blog posts, the one on traps in particular, have consistently been among my most popular articles. While I’m flattered by this because these are perhaps the ones I spend the most time researching and that I hold the strongest opinions on, I also worry that the reasons people are visiting these posts aren’t because they necessarily agree with them or are interested in my viewpoint, but rather were lured there for the exact reasons I’ve been ranting about. In many ways, it actually proves my point tenfold. And given that trend, I wouldn’t be surprised if this particular post becomes my most frequently visited article for all the wrong reasons. I’m not sure how to feel about that. On second thought, I’m pretty sure I know exactly how to feel about that.

That having been said, while the trap and incest columns may have shown me to be somewhat tolerant of those tropes, be prepared to find absolutely no quarter this time around. And for the record, I will not be linking to very many resources or providing specific examples given the nature of the topic, 1) because I don’t want to see it myself (feel free to look for yourself – it won’t be very difficult), and 2) I’m certain the FBI is already monitoring me just based on my Google searches and the few sites I did visit in order to research this topic.

Continue reading

The Best of Anime: 2013

oregairu

And so another year has come and gone, and it’s time for my anime year-end wrap-up. Just like last year, the rules are as follows:

1. My lists only include shows I have actually watched. I cannot speak to the quality of shows I didn’t watch, but chances are I never gave them a look-see for a reason. This rule will especially be true for the most disappointing shows since it’s not fair to categorize shows as being terrible – even if they actually are – when I’ve never seen them; hence the reason I don’t have a ‘worst of’ category.

2. A show needs to have ended in 2013, so any two cour (season) shows that started in 2013 but have continued into 2014 are ineligible.

In many ways, I’m rather thankful for that second rule because this latest season has a good number of great shows, so narrowing it down to a select few would have been difficult (and no, the soulless Kill la Kill is not one of those shows). Thankfully several of those shows were two cour and therefore extend into 2014. Of course, that will probably be problematic next year, but that’s an issue for another date.

So without further ado, make it so!

Continue reading

Latest Obsession: Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu

steins;gate_poster

* Be forewarned: This post is full of SPOILERS for the Steins;Gate movie and series. *

Every now and then something comes along that really resonates with you and simultaneously warms your heart even as it’s breaking it in two. The Steins;Gate series, and now the epilogue film Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu (translates as Steins;Gate: Burdened Domain of Déjà vu) is one of those powerful stories for me.

The Steins;Gate series was a remarkable achievement in the way it wove together such a complicated story, fabulous characters and yet still managed to provoke such a strong emotional reaction from its audience. In my mind I always refer to it as a masterpiece in storytelling, though I know it is not without its flaws. But flaws or not, it made a lasting impression on me and I’m not sure it’s possible to love it more than I already do.

Which brings us to the movie follow-up that helps tie things together neatly with a bow, and confirmed my love for this series a thousand times over. Is the movie perfect? No, but it makes the series all the more emotionally resonant with such a sweet and heartfelt send-off, and I couldn’t have asked for more.

Continue reading

Top 12 Anime That Chose The Wrong Protagonist

LastExileGinyokunoFam_correctversion

FIXED
You’re welcome!

I’ve often pondered what an anime series could have been like had it focused on one of the more interesting secondary characters rather than the actual boring, milquetoast or irritating lead. There have been a few instances where I’ve watched a really good anime series but felt it could have been so much better had it given us one of the other characters as the main protagonist instead of the one we were actually given.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing more annoying than when the spotlight is on the sub-par character rather than the guy you’d much rather follow. Besides, in addition to the side character being the more interesting character, the main protagonist usually gets all the girls’ affection or praise while the cooler character gets none, which just bothers me since in real life it should totally work the other way around.

Watching Tokyo Ravens this season reminded me of this notion. Don’t get me wrong, main protagonist Harutora Tsuchimikado isn’t a terrible lead, but in my opinion his best friend Touji Ato is clearly the more interesting character. What would the show be like if he was the main character instead?

This got me thinking about what other shows picked the wrong lead character and who in my not-so-humble opinion should have been the main character instead.

Continue reading