Anime Club Escapades: Season Preview Edition (Fall 2013)

samurai flamenco_galilei donna

I’ve been following airing anime for the last five or six years and I’m still going strong. There’s a lot of personal responsibilities getting in the way of me having a lot of free time, but my life still practically revolves around watching anime. Even now, as I enter my third year in college, I’ve somehow ended up as my anime club’s president. There’s so much to be done, so much to watch. And, most of all, there’s so much to be disappointed with.

Figuring out the ins and outs of those charts has become so second nature for someone like me, a person so immersed in anime, that’s watched so much anime (by my standards, at least), that there’s no choice but to look forward to the newly airing stuff. Actually, “look forward” is not the greatest way to put it. There is no choice in the matter if I’m always looking for new anime to watch; I have to watch this stuff to stay relevant with my friends and with the internet. That’s certainly a saddening venture when I think about it, but it’s something I don’t mind doing with my free time. Which means I’ve learned how to find the shows I am interested in. Conversely, it also means I’ve learned how to find the shows I will most definitely avoid. But you see… concerning the purposes of making a post like this, things like “good” and “bad” are terms that hold no meaning. This is just a way to find out why people read this shit in the first place. In this case, I’m letting people judge my taste.

valvrave chalk drawing

Aside from the fact that it’s terribly easy to say whatever nonsense you want about titles that haven’t aired yet, what I’m trying to illustrate here is that my attempts to pick and choose in the current anime season reveal what my preferences are like, and not that these anime will actually be good. Furthermore, I want to stay away from using simple adjectives to judge anime, especially when those adjectives can be as polarizing as “amazing” or “godawful”.

From what I’ve seen of other preview posts that frequent the anisphere perpetually, all this scrutiny over a show’s premise, staff, and animation studios make everything impossible to view objectively. It all amounts to me figuring out other people’s tastes and expectations, saying “fuck that”, and letting my own experiences guide what I do and do not like.

golden time

Now see, I could totally go the route of pretending to be an expert on anime and say things like this:

All these amazing shows are SOGOOD and amazing and are going to make me cry rivers and if you can’t accept the SOGOOD or appreciate the SODEEP then you’re SOBAD and have shit taste.

Or maybe I’ll just be one of those people on the negative side of the spectrum and start saying things like this:

This season is full of these godawful shows which either are full of horrible fanservice or are pretending to be SODEEP. All these things I’m not watching are shit and people who like these shitty shows have shit taste and are SOBAD says experts.

I have to admit, it would be so much easier on me if I could just reduce myself to thinking in these terms when it comes to anime, and I probably used to think like that back when I was newer to anime, but I can’t do that in good conscience anymore. Not when I’ve gone through this thing called a high school and college education. Because I can look at anime with the same scrutiny I do with classic literature and movies, I most definitely will. And, in order to uphold that standard in writing, I have to stay away from these sorts of mentalities that are, for the most part, unwilling to listen to the other side of the argument.

yozakura-quartet-1886307

I’ve certainly met people in real life who think like this, and speak their minds like this, in my anime club.

“Let’s watch this anime because it’s soooooo good.”

“We can’t watch that anime because it’s bad.”

“Why would anyone like that series? It’s shit.”

“How could not not like this anime? Do you have a heart?”

Maybe I have a hard time with having a clear opinion about new anime because I know I’ll be wrong one way or another. I’m quite sure there’s nothing wrong with having a clear opinion. In fact, I feel as though it would be better for me if I were a lot more definitive about what I liked and disliked! And yet I’m still hesitant to be so clear-cut about it, like I’m afraid I’m going to lose people just because I said that one thing is good an another thing is bad, perhaps said with much more intensive adjectives attached to them.

kyokaiBookCover-01

Being someone who has found the inspiration to write shitty posts on a blog, one can understand that I eventually tired from conversations that end up at the paraphrased quotes above, and despite recognizing that I myself need to keep an open mind about things, there’s no indication that your conversation partner will do the same. Compared to the real world, at least I can find people to have a nice discussion about anime with on the internet, but the people I meet in the club still don’t understand what it means to have a pleasant argument, and even less so when it’s about something as meaningless as Chinese Pornographic Cartoons.

Maybe what I really desire for this year is that I get members who are way more articulate about why they like or dislike things, as opposed to speaking solely in terms of what to watch and not watch in club just because they don’t feel like it. I suppose the burden’s on me now to facilitate this kind of discussion, so whatever happens now is directly correlated to the effort I put in this year as the current president.

Sakasama no Patema - Trailer

Well, before I forget why I wrote this in the first place, this is what has my attention at the moment (in order of the pictures in this post).

  • The noitaminA duo (Samurai Flamenco and Galilei Donna)
  • Valvrave S2
  • Golden Time
  • Yozakura Quartet
  • Kyoukai no Kanata
  • Sakasama no Patema (a movie, so that’s not going to be out anytime soon)

Let’s be honest here, though. Do I really have to elaborate more about my taste when I can be as succinct as typing a list of what I’m going to be watching? You can make some fine and educated guesses based merely on the pictures that I’ve put in this post, and a detailed analysis of my taste from what I haven’t mentioned or pointed towards. Sure, I can talk more about it by extrapolating from the information given, maybe make some comparisons between anime that have the same staff, or possibly crack some jokes at an animation studio’s expense. But again, I can’t do that in good conscience because I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen. Everything on my list may end up being really good, or perhaps everything I’m watching will become extremely bad. That stuff is out of my hands.

Addendum

  • Good thing I’m going to sidestep the whole issue of quality in new anime by avoiding them altogether when I eventually construct a schedule for club viewings.
  • Even when I like people who are willing to discuss anime at an academic level, that ends up ostracizing people who just watch anime for fun, and certainly there’s a lot more of those sorts of people than there are aniblogger-quality people who end up going to a dinghy little anime club.
  • The battle for best taste still rages on, even within the staff, so I’m in high hopes that there’s going to be a lot of activity come the first meeting tomorrow night.
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8 comments

  1. I’m pretty stoked for Samurai Flamenco actually. Most awesome-est name 2013 (or at least, it was enough to draw me in!).

    Good luck with the start of the new semester good sir! ;)

    1. Thank you for that.

      Manglobe has two examples of competent samurai anime (Samurai Champloo and House of 5 Leaves), so I’m hoping this doesn’t break the trend.

  2. If it were possible for me to Like this post twice, I would.
    I’ll definitely be settling down on the couch for the two noitaminA shows as well, along with Kyoukai no Kanata. Coppelion, Kill la Kill, and Pupa are pretty high on my to-watch list as well, and I’ll be trying out at least the first episode of Meganebu! just for the lolz.

    1. Aww~

      I’m not too interested in Eldritch Incest Moe Cannibalism because I spoiled myself with the manga and it’s not my thing. I’m also waiting for the Hype la Hype to die down before I get close to that.

      1. What can I say – anything that could be possibly described as ‘eldritch’ and I’m there.

  3. Hmm, I too will be waiting warmly for the Patema Inverted movie. Amusing how a live-action film with a similar premise was released just around when the last part of the Patema prologue started streaming. Might be an interesting watch as well.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upside_Down_(film)

    I just recently joined my campus’s anime club, partially out of curiosity of how such a group works. Regarding showing choices, it has a 3-year turnaround rule for showing previously shown series, and a more ambiguous restriction against series with “large amount of ecchi, loli, moĆ©,” though I’m not sure who’s the judge of that. They seem to wait for an American-licensed DVD release as a rule for scheduled showings, though they’ll stream from legal sources for random episodes before meetings officially start. Not a lot of discussion so far besides a general once-per-meeting Q&A like “Why do you watch anime?” or “Your most impactful anime” or “What is your favorite anime scene?”, but maybe it’s because it’s early in the semester and people are still warming up to each other, hopefully? Oh, and they watch an awful lot of AMVs, ugh. Like one between every episode showing. Not exactly to my tastes. How does your club compare?

    1. We’re operating under the precarious assumption that my campus really doesn’t care how exactly the anime is acquired. Since we’re not going to show recent stuff anyway, there isn’t a problem.

      Traditionally when I was a member in this club, the main emphasis was just watching anime and nothing else. I’m trying to change that up this year since its necessary, but I’m obviously still in beta testing when it comes to implementing new ideas. Thankfully, no AMVs. What I DID do, though, was subject people to Slam Jam mashups during breaks, which got annoying after a few weeks.

      What I’ve seen of the web previews of Sakasama no Patema is that the whole reverse gravity mechanic is treated as a sort of Anti-Rapture, where the sinful are purged via falling into space. Quite different from Upside Down in actual execution, and I’m personally worried that the story might actually not be all that good because of that, but hey I get to have nice animation and a Michiru Oshima score to boot. I win either way.

  4. […] See the article here: Anime Club Escapades: Season Preview Edition (Fall 2013 … […]

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