A Small 2014 Retrospective to Smooth Things Over

As you may have guessed by now, I’ve been busy enough with real life to warrant leaving this blog in the dust for the past month. The year is going to end within one month and at this point in time I’ve been getting a head start on all I can in time for both 12 Days of Anime and the Anime Secret Santa Project so that I don’t find myself swamped during my winter break. Drafts of my SAO episodics also exist, but I’m putting them off until I get the former projects done and over with. Rest assured, everything should get done at some point and will be released when they are scheduled to be released. However, E Minor’s set of questions is a good enough excuse to give a sneak peek of what I thought about this year in anime before getting into the nitty gritty with the posts I’m currently working on.

1.) What was your overall favorite anime of the year?

Ping Pong: The Animation stands out because of its quirky, visceral animation direction, its depressingly real look at competitive sports, and a precocious cast of characters that endure and overcome such an environment. This, as well as a sublime and well-thought story that fits like a glove into its 11 episode runtime, elevates the quality and raw entertainment value of Ping Pong above the rest.

2.) What was your favorite action anime of the year?

Tiger & Bunny: The Rising. It’s Tiger & Bunny with a larger budget. I wasn’t aware that you needed to ask for more than that.

3.) Comedy?

Nobunaga Concerto, more on that later.

4.) Drama?

Terror in Resonance, flawed as it may be plot-wise, is quite the emotional success.

5.) Harem?

um

6.) Mecha?

Knights of Sidonia because aside from a woefully underdeveloped cast it has fully convinced me that I would hate to live in Sidonia’s universe.

7.) Romance?

Tamako Love Story. Admittedly it’s a romance that’s told more through clever camera techniques than its own characters, but it leaves a much more palatable taste in my mouth than the likes of Isshuukan Friends and Nagi no Asukara.

8.) Slice of life?

Shirobako

9.) Sports?

Ping Pong: The Animation for reasons already stated.

10.) Supernatural/horror?

Mushishi Zoku Shou/Parasyte, by the merit of their uniqueness and willingness to explore their respective universes thoroughly.

11.) What genre did we get too much of this year? What genre would you like to see more of?

There’s always too many high school related stories. High school romantic comedies. High school dramas. High school s’life. High school ecchi harem comedy. This probably doesn’t change much if we were to take “high school” out of the equation, but I’m very interested in seeing more anime that isn’t constrained to the late teenager demographic, and more importantly stops putting high school life on a pedestal.

12a.) Which anime was overrated?

…Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki=kun, I guess? I’m really only putting this here because the humor missed me more than it hit me (though it hits hard) and I’m not nearly as into the shipping shenanigans as other people on my Twitter feed. Keep in mind, however, that I still think that Nozaki-kun is a good comedy anime.

12b.) Which anime was underrated?

Nobunaga Concerto is underrated in the sense that it is literally not rated as much as other anime due to how forgettable it is. Yes, the pseudo-rotoscopic animation style certainly makes you wonder whether this show was better off as a live-action J-drama, and the constant bombardment of Oda Nobunaga as a pop culture icon certainly leaves much to be desired after the likes of Nobunagun, Oda Nobuna, and Nobunaga the Fool. Nobunaga Concerto isn’t the anime that redeems such an obnoxious stigma, either, being sufficiently non-serious about the actual history of Oda Nobunaga as the rest and at times is more boring, but what this show managed to pull off was a brand of comedy that was subtle in its absurdity and thankfully lacking in hyperbole. It is a rare piece that lets its jokes speak for themselves and I have reasonably high regard for this anime for that alone. Of course, if you think the humor falls flat then there’s little else to like about this anime. It’s quite niche for a reason.

13a.) Which anime surprised you the most?

Taking this to mean “surprised in a good way”, I didn’t expect Shirobako to suck me into its quite relatable work environment as well as it did. It’s enough for me to ignore the cast’s deficiencies in meaningful characterization, of which I hope the anime will continue to build upon with its 24 episode runtime. There’s a lot of places where this anime can go from here and I’m looking forward to where that may be.

13b.)Which anime disappointed you the most?

I don’t think I’ve had my expectations dashed so violently with Psycho-Pass 2 and Log Horizon 2 airing at the same time, the former for somehow being more heavy-handed and smug with its themes than the first season and the latter just being a slog to read- er, I mean watch. Though I also want to give a shout-out to Isshuukan Friends for having an unsatisfying conclusion to its most important and final arc.

14.) Which anime should get a do-over?

I want to believe that there are ways for Terror in Resonance to streamline its script to be less alienating without sacrificing the current (and effective) emotional impact of the story’s themes, but I’m sure that this would be Very Hard To Do Effectively and perhaps undermines the point of the story entirely.

15.) What was the most memorable scene of the year?

Or this:

16.) What show do you think we’ll still be talking about for years to come?

This is largely a question for demographics that aren’t Anitwitter and the Aniblogging sphere, because I can’t imagine any other place that is so thorough in letting people know that their obscure favorite anime still exist and can still be talked about to an extent.

17.) What are you looking forward to most in 2015?

Another year of finding the one or two good shows out of many, as well as the yearly ritual of not especially liking something that gets too popular (I’m looking directly at you, Attack on Titan and Durarara!!).

18.) And finally, what brings you back to anime season after season, year after year?

Mostly how much more the community here is willing to engage in discussion about currently airing anime compared to the likes of MAL, ANN, and others such.

Addendum

  1. I couldn’t find a fitting question to mention Samurai Flamenco, Space☆Dandy, Shingeki no Bahamut, and SAO II, all four of which I’ll be writing about at some point.
  2. Too busy playing Omega Ruby to care about animu right now.
  3. Feels good to actually publish something for once.
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2 comments

  1. Oh my god. Another blogger who thought Gekkan Shojo was kind of overrated.

    SOLIDARITY

    1. Am I the only one who-

      No. This is 100% never the case.

      dat op tho

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