For my second and final venture into the best of anime 2016, I determine the overall winners of the year.
Note: Spoilers for both Grimgar and Re:Zero are aplenty.
I appreciated Grimgar Of Fantasy and Ash after watching it to completion recently as a semi-marathon. For the most part, its character studies and the evident focus on atmosphere and a sense of place; rather than the much more often tread adventure fantasy with a clearly defined end goal of saving the world, has given the series a muted presence that ironically made its voice project louder amongst all the background noise. Similar things can be said about Re:Zero, now that it has finished its prolific rampage across the fandom’s collective stream of consciousness…though the reasons behind its highly resonant dual-season run were in complete contrast to Grimgar, as it projects its agenda of social commentary with unrelenting shamelessness and sincerity. In the end, while both series has no doubt invited significant viewership, and inevitable controversy on their respective handling of narrative delivery, I found myself once again standing right in the middle of the crossfire: appreciating what both shows have so admirably achieved, while also contemplating about their various failings.
Incidently, this is the second and last article I managed to rescue from UnimeTV’s server crash.
(Note: This publication deals with season one, with some limited discussion about Bishamon’s arc in Aragoto. I will try my best to present a narrative that is fair and concise, from the perspective of a largely non-religious background, but also as someone who does helm interests in various teachings from multiple religions worldwide.)
Trying out a new jam for this season: instead of having a two-parter half-season overview, I will write up a first impression post one week into the season and pick out a few shows worth talking about for a condensed half-season overview. As for the end-of-season write-ups…I’m not sure about them yet, since I tend not to complete shows on time before another season starts up.
I will be adopting the overview’s rating system, but for the first impression, only shows that I have made clear conclusions for will be given a rating.
Now, with the introduction out of the way, these are the shows I’ve taste-tested thus far.
So Subaru got his wish: he got to cry in his favourite girl’s lap. If I was being honest, Emilia’s first introduction as Satella, her overly nice disposition and her seemingly blind belief in Subaru, had started to make me suspicious…I’m hoping that I’m wrong of course, but might as well put up shields while I still have the time.
In terms of the narrative flow thus far, episodes 8 and 9 achieved strides in key story beats that helped progressed the plot in a steady pace, while also expanding the mythos of the world.
Enjoy the read. UnimeTV link
Yeahhh…so a multitude of issues during the last few weeks kinda kept me from the keyboard again: a combination of family issues and a certain feeling of lack of inspiration, after I managed to churn out a ridiculously wannabe-scholar piece on Piano no Mori, and following that up with a ‘talking about life’ piece on Cowboy Bebop. I think I might’ve overspent myself a bit.
So yeah, I’m back and this time, I’m tackling four episodes of Re:Zero. Trust me, the locations of episodes 4 to 7 may be stagnant, but somehow, the series kept it interesting, with episode 7 being its most consistently serious one yet. Despite the minor shakeups with pacing and logic jumps, Re:Zero still stands proud as a relative highlight of this season.
Enjoy the read. UnimeTV link
Ahh…so this series is going for a fantasy adventure vibe. I kinda dig it!
The plot-specific developments of the story thus far, has sold it as a journey-centric mystery, focusing on the historical intrigues of the characters and the fantastical power plays of this world. In this publication, I decided to focus a bit more on our main character Subaru, since I find his balance of genre-savviness and lack of good fortune (getting killed twice by one crazy woman? The ultimate friend zone) really interesting on a characterisation level.
Enjoy the read. UnimeTV link
Slowly easing my way back, here’s another one I’ve written for UnimeTV.
Wanting to add some more flare into my blogging life, I decided to take upon the obligation of trying out a biweekly review schedule for the Spring 2016 anime series Re:Zero. Without skimping on quality and the level of detail I dictate myself upon, I now have a baby that I really DO need to nurture constantly. Or the bossmen will kill me.
Anyways, I had a blast analysing the first Re:Zero, episode: plenty of underhanded self-awareness, subtle world building and the usual hair-raising ending hooks that begs one to want more (or…turn away in disgust, with their eyes rolling towards the back of their skulls). Needless to say, I recommend fantasy lovers to give it a shot, might be fun.
Enjoy the read. UnimeTV link
I really shouldn’t be calling this half-season anymore, huh…
Eh, whatever. ONWARD!
To no surprise for this aniblogger, anime is alive and well in 2016, and has shown to still have a couple of aces down its sleeve, even if a few of them were misplayed during this still ongoing match. Rather unsurprisingly. the collective crowd has already crowned their champion of the season, despite being just halfway into Winter 2016, leaving behind straggling titles who were overlooked for their limited appeal in subject matters, but were no less intelligent and artistic in their ability to captivate the more observational consumers and gem miners.
Let us delve into the Winter season through my eyes, as I glance back into the 7 weeks that has just passed.
(What’s with people rushing their top lists…even the Oscars are STILL contemplating on last year, and how to stump poor ol’ DiCaprio…)
Some mindless yapping first.
About a few weeks ago, I marked my first year anniversary as a regular anime follower. What has always amazed me by myself (yeah…self-centred asshole…), is how quickly I can adapt and project myself into new fandom communities: it took me one photograph to fall in love with photography, it took me a few days and a few dozen albums to fall in love with film music. It took me only a year to complete basically enough anime shows and films to sustain long conversations with people, who have been following anime for years. I completed no less than 100 titles, OVAs and films in 2015, around 37 days’ worth of content (or 53280 minutes), and have familiarized myself with enough anime-isms to be able to analyse in-depth and engage in fanboy arguments during my university’s anime society get-togethers. Overall, anime has greatly improved my enjoyment of life: I have one more passion to engage with other people of common interests, and good animation satisfies my love for great art. I am thankful for that.
I believe in the practice of casting a wide net from the get go, to reel in the best catch. Granted, I will have to deal with a multitude of indigestible garbage and an occasional shopping cart or human carcass, but this way, I can taste-test a wide range of shows, before settling with what to follow, drop or slot into my watchlist.
It’s because of this practice, that I usually start the season running with a dozen shows at least, before it dwindles into 3 or 4 shows I will still be following weekly after 5 or 6 rounds. The shows I stopped following and my reasoning vary, from ‘It’s not my type of show’ to ‘this will look great on 1080p BD’… or ‘This is too epic to NOT marathon’. There’s also added dilemma in what shows work better with a English dub. Then there’s the always fascinating slew of Funimation broadcast dubs. We are definitely in the future.
The thing about choosing home cities and time zones: The mere fact that you live 12 hours in the future of most U.S. release dates (which for some reason, are all the important ones for Pop culture), means that sometimes, you get to be part of a worldwide Funomenon (shameless plug haw haw haw): being among the first in the world to watch the newest Star Wars film. Interestingly enough, the most bizarre thing about this entire adventure saga for me personally, actually came from the ticket booking incidents. Sure, I will talk about my thoughts on the movie (FYI it was good, so no worries!), but being the ranter that I am, I need to start from the beginning: how a Star Wars casual scum suddenly decided to supposedly fight teeth and bones to watch the film on the 17th of December, a day ahead the rest of the world?