So Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni has been one of my favourite pieces of media ever since I started getting into anime in general back in 2011ish. For all their flaws I still consider the 2006/7 adaptations among my favourites and I’ve rewatched them half a dozen times over the last decade. So when it was announced that they were getting a remake this year I was pretty interested obviously. If nothing else I was hoping for a more accessible entry point to the series for newcomers; a slightly more polished take without the reputation for being a bit janky the original adaptations had.
Episode 1 rolled around and it was more or less exactly that; aside from a weirdly unsubtle stinger with Rika at the end and a handful of scenes given more/less time it was a fairly straight remake of the first episode of the 2006 anime. This left me with sort of mixed feelings; It’s nice to have it back and filling that space I was expecting it to but at the same time, why does this need to exist? Jank aside the old anime were perfectly servicable and so watching this would just be seeing the same stuff all over again with a new lick of paint. Then episode 2 came out and threw all that out the window.
All right 12 days was fun lets get right into the new year with… Wait… What do you mean it’s the middle of March?! Maybe some day I’ll be able to stick to a consistent posting schedule but what the hey.
So this year I decided to open the new decade with a little project. I initially got into anime in a big way around 2011, I watched a handful of things before then but that’s definitely the point where it became one of my main interests. Because of this the 2000s have always sort of felt like a decade of anime I just narrowly missed out on engaging with. I’ve watched a handful of things from the era but there’s something aluring about going back to what I missed. Combined with a fascination with generally obtuse anime that have slipped out of the discourse I decided I’d use this year to watch forgotten anime from the 2000s. The criteria are pretty vague: 1) aired from 2000 to 2009 2) I hadn’t heard of it or was only sort of vaguely aware it existed and haven’t seen anyone really talk about it much. I’m about 20 or so entries into the list so far (I’ve been watching a lot of anime recently for a change!) and there have been a few solid entries and a lot of so-so stuff but that’s sort of what I expected going in. And then there’s Figure 17. A series I had genuinely never heard of until I started compiling the list, which meant I went into it with zero expectations. And it blew me away. Continue reading ““See You Tomorrow” – Death and Separation in Figure 17″→
Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight is a series that has been on my plan to watch list since like, 2011. I definitely should not have slept on it for so long. The world of Manabi Straight is one in which childhood is increasingly in decline. School still exists but it’s no longer mandatory past the basics and is positioned precariously between rising labour demands and collapsing budgets in the face of catastrophicly low birth rates. The end result of this all is that in the show’s setting childhood is something that increasingly needs to be justified. Continue reading “12 Days 2019, Day 11: “Here and now, something only we can do” – The Value of the Impermanent in Manabi Straight”→
So this year I hit a bit of a milestone; 500 finished anime. While ultimately pretty arbitrary and not indicative of anything much it’s still a big number, so I decided the 500th entry should be something momentous and well regarded. Gotta hit those big milestones with big series, right? Just kidding, I watched Sega Hard Girls.
My many rambling trip through the early Precure entries continued this year (I really need to start getting through more than one per year or I won’t be caught up till 2028) with the third series, Splash Star. Which is my favourite yet. A lot of that rests on the strength of its villains, in particular the two we’ll be looking at today.
Have you ever seen a series just doing a victory lap? Symphogear’s finale felt like that in a lot of ways. With the existential threat of Shem-ha being dealt with in the episode’s first half and Miku rescued from her control, The series conflicts were all basicly resolved. So it kept going. Continue reading “12 Days 2019, Day 8: Symphogear’s Swan Song”→
Granbelm was one of 2019’s biggest surprises, I had no idea what to expect going in and it ended up being my favourite new series of the year. I also blogged about the whole thing so feel free to check that out if you want. On the surface of it Granbelm is just another battle royale deathmatch type show, this time with cool robots, but it’s got a few tricks up its sleeve to help it stand out. Today’s topic is one of those tricks; its use of meta expectations as obfuscation.
Well this is the third year in a row I’ve done this so I guess it counts as a tradition now (technically it’s the fourth but I hadn’t quite pinned down the format at that point so lets just ignore year one). I watch a lot of short anime, I sort of make a point of trying to watch as many as possible, because I think they’re often unfairly looked down on because of their length and the perceived lack of effort that entails. There are some absolute gems floating around outside the bounds of the standard run time though, and each year I like to use one of these 12 days posts to highlight a few of the more interesting offerings each year. Continue reading “12 Days 2019, Day 6: Short Awards 2019”→
Way back in the long forgotten era that was the 12 days of anime 2017 I wrote a piece on how Granblue Fantasy’s anime adaptation was at its strongest when using the downtime freed up by cutting a lot of the padding in the game’s story to explore areas of the setting the game doesn’t touch on so much. Outside of those few moments and some other changes to facilitate a more climactic finale the first season was a mostly fairly straight adaptation of the early story, It definitely had its moments but perhaps it was a little unambitious. Fast forward two years and the anime’s second season seems willing to deviate a lot more and it’s all the better for it. Continue reading “12 Days 2019, Day 5: Granblue Fantasy and Deviation in Adaptations”→