Well it’s that time of year again, when I decide that, after a full year of producing almost no writing, it’s a good idea to try and produce 12 posts in 12 days. This is actually the 5th year running so that’s kind of a neat milestone if I can keep it up.
So towards the end of last year I had a silly idea. I first started getting really into anime around 2011, I dabbled before but it was mostly just rewatching stuff from my childhood, 2011 was the year I started actively following airing shows and diving into the endless backlog of older stuff. An effect of this all is that I narrowly missed out on seeing a lot of the anime of the 2000s. Obviously there have been a handful of things I’ve actively gone back and sought out after the fact but also there are inevitably things I’d just never heard of. So I decided to mark this new decade by spending a year watching things from an old one. For all of 2020 the only non airing anime I’ve watched have been from 2000-2009.
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”→
So last year I ended up replaying the entire Ys series on Nightmare on a whim, it’s one of my favourite game series and playing them all so close together gave an interesting perspective on a bunch of games I’d previously played spread out over several years. Mechanically the games are pretty drastically different (although they do fall roughly into three broad gameplay eras) as the series has evolved over the past 30 years but there are a few constants, with the exception of one distant prequel to the original games we’ve had one persistent world since the beginning, and our window into that world has always been the adventures of one man, Adol Christin.