The first episode of Tamayura ~hitotose~ is quite good. I’m going to go ahead and drop it.
I think Sato Junichi is a fantastic writer/director, and I have a lot of respect both for him and the iyashikei style that he’s crafted over so many shows. But, at least for now, I’m done with this genre. I simply can’t handle it anymore.
When I started watching fansubs and joined the anime blogging community in 2007, the handful of people I knew were big into iyashikei anime—most notably TheBigN, whose favorite things were the likes of Aria and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. I remember when ex-blogger Shiroth said upon his watching YKK that, “if Aria is the cannabis of iyashikei, then YKK is like injecting heroin into your eyeballs.” Liking this genre was probably what I saw at the time as “the cool thing to do,” so I endeavored in doing so.
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is a fourteen-volume manga of which I read maybe one chapter; adapted into a four-episode OVA, which I watched three episodes of and never finished. I think it took me more than a year to watch the first season of Aria, and I’ve been stalling on Aria the Natural since 2009. I also partook in the likes of Sketchbook ~full color’s~, which I watched seven episodes of, and last season’s Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, of which I only watched one. Never did I consider myself as having “dropped” any of these shows.
I can’t help but want to watch and enjoy these shows. I recognize how good they are, and even more than that, there are so many diehard fans who never shut the hell up about them (namely Aria). I never hear the end of how fantastic Aria the Origination is, but when I think about having twenty episodes of Aria the Natural ahead of me, I just don’t think I can make it.
One of my favorite anime franchises, Hidamari Sketch, is borderline iyashikei. It’s slow, soothing, and heartwarming that way. It took me a year to finish the first show, a year to finish the second show, and though I watched the first episode of the third show a year ago, I haven’t watched any more of it yet. And that’s one of my favorite franchises. Why is this so difficult for me?
It’s that when I watch these shows, I feel like my brain shuts off and I get lulled into this weird stupor. When it’s over, I don’t even know where I am anymore. I remember the day that my friend and I sat on the couch and watched the first two seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou, and it felt like several days had passed by the end, all of it a muddy and hard to remember experience.
That’s what gets to me. There are many things for me to love in shows like Tamayura. There are cute girls doing cute things, wearing cute clothes, having cute dialog, etc. There are gorgeous sceneries galore, and great seiyuu performances left and right. I even find characters that I genuinely care about. Maybe not so much Tamayura, but I really love Alice from Aria, even though I can’t bring myself to watch more of the show and see more of her. Not to mention Hidamari Sketch, which contains one of my favorite casts in anime.
It’s just that, at the end of the day, I can’t remember shit of what happened in the show. I walk out of each episode wondering what happened, where was I? Like I’m lacking in some feeling of accomplishment that I should get from watching anime. It never feels like I’m nearing the end, or like I’ve made progress. I don’t think—I don’t have things to get excited and worked up about.
I know that I’ll never finish Tamayura, and that even if I did, I wouldn’t remember much of what happened. I might remember liking this and that, but ultimately feel like I just watched it and forgot about it. It’s hard for me to find the energy to watch something, knowing that I’ll feel that way about it in the end. So, rather than continue to clog my on-hold list with iyashikei anime that I want to like but will never finish, I’m just going to nip it in the bud and drop it here, along with Croisee. I won’t drop Aria the Natural just yet, though. I still feel like I owe it to myself to give it another shot.