Warnings for this post: there’ll be a lot of youtube embeds, and to get the point of the post, you’ll have to watch most of them. This post features some presumptuousness on my part; I’m going to say things like “this is Oonuma’s doing” or “this is Shinbo’s doing” or “you can see Shinbo’s influence on Oonuma here”—obviously, I can’t prove any of this to be true, as I’ve never met Shinbo nor Oonuma. This information is what I personally believe to be true, but you should formulate your own opinions based on the evidence.
I have a distinct mental image of Oonuma Shin and Shinbo Akiyuki as directors, and of SHAFT as a studio. Each has a definitive and irreversible influence on the others, and tracing whose original ideas are whose could very well be impossible. However, I have a lot of fun imagining all the guys at SHAFT as they come up with ideas to put into each new show. I also have a helpful device that makes this post possible—Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, the first show that Oonuma directed away from Studio SHAFT. I already know what Shinbo is like away from the studio, so now I feel I have a pretty good sense of what each of the three parties contributes to the work they’re involved in.
Yumeka asks ‘How many favorite anime have you gone through?‘ I reply, ‘a lot.’ It’s funny, you’d actually think that I would have written about this before, and I talked about some very similar things when I wrote the Roadmap to My Anime Fandom and the explanation of Why I Love Magical Girl Shows, but I’ve never outright chronicled the progression of my favorite shows. So, naturally, I have to. I also think it’s interesting how mine and Yumeka’s cross paths a lot.
The Early Era – This was when I was first finding out about anime (though I didn’t know Pokemon was anime until years of watching). During this time, I became an anime fan to the extreme, but I only knew about the shows that were on Cartoon Network, and a few movies that Funeral owned on VHS.
When a new season begins with a whole wave of new shows, a few of them are bound to be similar in some way, even if it’s only surface deep. You might get two of the weirder Shinbo-esque (or outright Shinbo) shows, one or two action or drama series (usually one of which is great and the other is terribad), a ‘slice-of-moe’ show or two, and then, of course, your fanservice shows, be they harem comedies or more dramatic romance.
Ordinarily, there isn’t much that I see myself as unable to watch. If a show really doesn’t work for me, I drop it, but I have a pretty good ability nowadays to find something to like in most shows. However, when there are two shows on TV that have similar reasons to like it, they sort of become in contest. I feel that if one of the shows is significantly better, it ruins me for the other show.
The first time that I remember this happening was in the Fall 07/Winter 08 season. The two shows in question were Kimikiss Pure Rouge and ef ~a tale of memories~, which were only really similar in being pretty serious romance shows with love triangle setups in them. Even though Kimikiss seemed to be pretty good at the start (reviews seem to confirm), I couldn’t bring myself to watch more than a couple of eps after having marathoned ef. Because ef had presented the love triangle setup in a way that won me over so hard, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy what I saw as a lesser presentation of the setup.
This seems to happen pretty often, especially with fanservice shows that have a lower threshold for enjoyment to begin with. For instance, last season I mildly enjoyed Omamori Himari and even more enjoyed Chu-Bra, which left me with little patience for the less enjoyable Ladies vs. Butlers. Bringing up LvB though, the fact that it didn’t even remotely live up to the excellent and incredibly similar Kanokon hurt it even further – however, that would have made me unable to watch LvB regardless of when it aired, while the phenomenon I’m talking about is more of a time and place thing. After all, I probably would have been able to watch Kimikiss if it hadn’t aired at the same time as ef.
This season, I started off watching just SD Gundam Sangokuden, Mayoi Neko Overrun, and Working!! However, I dropped Working!! after episode 2 and decided to pick up B Gata H Kei in it’s place. I quickly discovered that B.H. is totally damn awesome, too, but it created a quandry, because it served a similar purpose in my watching list to Mayoi Neko Overrun: fanservice comedy. And what’s more, Mayoi Neko Overrun is really generic and has little to offer whereas B.H. is excellent. If I hadn’t picked up B.H. then I might have been able to keep watching Mayoi Neko, even if I wouldn’t really enjoy it all that much, but now that I’ve seen such a higher-level fanservice comedy on the air, I find myself less patient with Mayoi Neko. I was tempted to drop the show after episode 2, but the awesome loli side character wouldn’t let me. I don’t think I’ll last beyond episode three, though.
The twelfth post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku”
Are you enjoying the time of “100 Characters For 100 Otaku?” We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a lot more to go! As we wind down, I reflect on shows that have had a character in the beginning, those who have had consistent characters in the list, and those that have yet to arrive. If you’re wondering where someone is, don’t worry – they may be on the way! Now, let’s see what 45 down through 41 have to offer!
The ninth post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”
“100 Characters For 100 Otaku” continues today with part nine. Still not seeing your favorite characters? Don’t worry, we’re still less than halfway done! From today forward, the entries get a lot less arbitrarily placed, meaning that we’re really getting into my favorite characters now. I can’t wait to dissect them all for you! So let’s roll with 60 down through 56!