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Part one is here: https://myswordisunbelievablydull.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/k-on-a-loving-thesis-part-1/
Text version and links:
I’m amazed that I’ve seen FLCL so many times that it now feels like the most clear-cut, easily-understood thing in the world. I couldn’t write about it now the way I did three years ago even if I wanted to, because back then I was just realizing and rationalizing everything; whereas now, it all feels obvious. Back then, I felt like I was explaining something in dense detail. Now, I fear I’d take too much of what I already know for granted.
It’s like I’m watching a stripped-down version of the series. I still see it as an incredibly dense show with meaning in every moment; but without the mystery to untangle, I can look at each moment and think about what they mean to me directly, instead of what meaning I need to find in them.
One of the great things about seeing this in FLCL is that I’ve watched it more times than any other show. Besides Cowboy Bebop, there’s no show which I’ve loved for a longer time (meaning from a younger age). When I was thirteen, Ninamori made about as much sense to me as real girls my age did. Now, I see the meaning behind every piece of dialog and facial expression that she makes like it’s written in text on the screen. Even three years ago, I don’t think I completely understood Mamimi—whereas now, I just get it.
I watched the K-On movie today, which is good timing, because I’m making an effort to rewatch some of my favorite anime. What’s interesting is that I now watch K-On much in the same way that I watch FLCL. Both of them are dense shows in wholly different ways. Whereas I couldn’t always see to the full depths of FLCL’s mass, I can now see it as well as I can the depths in K-On (which are far more transparent and, if I’m being completely honest, less deep. But I don’t want that to sound as obvious as it probably does.)
More EDs! These ones missed the first list for one or more of these reasons: I forgot about them; I didn’t want to include two from the same show; I counted it as not awesome enough because I was being a lazy dick; I haven’t actually seen the anime it comes from but know the ED by reputation.
TO MAKE THIS LIST, if I can actually think of how the song or video goes, it’s got a good bet.
A couple of years ago I posted my “top 10 unskippable EDs”—titled that way because I used to skip EDs a lot of the time. Now I don’t do that unless it’s really bad. Anyway, all the embedded videos are broken in the old post and I watched a *lot* of anime in the past two years, so here’s a new list of memorable EDs.
TO BE ON THIS LIST I had to like the ED as a whole, meaning song and video both. There are some ED songs that I liked where the video is unmemorable (think Mawaru Penguindrum’s “Dear Future”—amazing song, boring vid). Some also might be awesomely bad.
These videos are alphabetized by the shows they came from. And no, I have absolutely nothing better to do, and yes, I’m very tired right now.
Starting with what part of Evangelion I see reflected—Eva is what comes to mind when I think of taking an established type of anime to the next level in every way. Without getting into too much of “what Evangelion is,” since not all of it serves my purposes in this comparison, what matters is that Evangelion:
1. Is an amazing-looking show.
2. Is extremely well-written and directed.
3. Presents common genre tropes better than other shows that feature them.
So Ra No Wo To
Some of the most gorgeous art this side of Yoshitoshi ABe; characters who’re instantly endearing and have a natural chemistry; an engaging central narrative that pushes it one step farther than shows of its like—Sora no Woto wasn’t only great, but surprising. I loved it from the first episode, but it constantly found new ways for me to love it—for the art and animation, the impressively developed characters, engrossing world, fantastic directing, and consistently interesting episodic plots—tied together by an even-more-interesting dramatic plot. What makes Sora no Woto my favorite anime of 2010 is that there are so many aspects which I adore, and which have kept me rewatching the episodes, finding new things to say or to think about them. It’s a show that nags at the back of my mind, asking me to watch it again and find the next gem of knowledge or interpretation that’ll make me love it even more. This is the kind of show I’ll still be blogging about years down the line, and I love that, because it’s so much fun to blog.
Posts I did on this anime: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Eps 4 and 5, Episode 6, On Talent
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st
Never has the tale of a girl winning the friendship of her rival looked so god damn good! The Nanoha movie is special not just for being amazing, but for being amazing in replacement of a shitty series, and creating a magnificent springboard into the second season, which it rivals in brilliance (perhaps surpassing it by way of production quality). This film is wildly fun to watch and easily rewatchable, not to mention a perfect excuse to introduce my friends to the wonder of mahou shoujo anime. I love the genre, and Nanoha takes everything that makes it great and writes it for an adult audience without losing any of the magic. The final scene is one of the best emotional climaxes in anime, even if it was already done in the original show. What the original doesn’t have, however, is one of the best aerial dogfights I’ve seen.
Posts I did on this anime: Recommendation
The dialog and seiyuu performances in this series almost transcend anime as I know it. I can’t think of any pair of characters whose interactions are as entertaining as those that Satou Satomi and Toyosaki Aki create in Ritsu and Yui respectively. I single them out for their godliness, but that’s not to mistakenly forget that the other actors and their characters are all superb as well. Kyoto Animation continues to prove that they’re amongst the best production studios in TV anime. No other studio has the sheer attention to detail that they do, nor the general brilliance in directing. K-On is always entertaining, and at times even profoundly emotional. It has an unmistakable stage presence not unlike its own characters, which is no-doubt intentional. Add to that some excellent openings and endings, which are vitally important, because while a weak opening or ending can rarely hurt an anime, a strong one can make it all the more legendary. The only thing holding me at bay with K-On is that not every episode is equally brilliant. There are definitive god-tier episodes, great ones, a slew of average ones, and a couple of rather poor ones. The great outweighs the merely good, though, and rewatches should prove vital to the series’ strength.
Posts I did on this anime: Eps 1-6, Episode 7, Episode 20
Strike Witches 2
I couldn’t have prepared myself for how much awesomeness would come from season 2 of Strike Witches. I enjoyed the first series a lot, even if I never thought of it as something special, so I was expecting the same kind of laid-back enjoyment from this. Instead, I got a show that constantly kicked ass from start to finish and left me begging for more. The only thing that could’ve been better about Strike Witches 2 is that it could’ve been longer. Besides that, every episode had a crowning moment of awesome for one of its characters, and all of those characters etched their names into my heart. From a special attack that rivals the awesomeness of a super robot move to one of the most ingenious action scenes of the year, I was always impressed. Episodes flew by and made me look forward to watching them again, which I’ll be doing sooner rather than later with the uncensored blu-ray rips coming out. This is the best kind of popcorn entertainment, and something I want to show my friends.
Posts I did on this anime: Moments
As I’m sure you know, I’m very passionate about karaoke (if you don’t know, please familiarize yourself with these videos~). Being as K-On!! was one of the best shows of the year and was a show about music with a number of really good opening and ending themes (even some great B-sides!), it seems like perfect karaoke material.
Or it would, were the songs not insanely difficult to sing. I pride myself on being exceptional at singing fast and complex songs—last Otakon, I did Shounen Heart, a rap song by Home Made Kazoku from Eueka Seven, almost without error (and those errors aren’t made all the time). But K-On’s music is a whole level above that.