Black Lagoon is one of the few shows I marathoned in 2008 that I can still remember quite, well in spite of only rewatching half of it (and reading the first volume of the manga a couple times). I remember it because Black Lagoon was a turning point in the kind of stories that interested me, as well as in the kind of stories that I wanted to create.
The show had been recommended to me a number of times in the year before I watched it, but I was always scared to because it sounded ‘dark and gritty’. Back then, I couldn’t handle stories that featured extremely dark or violent situations and wanted to be taken seriously. Now mind you, I’ve always loved violence; but at the time, I was scared to get emotionally involved in it. In early ’08, two of my favorite anime were Mnemosyne and Baccano; both shows are ridiculously turbo-violent, but handle it in a lighthearted and fun way. (Not to mention half the cast of either show is immortal anyway.)
THIS PARTY'S GETTIN' CRAZY!
(What can I say, I’ve been finishing a lot of shows lately)
K-On! is the weird case of a show that I knew I would like right from the start, but never got around to finishing. I saw the first two episodes as they aired, and I saw those two episodes several times before I saw the third one – and then when I finally finished the show in one go with No Name, we started from the beginning again (since we had 1080p blu-rays~). For a long time, I wondered why it seemed that I couldn’t finish K-On. I thought maybe it was because of the hype, but I’m pretty good at wiping hype from my mind when I watch something. I thought maybe it was because I hadn’t gotten attached to any of the characters yet, but that doesn’t make too much sense – I wasn’t really attached to the characters in, say, Ichigo Mashimaro or Hidamari Sketch or G.A. etc. right off the bat, but it only takes a little bit of time for them to grow on me. Nevertheless, I felt this sense that there was something about K-On! that was keeping me at arms length, and I knew I was going to have to finish the blasted show if I wanted to find out. So I did. And the thing holding me off was actually my other suspicion.
A lot of AMVs are synched up just fine and perhaps feature a bunch of cool effects that make them popular in the AMV crowd. However, I for one am sick of random pretty anime set to techno mixes, spastic comedy set to upbeat songs, and action scenes set to heavy metal. The thing that makes AMVs good are beyond just he technical skill of the creator, but more importantly how the song and anime fit together.
And even though, I am tired of vague meanings linked to all sorts of shows. Just about every show can be linked to a Linkin Park song because their lyrics and sound are so general that anything can be said to match up. What I like to see are more specific matches. A song and anime with unique tones that miraculously match up. I consider this an example.