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.
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.
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
(There are no spoilers in this post except where marked. It can be read spoiler-free.)
The idea that there are no “good guys” or “bad guys” in war is ubiquitous, but it’s one that must be repeated at any time where emotions run high and logical thinking must be laid down. By my logic, there’s no inherent “right” or “wrong” in the world. (I say “by my logic” because even if I think it’s the absolute truth, I am not all-knowing, and I will not pretend like I understand any “truth” about the universe.) There simply is what there is.
I don’t consider any action that I take in life to be a reaction to a moral idea. I would never kill a human being, but not because I think it’s “wrong” to do so. It simply isn’t something I would do, having been raised as a person with an aversion to doing such a thing. On a personal level, as I’ve mentioned before, I see murder as a waste because the dead can never benefit the world nor, by extension, myself. If a person remains living, then they carry with them the potential for infinite possibilities, and I don’t have any reason to destroy that.
Warning: Major spoilers for Shiki!!
This moment happened just a week ago, and I watched it just a few days ago, yet I’m sure it’s one of the moments that I’ll always carry with me.
It’s not often that anime leaves me depressed. Usually happy, sometimes bored, indifferent, and occasionally angry, but very rarely does it leave me in that strange, trance-like mood that I like to call being “fucked up.” Some people seem to be immune to getting fucked up by anime, and others get that way too easily. (There was a guy named Random Wanderer on the Megatokyo Forums who refused to watch anything slightly sad and read spoilers for everything because sad anime would leave him cripplingly depressed for days on end.) I’ve only been fucked up a few times, and all of those times are memorable.
The most prominent example was the Vampire Twins arc in Black Lagoon. Another was the ending of Texhnolyze. Probably the most I’ve been fucked up by anime was with Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu, which I’ve talked about extensively, and Nana, which I refuse to rewatch because the plot and characters aren’t interesting enough to make it worth all the depressing bullshit.
When I caught up with Shiki a few nights ago, I was in a great mood all the way through. After episode 17, it felt like the show was headed towards some kind of happy ending and I was excited. Then episode 18 decapitated that idea and 19 shat down its throat. I couldn’t bring myself to watch anything else after that and moped around for the next few hours. At this point, Shiki has the potential to either be really uplifting or wholly depressing in the end.
It’s been a while since I did one of these. When I started this blog I did them rather seriously, and then I gradually made them sillier until I stopped altogether. This was mostly because I didn’t like most of the season previews I read, but the sensible thing to do would’ve been produce one that I did like so that people who feel the way I do have a preview post. I think that my wide knowledge of anime production and my very optimistic outlook on upcoming shows are something that the blogosphere is sparse on, so rather than whine about it, I should become the change that I want to see. Thus, here’s my summer 2010 season preview.
Beginning, of course, with the requisite link to Chartfag’s Summer 2010 chart so that you can see it all in one place. Also see it for show summaries as I will not provide them below (though I found trailers for almost everything). I also got all of my airdates from anime calendar except where noted.
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