Even More Awesome EDs, ~2011 Edition

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.

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Why The Hell Not: My Top 10 J.C. Staff Shows

For a long time I’ve wanted to make a post about how great J.C. Staff is, since they get so much shit from the Western anime community in general (though they also get plenty of due respect). Now’s a good time to help raise awareness because a bunch of dumbasses are making top 10 lists of J.C. Staff anime—so I’m jumping into the fray.

It began with a random-ass survey on some Japanese website whose top 10 was then transplanted to Sankaku Complex. Top 50 is long, but since it’s a good way to look at a lot of shows at once, it’s a good way to start this post. Please note that the order of this list is absolutely fucking ridiculous (as in, I can’t fathom how the results came out this way).

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Astarotte no Omocha 3 – Another Keystone in the Kugimiya Arch

Episode 2 of C was a letdown for the most part, but that’s okay because Steins;Gate and Astarotte no Omocha are putting up strong showings as easily my favorite shows this season. I can’t contain my fanboydom for either!

Astarotte ep 3 was so good it hurt, and Asuha in animation is the cutest god damn thing this side of planet Earth. At this point—unlike with Ao no Exorcist—I’m so far beyond the changes from the manga (which have gotten pretty major) that they barely register now. This anime is much better than the manga, not just for the already true reason that Okama’s art design is spectacular, but also because it’s written by the pens of gods.

I like to refer to Toradora as a sort of keystone in the Kugimiya Rie loli arch. Everyone and their grandma has known since 2007 that Kugimiya is best known for playing “tsundere” lolis, especially in J.C. Staff shows, and it’s only grown more true over the years, with this season’s (fucking terrible) Hidan no Aria reaching almost so-terrible-it’s-like-a-meta-commentary-on-the-overuse-of-Kugimiya levels of Kugimiya overdose.

Why is Toradora the keystone? Because it takes the character type, all too known for it’s inability to grow and develop and for being perpetually misunderstood, and then the whole purpose of the show is allowing the character to do just that through 24 episodes of the best melodrama in anime. Now we’ve got Astarotte no Omocha, which accomplishes something similar in the span of three episodes.

Obviously it’s not a replacement for Toradora because that growing process is important the way Toradora does it, but it’s also a very cool new animal to see the character so easily understood, and seeing how she’ll grow in that environment. It’s like Naoya is the father to Astarotte that Ryuuji was the lover to Taiga.

Plus the show is so fucking god damn adorable, I want to hug Asuha TO DEATH. Cute girls haven’t done this many cute things since Ichigo Mashimaro.

The Step Between 'Favorites' and 'Obsessions'

I’m sure it happens to all of us – we watch an anime, and it completely bowls us over in it’s awesomeness. The show changes our perspective on how great anime can be and effects us on emotional and personal levels we may not have thought possible, etc. After watching a show like this, we might have to totally redo our favorites list just because this show rocked so hard, we have to wonder if the rest of our favorites deserve to compare, even if we can’t figure out if we can really put something above the shows that we’ve been obsessing over for years.

I’ve tried to beat this problem by constantly evolving and changing my favorites list to always reflect my current emotions, and the biggest way I did this was the creation of my ‘heart’ and ‘head’ scores. These scores were basically made to account for ‘obsession.’ When I watched Infinite Ryvius, I reacted in the way described above, but I instantly knew that I wouldn’t be ‘obsessed’ with it. I created the heart/head split so I could still express how amazed I was by Infinite Ryvius and give it a ’10’ without having to compromise the fact that the show didn’t hold the same standing in my heart that, say, Toradora did.

Now I’m looking at this on another new front, and I’m starting to think that maybe all of these favorites shouldn’t be on the same list at all. Now, I’m thinking of a divide not between ‘head’ and ‘heart’, but a divide between ‘favorite’ and ‘obsession.’

How come *I* must know where obsession needs to go?

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Implications of a Like vs. Enjoy Conflict in Writing A Favorites List

No conflict here, 10s across the board!

This is a continuation of this post wherein I described how one can separately ‘like’ and ‘enjoy’ any given show. Some people pointed out that ‘like’ is a very horrible term to use here, however, the suggested term ‘respect’ does not fully convey what I’m getting at here, so bear with me. In the future, I will never use the word ‘like’ this way again, but for the purpose of this post, please assume that when I say ‘like’, I mean to say ‘something that meets one’s personal standards’, and that when I say ‘enjoy’ I mean ‘something that I was pleasured greatly by partaking in’ (think ‘sex’). That out of the way, I want to talk about what separately ‘liking’ and ‘enjoying’ something means for one’s (namely my) favorites list.

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Why I See Gensokyo More Clearly Than Any Anime World

This is the only result I got for 'Gensokyo map' ROFL

One of the things that anime is surprisingly not very good at is creating a fully-realized fictional ‘world.’ When you open up a fantasy book (and fantasy is of course the best genre for fictional worlds) you are often confronted with a ‘world map’ right off the bat. You will be given details about all sorts of countries and locations and customs, etc., to bring this world to life as you read. The reason that this doesn’t really happen in anime is for the same reason it does happen a whole lot in JRPGs – time.

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Diary of an Anime Lived – Toradora in the Mirror

NOTE: THIS IS NOT MY POST. This is a post by reader UltraEternalBlackout. UEB is planning to start a blog in the future, but for now is trying to watch a lot of anime and read more blogs in preparation. Please give him a warm welcome for his very personal introduction~! Contains Toradora spoilers, so be warned!

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200 (+) Anime Worth Taking With Us Into the Next Decade

December's Forty Fandoms – Part One: Rie Kugimiya + Introduction

Introduction: Last night, during a conversation with Ghostlightning, I found myself unable to really remember everything I blogged about this year or everything I watched, to which he replied that ‘you need help.’ He also pointed out my huge number of posts, though, noting that I had probably written ‘about 200 posts this year.’ He was dead wrong, though, because as of (but not including) this posting I have written 323 posts in 2009. I made a joke about how I ‘could do forty-two posts by the end of the year for a 1:1 post-to-day ratio’, and since jokes about this blog have a startling habit of becoming reality, I decided I really wanted that ratio.

So here’s the deal – it’s too early for my top 100 anime list to be ready, but hey, why should I have to talk about individual works? After all, while I’m a fan of many anime, my top 40 shows hardly coincide with the ‘top 40 things I’m a fan of.’ That’s the purpose of this list – I’ve taken all my fandoms and put them in order of how big of a fan I am to create a top 40. So what you’ll see is directors, shows, franchises, actors, and so forth, placed together in a big list. The only thing you WON’T see is music – the way I think about music is too different from the way I think about other media, so it’s not here. If any of that’s confusing, then just read the posts, and it should all come together.

Because this is a list of fandoms, it can be difficult to talk coherently about, so I’m going to use a format. I’ll talk about 1. The History of My Fandom, 2. The Reasons For My Fandom, 3. The Nature of My Fandom (this will be seen more further down the list.) 4. The Level of My Fandom. So let’s get started!

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Tatsuyaki Nagai Shows His Chops – Directing, Art, and Animation in Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel

kaitou twin angels ova 1

Tatsuyaki Nagai is quickly solidifying himself as one of my favorite new directors. His work on Toradora was superb, but with it having been my first experience with his work, I wasn’t sure how much I could attest to him when I watched it. He is currently directing the excellent To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, which shares a lot of visual commonality with Toradora, leading me to believe that he has a lot to do with the visual style. Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel confirms my suspicions as his style is carried through once again.

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