A Channel had a superb first episode with a lot of potential to be my favorite show of the season. Amazingly, it plays the field of Kyoto Animation shows and comes out ahead of the season’s Kyoani series, Nichijou (albeit Nichijou is hardly one of Kyoani’s major productions).
A Channel is the second of the only two things Studio Gokumi has made, the first being last year’s Koe de Oshigoto—one of the funniest OVAs I’ve ever seen—and so far their catalog is all high quality. A lot of what I saw in A Channel episode one was the studio announcing “here’s who we are, here’s what we can do,” and they did so with a lot of confidence.
I’m gonna be segmenting my Otakon coverage, partly because the thing as a whole is so massive, and partly because I want the sense of accomplishment from writing an Otakon post tonight without the incredible amount of work it’d take to do it all at once. So first up, I’ll start with the easy stuff: my haul.
This coming Thursday, I’ll be on my way to Baltimore to attend my third straight year of Otakon. In light of this, I put some effort into watching a spot of fine anime to get my otaku juices moving – after all, for about three weeks, I’d been neither watching nor blogging anime, since I was busy writing my novel. What I found, however, was that the juices hadn’t halted at all.
There’ve been a few times in the past that I started to falter in my anime love due to underexposure. The most memorable of those was in 2008 when I was away from anime for a while, and only got back into it after a marathon of Lucky Star with No Name and my brothers rekindled my interest. It’s been quite a while since I’ve spent as long as I just did without any anime or blogging, so I thought it would be important to re-awaken my fandom up to the necessary level to be excited for the con.
I can't wait to attend the 18+ yuri panels~
But what I found was that in truth, I hadn’t lost the slightest bit of enthusiasm for anime. Watching great shows didn’t feel like some kind of reminder of how awesome anime was – there was never a doubt in my mind that I had awesome stuff to watch. After all, these days, I’ve loved everything I’ve seen – I haven’t felt the ‘jaded’ feelings that I had in parts of 08 and 09 at all.
The big one I had to do was rewatch Lucky Star again, once more with No Name and my baby brother, but the feeling was nothing like it was almost two years ago when I last watched it. I didn’t feel like I’d forgotten anything about the show – it was like I’d never stopped watching it to begin with. That’s not a big surprise with all the outside interaction I’ve had with the series, such as writing about it, looking at images, collecting goods, etc, but it was an interesting feeling that a show which had utterly revolutionized my way of thinking last time now felt like common sense, so to speak.
I’ve taken this to mean that I’ve reached otaku nirvana. I no longer have to worry about burnouts or rekindles. I’m just 100% otaku, 100% of the time. And otakon is gonna kick ass!
I’ve been looking forward to this show ever since I watched the first episode at the start of the season, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed – with the exception of some rocky moments (namely episode 4 and a lot of episode 5, which weren’t bad, just… rocky), I was impressed with every episode, and will come away from the series with vivid memories of events throughout. <- That sentence is about as much ‘review’ as I can give you, since I find this series hard to talk about in a straightforward way. This post will be somewhat disorganized, but I hope you’ll bear with it.
‘Moe’. Moe, Moe, Moe. One of the most debated, debased, derogatory, yet delightful and potentially deadly terms of anime fandom. There are those who can’t wrap their heads around moe, or grasp it, or understand it, who think it’s a trend or a style or a visual phenomenon. There are those who try to pidegonhole moe, who try and categorize it as a genre, and who try to bash it or warp it. Now, I’ve done a lot of study on moe in the past. Moe helped me grasp my fandom when I almost lost it, I trained myself to learn more about it, and I published a definitive guide to breaking into it as a culture. However, if there is one thing I haven’t yet done, it’s to define moe. Saki has given me the confidence to do just that.
(In case you missed it, go see Part 2: GaoGaiGar over at The Gaming Dungeon) Simoun is one of the most recent anime we’ll be talking about here, having aired in 2006 in Japan and been released between November 07 and 08 here in the states by Media Blasters. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many of the people who’ve seen it, Simoun deserves to be called one of the greatest anime of our decade. Let’s check it out!