Fall 2016 – Season End Ranking

I made it to the end of a season! Wohoo!

We made it to the end of a year! Wohoo!

Yeah, 2016 was a pretty bad hand, but instead of brooding over what was, I think it’s also just as important for us to appreciate what we have. And true enough, 2016 was quite an adventure for me. I’ve been to three different continents, seven different countries, and fourteen different cities; I’ve met random people on the street and have met new friends and faces in all of my travels. And I’m not here to show how blessed I am; rather, I’m here to tell you that it’s important to count your blessings as well.

It’s one of the reasons why I rushed in a review for Flying Witch, to remind everyone to look for the magic in a dismal world. Because it’s only in realizing what’s important to us — the things we value — that we actually strive to see to it that these things are upheld. It’s what ignites passion and fuels change. Never lose sight of the things that have made your life worth living, no matter how shitty 2016 was.

Because the truth is, there’s no telling how shitty 2017 will be. Or the year after that. But if you know what it is you live for, then that’s an entirely different story.

But what does that have to do with anime? Well, nothing really. But I’ve been trying to link the anime I watch with life in general, and to a certain extent I think I’ve achieved that. What I write basically tries to prove to people that you can learn quite a lot about life through moving images on a television screen, and that every story has a hidden message just waiting to be told. We can bitch and rant about the things we hate about 2016 — just as much as we can bitch and rant about the things that sucked about anime. But I’m here to talk about what makes us enjoy the things we enjoy; what makes us hate the things we hate; what makes us keep coming back for more and more anime despite all of that.

In short — anime is love; anime is life.

And before I go on aimlessly with this lengthy entry, let’s move on to the season end ranking, yeah! (man, what a messy segue) Continue reading

Fall 2016 – Mid-Season Round Up

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Weee! I’m finally writing my first mid-season round up post since I started this friggin’ blog. Two seasons have already passed since then, so I guess third time’s the charm?

But what’s all this for, anyway? I mean, I’m already doing weekly round ups, so why one come mid-season? Well, there are just so many shows, and a number of my RL friends often come to me sometime around mid-season just to ask if there’s anything worth picking up. In some ways, you could say they’re more than happy to make me suffer on their behalf, what having to plough through all these shows expecting for the worst… But at the same time it’s always a good feeling when I can recommend a good title or two. Because let’s face it, some shows grow at their own pace, but knowing a show will be worth the effort is always something helpful to keep in mind.

So this will just be a quick rundown of the current standing of all shows this season based on my current census of titles. As with the season preview list and weekly round ups, these shows are ordered in descending rank. Only the season end ranking places the shows in order of ascending rank (they say it’s more dramatic that way). Also, if you’re lazy and just want a TL;DR, look for the words in bold in the last paragraph of each show description.

On a personal note, I’d highly recommend #’s 1-6. The rest might require a bit of… well, patience. Anyway, enough talk, let’s do this!
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Fall 2016 – Initial Impressions

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Okay boys and girls — it’s time to wrap up the preview week with a rundown of everything the season has in store… well, almost. Unlike other seasons, I’ve trimmed down my watching list quite a bit (it used to be 15-odd shows, but now it’s nearly half that number). But 7 shows is still enough to make a reasonably “able” list of titles. And indeed, this season is surprisingly capable in just the first week alone. I may have been a little unimpressed at the titles at first glance, but all of these shows have given me reason to think otherwise. A good chunk of these shows are original titles, and it’s surprising that these titles are pretty strong contenders. I really hope this season keeps things up, because as it stands I’m totally looking forward to it.

So let’s run things down, starting with the shows that gave the most distinctive impressions: Continue reading

Summer 2016 – season end ranking

I disappeared this season. Yeah, I know. But I was still watching animu. You can never stop watching animu. But regardless of how dedicated you are to watching (or undedicated to writing), this season felt like a chore to get through. Not really because the shows weren’t any good to begin with, but because their best moments really only took place in the last few episodes. That said, anyone who lacked the patience might have skipped out on a legitimately good show had it not been for a mix of odd pacing, boring plot flows, and wishy-washy animation. For whatever reason you had in dropping a show mid-season, you might want to think about picking it up again after reading the season end ranking. Because frankly, quite a number of shows I would have dropped out of frustration (or boredom) actually turned out pretty well. Good things come to those who wait, apparently, and that was no different for this season’s batch of misfits. So how did they do? Let’s run ’em down, from worst to best!

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Summer 2016 – Initial Impressions

Okay, so let’s go through what we’ve got this Summer. To be honest, I wasn’t very excited for this season. Perhaps the only thing that really caught my attention was Food Wars! since it’s a manga that I’m actually following. Everything else is pretty much a wild card – even the “venerable” Psycho Mob 100 which is, apparently, the show “to look out for” (most likely because of its OPM roots). Times like these are pretty much shooting in the dark, and though I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the results, there weren’t that many shows that I could honestly say weren’t very good save for a few. And these shows were probably just formulaic and, well, not very engaging. I’ve wondered for a while if it’s because I’m getting older (one of the shows I decided to drop was a Visual Art’s/KEY work, which used to be a non-negotiable probably 10 years back), but either way it’s been a steady first week, but really just one wild card after another.

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But before everything else, I’d like to apologize for disappearing last season. I mentioned in my previous Spring impressions that I was utterly floored at how writers are able to do the things that they do every season — and that still holds today. The difference is that I’m not a professional writer — I just like to rant about anime and share my thoughts. With that put into perspective, I’m a little more pragmatic as far as how frequently I can update the site. Either way, all that matters is the anime — so enough talk, and let’s do this! Continue reading

Spring 2016 – season end ranking

Spring has finally drawn to a close, and man was it crazy. I burned myself out half-way through the season, and apparently so did the CR staff handling the newsletter. As a result, NONE of my articles were ever published this spring, leaving a bitter taste in an otherwise enjoyable season. But my “enjoyment” was only to the extent that the shows were pretty much there to fill a void. It certainly wasn’t as dismal as the winter season, which only had one or two titles which I could consider worthwhile. But at the same time, Spring 2016 wasn’t exactly what I would call stellar, either. Sure, I was quite delighted mid-way through to have a pretty good spread of titles, but as the season dragged on, things began to stagnate. In the end, majority of the shows were pretty ho-hum with one ending up in the “dropped” category on its final episode before proceeding on to a double-length cour (which I’ll get to in a bit). So after all is said and done, though nothing was really “bad”, nothing was all too memorable, either.

So just what happened this season? Let’s run down all the titles, season end ranking, from worst to best! Continue reading

Spring 2016 – Initial Impressions

So this is what it feels like.

I’ve been writing casual articles for Crunchyroll for a while now, but ever since I started this blog, I’ve come to realize how taxing this kind of work is. I have to watch shows I normally wouldn’t watch, but even then I probably only watched a fraction of what other seasoned writers had to go through. Plus the fact that for whatever shows I did watch, I had to go through them with a sharper eye for detail to actually piece together the thoughts I’d use in my articles.

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It’s been a very humbling experience to be honest. Writers may look like they’re simply watching anime and spewing out criticisms and whatnot, but it’s actually a very carefully calculated process of discerning the media we consume. To all the writers out there, I salute you.

Of course, it didn’t help that this season was just full of really great shows — shows that have a lot of potential, or have a strong premise — and for once, I went back on my promise to actually cut down on shows to watch. But that’s precisely what this post is for; this is the tl;dr of the past four entries. Though it’s only a smattering of what other writers probably had to dig through, I hope this helps in trimming down your own list of things to watch. I ranked them based on overall (personal) impression, not just the initial scores I gave in previous posts. Think of it as a sort of prospective list of hopefuls that is bound to change throughout the course of the season.

Anyway, enough talk. Let’s do this! Continue reading

Winter 2016 – season end ranking

This is a little late, but a couple of friends suggested I make a season ending ranking list so that they have and idea of what to watch and what to avoid. These chaps are kind to make me suffer on their behalf, so like the good guinea pig that I am, here’s a (very) quick rundown of the shows last season — from the best to the worst, and all the way down to the outright abominable. Let’s do this! Continue reading