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I mentioned Samurai Flamenco last year around this time, because the Guillotine Gorilla reveal was the biggest “what the actual fuck” scene of 2013.

That moment fucking pales in comparison to what followed.

I didn’t exactly give Samurai Flamenco a glowing review, but that wasn’t because I actively disliked it or anything. It’s because I had no idea what to even feel about it – it got so absurd that I could barely process what was ever going on. It seemed to know what it wanted to do, but I think that it was the only one. In retrospect, we should have seen something like this coming considering it set out to homage just about every type of tokusatsu in the space of 22 episodes and somehow make it work as a single narrative, but even if we did there’s no way we could have predicted what actually happened.

asd

“My God, it’s full of Sentais.”

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Yesterday I talked about some bad noitaminA from this year.

Today I’m going to talk about worst noitaminA from this year.

So, Psycho-Pass! Season 1 was alright, and then a sequel was announced – but it wasn’t going to be helmed by Urobuchi, raising some consternation. Would it be any good without him? Could it actually be better, considering how dumb the first season got?

I’ll cut to the chase: Psycho-Pass 2 turned out to be a mess. Badly conceived, vaguely plotted and it largely just failed to understand much about the world of the first season. There are a lot of little things in it, largely based on the mechanics of the good ol’ dystopian crimeometer, which just aren’t consistent with the first season in a pretty bad way. Not every individual should be deserving of being exploded, surely?

asd

DEEEEEP

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noitaminA, as a time slot, has become something of a joke. It used to be a highlight of the medium, showcasing some novel and usually high-quality shows on the regular, but after Fractale it’s all gone a bit downhill. At this point, discussing it is a bit like beating a dead horse; everyone and their mother has made the jokes, let’s just move on and laugh at something else.

That said, there still exists hope for a bit of a resurgence, a return to noitaminA’s heyday. Zankyou no Terror represented one such hope, what with being a drama about terrorists in Tokyo directed by Shinichiro Watanabe. Of course, if you’ve read my review you would know that it didn’t really live up to expectations, like, at all (for what it’s worth I still liked it alright, but I was not enamoured and not convincingly).

You would also probably be able to take a stab at what moment I’m talking about today. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about when Watanabe made his characters talk about how much they love Sigur Rós in an excessively contrived and ill-timed manner. The music was mentioned like twice, “Von” was seen about 3 times, and then they decided that that was the absolute best thing to put all of the attention on right at the end and make it all really obvious and unsubtle and have that be the final note. For some reason.

I really don’t understand what they were thinking. I’m a massive fan of Sigur Rós and a huge post-rock nerd; a reference like that should have made me giddy. But alas, it was handled in a moronic fashion, much like the rest of the ‘deeper’ elements of Zankyou no Terror. There is quite the collection of scenes and moments that are emblematic of the current state of noitaminaA; as far as I’m concerned, this bullshit is definitely amongst them.

“Von” means “hope” indeed.

DULL SURPRISE - the correct reaction to this moronic revelation

DULL SURPRISE – the correct reaction to this moronic revelation

Sailor Moon is a genuine classic; not only is it immensely influential in both its medium and genre to an almost unparalleled degree, it is one of the definitive works that helped shape an entire subculture. It, along with Dragonball Z and a few others, essentially set the stage for the entire western anime and manga fandom as we know it today. Without them, it might not have even become a thing.

But unlike its contemporaries, Sailor Moon enjoys a far deeper influence, one that’s not recognised nearly as much as it deserves to be; Sailor Moon’s role in the female side of anime and manga fandom, and beyond.

It’s hard to find a woman who’s into anime or manga (or hell, most any geeky/nerdy/otherwise niche medium, and even beyond that!) who doesn’t have some sort of opinion about Sailor Moon. Most of the time it’s positive, and often it’ll be credited for being what got them into anime and manga in the first place. Dragonball Z may be remembered with nostalgia, but when speaking with Sailor Moon fans you often find a far more personal affection for the series, with its ability to remain ‘girly’ while also empowering the cast of girls and letting them be the heroes instead of their boyfriends resonating strongly, amongst many other things.

So understandably Sailor Moon: Crystal was hotly anticipated – a brand new adaptation of the manga that sticks to the plot far more closely is always something to get excited about, but it gets taken to a different level when the franchise is revered this much – and I made a point to check it out. After all, I saw a few episode when I was younger – I wasn’t into it all that much, but my sisters were and now one of them is a massive weeaboo with a huge love for the franchise – so it seemed like a good opportunity to see what the fuss is all about.

Also, ‘Serena’ was one of the earliest crushes I can remember having, which in retrospect set the tone for the rest of my life

Also, ‘Serena’ was one of the earliest crushes I can remember having, which in retrospect set the tone for the rest of my life

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Space Dandy had a High School Musical episode.

What more do you want me to say? It was incredible. Space Dandy was always somewhat unpredictable, bouncing from genre to genre as the directors changed for each episode, but this was something completely different.

There’s no deeper, more meaningful analysis to be had here. It was just a rad as hell musical episode that came entirely out of left field and left me grinning like a moron. A standout absurd high-concept story in a series that was all about standout absurd high-concept stories.

Have a screencap dump.

Space Dandy is a Dandy guy on stage

Space Dandy is a Dandy guy on stage

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From starting with the very beginning of the year in yesterday’s post to something far more recent today: let’s talk about Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, or Your Lie in April.

It’s been remarkably divisive, at least in aniblogger circles. While there was a decent amount of anticipation leading up to its first episode (a lot of it coming from Nodame Cantabile fans despairing over the lack of any more series), it quickly got lambasted for being amazingly pretentious; I saw comparisons to the ‘Literature Girl’ segments from Daily Lives of High School Boys, except that here it was playing it completely straight.

Personally I’d disagree to some extent. It’s certainly pretentious, but definitely not to a level I’d consider unwatchable or hilarious. And most of the pretension comes from Arima’s internal monologuing, who’s an angsty, kinda pretentious young teen anyway. I don’t think it’s so bad.

Something that everyone is agreeing on, however, is just how incredible the concert scenes are. The animation and direction for all them has been nothing short of phenomenal, but there’s one in particular I want to discuss.

aaa

“Ding”

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It’s that time of the year again! As with the last two years, I am participating in the 12 Days of Anime project, where I write one post a day about some anime-related moment from the past year for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. It’s a time to reflect and remember, and a great opportunity to discuss some moments and memories that left some kind of impact on me, for better or for worse, in a fashion my normal posts wouldn’t really allow. And to kick things off, let’s start with a series that kicked off the year in an explosive fashion!

SPOI la SPOI (ler)

SPOI la SPOI (ler)

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