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Thursday, October 16, 2014


The greatness of this fall season knows no parallel.  Promoting just 4 new shows to my rankings doesn't do the fall season justice.  In fact, practically all of the new series airing this fall are masterpieces that the whole world should be tuning in to see every day.  Just as 2014 is the best year in anime ever, this fall is the best season in anime ever.  Since I'm going to promote these shows sooner or later, I may as well get it over with and just do it now.  There aren't four good new shows this fall -- there are nine.  In that case, it's about time to add in numbers 171-175 to my new top 175 rankings:

171.  Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru
172.  Shirobako
173.  Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
174.  Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu
175.  Amagi Brilliant Park

With five more slots, I can fit in all the hits that came out this season, instead of just half of them.  I've never seen such a bizarre imbalance in a year.  This winter the anime scene was so bad I didn't even want to make a first impressions post.  Now, just a few seasons later, we have a fall season so good that 10 new slots have to be opened up just to explain what's transpired in the course of the last couple weeks.

Amagi Brilliant Park is animated by Kyoto Animation and written by Shoji Gotoh, the author of Full Metal Panic.  The idea that eight other new shows would happen to be better than Amagi Brilliant Park this season is totally unthinkable.  And yet here we are.

Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu combines just the right levels of off the wall crazy humor with human sincerity and a sense of sacredness for those things that matter most.  The beauty of the main characters perfectly typifies what our heroes are standing up and fighting for.  This show is much deeper than it appears, and yet it's so simple it's perfect.  This show looks and feels exactly like Voltron, not known for any intricate plots or sophisticated characters, and yet it manages to do so much more than Voltron ever could through just a few micro-adjustments to how things play out.  This show will shock you by how good it is.  The initial description is hard to be taken seriously, but once you actually sit down and try it for yourself, you realize the whole thing is the stuff of genius.

Shigatsu and Shirobako are very different in temperament, but strangely similar in execution.  They're both going to be 2 cour shows (24 eps or so), and they're both going to go from the beginning to the end without anything left out.  In this day and age of anime used solely as advertising this trait is a godsend.  Rarely do we get a show from beginning to end, and even more rarely do we get a decent sized length show to go along with said ending.  Neither Shigatsu nor Shirobako have done anything astounding with their first two episodes.  There's no creative table-turning of old tropes like you see in Twintail or strangely realistic business running themes like in Amagi Brilliant Park, just some solid entries with high budgets and interesting characters you could see anywhere.  But that length plus ending feature makes each of these shows four times as good as any other series that may be akin to them.  Just by being solid, these shows can leverage the strength of being actually complete series, unlike virtually any other anime out there, all the way to the rankings no problem.

Just look at RG Veda -- only two episodes long, and it doesn't nearly reach the end of the RG Veda manga by Clamp.  RG Veda is ranked.  A 24 episode series that reaches the ending of its source material?  Forget about it.  There's just no competition right there.  That's all that needs to be said.

Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru is just a beautiful series within a great genre, the magical girl genre.  I rarely turn down any magical girl show from my rankings -- whether it's Nanoha, Madoka, Vividred Operation or Pretty Cure.  This show has all the same looks and feels as other great magical girl shows, and that's really all it takes to convince me that it's going to be great from here on.  In a way, even Freezing is a great magical girl show, but unfortunately the anime doesn't live up to the manga so I can't recommend its silver screen version.  Yuuki Yuuna is an anime original story, so it can't possibly mess up its adaptation.  The same is true of Pretty Cure, Madoka, Nanoha, Doremi and Vividred Operation.  What is it with original anime magical girl shows?  In any case, whatever they're doing over there is working, so I hope they keep making more of these shows, as many as they can.  Yuuki Yuusha may not match any of its predecessors, but it's still great, which just goes to show how strong the genre is overall.

These rankings are by no means final.  I'm just slotting these series in as they arrive with no serious intention of predicting their true worth right now.  We're only a couple episodes into each of these nine new series, so there's no way to tell how good they will really be.  It's enough that I've recognized their potential for now.  How good they end up being is something I can only judge three or six months from now when the shows come to a conclusion.  No doubt by then they'll all be placed much higher than 165-175, but for now their placement is as good as any.

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