Blog Archive

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sora no Method, Gilfriend (Kari) Dropped:

There's a limit to what moe can do for you.  When you create moe + angsty emo drama the answer does not equal 'greatness.'  Likewise, if you create moe + vapid insipid meanderings the answer does not equal 'entertainment.'

A show can have too much drama, or too little.  In Sora no Method's case, it has too much drama.  Why?  Because any drama based around irrational people lashing out stupidly over petty things that shouldn't matter is too much drama.  Fights are serious things, feelings are serious things, so people picking fights over nothing or getting their feelings into a ball of yarn over nothing are just obnoxious and I'd rather not have to deal with them, in the real world or the fictional one.  I find it hard to believe that the writer of this day time soap opera like trash is seriously the writer of Kanon, one of the greatest works of art of all time.  Maybe he just took credit for the job while Jun Maeda actually did it all himself?  I just don't know anymore.  Sora no Method is such a terrible disappointment, I'd rather just forget the dumb show ever existed in the first place.

Meanwhile, a story can have too little drama when it spends thirty minutes on absolutely nothing.  Nobody cares whether girl ten trillion gets along with girl ten trillion and one or not.  Nobody cares if she takes a photo or not.  Nobody cares if the quiet librarian makes new friends or doesn't.  Nobody cares at all.  There are too many characters in this show, and they're differentiated solely by their weird speech habits, as though half of them are clinically retarded and incapable of speaking proper Japanese.  There is no plot, it's just a random collection of people.  The setting is just 'generic high school' with absolutely nothing going on in the world that might lead to a plot someday in the future.  Since they're all (straight) girls, there's not even a chance at romance sprouting.  I honestly have no idea what this series is for.  It just makes me tired even thinking about it.  This show is certainly inoffensive, but that's only because it never says or does anything at all.  In a way, I prefer Cross Ange which at least had the courage to take some chances with its storytelling (despite all of those efforts becoming awful train wrecks, so no, this is not an endorsement of Cross Ange.)

With these two shows out, my fall season has slimmed down to just 18 shows:

1.  Sword Art Online II
2.  Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works
3.  Akatsuki no Yona
4.  Grisaia no Kajitsu
5.  Akame ga Kill
6.  Shirobako 
7.  Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
8.  Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu
9.  Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru
10.  Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai
11.  Amagi Brilliant Park
12.  Naruto
13.  Dragon Ball Kai Buu
14.  One Piece
15.  Sailor Moon Crystal
16.  Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete
17.  Yama no Susume Second Season
18.  Happiness Charge Pretty Cure

This doesn't mean the fall season has become any worse.  All of this is easily compensated for by the brilliant and moving awesomeness that is SAO II, Fate/Etc, Akatsuki no Yona, Grisaia no Kajitsu and Akame ga Kill.  Every week these shows are firing on all cylinders and leading the season and the year and the era to ever higher anime heights.  I don't want to go into spoilers, but the latest episodes of Grisaia and Akame ga Kill were simply stunning.  Jaw dropping, eye popping, ruthless tours de force.  And at least so far, with the liberal usage of flashbacks and a beautiful art style, Akatsuki no Yona is keeping up with these shows just fine in its own right.  I couldn't be more pleased with this season.  Discarding the useless trash at the roadside says nothing about the gemstone mine we've just struck upon.  This is the real deal.  Perhaps the greatest fall season anime has ever seen.

The only show I'm still watching that isn't in my rankings is Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete.  I'm still on the fence about this show.  I think it's good, but I can't be sure until I see what developments happen in the future.  One thing that's really pushing me to put this show in my rankings regardless of the plot though is Tomoe Tamiyasu finally getting another anime voice role aside from just Rin Natsume from Little Busters.  For such a talented voice actress, she deserves way more attention that one single role on the big screen.  I could end up adding Ushinawareta to my rankings just for her sake.  That's just how sonorous a voice she has.

While I was at it, I also shuffled up my top anime rankings a fair bit.  I placed the new fall 2014 season shows at where I really thought they were in worth, instead of just at the tail end as placeholders, based on the new episodes I've seen since when I first inducted them.  In addition, I dropped some series downwards which were more there based on historical heritage and less on merit.  "They've always been ranked here so may as well keep them ranked here" doesn't work in an ever changing anime world where new series are being added all the time.  I also promoted some series which on second or third look were better than I remembered -- the most important of these promotions being sending Bleach all the way up to #16.  The more people insult Bleach, the more I want to defend it, just like with SAO and Oreimo.

It's true that Bleach doesn't have many (if any) emotional moments, like you can find in One Piece, Naruto, or Fairy Tail.  This show probably won't make you cry, nor will it send you into a philosophical fugue as you meditate upon the great wisdom of the author's luminous mind.  It just delivers in terms of pure excitement, action, badassery, awesome character designs, great voice acting, wonderful power rankings shenanigans, and all around fights, fights, fights!  Bleach has a lot of the same excitement as the college football season.  Just seeing Oregon take the field against Stanford, or Auburn versus Alabama, or Ohio State versus Michigan State, makes you tremble with excitement.  So much power in one place!  So much epic throwdown about to happen!  Place your bets!  Shit's gettin' real!

If you aren't filled with the innocent joy of strong people contesting their strength with each other on a giant ladder of awesomeness, you won't like Bleach.  For that matter, you probably won't like Dragon Ball either.  Goku versus Vegeta won't mean a thing to you.  You won't even care when Goku goes Kaio-ken times four!  But for all sane, real men, this means the world to you.  This type of joy is engraved in your bones.  If you can't enjoy a show like Bleach, what can you like?  Next you'll say you don't like sports at all.  Or that you think tea tastes better with a hint of saffron.

Anyone who dislikes Bleach probably likes drinking tea, and that's all there is to it.  I don't care what tea drinkers think.  I really don't care at all.  They should all get together and have a lively tea party together with some dainty cakes while we go watch the people in Bleach slicing each other in two with giant swords.  GIANT SWORDS WITH NAMES THAT SHOOT OUT ENERGY BEAMS AND CLASH WITH EACH OTHER.  Do you not yet get the awesomeness?  You don't?  Okay, go drink tea with your English poodle friends over in that corner.  Over here, we're watching Bleach.  (And reading the equally awesome manga chapters as they come out every week, too.)

No comments: