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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Slow Step Falls Short:

I've added Slow Step to my 'good manga' rankings at the coveted last place slot of 90th, but the anime adaption of Slow Step isn't good enough to include it into my anime rankings.  The length of 5 oav's is a little misleading, as they're each double length, which means really the series is 10 episodes long.  Unfortunately ten episodes just isn't enough to tell the story of Slow Step, which lasts 55 chapters.  A healthy manga to anime adaption ratio is 2 to 3 chapters per episode, not 5 to 6.  To make matters worse, in order to speed up the story, the anime veers off into filler just to make ends meet and keep the story 'on track' to its desired ending.  It would have been better if Slow Step had just converted as much of the manga as possible faithfully and then ended halfway, like H2 did.  Cutting material is bad enough, but adding in fake new material is never acceptable.

The same can be said of Grisaia, which commits both of these sins itself.  There are so many changes from the original visual novel it's a wonder the show is even called by the same name.  Still, Grisaia starts from a finer base, one of the best visual novels ever, so even with all the distortions the anime is still reasonably good.  Slow Step didn't have much leeway, as it's just barely a good manga to start with.

In the good news department, Amagi Brilliant Park is brilliantly hilarious.  Every episode throws a total curve ball and yet it still somehow magically works overall.  As expected of the writer of Full Metal Panic, which itself had a brilliant comedic voice throughout.

Also, Fate/Hollow Ataraxia now has a completed translation and is ready for English speakers to enjoy.  It's the sequel to the original game, so you either have to read the original visual novel or wait until the anime adaption of Heaven's Feel comes out years from now before reading this game.  The timing for this game's release may be a bit early seeing as how we're still in the middle of adapting the original to a presentable animated form, but it never hurts to be prepared ahead of time.

By watching Slow Step, I've expanded my 'watched at least three episodes of this series so it's at least halfway decent' anime list to 528.  By selecting the top third of this list I've been able to populate my elite anime rankings up until now.  This gives me 176 open slots, of which I have 172 series filled in.  Kyoukai no Rinne will definitely get one of the remaining slots when it begins this spring.  For the remaining three slots, we can look forward to the coming Winter and Spring 2015 anime seasons.  What are some good candidates?

Assassination Classroom is a wildly popular manga, so that might work.  Then there's Kantai Collection, a wildly popular mobile game based around the same idea as Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer.  Since I love those two shows, Kantai Collection might work too.  Sengoku Musou should be good, since it's by the same people as the creators of Dynasty Warriors, one of my favorite video game franchises.  Plus there's always a dark horse or two that surprises me, like how good Yuuki Yuuna was this time around.  Before you know it, my rankings will reach all the way to 180.  Reaching 200 'must watch' series doesn't seem so far away.

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