Blog Archive

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lots Left to Do:

By replacing Psyren with New Game, my top 100 manga now has the proud distinction of me having actually read every series I'm endorsing, so long as it was translated into English and there was no anime version that sufficiently covered the material instead.

With those two caveats out of the way, I'm now all caught up on my 'to read' manga list.

As for my 'to rewatch' great anime list, I'm all caught up except for Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha, which only came out fully subbed in blu-ray yesterday.  I'm already enjoying the rewatch project and will slash this one off the list in short notice.

Things get tougher when it comes to my 'to read' light novel list.  Very few light novels are translated into English that are in my rankings and not covered effectively by an anime adaption.  Most of those light novels I've diligently read already, like the 12 Kingdoms books that weren't covered by the anime, or SAO's Alicization arc.  But a few are still on my 'to read' list, and since books are tougher to read than anime or manga, they're taking longer to cross off.

I'm currently on book 2 of Index's New Testament series.  It sounds like I'm nearing the end of this long trek, but there's also a ton of side story novels I haven't even touched yet, so. . .yeah. . .this is going to take a while.  If only the anime had hurried up and adapted all this material, I wouldn't have had to read it all.  Sigh.

After Index, there's a few other book series I list as great, have translated material that extends past the anime adaption, but I still haven't read yet.  Baccano, No Game no Life, and Spice and Wolf.  Hopefully they'll just make a second season of No Game no Life so I'll never have to read it.  Baccano is an extremely tough read because it's much worse than Index but just as long.  So my next goal after Index will be the much more manageable Spice and Wolf series.  Hopefully I'll find out what actually happens when they reach the village in the north.

As for visual novels, of the few that are actually translated into English and I've also endorsed as valuable works of art, many of them are still on my backburner.  It's no use trying to read the entire Index light novel series and visual novels simultaneously, it's all reading in the end and I can only read so much at a time.  I'm currently in the middle of the Grisaia no Kajitsu visual novel, with 2.5 routes done out of 5 girls.  Once I finally finish that, there's Majikoi, Really? Really!, Yuuki Yuuna's visual novel, Fate/Ataraxia, Aiyoku no Eustia's prologue, and more.  I'm always looking forward to more visual novels getting released, but the truth is I can't keep up with the ones being released already.  >.<.

The goal is to finish myself everything I endorse as good art to others and not be a hypocrite.  For the most part I've achieved that goal.  The goal is completely satisfied as far as anime and manga goes, mostly covered in the light novel department, and somewhat covered with visual novels.  But I won't be satisfied until every department is sparkling clean and without blemish.  Every project takes a significant amount of time, though, so it's always a work in progress.

Koei announced that Dynasty Warriors 9 was being made, but so far there are no details about the game beyond that.  I hope all of the characters I asked to be included 'in the next installment' get in this time.  That would be awesome.  Dynasty Warriors games aren't very balanced for endgame play -- either your weapon can instantly kill all opponents or it takes thirty minutes wailing on the same guy, and neither result is satisfying in the least.  Which means they have to keep releasing new games for that same fun gameplay you feel at the beginning of the previous game when your character is still a beginner.  I'm thoroughly sick of DW8, but I'm sure DW9 would be super fun to play.  It's the same with how boring endgame Tales of 'X' deep dungeons are compared to the main story content.  Or how WoW is a lot more fun when you're leveling than after you reach max level and have already explored all the new quest zones.

In just one month the summer anime season will begin.  It's hard to believe that Dragon Ball Kai, which started all the way back in 2011, only has four episodes left.

The pacing of the latest Naruto episode was still really slow, so it appears they have no intention of ending the anime soon.  There are 36 chapters left, but at the rate they're going they'll somehow manage to extend it into 24 more episodes, that is if they don't go back into a new filler arc again.  It looks like we won't know the fate of the Naruto anime until 2016.

The One Piece anime is on chapter 757 of the manga.  It only has 31 chapters to spare (less than Naruto has!) before it catches up with the manga.  It looks like the manga will manage to close out the Dressrosa arc in the next few weeks, so the anime should be fine covering the rest of this arc.  I do think it should take a break, go on filler, or something, though, as far as the next arc is concerned.  No matter how much you slow down One Piece's pace, when the author isn't even reliably releasing one new chapter a week, there's a limit to how bad you can afford to make the anime as a response to that pacing.

What about Fairy Tail?  The anime is on chapter 357, and the manga is on chapter 437.  So that's 80 chapters of leeway.  The anime could easily air throughout 2015 and even 2016 without having to resort to filler (28 episodes left in 2015, + 52 in 2016, would equal 80 episodes.  In that time Fairy Tail would produce another 80 chapters of manga, so you would have exactly 160 manga chapters covered in 80 episodes of anime.  2 chapters of manga per episode of anime makes for a reasonable and fun pace.)  Whether they actually intend to be that nice to us is another question though.

What about Bleach?  The anime ended at chapter 479.  The manga is now at chapter 628 (and still rising).  That's 149 chapters of leeway to work with.  Bleach has less dialogue than average, so you could easily do 4 chapters of manga per episode of anime if you wanted.  Even with that fast pacing, you could produce 50 new episodes of Bleach before catching up with the manga again.  The question is just a matter of will, not capacity, in Bleach's sorry case.  One of the most famous anime and manga of all time being ignored to this extent is truly disheartening.

It doesn't look like the Bleach manga will be ending any time soon.  Too many characters still haven't revealed their bankai or managed to fight seriously yet.  Assuming a decent fight takes at least two chapters to cover, and the need for some crazy number of people to receive screen time still, Bleach still has anywhere from 50-100 chapters left to go.  I didn't figure Bleach would end up being longer than Naruto but it's starting to look that way.  I wouldn't be surprised if Fairy Tail ended before Bleach did.  So maybe, just maybe, they're holding off on the anime adaption until the Bleach manga gets an even larger lead, or is just completely finished first.  The third season of Working waited until the manga ended before it's going to begin this summer, so this wouldn't be unprecedented.  I won't give up hope on the next season of Bleach until the manga ends and there's still no announcement made.  Which means there's still 1 or 2 more years of hope left in this world.

In a way, both 2015 and 2016 are guaranteed to be good years in anime, because all of these heavy hitters like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Dragon Ball and Fairy Tail are guaranteed to still be running.  The real question is what happens starting in 2017?  All the old series will be dead and gone by then, and no new series have emerged to take their place.

If you just look at the anime currently airing that's worth watching, the age is eye-poppingly old:

Fate/stay night (started being animated in 2006, 9 years ago)
Fairy Tail (started being animated in 2009, 6 years ago)
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha Vivid (started being animated in 2004, 11 years ago)
Hibike! Euphonium (starting being animated this spring)
Dragon Ball (started being animated in 1986, 29 years ago)
Naruto (started being animated in 2002, 13 years ago)
Grisaia (started being animated in 2014, 1 year ago)
Danmachi (started being animated this spring)
Kyoukai no Rinne (started being animated this spring)
Hello! Kiniro Mosaic (started being animated in 2013, 2 years ago)
Sailor Moon (started being animated in 1992, 23 years ago)
One Piece (started being animated in 1999, 16 years ago)
Pretty Cure (started being animated in 2004, 11 years ago)
Assassination Classroom (started being animated in 2013, 2 years ago)
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (started being animated in 1993, 22 years ago)
Oregairu (started being animated in 2013, 2 years ago)
Ghost in the Shell (started being animated in 1995, 20 years ago)

Add it all together and you get an average age of currently good anime =  9.8 years old.  10 years!  The average good anime, airing right now, this season, is 10 years old.  They started 10 years ago!  What is this, some aged wine service?

This season is drastically older than any other season I can remember.  But it still hints at an overall problem.  Essentially all the best shows worth animating were ideas we came up with ten years ago.  As long as these shows have been, they can't hold our hands forever.  They have to end eventually.  Then what?  Since we haven't come up with any good ideas in the past ten years that these shows bought their lives with by stalling until the very last chapter, we'll just be plain out of anime altogether when these old geezers finally kick the bucket.  And that's looking like it will happen some time in 2017.  We're talking Anime Armageddon here.

If nothing changes and this trend continues, people are going to have to switch over to visual novels or perhaps video games as their primary form of entertainment.  Anime just can't hold the gates anymore, it's too busy holding on to its tottering cane.

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