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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Full Metal Panic! is #10:

I had to adjust my anime rankings around a bit based on all the new anime announcements that have been pouring out like a rushing river from Japan.

If it's indeed the case that Full Metal Panic's light novels are being adapted in full, it's time to radically rethink this classic anime's place in the world.  The entire anime up to now has only covered the first five volumes of the light novels.  There are still seven volumes left to be adapted.  Which would mean that there's at least 24 episodes left to go even if they want to zoom through the content.  If they want to take it slow and add in more comedy content from the side stories, that opens up 11 more light novel volumes to work with, only a few of which were used for Fumoffu.  You could easily generate 48 more episodes for the series, or even more if you wanted.

When you get that boost of extra length, plus the proper ending to the series, you get a uniquely good series in the anime world.  Most anime are short and unfinished, so you enter a whole new league when you start talking about 100 episode completed epics.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the light novels years ago, but the anime experience will be spectacular in comparison.  An all star voice cast, great action sequences animated in blazing speed, colors, music, everything will be better on the screen.  I might even be underselling the anime at #10.  (IF, and I mean IF, it really is adapted in full this time.)

Meanwhile, Bakemonogatari moves up to #5, ahead of Sword Art Online, for the simple reason that Bakemonogatari is being adapted in full whereas SAO is getting some stupid original movie and not moving forward into the Alicization arc.

Jojo's moved up on the basis of it getting a part 4 sequel.  Utawarerumono moved up because I'm really digging the new season.  Ika Musume moved down to the bottom because I'm thoroughly sick of the manga and the anime's fate is shared with the manga even when it doesn't even adapt future content, because the future changes your perspective on what happened in the past.

To Heart and Amagami moved down because their charm isn't as epic as the shows they're competing with, whereas Macross moved up to the coveted #100 spot due to the Delta trailer looking sweet.

As times change, so must rankings, so we must remain ever vigilant to stay on top of new developments.  One Piece is losing its way and its purpose by not moving the plot forward.  Length is great, but it's meaningless if the story just gets repetitive or nonsensical.  How is it possible that some random wildlife on the back of an elephant can compete with Luffy, one of the strongest men in the world?  It's plot holes like this that get really annoying really quickly.

Bleach is still doing new things, important things, like showing off Kyouraku's bankai for the first time in the series.  There are many other bankais we still haven't seen and are waiting excitedly for.  The extra length in Bleach is giving us closure on various cliffhangers.  That isn't true of One Piece.  In One Piece, instead of closing up the story by addressing the remaining villains -- Blackbeard, the Marines, etc -- a whole new guy is introduced out of nowhere, Jack, that we care nothing about, and now we have to beat him before we can move forward with the actual plot we actually care about.  That's just bad writing.

Naruto knew how to tie up loose ends and provide a proper ending.  Why can't One Piece follow Kishimoto's lead?  It's pretty clear that both Fairy Tail and Bleach are on their final big fight arcs, so what is One Piece doing wandering around on top of an elephant?

One Piece has a fantastic beginning and a decent middle all the way through fishman island, but it's just gone off the rails in the last few years.  There's more bad than good coming out on a weekly average.  At some point I'm going to have to bring its rank down due to its extra content, rather than up like you would think the system works, simply because the new content is genuinely worse than nothing.

You know a show that doesn't fall into this mistake of dragging the story on and meandering around?  Pretty Cure.  In Pretty Cure, the story ends every year.  It has a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it makes its point and develops its characters according to a strict and swift schedule where you actually get to see results in a manageable amount of time.  Perhaps sticking to 48 episode maximum storylines is just a strictly better way to tell stories than these thousand episode long yarns like One Piece.  There's got to be a limit to length before it just becomes overkill, and a lot of other good series have always found that to be 48 episodes.  If the future seasons of Pretty Cure maintain the quality of the past seasons for many years to come, I can't see how One Piece, with its drastically lower quality, can possibly compete.  If Fairy Tail reaches its ending and Pretty Cure is still churning out masterpiece after masterpiece of short, 48 episode seasons, it won't be long before Pretty Cure takes back its place as #1.  But that's a years-down-the-road prognostication.  For now Fairy Tail is doing just fine, so long as the anime makes sure to continue all the way to the end of the manga.

If the Naruto anime actually reaches its proper ending, it might be time to crown it as #1, at least until Fairy Tail reaches its proper ending and takes the crown back.  It also depends on whether the Naruto anime intends to cover the light novel epilogues, the manga epilogue, etc or not.  It's hard to tell what Naruto is planning since it insists on being nothing but filler forever.

If Bakemonogatari continues to excel in quality like it has in Owari, it could stealthily climb all the way up to #1 by the end.

If SAO gets all of Alicization animated, it could be #1.

For all we know Strike Witches will end up #1 once it solves the mystery of the Neuroi.  This contest will clearly be raging for years to come.

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