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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Macross Delta Rewatched:

With this, I've rewatched all of Macross.  Now I just have to wait for the sequel to come out in 2018.

The first half of Delta was really good, but the second half felt forced and contrived.  Mikumo was the star singer.  Okay?  Freja randomly created the same var symptoms in Hayate she was supposed to be curing in everyone else via the exact same singing.  What?  Enemies kept randomly sparing each other despite being merciless in other circumstances.  Huh?  Oh well.  I guess the second half was better than nothing, which is all you can ask for.

The best scene in Delta is when Freja is dancing in the back seat of Hayate's cockpit.  Like, not even close.  It's a shame it came in like ep 4 or so, which meant the rest of the series was all downhill from there.

Next up for rewatching is Koutetsujou, which also has a sequel set for 2018.  I'm already halfway through the blu-rays of this series.

I'm halfway through sorting my visual novel music list.  There were a lot of Da Capo songs, so it's taking longer than I thought.

After that I'm going to listen through my 'other anime' list and see if there are any more worthy songs to add to my 10 star anime list, the more prestigious tier, which will also take quite a while.  Boy Rock will just have to wait.

There's nothing wrong with D.S., but it's no match for D.C.

2017's two best anime so far this year, Eromanga Sensei and Suka Suka, can't compare to the two best shows of 2016, Dragon Ball Recut/Super and Hai to Gensou no Grimgar.  However, if you expand the competition out to top ten of 2016 vs. top ten of 2017, it's pretty even.  And 2017 isn't close to done yet.  By the end of the year, 2017's anime may well surpass 2016, a surprising indicator of the robust healthiness of the industry.  It feels like there's already a lot of exciting titles announced for 2018 too, so I'm not sure when exactly anime is going to start sucking.  That doomsday seems to keep being postponed every year.

Koi to Uso and Knight's & Magic aren't going to make any contribution to the fight, though.  Their second episodes were huge letdowns compared to their first episodes, and now there's no chance of them making the rankings.  Action Heroine Cheer Fruits and Tenshi no 3p still have a chance, though.  And there are other promising shows that haven't even started yet, like Gamers.  The summer season may still be a valuable contributor to the year as a whole.

My only complaint is that no true stars are being born anymore.  Sure, 2017 can be the debut of #86 and can be proud of that, but what about a top 20 series like Clannad?  Is that forever a thing of the past?

The problem with making a top 20 series is that the top 20 is continuously improving even as we speak.  New Owarimonogatari, new Fate/Apocrypha, Naruto's Scarlet Spring Gaiden, new Code Geass ova's, Dragon Ball Super, etc, etc, etc.

Newbies can't catch a break.  The established champions suck all the oxygen out of the room.  This Saturday, I'll be celebrating anime's "OVER 9,000!" top ranking episodes/movies having been made across all time benchmark being cleared.  In other words, by the end of the week, over 9,000 must-see anime productions will have been produced.  And out of those 9,000 releases, ~3,500 of them will belong to just the top 20 ranking franchises.  ~40%.

If 40% of all great anime belongs solely to the top 20 franchises, you can see why neither 2017 nor 2016 nor any other year has managed to intrude on this virtual monopoly.

Even if I expand my rankings to an eventual top 200, I suspect the percentage of good anime that belongs to just the top 20 series will continue to expand, not contract.  There's so much more Naruto, Fate, Dragon Ball, One Piece and Pretty Cure to come, that all the rest of great anime put together probably can't keep up.  Then imagine if a new season of Index and Railgun are announced, or SAO 3, which is extremely likely.  Or what if Fairy Tail Season 3 gets announced upon the ending of the manga?  We'll quickly be up to 50% of all good anime belonging to just these few shows.

Over the last couple decades, a few prominent series have become rigidly situated at the top of the world, and they just keep receiving more and more sequels and spinoffs, to the point that they're going to end up being half of all the good anime out there by the end.  This isn't even a bad thing, I love these shows and always want more from them.  But it just means the 'current year' of anime is never that exciting because it's just more of the same, slow and steady stuff that we've been seeing for decades now.

It's the same for American films.  No new franchises are worth anything, but Marvel Comics and Star Wars are still making lots of good movies.  It's just how the model for contemporary entertainment has evolved.

There is one thing I hate, though.  Nobody in my anime rankings wants to be #1.  Every show has a fatal flaw that makes me cringe to report it as the best.  It's like, "really, is that the best you can do?"  All these shows are very admirable, but I wish I could have at least one perfect example of what makes anime great, and I don't have that, because every show is imperfect.  If they would just animate Fairy Tail to the end, I could happily and boldly present it as the epitome of anime, but they haven't yet.  Or if they just announced SAO Alicization would be animated in full, I could happily put it as #1, but they haven't done that yet either.  Everyone is fleeing from the crown as fast as they can.  No one wants it.  If they animated all of the Monogatari series, done, #1, but they won't.  Or all of Index/Railgun.  Haven't done that.  All of Fate/Kaleid Liner.  Nope, haven't done that either.  All of Little Busters! Nope.  All of Umineko!  nope.  All of Papa Kiki!  Nope.

I'd even settle for all of One Piece at this point, but it has no plans on ending for the next twenty years.

With everyone deliberately trying not to be great, with Kira Kira Precure being so bad, I think I'll have to give the crown back to Naruto, with all its flaws.  I just don't see anyone else with a better argument.  At least Naruto has an ending, and has been adapted in full now.  That's something.

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