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Friday, April 13, 2018

Full Metal Panic starts with a betrayal right off the bat:

Straight from the author's mouth, he promised us that the anime would adapt volume 6.  Note:

"ANN: So it's been fifteen years since Full Metal Panic! originally aired as an anime. How did Invisible Victory come about, and can you share with us how many light novels it is intended to adapt?

SHOUJI GATOU: So, we're going to be starting--the anime is going to take place from volume 6 and move onwards, and that's about all I can say at the moment."

Volume six wasn't adapted.  Not even a portion of volume 6 was adapted.  The anime started exactly at the start of book 7, line for line.  Now, I'm glad they're adapting volume 7 accurately, but now the anime is missing volume 6.  How the hell can you just skip volumes in a story and expect it to stay coherent?

And what about all the fans of volume 6?  (Like me.)  Where's our reward?  You just skipped one of the major reasons we liked this series.  For no reason.  Against your own word.

How many future volumes do they intend to skip?  Is this how they intend to finish the series in just 12 episodes, by arbitrarily skipping 3/4 of the content?  If so, this anime won't be of any use to the non-novel readers, because they'll have no clue what's going on by the end.  I encourage everyone to get to work reading the novels, because obviously the anime isn't reliable.

So long as the anime sticks to the script, it will still be useful.  It's nice to have an animated version of volume 7.  Sadly, that's all it takes to be the best anime of the spring season.  But for everyone who waited 12 long years for this anime to come out, I can't imagine the collective disappointment that just rang out across the world today.

This finalizes the spring lineup, which on a weekly basis in terms of anticipation for each new episode looks like this:

1.  Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
2.  Major 2nd
3.  SAO Alternative: GGO
4.  One Piece
5.  Steins;Gate 0
6.  Basilisk 2
7.  Gurazeni
8.  Bolt
9.  Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen
10.  Uma Musume Pretty Derby
11.  Hugtto Precure
12.  Piano no Mori

9 of the 12 anime are already in my top anime rankings list, so there's no way they'll be dropped.  The other three may or may not survive to the finish line -- Gurazeni, Uma Musume and Piano no Mori, but there's no way any of them will make my rankings already so they're pretty much nonentities.

If not for the amazing retro heaven we've entered, the season would be a total wash.  Instead our retro heaven spring season is one of the best in a long while.  But just take a look at this:

FMP (2002)
Major (2004)
SAO (2012)
One Piece (1999)
Steins;Gate (2011)
Basilisk (2005)
Bolt (2002)
Cardcaptor Sakura (1998)
Pretty Cure (2004)

This is some old school stuff right here.  The average age of this lineup is 2004.  So 2018 is great thanks to anime that began, on average, fourteen years ago.  I'm fine with this model, but it isn't exactly sustainable.  What happens when they run out of material from old series?  There don't seem to be any new good ideas coming.  Are we witnessing the fossilization of the anime industry in real time?

Every time they make sequels to old works instead of new works, it becomes that much harder to surpass them next time.  Eventually the discrepancy is such that it's physically impossible to compete -- and then you're looking at an anime canon.  An indisputable set of series that will never be beaten by anyone for the rest of time.  When they make seasons like this, they're making a canon of that description right before our eyes.  It's cool in one sense, but sad in another.  It means there's nothing left to look forward to, but a whole lot to look back upon.

Meanwhile, I finished book 14 of Death March.  Worst book so far.  15 is looking a little better.

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