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Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Phantom 16:

If my top anime rankings were 200 strong, who would the remaining 16 be?  1/3 of 599 shows already rounds up to 200, so I may as well tackle this problem while my mind's on it.  Currently Planetarian sits at 184, and is the last member of my official rankings.  I expect it'll go up once it's over, but that's not important right now.  What's important is who is 185th?  Who is 186-200?  These shows aren't great enough to appear in my great anime rankings, but reaching the round number of 200 is a nice goal in itself, so just for the sake of argument it would be fun to reach that magic number now rather than years from now when enough quality shows finally breach that barrier.

So far in 2016, 8 new great shows have premiered.  Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, Dimension W, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri, Planetarian, New Game, Rewrite, Kuromukuro, and Hai to Gensou no Grimgar.  Fall might have one or two more great shows, if luck should have it.  Even so, it means we can't expect a top 200 anime rankings to be officially reached until some time in 2018.  If we're unlucky even 2020.  Four years is too long to wait, so here's the phantom 16 to munch on in the meantime:

185.  Schwarzesmarken
186.  Futari Ecchi
187.  Akira
188.  Howl's Moving Castle
189.  Read or Die
190.  Laputa
191.  From up on Poppy Hill
192.  The Wind Rises
193.  Whisper of the Heart
194.  Koufuku Graffiti
195.  Danmachi
196.  Anthem of the Heart
197.  Shuffle
198.  Sora no Manimani
199.  Moshidora
200.  Noucome

The biggest trait that sticks out to me for these shows is inconsistency.  They can be brilliant at times and awful at others.  Watching these shows gives you emotional whiplash.  You're in the middle of something that appears to be an absolute epic, a tearjerker masterpiece, and then suddenly they do something so stupid, so obnoxious, so ridiculous, that you want to demand all the time and emotions you just wasted on the show back with a full refund.  The best moments of these shows often exceed the best moments of my ranked series, but their worst moments are also much worse than the worst moments of my ranked series.  If only they had maintained consistency, like a true professional athlete, they would have made my rankings too.  But alas, it was not to be.

Maybe someday I'll have a change of heart and one or more of these shows will appear in my rankings.  Or maybe some completely unmentioned series from my runners-up list will worm its way into my heart and be ranked instead.  There's no telling what might happen in the next four years.

7 of the 16 new shows are movies.  That's because stories with decisive endings tend to be better than all that's left to offer in the anime universe, which is full of 12 ep false starts leading nowhere.  A lot of the best series remaining, that I don't rank here, are shows that leave you wanting more but never deliver, like Kodomo ni Jikan and Prism Ark.  Compared to those cliffhanger series, Shuffle, Read or Die and Moshidora are better because they have closure.  Noucome, Sora no Manimani and Koufuku Graffiti are easygoing slice of life shows so it doesn't really matter where they end, you can imagine life will just go on as normal in all of them anyway so we aren't missing anything.  Danmachi is actually getting a sequel so no one can complain about its level of service.

You need an excuse like that to keep up with the Ghibli films that have built-in closure from the beginning.  If you're just twelve random episodes followed by a commercial for some untranslated Japanese original source work, you're never going to top Laputa.  Laputa is not this impossibly high hurdle, even RG Veda is in my rankings, but if I can still favorably compare Laputa to your show, it's obvious that you aren't even close to the big leagues.  That's just the minimum necessary for consideration these days.

Meanwhile, The Day Naruto Became Hokage ova has finally been translated in high quality blu-ray, so now's the time to check that out.  The manga chapter was somehow funnier and more vivid, though, there was just something about the flow of the panels the anime couldn't capture.

Meanwhile, 12 Sai's final episode is finally out.  So that moves the summer anime watchlist down to 19.  Which is really unfair, because ReLife should be the summer's 20th show, but since it aired all at once it already came and went sort of like the Spring season has already come and gone, so summer doesn't get any credit for one of its best shows.  Oh well, it'll be back to 20 when One Piece gets out of filler.

Meanwhile, Fairy Tail has 'a major announcement' July 27th.  Could it be the resumption of the tv anime?  Or perhaps a warning of the manga's impending demise?  Or news about the movie?  Who knows.  The more Fairy Tail tells us about what's going on the better though.  Now that all the defeated members of the Spriggan 12 have been revived, I'd dearly like to know how the heck our heroes are going to win this time. . .

Meanwhile, Muv Luv is released on steam, so now's the chance to catch up on this classic.  There's also a new short Grisaia steam release coming soon, the afterglow of grisaia.  These visual novels, which used to be totally neglected, are now coming out at a blistering pace no one can keep up with.  But they're all worth reading all the same.

Meanwhile, Grimgar's 4th novel has resumed being translated over at nanodesu, so be sure to get in on that.

Meanwhile, my Tales music listening project has moved on from Innocence and Legendia to Phantasia.  The very first Tales game, and already the music was great.  Good times.  After this comes Rebirth, a game I never played so I'll certainly be interested in what new things I hear.

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