12 Days XII: He’s lazy. She’s curious. They solve mysteries.

「氷菓」/「ぱち」

Hyouka is just lovely. I was pretty skeptical when the whole thing was announced and it started. Really, a slow mystery light novel with pretty animation, is that going to hold up? As it turns out, it’s not really a mystery, as things involving a bunch of bored high school students rarely are. Instead, it’s about a guy who, despite his best efforts, has the misfortune of being captivated by a starry-eyed girl and is dragged out of his shell. Like most of other shows in this vein, the enjoyment comes from watching how our protagonist slowly changes and see, by the end of it all, how far they’ve come.

12 Days XI: Two wolf kid moon shirt

「おおかみこどもの雨と雪」/「ksw」

In Summer Wars, we’re introduced to a family that’s large and traditional from the viewpoint of an outsider. We watch as they go about their hustle and bustle to honour the matriarch that’s guided and anchored their family. It’s a very broad, macro sort of viewpoint of the family. In Ookami Kodomo, we go about things from the other side. We see the love between two people blossom and they start building their family. After tragedy strikes, we see the day-to-day struggles of the young family and follow them through their highs and lows until the children are grown up.

12 Days X: Humanity has declined

「いつか」/「八子」

Shingeki no Kyojin is a story about the human race getting screwed. In shounen manga, we usually get characters who pull off amazing feats and come back against all odds. Sure, they might get themselves into dangerous situations, but none of them are actually going to die, right? Well, no one is safe in Shingeki no Kyojin. Nothing good happens when someone dies. And death never comes in a blaze of glory. This cloud of danger, horror, and despair hangs over the manga in a Muv-Luv Alternative-esque fashion.

12 Days IX: Socially awkward monster-kun

「となりの怪物くん」/「アン」

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is about socially awkward people. Our main couple is made up of a girl who knows everything and a boy who knows nothing. Shizuku is relentless and ruthless in her pursuit of knowledge and success. Haru is sharp but literally does not know how to interact with people. So you put them together and you’ve got two kids who don’t know how to deal with the other. Misunderstandings, the grease that keeps shoujo manga moving, happen because they actually misunderstand each other and not because they dance around trying to avoid each other for no reason. When they meet, they clash, but things work out quickly. And toss in a whole crew of other socially awkward people and the whole thing becomes a whole barrel of shenanigans with well-intentioned kids trying to deal with one another.

12 Days VIII: (」・ω・)」えのしま!(/・ω・)/どーん

「【つり球】昼寝」/「まりめ」

tsuritama made me happy. It made me happy because the director made something that I liked and that he was good at again after [C]. It made me happy because it’s just so damned colourful and the characters were so happy. It made me happy because everything about it, from fishing to aliens to the secret organization fighting aliens were so goofy. It made me happy because it was so cheery and happy and everything is going to turn out alright.