For the first time, I’ve been too busy to hammer out even twelve posts this year. I’d been thinking about how I should start writing some posts and it was already mid-December. Since I usually have a good chunk of them done by like July, this wasn’t going to work and I’d wanted to get some stuff out for 2017 too since I copped out and wrote all about THE IDOLM@STER SideM. So what you’ll get is two quick and dirty lists before the year ends. Productivity!
12 Days of the Year 2017
- THE IDOLM@STER SideM. I wrote a lot about SideM last year already. An entire twelve posts!
- High Speed! the movie. I got mad at everyone.
- Free! Timeless Medley ~Kizuna~. The best part of the movie was the five minute makoharu montage opening the movie. Otherwise, it was a decent edit of the second season with questionable attempts to tie in the events of High Speed. This turned out to be the last part of the Free series that I’d watch, as later on my desire to reconcile my feelings on High Speed with whatever they’d torque out of a new TV series eventually dropped to zero.
- KING OF PRISM -PRIDE the HERO-. I saw this on opening day when I was in Sapporo for the SideM Greeting Tour. Possibly the wildest ride I’ve experienced in a Japanese theatre.
- Starmyu. I liked the first season well enough, but it was the second season that really got me into this series. The haruchan helped, but in a lot of ways, the second season really took the story to where it was hinting at in the first season and finished things off.
- Granblue Fantasy. When I first played Granblue, it was before the English translation was made available, so I had no idea what happened in the first part of the story. Luckily, the anime was here to help. Shoutout to those who appreciate Grankyun and a big fuck you to the Gran disrespecters.
- Your Name. I travelled back to Toronto for this one. My impression at the time was that it was just the right amount of Makoto Shinkai-ism for mainstream success. The old Shinkai would’ve ended the movie two to five minutes earlier than it actually does. For all the ribbing that the movie gets, it did give me a sense of nostalgia during the travel to Hida-Takayama section, particularly the Nagoya station transfer. I want to go to Takayama again.
- Tsukigakirei. There’s something about setting a light love story anime in middle school that makes it more interesting than high school. The dynamics are just different enough from the usual plethora of high school stuff that it makes it nice and refreshing. Or maybe it has more to do with the admitted influences of Tamako Love Story? Chibasho was very good in this too.
- ACCA. A very stylish anime that combines good-looking bread with meditations on federalism. Being a bureaucrat who flies around the country eating and inspecting things sounds like a good life.
- Tsukipro. Just like with the Tsukiuta anime, I was really excited to finally learn what is up with Tsukipro via the convenience of anime. Unfortunately, the production is lacking, to be nice about it. I was destined to be a Growth fan, but the QUELL twins played by Shugon and Nogamin made a strong showing (also it helped that they were twins).
- Marginal#4. In the aftermath of all varieties of male idol properties flowing out of a carelessly opened portal, Marginal#4 had the unfortunate combination of being around too early to ride the wave but too late to really get established and dig its feet in. It’s too bad, because I felt the anime hit all the right notes and also had good twins.
- Splash!7. I had the chance to go to the Free and High Speed-only event, which turned out to be co-hosted with a bunch of other events at the Big Sight as is typical. I think I like the atmosphere and logistics of smaller events more than Comiket, although I can’t deny the appeal of The Big Event. It was nice and more than at Comiket, I really enjoyed the small interactions with artists that are possible, like the artist who noticed my haruchan coin pouch as I tried to pay for a bunch of haruchan shit.
12 Days of the Year 2018
- Today’s Menu for EMIYA Family. I think I’ve grown into the phase of Type-Moon where my favourite parts of it are the soft, non-serious parts of it, which is a revelation I’ve settled into after seeing Heaven’s Feel I at the beginning of the year. Today’s Menu for EMIYA Family delivers this by the truckload as well as very delicious meals, just some very goddamned good looking food and cooking. If only Kogil were in it too.
- IDOLiSH7. A common theme with these male idol things is waiting for the anime to tell me about them because I can’t be assed to work through the Japanese in 90% of these mobage. Of all the non-SideM variants of these, it was i7 that I was most excited for. The thing that set i7 apart from its contemporaries (at that point in time) was the focus on a core group of characters and not structuring the entire thing like an otome game. The result is a tight cast that you can easily get a good feel for and a single narrative (this is not a given with how many mobage work). Stan Kujo Tenn.
- POP TEAM EPIC. This is one of those things that should be unadaptable to anime, but the madmen did it and it worked.
- Sanrio Danshi. After a long life as a twitter account, the show itself was surprising for going places where you wouldn’t expect a glorified brand commercial to go, much less seeing a Sanrio show lead us on an examination of masculinity. The buzz surrounding the show was almost predictably shallow, with people falling over themselves to praise the first episode for said examination of masculinity and then promptly never picking up another episode.
- Gakuen Babysitters. This is another great show for tackling questions of masculinity, though not as directly. It’s more a heartwarming show about family and dealing with loss. Of course, the fact that the principal characters are boys meant that the show got slept the fuck on.
- Kiss Him, Not Me. The premise for this one is extremely questionable but in spite of this, this manages to have one of the most satisfying shoujo reverse-harem resolutions I’ve ever seen. Since I don’t give a shit about spoilers: it’s not the cool first boy or his cool second boy rival that wins, but the real best boy, and he wins precisely by not being the terrible typical shoujo manga love interest shit.
- Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin. I was quite skeptical about the whole “rebooting” thing and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it, but it may have been worth it for Nosakakyun.
- Aikatsu Series 5th Festival. I went to an Aikatsu live on a whim and it invoked emotions in me about Aikatsu that I did not know I had. The highlight of this was definitely being woken the fuck up by M4 followed by Tosshi.
- Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion. Shinkalion is a children’s anime about boys and Hatsune Miku driving Shinkansen trains which are actually mecha, partially funded by JR East. As we all know, I love Japanese trains and so does the main character of this show. This show worked on me and I ended up going to the railway museum in Omiya and travelling around Tohoku and South Hokkaido on a bunch of different trains (I rode the E5, E6, and E3).
- Sword Art Online: Alicization. What a difference six years makes. It’s not SAO that changed, it’s me. Okay, maybe SAO changed a little because how else can you explain Eugeokyun?
- Tsurune. I wish Takemoto was on this or at least that I could guarantee that he’d be working on something similar, but I can’t argue with the show that we got out of Yamamura. Just let Takemoto call a boy cute, this is all I ask.
- Mirai no Mirai. I had some warning that Mirai was not going to be what you would typically expect, which was an adventure of the grown up little sister dealing with her kid older brother who time travelled or something like that. I definitely like its current format of multiple vignettes more than the thing we assumed it was going to be. I do understand that this isn’t the popular take on this movie, but I totally can see why most people would not like it. Me, on the other hand, I’m just glad we didn’t have to deal with the sister dealing with a kid for the entire movie.