I'll be honest, there's a lot of things that I wanted to watch throughout this week that I haven't, just out of work issues, so instead of looking at a few specific anime, I'm just going to give some sporadic thoughts on the stuff that I have been watching over the last week.
Honey and Clover and MajiKoi?
So looking through Netflix, the series Honey and Clover caught my eye again. I keep meaning to watch it, but for some reason I usually fall into a show that's not to be named, (at least until later), but this weekend I decided with a day off from work to load up Honey and Clover. I was struck at how similar the situations that the show has reflects what's being done so poorly in MajiKoi. There's a downward mechanic between Rika, Takumi, and Ayumi which matches up with the same mechanic that's in MajiKoi's Momoyo, Yamato, and Miyako. The difference is that Honey and Clover uses this as a side story, and there's a real relationship developing in the foreground, while in MajiKoi this mechanic is in the foreground, and is charged with enough nudity and innuendo to choke an elephant. It's just interesting to see how the same dynamic is handled so differently between the two shows, but not as interesting as the fact that while I figured I was going to drop the show, I had the misfortune of watching the sixth episode. The only positive I'll take out of a half hour of phallic imagery and fellatio jokes is the fact that it reminded me that I really should play "Shadows of the Damned" at some point, if for no other reason than because I hear the phallic jokes in the game are from all reports actually funny.
Chie vs Ai, FIGHT!
A lot of words were spent about Persona 4's fifth episode, which included two social links, and a catfight between Chie Satonaka and Ai Ebihara. I made my thoughts on Ai known when I was looking ahead to the series and made my dislike for the nouveax riche Ebihara known. Yes, the catfight and people's lack of reaction to it might have seemed out of place, but I couldn't help but have my own internal "Yay!/Boo!" dialogue going through my head as they hauled off on each other. If you really want to take anything away from the fifth episode of Persona 4, take this away. Kou has great taste in women, and most people on Whiskey Media would agree, Chie over all. Now granted, I'm a fan of redheads, so Rise's more my speed, but damned if Chie's not great.
Some great shows just remain great
I posted a few weeks ago about how much I was enjoying Fate/Zero, and that it was challenging Last Exile for that last slot in the Super Six. After watching the sixth episode, it's made it's way on the list, bouncing Last Exile out of the list. This isn't to say that Last Exile has become worse, it's still really good, it's just that as the action ratchets up in Fate/Zero, it's place on the list wasn't going to be denied. It's actually moved not only on the list, but up the list as well, becoming one of my favorite shows of the season. Assassin's remaining in the shadows, as a good assassin should, Caster's made himself known (and has mistaken Saber for Jeanne D'Arc instead of King Arthur), and it'll be interesting if we see a bit more background on Berserker soon, as he's been shown but not really examined, and the side story of his master is one of the more interesting motivations anyone has in this Holy Grail War. The list as it stands is as such right now:
- Mawaru Penguindrum
- Mirai Nikki
- Fate/Zero (*)
- Persona 4: The Animation
- Bakuman Season 2
(* Fate/Zero joins the list for the first time, Last Exile ~Fam, the Silver Wing~ finds itself off the list.)
Bakuman was nearing an exit from the list as well until the arc with Mashiro's health came into play. It's a good time to reintroduce Azuki Miho back to the group, and to show that silly promises don't mean as much as each other's health and suffering. Mashiro's hell bent on drawing, but the preview for the next episode makes it clear that a certain someone's about to step in and put an end to this in order to give Mashiro time to have his surgery and recover from the issues which are causing his failing health. Last Exile would have stayed around if not for that twist in Bakuman's story, which cemented how dear those characters have become over thirty episodes.
There are shows which are not to be named.
This is more an observation from a time where I owned a comic book and hobby store, there were four shows I found that if you were starting to watch them or read the manga, I would always advise people new to the series to hold their tongue and never mention they were watching or reading these things until they were fully caught up. The four shows of death should be obvious, but in case they're not, they are Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, and Death Note. A true story about Naruto, is that my son when he was little started watching Naruto when going to bed. We always kept a few episodes on the DVR when Cartoon Network started showing them, because it got to the point where an episode of "Ruto" almost became the signal to the little one that it was time to be quiet, and by the end of the episode, sleep was usually not far behind.
I did most of the Naruto watching with my son, but my wife began watching too, and one day in the shop she made the fatal mistake of mentioning that she was watching it. Someone enthusiastically asked what episode she was on and she said 53, at which time he started going into what happend in episode 53... OF NARUTO SHIPPUDEN. Yes, roles had changed, friends were now enemies, enemies were now friends, and the dynamics built over 220 episodes were completely ruined for her. She's never watched another episode of Naruto since that day. If you're new to anime, and watching any of these series, do not tell your anime loving friends, for the love of god that you are. Watch some short form stuff, but until you're current, keep these shows a dirty dark secret. And for most of the people reading, remember that like with video games, flexing your deep rich knowledge of the thing you love doesn't make it so that new people regard you as an expert, but more of a braggadocio know it all that's to be avoided. Recommend, but never spoil, these great things and let the person new to anime bring you what wonderful things you find, and then discuss those things with them, and maybe make some recommendations based on what they like. A friend who comes to me and liked Usagi Drop will get a Wandering Son reference if they wish there was a bit more meat on the bone. Someone who likes K-On! will get an Azumanga Daioh recommendation from me if they loved how cute that show is.
But if they liked Hetalia, I still don't know what I'd tell them. :) That show's just a beast unto itself. (Use the comments, what would you recommend to a new anime watcher who's only exposure to anime is Hetalia and wants to watch something else?)
The Queue is Closed!
Hopefully next week I'll return to having a little more structure to the blog, but this week's been so sporadic with my anime watching, that it was little things that caught my attention instead of sweeping opinions on any series in general.