Cathryn (Level 14)

New Passion Pit single gives me hope that their second album will actually be worth listening to #bestnewsallweek
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Anime watched in 2012

Goals for 2012:

  1. Watch more series than I watched in 2011.
  2. Do not limit myself to the girly stuff.
  3. Re-watch less often than last year. I did a crap ton of major rewatch marathons in 2011 and I'd like to avoid that in 2012.
1. Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi

Season 2. I enjoyed the second season of SH about as much as I enjoyed the first. I thought the main pairing of Takano/Onodera made some nice progress (finally) and I continued to enjoy the behind-the-scenes exploration of the Japanese publishing industry -- something I've always enjoyed about Nakamura-sensei's works. I still think that Nakamura's romantic dynamics are far too BL tropey and I find her ridiculously (and perpetually) confused ukes to be extraordinarily frustrating. I wish she would rely less on established tropes to create tension, but I know that that's probably too much to ask from most BL mangaka. Overall, it was pleasant enough to watch, especially since Konishi Katsuyuki voices one of the main characters (and he was amazing as always).

2. Big Windup!

Season 1. I've long avoided Oofuri primarily due to its marked popularity with the yaoi fangirls. A series' slashiness isn't generally something that makes me avoid it, but every once in awhile I'll get my back up about a series that's popular with that crowd just to spite us all. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not a huge fan of baseball or of sports anime (though there are a few series here and there that I really love), but Oofuri is wonderfully charming. Further proof that, as a culture, the Japanese consistently succeed at producing slice-of-life dramedy that is both interesting, relateable and touching to people of all walks of life.

3. Ookiku Furikabutte Summer Tournament Edition

Liked season 2 even better than season 1. Probably one of the best sports series I've ever watched. I plan to vehemently recommend this franchise to everyone I know who's even remotely interested in anime. Bloody fantastic.

4. Chihayafuru

I don't know if it's because I just watched such an amazing sports series in Big Windup, but I did not like Chihayafuru as much as the general western animanga community seems to be liking it. This is a little surprising, especially given how much I enjoyed Hikaru no Go (the manga, at least, I've never watched the anime). I think it partially has to do with the fact that I don't really find Karuta to be a very interesting game and also due to my frustration at the fairly cheap love triangle aspect. This series is jousei and while the love triangle is being handled in a slow and mature fashion, it's also full of super tropiness that drives me absolutely insane. This is the kind of series that I would have enjoyed much better had I waited for the manga to be completely published and translated so that I could get the whole story, because all the teasing just annoys the crap out of me.

5. Prince of Tennis II

I am a huge fan of the Prince of Tennis series. It's ridiculous and fun and the new sequel doesn't disappoint. I haven't been keeping up with the manga at all (I've always preferred the PoT anime series), but I enjoyed this immensely. Lots of favourite characters returning from different schools, lots of Inui being a mysterious data warrior. It's very fanservicy, but very entertaining. I was a little apprehensive, but I think it's a step in the right direction for the series.

6. Heaven's Memo Pad

I'm very intrigued by the trend of NEETs in animanga lately. Durarara!!, Eden of the East, and Kamisama no Memochou have all been interesting looks at the plight of youth in the 21st century. While the story is far less complex, I liked Kamisama much better than Durarara in a few ways, though if I had to say which series is better, I'd probably choose Durarara. I liked Memochou a lot, however, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes mystery or detective series. The characters are fairly interesting and the cases are good as well. I can only hope that at one point they'll do another season so we can see more of it.

7. Bleach

Completed the anime series by catching up on seasons 14-15. Season 14 was fairly forgettable filler, though it was nice to see significant appearances by my favourite shinigami captains (Shunsui and Ukitake). The arc was a lot better than some of the earlier Bleach filler, but not quite as good as the Zanpakutou arc. Still pretty stupid, however, as most shounen filler arcs are. All season 15 did was remind me how utterly shitty the most recent Bleach manga arc was. I'm happy the manga wasn't cancelled after that -- Kubo's given us all enough fun over the years that he deserves to rehabilitate himself a bit from one bad arc. We'll see how the next, and final, manga arc works out. Hopefully Bleach will retain enough of its popularity that they'll animate the final arc as well.

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