Neomo started reviewing classic/out-of-season shows for TheOASG in 2017. He talks about how this year has influenced him to keep watching the classics.
I suppose you could call this final solo post of this 12 Days project of ours a little look-back on what I’ve seen, but instead of perusing all of the simulcasts that have gone through my regular column, I will look at what I’ve done differently this year.
Beginning in the Winter season, I decided to look back on some shows that have aged, but still have left a lasting impact on us anime viewers. On some occasions, it was also the first time I had gotten around to even seeing these shows.
The winter season saw me watching Chihayafuru for the first time. So many I know were praising both the show and the manga, and at the same, I didn’t really understand why. I knew what karuta was, and so I couldn’t really understand its appeal. Well I should really have known better, and realised that anime fans can make anything appealing to watch. As I watched the first season, I began to understand why people liked it so much, however now I’ve finished it, I won’t be joining them in their praise of the show.
It wasn’t that I didn’t like it; far from it, in fact. I admired the animation and color palettes used in the show, the characters in the karuta club were all believeable, from reckless and passionate Chihaya to the composed and traditional Kanade. But I did manage to find some things in the show that threw me off: I often got frustrated by Taichi and his attitude at the beginning of the show – the spoiled rich kid was at odds with everyone. Not just that, but I grew frustrated with Chihaya’s family, and their seeming reluctance to praise her as much as they do their other daughter, who is an incredibly selfish model.
I am glad I saw it though.
Spring saw me watching a cult classic, and a show that I had not seen in at least 10 years. Haibane Renmei came out in my college years…you know those years, when you begin to watch weird shows, listen to weird music, and so on. The show was nothing like I had seen before, and that was what drew me to it. I have recommended it to so many people, and some of them have since called it their favourite show. I do think it’s a bit of a shame that, due to its age, it can be overlooked, now that more and more shows have come out in recent years that are just as fantastical (or even more so) as Haibane Renmei.
Sadly, the English dub is not very good, and does not reflect the depression that both main protagonist Rakka and her close friend Reki go through as they live in this walled town as outcasts not really knowing what they are, and await their ‘Day of Flight’. Instead the dub decides to ‘humanize’ the two girls, making them sound like they’re living happy lives when, in all truth, they are very scared and frightened.
After watching two good classic shows, I was hoping to be on a roll…but then I remembered that I am, and always will be, a victim of the anime summer curse, and this applied to watching classic shows too. Squid Girl was my choice and I ended up hating it so much. Just as Splatoon 2 was coming out in July, I was hoping to get myself a Nintendo Switch, and was secretly hoping that watching a show like Squid Girl would get me in the mood (the show has done a promo thing for the game in the past). Instead, I ended the show feeling extremely frustrated at all of the characters, and annoyed at where the somewhat ridiculous story was going. Perhaps you could call my watching the show a sort-of wake-up call on how all of the slice-of-life comedy shows I have watched in my long years as an anime fan all seem to merge into one another. I ought to be really more careful when I choose to watch comedy and slice-of-life shows, but I never seem to listen, as I’m sure some of the other writers here on OASG can tell you.
The Fall season that is just about to wrap up saw me watching Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. This was another show that has seen a lot of accolade and praise, but this was not just the first time I had seen the show, but was also the first time I was dipping my toes into the Lupin III franchise. Considering that the franchise consists mostly of high-speed antics and hijinks, along with aged jokes about crime and capers, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine contrasted in that it stuck close to the manga in terms of portraying Fujiko Mine as a dark and mysterious character who was sexually promiscuous and was willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wanted.
I won’t lie: the show did throw me off at some points. It wasn’t that I was expecting to see Lupin III hijinks (since I had never seen them before), but instead I think that after watching a classic show that frustrated the heck out of me (Squid Girl), I wanted something to ease my mind. I know that what I do is put a poll up on my Twitter so that you guys get to choose what show I watch, and I’m certainly not complaining. Thanks for choosing all the shows I end up watching, as not only the four shows I ended up getting to watch not only expand my ‘watched’ list, but has given me the opportunity to watch many more in my spare time.
I will be beginning 2018 by watching Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. It’s a show I have seen before, and have enjoyed very much, so after getting frustrated by Squid Girl and sometimes getting put off by The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, something as easy-going and funny as this will be very refreshing to watch. I will be watching more simulcasts beginning next year, as I am now on the team at Japan Curiosity, and will be writing for them as well as OASG.
As I mentioned, the opportunity for me to watch many more classic and out-of-season shows has come around now. After so many years of sticking exclusively to new and recent shows, this is not only refreshing but also a little exciting, as I know that there are plenty of great shows out there to watch both online and on home video, but it almost seems like some of them have been hidden away with the increasing popularity of simulcasts and simuldubs.
12 Days of Anime is a series of posts from bloggers regarding the best, worst, or in between anime moments of 2017. Here’s the initial article from Appropriant inviting bloggers to take part.