A couple of anime referencing other pop culture came out this year, and Justin wanted to talk about it before the year's up.

It takes a bit of time to find out your tastes. The only way you figure that out is by watching enough, reading enough, and eating enough. That’s how you find out that no matter how many Chinese restaurants you go to, the egg roll will taste bad. That if you read enough Manga Erotics F titles — Lychee Light Club, Velveteen & Mandala, and A Girl on The Shore to name a few — you’ll realize it’s not that great (for others, the opposite).

For me, I’ve quickly discovered that I cut anime dedicated to dropping references a lot of slack. That probably means I like those anime a bit. A good example of this is Nyaruko. The first season was solid. I think the second season was not but I still just liked all the references and nods to games, anime, etc. I have to think it’s because it calls forth a bit of nostalgia in some cases, and can be fun in other cases.

This year, a few anime happened to be big on using references to other media, so I’m just gonna highlight the ones I watched:

Akiba’s Trip
Street Fighter x Akiba's Trip
Yes, give me a Street Fighter tourney in my stripping anime, sure.

The only time I knew of Akiba’s Trip is Giant Bomb’s Quick Look of the video game and it was definitely something. However, I decided to give the show a watch. And it was hilarious? I guess it makes sense for a show set in Akiba to be extremely nerdy, but I did not expect it would force two political candidates to play a children’s card game. Or get Capcom to agree to use whatever Street Fighter games they needed to do their work. I think the anime slumped towards the end, but in the future I wouldn’t mind watching it again.

Gamers!
Gamers!
True story, I didn’t notice the reference to that game store until I took this screenshot.

Based off a light novel series by Sekina Aoi, Gamers! looked like it would give me enough video game references, ranging from kinda current to classic, to sustain me. It did, and also added a romantic storyline only Nisekoi could love. It’s actually not nearly as bad as that, I just needed a reference point. Anyways, it showed off some Guilty Gear, made references to Smash in its opening (it makes a ton of game references in its opening), so it did the bare minimum to catch and maintain my interest.

Anime-Gataris
Minoa discovering something new
One pink haired girl looks way too excited to be discovering things.

This started out as a short in Japan, but somewhere along the way someone told the creators to make that into a TV anime for 2017. Now Anime-Gataris throws in as much anime references as it possibly can, ranging from Gurren Lagann to Dragon Ball Z. The names of the shows they’re using are absolutely awful though. But I do like that it does reference a host of works, and while some episodes don’t help its cause, I will definitely look fondly on this show.

I would say a bit more on the anime, but I essentially covered it when talking about my anime club story.

Anyways, this definitely makes me want to go seek out more works that make these types of references. My guess is I won’t like all of them, but I’ll at least enjoy someone saying some infamous line from a famous basketball manga. Or something.

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.