Best of 2016 Awards

It seems like the end of the year has come upon us before we know it, and it’s a chance for me to look back on the year that we’ve had and see what stood out to me! I’m also going to use this spot as an opportunity to mention things which were exceptional that were not anime. It’s also worth noting that I will on occasion distinguish between favourite and best. A favourite thing is the thing which I personally enjoyed the most. Obviously for me to enjoy it, it may have some technical merit, but something can be a favourite while I recognise its flaws or lack of general appeal. A best thing is one which I think is strong on all technical levels, and I liked it, but it may not have felt as personally enjoyable as a favourite. For something to qualify for an award, I have to have completed it for the first time this year. It doesn’t have to be new in general unless specified, I feel that limiting myself to only new things means that I miss out on shining light on older things and it’s not as though only new things are good, it just has to have been new for me. Also, when it comes to some of the non-anime categories, it would be unusual for me to actually partake of something released in the last 12 months. Continue reading

12 Days of Anime: Day 12 – An Ode To Joy

Classicaloid is the anime which I have been really enjoying and it seems that other people aren’t really into. I want to finish off my 12 days of anime though with a look at the opening sequence of the first episode. I took piano lessons as a young child, and something about the sounds of classical music really struck a chord with me. I’ll still often opt for a classical piece if I’m just looking to relax, or as some low-key background sound while working on writing or chores. Classical music is often used in media, I think both because of its beautiful sounds and also because it’s in the public domain and therefore you don’t need to go through too many hassles to make use of the tunes. An Ode To Joy has been used many times in anime (I’m sure many of you can think of the dramatic sequence in Evangelion set to this tune), but Classicaloid puts its own spin on the classic tune.

This is unadulterated visual joy set to classical music. Continue reading

Seasonal Thoughts Winter 2016/2017

Once again, shows are wrapping up and new shows are coming out. Once again being in the southern hemisphere my seasons are actually the reverse of the majority of the world’s population and it’s summer here, but if I call it the summer season everyone will be confused, so winter it is!

I don’t plan to use this post as a comprehensive list of everything which is coming out. There’s lots of good resources with fairly updated information on all the shows which are being released (I’d suggest Livechart or Anichart or if you’re super keen, you can look at both, they sometimes have slightly different info). I’m not in a place where I can really comment on studios or staff for projects, or know much about the source material, so I’m just going to use this to showcase a few titles which grabbed my eye. Everything is organised alphabetically as this seems like as good a way to sort things as any other.

Gabriel Dropout
gabriel-dropoutThis show is about an angel who is the top of her class but when she comes to earth in pursuit of knowledge turns into a lazy dropout and spends all day lazing around. While lazy people can be really infuriating in real life, they can definitely be funny in comedy if the show is written well. I’m definitely planning to watch this one.

Hand Shakers
hand-shakersI actually feel like the title should be in all caps for even more dramatic impact; HAND SHAKERS. It’s about pairs of people with special powers who are battling towards a supreme goal. It’s an anime original series with action and some sci-fi or supernatural themes. As an anime original, I’ll probably check out at least an episode or two, as I like action and sci-fi. If nothing else, it will let me write HAND SHAKERS on Twitter a few times.

Kobayashi San Chi No Maidragon
maidragonThis show is about a regular office lady who one day helps a dragon in distress and the dragon decides she’s going to become Kobayashi’s maid in order to pay off her debt of gratitude. It seems like it’s going to be the sort of comedy where there’s one totally grounded person reacting to everyone else being absurd and over the top. Judging by the character designs which have been released related to the show there’s going to be some more supernatural beings who end up in the mix. The manga this is based on was written by the same author as ‘I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying’, and I very much enjoyed the anime adaptation of that. It had a great mixture of comedy and heartwarming moments. Hopefully this will be just as fun to watch.

Minami Kamakura Kokou Joshi Jitensha-bu
minami-jitensha-buMore cute girls riding more cute bikes? Sign me up. I don’t know if it’s going to be my pick for blogging episodically this season, but you can bet I’m along for the ride.

Nyanko Days
nyanko-daysIt’s a comedy series about a girl and her anthropomorphic cats. I’m not big on real cats, but I loved Bananya so anime cats are a bit different. It’s not a top priority with all the other cute slice-of-life shows which are coming out this season but I’ll maybe check it out.

Piace Watashi No Italian
piaceA high school girl starts working part time at an Italian restaurant and learns more about cuisine and herself. It has the magical pair of tags; comedy and slice of life which pretty much guarantee that I’ll at least give the show a look. The show has Italian food in it so I feel it is my duty to see if the pasta is up to scratch.

Reikenzan
Reikenzan.jpgI was weirdly disappointed as more news has gradually shown up about this show and it turns out that it is a second season and that the first season was not picked up by any official English sources. Comedy, fantasy, and action are all genres I like, and the fact that it’s based on a Chinese webnovel meant that I was curious to see how the storytelling differed from the usual anime tropes. The lack of first season availability gives me low hope for the second season becoming available.

Urara Meirochou
urara-no-meirochouIt’s a comedy series about a group of girls who are learning to be fortune tellers. It looks like it has the usual things of each girl having a different personality and them spending time together doing fun things. I’m hoping to watch this show.

Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation
yowapedalIt does have cycling in it, and I like cycling, but I actually haven’t watched the first series of Yowamushi Pedal. I think I’m going to have to edge myself into boys in sports anime by watching some more cute girls in sports anime first.

Continuing
These are shows which are ongoing and I’ve been watching from last season. You’ll probably already know about if you’re interested in them or not.

Classicaloidclassicaloid

Monster Hunter Stories – Ride On!monster-hunter-stories

Ninja Girl and Samurai Masternobunaga

I’ll chat a bit about my thoughts on these series so far in my season wrap-up, which will be coming up in a couple of weeks.

Of course, this is all totally subject to change and I may decide to not watch things I’ve mentioned at all, or end up watching some totally different shows. It also depends on what ends up being available in Australia. I haven’t got a clear pick for my episodic posts, so I think that will depend on how I feel about the first episodes of what I watch. I’m still planning to blog about one ongoing series next season. I feel like I wouldn’t mind watching something which isn’t just the magical pair of tags ‘comedy’ and ‘slice-of-life’, but these are invariably the things that grab my attention, and the shows which I consistently like watching. Hopefully by seeing some other people’s opinions, I may be able to find some other shows I’ll like as the new season progresses.