Summer Mid-Season Impressions; I hate most things but not like how I hate anime

I am disillusioned. No pictures because I hate anime.

Dropped

Watamote

Watamote is about social anxiety or something like that. It’s surprisingly unfunny for a show that should be. There’s nothing clever or enthralling about it.

In the words of Louis C.K, Watamote is like eating excessively. Stuffing yourself with unhealthy junk making you think it’ll make you feel better when no– actually it doesn’t.

“I don’t stop eating when I’m full. The meal isn’t over when I’m full. It’s over when I hate myself.”

Kiniro Mosaic

Started out funny and charming, but falls into the pits of every slice of life moe show in existence: Shit gets boring and repetitive.

Makai Ouji

Now I am all for ridiculous interpretations of biblical figures, but there’s no other way to describe Makai Ouji aside from “LUDICROUS.” It doesn’t help that William, the main character– is essentially the typical shoujo female lead in a man’s body. In other words, terrible.

“I am Uncertain about this, but I should reward it for not being bad.”

Uchouten Kazoku

What’s that?! Uchouten is just mediocre?! But what about the DEEP, EMOTIONAL FAMILY BONDS AND THE SOCIETAL ROLES ONE MUST TAKE ON?!

Yeah, that’s there but what else is? In the end, this is a show that is a family drama. And while that is a rare novelty in anime, that doesn’t mean that Uchouten Kazoku immediately rises as a superior series. It’s okay at what it does but it fails to enrapture me. Something more needs to be done with this family, there needs to be an actual hurdle to get over and I don’t see that.

Rozen Maiden

A show that sits between mediocre and good but never quite excels beyond that. It’s a very beautiful show, despite its photoshop filtered backgrounds but I’m not sure I care enough about it to keep watching.

Wonderfully Mediocre

Free!

Free exposes the truth behind KyoAni. It’s a studio that can appeal to a certain audience when it chooses to and has a fine skill for producing laughs at the right moment. But ultimately fails at escaping its okay-ness and its terrible “drama”. In this day and age, we are more reluctant to accept a flawed yet fascinating work than one that is brimming with “okay-ness”, Free reaps the rewards of being good but not THAT good.

Legitimately Good

Hakkenden

The fact that more people are watching Free! than Hakkenden is a mystery. Both are targeted towards the same market but one chooses to go beyond being a show about cute boys. Hakkenden is a series that builds its characters, writes beautifully tragic story arcs and doesn’t insult your intelligence. In a way, it’s reminds me Natsume Yuujinchou with its strong emotional center. I never expected to love this show like I do now, and I think that’s amazing. Also, it’s a gorgeous, gorgeous series from Studio DEEN.

Gin no Saji

This is essentially what slice of life/educational anime shows should be like. Funny, touching, honest and well-acted. I am emotionally invested in these characters and their everyday life, I learn new things and I gain an appreciation for the things I never did before. We might be getting an AnoHana rerun but thank goodness we have this on NoitaminA too.

Gatchaman Crowds

The fact that people talk about Gatchaman Crowds, even when they don’t like it says a lot about this show because it forces you to be an active participant. You’re not a brainless viewer, it respects your intelligence and it knows you might not always agree with it. That’s what makes a smart show, and bless it for being so. Is it flawed? Yes of course it is! But those flaws can be easily remedied by being a good viewer and letting yourself be involved with what you’re seeing. We’re spoiled as watchers, we think something is deep and thoughtful just by seeing a book title referred to by a character. No, that’s just a reference and requires little effort from the writer than you’d like to think. Gatchaman Crowds has drawn a wonderful caricature of contemporary society and the internet under the guise of a 70’s anime reimagining. I don’t think you can get more clever than that.

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7 comments:

  1. Lol (at your titles). I’ve seen some people theorize that the more you identify with the lead of Watamote the more you emphasize/like the show and IIRC the two of us on twitter already talked about how we don’t with her, we just had different personalities in high school. And I just heard recently that the charming first episode of Kinmozaic might have been mostly anime original, just based on a single strip, I didn’t watch the next few since I heard it was already taking a tumble in enjoyability but thought that was interesting. And agreed that the way Crowds subtly criticizes society (in addition to it’s rather front and center critique of other superhero shows) does seem “deeper” than just referencing book titles (well, unless you’re Penguindrum and reference “Super Frog Saves Tokyo” and you actually have to look up and read the whole thing).

    1. On Watamote, I do agree more people seem to enjoy it if they can relate with the MC, but I’ve heard guys like Scamp who don’t relate with her but still find it the funniest thing ever. I think it just happens that I don’t like this brand of comedy where the laughs are rooted on the misery of one person.

      As for Crowds, there’s also a lot of symbolism involved but mostly just to function as ‘extras’, things that give you a better appreciation or understanding of the show but doesn’t require to read a whole book just to get the point which is why I find this show so clever. Because it can balance between being an entertaining show and an intelligent one.

  2. Going to have to say my opinion of Watamote and Gatchaman Crowds is basically the opposite of what you say here, but I guess that’s just how it goes sometimes. Crowds ultimately left me disappointed (mainly I just couldn’t care about a single character, and any interesting concepts it seemed to promise fell flat for me). And meanwhile Watamote has been a true tour de force and potentially one of my top 5 favorite anime; only Nichijou has made me laugh more. But comedy is the most subjective thing in the world I guess.

    I do quite like Silver Spoon though, but I’ve fallen behind on it (as well as Free, which I was also enjoying). I’ve just grown a bit apathetic about keeping up with most currently running shows this past month or so; will probably get back into it eventually though.

    1. Thing with Gatchaman is I know I’ll finish it and I’ll have the desire to watch it over and over again. Watamote will never illicit the same response from me.

      Gin no Saji is fantastic in a lot of ways, it’s educational, funny, sad, brutal– it really accomplishes a lot of things that not many shows can do.

  3. Yeah I didn’t mind Watamote when I started it, but I dropped it four episodes in and don’t really feel like picking it up again. Sure, I could say that I relate to the main character in some ways – back in high school I used to over-think every situation I ever got into. But I think the exaggeration gets to be a little annoying after a while. The character gets into awkward situations, sure, but she doesn’t seem to grow at all. I guess that’s the point, but it loses its charm pretty fast.

    Gin no Saji is amazing – it’s amusing, yet serious, and the pacing is perfect. I also enjoy Free! a LOT more than I expected to, mostly because I didn’t expect it to be as funny as it actually is. I agree, it is pretty dramatic, and quite predictable, too. But the humour and character development (and the animation!) make up for it.

    I liked Gatchaman Crowds when I started watching it, but I didn’t find it amazing. I still don’t LOVE it yet, but I think the last few episodes have really started to push the plot forward. I think I’ll only be able to formulate a genuine opinion of this show once it ends.

  4. I had the same opinion regarding Uchoten until the latest episode aired. It’s kinda like a really lite version of Game of the Thrones with Tanuki right now.

    But yes, I understand your problems with it

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