Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

Tag Archives: Watamote

Anime of the Year 2013 (25 to 21)

It’s that time again.  It’s time for me to reveal just how much I disagreed (and to some extent agreed) with the greater anime community over the past four seasons.  This year I decided to do the most comprehensive list of my top anime of the year I’ve ever undertaken and to hype up the suspense I’m going to count down from twenty-five in five anime increments.  It’s going to be a journey that I anticipate will be controversial, but as I constantly remind my readers, I’m here to represent my own tastes in anime because I’ve not found another critic who will even come close to agreeing with me.  And so I start with the bottom five of my top twenty-five of 2013.

Akari Awakens25. Daybreak Illusion

Any magic girl anime that avoids the common pitfalls those types of shows are prone to is ok in my book.  It also has a fresh art style and enough darkness to give its story some real edge so you can feel for the characters.

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Anime of the Week (9/15 – 9/21)

Anime of the Week – Gatchaman Crowds
Hajime makes a phone call in Gatchaman form

The information age has brought us a world where everything is at our fingertips. And even though you can use this power to be anything you want to be, it’s a shame that so many people choose to be stupid.                              

September 15 Attack on Titan Ep. 23 I knew this would happen six episodes ago. And if the writing didn’t suck it could have happened five episodes ago.
Railgun S Ep. 22 I love how Misaka backs up her chivalry with power. I’m reminded of the phrase, “speak softly, but carry a big stick.”
September 17 Genshiken Nidaime Ep. 11 I don’t know why anyone would look to OreImo for examples of anime that humanize otaku when this series exists.
Kiniro Mosaic Ep. 11 A valiant effort is made to show a fairly realistic clash of east and west, but even so it still gets a few facts wrong.
Day Break Illusion Ep. 11 There’s plenty of room for dramatic twists in this series, but every character is too unwilling to make a mistake.
September 18 WataMote Ep. 11 The lesson to learn from this anime is expectations. If you set your standards too high, you’re bound for disappointment.
September 21 Servant x Service Ep. 12 I think the most attractive feature most people truly lack is not beauty, brains or brawn, but merely confidence.
Gatchaman Crowds Ep. 11 Although social networking is a terrific system for disseminating information, it’s too often highjacked for evil.

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Anime of the Week (9/8 – 9/14)

Anime of the Week – Gatchaman Crowds
The Gatchaman pose for the final battle

Last week’s episode was a perfect illustration of my own political views. Pure conservatism is a hindrance to the change that is necessary to move society forward, but pure idealism leads to short-sightedness and even unnecessary revolution. I take a middle, progressive stance that advocates slow and steady change that strikes a balance between holding onto the stability of the past while remaining flexible enough to sort out new quandaries as they arise.                              

September 8 Attack on Titan Ep. 22 Another example of this anime wasting time. Six episodes and we’re right back where we were a little over a month ago.
Genshiken Nidaime Ep. 10 Many find fault with those of us who can’t read the mood in social situations, but we do help to keep people honest.
Monogatari 2 Ep. 10 It takes a confident writer to have the courage to create something heartwarming and insightful rather than violent.
September 9 Prisma Illya Ep. 9 It’s a very tired trope in storytelling to have someone quit after a traumatic experience only to come back later.
Day Break Illusion Ep. 10 Now that this series is coming to its conclusion, they’re just piling on the misfortune thicker and thicker.
September 10 Blood Lad Ep. 10 It would hurt to lose my family, but giving up my memories in order to come back from the dead is too high a price for me.
Kiniro Mosaic Ep. 10 Shinobu’s fondness for western culture is cute, even if it leads her to make some completely nonsensical fashion statements.
September 13 RWBY Ep. 9 Now that everyone is wearing their school uniforms, this series is really showing off its anime roots.
September 14 WataMote Ep. 10 In America the students change classes, but in Japan the teachers do, so you could be stuck with people you don’t like.
Servant x Service Ep. 11 Make sure to phrase things carefully because even if we mean well sometimes our words can be interpreted differently.
Prisma Illya Ep. 10 Only ten episodes? That’s not a normal run length, but I’m happy to know that this lighthearted series is getting more.
Gatchaman Crowds Ep. 10 From what I’d seen thus far in the anime, I’d figured that Utsutsu was the only character without a Gatchaman form.
Rozen Maiden Z Ep. 11 As is usual towards the end of a Rozen Maiden series, the solution to the problem at hand is so shamelessly made up.

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Anime of the Week (7/21 – 7/27)

Anime of the Week – Servant x Service
Yamagami has to put up with Hasebe's flirting

While there is certainly a lot of humor that transcends cultural barriers, I really like the very Japanese-ness of this series. Having experienced Japan (as well as working in a city hall) myself I can appreciate a lot of the silly jokes—such as the section manager that nobody ever sees. For those of you who want to know more about what Japan is really like, pay attention to this anime; you might learn something.

July 21 Gatchaman Crowds Ep. 2 The simplicity of the story clearly shows it’s meant for a younger audience, but I still like it for some reason.
Attack on Titan Ep. 15 I thought we established the Recon Corps was full of weirdos seven episodes ago. More time wasted stating the obvious.
July 22 Blood Lad Ep. 3 Good themes of standing up for those who can’t protect themselves and bad guys going against their nature to do what’s right.
KinMoza Ep. 3 Being able to read the atmosphere of social situations is one of the hardest things for a foreigner to learn about Japan.
Monogatari 2 Ep. 3 Sometimes I feel like I could watch this franchise just to see how Tsukihi’s hairstyle changes as the story progresses.
Genshiken N Ep. 3 If only people could be honest with their hobbies, they wouldn’t have to make personas in order to hide their true selves.
Servant x Service Ep. 3 Back when I was younger and I worked boring jobs, like Hasebe I was also good at finding hiding places to slack off.
Neptunia Ep. 2 Yeah…turning the major game systems into anime girls is about as lame of a story premise as I imagined it would be.
Stella C3-bu Ep. 3 As antagonists go, Rin Haruna is the kind that I despise—dragging unrelated parties into her vendetta against Sonora.
July 23 Day Break Illusion Ep. 2 People were comparing this anime to Madoka and while I can see the similarities, my interest hasn’t increased.
KamiNai Ep. 2 While this anime has an interesting concept, it’s getting bogged down by explaining everything instead of telling a story.
Rozen Maiden Z Ep. 2 I’m glad I didn’t dismiss this as a boring reboot of the original. It’s proving to be an interesting alternate timeline.
Love Lab Ep. 2 There’s so much underhandedness going on that the story can’t move forward. I’m not even sure what it’s supposed to be about.
KamiNomi Tenri Ep. 1 I’m only watching this to get context for Megami. I’m not a fan of OVAs that are required to watch the main series.
Devil Survivor 2 Ep. 9 Taking forever to get started and rushing to the end—I knew 13 episodes couldn’t give this story the proper treatment.
Devil Survivor 2 Ep. 10 I’m glad at least Io got her good ending where everything else in this series seemed to go down the bad route.
Prisma Illya Ep. 3 This anime may be intentionally cliché but at least it’s emphasizing the good parts of magic girls and still having fun.
WataMote Ep. 3 At first I thought Tomoko was the victim of the people around her, but she actually brings a lot of her grief upon herself.
Rozen Maiden Z Ep. 3 If something truly miraculous happened before my eyes, I wonder if my rational, adult mind would be able to accept it.
July 24 Day Break Illusion Ep. 3 Ok yeah, I’ll admit there’s some interesting moral quandaries in this series. And I was ready to dismiss it on ep 1.
Devil Survivor 2 Ep. 11 I’ve found that MegaTen anime just can’t capture the suspense of a final boss fight the way the video games do.
July 25 KamiNomi Tenri Ep. 2 What a worthless OVA. It’s only tangentially related to the established plot, and it also has no real conclusion.
Devil Survivor 2 Ep. 12 Based on the way the rest of this series had been going, I fully expected this turn of events. Sadly predictable.
Devil Survivor 2 Ep. 13 For as bad as the rest of the series was, the ending was shaping up to be pretty cool until it turned thick.
July 26 Strike Witches Movie 1 It’s more of the over-the-top silly and straight-faced series I’ve come to love, but it’s a beginning without an end.
KamiNai Ep. 3 I’m not sure I like how fast this first story arc has finished. I would have liked to have gotten to know everyone better.
July 27 Stella C3-bu Ep. 4 Breaking gender stereotypes was enough, but now this anime has gone over the top by altering history through imagination.
Rozen Maiden Z Ep. 4 It’s interesting to see the differences and similarities between Shinku’s reactions towards young Jun and adult Jun.
Servant x Service Ep. 4 There are differences between coworker camaraderie, flirting and sexual harassment and I’m glad this anime knows that.
Railgun S Ep. 16 Why would Accelerator punch Kamijou when just a few minutes earlier in the fight ranged attacks were working just fine?

*Keep up to date with my daily mini-reviews by following me on Twitter.

Anime of the Week (7/14 – 7/20)

Anime of the Week – Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S
Accelerator makes a breakthrough

Though we may decry Accelerator for his unbridled lust for power, I always get goosebumps when he makes a new discovery about the extent of his abilities. Knowledge often comes in plateaus of monotany broken by great leaps of inspiration and I can appreciate his exhiliration.                              

July 14 Attack on Titan Ep. 14 If I had a dime for every anime whose second season opening theme was worse than the first season I could retire.
July 15 Blood Lad Ep. 2 We may jump to conclusions just because someone’s methods are dishonest, but it doesn’t mean their kindness is disingenuous.
Prisma Illya Ep. 2 From the Fate references to the deconstruction of the magic girl genre, this anime’s meta-levels of parody are awesome.
Genshiken Nidaime Ep. 2 Our biases are influenced by our past, but the thrill of exploring new discoveries can help us change for the better.
Monogatari 2 Ep. 2 Total indiscrimination is pointless. It’s just as important to have things you hate as it is to have things you love.
July 16 Silver Spoon Ep. 1 I’m sure this will be a good story about hard work and not running from your problems, but I don’t care for the setting.
Kami Nomi Megami Ep. 1 I liked this franchise better when it was more episodic. Now it has lost me with its attempts to expand the story.
WataMote Ep. 1 What’s going on? It’s like someone took my adolescent personality and superimposed it onto a Japanese high school girl.
WataMote Ep. 2 I can’t recall an anime that has made me feel so happy about being depressed. It perfectly suits my dry sense of humor.
July 17 KinMosa Ep. 1 Having lived in Japan for three years, I really appreciate these stories about culture shock and misconceptions about Japan.
July 18 KinMosa Ep. 2 It’s losing sophistication, but it’s gaining moe points. There’s actually a plot so this should be better than Yuyushiki.
July 19 Uchoten Ep. 1 Neither good nor bad. It’s got some clever humor, but I’d very much like to have a better idea of where the story is going.
July 20 Day Break Illusion Ep. 1 I’m a fan of using tarot as inspiration for a story, but the plot seems too generic magic girl to be interesting.
Dangan Ronpa Ep. 1 Survival game anime are too played out by this point to hold my interest anymore. Especially incomprehensible ones.
Gatchaman Crowds Ep. 1 Hero anime aren’t typically my thing, but this one’s got a really fun cast and a style that’s holding my attention.
Railgun S Ep. 15 Accelerator is one of my favorite villains because I can relate to his motives and understand the madness of his methods.

*Keep up to date with my daily mini-reviews by following me on Twitter.

Summer 2013 Recommendations

With two sequels of garbage anime airing this summer in High School DxD New and Tamayura: More Aggressive as well as sequels of franchises I thought had been lost to the abyss of time like Genshiken, The World God Only Knows and Rozen Maiden, I didn’t have high hopes for this season.  I’m pleasantly surprised to be wrong because there are some really fun and quirky titles that have made my watch list for summer 2013.

Misaka feels cornered1. A Certain Scientific Railgun S

Based on this summer’s first impressions, there’s little doubt in my mind that Railgun is going to be far and above everything else.

 

 

Kuroki feels left behind by the world2. Watashi ga Motenai

In an oxymoronic way, I think the embodiment of this anime is, “if you can’t be happy, you should find ways to enjoy being miserable.”  I absolutely love that kind of twisted logic and all the fresh ideas that come with it.

 

Illya's reaction to becoming a magic girl3. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya

This comedic parody of Fate is doing a great job first and foremost because it knows it’s a magic girl anime and isn’t afraid to have fun with what was formerly some deadly serious intellectual property.

 

Staz and Fuyumi begin their trek to the human world4. Blood Lad

I didn’t expect that I would be able to put up with the really simple, somewhat gaudy art style used in this series.  But the goofy premise is so ridiculous it just might work and the fast pace of the story that doesn’t miss a beat has sucked me in.

 

Miyoshi, Yamagami and Hasebe work at the city hall5. Servant x Service

Ever since I came to Japan, every so often I encounter an anime that I could never have related to if I had not lived in this country with its unique perspectives.

 

 

Genshiken casts present and past gather6. Genshiken Nidaime

It’s been so long since Genshiken’s last season I didn’t think another go at this franchise would be able to succeed. Boy was I wrong.  Genshiken hasn’t missed a beat and I love it.

 

Hanekawa and Senjougahara talk7. Monogatari Series: Second Season

The next iteration of Nishio Ishin’s fabulous intellectual adventure has gotten off to a slow start, but there’s little doubt this will offer the same stimulation as its predecessors.

 

Alice has a Japanese breakfast and Shinobu has a western breakfast8. Kiniro Mosaic

Another anime this season that hits really close to home and makes me wish I had had the drive to come to Japan earlier in my life.

 

 

Levi disciplines Eren9. Attack on Titan

Oh how the expectations have fallen.  Still epic visually, but it has also become somewhat lost with its inability to consistently keep up a high standard of excellence story-wise.

 

Yura is apprehensive, but excited10. Stella C3-bu

I really like these shows that challenge us to rethink our stereotypes about gender roles.  After all, is there really any reason why a girls’ school couldn’t have an airsoft club?

 

Honorable Mentions

Hyperdimension Neptunia – Love Lab – Sunday Without God – Gatchaman Crowds – Fantasista Doll

The World God Only Knows: Goddesses – Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen