In regards to the anime community, there are actually very few shows that are almost universally panned. The community is mostly full of praise for various shows – such as Attack on Titan, Fullmetal Alchemist, the big three, etc. So when a show comes along that invokes the ire of nearly everyone, you know it had to have done something truly awful to rile everyone up.
It puts me in a bit of an awkward position when I think said show is brilliant.
For a while now, I’ve actually been covering shows that I at least found to be decent. It’s a little weird considering what started getting me attention in the first place were me just tearing into Tonari and Clannad. I suppose the infamy made me not want to be known as “that guy that hates everything”, which I’m definitely not. Hell, I’m probably the most lenient “harsh” critic out there. Those are the people that desire excellence from every show, while I’m fine with it just hitting the check marks, so to say.
However, it has been a bit too long, so it’s time for another installment of Riyoga’s Unpopular Opinions.
Whenever a new season rolls around, I always use a chart to decide what shows I’ll watch based on a promo picture and short synopsis. It works well enough, but it never determines how much I’ll like or hate it, just whether I want to give it a shot.
So I figured I’d start up something new. After all the shows I’m watching from the new season have aired at least three episodes, I go over them and mention which are good and which are not. To be fair, bad shows could get better and good shows could get worse after this point, but a good show becoming bad is just disappointing whereas a bad show getting good is too little too late since most of the audience will have dropped it already.
Also, I won’t be saying a whole lot on each show, just something short and to the point (though my definition of “short” doesn’t typically line up with a normal person’s). I’d rather save long spiels for reviews, and I have no idea which shows may end up getting one.
Anyways, let’s get this started. I’m going in airing order according to the chart since I figured that would be the fairest.
Unlike most people, I’ve never been too fond of Kyoto Animation. Their shows are okay, and they certainly know how to animate well, but they’ve never really made anything that stood out for me. That’s why I was interested in Kyoukai no Kanata when I saw the preview for it. It looked like they were going to go outside their comfort zone and do something that focused more on magic fights rather than romance. Actually, turns out it was still mainly focused on romance by the end, but it was still decently different from their previous works. Though the question is, was it any good?
Well, it was nowhere near perfect, I wouldn’t even really say I’d recommend it to people. But I suppose I can say that Kyoukai no Kanata is now my favorite KyoAni work.
Last year I struggled quite a bit when coming up with my top ten, not because there were so many good shows, but because there was a lack of them. A few times I actually considered making it a top five list instead, but I ended up going through with ten shows in the end.
This year, on the other hand, was difficult for the correct reason. There are a lot of shows I feel deserve a spot in my top ten but I just couldn’t fit them in, but that is sort of the point of making a top ten, isn’t it? If it’s easy to pick them then what’s even the point?
The rule is the same, simple one as usual: the show needed to end at some point in 2013. That means shows that are still airing are not eligible (though I’m sure plenty of people will still ask “WHERE’S KILL LA KILL?!”), but shows that started in late 2012 and didn’t finish until 2013 are eligible. With that in mind, let’s get this list started, shall we?
A few seasons ago, a show called Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! (or more affectionately called Chuu2) aired. It was mostly well-received, though there were still a few major complaints people had against the show.
Why mention this considering the title? Because Aura: Maryuuinkouga Saigo no Tatakai (which I’m just going to call Aura from here on out) is most often compared to it, and for pretty good reason: mainly the fact that they both have main characters that are absorbed in their adolescent fantasies. Though to be fair, they are different genres. Chuu2 being mostly a comedy (until the melodramatic ending), and Aura being a drama pretty much from the get-go.
However, if I had to choose one over the other, I’d choose Aura easily, despite a couple of faults that it has.
Death Billiards is one of the four releases to come out of the Anime Mirai – or Young Animator Training Project – for 2013, which is a project used to train new animators with the help of an actual animation studio. Even if you’re not familiar with this project, you’re probably familiar with Little Witch Acadamia, which was Studio Trigger’s contribution for this same year. The animations that get produced are single, self-contained episodes that are about thirty minutes long, and released as a batch into theaters during March.
Little Witch Acadamia ended up being the most talked about and praised release of not only this year, but probably of the Young Animator Training Project as a whole (which started in 2010), but I would actually rather talk about Death Billiards, because it’s a fascinating little product that I feel didn’t get talked about enough.
Seeing as how short it is, I’m pretty much going to be covering most of what happens in it, so if you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest watching it now before continuing. It’s so short that there’s really no reason you shouldn’t anyways.