Hot damn it’s Wednesday. And a very special Wednesday at that – the final Wednesday of summer season 2015, possibly the weakest anime season since I started doing week in review posts. That’s actually worked out okay for me, though – given the relative scarcity of airing shows I cared about, I’ve been able to burn through all sorts of backlog and review material, getting through Love Live S2, Saekano, The Idolmaster, and Turn A Gundam all in record time. Plus I’ve gotten to watch Paranoia Agent weekly, and there still have been a couple airing shows worth their salt. So let’s start right there, with a show that’s consistently worked to engage its audience on multiple levels and challenge our conceptions of what anime can really be about.
The week in review has come again. We had a pretty serious bumper crop of episodes this week, with basically everything but Classroom Crisis offering one of its best episodes yet. Of course, “best” is a relative term this season, so when it comes to Monster Musume and Prison School, that really equates more to “most absurd/delirious/grotesque/bizarrely well-executed” – but that’s what I’m watching those shows for, so more of what they are definitely isn’t a bad thing. And on the “actually respectable show” front, both Gatchaman Crowds and Paranoia Agent seem to be ending as well as possible, with Gatchaman in particular really pulling things together beautifully this week. This has been a lousy season overall, but it’s looking like the few brave shows that made it to the finish line are going to let it end with some god damn dignity.
Wednesday has come again! Once again, I devoured an absurd bounty of anime this week, all concentrated into one friggin’ show. It turns out when I don’t have a day job, I can really crank through those reviews. Who would have guessed! I’ll probably spend next week working more on site interface stuff and freelance work, working towards establishing ways to make funding specific writeups more accessible, but for now, all I can do is marvel at the fact that I’ve probably watched around seventy episodes worth of anime in the last two weeks.
Fortunately, this week was all upside – not only did I watch the second half of a good show, even the weekly stuff put out some stellar episodes. So let’s start right there, appropriately beginning for the very first time over in this season’s reliable Trash Alley.
Wednesday has come again, and with it, one more scraping collection of show reflection fragments pulled together out of my paltry watch schedule. Fortunately, this week I was able to supplement my bare-minimum weekly viewings with a big ol’ ten-inch steak of anime. This week I watched basically the entirety of The Idolmaster!
But before we get to that, let’s run down the usual suspects, whose episodes this week ended up being well…. kinda suspect. But hey, at least the bad shows had good episodes!
Wednesday has come again! It’s time to talk about cartoons and other very serious things.
Uniquely serious things at the moment, it turns out. “Anime is serious business” has lost some of its humor in light of last week being my final week with a day job. Right now, as of this week, anime is my business. My only business.
This is kind of terrifying! I can’t exactly say I’ve reached the point where I can go comfortably full-time on criticism and writing in general, but I can at least fake it for a while. Between my ANN work, my advertising money, and my Patreon support, I’m gonna try to make a go of this. Things are gonna be kinda tight for a while, but this also means I’ll have a whole lot more time to work on writing projects for all you guys, so hopefully this is one big step towards a pretty delightful future. If you’d like to support me in this grand experiment, please feel free to chip in a couple whatevers, though I also accept worried, half-disbelieving “good lucks”, or even confident ones.
A few people have asked if I’d be willing to proofread, edit, or review things on commission, and the answer is definitely yes. I’m going full freelance here, meaning I’m a mercenary with nothing to lose and everything to prove, meaning yes I will take your projects that sounds awesome. I’ll hopefully integrate ways to inquire about such things on the site in a more formal way shortly, but you can message me here, on twitter, on ask.fm, or on patreon if you’ve got anything you’d like to discuss. The one formal project I’m most concerned with getting off the ground is setting up communal support funds for specific shows – like, if ten people want me to start reviewing Eva episodes one by one, they actually have a convenient way to make that happen. I’ve got a whole big to-do list to run down there.
Speaking of formal projects, I’ve got one more surprise! People keep asking me when I’m going to play some videogames again, and that can finally be answered: a couple friends and I have just created 10 Royal Games, a channel where we’ll be playing through all manner of games and shooting the shit on whatever strikes our fancy. We’re starting off with some very classic Zelda and some very fresh Metal Gear (first videos should hopefully be up tonight, and I’ll link them both here and on twitter), but feel free to suggest other stuff we could dive into, or topics you’d like us to bring up. It should be fun!
WELP, THAT COVERS ALL THE WORK STUFF. Now that I’ve sobered everyone up with serious discussion of my financial future, let’s soothe those weary brains with some ramblings about anime. And manga! And maybe some western cartoons! Hell, let’s just randomize the whole damn thing. RUNNING ‘EM DOWN.
Ah crap it’s Wednesday. Things were actually looking pretty dire for the week in review this time, considering Gatchaman Crowds took the week off. That’s basically the only show I’m watching weekly that lends itself to more than a shrugging gladiatorial up-or-down thumb, so with that out of the picture, what could I even talk about? Could I really spin Prison School and Monster Musume into four paragraphs of discussion? Maybe I could… maybe I could just talk about my favorite lunches of the week? Actually that’s not the worst idea, but either way, my worries ended up being unfounded, because this week I watched the entire first season of SYMPHOGEAAAAAAR.
Wednesday has come again, and with it one more entry in my increasingly less timely week in reviews. At this point, I’m watching an even four airing shows, which is probably the least since I started this tradition – but on the other hand, I’ve had School-Live, Gangsta, Snow White with the Red Hair, and Rokka all recommended to me with varying levels of enthusiasm, so clearly other people have found a bit more to love in this season. This week, I’ve largely been making up the difference with manga, which has made for a nice change of pace. But let’s hold off on that for now, and start by running down what episodic stuff I actually have seen!
The summer halfway point has arrived! As per long-hallowed tradition, the season halfway point is always celebrated with my first and only show ranking of the season, emphasizing the fundamental ridiculousness of lists through the double-stacked ridiculousness of listing shows that are only halfway over. This is perhaps (definitely) a meaningless exercise, but hey, it gives me a reasonably coherent topic to cover when shows are generally just sort of durdling around and gearing up for their final push. This season’s a bit unusual ranking-wise, in that as far as “actual real serious-business shows go,” it’s basically just Gatchaman Crowds insight versus an empty field. Classroom Crisis has its moments but is far too inconsistent to consider great, and everything else I’m watching falls somewhere into “enjoyable popcorn garbage.” Can you… rank… garbage?
Yeah, of course you can fucking rank garbage. I may be watching Prison School, but I’m certainly not watching Sky Wizards Academy, and there are damn good reasons for that. So let’s take a fine-tooth comb to this season’s pee jokes and snake-fucking and RUN THESE SHOWS DOWN.
Nearing the halfway point again! And once again, I’m gonna keep things loose and flowing here for the week in review. When I’ve only got a couple episodes worth actually talking about, and I’m already covering one of them in great essay-sized blocks for ANN, I gotta do what I can to fill your Wednesdays with criticism and joy. So let’s run down all the random crap I’ve been watching, starting at the top with G-G-GATCHAMANNNN.
Wednesday has come again! And I’m at a bit of a loss. As I’ve mentioned before, the fact that I’m watching so little this season means these week in review posts feel a little barren to me. So I’m gonna take that situation as a chance to experiment a bit – get a little looser and more conversational with the style, and actually cover how my “week in anime” really was, and not just blurbs about the specific airing shows.
So how was this week in anime?
It was extremely damn good, actually. Because I’m not being overwhelmed with airing shows and am somewhat ahead on my ANN work, I was able to get to a bunch of backlog stuff. I’ve got a pretty diverse mix of shows I’m watching now, but I guess we can start with the stuff that actually was airing. Let’s run it down!