White Album 2 and the Futility of Everything

“My bridge is burned, and perhaps we’ll shortly learn/That it was arson all along/Can we just get home, sleep this off/Throw some ‘sorry’s’ and then/Do it all again.” – Frightened Rabbit, Late March, Death March

So, I just watched White Album 2, and holy shit you guys. Holy shit. Don’t even know what to say, but I gotta say it anyway. Let’s get through this one together.

White Album 2 has a very dim view of human nature. Not even Evangelion dim, where cruel things happen to broken people pretty much continuously. Evangelion is optimistic – it features plenty of hardship, but the message it puts forth about its characters is fundamentally a positive one. White Album 2 is, like, School Days dark. Everyone’s awful and selfish and wrong. Nobody learns, everyone suffers, the moral is sadness. It’s a hard show for me to square any real intention on, much less enough of a point to actually write a coherent essay. In the end, nobody really wins, and the only question you’re left with is the one the characters ask themselves – where did it all go wrong?

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Fall 2013 – Week 13 in Review

Only a few shows actually aired this week, but they were all finales, so it managed to be a pretty heavy week all the same. Let’s run down some sad, sad endings.

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Top Twelve Anime of 2013

And so 2013 comes to an end. This has been a big year for me in blogging, what with it being my first year in blogging, and so a lot of these shows hold a possibly unreasonable place in my heart. Nah, I don’t think that’s actually true. I think we’ve just had a great year, and that blogging really has done what I always wanted it to – force me to apply a more critical eye to my media, which, contrary to popular belief, has actually made me appreciate my favorites even more.

And there sure were plenty of favorites! As I said, this has been an excellent year in anime, with tons of genres, styles, and themes represented by stylish, confident productions. If this is your first time checking the blog, let me introduce myself by saying I’m a horribly biased shithead who wouldn’t know a good action show or comedy if it comically murdered me. I like people, and I like ideas, and my list reflects that (if you’re looking for Attack on Titan or Maou-sama, you can find my reviews of those here and here). I like to think I’m pretty good at telling good writing or direction from bad, but everyone has different things that appeal to them, and so you can consider the numbering here a mushy compromise between favorite and best, though the list overall encompasses both. I’m not gonna give you synopses here – if you’re interested, each title links to that show’s description, but that’s not what you’re not paying me for. These comments will cover why I loved these shows. I was aiming for a top ten, but when compiling the list, the shows that immediately bubbled to mind ended up numbering twelve, and instead of arbitrarily cutting two off I’ve decided to honor them all. Also, I’m only counting shows that ended in 2013 here, so no Kill la Kill or other half-finished two-parters. So here it is: my top twelve anime series of 2013!

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Fall 2013 – Week 12 in Review

Somewhat busy with family time at the moment (I got nice things!), but not so busy I can’t run down a tumultuous week in anime! Shows ending, shows immolating, some satisfying finales and some dramatic lead-ins to second cours. Presents for everyone this holiday season.

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Fall 2013 – Week 11 in Review

What can I even say about this week? Everything got ridiculous. Everything got climactic. Everything got cathartic. I’ve dropped everything I was iffy on, and all the shows I’ve enjoyed are pulling off thrilling finales. Let’s get slobbery.

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Fall 2013 – Week 9 in Review

Nothing too out of the ordinary this week. The season has settled – the good shows are very consistent, the bad shows have been dropped, and those in the middle are 2-cours, hopefully building towards something noteworthy. Running it down…

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Fall 2013 – Week 8 in Review

It’s kind of pointless to talk about this week in anime without addressing the gorilla in the room, so let’s get that out of the way first.

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Fall 2013 – Week 7 in Review

This was a surprisingly stellar week in anime, considering the best show of the season decided to have a live-action tea party. All three of my other favorites stepped up significantly, each showing off with their best episodes of the season to date. Let’s run those down!

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Fall 2013 – First Half in Review

Welp, halfway through the season. I’ve loved, I’ve lost, I’ve found new favorites and forfeit significant respect for old ones. Overall, this season easily eclipses the last three in terms of purely watchable shows, though its top tier is fairly similar in size to last season’s. But then again, that “watchability” level might just be a sign of my entertainment standards dipping, so I guess I have nothing valuable to tell you! On that note, let’s run down the list.

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Fall 2013 – Week 5 in Review

I almost feel like this entire season has had an overall theme for me – entertainment. Normally, I only watch 3-4 shows in a season, but I actually find all of those shows stimulating in some way – involving some degree of give and take. Last season, Eccentric Family, Gatchaman Crowds, and Monogatari all actually engaged me, providing interesting ideas and conversations along with their great aesthetics. I wouldn’t finish an episode and think, “well, that was fun” – I’d actually be doing fist pumps about how great this medium is, and how well those shows were handling their ideas. This season? There’s an awful lot of sound and fury. Which is fine, for what it is, and I’m not saying every show is that way – intelligence is more than just thematic density, after all, and I think most of these shows are smartly written. In fact, maybe the difference here is that this season has a lot of strict entertainment in the styles that actually appeal to me, considering the glut of self-aware comedies and smartly constructed action/adventure shows and whatnot.

Maybe I’m just developing shit taste.

Who knows.

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