Thursday, December 3, 2015
2015 Year End Thoughts
With it being December and 2015 almost finished I figured it best to write up an "end of the year" retrospective. So without fhurthure ado here it is. First top five favrioute Anime of the year I won't use the term "best" because I feel that would require me to have seen everything that came out this year and that is just no tenable. Here we go: Anime: #1. Mr. Osomatsu: Set up as commemoration of the 80th birthday of Gag Manga King Fujio Akatsuka this is the story of adult sextuplets who sponge of their parents live as NEETS and overall engage in mayhem along with the cast of secondary charcters that include everyone from the francophile Iyami to their friend Hatabō a rather normal kid with a Japanese flag embedded in his skull. IT's a completely nonsensical gag series filled with physical comedy and odd no sequiturs. In short it's a series that revels in the ridiculous and knows it. As to why I made it #1 simply put comedy never seems to get much respect as being a viable for end of year lists it's almost always "serious drama". While Osomatsu-San is a series that knows to make it'self ridiculous and feels better for being so unapologeticly goofy. For that reason I put it at #1 #2. Chaos Dragon: This had the interesting origin of being based on a pen and paper RPG role-playing campaign that envolved several Anime Charcter desginers and writers and despite an inconclusive ending and the fact that the charcters feels like a bunch of lead charcters stiched together into a campaign it makes a world filled with half mad gods difficult moral choices and while for me most of the fun for this series came from Maaya Uchida voiceing the blood thirsty battle monk Luo Zhenfa and haveing way too much fun doing it. This was something I missed when it ran in the Summer but none the less found it enjoyable writing problems aside. #3.Actually, I Am: A Romantic comedy paced like a gag manga with writing that feels like it belongs in the early 90s with a protgaioniest that can not lie and a cast of weirdos that he's now forced to keep their secrets including his crush the seemingly "cool beauty" Shiragami Youko who turns out to be a vampire. It's both sweet and goofy while also being surprisingly chaste. MAkeing it a series that like Osomatsu-San made me smile if nothing else. #4. Concrete Revolutio: the only reason this one is ranked lower is becuese it has not wrapped yet. this is another work by Shou Hikawa the best way to describe it is Alan Moore's Watchman if it was based around Showa Era Tokusatsu instead of silver age Super Hero expys. With a exceedingly clean animation style with action scenes that ar fluid while the nartive "hopscotches" between the past and the future. Makeing for a sometimes thoughtful but often bewildering exprement in the study of the nature heroism and justice as a personal virtue I can only hope the ending is not a let down. Final at #5. Gate: The story of a Special forces offficer in the Japanese Self defense force who ends up becomeing the leader of the SDF's campagin against an invadeing horde of fantasy charcters from another world. This was and is a series that has contriversy due to the militrism of the orginal light novel author. Yet I still find it an entertaining look at a military campagin in a middle brow fantasy world. Manga: Honestly Manga is also another thing I wish I had more to say about as to series I have had some changes of thought as to philosophical or aesthetic thoughts on Manga but I don't really care to get involved in that as I no longer follow any of the Manga Review blogs as I feel it leads to an unhealthy enmeshment and comprises some of my objectivity as a reviewer. So while it's mostly Manga I will write about a few novel series that I look forward to as well expect no particular order though as I haven't read that much and the few series I am looking forward to have not been released yet. First we have The Irregular at Magic High School this is the novel that started the Anime and Manga adaptations that they are based on the story of the stoical High School student Tatsuya Shiba and his little sister Miyuki who practically worships him. This is a series that got heavily criticized for having flat characterization and an almost fascist political ideology (although I'd argue it's more Libertarian). Yet it is the second best selling light novel in Japan. I myself love the series for the mixture of cold post-apocalyptic sci-fi and dynastic family politics. I can't wait for the release of this in 2016. Next up is Legend Of Galactic Heroes this was a series many often said would never be released in America becuese of it's long nature and the overly complex nature of it's interaxtion with the novels and the long running OVA series that survived thanks to the devotion of fans who mail ordered the series. Sci-Fi has never been a genre I can get into hoefully Legend Of Galactic Heroes can change that. Than their is So Cute It Hurts a 15 volume Shojo romance series that has the distinction of haveing one of the main love intrests being a bulied deaf girl. While also makeing the female protag an stubby legged History Otaku who is just as intrested in keeping her friends close as her love interest. IT's a fun series that also has some of the hardest cliff hangers I can remember wich is why I pre-orderd volumes 5-8 sight unseen. Other than those series not much else to note It's still too early to figure out where Dragons Rioting is going to go and I'm already biased towards Honor Student at Iregular High school due to my interest in the original series. As far as 2016 releases not much comes to mind Seven Seas is currently haveing a promotion of titles they will release in 2016 and none of them so far have caught my intrest. SO who knows what 2016 will bring but 2015 was noe the less an intresting year.