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12 Days of Anime: 07 – Walking Dead Quote

In a rare turn of events, an adaptation of a manga I loved turned out fantastic. There was hardly anything disappointing about it. A few changes that I wasn’t too pleased about but hey, I understand why they were changed at least.

The Gakkou Gurashi anime did what I hoped, played the first episode straight and caught a lot of people off guard. It blended the drama of their day to day lives with a sense of wonder and fun that’s incredibly sad in its own special way. I teared up at moments I didn’t think I would, I laughed at moments I didn’t think I would. It was enjoyable in so many ways.

To be honest, I can’t really talk about Gakkou Gurashi too much more just because of how satisfying it was. It just… was good. I’m disappointed one of the most poignant and dramatic moments in the manga was changed (something that changes a lot about Rii-san and her grip on reality) but other than that… it was just good.

Look at this goddamn angel

It seems like lots of care and attention went into the series (the OP changing was fantastic and set the tone of the episodes really well as things got worse and worse) and I’m glad that people who were otherwise unfamilliar with the series enjoyed it as much as I do the manga.

Hopefully we’ll get a second season (well, with that final scene I should hope so) because it starts to feel like a different series after that and I’d love to see it animated. Until then, I’ll at least be grateful that this series turned out so dang well.

Also I love me some Rii-san oh my god do I ever.

12 Days of Anime: 06 – Imperfect Virgin

It was complete chance that this followed the Maria entry on this list. Truly.

Anna Nishikinomiya is one of my favourite characters this year by a goddamn mile. Shimoneta was a lot more clever (and raunchy) than I could have possibly imagined and Anna was an interesting villain to be sure. Though, that isn’t to say she was villainous because she was so thirsty that she’d break his goddamn dick off if it meant she could have it but rather that she was constantly getting in the way of their plans (and uh, threatened to kill one of them w/e).

I found her over the top sexuality and lust to be really interesting, even if it was played for laughs. The “for humour” aspect is especially egregious when we dismiss the fact that she was still trying to rape him but since it was female on male, it’s just hilarious rather than awful. But all that godawfulness aside, her Dr. Jekyll and incredibly horny Mr.Hyde scenario was a surprising factor of the show that I would have never guessed from just the opening and previews of the show.

Like the cookie thing? Never have I heard that Boku no Pico yooooooo’d so hard in my goddamn life. That is some next level shit right there.

I never thought we’d get a second season of this in the first place but with the tragic passing of Miyu Matsuki, Anna’s voice actor, I hope that we never do. It’s a shame one of her final roles was such a horrible and fantastic character but Anna stands out because of her amazing voice work so I’m grateful that she did such a great job.

We’ll miss you, Miyu Matsuki. Don’t know how they’ll do the Tales of Zestiria anime without you. :(

12 Days of Anime: 05 – Perfect Virgin

Maria the Virgin Witch

Maria the Virgin Witch may not be anywhere close to my AOTY but it’s definitely one of the most interesting shows to have aired this year. It scratched an itch I didn’t know I had.

Accesible (though comepletely off the wall ridiculous) historical fiction with colourful and unique characters who constantly, constantly defied the expectations I had set for them that spoke freely of female sexuality like it wasn’t no shit at all? Damn. Sign me up for some more of that.

Viv was (unexpectedly) the absolute biggest bro ever

The thing is with Maria is that I don’t know another show that’s even a little like it. Either the sexuality aspect or the historical fiction that isn’t boring and insufferable (and I say that as someone who seriously enjoys historical fiction novels a whole lot).

So while I can’t pin point one thing to credit Maria the Virgin Witch for, I’d give it this spot just for being so fresh and unique. It’ll be a long time before I can find such a refreshing show again.

 

12 Days of Anime: 04 – Spinning Around, Around, Around the World

Kamisama Kiss

Last year gave me Akatsuki no Yona which I was head over heels in love with and left a gaping fantasy shoujo hole in my heart that I thought could never be filled. Well Kamisama Kiss S2 and Shirayukihime sure did the best they could there.

I wasn’t initially excited about the second season of Kamisama Kiss even though I was happy there was a shoujo series I liked finally getting a second season (and so is Shirayuki very soon!). However once I started watching it, I fell back in love and enjoyed almost every minute of that show (the Kurama arc kinda was too long imo).

Now I just have to sit around hoping an s3 gets animated. I’d love to read it but it’s just so long and intimidating to buy all those volumes.

Shirayukihime was something that I tried repeatedly to read in the past but I just couldn’t get into it. Nothing about it hooked my interest and I never made an attempt to keep reading. For that reason, I didn’t even bother with the anime.

Obviously, I did end up watching it. I don’t know why, really. I was already watching a ton of stuff that season. But I did and I absolutely loved it. It was so refreshing to see a couple like Zen and Shirayuki with no gross drama or awful shoujo cliches. They even end up smooching at the end of the first season! Soreseka was kind of similar but that did have some hella uncomfortable and gross moments and also that age difference ugh…

Were there other shoujos this year? Whatever. They were probably shitty anyways.

12 Days of Anime: 03 – The World is Pitch Black

Ah, the sting. The sting unique to watching something with so much promise squander and waste it. It feels like Yatterman Night, the surprise darling of winter 2015. At first.

How could it not be with such a fantastic first episode? I was caught off guard. Surely Tatsunoko Production couldn’t make magic happen again like they did witch Gatchaman Crowds, could they? But with this episode, it seemed like maybe they would.

They set us up for the fall then hit us with it hard, all the while presenting an interesting post-apocolyptic world that I was excited to learn more about.

But as episodes went on… it was clear the first episode was a fluke. The first few episodes were good and let’s be clear, I did enjoy them at the time. However once the show started to get stale, it got stale fast. Jokes got repetitive and focus was on all the most uninteresting places and characters.

I never finished the series because it just got too boring but from what I’ve heard it doesn’t seem like I’ve missed very much at all. Which is a shame considering how amazing the first episode was at the time.

This takes the place of the Charlotte and Classroom Crisis selections I had for 12 Days because Charlotte is dumb and I have nothing good to say about Classroom Crisis anymore. At least Yatterman Night managed to wow, even if only for awhile.

12 Days of Anime: 02 – “I Just Got A Step Closer To My Dream”

Though the bureaucrats at ANN won’t let you vote for Shirobako for AOTY (despite the fact that it’s anime of the year, every year), the best episode did air in March. Hell if I watch just this episode next year, I’ll probably include it on my list again because episode 23 of Shirobako is just one of my favourite anime episodes of all time.

From Seiichi meeting with the author and delivering comeuppance to Chazawa to the end of the episode where Shizuka records her lines and Aoi breaks down from happiness. It’s all fantastic and more memorable than the actual final episode that follows after.

It’s such a simple and powerful scene that for months after got me to tear up just thinking about it. I could be waiting for my bus after work and remember Shizuka turning to thank them and how Aoi just tries her best and man, gonna sure try not to cry at the bus stop.

Such a display of joyous emotion, of the happiness you have when a loved one succeeds, the pride you feel for them is all so wonderful. The excitement we viewers have for Shizuka whose talent shone through, who finally caught a break, and who as a miserable adult surrounded by succesful people, a lot of us saw ourselves in. She did it.

It’s a scene that will stay with me forever. An episode I’ll come back to watch over and over on it’s own, as if I wasn’t already encouraged to rewatch the series.

Thanks for being so great, Shirobako.

12 Days of Anime: 01 – Every Parade I Go To Ends Up This Way

I remember not knowing anything about Death Parade but seeing the opening all over twitter without stop (and I mean, with good reason right?). When I actually watched the first episode, I could not believe the disparity between the kickass opening and the dire content of the show.

Initially I thought I’d only remember the show for the shockingness of the first nature (because obviously the woman was lying to protect her husband) and it’s ridiculously fun opening but the show actually ended up being really good. Not a masterpiece for the ages but easily one of the best shows that aired this season.

Just thinking about the scene where she visits home (oh man did I cry) or the absolutely beautiful ice skating scene reminds me how much I enjoyed this show. (Not ot mention Mayu’s final scene like my god)

But hey, I would have never even given it a shot if it weren’t for it’s fun (too fun as it turns out later on) opening that even now is my favourite of the  year.

Fang-tan’s Top 10: Undertale Tracks

Undertale

I don’t post about games often but I especially don’t post about western games a lot. Like, pretty much never. However, this game was pretty good and had Toby Fox has outdone himself with a fantastic soundtrack so let’s get this out of my system so I can finally stop talking about Undertale listening to this soundtrack. I meant to post this when I first played the game weeks and weeks ago but hey. I’m a very busy person.

Of course, spoilers ahead. Just go play the game if you haven’t yet. Get it over with. Bite the bullet.

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Merry Christmas Without You

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November was the first time in eight years that I actually didn’t post a single thing. Not because I didn’t want to though! There were things I would have liked to write about, I simply didn’t have time. With NaNo and rushing to move by December 1st, I was a very busy person.

Though I did, inexplicably, find time to update the Kancolle Character Sorter

Anyways, though I’m sure nobody is really worried or anything, this is just me assuring everyone and mostly myself that December will go back to normal. In fact, December usually has the highest amount of posts because of year end and secret santa and everything. So please look forward to more Hot and Fresh Content soon.

Fang-tan’s Top 10: Horror Tracks

This one was really subjective. To define my list I picked songs based on the atmosphere they created and what the intention of the song was, what mood was it supposed to set? Based on those things, how effective was it and how much do I still like it? I guess I ended up with some results that I wasn’t expected but I look at this list and I’m pretty pleased.

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