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December 2013

Kyousougiga Final Impressions

My usual end of season post is delayed because I’m behind on everything and don’t have much time to catch up. But I will eventually. Kyousougiga was a show I started midseason and almost missed. Despite that, it’s the only one I finished on time. It was just that good.

I had watched the OVA way back when and though pretty, it was confusing and disorienting. With that in mind and the billion shows I had to watch this season, I didn’t give this a second glance. It wasn’t until I heard everyone raving about it that I gave the first episode a shot. Boy am I glad I did. It would have been a shame if I missed out on AOTY.

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Aniblogger Secret Santa: Memories

I was pretty mad about my choices this year since it felt like whoever had gave me it didn’t spare a single glance at the things I did watch. Sure, the point is to get people to try new things but at least take their interests into consideration a bit, right?

Well, anyways. Not one to back down from a challenge, I finished anyways. Albeit at the last minute. Still, a victory is a victory!

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12 Days of Anime: #12 – Ame and Yuki

The first time I watched Wolf Children, at the beginning of this year, the movie destroyed me. It’s not necessarily a sad movie and actually bittersweet more than anything else. But by the end of my first watch, I was slumped over my desk, crying so hard that upon rewatching a day after I realized I had been so overwhelmed that I didn’t even remember the scene that happens after the parking lot. I’m not sure why the end had affected me in the way it did that day but I’m glad it did. Anything that could make me feel something so strongly is amazing in my books.

Despite being on a tight budget (sorta) in recent months, I was glad I was able to scoop up the BD/DVD set for so cheap on Amazon. Rewatching it in english was just as fantastic. While I didn’t bawl (because by the time they came out over here it was November and I had seen the movie like five times by then?) it’s still wonderful in both english and the original japanese. You can’t go wrong with either.

It’s going to be hard for Hosoda Mamoru to top himself, I feel. Each of his movies has evoked emotion in me, growing with each movie. The Girl Who Leapt Through time was, again, bitter sweet yeah and Summer Wars probably had me tear up but nothing hit me quite like Wolf Children did. I’ve always been unimpressed with Ghibli movies and Shinkai movies haven’t ever been my thing so I’m glad Hosoda is around to fill the gap left for me.

12 Days of Anime: #11 – Dramatic Market Ride

I loved Tamako Market. I loved it an unreasonable amount. I tried to think of my favourite moment but I couldn’t pick one. So my day 11 is the entirety of Tamako Market. Every single minute of Tamako Market was my favourite.

I like to describe Tamako Market as a slice of life, cute girls show about unrequited love and now the new movie is about love as well? Solid. Too solid. Please don’t hurt me Kyoani. I need this.

12 Days of Anime: #10 – Transitoriness

(I was going to make another Tiro Finale joke here like last year but opted out, will regret later)

Another subject I posted about after the fact way back when it happened but I think it had such an impact and I’m sure I wouldn’t have watched if it hadn’t happened so for the 10th day, the end of episode three of Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi.

Because you only had three episodes, it was hard to feel sad about Hamburger Helper dying. Not to mention the fact that they explicitly state over and over that nobody can die it seems like a lot of effort for nothing. But Owaranai Melody wo Utaidashimashita starts playing as Ai explains her dad died while showing a little montage of them doing father and daughter things and it’s just so overwhelming and shocking that it was kind of really good. It was a death that shouldn’t have had an impact but boy did it ever. I mean, it was a bit hard to swallow at first since he had been a bit of a dick but that’s easy to forget once Ai starts bawling, mixing in with the chorus of the ED.

Every description of the show I saw made it seem like the whole show would be Ai and Hamburger Helper having adventures but heh, nope.

It was also unexpected that Yuri and Scar ended up being kinda main characters. They had an adorable relationship and I was glad for it but when Yuri first appeared, did you really expect him to take over as the primary dad-like figure? Did you expect him to be there until the end? I sure didn’t.

Kaminai was actually a better show than I expected.  It had a nice OST and the ED was absolutely fantastic. The setting was strange and interesting and sometimes, so were the characters. And I might not have known all that if it wasn’t for this one scene.

12 Days of Anime: #09 – Music S.T.A.R.T

One show I never expected to like was Love Live. The first thing I heard about it was something about girls dancing into traffic. I can’t say anymore what really sparked my interest but I started watching it and something kept me hanging on. There was something silly about it and there were a lot of parts that made me angry (WHY WOULD YOU RUIN KOTORI’S LIFE LIKE THAT) but overall it was fun and cute and sure whatever. Go watch Love Live it’s good sure.

The reason I’m including it in my 12 Days is that I’m sure a lot of us didn’t know what Love Live was before this. But it was a thing. And though I was only mildly interested in the music at first, I ended up downloading every μ’s album I could and once I started I couldn’t stop.

The music of μ’s is fantastic. IM@S music has always been hit or miss for me. Most of it wasn’t my taste at all. I find it hard to compare the two since one had to have music suitable for a game and the other could be whatever it wanted. Just overall though, I pretty much can listen to any μ’s track and be happy where I don’t want anything to do with IM@S music. So take that as you will.

So, after downloading all of the tunes I could, I listened to the solo albums. Everyone was really good, Nozomi and Nico being my least favourite but hey whatever. Then I got to Rin Hoshizora. A character who was goofy and silly in the anime and not much more than that. I didn’t expect much. Boy. Was I ever floored. Her solo tracks were amazing. She actually sounds good, with personality and character and a lot more mature than I would have expected. It was because of this that a character who was a minor main character ended up my favourite of all the girls.


Pictured: the best love live of them all

And while Rin isn’t popular as expected, she did place fourth in the voting for the centre of the 6th single, Music S.T.A.R.T. So is a future where we see Rin leading a PV and single so unlikely? It may be awhile but when that day comes I’ll probably be beside myself with happiness.

So to sum it up, μ’s is fantastic, I can’t pick a favourite song and Rin is definitely the best girl.

12 Days of Anime: #08 – On The Big Screen

After watching Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu, I feel like that is the perfect movie to cap off a series that already had a good ending. Like the OVA before it, it added to an ending that was already solid. Building out more in a way that adds to your experience but isn’t necessary to watch because it doesn’t change the series before, just gives you an enhanced ending. If you liked the show as it was, you can watch the movie and it won’t ruin anything.

Unlike Rebellion. Which, while entertaining, ruined my image of Homura and created a cool new version. But I’ve gone over this already and I’ll probably go over it a million times again. It’s a bit funny because this post is about the Madoka movies and how the first two made me love Homura. Kinda funny how that worked out, then.

Actually I just wanted to include the three movies in my 12 Days not necessarily for their content but for the fact that I was able to watch them in a movie theatre, on a big screen. It was unlike anything else. Sure, I’d already seen the original Madoka series a few times but watching it in such a way with little additions made to the original was just so cool. And though I didn’t like parts of Rebellion, it was still even more of an experience to see it in all its grandiose and exciting glory.

I can’t imagine another time or movie that I might get to see like this. Sure, it’s not the first time they played such movies in a theatre but I don’t care about Eva enough to ever go see them when they rarely end up here. So I think it’s special enough to include a mention here.

12 Days of Anime: #07 – Marble Phantasm

C3bu wasn’t a very good show. But for awhile, there was the possibility it could have been a great show. And that started with episode four where things took an incredibly weird turn.

In three it seemed like the daily life was gonna begin and it was starting to be a cute girls doing cute things kinda show but what actually happened in four? Yura gets Sonora’s gun and it appears to her as a young samurai who was killed in a fight. Yura eventually saves him by shooting the arrow meant to kill him. Ok, so it’s just weird and a method of showing Yura growing, right? But Rento ends up seeing a part of it and later on at their club meeting, it seems as if she changed history itself and prevented the samurai from dying when he did?

Who had expected this show to have a supernatural angle when it first started? Well, the thing is, it didn’t. There were parts where Yura seemed to change or affect reality itself (such as when she turned the whole school against them and into one big airsoft match) but it was never really explained or commented on.

Otherwise, had Rento not seen it and the comments about the samurai living had not been made, we could chalk this up to Yura’s mental instability as after this she grew more and more unbalanced. Which was another unexpected turn since it was one of the un-moest things you could prob do and that’s kinda rad. But it’s still not that good an episode.

Alternatively: While the unbalanced/crazy Yura arc may have ended on a whimper, the last episode was of OVA quality and was just pure silliness. Honoka suddenly became the best character and it was wonderful. I don’t know if I would have stuck around had the whole show been like that because it was crazy Yura keeping me hanging on but it was way better than whatever I had imagined the last episode to be.

I was sorely tempted to make the last episode one of my choices but episode four raised so many questions and was so unexpected that I really respected that and had to include it.

12 Days of Anime: #06 – Guest of Honour

One of my days this year was already about Precure and so will another be! I was really disappointed with the guests at AX this year since most weren’t relative to my interests. Then there was one small, sneaky concert that was the highlight of all guests for me. As soon as she was announced, I grew more and more excited until I could barely contain myself when the concert finally happened (there was a lot of irl squealing beforehand). And while it was short, hearing Aya Ikeda do a medley of her Precure songs was amazing. While Carat was a bit of a strange experience, when they were actually all on stage doing idol-y stuff, it was pretty alright.

BUT AYA THOUGH.

I doubt I’ll be able to gop back to AX for awhile (if ever again) and it was such a fun experience meeting people from Twitter, shopping, going to the Skullgirls panel, playing games and getting tons of streetpasses. I wish I could go again but since I can’t, I’ll just enjoy the memories and know that I traveled to a different country to watch Aya Ikeda sing Precure songs. And really, isn’t that the important thing?