By Enigma777 267 Comments
Let me preface this by saying that I've watched a lot anime in my day. A lot of it was good.... and a lot more of it was not good, but still I wasted thousands of hours watching various anime shows and movies. So with that, I'd like to think that I know a thing or two about anime (or at least I used to think that - I'm not so sure anymore), and all I can say is that it just gets worse and worse each year. Maybe my tastes are becoming more refined (read: better) as I get older, maybe Japan is just so full of cliche shit up it's own ass that it's a miracle to get anything out that's both original AND good anymore. Most current anime is boring, predictable, and so fucking incredibly cliche that I can tell you how an entire season will turn out just by the cover art, description and the number of episodes. That or it's just plain creepy. Japan, please lay off the sister-love. Please!
Even my darling studio BONES, which I thought could do no wrong, has been continuously failing me recently. Don't you even try to tell me I'm wrong. I saw Heroman. I suffered through Star Driver. I endured the soul crushing monotony that is Gosick. YOU'RE DEAD TO ME BONES!
The "Winter" anime lineup has just launched and oh boy, is it a shit-filled bag of dog vomit. You can peruse the list bellow or click here for a larger version, but I warn you; don't go in with high hopes. Naturally there's the usual sports anime shit. This season seems to be another Prince of Tennis (another one? Really?) and some soccer bullshit. Then we have the shitty slice-of-life crap (that can only be aimed at young teenage girls - I can't imagine anyone else watching that crap) and the shitty ojousama and her butler/maids type shit for the masochist/lolicon perverts. Of course we also have the harem school-life shit for your regular perverts (or perhaps they're just trying to catch a larger crosssection of perverts? I dunno...) though they seem to be mixing it up with some space pirate maids... but they're more maid than pirate. Furthermore there's the usual shitty shounen action anime, though this year's Brave10 seems to be particularly awful (like I couldn't even stand to watch the 1:30-minute-long trailer bad).
Finally we move on to my least favorite of all the categories: mecha. It wouldn't be Japan if there wasn't a new Gundam out (I won't even bother here) but this is where it gets interesting. We've got Aquarion EVOL or some such bullshit, Senhime Zeshou Symphogear (what an original name marketing department!) and Rinne no Lagrane. Now I think that the last one's description sums up my thoughts better than anything I could write myself so I'll just paste it here:
"Madoka is a 17-year-old who loves her hometown and likes to help people in trouble. She rides a robot called Vox in her jersey wear and fights against aliens."
At this point a normal person would want to commit suicide, but alas there is a glimmer of hope that anime is not dead yet! And it's name is Nisemonogatari. You probably don't know this but it's a sequel to one of my favorite anime, Bakemonogatari (also related to the excellent Katanagatari). To put it simply, Bakemono came out a while ago and it was a completely new breath of fresh air. Not only was is incredibly stunning from a visual perspective, but everything about it was unique and interesting, down to the non sequitur dialogue and the non-linear editing and cuts. Hell, most of the show is just banter between two characters, but their personalities are so engaging and so entertaining that it's just a joy to watch. It reminds me of the good old days when I used to sit down in front of my TV with a sushi bento box, grab some chopsticks, turn on some anime and pretend I was in Japan.
My mouth literally dropped when I saw that name on the list. So I scurried as fast as I can and watched the first episode, and that warm, fuzzy feeling was back once again. For one I'm so glad that visual aesthetic is back. Even the opening scene is stunning:
The characters I love were back, and so was the banter. Granted it's not perfect. For example the main character's compulsion to "lick and touch" a young preschooler girl still activates my "Stranger Danger" detector, but I guess you gotta take the good in with the bad.
Even so, I'm more excited about watching anime now than I have been for a while, and I find myself eagerly counting the days until the next Saturday night so I can get my fix. Lets hope the feeling lasts.