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Posted by Hamst3r (5480 posts) -

"This is what is known as a weeaboo that has ascended past a weeaboo. Or, you could just call this a weeaboo 2." - Naruto

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Well it's that time of year again. Time for my yearly anime checkup and you're my anime therapist. Just sit there, nod, and utter disinterested noises of acknowledgement as you digest these fractured thoughts that I have compiled for you.

2017 was yet another year of intense anime consumption, in which I tore through 252 anime, bringing my total up to 954. And yet I still found time for other things, like producingmusic, motiongraphics, and dank memes. I even moved into a new house, cooked a bunch of beef curry, and played some 60+ hours of fighting games.

But anyway, back to the anime. Here's where I imagine you asking me a question that you're not actually asking as a way to propel this blog to the next section.

"Yeah, but how much of that anime was released in the 80's and 90's?", you ask smugly, glancing over at your collection of anime tapes.

\ ˈmäŋ-gə ˌen-tər-ˈtān-mənt \

In a continuation of my VHS Playlist initiative from last year, in which approximately half of what I watched was release before the year 2000, about half of what I watched this year also fits that criteria. I even ventured out of the realm of OVAs and movies to watch a few older TV series, namely: Speed Racer, Casshern, Gatchaman, Patlabor, GoLion (Voltron), and The Littl' Bits.

Speed Racer sure was something. I thoroughly enjoyed every time they explained who Racer X was. In fact I wish they had done it more, like literally every time Racer X is on screen. Just make, "Racer X who is secretly Speed's older brother Rex" his actual name. Also, having watched the series, I guess I'm ready to watch the 2008 Speed Racer movie now.

As for The Littl' Bits, it's one of those shows I watched on TV as a kid, the theme song permanently etched into my memory. Confident that I never finished anything as a child, I felt compelled to pick it up after all these years and give it a proper viewing. Was it worth revisiting as an adult? I'd say so! I found it quite charming. Which has my hopes up for Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics, the next series from my childhood that I plan to revisit.

Oh, and I was also pleasantly surprised to recognize one of the music cues as being an instrumental version of the Maya The Bee theme. From the English language version by Saban, specifically. It was a bizarre, "wait, why do I know this song? And why do I feel like there are lyrics to this song?!" moment.

In The Name Of The Moon

This year also saw me consume an anime diet rich in magical girls, such as the decidedly meaty Pretty Cure series. Go! Princess Precure and Heartcatch Precure! are both excellent, reaching exquisite levels of hypeness and emotional resonance, with the latter being my favorite of the two. Watching them has certainly got me excited to watch more Precure, which seems fully capable of fulfilling my every mahou shoujo need.

Me.
Me.

The Crying Game

There were numerous series this year that wrung the liquid out of my tear ducts. Well, wrung may hold too strong a connotation, it's more like they looked at me funny and I didn't know how to respond, so I cried. Some sad crying, some happy crying—just a lot of ocular dampness in general.

Heartcatch Precure!, Space Battleship Yamato 2199, My Hero Academia, Pom Poko, Major, One Piece, and Chi's Sweet Adventure all got me good in one way or another. Major was without a doubt the most emotionally affecting series I watched all year; even just the opening credits for it was making me cry after the events depicted in it had passed.

As for movies the top spot goes to My Sister Momoko. It only takes about a minute of rewatching it to get me full-on sobbing. I need to watch it again.

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King of the Pirates

So, I've got a special tag for long running series on MAL, and this year's selected LRS was One Piece. I'm 241 episodes in and this show sure goes places. Like a child spinning a narrative yarn on the spot, one moment you're fighting a crooning orangutan-man and the next you're being carried up a cloud river by a sky lobster. It's all over the place, like a collage of every adventure story before it, and I like it. I like the characters, I like the villains, I like the mystery, and I like the world.

Screw-Moi? Screw-Ya!

Speaking of crazy. Heybot! That's a show that exists.

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I have nothing more to say about Heybot.

Housekeeping

I also made an effort to clean up my list, by which I mean deplete the number of anime on my Hold and Dropped lists, starting with Cat Planet Cuties. I watched an episode of Cat Planet Cuties sometime around 2011 and pretty quickly deemed it not for me. It was cutesy, and ecchi, and just so damn anime. I ended up watching Claymore instead, which I also didn't manage to finish at first. It took me a few years to get back around to that one, and this year I finally got back to Cat Planet Cuties. The me of today thinks it's a good show and thinks the me of the past was a bit quick to judge.

I also got around to K-ON!! The double exclamation marks mean I'm talking about the second season. Seeing as I didn't enjoy the first season when I watched it back in 2015 though, I decided that if I was going to watch the second season I'd first need to revisit that first season with fresh eyes. Fresh eyes verdict? K-ON! is good. Yet again, me of today isn't so sure about the me of the past.

Anyway, let's close the door on this blog with some numbers!

Some stats from my 2017 anime rampage:

  • 81 TV Series.
  • 46 Movies.
  • 93 OVA.
  • 11 ONA.
  • 19 Specials.
  • 02 Music.
  • First of the Year: Samurai Shodown The Motion Picture
  • Last of the Year: Land of the Lustrous
  • Longest series: One Piece (241 episodes so far, 3 movies, 2 shorts, 1 OVA, & 1 Special)

Most Enjoyed:

  • Attack on Titan Season 2
  • Heartcatch Precure!
  • Space Battleship Yamato 2199
  • One Piece
  • Made in Abyss

Least Enjoyed:

  • Gantz
  • Pani Poni Dash

Tearjerkers / Made Me Cry The Most:

  • My Sister Momoko
  • Major (Season 1)

Biggest Surprises / Didn't Think I'd Like That:

  • High School DxD
  • Gatchaman Crowds
  • Heybot!

Most Disappointing / The Hype Is A Lie:

  • Your Name.
  • Kizumonogatari
  • Hyouka

Started but not finished in 2017:

  • One Piece
  • Fullmetal Alchemist 2003
  • Magical Circle Guru Guru
  • Delinquent Hamsters
  • Mr.Osomatsu 2
  • A Sister's All You Need
  • Henkei Shojo
  • Maya the Bee

I Watched It Because I Heard It Was Bad:

  • Abunai Sisters
  • Dog Soldier
  • The Dark Myth
  • Sword for Truth

I also watched some great Not-Anime:

  • Batman & Mr.Freeze: SubZero
  • Batman: The Killing Joke
  • Moana
  • The Iron Giant (rewatched)

And lastly…

Other Series of Particular Note / Did You Watch ____________?! (this year):

Aho-Girl

Ajin: Demi-Human (Season 2)

Alien 9

All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku

Area 88 (U.N. Squadron)

Blame! (The movie + the older OVAs and ONAs)

Bubblegum Crash

Cleopatra: Queen of Sex

Dragon's Heaven

Escaflowne (Series + Movie)

From Up on Poppy Hill

Gantz (Season 1 + Gantz:O Movie)

Garden of Sinners (Epilogue, Future, Extra Chorus)

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Gintama.: Slip Arc

Golgo 13 (Series)

Haikyu!! (Season 1)

Himouto! Umaru-chan R

Inuyashiki: Last Hero

Keijo!!!!!!!!

Kenya Boy

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Gaiden (2 seasons + movie)

Love Lab

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid

Mob Psycho 100

Mobile Police Patlabor (OVA + TV series + 3 movies)

Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt (2 seasons)

Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls

My Hero Academia (2 seasons)

Naruto Shippuden

Nodame Cantabile (3 seasons, 2 OVAs, 2 specials)

Starship Troopers

RahXephon

Teekyuu (Seasons 5 through 8)

The Big O

The Boy and the Beast

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

The Great Passage

The Heroic Legend of Arslan (1991 and 2015 versions)

The Saga of Tanya the Evil

Tsuredure Children

Your Name.

Yuri!!! On ICE

Yu Yu Hakusho

Full list here: Hamst3r's MyAnimeList

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And this is to go even further beyond

So now what? Well, I want to continue picking away at my On Hold list, starting with Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics, Shin Cutie Honey (especially since I saw a trailer for a new Cutie Honey thing), and Ushio and Tora I think. Also gonna keep riding the One Piece sea train.

I'm also pretty interested in starting Toriko, Sgt. Frog, and Crayon Shin-Chan, which have been on my list for a long time. So I think it's time to finally watch them.

I also have a whole set of anime adaptations of classic books to watch, and I see Tales of Little Women has recently been added to Amazon, so I'll probably start there. The Legend of Snow White and The Story of Cinderella are also on Youtube legally through MondoWorld, so those also get a priority boost.

Oh man, and that Yuasa Devilman thing goes up in a few days. !!

With that, I'm out. Until next year!

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My Annual Anime Recap Blog:

My Youtube Playlists: Anime Video Essays | Favorite Anime Songs

Also, Anime Buttholes is still a thing.

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#1 Posted by deactivated-5b031d0e868a5 (935 posts) -

I've been genuinely looking forward to reading this

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#2 Edited by LentFilms (1112 posts) -

Wow, that is a lot of anime sir. I've somehow missed these yearly blog posts, I'm gonna have to read through them. I strongly disagree with Your Name being disappointing but then again hype can kill even the greatest films for some people (I had friends that hated Fury Road because they thought it didn't live up to the hype as well). I keep seeing My Sister Momoko pop up in my searches for obscure titles to watch (that and another similar look film called "Happy Birthday Inochi Kagayaku Toki") and I always wondered if it was any good. Maybe I'll give it a watch since you seemed to like it so much.

Also I took a quick skim of your Anime Essays playlist and wanted to suggest a few other videos (if they are not already on there somewhere):

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#3 Posted by bassman2112 (1201 posts) -

Waooowww, thanks for this post, sir hamst3r <3 I was looking forward to it!!

I definitely have a bunch of series' added to my personal list, now - looking forward to My Sister Momoko.

Also, I'd love to hear your more nuanced thoughts on Made in Abyss. That was my personal #1 this year (if not the past 3 or 4 years).

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#4 Posted by Hamst3r (5480 posts) -

@lentfilms:Thanks for those links! The only toco toco video I've seen is their Swery one, so I'll have to look into what else they've got!

As for Your Name, I think I just don't like Shinkai's overall style very much. I thought Your Name was pretty good, one of his better works, but I was still left underwhelmed and wanting by the end of it. My favorite Shinkai film is actually the one I always hear is his worst, Children who Chase Lost Voices, haha. And when I hear what people think is bad about it I don't get it, or at least none of that bothered me. :D

Happy Birthday Inochi Kagayaku Toki has been high on my list, so I'll probably be watching it within the month. There are so many good but hard to find titles out there. Fortunately, things previously deemed obscure or even lost suddenly appear on the internet all the time, which seems to be the case with Birthday. I hope someday that's the case for that 2007 Phantom Blood movie, I hate knowing there's something Jojo related that I can't watch. :P

@bassman2112: Made in Abyss was certainly one of the best shows I watched in 2017, I liked pretty much everything about it. I really wish the first season had been longer though, like a proper 26 episodes to get up to where they are, just to spend more time in each layer of the abyss. To let some of the monster encounters play out longer. To increase the dread and menace of the situation. I'm not sure I buy some of it, like Nanachi's origin. Like, why'd that happen? I understand the mechanisms at play, but I don't get why any of that would have that specific effect. "Behold the horrors of the abyss, you are now cute!" - terrifying. But that also makes me wonder what other creatures in the abyss are of human origin too. All of them perhaps? I guess I just have to wait and see.

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#5 Edited by LentFilms (1112 posts) -

@hamst3r: Yeah obscure titles are becoming more available and are getting subtitled all the time, although I think it might be a while before the Phantom Blood movie ever sees the light of day. However, it is a real shame that sites like Bakabt have gone private because actually getting your hands on these obscure titles has gotten a lot harder. I remember There was a nice Laserdic rip of Nineteen19 that was on Bakabt but I have yet to find it anywhere else (at least on a site where it was being seeded).

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#6 Posted by Alick (50 posts) -

@hamst3r: hey man since you are the anime guru of GB I want your advice. Is there any good martial arts anime for me to watch? Somethig in the vein of Hajime no Ippo. I spent some time searching online and most of the lists i found include anime like one piece, naruto and DBZ, which are shounen battle anime. Isnt there a good ''realistic'' (as in no superpowers) fighting sports anime?

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#7 Posted by Hamst3r (5480 posts) -
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#8 Posted by BstnRich (49 posts) -

What would be a good anime for a person who really enjoyed the light-hardheartedness of "My Love Story" and "Wakako-zake"?

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#9 Edited by LentFilms (1112 posts) -

@bstnrich: Maybe you would like "Tsurezure Children" and "Recovery of an MMO Junkie"? Also if you want a show about eating food, maybe check out "Restaurant to Another World" or "Sweetness & Lightning".

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#10 Posted by BstnRich (49 posts) -

@lentfilms: Any of those suggestions have that utopian feel of the two I mentioned?

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#11 Edited by LentFilms (1112 posts) -

@bstnrich: The first two are fun romantic comedies and the other two are just cute shows about eating food. Not quite sure what you mean by "utopian" but all four of them are pretty low-key series that are pretty chill for the most part and don't have a lot of conflict, if that is what you mean. "Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun" is also pretty similar to My Love Story now that I think about it. Maybe also check out "Aria The Animation", that series might be more "utopian" than my other suggestions.

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#12 Posted by BstnRich (49 posts) -

@lentfilms: You nailed it - just easy to consume, conflict-free/light anime.

Thanks for the suggestions - I will check out your recommendations! :)

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#13 Edited by Hamst3r (5480 posts) -

@bstnrich: lentfilms already listed some good ones, so, how about some of them "cute girls doing cute things" shows like K-On, Yuru Yuri, Kinmoza, and Tesagure. K-On is girls eating cake and forming a band at school. Yuru Yuri is girls being dorks. Kinmoza is even cuter girls being dorks. Tesagure is girls being dorks...improvised, so it's almost like listening to a podcast.

As well as cute animals doing cute things, like Chi's Sweet Home (also Chi's Sweet Adventure), Poyopoyo, and Lovely Muco. Chi's more of an emotional series than the other two and might make you tear up over how sweet it is. Poyopoyo is just a cat sphere. Muco eats towels and chases her butt.

Also, Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou - Dude just wants to make fried pork cutlet and spin the wheels of steel, and everybody in the scene is a good bro that just wants to help him succeed. Sick beats and tasty treats.

Oh and it's not a series, but Whisper of the Heart, is a real good conflict-free sort of good time.

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#14 Edited by Lucri (110 posts) -

The Littl' Bits and Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics were my most favorites growing up! :D I wish there was a place for me to watch both of em in its entirety.

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#15 Posted by Sombre (392 posts) -

What made "Your Name" so dissapointing?

I'm hearing mixed things on /a/. It's either the second coming, or absolute shite. I have it on my watchlist on Prime, and I'm gonna watch it as soon as I move out of my parents. Not because of any real reason, it's just something I wanna watch as a reward for moving out

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#16 Posted by Hamst3r (5480 posts) -

@sombre: Have you seen Angel Beats? I think it's got that sort of thing going on. Where it just sort of doesn't really know what to do with itself, keeps taking breaks to play rock music, and while it manages to achieve a good level of emotional resonance at times, once the experience is over and you start thinking about it a little you go, "wait a sec..." and it all starts to collapse in on itself as you ask questions. I don't think it makes a lot of sense, even after reading explanations of it. And I think it's trying to do too much. But, it also just sort of peters out at the end, after feeling like it was already in ending territory a few times. So I got an, "ok, I guess it's actually over this time." feeling rather than a bigger emotion. And the end end came across as overly dry and I think a better director could have made it more emotional, even while keeping it understated.

At least, that's what I got out of it. I haven't liked the majority of Shinkai's work though, so I think I'm just not into his style of filmmaking. If you like his prior works though, Your Name will probably be pretty rad, as it's Shinkai as fuck.

And I do feel like I need to give it another watch. Perhaps I'll like it more the second time around.

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#17 Posted by BstnRich (49 posts) -