A few nights ago I was thinking about those near - or in some cases completely - illegible Metal band logos, and thought that Giant Bomb could use one. I woke up the next morning thinking I should give it a shot, since it's something I've never tried before.
And here it is!
And here's a picture of Alex with the design pasted onto his chest to see how it might look in shirt-form:
All I can say is that this was fun to make, so I hope you like it.
What do you think Laozi's favorite anime would have been? Would he have preferred anime with warfare and politics or would he have been more of a moé Slice of Life fan? Perhaps only the filthiest of hentai would do.
The Manga Was (Not) Better
Let's start with the fact that I didn't watch as much anime this year. I mean, I still watched a lot, but I also played some video games and read a handful of manga. Namely Blame!, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Berserk, Made in Abyss, Battle Angel Alita, Crying Freeman, 20th Century Boys, and Dorohedoro. Whew!
So, let's talk about Shirow Masamune's Ghost in the Shell for a moment. As an anime-only fan up until this point, the first installment of the manga was certainly a surprise. It's got this light and goofy tone to it, not too dissimilar from Patlabor or Dominion Tank Police (also by Shirow Masamune), and the artwork is decidedly more late 80's, fully in-line with those other series. The GitS movie is a huge departure from the source material in this regard.
Basically, if all you've seen is the 1995 movie, you've never seen The Major make these faces before. And how about this Batou? The Stand Alone Complex series has a little bit of this playfulness, but it's toned way down by comparison, and mostly limited to the oft-silly Tachikoma.
Overall, I found the manga enjoyable and easy enough to follow. It's a competently written futuristic police story with a likable cast of characters. The frequent and occasionally verbose author's notes in the margins give the manga this air of hanging out with the author while he geeks out about his favorite things. It's fun.
The only real damper on my enjoyment was the episodic nature of it all. The chapters don't really have much to do with each other. The Puppet Master case - the one depicted in the movie - is introduced early on, then a lot of mostly unrelated things happen, until finally it returns to relevance at the end. I wish it were a more focused narrative.
But, after one reads Ghost in the Shell, the obvious follow-up is…Ghost in the Shell 1.5, which isn't as good as the first and not really of any note. Moving on…
If I were to sum up the Ghost in the Shell 2 manga in one word, it would be inscrutable. Somewhere between the hacking scenes in Hackers, and the Turboencabulator video, it legitimately reads like it was written with the Star Trek Technobabble Generator. So much of this manga is just jargon about viruses, reverse probes, maze stacks, attack barriers, and all manner of e-things; laid out over nude-looking women - with a real penchant for crotch shots - spread across stock-photo-looking "cyberspace" backgrounds.
When it's not this, it's panty shots in military bases and panty shots in office buildings. Oh, there's a section of panty shots in an alley while Motoko fights robots. GitS 2 feels like an unrelated project that got the Ghost in the Shell name slapped onto it so that it would sell.
I read Stand Alone Complex too, but let's move on.
Dorohedoro is of note for being the first time I've read a manga prior to watching the anime adaptation! Will they adapt the whole manga? Will it be any good? I'm excited to find out. I hope they manage to keep the humor, the grossness, and just the general ramshackle and disheveled feel of the world and its inhabitants.
As for the other things I read, Akira and Berserk were also quite good. Breezy. Engaging. Surprising. Enjoyable all around. I don't really have anything else to say about them, outside of wishing they'd make proper anime adaptations of both of them. Imagine it, a 75+ episode Akira series! What a thing it could be.
And now, a brief review of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water…
Magical Circle Guru Guru. Holy shit. Did you watch this thing? It's good! Which brings me to the more general statement of:
I love bright colors.
I'm way into the clean, bright, highly-saturated look that some modern anime achieve, and Guru Guru is one of them. It's quite the appealing look to my eyes, and basically the best aspect of Concrete Revolutio next to the handful of excellent animation sequences. I'd seen a few gifs on Sakugabooru, only to watch the show and realize that those were basically it. There's like 5 really cool cuts and they're entirely conveyed in the few gifs floating around the net.
Getting back to remake talk though, perhaps it's also time to address Chi's Sweet Adventure, the 3D CG partial-remake-and-continuation of Chi's Sweet Home. A delightful show all-around that I generally find more enjoyable than its 2D predecessor. I think the Chi series translates perfectly into 3D. I've also found every iteration of the Chi series to be emotionally affecting at least a few times a season, something I wasn't anticipating when I started the series some years ago. Especially since it was a show I had watched a few episodes of many years prior and thought was absolutely not for me. I was wrong. These adorable kittens keep making me cry, man!
The standout story arc in Season 2 of Chi's Sweet Adventure, this year's installment, was the story of Kocchi; lovable stray and Chi's best friend. The arc follows Kocchi seeking out his long-lost younger brother before setting off on a train-hopping journey of self-discovery and acceptance, and it's good stuff. I want a season 3!
The Blog Blog Fruit
In my previous anime update I was 241 episodes into One Piece, about a third of the way through the Water Seven arc, which quickly turned into one of my favorite arcs, followed by Enies Lobby, another easy favorite. But it didn't stop there, Thriller Bark was also pretty good, and I even enjoyed the Spa Island filler, after which another high-point was reached with the Sabaody Archipelago arc. It's even good post-time skip, having just finished the Fishman Island arc! In short, the hits just kept on comin'!
I'm now up to episode 579, the start of the Punk Hazard Arc in the Dressrosa Saga, and you know, One Piece is really good. To think, I could have been watching this show for years before I did, and didn't mostly because of the unusual character designs. It just looked kinda dumb. Now that I'm onboard though, this train makes no stops. It's exciting to know I'm only 288 episodes away from catching up.
That said, I'm certainly feeling the adaptation stretch / slowdown. It doesn't bug me much, but who knows if things will stay that way. I wouldn't jump ship to the manga as it currently is, but I must now abandon the English dub if I wish to continue, as the well of English content has run dry. Fortunately, the Japanese dub sounds almost identical to me outside of a few characters, namely Franky and Brook. I think English dub Franky is superior, so I'll miss his gravelly gusto, but I have no strong feelings about the other Straw Hat voices.
Anyway, let's close the door on this blog with some numbers!
Some stats from my 2018 anime rampage:
51 TV Series.
First of the Year: Devilman: Crybaby
Last of the Year: Kuroko's Basketball: Last Game
Longest series: Dragon Ball Kai (+ All Systems Goku!)
My oh my, look at the time, it's I haven't made a blog about my music in a few years o'clock.
Now that I'm finally all settled into my new home and my shoulder has recovered from its injury, I'm starting to truly get back into the swing of things.
I made a big new track titled Battle Disco. The name itself should start putting an image in your head. Yup. That's it. That one. You were imagining shaved giraffes with switchblades, right? It took me a while to write this one as I just had no idea where I wanted to go with it. After months of occasionally poking at it, things finally started to click and make sense, and here we are. Brass, strings, slap bass, lasers, bells, Moog synths, and a lot of dancey Disco flare.
This one happened all at once just yesterday. I woke up and said, "Synthwave." and then 4 hours later it was so. Well, 4 hours later it was mostly so, as the final 10% took another 4 hours.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Perhaps worth noting is that I sat down and played Bungie's Marathon trilogy quite recently. Three games I had never played before, nor really even heard much about. It's clear now it has a dedicated following, and that a lot of the DNA from Marathon has made its way into the Halo and Destiny series.
This remix here is of the music from the final level of Marathon 1. I was listening to it and thought it might sound good with a wash of 80's synthesizers and drums, an amalgamation of arpeggiated analog abominations and computer-aided reverb-gated drums that sound dated.
Lastly, is this Stargrave remix, a raucous Metal affair that turns into a Drum and Bass banger. I've never actually played the game, but I was talking to someone about the music format the game used, and in my quest to figure out how to open these STY and DLS files, I ended up installing Windows XP in a VM to run Microsoft DirectMusic Producer, just to open these files. Turns out quite a few games from that time period used this DirectMusic format, like Shogo, NOLF, and Hitman to name a few.
"This is what is known as a weeaboo that has ascended past a weeaboo. Or, you could just call this a weeaboo 2." - Naruto
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.
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.
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.
Speaking of crazy. Heybot! That's a show that exists.
I have nothing more to say about Heybot.
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.
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)
Attack on Titan Season 2
Space Battleship Yamato 2199
Made in Abyss
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
Most Disappointing / The Hype Is A Lie:
Started but not finished in 2017:
Fullmetal Alchemist 2003
Magical Circle Guru Guru
A Sister's All You Need
Maya the Bee
I Watched It Because I Heard It Was Bad:
The Dark Myth
Sword for Truth
I also watched some great Not-Anime:
Batman & Mr.Freeze: SubZero
Batman: The Killing Joke
The Iron Giant (rewatched)
Other Series of Particular Note / Did You Watch ____________?! (this year):
Ajin: Demi-Human (Season 2)
All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku
Area 88 (U.N. Squadron)
Blame! (The movie + the older OVAs and ONAs)
Cleopatra: Queen of Sex
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
Legend of the Galactic Heroes Gaiden (2 seasons + movie)
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)
Nodame Cantabile (3 seasons, 2 OVAs, 2 specials)
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)
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. !!
Another year, another megadose of vitamin weeb. All thanks to an inexplicable desire to be the kind of man who has watched "too much" anime. As in a startling amount of anime. A quantity of anime that would elicit inquiries of clarification and gasps of horror and concern. I've only been at this the last three years though, so I couldn't stop now even if I wanted to. I don't even have all of the max level badges on MALgraph…
And I'm no premature quitter, unless you're talking about real-life obligations and professional work…because who's got time for that? Seriously.
Before I get too far into this, I want to mention that I've put together two playlists on Youtube: One for Anime Video Essays and one for my Favorite Anime Songs. Both lovingly curated to contain only the highest quality anime-centric ruminations and ear-tickling delights I've have the pleasure of experiencing.
I'm a big fan of the documentary and by extension the video essay. I love when a video can articulate things I hadn't thought about, or disentangle the jumbled thoughts I've had but couldn't unravel on my own. As I've gotten deeper into this anime quest I've grown more interested in seeking out videos about anime, hence the video essay playlist was born. Check it out, it's becoming quite the beast!
As for the music playlist, what can I say? My taste is impeccable. Enjoy these hot anime jams. You're welcome.
Oh, and it would be remiss of me to not mention the Anime Buttholes project! (also on Tumblr) Can't forget that. It's a collection of the finest posteriorly located + and x's I've thus far witnessed. Safe For Work, in case you were wondering. This ain't no smut stash, good heavens.
Anyway, About That Anime…
So, my first endeavor of the year was to watch all of Dragon Ball. Yes. That's 444 episodes between the original and Dragon Ball Z, 19 movies, and all but a handful of specials and other things. There were those who said I was crazy - CRAZY! - to watch the uncut DBZ with all of its protracted battles and filler, over the more sensibly-paced Dragon Ball Kai, but I wanted the authentic DBZ experience that everyone else got back in the day. Six-episode power-up sequences and all.
Overall I found the series enjoyable with the adventures of young Goku in Dragon Ball being my favorite part. It was by far the most interesting and the most fun, as everything was fresh and the growth in each characters fighting ability was clear. Things were simpler. A powerful attack didn't mean the planet - or the entire solar system - was going to be destroyed…just a car..or a house…or an arena…and everything around it…or maybe the moon. Several times it was the moon. And also whenever this music started playing I knew it was time to get hype. Bottom line: it was good and I'm ready to watch Dragon Ball Super now…once the English dub airs.
After DBZ I watched Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, but with these I opted to watch them sans-filler, since they're both nearly half filler. That's insane. There are basically entire seasons worth of filler. Years of filler. DBZ's 15% is meager by comparison. That aside, not much to say other than I really enjoyed the story in general and the fight scenes. There was a fluidity to the animation and a physicality to the moves that was great. And, particularly with Shippuden, it developed into quite the sweet and sentimental show, with plenty of strong emotional moments. It had a lot of heart and hope.
I also watched some Pokémon as planned in last year's anime update. Pokémon: Origins was…not good, to say the least. The whole concept of Pokémon just seems so weird. That's not why Origins was bad, but seriously, how is it that Team Rocket catching a Pokémon with a net is cruel, yet a kid fighting a Pokémon to physically weaken it so he can trap it in a ball totally fine? Or the idea that Giovanni and his Team Rocket henchmen would Pokébattle a child instead of just escorting him out of the building. He's a child. Also what are 11-year-olds doing backpacking it through forests, alone, in search of magical monsters? Not to mention all the property damage the kids cause and never have to deal with. Where are the police and parents during all this? Where's child protective services?
Oh and I also initiated the dark ritual that is watching my first idol anime, Love Live! A show where Dr.Drew Pinsky helps a group of high school girls with their relationship problems. No wait, a show about a group of high school girls becoming a pop singer group thinger. What I found out is that Love Live! is surprisingly funny. Funnier than I expected it to be, and with a good sense of comedic timing. Bottom Line: Love Live! is good. Well, the first season, at least.
In an attempt to get more sports anime into my system I watched the Initial D and all of the subsequent D's. It's no secret, but still, that series has some of the derpiest faces I've ever seen. The whole cast just looks so weird. In the face area, specifically. It's a whole cast of minimally-animated nightmares. Still it's a fantastic series and highly watchable. It's the sort of show that begs to be binge-watched. I'm sure the Eurobeat soundtrack is a big part of that, it just fits so well, and has the right amount of energy.
I also branched out from the Japanime and watched some stuff from Korea and China. Specifically Daisy: A Hen Into The Wild, There She Is!!, Water Brain, and One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes, with Daisy being my favorite of the bunch. The imitation End of Evangelion ending song in 100,000 Bad Jokes was a delight, I must say.
And back over in the things from Japan bucket, I need to mention You Are Umasou, which was the cutest. No really, the cutest.
Fighting In The Danger:
Sometime around the start of August I decided it was time to watch anime like it's 1999 and put together a special list of older OVAS and movies. Particularly those that reveled in dark and violent themes. There are some real gore flicks in the list; I'm talkin' limbs severed, heads exploded, eyeballs expelled from their sockets, intestines squeezed out of orifices, and boobs being torn off and eaten like a snack. Yeesh.
Not to mention an abundance of tits, an obsession with psychokinesis, seizure-inducing light flashes, naked knife fights, mouth lasers, and teeth found in places you aren't supposed to have teeth. It's basically what teenage Hamst3r's anime list would have looked like if I had more interest in and better access to anime at the time.
It's a mixed list, featuring plenty of revered series like Bubblegum Crisis, The Guyver, and Devilman, but also some reviled ones, such as Apocalypse Zero, Dark Cat, and Butt Attack Punisher Girl. Of particular note I'd like to mention that Dagger of Kamui is hella boss, Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle & Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture are way better than they have any right to be, and Crying Freeman is so stupid it's awesome.
There's certainly a lot of enjoyment to be found in this period of anime, so I'll certainly be adding more to the VHS List as I dig through the anime archives.
Ending In The Third Dimension:
Is everybody ready? Do you all have your…3-D GLASSES!? *
* 3D glasses not available in all areas
To finish up here, I'd like to say that I think 3D CG animation is A-OK. It's true. I'm even okay with very low-budget "It looks like a Flash animation" style anime, but that's a different topic. To clarify, when I say 3D CG I don't just mean shows where they've rendered the guns, or cars, or background characters in CG, although I'm okay with that too. I mean the entire show - or at least most of it - is rendered. I'm truly excited to see the improvements in visual quality and animation techniques as, presumably, more shows get made this way. So I'm going to wrap this shit up with a few 3D CG anime recommendations:
Tesagure! Bukatsumono. A good show that I think is wildly under-appreciated. It's your usual high school kids sitting around in a high school club setting, but the thing that sets it apart are the genuinely funny ad-libbed dialogue segments. About halfway through any episode you'll hear this Law & Order gavel sound, at which point the girls' discussion become distinctly more realistic in its flow. It's like you're suddenly listening to a Japanese podcast. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate this is to share a clip:
On top of that are some of the best recap episodes I've ever seen in a show. Like, episode 2 of season 3 where they reenact the events of prior seasons as musical numbers, and the results are fantastic.
There's also Ajin: Demi-Human and Knights of Sidonia from Polygon Pictures, both enjoyable shows in my book. As well as the 2012-2013 movie adaptations of Berserk, which honestly I enjoyed just as much as the 1997 series. The 3rd movie, "The Advent" even surpassing the series in my book.
Lastly, a quick shout out for Wooser's Hand-to-Mouth Life. Not only does Wooser have some sick ass dance moves, but his voice is pretty sexy too. That's really the only criteria I judge my yellow rabbit-like creatures by.
Anyway, this post could go on for hours, but it's probably best kept short. This isn't a dissertation. With that, let's close this blog out with some numbers!
Some stats from my 2016 anime rampage:
68 TV Series.
First of the Year: Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal
So that's it, my anime viewing experience of 2016. What's next? I guess I should probably watch more Haikyuu. Those Kizumonogatari movies. The Aria series. Space Brothers. One Piece. Kingdom. Girls und Panzer. Soul Eater.
As well as more of them older shows such as the World Masterpiece Theater stuff, Galaxy Express 999, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Slam Dunk, Macross, and Gundam. Speaking of which, I did in fact watch the first 3 Gundam movies and thought they were alright.
Man, there's still so much anime out there, and I need to go watch one that starts with a Q, one that starts with an X, and one that starts with a Z now, so I'll see you next January!
P.S. This fan-made Evangelion trailer is pretty great:
In short, 2014 was the start of a big endeavor for me. The plan: Watch ALL the anime. How much? ALL OF IT. Okay...not actually all of it, as that seems nigh impossible, but I wanted to at least watch of it. Like a Costco parking lot full.
Why do this though? Why even start this task? It started because I wanted to know what shows all these anime memes, funny GIFs, and forum avatars were from. I wanted to know if i was missing out on anything, having only seen a whopping 3 of the Top 50 on MAL. I wanted to know, what's all this fuss about Jojo? What's Haruhiism? Why does Gintama hold 5 of the top 10 highest rated anime positions on MAL? Why was Kenshiro hiding in a haystack? Why would you choose, not tits, but asses? Did Homura really do nothing wrong? Where did Nina and Alexander go?
These were questions I needed answers too, and for the most part I got them. I know things now. Anime things.
The Current State of These Anime Things:
With another year of intense anime watching under my belt, what have I learned? What was different about this year from the last? What have a still not done yet?
Well, the Chimera Ant arc is the best part of Hunter x Hunter, regardless of what anyone else says. The Madoka Magica movies are totally just as good as the series. The first season of Clannad could have been compressed into 5 episodes slapped onto the front of After Story. One Outs isn't even in the same league as Kaiji. Welldone the Pussyhand is my favorite character name. I don't know which is worse, the Bakuman or the Rurouni Kenshin OP song. Your Lie in April felt like the Evangelion of music anime. Tsundere* are still the worst, sports Anime is way better than real sports, and Garzey's Wing is the most magnificent piece of anime trash I have ever watched. Oh and your waifu is shit.
*What even is the plural of Tsundere? Tsunderes? Tsunderii?
As for what was different this year, this year I tried to watch more older anime: Lupin III, Rose of Versailles, Space Adventure Cobra: The Movie, The Wings of Honneamise, Fist of the North Star, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and Gunbuster, to name some pre-90's stuff. 16 total, up from only 4 the previous year.
I also learned who best girl is. It's Pandemonium-san and I found this amazing fan art that reinforces that fact:
Speaking of which, now that I'm all caught up on it, Gintama has become one of my favorite shows. It was a rough start though. I really didn't care for it at first, and by at first I mean like the first 70 episodes. I considered putting it on my dropped list a couple times during that span of 70-ish episodes, but kept chipping away at it and I'm glad I did.
Oh, and speaking of 70-ish, I was able to watch Katanagatari with my dad, who had just undergone knee surgery at the time and needed to keep off his leg for a few weeks. I flew out to California to spend some time with him during his recovery. I wasn't sure what he would think of all this anime nonsense, but he enjoyed it, as did I.
Another thing I did this year was re-watch some of the movies that got me into anime in the first place, as well as movies I had watched long ago, a few of which I had rated poorly. This lead to various scores being shifted about.
Akira, Ninja Scroll, Kite, Grave of the Fireflies, and Cromartie High School all went down a point. Whereas Millennium Actress, Paprika, Mezzo Forte, Castle in the Sky and Attack on Titan all went up a point.
Ghost in the Shell 2.0 went up a whole bunch of points. Turns out, being less grumpy about the fact that they brown-ified and ugly-3D-ified everything allowed me to enjoy it more. A lot more. I still prefer the original, but 2.0 isn't a bad version of GiTS.
Armitage III stayed where it was, as ultimately just okay.
In regards to what I haven't done yet: I still haven't watched an "Idol" anime. So far the idea of doing so just hasn't clicked with me, but I'll probably end up watching one anyway. Perhaps 2016 will be The Year of The Idol for me. Or probably not. Okay, I'll watch at least one.
I haven't watched a cooking anime. Outside of the first episode of Yakitate!! Japan, at least. The clips I've seen from that show are really funny though, so I'm looking forward to jumping back into that one.
Lastly, I haven't watched a "Card Battle" anime, or really any monster battle anime outside of a few episodes of Pokémon back when I was a kid. Perhaps the time for me to watch this sort of series has past (it hasn't…), but I feel I should watch at least one, just to do so.
Phew.So much. I've seen over 70% of the top 100 on MAL now (and over 60% of the top 200), which feels like real progress in this anime-watching pursuit. So, what's next?
To defeat anime, I shall become an even greater anime:
Next up, I'm thinking I should tuck-in to some Space Brothers, The Seven Deadly Sins, Wandering Son, and Kids on the Slope. After that, give some of the newer iterations of Lupin a shot…perhaps I'll like one of those more than the original 1971 version. I also need to finish off what's left of the Studio Ghibli movies. I've seen 15 of them, and there are at least 4 more important ones to watch.
Since I've been watching the original Dragon Ball, I should probably start the never-ending pirate show, One Piece too. My total days watched on MAL is a mere 100-ish days, as so far I've only watched 7 series with more than 100 episodes, but I think I'm ready to watch more long-running series now.
Anyway, last year I thought my anime rampage would slow down towards the end of the year, and it did, but not as much as I anticipated. 2016 and the rampage is still going strong. I think it'll continue for straight through to 2017 at this rate. I'm not bored of this pursuit at all, and I've still found time to write music, go outside, and do other things. So, I think I'm good for at least another year of rapid anime consumption.
Also, even though my Plan To Watch list is already a parsec long, and I'm pretty on-top of this shit - or at least, I think I am - I'm always open to suggestions. Hit me with your best shot, duder-kun.
That's right, I've put together some new music. What kind of music is it? I dunno, you tell me. It's got rockin' guitars and drums, Latin percussion, a full brass section, synths, a saxophone solo, and a bunch of other stuff. Influence-wise, it's mainly pulling from stuff by Yes, Mr.Bungle, The Seatbelts, and Iron Maiden.
Anyway, I had a lot of fun making this track, and here it is:
I hope some of ya enjoy that. :3
Back in January I did a blog about all the anime I'd been watching, 175 for the year of 2014. Well, it's 194 for 2015 so far, which includes catching up to the current run of Gintama, Hajime No Ippo, Hunter x Hunter, Monster, and so many others I'll probably feel compelled to add up the numbers in January 2016 and "see how I did". I've nearly seen all of the Top 50 on MyAnimeList now.
As for what I'm currently watching:
Fist of the North Star - I'm up to episode 61. Part 3, I think they called it. Souther. Man, that guy. The fights continue to be amazing and hilarious in equal measure.
Keepin' up with Gintama. Mr.Osomatsu. Sushi and Beyond.
Gonna start the third season of Kuroko's Basketball soon. Also the Netflix dub of The Seven Deadly Sins. Probably.
I'm also feeling a strong drive to get back into Rocksmith again. Rocksmith 2014 was on sale for $10, so I picked that up.
Oh! As I already track what anime I watch, and what movies I've seen, among other things, I've started tracking what TV shows I've watched. Some numbers I find surprising have arose from that, like the fact that I've watched more Mythbusters than anything. Which is followed by The Simpsons, Looney Tunes and Quite Interesting. What's fun about making these catalogues is that they lead to me remembering long forgotten things and also seeing what things I never finished, so that in some cases I can go finish them now. Like, I should resume watching The Amazing World of Gumball, and Gravity Falls. I should also watch more Charlie Brooker stuff in general. I never finished An Idiot Abroad either.
Anyway, that's all for now. Music, anime, and more cartoons it seems.
You know what I like? The music of 1997. Big Beat. Some of my favorite albums were released that year. The Prodigy's Fat of the Land, The Crystal Method's Vegas, The Chemical Brothers' Dig Your Own Hole.
Well, this new track is inspired by all that sort of stuff. Big Beat mixed with Indian sounds and themes.
Riders of Vengeance
Cowboys. Outlaws. Bandits. Gunslingers. Bounty Hunters. Rustlers. You know what I'm talking about. The Frontier. The Wild West. The Buttery Convocation. Okay, maybe not that last one.
Anyway, I like Westerns. I like Spaghetti Westerns. I like the iconic imagery evocative of the lawless western frontier. The Western setting has always been one I've enjoyed in film and music. The sound of the west is magical. "Riders of Vengeance" is my latest foray into that sound space.
Lies the Trapper
In wait lies the trapper. Patient. Focused. Animal. A little metal ditty in the vein of some of my favorite weirdo bands, namely Mr.Bungle and Dog Fashion Disco. I like that sort of stuff, and I have occasionally pulled inspiration from that genre in the past, but I've never really done a whole track in that style.
Well, here you go. Metal + trumpets, saxophones, cuicas, bossa nova rhythms, sudden change-ups to smooth jazz, tuvan throat singing, and other such nonsense. Hopefully such sonic vacillation tickles you as much as it does me.
So, there's this game you can play on your phone or tablet made by the fabulous @fobwashed. It's called Treads! In it, you are tasked with simultaneously driving a tank and manipulating it's turret. There is much shooting, exploding and crushing.
While you traverse and perpetuate this horrific pixelated battlefield though, you get to listen to some bumpin' tunes. Hamst3r tunes! Stuff with big orchestrations, big booms, rippin' guitars, chiptune noises, electro synths, impact wrenches, tuned servos and all manner of noises.
There you have it. That's quite a bit of new music. All kinds of different new music too. Hopefully you find something to enjoy in there.
Now I have to get back to watching Gintama. I'm on episode 275!