Reviewing New Anime: The Flowchart

9000 hours in MS Visio

New Anime Show Flowchart

This sort of grew from two different conversations, one on Facebook with a friend I’ve known for over a decade and I have the utmost respect for when it comes to the culture and the cartoons, and another with twitterbros, whom I value their opinions, but never met in person, so a quarter of their opinions are probably bad. The shows being talked about was KyoAni’s Kyoukai no Kanata and Trigger’s Kill la Kill. It seems that in many circles, Kill la Kill is being hated on already because everyone else likes it, for whatever reasons. They instead back KyoKan because KYOANI IS MARVELOUS THEY CAN DO NO WRONG. While I, and many other folks can find flaws in both, I personally enjoy both for its face-value. I enjoy most anime for it’s face-value. According to my grand high list of my favorite timesink, out of almost four hundred entries, only twelve have been dropped. Some were dropped because I didn’t finish them and will likely not finish them, but many were dropped because they were so bad even I could not watch it, like Tenchi in Tokyo, Medaka Box, and SKET Dance. I’m sure those shows have fans who will argue otherwise, and that is fine, but I chose to stop watching. Forcing me to like your show just for self-satisfaction and reward just makes you an asshole.

So, there's that.
So, there’s that.

The point is I can still enjoy watching something and give is a unfavorable or negative review. Shingeki no Kyojin is an excellent series based on great source material, but its adaptation to anime suffered from rushed animation, poor pacing and execution, and the fact that any character not Eren, Mikasa, or Armin, was glazed over half of the time unless they weren’t in the scene. Even Symphogear, which is rated 10 in my personal book as a personal favorite, had some problems in its execution. But they’re just chinese cartoons. There is no such thing as a masterpiece to me, it’s an ideal that can never be reached in any form of art.

Indeed, every form of entertainment lapses into periods of complacency, where they aim to maintain the status quo of revenues. Why take a risk with a concept outside of the box when you know the box will make you money? KyoAni’s staple has always been things like Lucky Star, which made them the household name they are now, and put the industry on track to what we pretty much consider the gold standard of anime today. The infamous SAVING ANIME banner seems to be liking shows that break the mold, but one or two shows a season aren’t going to break the mold, especially since most of those shows, like Chuunibyou, are just subsets of the same overall moe cloud. KyoKan is the same thing, it’s just supernatural fighting love comedy spun from the same web the rest of your KyoAni shows come from. Making changes to characters != DEEP SHOWS. No, what you mean by SAVING ANIME is you like a show, your friends like the show, therefore it is the best show and anyone who says otherwise is a shitstain, no taste, casual, pleb who isn’t worth your time.

Sometimes you have to think outside the bun
Sometimes you have to think outside the bun

I’ve found a lot of those people are essentially anime hipsters. They’ve been watching chinese cartoons for ten or more years, maybe even since the 80’s, and basically lament the fact that we’ve gone from gems like Saber Marionette J or Serial Experiments Lain to what we have now. They pretty much stopped watching anime after 2006 and will only watch one or two shows once and awhile if they’re from some company or producer from long ago, or some obscure series few have heard of. If you’re one of these people, that’s fine, but not everyone is scared to dive into the pool with everyone else and sample some of what is being offered today. Some of it is pretty much the same, but some shows are great, and others might just be enjoyable when you remove yourself from trying to be the Roger Ebert of anime reviewing. I often have to “forget” that I am an amateur reviewer and just watch the show. I always enjoy things more when I am not trying to hunt out problems with it so I can be “cool and edgy” among my weeaboo peers. I enjoy reading other people’s reactions, and I especially get a kick out of Jinx’s shit, because he approaches these things from a similar point-of-view to mine. But we’re different people, and I’m pretty sure we have different tastes for some things. I have no desire to mimic someone else. I’m probably the only guy to actually have bothered watching Shugo Chara after all. Because fuck you I don’t know why.

To be blunt though, if moe is killing anime, let it happen. If not saving anime means we see the industry implode and either a bunch of new shit emerge, or shows that deserved another season get made (Stellvia, FMP, Angelic Layer, Mai HiME, etc.) then all the better. Hollywood goes through similar cycles, and it seems like everything from thirty years ago is coming back now. But the thing is, what was normal for fans fifteen or more years ago will not be the normal now, and what is normal now will not be normal in another fifteen years. Nostalgia goggles are tough to see through. My wife won’t even touch shows in older animation styles, not because she is attached to the new style, but because she wasn’t a fan back then, and hasn’t been exposed to that universe.

So, you know, when it comes to all this SAVING ANIME business, keep it to your goddamn self. I like my delicious fanservice moe and you can either enjoy it, or don’t. Mweh! :3


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