pluvia33's Blog

February 18th, 2017
So I’m posting this week’s update a little early because I just finished off my 18th anime for this challenge! 31 more to go! Yeah, with 30 episodes of anime watched this week, I’d say I’m pretty well on track to complete this challenge without much trouble. Yay! And I don’t really have anything else to say about this week, so one with the anime challenge list....



-Another
-Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
-Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
-Bungou Stray Dogs
-Date A Live
-Death Parade
-Flip Flappers

-Gabriel DropOut - Watching:
Sadly the wonderful Tapris who made her debut last episode was completely absent from episode 6. That’s a shame; I really hope she’ll pop back up soon. However, the major focus on Satanichia in this episode kept it pretty amusing, though mostly just on par with most of the other episode. Not bad, but not particularly amazing either.

-Gakkougurashi! (School-Live!)
-Gi(a)rlish Number
-Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (Humanity Has Declined)
-Kaiba
-Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
-Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
-Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba)
-Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregototsukai

-Little Witch Academia - Watching:
Episode 6 of Little Witch Academia was rather touching as Akko continues to have trouble with learning proper magic. Although she gets really discouraged when things weren’t going her way, she was able to feel better again thanks to Ursula-sensei. And yeah, the animal ear stuff was super cute, too! Good stuff.

-Love Live! School Idol Project
-Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends)
-New Game!
-No Game No Life
-Potemayo
-Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
-ReLIFE
-Sakura Trick
-Shigofumi
-Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)

-Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu - Completed:
One day this week I had trouble falling asleep and watched the last four episodes to finish of this first season. I actually had some weird thoughts about this series after finishing episode nine which ended up being totally wrong, I think. This season was definitely solid, though. I’m glad to have watched it and I’ve rated this entry with a 9, but I’m not completely sure if it’s enough to break into my Top 100 on its own. I really feel like I need to see how the second season turns out first to know how I really feel about the series. The season didn’t feel very conclusive to me and honestly it didn’t really touch me that deeply. The second season will definitely be one of the first things I watch after I’m done with the challenge since I want to watch that before the next time I officially revisit my Top 100 list.

-Steins;Gate
-Trigun
-Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me!)
-Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)

-Yuri!!! on Ice - Completed:
So it’s time for me to finally watch perhaps the biggest anime of last year. This is filling item 42 in the challenge, watching an anime with a human main character that is not Japanese, since Victor is Russian. Honestly, the first episode or two of this series didn’t grab me at all, but I think that’s largely because of all the stuff I’ve been hearing about the series; even the most basic theme summaries of the series takes a lot of the thunder away from the early episodes. Anyway, even taking that into account, the anime really picks up after a few episodes and is rather good in the end. The relationships are touching and the competition is really exiting; I always liked figure skating and other performance-based athletics. With these initial 12 episodes, the series doesn’t quite make it into my top 50, but it does fit somewhere into the bottom half of my top 100; not quite sure where at right now, though. Great stuff, though!

-Zero no Tsukaima F - Completed: A big part of this challenge for me was using it as a way to get back to some of the anime that has been on the back-burner for me; things that I should have watched a while ago, but never got around to doing it. Few other things on my list are truer in that regard than this anime. Used to fulfill item 9, watching an anime with one of my favorite voice actors (tsundere queen Rie Kugimiya), not only is this anime from 5 years ago but it’s part of a series that I started watching over a decade ago! Having begun this anime back when I was REALLY getting deep into anime, watching this series again after so long was like being reunited with old friends. Seeing the old characters during the first episode just put a big smile on my face even though there wasn’t much going on. And in the end this season brought a satisfactory close to the series. When I did my Top 100 list, this series as a whole was placed at #42; I don’t see the final season changing its relative position in the ranking for better or worse, but it might get shifted down a bit due to other awesome stuff (like Prison School, as I mentioned last week, being set to place in the 30s). But yes, good stuff and I’m really happy to finally finish the series. These old friends will now be waiting for me whenever I feel like visiting again. ^_^

....In retrospect now, I’m a little sad that I didn’t find a way to work the final season of Shana into my challenge list, too, but I was trying to limit the number of 20+ episode series that I picked. Oh well. Maybe next year.
Posted by pluvia33 | 10 hours ago | 0 comments
February 12th, 2017
As of this week, I’ve completed 15 of the 49 items for my challenge. With 25 full-length episodes worth of anime watched this week, if I can keep up this pace I’ll have no problem with finishing the challenge! Don’t really have much else to say this week, so here is my current list of things I still need to watch and the progress that I’ve made this week!



-Another
-Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
-Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
-Bungou Stray Dogs

-Carnival Phantasm - Completed:
I watched this series to meet item number 57, watching a parody anime. I wasn’t too sure how much I’d like it since it’s primarily a parody of Type-Moon’s Tsukihime and Fate franchises and it’s been a rather long time since I’d watched Tsukihime and the old Fate/stay night anime (and I had some issues with the latter). However, this was rated rather highly for a parody series and now that I’ve finished watching it I can see why. I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone who has seen or played both Tsukihime and Fate/stay night. It’s hard to recommend to anyone who hasn’t experienced either franchise or has had contact with only one of the two since you would be missing a lot of assumed knowledge for the parody to work properly, but it really is a rather fun little series! Good stuff! And with that, the final short (3 hours or less) anime entry on my list has been finished. Time to really get chugging along!

-Date A Live
-Death Parade
-Flip Flappers

-Gabriel DropOut - Watching:
Episode five introduced a new character with Tapris and it was kind of just what the series needed. At first I was a little disappointed that this episode didn’t go into Gabriel’s fall in more detail like episode four hinted at, but thanks to Tapris this was probably the strongest episode since episode one! As Gabriel’s kohai, Tapris had a lot of comedic potential since the last time she saw Gab she was still the picture-perfect angel in heaven. Tapris had amazing interactions with all four of the main cast members. Again, this is easily the best episode since episode one and may even be better. Hopefully they can keep this momentum up!

-Gakkougurashi! (School-Live!)
-Gi(a)rlish Number
-Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (Humanity Has Declined)
-Kaiba
-Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
-Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
-Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba)
-Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregototsukai

-Little Witch Academia - Watching:
Episode five took a fun look at dragons in the world of Little Witch Academia. I don’t want to give too much away since it’s more fun not knowing, but it was interesting and amusing. The two “misfit” groups (Atsuko’s and Amanda’s groups) get a lot of interaction together which is nice. Another solid episode, but again, not especially exciting like the first and third episodes were.

-Love Live! School Idol Project
-Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends)
-New Game!
-No Game No Life
-Potemayo

-Prison School - Completed:
Wow! So this is the second all-new-to-me series that I’ve watched for this challenge that is for sure breaking into my Top 100 and it’s likely going to debut in a rather big way with a tentative placement at #37. I’d heard good things about the original manga from my good friend Mike Bz so I expected it to be pretty good, but even when I hit the half-way mark I was expecting to give it a solid 9, not the 10 that I ended up giving it once it was over. I actually marathoned the series in one day almost non-stop which is rare for me these days. It just kept me engaged, kept me laughing, and kept me on the edge of my seat! I ended up taking the series far more seriously than I expected I would and probably more seriously than the original creator intended. Some scenes that seemed like that were meant to be simple gags came off as legitimately dramatic to me and the ending gave me chills! Man, that ending! This is probably one of the best endings I’ve ever seen for a manga adaptation with an original source which hasn’t ended yet. It was just a perfect stopping point which felt immensely satisfying yet also made you want to know what would happen next. I’d love to see another season get released, but I wouldn’t be completely disappointed if it never happens. I’ll most likely be reading the manga either way. Great stuff!!

-Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
-ReLIFE
-Sakura Trick
-Shigofumi
-Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)

-Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu - Watching:
So I’m shooting to get this series finished off instead of only watching one or two episodes a week, like I’d kind of been pretending like it’s an ongoing series. So this week I watched through episode 9 and I should finish it within a week from now. Anyway, a lot has happened in the five episodes that I watched today! Kikuhiko was able to find his style of rakugo and become successful while Sukeroku, while loved by his audience, fell out of favor with his master and the rakugo association. Oh, and relationship drama. A lot of drama. Episode 9 was a pretty good place to stop for this week and digest so I can finish it off in a few days. It’s been a pretty interesting and enjoyable, but as of now I don’t really see it becoming a favorite of mine. We’ll see next week, though and I’ll give my thoughts on the series as a whole....

-Steins;Gate
-Trigun
-Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me!)
-Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
-Yuri!!! on Ice
-Zero no Tsukaima F
Posted by pluvia33 | Feb 12, 3:50 PM | 0 comments
February 5th, 2017
Anime Relations: Karas, 30-sai no Hoken Taiiku
So I haven’t had a lot of time to watch a lot of anime these last two weeks. Most of my new progress was actually done just this weekend. But hey, progress and progress. Hopefully I’ll have more next time.



-30-sai no Hoken Taiiku - Completed: Fulfilling requirement to watch an anime with a number in the title, this half episode series is meant as a comedic anime providing sex education and relationship advice for 30-year-old virgins.... Honestly, if I hadn’t been watching this for the challenge I probably would have dropped it after two or three episodes. It really didn’t connect with me early on, but it grew on me after a while. The female sex god characters helped a lot, but I think the biggest issue early on is the MASSIVE amount of censorship this series had for its initial broadcast, especially in the early episodes. Most of it is just ridiculous, unnecessary, and detrimental to the purpose of the show. I checked a raw uncensored version and there was really no point to censoring a lot of the stuff other than to try getting more home video sales. Sadly, from what I can find, there is no subtitled version of the uncensored edition right now, but this series desperately needs one. Regardless, by the end of it, this is a sweet little anime.

-Another
-Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
-Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
-Bungou Stray Dogs
-Carnival Phantasm
-Date A Live
-Death Parade
-Flip Flappers

-Gabriel DropOut - Watching:
Episode three of Gabriel was rather good. The character interactions between the main cast continue to be funny and although it started off a little slow, the coffee shop owner stuff had some good payoffs when Satanichia and Vignette were tasting his house blend. Satanichia encountering super-spicy food was also amusing again and the censorship joke was also pretty funny. Another good, solid episode! Episode four was also pretty solid and mostly centers around a beach story. There were some nice jokes and generally good slice-of-lifeyness going on, but it was kind of weird that they decided to break up the episode with an additional seven minutes of content happening after the ending credits which began to talk about how Gabriel and Vignette first met. On a side note, I recently watched my first Weebcast from the Mother’s Basement YouTube channel. I’ve been watching a lot of his regular videos and have been putting off the Weebcast podcast ones because they are insanely long! But a new one came out about Winter 2017 impressions so I threw it on while I was doing stuff around the house a couple of weekends ago. They [url= https://youtu.be/pnMfoK-bQY8?t=1h2m18s]talked about Gabriel DropOut[/url] and although Geoff, the guy from Mother’s Basement, seemed to genuinely like the show he seemed to really get drowned out by the other two guys who really didn’t like it and he kind of seemed to change his tune a bit as the discussion went on. One aspect of the discussion that really annoyed me is how they got hung up on the “oh, she get addicted to an MMO so now she’s a piece of shit; how insulting!! What lazy writing!” I mean really? This show isn’t that serious. It’s a dumb fun slice-of-life gag comedy.

-Gakkougurashi! (School-Live!)
-Gi(a)rlish Number
-Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (Humanity Has Declined)
-Kaiba

-Karas - Completed:
To fulfill the simple task of watching a stand-alone OVA I picked Karas, a series that I actually watched the first half of about 10 years ago. I figured I’d go ahead and watch it from the beginning and finally finish it as part of the challenge. I don’t really have much to say about it. It was a pretty basic story which was essentially a tokusatsu superhero show in anime form. The mix of CG and traditional animation hold up pretty well considering the first episodes are over a decade old now. It was a pretty good little OVA.

-Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
-Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
-Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba)
-Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregototsukai

-Little Witch Academia - Watching:
Episode three felt a little slow to start, but once it get really into trying to get Akko to fly it picked up and then the actual race really kicked things into high gear! Easily the most exciting episode so far! Then episode four came to bring things back down to a little more low-key level. It wasn’t a bad episode at all, but it was definitely not particularly exciting or impressively animated. It was all about Lotte and her obsession with a novel series called Night Fall, a not-at-all-subtle parody of the Twilight series. Except that instead of only having 4 books, this one is never ending as it’s been going for 120 years and the 365th volume is now being released! Again, the action and snazzy animation takes a bit of a backseat this week, but it’s still a solid, amusing episode.

-Love Live! School Idol Project
-Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends)
-New Game!
-No Game No Life
-Potemayo
-Prison School
-Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
-ReLIFE
-Sakura Trick
-Shigofumi
-Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)

-Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu - Watching:
Episode three and four of this series continues Yakumo’s story of growing up to one day become a Rakugo legend. He actually had a really slow start in the art compared to his friend Sukeroku. This is building up to an interesting character story, especially the heartfelt time of his being left behind during WWII by both his friend and his master as they went to entertain the Japanese soldiers. Now it’s time for things to get a little more complicated with a woman entering/dramatic. I look forward to watching more and now that I’ve knocked out almost all of the shorter completed shows now, maybe I’ll try finishing off the series this week.

-Steins;Gate
-Trigun
-Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me!)
-Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
-Yuri!!! on Ice
-Zero no Tsukaima F
Posted by pluvia33 | Feb 5, 8:31 PM | 0 comments
January 22nd, 2017
So I guess this is Week 2 of my 2017 Anime Watching Challenge! This week I focused on watching short entries on my list to thin things out a bit. So I watched movies, OVAs, and short-episode anime; pretty much anything that was less than three hours long. There are a few such anime that I didn’t quite get around to watching (30-sai no Hoken Taiiku, Carnival Phantasm, and Karas), but I did finish nine things off of my list this week and also watched a new episode of each of the shows that I’m currently “Watching” so I say it was a pretty productive week! Hopefully next week will also be productive, but with me starting grad school and running a Pathfinder RPG campaign while continuing to work full time, we’ll see how things work out. Anyway, so here’s the continued list and such:



-30-sai no Hoken Taiiku
-Another

-Arcade Gamer Fubuki - Completed:
So I watched this to satisfy item #11, “Watch one of the 5 lowest scored anime from your favorite studio” and chose Shaft as my “favorite” studio; I mean, I don’t really have a favorite studio, but with Shaft being the creators of Madoka Magica and the Monogatari Series anime, they’re just about the closest I have to a favorite studio (KyoAni is cool, too, but aside from Haruhi, they don’t have much in my top-top anime). Anyway, Fubuki is one of Shaft’s lowest scored anime for good reason. Man, it is so bland, and pretty damn dated. At least it was pretty short, though. I don’t really have much good to say about it, so I’ll leave it at that.

-Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
-Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
-Bungou Stray Dogs
-Carnival Phantasm

-Cheating Craft - Completed:
Man, this show was so extraordinarily Meh. This anime was used to cover item #32, to watch some that has an average score of 6.0 or less. So yeah, I shouldn’t have expected much. With such a silly concept, it seems like this should have been more entertaining, but the execution just wasn’t there. These 12 minute episodes were mostly just a drag to watch. It’s kind of lame that I got two items that specifically ask me to watch bad/mediocre anime. Oh well. At least they’re out of the way.

-Date A Live
-Death Parade

-Dwaejiui Wang (The King of the Pigs) - Completed:
To fulfill item #7, I had to watch a Korean or Chinese anime, something I don’t normally do. (Hey! Exposure to new things! One of the main purposes of the challenge!) So, The King of Pigs was interesting, and not particularly enjoyable to watch; it was just plain ugly, both in art style and story. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie (again, it is interesting), but the character designs and CGI artwork is rather ugly and the story about vicious school bullying and the aftermath of it can be really uncomfortable to watch. I wouldn’t really call it required viewing, but if you’re interested is seeing a very compelling view of some of the worst aspects of human nature, it is worth seeing.

-Flip Flappers

-Gabriel DropOut - Watching:
Episode 2 was amusing enough, though it didn’t have me laughing quite as much as the first. Raphiel not having quite as much good material is probably part of that, but I did love how Satanichia reacted to super spicy food. Good stuff!

-Gakkougurashi! (School-Live!)
-Gi(a)rlish Number

-Hana to Alice: Satsujin Jiken (The Case of Hana & Alice) - Completed:
I watched Hana & Alice for item #8, to watch something by a creator (director) that I’ve never watched anything from. I’d been wanting to watch Hana & Alice for a little while and since I’d never seen anything by director Shunji Iwai it fit in here. Anyway, this was an interesting movie. Although the rotoscoped animation was a bit jarring and the beginning was rather slow, once Alice actually met Hana it became a rather charming slice of life story. Good stuff.

-Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (Humanity Has Declined)
-Kaiba
-Karas
-Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
-Kimi ga Nozomu Eien

-Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu-hen - Completed:
So, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a Shameless Monogatari Series Fanboy. I love the crap out of the series. I love NISIOISIN’s dialog. I love Shaft’s handling of the series. Shinbou is my hero for committing to animating the entire series. Not too long ago, I finally caught up on watching everything other than these movies and Koyomimonogatari (see below), and now I’m finally watching them! And yes, just like all of the other Monogatari Series stuff so far, I LOVED the first Kizumonogatari movie! I kind of want to go right into watching the second movie, but I’d rather let this one digest. Honestly, not that much happened in this first installment, but despite the name, this series is not STORY driven; it’s character driven through and through (see the above linked Fanboy blog post for more talk of this). However, I was really surprised on a stylistic level, or should I say execution? This still had the typical Monogatari/Shaft/Shinbou style, but the way it was executed was very different. Beautiful CGI art replaced the typical flat, artsy backgrounds and it actually looked really good! Anyway, I really don’t want to go on and on about this. I just want to say that as a fan I wasn’t disappointed at all and look forward to watching the rest of the movies and Koyomimonogatari and everything else that’s eventually released in the future.

-Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba)

-Koyomimonogatari - Completed:
And I thought the first Kizumonogatari movie had me anxious for more Monogatari Series stuff! At first, this was just some side story material presented in half-length episodes. I mean, I was still loving it and was going to most likely rate it a 10 regardless; as a shameless fanboy, it will take a lot for a Monogatari entry to not get a 10. But damn! They just had to throw in a crazy cliffhanger ending to make me NEED more! Hopefully with all three Kizumonogatari movies out in Japan now, maybe we’ll get some news of more anime going in production soon? Maybe when Kizumonogatari III is released in Blu-ray? A fanboy can only hope....

-Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregototsukai

-Little Witch Academia - Watching:
The second episode of Little Witch Academia (TV) was a little more low-key than the first, but was still rather good. The interactions between Akko and Diana were especially nice. I’m really interested to see how their relationship develops when they have 25 episodes to work with.

-Love Live! School Idol Project

-Military! - Completed:
So I watched this to fulfill item #45, watching an anime that includes one of my favorite (Slice of Life) and least favorite (Military) genres. This is a short-episode anime with just 12 3-minute episodes and it was actually more enjoyable than I expected! I usually don’t like military anime because it gets too deep into Serious Business, focusing on tactics, politics, and military gear fetishism which don’t interest me. The military fetishism is the only thing that’s really included in this show and it doesn’t overwhelm the show, focusing much more of light-hearted, dumb comedy. Yeah, they’re using all these “cool” military weapons and they have a quick blurb at the end of each episode describing some piece of military tech, but those blurbs are VERY quick and the weaponry is just a means for the gags. All in all, I was amused!

-Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends)
-New Game!
-No Game No Life

-Oshiete! Galko-chan (Please tell me! Galko-chan) - Completed:
Wow! So this was a show that I’ve really been looking forward to watching. This filled the FREE spot on my BINGO card, using item #3 from the list of criteria (watching a short-episode anime). But yeah, I wasn’t quite expecting to enjoy this show as much as it did. It was Great! (I mean literally; I gave it a 9 score) I was so impressed that I immediately went to my Top 100 List to see where the series would fall and it ended up placing in between Snow Fairy Sugar and Mai-HiME (#54 without factoring in any of the other stuff that I’ve really loved since I made that list, like Orange and Little Witch Academia). Anyway, I’ve never really seen anything like Galko-chan before. It’s a slice of life series that is extremely charming and cute while also speaking very frankly about sexual acts and bodily functions. The main characters are just flat-out adorable and the supporting characters are also cool. A major theme in the series is subverting expectations/going against stereotypes, the most notable being the expectation/stereotype that gyaru/kogal-type girls are slutty while Galko-chan is one of the most innocent girls in the class. It’s really good and I totally want to start reading the original manga now!

-Potemayo
-Prison School
-Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
-ReLIFE
-Sakura Trick
-Shigofumi
-Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)

-Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu - Watching:
After the introductory double-length episode, the series goes back in time. It’s interesting to see how the master performer totally sucked when he first started out. I look forward to seeing how this all plays out. I’m not sure if I’ll try to watch through more than one episode next week or not. We’ll see.

-Steins;Gate
-Trigun

-Uchuu Patrol Luluco (Space Patrol Luluco) - Completed:
Trigger’s silly little short anime about a space police force. It was fun and random, but aside from that, I didn’t really connect with it too greatly. The high point for me was probably the Little Witch Academia cross-over. Maybe I should give it a re-watch at some point, but for not it’s just a solid 7.

-Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me!)
-Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
-Yuri!!! on Ice
-Zero no Tsukaima F


And that’s it for now. I look forward to watching more and more anime! Until next time, laters! ^_^
Posted by pluvia33 | Jan 22, 12:41 AM | 0 comments
January 14th, 2017
So every year MAL does Anime/Manga Challenges, a way to encourage people to watch more and different kinds of anime by providing a number of specific criteria to fill in with different items. I've been interested in trying this before but never took the plunge until now!

So I have signed up, and at the largest level to boot! I don't know if I might be overestimating my ability to watch a ton of anime, but we'll see if I'll be able to complete all 49 anime. I even made myself my own Participant banner, since I didn't like any of the banners they had well enough to use (also includes a link to my sign-up post):



So this year they added this BINGO card thing which adds a random aspect to the challenge which is kind of cool, but my sign-up post can be a little rough to read, especially since they want you to keep the list in the order that each item is listed on the BINGO card you get. But I have already chosen everything that I'll be using to fit all of my criteria, so the questions don't really matter much at this point. So to chronicle my progress I'll just list all of the anime that I'll be watching in alphabetical order. Each post I make, I will say a bit about each anime that I either finished or am currently watching. Once I have Completed a show, it will be removed from the list for future posts so eventually there will only be a few items remaining (make sense?). So here are all of the anime that I'm watching for the challenge this year:

-30-sai no Hoken Taiiku
-Another
-Arcade Gamer Fubuki
-Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
-Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
-Bungou Stray Dogs
-Carnival Phantasm
-Cheating Craft
-Date A Live
-Death Parade
-Dwaejiui Wang (The King of the Pigs)
-Flip Flappers

-Gabriel DropOut - Watching:
This is one of only two currently airing shows that I am watching as part of the challenge. I've only watched the first episode so far because that's all that's out, but I'm really liking it so far! I especially like Raphiel; she's such a mean bitch, but she is hilarious in the process! And the "torment" that she causes (at least in the first episode) is really pretty harmless. All of the main cast is pretty amusing. A pretty nice surprise!

-Gakkougurashi! (School-Live!)
-Gi(a)rlish Number
-Hana to Alice: Satsujin Jiken (The Case of Hana & Alice)
-Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (Humanity Has Declined)
-Kaiba
-Karas
-Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
-Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
-Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu-hen
-Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba)
-Koyomimonogatari
-Kubikiri Cycle: Aoiro Savant to Zaregototsukai

-Kumo to Tulip (The Spider and the Tulip) - Completed:
So this was an anime actually picked from someone else's list (challenge item #60). To make it simple, I used the first person who signed up. This was one of the only items that was finished on that list and since my BINGO sheet didn't pop the "began airing between 1917 and 1959" item, I thought it'd be interesting to see this vintage anime. It was pretty cool. I didn't quite enjoy it as much as Kobutori, but it was close. It's always interesting to see really old anime. You can watch it yourself here.

-Little Witch Academia - Watching: The other currently airing anime that I'm watching. LOVED the first episode! It was pretty much like another one of the short films. I really hope they're able to keep up the energy and quality. Really looking forward to watching this week-to-week. Kind of sucks that I have to watch fansubs of this though since Netflix has the rights to it and they probably won't put it up until after the series is finished.

-Love Live! School Idol Project
-Military!
-Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends)
-New Game!
-No Game No Life
-Oshiete! Galko-chan (Please tell me! Galko-chan)
-Potemayo
-Prison School
-Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
-ReLIFE

-Sakamoto desu ga? (Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto) - Completed:
The first full-length TV series I finished for the challenge! It's a fun, silly comedy so it was pretty easy to marathon over two days. I usually had at least one good laugh every episode. All of the characters were really likable other than the only real villainous guy (and it's not his job to be likable). Good stuff!

-Sakura Trick
-Shigofumi
-Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)

-Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu - Watching:
So this is a show that some people have called one of the best anime of the year, if not THE best. After watching the initial double-length episode, I can see why. It's cleanly animated and has an interesting story presenting a very interesting art form (rakugo). Although I'm really looking forward to watching more, I'm not sure if I'll be able to marathon this show. It's not a light comedy at all (though there are some funny parts). I'll see how deep I can get into it for the rest of the long weekend, but I really doubt that it will be the next thing that I finish.

-Steins;Gate
-Trigun
-Uchuu Patrol Luluco (Space Patrol Luluco)
-Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Kiss Him, Not Me!)
-Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
-Yuri!!! on Ice
-Zero no Tsukaima F


So that's it for now! Looking back, I'm a little sad that I didn't try to fit in more shows for the current season as there are three others that I'm really interested in watching and I don't think I'll be able to watch much more other than stuff for the challenge this year. But hey, if I actually finish this challenge I'll have watched a lot more anime than I did in 2016! I put a bigger priority on finishing stuff that I'd had stuck on my Watching and On-Hold lists for a while. It's not encouraged, but it is an option to watch an anime that you had previously watched part or all of, as long as you go back and watch it all from the beginning in 2017. I'm not doing that with too many entries though, just: Another, My Hero Academia, Humanity Has Declined, Kaiba, Karas, Potemayo, Re:Zero, and Trigun; so 8 shows. Most of these I had either only watched one episode of and/or it has been YEARS since I'd seen any of it. Trigun I'd actually only ever seen one episode of it, on TV, dubbed, and I'd seen that particulate episode three times and it wasn't even the first episode. I've felt a little bit of a hit to my otaku cred for having never watched more of the series so I'll be taking this chance to fix that.

And with that, I'll be saying good night. I don't know how often I'll be doing posts to update my progress; maybe at least once every two weeks? We'll see. Until next time, laters!
Posted by pluvia33 | Jan 14, 11:21 PM | 0 comments
January 6th, 2017
So I haven't been writing very regularly lately, but Happy New Year! Although 2016 has been a crazy year (both in the overall world and on a personal level), I am rather optimistic about 2017, at least in my personal life. A big part of that is my wife and I both starting new jobs soon which both pay significantly more than our current jobs and will hopefully be much less stressful as well. Yay!

However, first and foremost this is a blog that's primarily meant for my ramblings about anime. To inspire discussion in today's post for the end of 2016, I'll be doing Article Commentary on this:

Top 20 Best Anime of 2016

Now, before I begin, I do want to mention that I'm a little unprepared for this topic as I'd only watched about 15 things from this year and of those only 7 are TV anime that I've actually finished watching to date. Yeah, it's been a bit of a rough year for scheduling anime viewing time (damn adulting). But whatever, I'll still talk about this article and the year as a whole.

So these types of articles are relatively simple, usually boiling down to doing a search of a specific type of anime (2016 TV anime in this case), sorting them by Score, and talking about them. There's not really much to say about the format and writing in general; it's fine and serves the purpose of this type of article.

However, the most striking thing about this list is something that's a bit of a general "problem" with average scores on MAL: Franchise Bias. Basically, if a show is a second season/prequel/spin-off of an established franchise, a large percentage of the people who are likely to watch it already love the previous work(s) and those who hated previous entries in the franchise are likely to skip it all together, causing slightly inflated scores for items from established franchises (assuming the new entry mostly stays on par with its predecessor).

This Top 20 list includes 12 entries which are sequels or prequels of previous shows. Such shows also make up the entire top 4 series. With this in mind, I'd like to cut out all of the franchise entries and show the top 20 NEW anime of 2016:

20. Orange
19. Ajin
18. Poco's Udon World
17. New Game!
16. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
15. Flip Flappers
14. 91 Days
13. Alderamin on the Sky
12. March comes in like a lion
11. KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World!
10. Drifters
9. Tanaka-kun is Always Listless
8. ReLIFE
7. My Hero Academia
6. Mob Psycho 100
5. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan
4. Yuri!!! On ICE
3. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
2. Re:ZERO
1. ERASED


Personally, I see this as a much more interesting list. Also, I consider it to be much more useful as a "what should I watch?" tool. For one, it doesn't have the Franchise Bias factor which can inflate scores, and two, if you had already seen the old seasons (such as me already being a Durarara!! fan and currently being about half way through the first season Assassination Classroom) you already have an idea of if you would want to watch the next entries in the franchise. It's also interesting to note that this shows more evidence for the existence of the Franchise Bias as the first seasons of both Ajin and Bungou Stray Dogs also aired in 2016. The first season of Ajin barely made it on the "New Anime" list at 19 while the second season was right behind ReLIFE on the article's list. And the first season of Bungou Stray Dogs would have been #21 if I went that far on the New list while the second season beat out My Hero Academia. Also, the second seasons of both shows have less than half as many non-PTW members attached to them, showing the drop-off from season one to season two.

As far as my personal year in anime, as I already said, I haven't watched as much as I should have. I have watched a bit from previous years, such as getting mostly caught up on the Monogatari Series, chronologically by release date making it all the way through Owarimonogatari after starting the year not even half way through Nisemonogatari. Yay progress! I still have a lot to work though with over 100 items between my Watching and On-Hold lists, especially when I want to also watch new stuff at the same time. Too much anime, too little time.

I've also been trying to get back into reading more manga this year, as mentioned in my first blog post of 2016. From that list, I've now finished:

-Anne Freaks
-Negima
-Kabu no Isaki
-Soul Eater

With Berserk, I'm fully caught up and the series is currently on hiatus. -_-

With Kimi ni Todoke, I recently bought the 24th and 25th English volumes and have read them both, so I'm fully caught up with the official English release. Japan has two more volumes in print right now, the 26th of which will be out in English in March. Again, I really, really hope it ends soon so it doesn't drag on too long, but it still has me interested as my favorite shoujo series!

I am currently reading Nodame Cantabile, having recently finished volume 20. Just five more to go!

I haven't touched any of the other series since my post, but I'll probably be picking one of them to start back up after I finish Nodame. I've gotten into a few other things over the year, but in the interest of not dragging this on for too crazy long, I'll stop there. I'll just say that I'm glad to at least be reading manga pretty regularly during my lunch breaks if nothing else. Hopefully I'll get much more read this year!

The last thing I'll talk about for 2016 is that I've recently been getting into watching YouTube people more. On the anime side of things, I've taken a liking to a relatively new channel called Mother's Basement which will be active for two years this May. His main shtick is doing in-depth analysis videos on anime openings. I wasn't really interested by this at first, but they're actually pretty interesting and I like his style of speech. He also does other videos like anime season/year reviews which are nice to get a good grip of anything you might have missed. I really enjoy watching his stuff and look forward to watching more. Although, since he talks about stuff in great detail, it does make me want to watch more recent anime before I watch videos he's done about their openings and such. I guess that's kind of a good thing, but I do still have my backlog to tackle.

Well, this is probably a bit of a disjointed entry, but it's been a while and I had a lot to talk about, with a lot of things that I'd wanted to talk about not even getting mentioned. Oh well. I wanted to at least get a new entry out there. Hopefully I'll start writing more regularly again from now on. Until then, laters!
Posted by pluvia33 | Jan 6, 11:14 AM | 0 comments
October 27th, 2016
Anime Relations: Shuumatsu no Izetta
So it's been a while (2 and a half months) since I've done a blog entry. I've had an idea for a post, but haven't fully fleshed it out yet. But I figured I should give kind of a general updated, mainly talking about a piece of disappointing news.

As the title mentions, the main focus of this post is concerning the end of the Magic Kaito's Blog Patrol club here on MAL which I mentioned a little while back.

Yes, sadly the club is gone. It hasn't just gone inactive like many other clubs do on MAL; the club seems to have been deleted or been restricted to private access or something. It's no longer listed in My Clubs and when I try to get to it from the link in my old post linked above, it gives me an error that it's "No longer active" and "This club restricts public user access." I have no idea why the creator(s) of the club would decide to kill the club instead of just letting it live and see if other people might want to take over admin/mod duties for the Club.

But it seems that the guy who created the club is a bit flaky and makes quick decisions on a whim. He seems really cool and I became friends with him, but yeah. I was doing a lot of commenting back and forth with him on our profiles and that was fun, but then he ended up closing down comments on his profile because he was doing that with a LOT of different people and it was becoming too much for him. Well, just slow down, dude. You didn't have to kill your comments! Then I began messaging him back and forth on MAL a bit instead, but then one day when I was going to respond to one of his messages after a bit of a delay, I got an error back saying that he no longer accepts private messages. Like, what? After the blog club disappeared, I checked his profile and he now has a message on his page stating:

Offline due to living my dreams finally. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and provided excellent input through these past few months of hard work and training : ). Friends truly make the difference through it all. Much love!


In addition to having this (to me) cryptic message, having comments turned off, not accepting private messages, and killing his club, he has also made his entire blog private. And this was a guy that was making blog posts almost every single day, many times multiple a day, with well over 100 posts total. Really, I'm very confused by all this. With all this, why does he even keep the friends on his profile? Why not just unfriend everyone if there is no way to communicate with him anymore? He sounds all appreciative of all of his friends and their support and such, but is he really? He honestly just comes off as flaky/fake/inconsiderate/etc.

Now, I shouldn't really badmouth the guy. He really is a pretty nice dude and it'd be pretty difficult to message all of his friends (131 of them) plus all of the people from the club to make sure everyone knows what's going on with him and the club. But still, I can excuse everything except killing the club. What he wants to do with his own profile and permissions on MAL is his own business. But even though he may have started the Blog Patrol, just killing it after getting hundreds of people to join is pretty messed up. I don't know. I have been kind of in-and-out with the club so maybe he posted a thread about deactivating it and maybe he even solicited for replacement admins/mods. Maybe I'm being a complete dick about this. But from my perspective, I'm really disappointed.

I'm especially disappointed because what's the way forward? Pretty much nothing. After I noticed the Blog Patrol was gone, I searched for similar clubs on MAL. There's pretty much nothing comparable to the Blog Patrol. There's the Anime Bloggers Union, but even though it still has 199 members, it is rather inactive and it seems to have a bigger focus on blogs done on other sites (such as Wordpress) instead of blogs actually done on MAL. And yes, blogs still kind of sucks/aren't supported on MAL, but the basics of the blog system is functional and it's nice to blog directly on here since this is the main anime website that I use (aside from ANN for most of my news and their columns).

So yeah, Magic Kaito's Blog Patrol was really a breath of fresh air and very helpful in filling in need of blog promotion on MAL since the website itself sucks at it. I'm really sad to see it go and hope that it may pop back up again someday. Until then, I guess I'll just be talking to next to no one.... -_-

Anyway, a quick general update, I've been playing a lot of Neverwinter on PS4 these past couple of months (probably part of the reason that I haven't been blogging much) and have otherwise been feeling kind of lethargic. As a result, I haven't been keeping up with anime much. Hopefully I'll be getting back into the flow, finish the shows I started from last season, and check out more stuff from the new season. So far I've only check out Izetta: The Last Witch and of that only the first episode. There are a bunch of other shows that I have my eye on, but so much anime and gaming, so little time....
Posted by pluvia33 | Oct 27, 2016 11:42 AM | 0 comments
August 11th, 2016
Anime Relations: Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
***Spoiler Warning***


So this will probably be a relatively short "Article Commentary" post. So I saw this pop up on my Panel's Featured Articles feed today:

Why Did People Hate the Second Half of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress?

First, I'd like to say that I have actually never watched a single episode of Attack on Titan and at this point I don't know if I ever will. The art style and the concept doesn't appeal to me and it seems like it is heavier on military themes than I typically prefer. Also, at this point I've missed the initial buzz of the series, so it doesn't really matter so much anymore that I can't relate to it when friends talk about the show since the hype has calmed down.

So, to the point, the fact that many of the same people from the Attack on Titan production team also created the original Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress anime had no influence on my enjoyment or disappointment in the series. Actually, this fact made me a little hesitant to watch the series at all since AoT has been such a turnoff for me. But alas, I ended up checking it out, mainly because it was the only new anime on Amazon Prime and just about the only anime on there I could find at all which seemed decent and I hadn't already seen. So yeah, I was mainly just trying to get some use out of my Prime subscription since I haven't been able to buy much from Amazon lately.

So, more to the point, the article talks about why people seemed to hate the second half of Kabaneri and I have to mostly agree with the writer here. The first half was a pretty fun, stylish twist on the zombie genre, with some relatively interesting characters. However, when Biba entered the picture, things really went downhill fast. Now, he's not my most hated character in anime history (that would probably go to Light from Death Note), but he is pretty stupid and annoying.

But really, for me, it wasn't so much the very end that really bothered me; it was around the middle point when Biba and the rest of the cast started traveling together. That part really started to drag and really annoyed me. It was kind of rough to push through, but I wasn't really watching much else at the time, so whatever. I actually thought the final climax of the series was pretty entertaining. I mean, yeah, the way they got to that point where the rescue needed to happen was kind of dumb and it was a pretty generic "damsel in distress" situation, but I still felt that the last couple episodes brought back some of the excitement of earlier episodes.

In the end, I ended up giving the anime an 8 score. Now that's not an absolutely fantastic score from me, like, OMG MUST BUY!!, but it's better than just "pretty good" as well. I felt that it did well riding its style and the good characters in the series, while they still had some good character to them. Really, the only major problem I had with the very end of the series was when they tried to redeem Biba as some kind of tragic villain figure in conjunction with the cop-out saving of the main character. It seemed really forced and Biba didn't deserve to be any kind of savior. If they wanted to make sure Ikoma lived in the end, I really wish they would have found another way. But I guess it's like the article says: "The show was so clearly in love with [Biba] that you grew to resent his presence."

The writer of the article also mentions the suspicion that a second season may be coming. I have to agree in saying that I'd be very interested in watching it, hoping that they don't pull another Biba.
Posted by pluvia33 | Aug 11, 2016 7:05 AM | 0 comments
July 28th, 2016
Since I've started paying attention to articles on MAL, I've found articles that annoyed me and I've found articles that were really interesting. There are also a bunch of articles that fall somewhere in between. Some are just 'meh' while others are actually pretty amusing 'dumb fun'. This article falls closer into the 'good dumb fun' category:

Achievement Unlocked: Greatest Personal Anime Achievements

So I'm a bit of a Trophy whore on PS3/PS4, so the concept of "Achievements" is something kind of close to my heart. While many of these Achievements were amusing, most of them kind of seemed a little dumb to me. In ways, some were really subjective while some directly contradicted others which isn't really in the proper spirit of an Achievement list (if you can't get 100%, what's the point?!). But anyway, again, they were mostly amusing and this is an article I've categorized as 'dumb fun' so I'll try not to take them too seriously (but no promises!)....

No Drop Policy: Oh dear god!! I'm sorry, but no no no nonono!! On my list, I currently have 199 anime dropped (and also 112 manga if we lump that in these Achievements, too). There is no friggin' why I'm going to go back and watch all that stuff that I didn't feel was worth my time, ESPECIALLY when there are things like Naruto: Shippuden which I'd have over 400 episodes to catch up on, and oh god! Over 1,700 episodes of Doraemon?! NOPE!! Not happening!

Perfect 10 Only: So this one is kind of twisted and a direct contradiction to the previous Achievement. Now, I've seen people who rate everything as a 10, but I think they just do it because, "Someone worked hard on it! They deserve a 10 no matter what!" not really because they actually truly feel every entry on their list is a perfect masterpiece in their eyes. The actual concept behind this entry is that you only watch things that you think are truly great and drop everything else! Eh, don't really seem all that realistic. I mean, what if they're watching a movie or one-shot OVA or something? Do they just stop it half way and be like, "Nope! This isn't perfect!!" Just kind of weird, but whatever. =P

Going in Blind: This one is extremely un-measurable for an Achievement. The concept is that you don't pay attention to reviews and recommendations and trailers and descriptions and stuff and just dive into shows as blindly as possible. Not only is this Achievement near impossible to measure other than from your own perspective, it is also rather irresponsible if you're trying to be a Perfect 10 Only person and would make some of the other "Achievements" extremely difficult as well. Meh!

Nostalgia Addict: Hey! An Achievement that I can get behind and one that is very measurable! Watch your favorite anime three or more. Yep! I've watched the original 2006 episodes of Haruhi 6 times, apparently! ^_^

Up to Date: Welp, I really don't typically watching extremely long-running shows (I'm really glad that they seem to be getting away from that practice with more recent shounen anime). However, I was actually current and watching Bleach week-to-week when the anime ended! So yeah, that'd count for something, right? I suppose this is a decent Achievement, but do you only "have" it while you are up-to-date? Can you "lose" it if you fall behind or if the show ends?

For Love of the Plot: EXTREMELY subjective Achievement here; seems kind of more like a joke than anything else. You can SAY you watch any anime for the plot, but that isn't really something that can be judged objectively by others in any way other than taking your word for it.

Genre Addict: This one can be a decent Achievement if it had more specific stipulations. Maybe something like "80% of the entries on your list share a single genre." Although that can be kind of easy with some genres since MAL tends to be kind of liberal with some genre labels. It's also kind of rewarding close-mindedness. I'd definitely never fit into this category.

Recommendation Guru: This is closer to a category that I can fit into, but this is also one that'd be really hard to measure for an Achievement. Although I'm not crazy active in the forums, I have chimed in a few times to recommend things to people looking for something specific. I also have a number of things that tend to be go-to recommendations, the most common being: Do you like Hollywood action movies? BLACK LAGOON!!!

Expert Binger: I can totally binge an anime when I like it; even when I don't like it sometimes! My most notable binge has to be watching all of School Days on Valentine's Day 2010. Yeah, it's only 12 episodes, but man was that rough.

Karaoke Master: When I used to watch most of my stuff on DVD, I'd normally skip the OP and ED sequence most of the time unless it was a song I REALLY liked. These days, watching most of my anime via Crunchyroll or downloaded copies, I usually don't bother skipping them anymore unless I'm watching multiple episodes of something with other people and don't want to bore them. Besides, sometimes shows these days actually have important things after the ending credits! I used to also listen to a lot of anime music back in the day, but I don't find as many songs that I absolutely love anymore.

Seiyuu Recognition: I can get really good at this. As mentioned in the article, I was getting pretty good at recognizing Yui Horie, and Yuu Asakawa was an old favorite of mine that I could always pick out. These days, Rie Kugimiya and Tomokazu Sugita are pretty much unmistakable to me, though it helps that they voiced my two most favorite anime characters. But again, kind of hard to measure this as an "Achievement" other than in your own head.

Well-versed in the Classics: Like the "Genre Addict" entry, this one is kind of close minded and it'd also be extremely difficult to maintain if you are still an active anime fan. Sure, you can have a TON of older anime on your list, but to have the MAJORITY of it made up of pre-2000 anime when there is so so much anime being produced these days? You'd have to ignore a lot of stuff to pull that off. Also, the statement of, "Before all anime became fan service in one way or another, there were good anime," kind of rubs me the wrong way. Really? Do you know how common sex was in older anime? Almost everything had a shower scene at some point or another. Even the screenshot for this entry is Ghost in the Shell which included a decent amount of gratuitous nudity. Most of the OVA stuff in the 1980s and 1990s was pointless action/gore porn that seemed required to have boobs in there at some time or another. Now, I'm not saying that everything from that time period was crap or that even when there was nudity that something couldn't also be a great piece of art. What I'm saying is that ALL ANIME EVER MADE was "fan service in one way or another." I mean, what the hell kind of statement is that anyway? Yes, every piece of art and entertainment in general is service to fans in one way or another, even if the only person it is serving is the person who created it or commissioned its creation. Ahhh, sorry to get hung up on that. It just really bothered me, even though the statement was likely mostly being sarcastic. Anyway, rant over. =P

Endless Patience: Haha! Yep, I have this one. Although, I actually checked and my list tells me that I've only rewatched the 2009 Haruhi episodes once. I could have sworn I've watched them at least three times. I really need to watch the series again, and yes, including all 8 Endless Eight episodes. ^_^

One List to Rule Them All: This one is almost as bad as the "No Drop Policy" entry, but not really. There are half as many one my "Plan to Watch" list as I have on my "Dropped" list, and this is all stuff that I'd actually want to watch some day. Also, I have tried to restrain myself from adding too many things to my "Plan to Watch" list these days. Maybe someday I'll get through it. ^_^

No Anime No Life: Ahhh, current status: 680/1,000.... Not too far off. If I finish everything in my "Watching" and "On Hold" sections, I'd only be about 200 away. Someday! And hey! A completely measureable Achievement!! Way to end the article strong!!

So there you have it. While there were some rough spots in the article, I was mostly amused and it was a nice little diversion. Until next time!
Posted by pluvia33 | Jul 28, 2016 8:52 AM | 0 comments
July 11th, 2016
In this entry I'll be talking about an article which was just posted today:

Subs vs. Dubs: Is Anime In English Really That Bad?

Yes, the old Sub vs. Dub debate. People still love talking about it. Now I do touch on the subject of my personal preference in the "My Anime History" section of my MAL profile page, but I've never really elaborated on it. With this article coming out, I figured it'd be a good time to do so. For ease of reading, this is all that I mention about the subject on my profile:

I used to primarily watch anime dubbed and only watch things subbed on occasion. Boogiepop Phantom was the first series that I loved much more with subtitles. Then after watching the Love Hina anime I hated the dub so much that I became a total sub-only anime fan.

Now that's a bit of an oversimplification when it comes to my full opinion on English-dubbed anime, while it also doesn't really share my complete thoughts on the subject. Yes, I have become a bit of a purist when it comes to language not only in anime, but is pretty much any foreign entertainment. If I'm watching something, I'd prefer it to be in the original intended language, be it Japanese anime, a K-drama, kung fu movies, French films, etc. However, my preference when it comes to anime is particularly strong since I consume it more than any other foreign entertainment and because I'm more familiar with Japanese than any other non-English language. Although I'm not anywhere near fluent in the language, I took two years of Japanese courses in college and have gained a familiarity with it from watching tons of subbed anime over the last 15 years.

Before I go any further, I do want to emphasize one very small yet very important word in what I've been saying and what I will continue to say: I. Although I may have had some elitist feelings in the past when it comes to the Sub vs. Dub debate (my wife and I used to call people who watch anime in English "forks" as a reference to eating Chinese food with a fork instead of chopsticks; it's just not right!), but I just don't really care anymore. My opinions are just that: Mine. This is all a personal preference and if people like watching English dubs, then that's just their preference. The only thing that really worries me about dub fans is that poor English voice acting can make them think a series is worse than it should be, like if someone has only experienced Toradora! or Madoka Magica in English. But in the end, I've just come to terms with the fact that dub-only/dub-preferred fans are just experiencing a different form of entertainment when they watch stuff in English.

Anyway, since this is supposedly an "Article Commentary" post, I should probably talk more about the points that the article made, huh? I'd say I pretty much agree with all of the points brought up by the article:

Late to the Party: With the primary form of delivery for anime now being subtitled streaming on sites like Crunchyroll, many people are actually being introduced to anime in subbed format. This is vastly different from the old days when the majority of people consumed their anime on TV or home video which was almost always dubbed; my generation was exposed to English dubs more and were therefore accustomed to how it sounded. These days even if new fans first caught a glimpse of anime dubbed on TV, as they get deeper into the hobby it's only a matter of time before most of what they watch is subbed online. In recent years Funimation has actually been making an effort to make English dubs more relevant again. With their streaming service they have begun doing broadcast dubs of more than half of the shows they put online at the same time the subtitled version is released. Since they dub nearly everything that they put out on home video anyway and since they have the means, they are able to make this work. I'm not sure if this is enough to make more English dub fans, but I'm sure it goes a long way to keep dub fans happy.

Lost in Translation: Now, the article that was linked in this section is primarily composed of rather old anime. Even though I'm not a fan of English dubbed anime, I do acknowledge that most dubs released in recent years are vast improvements over those released in the early 2000s or earlier. However, the essential thoughts behind the mention of "moe" is basically why I'm primarily a sub-only anime fan. While the article specifically calls out moe, I'd personally expand this to all attempts to emulate Japanese-style speech. Personally, if any series is "too Japanese" (mainly meaning it primarily takes place in present day or past Japan), the possibility of me even considering the English dub for my own personal consumption is a resounding "Hell No!"

Past and Present: Give Dubs a Chance: So the last sentence of the previous paragraph actually implies that I am willing to give an English dub a chance under the right circumstance. And yeah, that's kind of true. While I'd almost never choose to watch an anime dubbed for my first viewing when left to my own devices, I am okay with watching some things dubbed if watching them with other people who are not used to subbed anime. And again, as implied above, the main criteria to make this determination is if the series is not "too Japanese". What I mean by this is if a series primarily takes place in a non-Japanese setting or it takes place in a fantasy or sci-fi world, an English dub is much less likely to bother me. For example, I watched the first few episodes of Black Lagoon in English with a group of people and that was rather well done and appropriate since most of the characters are actually speaking in English most of the time as far as the story is concerned. My wife and I also watched a number of Miyazaki movies with her grandmother and Howl's Moving Castle (a non-Japanese fantasy story) was actually rather good in English! Then there's Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt which was mentioned in the article. Desirae and I watched the first two episodes of this subbed and had to drop it. The dialog was so fast that it was hard to follow (at least for me) and the humor didn't really seem to translate well; it just came off as dumb and boring. If there was ever an English dub that I may actually try watching by myself, this would probably be it. The dub has been praised not only in this article and by other anime writers online, but it was also highly recommended by a close friend of mine.

It's still kind of hard for me to get into the mindset of watching anime in English, but again, it is just a personal preference. I may have my own personal bias, but if someone likes English dubs, good for them. Whichever way you like your anime, it makes you no more or less of an anime fan. Just know that whenever I am talking about an anime, assume that I'm referring to the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.
Posted by pluvia33 | Jul 11, 2016 11:58 AM | 0 comments