KyoAni is my God, and Naoko Yamada is Jesus. She was sent from the heavens to teach us flawed mortals how to make anime.
Trigger is my best friend.
I love drama that resonates with me, but if I can't relate to or understand the characters' feelings, I'll feel left behind by the show. Then I'll likely hate the rest to come.
If I don't like how the drama is conveyed, I'd rather the anime doesn't focus on drama at all. I'll probably enjoy any action show as long as it doesn't offend me. Doesn't need to be special.
Call me superficial but I really value aesthetics in an anime. I'm a sucker for how a scene's visuals make me feel. Drama that's simply narrated or talked about while the character cries isn't nearly as interesting, and often I'm just reminded that the show is trying to manipulate me. Most of my favourite scenes in film and TV have no words at all, and these include several from K-On and Erased, God bless those shows. I appreciate when an anime knows when to hold back, without being cryptic or ambiguous.
Themes in stories that really resonate me often relate to embracing childish natures, and reconciling with them as we grow up. Whether that be celebrating the vapid, superficial emotions of adolescence (Space Patrol Luluco); or breaking down the distance and apathy we built to protect ourselves (Erased, Hibike Euphonium); or coping with our irrelevance in a gigantic, changing world (Little Witch Academia); or recognising the most mildly sweet part of our lives, moments that by themselves don't mean much but, as they build up, shape us more than any one traumatic or ecstatic memory (K-ON). I want my stories to give meaning to the meaningless, depth to things that seem shallow.
In particular, my favourite character arcs are those that fight apathy, disillusionment, and loss of passion, since those are topics I've thought and felt a lot about for many years. I just enjoy the idea of reconciliation, whatever that means in context. I also love stories that use the conventions of their genre and prove why they're great (K-On) or otherwise just comment on the genre.
Mono no aware is another concept I've been really enjoying. The understated, bittersweet ways that shows like Non Non Biyori and Tamako Market portray transience affect me a lot. The best kind of tears are happy tears, tears for characters finding joy in a sad situation.
Sci-fi dystopian is boring. Which is funny because all the critically acclaimed anime are sci-fi dystopian. I think I'm tired of the endless cynicism and indictment towards humanity that the genre has - I've been in that phase, thank you, and I'd like to leave it behind. Sci-fi in general has never appealed to me.
- Non-romantic slice of life (K-On, Sora no Woto)
- Irreverent comedy (Kill la Kill, Konosuba)
- Immersive setting (Tamako Market, Non Non Biyori)
- Bright, warm color palette & kinetic animation (Rolling Girls, Space Patrol Luluco)
- Detailed background art, especially if watercolor
- Unusual linework (Ping Pong the Animation, Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero)
- Empathetic cinematography (Erased, Wolf Children)
- Subtle character animation (Koe no Katachi, Sound Euphonium)
- Female protagonists
- Fun, realistic child characters (Alice & Zouroku)
Best Slice of Life: K-ON!!
for proving anime is great
Best Thriller: Erased
for making me care like never before
Best Iyashikei: Yamada Market
for its gentle portrayal of grief and reconciliation
1: Offended me
2: Irredeemable, I got nothing out of it
3: Got almost nothing out of it, entirely regret finishing
4: Had some redeeming qualities and ideas. Annoyed me
5: A chore to watch but I acknowledge it as anime
6: A positive experience but little more
7: Good time!
8: A physically and emotionally engaging work! As high a show can get without personally appealing to me
9: Holy shit
10: Profound shit that digs deep duuude
10 doesn't need to be perfect. It simply appealed to me on a conceptual, aesthetic, emotional level more than a 9/10 did.
My mean score may seem low, but the shows I liked actually have a very high rating. I rate shows I didn't like much more harshly, because... I didn't like them.
Isn't he just the best?
1st anime: Tokyo Ghoul - 4/10
50th anime: Bunny Drop (completed on Easter) - 8/10
100th anime: Non Non Biyori - 9/10