Help Choose Mage in a Barrel’s Next Episodic Project!

Hello, friends!

It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally recovered enough from the (what felt like to me) Herculean effort that was my Hyouka episodic posts and I’m ready to pick up something new. I’ve got a shortlist of things that you can vote on, but if you’d like to really make a cast for something on this list – or, better yet, recommend something not on here at all – leave me a comment!

Note that the upper limit here is 26 episodes. Maybe someday I’ll do episodics for Turn A Gundam, but I’m just not there yet.

Here’s the shortlist poll—and I’ve got more thoughts on why I’m interested in writing on these shows below. As always, I reserve the write to chuck all feedback out the window and do something else entirely (although I doubt that’ll happen in this case).


Earth Maiden Arjuna: It’s basically a given that I’ll do episodics for other Kawamori stuff (specifically, Macross) eventually, but Arjuna I haven’t seen yet and it has a Reputation. Considering Kawamori’s stuff gives me a boatload of ideas I want to think about constantly, even when I’m not watching any of his shows, I have no doubt that Arjuna would provide plenty of fodder for thought—and getting to boost awareness of one of my favorite creators’ lesser known works would be nice, too.

Giant Robo: Speaking of things that are not a secret, how about my current enthrallment with mecha anime? Giant Robo seems to be well liked among people whose opinions I value on these sorts of things, and even if it winds up not being the most episodic-friendly show, I think that could wind up stretching me in a good way (like figuring out how to describe why giant robots are cool using different language each episode).

Hanasaku Iroha: I watched the first episode of HanaIro on a whim a few months back and, shocker, I liked it a lot! Many people have told me I’d like this show (it’s written and directed by the same duo that worked on my all-time favorite anime, after all), and I also think I may have recently cracked the code of how to watch and think about P.A. Works shows in a way that lends itself to analytical writing. Also, I just need to watch this show to get people off my back about it.

The Tatami Galaxy: I know very little about Tatami other than the fact that it’s directed by Yuasa and is critically acclaimed. It’s short, too, which always makes me a little more interested in committing to extended writing on things.

Star Driver: Oh, yes, it’s another robot show. Fun fact—before I started work on Hyouka, I was just about to select Star Driver as my new episodic show. All in all, I think things worked out, but I’ve been meaning to get back to Star Driver ever since. As with HanaIro, I feel I’ve got a bit more of a feel about how I mentally tackle a show like this thanks to things I’ve watched since, so I think I could do a good job of it. Probably lower down on my personal list of priorities, though.

Kino’s Journey: A much-beloved episodic show from an era of anime that I’ve still barely scratched? Seems like a winner, right? Like Tatami, I don’t actually know much about Kino’s Journey, but it sort of feels like one of those choices that couldn’t lead me wrong.

In addition to these, people on Twitter have also suggested the following: Sora no WotoEvangelion (sorry, not happening), The Woman Called Fujiko MineSpace DandyKids on the SlopeGankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, and The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls.


17 thoughts on “Help Choose Mage in a Barrel’s Next Episodic Project!

  1. Everything but Arjuna, Id never tell you to watch a bad show, I dont like suffering,’
    if i have to pick one. Id say Tatami, its the shortest so you can pick the next highest choice once it is done.

    Still bothers me you’re so against Evangelion, kinda wish you hadnt even mentioned it.


  2. I’d have thought Mushishi or Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex would be ideal. I’m having trouble thinking of series with more episode by episode content, but it’d probably take over a year to do that latter justice. Of the options presented, I voted for Hanasaku Iroha.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There are probably others if I think a bit… but of the ones suggested Hanasaku Iroha gets my vote.

    My wider suggestion would be something that’s currently available streaming, so we can follow along and cheer or jeer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t seen any of these, but I voted for Hanasaku Iroha since it’s the one I’d feel the most inclined to watch along with you (especially since Crunchyroll actually has it, unlike most of the others).

    Stand Alone Complex is an interesting suggestion. Having seen it three times, I feel like it would be an extremely bloggable show with plenty to chew on, assuming the themes and topics it explores are the kinds of things you’d enjoy delving into. I’d be very interested to hear what you had to say about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First, I’d weight my own votes lower than other people’s because I’m just not into episodic posts. One of the reasons I’m here is that this blog has more thematic posts over episodic ones. That said, your Hyouka posts are a gem and one of the best episodics out there, and I’m really glad I read them. I can’t really pick poll-wise (even though I voted), so I’ll just go through the shows one on one and comment:

    The Kawamori connection:

    Star Driver: I think Star Driver is my favourite Kawamori show out there (if it isn’t Escaflowne, which I’m undecided on). A nice plot and interesting imagery that ended up iconic. There’s enough to talk about, but there’s no topic that stands out. I think a review post would do for that one. Interest rating: ~ 3/5.

    Earthgirl Arjuna: This is my pick. People say it’s bad, and I can see why. Ugly Cgi, repetitive, overly polemic. But it’s… interesting. The show’s also ideologically devisive, but – as far as I recall – it wasn’t as simple for me being pro or con the show’s morals; things tended to change from episode to episode. Of the shows on the poll, this is probably the worst, but it’s not as bad as it reputation would have it, and it’s the one, I think, that would make for the most interesting posts (and you don’t seem to have many ragers amongst your readers, so that should be fine, too – be aware that this show could potential be a moderation nightmare for you; I doubt it will, but the potential is there, since the show’s tone is so obviously confrontational and polemic.) Interest rating: 5/5

    I didn’t watch those shows:

    Kino’s Journey: I’ve only seen the first few episodes so far, but I’ve seen them twice. Kino’s Journey looks like an excellent show, and something well worth blogging. I’m not worried about spoilers, since suspense doesn’t seem a huge part of the attraction either. Interest rating: 4/5

    The Tatami Galaxy: I’ve tried to watch this once and couldn’t get into it. I haven’t given it up, but I want to watch this as naive as possible. So if you’re blogging this one, I’m not going to read your posts until I’ve caught up with it. Current interest rating: 0/5; Future interest rating: ?/5

    Giant Robo: Giant Robots bore me, and I’ll only watch giant robot shows if they’re balanced by something else I find interesting, or if there’s something in the presentation that draws me in. A show called simply Giant Robo does have some sort of charm to it, but this is not for me. Current interest rating: 0/5; Future interest rating: 0/5

    Seen’em, Liked’em:

    Hanasaku Iroha: By all means watch it. It’s a great show. But I really don’t think there’s enought to write about for 26 (or so) posts. A review, or a series of thematic posts would fit this one better, I think. Interest rating: 2/5

    As for the twitter suggestions (no interest ratings here):

    Sora no Woto: A good show that you might enjoy, but also better suited for thematic or review posts.

    Evangelion: I laughed. I love the series dearly; it’s among my favourites. But… I would have guessed that it’s not happening.

    The Woman Called Fujiko Mine: No comment. I’ve seen a few Lupin shows, and a spin-off focussing on Fujiko might be interesting. I have this suspicion, too, that it might be one of Okada’s better efforts, but I haven’t seen it. (Franchise shows and me… see the other recent post and my comment there.)

    Kids on the Slope: Oh, this one’s great, and might make for good episodic blogging, too. I might have chosen that one, had it been open to vote for.

    Space Dandy: Now here’s something that’s so episodic in nature, that you’d practically be blogging a different franchise-show every week. Before I dropped it in season one I’d say this: some episodes are brilliant, some are aweful, and most are so-so. I dropped it because I didn’t click with the crew and style, and because at some time the dub version appeared online and I became confused and I had no motivation to sort out the confusion. I wouldn’t be that interested, and I’m not sure how much you’d like it either (you’d at least like some episodes, I’d guess). Don’t just jump in. Definitely sample this one before making the decision (and it’s necessary to smaple quite a bit, since it varies a lot in style and feel – that was the concept behind it after all). Some of it is brilliant. [It’s comparable to Sengoku Collection in that respect.]

    Gankutsuo: Haven’t seen it. Nearly everyone praises it, but I don’t like the Count-of-Montechristo story. I probably wouldn’t read an episodic series about this one before I got around to watching it.

    Cinderella Girls: I’m mildly curious about your take on this one, but not in episodic form. That’s overkill.

    Also, have you ever tried any Natsume Yuuchinjou? I’m asking because season 5 is coming up, and if you’ve seen and liked them it might be topical. Otherwise the timing couldn’t be worse.

    Finally, though that’s me being selfish, I’d be curious about your take on Hourou Musuko.


  6. Count me in the Hanasaku Iroha camp. I just finished watching it recently and would love to see the exploration of the show’s themes and ideas as they unfold, because it seems like there is plenty to explore.

    Separately, I’d love to see someone try to episodically blog K-On! in a more analytical fashion while watching it for the first time, but it’s 39 episodes + a movie, so it’s not within the scope of what you’re looking for right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You should definitely do Kino’s Journey! It is mostly an episodic anime anyways, so you’ll have something deep and philosophical to write about every time!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It seems the title of Giant Robo is putting people off, and that’s a shame – the mechs are really quite a minor part (and its strength, in my mind, is how it is always trying to show how they shouldn’t be the focus).

    It’s a very clever, spectacular show.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.