Those of you who have been following me for a while might remember that a while back I tried to do a weekly feature where I compiled cool fanart pictures I found on Pixiv. It fizzled out after nine weeks because it turned out that finding fanart and writing little blurbs about each picture took a lot more time than I was expecting, so I eventually gave it up in accordance my honeymoon period with Pixiv ending.
Well, now I’m temporarily back doing a fanart piece—although this time I’m doing it for Crunchyroll’s long-running Fanart Friday column. As one might expect, I decided my theme for the week would be idols…”Lessons in Idolatry” was the subtitle I decided to go with. So, yeah, check it out and enjoy all the idols!
Here’s the link~
As some of you may or may not know, I have been running an ongoing Best Girl tournament for the first half of 2014 over on the Crunchyroll forums. The contest ended about two weeks ago, with Stephanie “Steph” Dola from No Game No Life defeating Noragami‘s Hiyori Iki (I voted for Hiyori) by a single vote.
Now, while the final winner of the contest was a bit of a disappointment for me (can you hear the hype train coming ’round the mountain?), there were a lot of cool things I saw and learned during my time acting as the admin of the contest. I was fortunate to have two other Crunchyroll users, sonic720 and LoomyTheBrew (who made most of the graphics for the tournament), assist me with the massive task of running a tournament that recorded almost 1400 votes through all rounds across over 2500 pages, nearly 40,000 thread replies and never left the front page of the forums until just yesterday. I have no stats to back up this theory, but I’m fairy sure the thread was also the fastest growing thread in Crunchyroll forum history, at least in the time that I have been active on the forums there. And it’s ongoing.
The Final Four
While I’ve only been watching simulcasted anime for three seasons, the Winter 2014 season is probably the weakest I’ve seen. This is mostly due to a number of very inconsistent shows. I’ve seen batches of shows that were consistently excellent or consistently mediocre or consistently bad, but Winter 2014 has brought many shows that just can’t make up their mind if they want to be good, bad or just run-of-the-mill. It’s a frustrating phenomenon, which makes those shows that are consistently good much more valuable to us viewers. So, which shows are falling more on the good side than on the bad? Read on to find out. Here’s a hint:
It’s generally against my philosophy on reviewing shows to do any sort of review after one episode (other than drops), but Kyousougiga‘s episode 00 is something I just couldn’t let go by without saying something. After Crunchyroll so graciously picked up the show a few episodes in, I gave it a shot out of boredom, knowing nothing about the plot, characters or anything else. I could try to describe the episode, but it’d be better for you to just watch it. Click the picture to take off on 25 minutes of excellence.
In case you need more convincing, allow me to highlight the strengths of this episode. Continue reading
A little late, but here were my votes for the Best of Summer 2013 in several different categories for the Crunchyroll voting.
1. Attack on Titan Most immersive and intense plot of the season. Say what you want about pacing, but the actual story itself is inventive and told in a way that keeps you wondering How? Why? That’s good enough for me.
2. The Eccentric Family Delicate, wonderful storytelling throughout, backed by a great POV & superb writing.
3. A Certain Scientific Railgun S Highlighted by the incredible Sisters Arc, Railgun was in the lead until it ended. Although Silent Party wasn’t bad, it just couldn’t keep up with the rest of the show.
1. Free! Spectacular animation from sexy hair to sexy toes. Everything in the water was beautiful.
2. Sunday Without God Loved, loved, loved the ethereal color pallete they chose.
3. Gatchaman Crowds Not as amazing all the way through, but it’s delightfully colorful and has moments of brilliance. Continue reading
This is a more detailed look at the best anime the summer 2013 season has to offer and why you should watch them. To see a brief summary of all the shows I previewed (the first 3 episodes), go here.
To see the midseason report on every show I’ve been watching during the summer 2013 seasons, go here.
#1. A Certain Scientific Railgun S (continuing from Spring 2013)
- That’s right, Railgun S is the number one anime to watch this season, even passing the much adored AoT. Focusing on the Sister’s Arc from Misaka’s perspective, Railgun S holds a few advantages over the aforementioned Attack on Titan. Firstly, Railgun S is building off a previous season, one that focused mainly on character building, rather than plot. That is not to say the first season was boring, for it certainly was not, but having that groundwork to stand on allows the show to connect you better to the characters. Railgun S, thus far, has done characters better than Attack on Titan, mixing in excellently animated action scenes with potent moments of human pain. Furthermore, the thematic discussion that the series engages on human cloning is one that is relevant to today’s world, a trait that can be hard to find in the midst of a fantasy setting. Misaka is a fantastic protagonist, who runs through the full gauntlet of human emotions as she struggles to bring an end to the inhumane experiment that oppresses her conscience. Combined with a lack of annoying fanservice and excellent OPs and EDs, A Certain Scientific Railgun S is the best anime of the season.
#2. Attack on Titan (continuing from Spring 2013)
- No surprise here, Attack on Titan is the obvious choice for the number two anime of the summer 2013 season. If you want quality production, Attack on Titan has it in spades. The animation, music and voice acting are all top notch. More importantly and more impressively, Attack on Titan spectacularly engages the human emotions and passions awakened in a desperate struggle for survival. Death is everywhere in this show, but unlike your typical shounen, Attack on Titan makes it clear that each of those lives was valuable. People aren’t thrown away in this show to die for the sake of the plot. When they die, whether it is in battle or because the government has sacrificed them to sustain itself and the upper classes, the tragedy is not dismissed. You will think after this show. It’s impossible to avoid. And it’s not for everyone. The Titans are terrifying, the animation doesn’t shy away from displaying blood, but none of it is overdone to the point of being gratuitous. I rank Attack on Titan behind Railgun S mainly for the characters. I’m not sure if it is due to the pacing (which can, incredibly, seem absurdly slow and blinding fast at the same time), but I still struggle to relate and connect with Eren, Mikasa and Armin. Perhaps that is simply because I am so detached from their circumstances that I cannot understand them. Regardless, if you can stomach the violence and bloodshed, watch Attack on Titan.