Anime and Manga — Reviews and Previews
Hoo, boy – it’s been an interesting couple of weeks. As I mentioned before, I jumped into Camp NaNoWriMo this month, which means I’ve set myself the task of writing 50,000 words in 31 days. I’m well behind the mark already, and things haven’t been helped by an erratic work schedule, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t indulged in a little anime and manga awesomeness along the way. So, here are some ramblings in small, easily digested bits. I’m more interested in what you all have to say on these ideas!
DVDs and Blu-Rays versus Streaming
I indulged recently in something I rarely do: buying a physical copy of an anime rather than just watching shows online. I bought both seasons of [Sengoku Basara] and, of course, [Baccano!], and they’re both sitting on my shelf making me a very happy bunny indeed. But a friend had a point when he asked me, “Why?” After all, both of those shows were available at my beck and call online, and legally too. There was no reason to shell out my hard-earned cash just to see them. So why buy?
For me, it’s mostly a matter of wanting to own something that I enjoy; being able to lend it out to friends; and being able to say I supported a property monetarily. I certainly don’t go out and buy every single show I ever remotely liked – I could never afford to even try – but there are a few stand-out series that make me sit up and say, “Yes, you deserve the money I earned.” I love streaming for trying out new things, and I’m so happy that the streaming market is continuing to expand. But I’ll always love being able to see my collection, small though it may be, sitting on my shelf. Also, I consider myself a would-be connoisseur of blooper reels for anime. Whatever happened to those? It feels like they’ve all but disappeared from modern releases. Berserk had the best bloopers of all time, though. It would be hard to live up to that amazingness.
Do you prefer to buy or stream? Or do you mix and match, like I do?
Spring 2012 is Coming to a Close
You know, it’s surprising that out of all the shows I [covered] from the [Spring 2012] [anime season], it’s Kuroko’s Basketball that I’ve kept up with. Not Kids on the Slope, or Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, or Polar Bear’s Café. No, I’ve been watching the sports anime. I guess there’s no accounting for what you’re craving at any time, huh? That said, I do intend to revisit all three of those shows at a later date, probably once they’ve finished so I can review them in one go. I still highly recommend Kuroko’s Basketball, by the way. I feel like it’s getting short shrift from a number of reviewers because it’s “just another sports anime,” and I think the show does some very interesting things with an atypical protagonist. But I may be biased; I just really like basketball.
I don’t know much yet about next season’s shows, but there is one called Sword Art Online that looks like a new take on the .Hack//, gamer-stuck-in-the-game theme. There’s also another Sengoku-era-warlords-turned-into-women show coming up (really!?), and I’m starting to wonder if this is wandering into overdone trope territory. Finally, my love affair with Baccano! makes me tentatively excited about the mafia-themed and Italian-titled Storia Della Arcana Famiglia, but then the show’s opening makes me wary. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
What have you kept up with this season? Got your eye on anything new coming up?
Getting a Little Burnt Out on Anime
This blog has really changed the way I consume anime. Before it, I would watch 4 or 5 series a year and peck at individual episodes of a couple more. When I was president of my college’s anime club, I had full time access to the club’s enormous collection of anime DVDs, and the only thing I watched on my own was Eden of the East.
Since I started this blog, I’ve watched 11 full shows and 1 movie – more than double my usual rate and still charging forward. I didn’t even realize how much I was watching until I was visited by a friend from college. This friend just so happened to be the one who used to keep me up-to-date with the newest shows, letting me know what he thought I would like or want to stay away from. When he came over this past weekend, he was listing off shows like usual, and not only did I know every single one, I was even able to point out a few more for him. We were both pretty surprised at this reversal!
So this month of writing-related busyness has actually been good for me, I think. I get a chance to step back from anime and watch things just for fun for a bit. I never would’ve had the time to re-watch the first half of Baccano! otherwise, and I might have felt guilty for keeping up with Kuroko’s Basketball rather than something more fulfilling. But, I’m just about ready to get back into the swing of things. Now to decide what show to watch next… Tower of Druaga, perhaps? Fate/Zero? House of Five Leaves?
Does anyone else run into this too-much-of-a-good-thing phenomenon with anime? And what should I watch next, anyway?
That’s it for me this week – we’ll return to your regularly scheduled programming on the 29th!