A glance back at an ordinary year


I’m not going to make a “ten best anime” list for 2012 because I haven’t watched ten shows all the way through. Two of the year’s best best are incomplete, and there are a couple of well-regarded series that I have yet to look at (Sakamichi no Apollon and Space Brothers). Instead, this is just a casual survey of this year’s offerings that I watched.

Series I didn’t make it all the way through the first episode of: Chihayafuru, Hayate No Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse and Magi. The last I might give another try sometime, since the writers evidentally understand more about economics than do our betters in Washington.

Series I watched only the first episode of: Accel World, Binbougami ga, Campione, K, Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos, Sword Art Online and Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai. Jonathan thinks highly of the last, and I would watch more, but what I saw wasn’t sufficiently brilliant to warrant subscribing to Anime Network. (Update: Also Ozma, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate and Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan. See how memorable they were?)

Series I watched more than one episode of before losing interest: Kamisama Hajimemashita, Polar Bear Café and Sengoku Collection.

Unfinished series I might yet watch the rest of: Inu X Boku SS.

The year’s major disappointment: Moyashimon Returns. Too much soap opera, not enough craziness.

This year’s minor disappointment: Dog Days II. Entertaining, and the characters are mostly likable, even admirable; but the fanservice-to-story ratio is too high. It’s a kid’s show that I can’t recommend for kids. (And surely Leonmitchelli can find something more appropriate to her station to wear than daisy dukes.)

These are the shows that I can recommend:

Continue reading “A glance back at an ordinary year”

Today’s question

Dog Days II seemed like a collection of filler episodes, even if it was laying the foundation for a dramatic third season. There was an excess of jiggle and bounce and disintegrating clothes, too. I’m not a randy adolescent, and I would have preferred less fanservice and better stories. Fortunately, the more interesting first season is now available to Crunchyroll subscribers.

Continue reading “Today’s question”


The Japanese have a word for it. (But do the Japanese have a word for “missing nose”?)

I had some unexpected free time this weekend, which gave me an opportunity to watch some first episodes. While nothing I saw astonished me, there are a few shows this summer that might be worth following.

Dog Days 2 (I’m sorry, but Dog Days’ just looks stupid) started off well, and it might be the most entertaining series of the summer if it doesn’t lose its way. It looks like the anime staff has something better in mind for Becky other than having her hang around Shinku and get in the way. Now if only the designers could find something more fitting for someone of Leonmitchelli’s status to wear than jean cut-offs —

— and if only they would drop the Most Common Special Attacks and general boinginess. The first Dog Days was a very good children’s show that I can’t recommend for children because of the frequent, irrelevant fanservice. It looks like season two will be the same.

Joshiraku is probably hysterically funny if you know Japanese and can catch all the puns. Monolingual Americans could use some footnotes. Even so, enough of the gags survive translation to make it watchable.

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita combines the twilight of humanity theme of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou with the nightmarish nonsense of Hare & Guu in deadpan fashion. It will be a long time before I want to look at a another loaf of bread. If I watch the next episode, I might not be able to eat chicken ever again. Dare I risk it?

Moyashimon Returns looks to be much like the first season: seriously quirky characters, lectures on fermentation, an elegant gothic lolita, and cute microbes. It’s missing Polysics, though.

All of these — even Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, despite the risks — I’ll watch at least one more episode of. I also saw Campione, Sword Art Online, and Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, which impressed me less. I might watch more of the first two, but “yaoi sticks” disqualify the last from further consideration.

Name that tune

Steven wonders if the background music in this scene from Dog Days is Mozart, perhaps from one of his opera overtures. I don’t recognize it, but my knowledge of Mozart and opera is not encyclopedic. Can you identify it?

[audio:http://shuffly.net/audio/Dog Days mystery tune.mp3]

One of the companies that worked on Dog Days is called “Studio Arkansas.” I wonder if they actually are from there.

Update: If the player above doesn’t work for you, try this.

Mystery tune