Entries from the Dead: Amagami SS

amagami ss 1

(Note: All images (excluding the first) taken from IMDb.)

December of 2012: I am, at this point, fresh to the expanding medium of anime and retain that glimmer of innocence that follow those who aren’t completely familiar with the tropes and industry standards surrounding said medium. With 52 completed anime (for comparison, I now have 411), I was still willing to give dozens of different genres a shot at becoming my next completed anime, ignorant to the red flags that come from just looking at a trailer screenshot or a synopsis. Also noteworthy about this version of myself is that I was more close-minded than I am now, with a definitive interpretation of what things can and can’t be when fit into a certain category. Then comes Amagami SS. (more…)

Entries from the Dead: Fairy Tail

fairy tail 1

[Dropped after twelve episodes.]

One following me for long will look at the title of this post and say, “Well, duh!”

Fairy Tail is one of those popular battle shounens that the typical anime fan picks up because it looks flashy and fun, two things the show probably is for those who don’t have a lot of experience with anime as a medium. Even to those who are accustomed to the ever-expansive (sometimes) pastime, Fairy Tail can seem like a nice series to turn one’s brain off to and enjoy the zany interactions between characters and the journey towards the ideal self, or wealth, or whatever these characters want to do. Back in 2013, I gave the series a shot, and despite my much smaller arsenal of viewed anime under my belt, I could only make it to a single cour for a standard anime series. (more…)

Entries from the Dead: Jitsu wa Watashi wa

jitsu wa watashi wa

[Dropped after 25 chapters.]

A manga as the subject this time around! Just look at how innovative I’m becoming in my absence.

With this long-running manga finally ending its run of Engish scanlation, I thought it would be appropriate to share my own story of trying to read, and eventually dropping, a story full of clichés and its almost parody-like execution of such. Initially intrigued by the distinct art style, a friend was also belly-deep into it and seemed to find it a decent read. That was all I needed, despite how lousy the anime adaptation was in terms of average score; after all, anime adaptations don’t necessarily correlate to its source’s success.

In this case, it kind of does. (more…)

Entries from the Dead: Hetalia Axis Powers

hetalia

[Dropped after seven episodes.]

I think it’s safe to say that the Hetalia series is the most popular anime-short franchise of modern times. The amount of fanfiction, fan art, fan shipping, fan-girling (Typically this gender, too) seen over the course of my being an anime fan is almost absurd, rivaling the likes of popular Shounen titles such as Naruto or One Piece. All this from an anime short of all things, too! The amount of episodes in this shortened time frame would equal roughly eleven-episodes of standard length anime, with each episode (I assume) being within its own story, with only a casual overarching narrative to fall back on. (more…)

Entries from the Dead: Mirai Nikki

mirai nikki

[Dropped after twelve episodes.]

Yet another tricky addition to a series already perturbed by the inefficiency of my faulty memory. Mirai Nikki, like Seto no Hanayome, has very little written within my anime list’s archives, so any crutch I may have in pinpointing a specific reason(s) as to why I didn’t continue a particular series is all up to remembering how I was years prior. What I do recall is that there’s a somewhat unordinary reason to my putting the series on-hold.

Flashback to the 2014 Summer of Anime. Starting in the second week of June, I decided to watch Mirai Nikki out of simple curiosity. However, outside influences forced me to watch the series quickly. Every year, family members come up from the southern states of the United States to visit my family and I for about a week or two; in that time, I barely have enough energy to watch even a few episodes of anime, much less marathoning a whole series in one day. Wanting to get a head start, I picked out a series I felt I could watch quickly, as my time limit was within eight hours before they were to arrive. When I got to the twelfth episode, I did the math in my head and determined that I wouldn’t finish the series in time before I had to leave, so I abandoned the series for Ebiten, which only had ten episodes.

It wasn’t until a few days after the fact that I realized that I had done the math wrong in my head—I could have finished Mirai Nikki in the time allotted throughout that day. Not only did I essentially drop Mirai Nikki for no reason, wasting the time spent watching a whole twelve episodes of it, but I subjected myself to the entirety of Ebiten, which was not pleasant.

Mirai Nikki itself was somewhat interesting as a case study, as it had all the reasons to be a gripping and insightful story, but it was also tremendously problematic. Many complain about the male lead being too much of a crybaby, though I would disagree and say that he’s only minimally exaggerated in the situation he’s been placed in. Does every teenager fantasize about being placed in a Hunger Games-esque scenario of fantastic bloodshed? Certainly not. My victim of shoddy characterization comes in the form of Yuuno Gasai, which I’m aware is a controversial statement. To me, she is the pinnacle of everything tryhard about fantasy plots involving weak main characters being carried by unstoppable forces because why not? Her weaknesses are constantly being evaporated by her will to protect the male lead, and no matter what happens, the only thing interesting about her is the mystery behind her affection for the male lead and whether her obsession will cause the demise of those around him. That’s her only shtick, at least up through twelve episodes. Heed that this entire entry is from someone who has seen not even half of the entire series.

I suppose her symbol as a realistic and uninhibited yandere makes her an immensely likable and moe character to many. For me, that symbol needs to come with something more, so that she doesn’t become predictable and/or flat as a character for the entire ride.

The recollection of various scenes, including one where Yuuno is implied to be brutally raped if the male lead doesn’t come to save her in time, sift through my memory in incomplete patches, disallowing me to really articulate what I didn’t care for about the series. In all honesty, if it wasn’t for my slip-up, I likely would’ve continued it, but at this point, I wouldn’t pick it up without restarting the entire series, which may be why I never have. If nothing else, it’s entertaining in its desire to make everything seem dark and depressing—and, of course, coolly suspenseful. It reminds me of Deadman Wonderland somewhat… though that didn’t turn out too well upon a rewatch…

What all of this may boil down to is, “It’s entertaining, but a dumb kind of entertaining.” I wasn’t totally in-tune with my critiquing prowess as I am now three years ago, so that may shed doubt as to whether I’d even find the series engrossing today. Writing this out, part of me would really like to continue it, almost making this post pointless, but with life becoming more and more constricting, it may settle itself within the graveyard of series I dropped almost on a whim, never to find their day in the rays of my focused retinas.

Entries from the Dead: Seto no Hanayome

seto no hanayome

[Dropped after three episodes.]

There is some tricky context to the arrival of this post. On one hand, I like the idea of doing posts on things that I’ve dropped in the past and explaining why I couldn’t bare to go on with them. However, I still have thirty-six episodes of Aria to finish before writing my thoughts on that, so this is also a shameless filler post. I’ll admit before going on that this post won’t analyze Seto no Hanayome in its entirety—thus making it somewhat short—seeing as I dropped it after only three episodes and it’s been nearly five years since I’ve done so. But the prospect of bringing this series back up after so long could provide some more clarity not just to me, but others who are to look at my list and say “Hey! How could he drop that?!

Humorously enough, there isn’t much of a comment for this series in my list, either, so I’ll have to try and recall what I thought of this series based on an hour’s worth of footage from five years ago. Clearly, my words on the matter hold full weight.

If I could describe Seto no Hanayome in a single analogy, it would be the comparison to American TV sitcoms. Random, yes, but I feel there’s a lot of truth to it. One of the standards of sitcoms, based on mainstream comedy, is the basis of a lack of communication or context resulting in misery and/or embarrassing situations for a single or group of characters. I (and I’m sure many others) have seen this in a gargantuan number of different scenarios, and sometimes even outside of the sitcom format. Seto no Hanayome, at least its first three episodes, lives off of this. The lack of communication resulting in characters jumping to conclusions, flaring of emotions due to ignorance, and the exaggerated reactions that result from it.

I cannot stand this type of comedy in large quantities.

Anime in general takes quite a bit to make me laugh, as I don’t find a lot of its humor to be all that clever. This makes it all the more special when a comedy does get me to chuckle a few times. This onslaught of one-dimensional humor was tolerable at first, but as the episodes rolled by, I couldn’t help but feel what began as a tinge of pain result in unbearable monotony. The one thing I remember very vividly being slightly funny was the male lead’s strange, homosexual fascination with the female lead’s butler(?). It was different, I suppose.

Aside from that, while I have little basis for this (Call it a gut feeling), I felt the series was treading the line of the typical shounen romance story. Lots of small, tender interactions between the main couple crowded by interference from the female lead’s overprotective father and various extraneous circumstances that take up a good chunk of the anime’s run. This medley of misadventures eventually becomes more dark as the final episodes roll by as the male lead has to show himself to be capable/willing to take the female lead’s love in the face of adversity.

For anyone who has seen this, am I right? Or am I mostly right? Kind of right?

I think those two points are the major reasons as to why I didn’t care for the show, but who’s to say I won’t pick it back up eventually? It was by no means horrible, just not something I felt was worth my time, even back when I found things such as Nyan Koi! as worth my time. To those familiar with the franchise, with this post in mind, should I pick it back up? Or am I right in assuming it eventually leads to where I expect it to? Thanks, as always, for reading!