This fifth installment of the ’12 moments’ series is about True Tears, which was the best show of last winter amid some rather lackluster selections. True Tears was not always the most realistic or the most well-plotted of series, but it did have good animation and took its characters seriously enough to make them more interesting than not.
One of the best parts of the show’s conclusion was the last song Shinichiro sings as he bids Noe farewell. The breakup between the two was one of the strongest parts of the entire series, because it managed to strike a good balance between the recognition that Noe had changed his life for the better and the knowledge that he really loves someone else. The show was notable for its animal analogies–roaches, chickens, among others–and at first glance they should have been too hokey to work. That they did to an extent is a testament to the relative strength of the characters.
As I have a much larger article to write tonight I’ll keep this one short and sweet.
The 3rd moment is a memorable, cleverly written scene from episode 3 of the slice of life/action/loli dramedy Kure-nai–the three way conversation between Shinkurou, Murasaki, and Yuuno. The rapid-fire, back and forth conversation was, if anything, reminiscent of a sharply written stage play or a Woody Allen film. Witty dialogue isn’t much heard in anime and it was one of the things that made the show, whatever its flaws, one of the notable shows of the spring season.
The 4th moment is really, in some ways, a holdover from the most notorious show of 2007–it’s the final scene of the School Days: Magical Heart Kokoro Chan OVA. It is, in many ways, a fitting tribute and acknowledgment of the biggest anime meme of the previous year, though arguably the moment the creators themselves do it is the moment when it loses its cachet. This wasn’t as immediate as the Nice Boat reference in last fall’s ef-a tale of memories, but it’s an example of humorous fan-pandering.
Today’s moment is brought to you by on of more interesting shows from the summer season, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, in which all of Haruka’s friends stand up to her father in defense of her fandom.
A number of titles in recent years have either questioned, poked fun at, or even demonized certain kinds of otaku fandom. Titles like Genshiken, Welcome to the NHK!, Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Chaos;Head and even Kannagi have spoke directly about otaku to otaku. Nogizaka Haruka stands out not only for its sincere romantic elements–which, for a change, is actually mutual rather than one-sided–but for its full throated defense of fandom as contained in the scene from eps. 7 captured above. The show itself was of course one huge pander, with many of the cliche elements that go into otaku romance shows, but it’s also pretty bold in offering such a direct appeal: though one can argue it’s just preaching to the choir.
Haruka is the second major anime heroine after Lucky Star’s Konata to be a female with male otaku tastes. There’s clearly a wish fulfillment aspect involved here, though I’ve known plenty of women who were into the same shounen action shows that many other male fans are into–though that probably doesn’t really overlap much with the moe/romance/dating-sim culture that is the dominant strain in Akiba and in Asia. (In that respect, the anime blogosphere is, in my experience, not an accurate reflection of American fandom, given how much we tend to go gaga over shows like Toradora and the like.) The show could be seen as another instance of the anime culture growing more insular, though it was one of the more entertaining and well-done examples. I still enjoyed it (the parts that I saw that is…).
Well–here’s my first salvo in the “12 Days, 12 Moments” project. Why so late and out of sync with the rest of the blogosphere? Well, as someone with theological training, I couldn’t bear to be so liturgically incorrect as to misidentify the 12 Days of Christmas as the days prior to Christmas, could I? After all, the first day of Christmas is actually Christmas Day, continuing until January 5, the day before Epiphany, and couldn’t people just look things up on Wikipedia and—
–oh fine. It’s really because I was lazy and I couldn’t be bothered to start until now. Anyways…