Two moments today, since I missed last night’s due to travel! Today we enter into the current, soon-departed season and talk about Takuto’s fabulous transformation sequence in Star Driver, and the defiantly crude humor of Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt.
This moment is more like a phenomenon, really. The example I’ll be using is taken from Seikon no Qwasar episode 1, but it now seems to happen across a number of anime series this past year. I mean, of course, an increasingly intrusive censorship in anime TV shows in order to sell DVDs that are either borderline or outright hentai.
Or, how Amagami SS found more erogenous zones than just the usual T&A.
Angel Beats was a show that aspired to greatness and ended up being merely good. What Jun Maeda fails to grasp with his reach in storytelling, however, is partly made up for by his OP, which is one of the finest songs of the year.
Yes, I know Summer Wars technically came out in 2009, but since I watched this fine film this year, I’m including my favorite moment from it as part of this series. It’s a moment that brought hot, sappy tears to my eyes.
Arakawa Under the Bridge, SHAFT’s quirky, surreal comedy series, is not a very serious show at the end of the day. Yet little moments such as the one here give the series a magical whiff of beauty and sentimentality.
Today’s moment is brought to you by the gender benders at Silver Link and director Shin Oonuma, who together have brought to us one of the comedy hits of the year: BakaTest. And one of the most memorable traps in recent memory: Hideyoshi.
I begin this year’s 12 Days, 12 Moments series—an annual blogospheric fest where we post the most striking moments in anime for the year—with a musical interlude.
Sora no Woto means “the sound of the skies,” and above any melody played in the series it was a familiar one: that of “Amazing Grace.” Stripped of its words or original context, one might wonder whether it’s anything more than a pretty, vaguely nostalgic tune in show’s context, a use of a Western artifact not too unlike the appropriation of Christian and Kabbalistic imagery in Evangelion.
At its best, however, Sora no Woto powerfully evoked the sense of loss and grief of a world already half-destroyed, whose survivors have gently acknowledged that civilization is in its twilight years. Seen in this light, the small joys that Sora no Woto concentrated on do, in fact, feel like grace. Kanata herself, too, was once lost but then was found, and the song is among her first memories; and it is the playing of the song that ends a potentially destructive battle near the end. The hokeyness of the ending comes, in part, from how neatly the song’s meaning matches the plot’s outcome and how, once again, a song saves the world. (Then again, Dostoevsky once said that it was beauty that would save the world. He probably didn’t have Lynn Minmay in mind, however…)
“How sweet the sound,” the creators must have thought. For a show filled with such wild promise but with a somewhat disappointing conclusion, this still stands out as being a memorable motif, one of the great moments of the year.
The “12 Days, 12 Moments” series is part of an aniblogosphere-wide project to blog about the most memorable moments in anime for the year in the 12 days before Christmas. It was started in 2007 by CCY of Mega Megane Moe. Others participating this year include Aorii, 8C, prototype27, Scamp, schneider, Borderline Hikkikomori, TWWK, Landon, Janette, and digiboy.