A child of the 80s, I grew up in time to become an instant fan of Robert Zemeckis’s Back To The Future. A film as much about self-discovery as it ever is about tinkering with alternate dimensions. The adventures of a young man who’s strange fortune lands him 30 years before, to the days of his parents, only to endanger the future consumation of their marriage and thereby threatening his own existence was a brilliant throwback to the best of Capra. It’s A Wonderful Life for the Reagan-era is not too far a stratch for a film dealing with alternate realities, amidst a cinematically mundane setting. It also worked largely due to its colorful cast of characters, hair-pulling predicaments, and epic music. But the film’s core appeal at least to me was the core relationship between wizard & student. Why mention this uber mainsream offering from Hollywood? Because it was the first film to come to mind upon watching The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya. A film not too far removed from the memories of Marty McFly, albeit in a far more reflexively meta tone with just a touch of, dare I say it? Melancholy.
Okay, so its time to spend a few moments out of my usual musings about anime’s past, and take a peek at some of this new season’s bigger television offerings. Based upon word-of-mouth, as well as the occasional read-up, these choices only nail a few that I’ve been picking out of the running. Again, most of these are based upon what I hoped would stand out among this season’s heap. So if I missed anything, it is either because it didn’t really give me reason to be curious, or it’s just those pesky time constraints again.
So let’s have at it, shall we?
There’s something about Akiyuki Shinbo anime that just doesn’t connect with me. I have tried to absorb the works of whom many consider to be the savior of anime hipsters everywhere, only to give up in disappointment. This is unusual for me, as I’ve often been a large defender for directors who break a sweat, and do something new with the medium. And yet, there’s something to Shinbo’s arsenal of wild takes, cultural references, and constant monologuing that just neutralizes any molecule of enjoyment for me. Oh sure, Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei was a riot at times, but that was merely due to the source material’s razor sharp wit.
So when I think of Arakawa Under The Bridge, I can’t help but feel relieved that it isn’t nearly as obtuse as Bakemonogatari, but remains as distant as ever.
Okay, I realize that despite all of the kind words & love shared about on these pages pertaining to the origin of our excellent mascot, that it perhaps requires explanation. To be completely honest, a lot of this screed comes from where we as lovers of such a medium come to get our regular fix. Whether it be within the confines of a local video outlet, or from the comfort of our own homes. Whether we enjoy harem shows, or straight slice-of-life dramas. The fact of the matter remains that Lucky Star never had a chance in a Top Ten of my composition.
And so comes the requisite “Whys” that this recent icon has slipped the grasp of this potentially perplexed writer.
So fess up. Did you just not enjoy Lucky Star? What the what?
As I stated on an Anime3000 podcast, this season of Haruhi seems to be intended for enjoyment strictly at the meta level. It’s easy to picture Churuya insisting, “Kyon-kun, Kyon-kun! This summer it’s all about the meta!” Even the ongoing controversy over former KyoAni director Yamamoto making an apology for Endless Eight at Otakon only fed the drama.
What’s really going on?
So, like all otaku, I did my duty. I climbed Mount Kunlun to pay homage to Haruhi and vote in the International Saimoe League 2009 Aquamarine Period — Round 5 elections. I am a blogger of Anime Diet, moritheil, making an obvious reference.
While this isn’t the original Saimoe we all love to gripe about, ISML is vastly simplified. This directly benefits the participants in that it does not feel like working a second job. The staff have also gone to extra lengths to be inclusive of international crowds and their submissions – some might argue too inclusive. See this for Touhou-related drama.
This is strange. Why do I already feel, in just three episodes, that when the Plight Turn occurs for Kotomi–it more or less works? Is it because I find Kotomi a lot less annoying than Fuko was at first? Do I just have a moe fetish for antisocial genius girls who can’t play violin?