The project of 12 days as an idea started as a sampling of moments but many bloggers like us take the chance to generally talk about the series we loved during the year that passed. But this year we thought it might be a good idea to actually do that in a seperate post where we collect the 10 astounding and 10 horrible moments from titles we haven’t included elsewhere. As the list descends, the moments have made better or worse impressions respectively. So here we start with positivity.
10 moments of awesomeness
Inugami-san and Nekoyama-san
This was one of the few yuri this year that I enjoyed watching -Akuma no Riddle wasn’t well-written and Sakura Trick was all boob and pant shots in your face. Inugami-san and Nekoyama-san might not have exceeded expectations but had delicious bright as a day innuendos and the first episode surely drove me crazy with the girls’ cuteness and naughty thoughts.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the movie: Rebellion
I’m always kind of late to the party despite liking the series a lot in everything it has to offer: Kajiura is a goddess, Gekidan INU Curry’s worlds are fantastic who would have thought that such an indie art style would be featured in one of the most mainstream franchises of the last decade- and the story by Urobuchi is rife with emotions and thoughts. I’m not here to commend on the end, which I don’t really mind and didn’t surprise me, but for the fan feels. The film is slightly accused of being a fanfiction -Psychopass was much worse in my humble opinion but I love all the Sayaka x Kyouko moments we got. This pairing is in my heart.
World Conquest Zvezda Plot
Everyone talked about the third episode and not without reason. I don’t smoke so most of the times I find the smell annoying. It’s not just that when I go out for a coffee or a drink I later find even my bra reeking of smoke; there are times that I feel my eyes dry and a headache creeping up its way due to how much others smoke. Moreover many smokers also have a nasty apathetic attitude towards non-smokers, like we’re supposed to be punished for not liking the fumes (in Greece smokers are the majority). So watching Kate cornering smokers was a great fantastic release. Vestenet elaborates on the topic excellently.
This title is mostly action with some comedy mixed in. It was really enjoyable but since the manga is ongoing, it can only mean one thing: cliffhanger. On top of that, it only got to run for 10 episodes and an OVA. The humor usually comes either from Staz, a vampire, being an otaku or Bell’s power (teleporting frames) or the over the top fanservice which is adorned by super cute, super shoujo patterns and background elements. The latter case is the one above where Fuyumi wants energy and needs Staz’s blood for that. The scene starts by showing her whole then focusing on her hands and legs then on her blushed face. Meanwhile sunflowers pop out of nowhere in a rosy background. I hope I’ll be able to keep my word this time and actually start reading the manga.
Anime is a visual medium foremost and there are few anime that create awe in the viewer. Harmonie is a short from the Anime Mirai project, which hopefully will continue existing since it changed hands from JAniCA to AJA. It is created by Ultra Super Pictures which is a group of animation studios including Trigger. Beyond the touching story of finding a connection with your fellow person and the trauma of being seen as something to be fixed, Harmonie introduced a wildly intresting and beautiful world, that I’d like to know more of. I cross my fingers we’ll get a series out of this the way we got Death Parade from Death Billiards.
Kuragehime is an ongoing title with its ups and downs and I’d say at this point it’s more about fashion than fujoshi. This year I had two moments within a chapter that my heart was captivated again. i’ve mentioned in the past that I have a weakness for poetic scenes which at the same time aren’t overly sappy either. The scene above (take a look at the whole sequence here) despite centering about a forced kiss, which I usually detest, made my heart flutter by the sheer beauty, straightforwardness and passion -passion about an idea and a goal. The idea that Tsukimi is kinda having a small harem of her own now is something trivial in front of this display of emotions. The other scene I am referring to connects Kuranosuke with his mom and this is what is said by the narrator:
Even if we’re not lovers, and even if we’re not family, we’re spread out over this round earth here and there, and all of us struggle and wallow, pass by one another, distance ourselves emotionally, and draw closer to one another. 70% of the Earth is separated by a ridiculously huge ocean, but even so we love one another.
Heart strings pulled over 9000.
It doesn’t need introductions. We’ve reviewed the first season and the second season continues being brilliant in the same way. For me, that I’ve read the manga, because I wasn’t expecting such wonderful news 9 years after the first installment, some of the magic might have thinned, but it’s still there, sometimes horrifyingly haunting like in Floral Delusion, sometimes tenderly hopeful like in Cloudless Rain. How many times have we said “Haven’t we watched that in the first season?” and I think that says a lot about the artistry of the manga and how faithful an adaptation it is. I’ve also noticed that the best way to watch the series so as to retain the atmosphere is to watch every day one episode -not too slow, not too fast. One week waiting affected negatively the veil of mysticism I felt the first time around I wet my feet in the series.
I’m derailing -what is the moment I loved more? One is really hard to pick, so I have chosen visually The Warbling Sea-Shell, because it’s optimistic and in all the blue this 2nd season is painted in (see OP) this stands out to me; and as far as meaning goes, I’ve chosen Cushion of Grass where we see a young Ginko recovering from a grave mistake he made. At the end of the episode these words I kept:
Make sure you remember: every person and place has a right to exist. It’s true for you, too: the entire worlds as a whole is your home.
Toward the Terra
It’s incomprehensible how I went through tumblr and google images and got no results for Carina, Tony’s mother, while Tony, the bishounen is everywhere. There’s plenty of material about Toward the Terra but we mainly encounter fanarts of the main cast. Why I find it weird is because Carina might not have been a central character, but in this series secondary characters were equally important in carrying the story. I’m talking about the 2007 animated series, that has Dai Sato at the script, Hiroyuki Kitakubo among the storyboard artists and Yasuharu Takanashi for the music. It’s a masterpiece you should have watched yesterday. Going back to the selected moment, this is a point where too many hurdles and sorrows have accumulated and Carina’s psychic energy has skyrocketed due to her emotional breakdown. It’s a very poignant moment that captures well in my opinion the tribulations of Mu, a fugitive race with ESP.
Monogatari Second Season – Nadeko Medusa
Monogatari written by Nisioisin and animated by SHAFT is a franchise with a strong presence the last 5 years. It’s stylish, it’s pervy and it’s verbose. Occasionally quite violent, too. Just before the decade started, Monogatari exploded and found as many avid fans as passionate haters. Where do I belong? Somewhere in the middle I’d say. I get the creeps with the elaborate/symbolic loli and incest scenes but I’m usually attracted at the personal character stories and fancy the philosophy that’s sprinkled on top. After I watched the S2 early this year, the scales tipped more to positivity though because Araragi was less present and the female characters had room to blossom. The most striking case with fitting visuals was Nadeko’s route. The cute little girl turned into a lethal goddess and before the transformation was complete we witnessed an incredible, powerful and kinda acid yell to everyone and no one in particular.
A Silent Voice
I signed up for cruchyroll’s manga this year and didn’t regret it at all. I got my hands on a couple of good titles but what I really enjoyed was following the last chapters of A Silent voice as it was being published. There’s a lot of things that can be said about how well-crafted and multifaceted was the drama, how the lines of victim and abuser were thinned and even reversed for certain characters, and how realistic the relationships changed or remained essentially the same. But since the title is going to get an anime adaptation I’ll spare the words until then and pinpoint the moment that left me the strongest impression. Ater the climax has taken place in chapter 42 Yoshitoki-sensei revisits all the characters’ lives and worldviews. In chapter 51 we get Nishimiya’s, the deaf girl’s POV, and it shakes you to the bone. Click on the above image to enlarge it and read it from left to right -do you notice the great framing that reflects the inner turmoil? Most importantly look closer where text is written. The whole chapter is written like that -an effort to reflect what Nishimiya’s world sounds like. It’s frustrating and its beautiful.