Sunday, December 31, 2017

On the final day of aniblogging I give to thee: 12 shows I unceremoniously dropped

Suck it y'all.
Altair: A Record of Battles: I had previously checked out the manga before starting the anime and while I didn't like the manga, clearly not enjoying the manga is not a sure-fire indicator if I'll enjoy the adaptation or not. But even in anime form, this story fell flat on its face; the story tries to cover tons of ground as it shuttles its main character, Mahamut Bey, from one political crisis to another and the show never slows down enough for the viewer to get a complex, nuanced look at who Mahamut really is. Also, the political crises are pretty basic, boring, and dumb. As I've joked around elsewhere, after this "season" of American politics my standards for politically-focused stories have gotten much higher! 

A Centaur’s Life: Before the anime aired I was nervous that I wouldn't like it because the reason I like A Centaur's Life the manga is partially since it's so "uncommercial." Sure half of the story is "cute monster girls do modern day, high school girl things" but the other half of the story is bizarre, unconnected one-shots (like the chapters involving aliens and/or time-travel) or just deeply political side stories which are too blatantly based on real-world politics to even be considered metaphors. Turns out that the anime for A Centaur's Life couldn't even handle basic elements like "pacing" so I was out of the show before I had a chance to see how everything else held up. Also, protip: if you're going to animate a story where your literal titular character is a horse-girl, please make sure your animators have the time, training, and tools they need to actually animate her horse body!

Dive!!: Okay I know that I've been advocating for more sports anime, and for a wider range of sports, because "Japan you're gonna host the Olympics in four years, you should totally tap into this!" but Dive!! was just dull. It felt like the production committee pulled out a dart board, stuck the names of various sports onto it, and took aim until they actually hit something and that was competitive diving. There was just nothing interesting or different about it so, why not watch Free again since at the very least that water sports show felt like there was genuine effort put into it.

Elegant Youkai Apartment Life: In a year where I also got a season of Natsume Yuujinchou this story of "an ordinary human interacts with supernatural beings" just felt like a snooze. You can't just make a dull setting like this be your entire plot, it has to be an INTERESTING setting at least!
Grimoire of Zero: Of all the titles listed here this is the series I'm most likely to come back to. I dropped it because I already had a lot of other shows to watch at the time and this one just wasn't doing anything new for me (so it was a pretty unceremonious drop). But my interests for "backlog" shows a little different than my interests in currently airing shows, originality is less of an issue since I just marathon backlogged shows in large chunks (ie, they don't have to work as hard as simulcast shows which have to hold my attention week to week). Since this show is now streaming outside of Anime Strike I do have another opportunity to pick it back up, although this is by no means a guarantee that I'll warm to it after all!

Hitorijime My Hero: I tried this show since it's been a while since I've seen a full-on BL show and I just could not keep the characters straight. If I'm remembering the first episode correctly the show like, kept introducing different characters at slightly different points in time and the original character designs just looked way too similar to keep straight? It certainly didn't do itself any favors so I guess it'll be a bit longer still until I watch another full-fledged BL show again. 

Just Because!: I really don't know why I keep trying romances because for god's sake, I'm aroace, romance is literally Not My Thing. And Just Because! is very deliberately set-up so that the romance is the ENTIRE focus of the show; it's set during the final semester of the teens' final year in high school, by this point in the school year they've all resigned from their clubs so there is literally nothing to distract the teens from obsessing over their futures and how other people might be a part of it. I don't disagree with that set-up, it's just not for me since I really need the characters to have at least something more going on in their lives than romanceromanceromance (which is why Tsukigakirei worked for me instead). I am bemused by all of the people who keep saying "it's so true to high school life!" since man, why y'all gotta make me, the asexual aromantic, feel alienated every single fucking time people insist that a story about high schoolers must significantly involve romance like that? Also, like hell my life was precisely that ugly in the winter, I mean it wasn't pretty but it wasn't THAT bad looking. Again, I know what the show was attempting to do with the color pallet but it's so washed out, like the color of wet concrete, that it goes from "stylistic choice" to "so fucking ugly it's incompetent." 

Katsugeki! Touken Ranbu: "Wait Helen, are you saying that the show that is primarily about "cute"/"hot" male personifications of swords wasn't your thing?" You know guys, sometimes when some of my friends have a burning passion for stories I assume that it goes further beyond "I want to bang these characters" but usually it isn't so I'm pretty used to these disappointments by now.  

Knights & Magic: Man I wish Escaflowne was streaming subtitled somewhere, I want to watch THAT FantasyxMecha show!

Onihei: I gave this one a shot since there was going to be a MAPPA panel specifically about it at Otakon but I found the first episode both pretty slow going and really violent which is a bad mash-up for me. As for the panel, I ended up not going (IIRC there was another panel I went to at the same time) but apparently they showed the first episode or two of Onihei completely unsubbed and then it was just a general MAPPA Q & A and dangit, I could've gone to that after all! 

Restaurant to Another World: Alright this is going to sound silly but as much as I like my "EverythingxFood" stories these days I just need something with a bit of a stronger plot to keep my interest. Which is funny since everyone acts like all food shows are just these 100% slice-of-life shows but the ones that get a lot of chatter (like Delicious in Dungeon) actually have a reason for the inclusion of food! So I just needed more of a reason for this show to exist beyond "fantasy characters keep finding doors to this one, non-descript Earth restaurant and have their minds blown away by the new food."
The Reflection: I'm a snob, this show looked cheap with its thick outlines and limited color pallet and that did the opposite of endearing it to me right off the bat. Plus, with so many superhero stories these days I just like, need something actually different and innovative to hold my attention. Hell, I found myself thinking of the show in My Hero Academia terms ("oh so that's their quirk!") which struck me as a bad sign. I am sad that I apparently missed a character in a wheelchair that turned into a mecha but folks you gotta introduce cool characters like that in the first episode if you want to keep my attention!

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