Well, 2013 wasn't the most eventful year for this blog, but I see no reason not to continue with my tradition of summing up the past year's worth of anime in a few sentences each. I watched a little over 30 things this year, which puts me on par with the previous year but way behind my 2011 levels. Sadly, this year wasn't a great year for anime, with several of my top scores going to older series I only watched now for the first time, nothing in the spectacular 9-10 range, and even more sequelitis in the list. As before, the reviews skew towards the positive since only series good enough for me to finish are included.
Do you hate how the Company profiles in AnimeNewsNetwork's encyclopedia are bogged down with all the shows that a company has done in-betweens and other support work for? Do you wish you could have it show just the things they've done production on? I do. So I wrote a Greasemonkey user script to do it. If you're interested in trying it out and you know how user scripts work, the following link is all you need:
Download/install here: ANN Production Filter
I did one last year; why not do it again? Even if I am a month late, here are a few words on everything I finished in the year 2012. Once again, scores are biased a little towards being higher because I don't always finish things I don't like. Sadly, this year looks like the year of sequels, with at most of half of the items not being derived from an existing property, but it's hard to argue with more of a good thing, so here we go:
It's been some years since I watched the show originally, but I recently introduced a few friends to an excellent anime called Monster, based on the manga of the same name by acclaimed artist Naoki Urasawa. Monster is generally considered one of the best anime ever made (ANN #22, AniDB #48, AnimeNfo #24, MyAnimeList #27 -- and many of those ratings have fallen off its peak). Strangely, Viz only printed the first 15 episodes as a hardcopy box set, despite the show being a rather lengthy 74 eps long. I guess being 4 years late to the party and offering a small portion of the episodes didn't work out for them. I'd love to own a hardcopy, but it seems that's not in the cards. I hear you can at least buy the episodes in digital format on PSN and iTunes.
On a related note, I came up with a limerick inspired by the show. It contains big spoilers for the first 4 episodes only. See the full article to read it.
Inspired by the trend going around, I decided to post a collection of brief reviews of basically every anime I finished in 2011. I'm pulling from MyAnimeList, so it's possible I'm omitting a couple things that don't have "Date Finished" filled out, and I'm also intentionally leaving rewatches off the list. Ratings are out of 10, but skewed towards the higher end of the scale because I'm less likely to finish something I don't like.
Tsunashi Takuto transfers to a high school on a small island in southern Japan in order to sing out the joys of youth and find his father. But the island holds a host of secrets: ancient traditions and inhereted super powers, a mysterious society, and marionette-like robots that could change the world if the four seals restricting them were broken. Embroiled in these conflicts, will Takuto find his father, find the strength to protect his new and important friends, and still find a way to live out a joyous school life?
Though I had seen a couple of preview images beforehand, my real introduction to Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto came from a friend after the first episode had aired. "Have you checked out Star Driver yet?" he said. "It's so fabulous!" He was, of course, not just using fabulous as a synonym for good, but rather as a way of describing the show's aesthetic. Bright, rainbow colors. Outrageous costumes featuring epaulets. Conditioned hand signals and long transformation sequences. Star Driver is a show that is defined by this aesthetic. It has catchphrases like, "Your galaxy, too, will surely sparkle!" But even so, to judge Star Driver by this aesthetic alone would be shortsighted.