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One of the most fundamental and essential concepts present throughout all of Magi is the romance of adventure. The romance of adventure is not an idea that unifies the romance between two characters with the genre of adventure (although one could argue that a powerful bond existed between Aladdin and Alibaba), but one that quantifies the stylization and presentation of adventure that is largely romantic and idealistic. Whether it was questing through treacherous dungeons, relying on the help of mystic, majestic djinns and their phantasmal magic, fending off monsters and assassins alike or hunting for treasures of unimaginable wealth, the image and feeling of adventure in Magi was portrayed as glamorous, glorious, rewarding and extremely passionate. Magi wanted to show these elements of adventures through this distinctive perspective which then helped enthuse and entertain the audience. As you can imagine, this concept had a significant and permanent impression in Magi.
The year of 2012 saw the debut and broadcasting of well over a hundred television anime and even more in the forms of movies and OVAs. Over the past dozen months, I’ve spent countless hours watching these anime and documenting my thoughts, opinions and evaluations on each and every show. Now with the year coming to a close, it’s time to summarize this year of anime with two simple lists: one on the top 12 characters of the year and the other on the top 12 favorite anime of the year.
The dawn of 2013 means the beginning of another new anime season, the Winter 2013 anime season to be precise. Seeing as we’ll be spending the new few months with a number of these anime, it’s time to look ahead and examine these new show as a means to prepare for the upcoming season. With a number of charts, lists and impressions already out there, here’s my personal take on the Winter 2013 anime season.
Earlier this year, the 100th chapter of Needless debuted, a remarkable milestone for any manga, especially for one that is published monthly. Not only did the chapter serve as a landmark for the manga itself, but it corresponded with the crowning achievement of the series protagonist, Cruz Schild, commonly known as Yamada. As Needless has progressed through these past nine years, the story has evolved into one that emphasizes the growth and maturity of its central, most-dynamic character. It has literally become the story of a boy becoming a man (while dressed as a girl), and the events and adventures over the entire manga easily demonstrate the greatest exhibition of character development that I have ever witnessed in my limited history of anime/manga and is a viable candidate for the greatest of all-time.
Considering that I watch over 50 anime each year, ranging roughly between 12 to 26 episodes each, you’d figure it might be difficult for me to choose my favorite episode of the year when there’s nearly a thousand to choose from. However, from the moment I finished episode 18 of the Sengoku Collection, I knew which one it would be this year. No episode of any other anime comes even remotely close to the profoundness, merit and brilliance of this episode of Sengoku Collection. It stands alone at the summit of anime excellence, an episode comprised of a spectacular art style, influential and engrossing characters, the haunting absence of music, and a simple, modest story shown to us through ingenious directing to tie it all together and create an inspiring, illustrious episode that has become one of my favorite episodes of all time.
Needless is innovative and creative, especially in its storytelling. Throughout the manga, there have been countless examples of where character development or story progression have been told or shown in a way that directly generates interest, creates suspense and surprise or is just unanticipated fun and amusement (for example: Kuchinashi). And of all the methods utilized, the most innovative might be how Needless has unveiled its past. Rather than relying solely on flashbacks or lengthy exposition, Needless has decided to show us its past through a variety of diverse means and styles. And rather than reveal everything about the past together, it’s been fragmented into various segments, allowing the manga to answer the immediate concerns while raising other questions to create further intrigue and mystery. And with another new style presented in this chapter, it’s time we recognize a few of the brilliant storytelling techniques employed in Needless.
This The previous week: the wonderful minimalistic approach to romance in Hyouka, calling into question the usefulness of the secret treasures in Sengoku Collection, wondering about the difference between split and continuously running anime with Rinne no Lagrange, and easily my favorite scene in Sword Art Online.