Archive for category 12 Days of Anime
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the setting is my favorite aspect of anime. To me, it is the most significant attribute of an anime because the setting is the foundation for which the stories and characters are shaped and constructed, the ground from which they grow and progress. It is what provides the story and the characters with the appropriate tools, direction, and limitations for which we, as an audience, are able to watch, appreciate, and enjoy. And the setting is more than just a pretty backdrop, but one that defines the culture, society, technology, clothing, architecture, geography, climate, diet, and lives of the characters we love. As a result, I absolutely adore any anime with a captivating, distinctive, and inspired setting because of how it influences the story and the characters. And that brings me to Death Parade and the Quindecim, arguably my favorite setting in all of anime for 2015.
This might seem like an odd topic for a 12 Days of Anime post, but it’s a topic worth discussing given how it continues to grow on me every year and with every new anime. In fact, it’s routine for me now, something constant and universal that occurs every time I watch an anime. And it’s a subject that can be entrusted quite easily by the number 123,714. So, what exactly does 123,714 mean?
I first stumbled across JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure many, many years ago, in the mid-2000s, when I kept coming across references to Jotaro, Dio, and Stardust Crusaders around the internet. At the time, I did limited research into the series, but quickly discovered the appeal and charm of the franchise. It was at that time that I watched bits and pieces of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure OVA (1993), including what became my favorite moment in the series thus far: the “fight” with D’Arby the Gambler.
Although I wasn’t able to spend much time at this year’s Sakura-Con, I am grateful that I was able to attend the Pacific Northwest’s largest anime convention for my fourth consecutive year. One of my lasting memories from this convention, as well as for 2015 as a whole, was watching the first three episodes of the second half of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) before it even premiered in Japan. How awesome is that, getting to watch three episodes of one of the best anime of the year before anyone else? But… that’s not exactly the point of this post. Instead, one scene in particular from the fifteenth episode of FSN: UBW really stunned me… and it stunned me again when I realized it was omitted from TV broadcasts in Japan three weeks later. In fact, the event that’s reserved for the beginning of my 12 Days of Anime for 2015 is a rather strange tale of censorship, and of how the most emotional scene, to me, in all of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works went unseen to a majority of its anime fans.
Art books are arguably my favorite item of anime merchandise (of which, I own 18). And Imai Kami is undoubtedly my favorite manga artist. So when the Imai Kami Visual Collection, Nirai Kanai, was announced to be sold in June 2014, I was positively ecstatic. For the first time, there would be a printed compilation of his various works from both Needless and Shirasunamura, as well as other works in magazines and online sources. However, there was a major bonus to this art book that made it even more unique and exceptional among its peers. Since its completion as a doujinshi in 1999, Imai Kami’s first printed work, the 330 page BLACK SPOT, was being reprinted and bundled with the art book. After 15 years, the work that originated Imai Kami’s career and was the foundation and basis for my favorite manga, Needless, was finally available to the public. Without a doubt, the Imai Kami Visual Collection is the best thing to happen to me in 2014.
Every year, I make an attempt to determine what single episode of every anime that I watched that was my absolute favorite. For some years, the decision is easy, such as 2011 (Puella Magi Madoka Magica episode 10) and 2012 (Sengoku Collection episode 18). For other years, it’s a real challenge. It’s demanding when you’re trying to decide between a number of exceptional episodes with no clear choice. For me, 2014 is the latter with three candidates vying for the honor of my favorite episode of the year. And since I remain undecided on this evaluation, still mulling my opinions for each, I’ll present the three episodes here to illustrate what I am going through.
I’ve been terrible with staying current on anime movies. As you can probably guess from how I struggle to stay on time with my TV anime and with my blog posts, you can imagine how difficult it is for me to be up-to-date on all the anime movies that air every season. And with my movie backlog continuing to grow and grow, I made a decision early on in 2014 to make an effort to watch anime movies this year… and not just the ones that air, but to go back and catch up on all the ones I’ve missed.