Trimming the fat, Winter 2012 edition

February 13, 2012

Due to some things that do not fit into the margins of this blog, watching anime in general has recently stopped being as casual and enjoyable a thing as it used to be. Because of this I'm strongly considering trimming the list of shows I'm watching down to things that I seriously enjoy, as opposed to stuff that's just okay. So I've decided to make a list (or two). Because of what this is, there is a lot of picking on negative aspects of shows that have both good and bad sides.

(I have not yet decided to do this and circumstances may change. But just writing it down makes it more likely.)


  • Moretsu Pirates: I saw someone do an 'I saw/I expected/I got' picture series for this where the 'I got' was Hunt for Red October. As it happens, I like that approach.

  • Nisemonogatari, despite the excessive cleverness it is starting to go places.

  • Ano Natsu de Matteru, an enjoyable change of pace and it's avoiding things that make me wince. In fact, the more I see of it the better it gets.

  • Rinne no Lagrange, because it's entertainingly silly so far.

  • Inu x Boku SS: I'm enjoying this much more than I expected, even after I gave into temptation and read manga scanslations. In some ways, knowing what's going on and what's coming has made it more interesting, not less.

    (Apparently this is the season where I enjoy romance shows.)

This is probably still too many shows.

Kind of teetering on the edge:

  • Aquarion EVOL: Redoing the original Aquarion's over the top attacks doesn't make this interesting by itself. On the other hand it is consistently crazy. On the third hand it's 26 episodes.

  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear: Too cheap and too generic. The angst fails to be interesting and the doom hangs over the entire thing. On the other hand, every time I watch an episode it's just good enough to make me interested in the next one, and Evirus rates it as his top show this season (you have to follow his syndication feed to see this, the ratings aren't in his actual article except maybe by implication).

    (As I put it on Twitter, I'm not sure if Symphogear is deliberately camp or just cheaply animated.)

On the chopping block with some degree of certainty:

  • High School DxD: I was ignoring the unrelenting fanservice (yes, it was hard) and watching this for the straightforward mindless shounen entertainment and to see what sort of crazy thing they'd do next. However the show just finished its first major arc, so now is a good time to stop.

    (I agree with Evirus's summary of it; he and I just disagree about the merits of its generic shounen fighting part. I'm basically uninterested in the fanservice harem comedy bits.)

  • Brave 10: Too generic. Would be decent brainless watching if I was more up for anime watching in general.

  • Shana III: I'm a terrible completist so I really want to see the finale of the Shana franchise, but I have to admit that I haven't really been enjoying it all that much and I'm several episodes behind already.

  • Guilty Crown: fails to be sufficiently entertaining. I watched part of episode 14 and found myself more irritated with the characters and situation than anything else. There are cool bits, but the density of them isn't high enough.

    (It's probably a bad sign that it seems more interesting to read people's episode summaries than to actually watch the episodes. And reactions to recent episodes make it sound like it has gotten worse and worse.)

  • Last Exile: Fam: I am just finding this too cliched and sometimes ridiculous, and Fam herself is a goof. I've already been watching it only in bursts.

I don't know if I'd have the willpower to actually drop the shows that I carried over from last season, especially Shana III. Every time I read someone saying that Shana III has done something interesting this episode, my resistance to watching it goes down a bit more.

I started writing this a few weeks ago but sat on it while I mulled things over slowly and actually started following through on some bits. On the other hand, every time I take another pass at this it seems that my opinion's changed a bit. I am sometimes an eternal optimist who finds it very hard to give up entirely on shows, even when I should.

(So it's time to just post this, not endlessly edit and re-edit it. I can always change my mind about shows later.)

Written on 13 February 2012.
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Last modified: Mon Feb 13 23:32:56 2012
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