Looking back at the Winter 2012 anime season

July 4, 2012

This is what you could call 'extensively delayed'. Since the Winter 2012 season is well over by now, it's more than past time for another one of my retrospectives to go with my early impressions and my followup on what I was probably going to actually watch.

(If I was clever I'd claim that I'm doing this so late in order to wait for Moretsu Pirates to finish so I could have a proper view on it, but the truth is that I just sat on this for various reasons.)

The short summary is that I finished everything that I thought I was actually going to. That would be:

  • Moretsu Pirates: This wound up never being deep but generally managed to be entertaining. The details were best not thought about too deeply, because it turned out that the show's attitude towards zero-g was typical of its attitudes towards almost everything. Still, it was a fun ride and the kind of light entertainment that we don't often see these days.

    (I sympathize with Author, but I've long ago managed to gain the ability to turn off my brain when watching a lot of anime.)

    My concise summary is that Pirates turned out to be entertaining but not serious, nowhere near up to the overall level of Sato's various famous series (which managed to be both entertaining and substantive). I don't know if this is the fault of the source material, the adaptation process, or both. If you want more depth on this view, see Jonathan Tappan (via Author).

  • Nisemonogatari: I didn't like this as much as Bakemonogatari (and there were parts of it that made me twitch), but on the whole I enjoyed it. At this distance I find I don't have anything substantive to say about it. It delivers the *monogatari experience, which is either good or bad depending on your views of that experience.

    (The twitch inducing stuff in Nisemonogatari is a sufficiently complex subject that it does not fit in the margins of this entry.)

  • Ano Natsu de Matteru: I enjoyed it and have already written enough words about it.

  • Rinne no Lagrange: This is not finished as such, since we've only seen the first half so far; the second half is coming up in the summer season. While I enjoyed the first half I'm not quite sure I enjoyed it enough to actively watch the second half. Overall I would say that its flaw is being a bit lightweight without the characters, setting, and situation being sufficiently intrinsically interesting to offset this.

  • Inu x Boku SS: This was charming and generally made me smile, and had the grace to end at a good spot (the manga series is ongoing). It delivered more or less what I was expecting, with somewhat less supernatural stuff than I was hoping for.

    (My attitudes on the anime are tangled because I read ahead in the manga, so now I find it hard to cleanly evaluate either. I will say that the anime was well enough done that I found myself enjoying watching stuff that I'd already read.)

Theoretically going to finish real soon now:

  • Aquarion EVOL: I wrote something about why I was still watching EVOL and then kind of stalled out on it when it appeared to be starting to mix plot into its crazy hijinks (plot is not what I was watching EVOL for). Still, what I've read says that it finished quite well and certainly I watched it all through the actual Winter 2012 season.

I managed to not watch any more of Shana III, although I may change that someday. I also didn't watch any more of Senki Zesshou Symphogear (in fact I think I stopped immediately after writing that it was teetering on the edge back in this).

As a general comment: giving up on watching shows partway through instead of grimly sticking to them out of a misplaced, neurotic sense of completeness turned out to be a remarkably liberating thing and feels quite good. I don't regret anything in Winter 2012 that I stopped following, even if (as in the case of Shana III) they may ultimately turn out to be kind of good. I really should have started doing this long ago and I hope to do more of it in the future.

(Well, okay, I already have with the Spring 2012 season, but that calls for another entry.)

(As before, my reasons for wanting to do this retrospective are more or less covered here.)

Written on 04 July 2012.
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Last modified: Wed Jul 4 16:53:46 2012
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