krpalmer: (anime)
[personal profile] krpalmer
In the middle of the past three months, I went off on a vacation, and that meant something of a break from watching anime too. I could remember, though, occasional worries "taking breaks" might somehow amount to "breaking habits," and even in the face of that I'd gone to the lengths of trying not to leave series to be continued, but in this case I came back feeling invigorated and ready to get back to viewing. Then, however, I did have my parents staying over at my place for a while, another enforced pause of sorts, although when they looked at one shelf and asked me if I thought I'd ever get through all the videos on it I was able to tell them it was actually "books" in the form of manga volumes. As a matter of fact, anyway, I did finish off these three months with no anime preorders impending, thinking instead of end-of-year or perhaps in-stock sales. I suppose being away did mean missing the official beginning of two new online streaming sites with their own varying attempts to stand out in the field. In any case, though, when I did back to regular viewing that sense of invigoration did stay.

Three months ago, I was getting into the latter parts of some series. The way My Otome finished seemed to contrast with its predecessor My-HiME, even if to toss around "problematic start, strong finish" and "strong start, ambiguous finish" might seem to oversimplify things. In any case, though, I did have some direct spinoffs of the loose spinoff (although I was always conscious of how having watched My-HiME informed watching My Otome) to get around to and nothing keeping me from them but the thought there were plenty of other things to get around to, too. As with the other Japanese-only Transformers series I've watched, Transformers Victory wound up with perhaps the precise effect on me it was supposed to, that I was daydreaming "wouldn't it have been great to have had all those toys?" A plethora of "recap episodes" didn't slow down the drive of the story too much, anyway.

I watched the sixth Blu-Ray of Gundam Unicorn with a bit of relief that the domestic release of the fifth disc last year now didn't seem to have been just a case of inertia not quite ground to a halt yet, as much as some would doubtless just tell me to bite the bullet and start importing straight from Japan. (In any case, there's the promise of domestically released DVDs again too now.) This time around, though, I didn't watch all the instalments that had preceded it. Still, I was at last and at least willing to hope the story wouldn't conclude with quite the feeling I'd had from the previous Gundam OVA series that had seemed most reminiscent of it to me and exude a sense of "pointlessness" to all the striving with the franchise, after all, having to keep going. With not a lot of time left until vacation, I opened up a title that had been in my "backlog" for a particularly long time. Back at my university's anime club, I'd seen some of the Patlabor series, in which mecha aren't just intended for some variation of the military but for the police in order to deal with misused piloted construction robots. When I heard the company selling DVDs of it over here was going bankrupt, I rushed to buy up all of the series, but some variation of "once I've watched it, I won't have it to watch any more" made me sort of store it away for "later." At last, with the series being "license rescued" for Blu-Ray release, I decided it was time at last to get around to the old DVDs and started with the OVAs, a sort of first distillation of the various humorous and more serious moods of the series. Right before leaving, I also managed to watch a new OVA available through online streaming, Little Witch Academia. While "magical academies" may be familiar enough nowadays, the liveliness of the animation made the characters stand out to me in a controlled running time.

At the start of the new season over in Japan, I took note of three different mecha series starting; the problem was just the numbing expectation that nowadays vocal mecha anime fans, their preferences set a quarter of a century ago, will turn on new series as a matter of course and beat down everyone else's opinions in the process. Very aware of how I've recently dropped four different series at least with "mecha elements" on having to take breaks from them and thinking up halfway clever explanations for why I'm dropping them in that time, I just left them, and indeed didn't pick up any new series through online streaming, unwilling to play the game of picking a winner beforehand or at least joining in the condemnation if I can't manage that. I did, though, at least manage to keep watching Space Brothers. The series has now run for more than a year, avoiding a "start reading the manga to see what happens next" conclusion, although marking this anniversary with three "recap episodes" in a row didn't seem to agree with a number of people. Still, the series does stay consistent in a pleasant enough way. I did manage to watch more of Voltes V than I might have expected to; it did continue to see to be at once an amplification and development of the still relatively limited number of period "super giant robot" series I've seen.

On getting back, I got around to a series I'd perhaps been putting off for a while. Having wound up greatly enjoying the two previous Aria series, the thought of finishing the story might have weighed on me; at last, though, I started Aria the Origination. The sense of that end approaching as the trainee female gondoliers in an idealised Venice rebuilt on a water-covered Mars prepare for graduation, though, just might have helped the series from seeming saccharine (or "sappy," as one of them might say). There wasn't quite as much "magical realism" filling things out this time, and I did notice a few of the final episodes did seem to be "doubling up" on story adapted, but still in a very well-done way. The conclusion was indeed emotional, but in a good way after all. Along with that, I got around to opening up the DVDs of a series I'd seen streaming before, the second Fullmetal Alchemist anime. The beginning of this series, adapting the beginning of the manga already adapted in the first anime series, still seemed brisk to me, but not overwhelmingly so. Having run across a look back at the manga with the usual debates between the first anime and it reminded me of how the second series is sort of caught in the middle, but seeing it on my own that didn't bother me.

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