krpalmer: (anime)
At some point, “all the anime I could watch” piled up to where I shrugged and kept going back to see whole series again every once in a while. As last year drew to a close, specific thoughts of what to watch once more were sprouting in me, turning to some of my most foundational series. A decade ago this year was the last time I’d watched all of Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada, 2009 being the year Macross’s space opera mecha action had been said to start. (While the series hadn’t been fully available in its original form over here in 1999, when its prologue had been set, my university’s anime club had shown its first two episodes subtitled, and I remember private satisfaction hearing cheers for the midair rescue scene.) Since then, though, I had happened to think I was coming up on three decades since I’d first seen some of their animation repurposed together as Robotech, but as that year itself had begun I’d decided to “mark an anniversary” by watching different series altogether, even if I’d managed to head back to a particular selection of Robotech episodes as a later indulgence. I suppose the thought did creep up on me that if I didn’t return to the series this year, that might somehow amount to “when again, if ever?”
To 1999 and before )
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
An “Answerman” column on Anime News Network explained where the money so many people these days see as having gone into OVAs and movies of the 1980s had first come from. Its discussion thread then spun along to the point of mentioning a book about American reactions to Japan in that decade, said to include a chapter about anime fandom then. That did get my attention, inclined as I am to reflect on having been around for that decade without really managing to pick up on just where some of the syndicated cartoons I’d taken quite an interest in had first come from until the decade following. I started looking up the electronic version of Andrew McKevitt’s Consuming Japan, then went to the point of signing up for Kobo when the title wasn’t available in the Apple Books store in my country; now, I’m wondering if the “bonus points” Kobo gives with purchase outweigh the differences and complications in its reading program from the standard Books.
From book to 'zine' )
krpalmer: (anime)
As a new season's worth of anime series started up three months ago, I was conscious I didn't feel grabbed by quite as many of my initial limited understandings of the shows beginning as I'd been for several seasons before. As I still wasn't quite stuck altogether on the outside there, though, I was willing to make up whatever shortfall this might seem to be from my own collection and series presented as a block on Netflix, even thinking a bit of a change might be nice. A different change that also happened along the way, however, was going into my stacks of DVDs and Blu-Rays, at last picking out titles I thought I could "get rid of" one way or another with the thought this was one small push back against one day "finding myself buried in things." This stretched so far as to titles I'd bought years ago but never opened until such time as I could find myself wondering "was I ever that interested in seeing them?" In no real way did it seem to threaten "putting all anime behind me at last," but I did wind up a little conscious it's one thing to pile these chopping-block titles in a different place, and another to figure out just how I can sell some of them or just hand everything over to the library book sale to make them someone else's problem.
Starting off: Kyousougiga and Dragon Pilot )
Antiques: Great Mazinger and Hustle Punch )
Actual streaming: SSSS.GRIDMAN and Anima Yell! )
The rewind begins: Last Hope and Slayers )
The rewind continues: Serial Experiments Lain and Patlabor OVAs )
Wrapping up, looking ahead: Castle of Cagliostro and Robot Carnival )
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
News of Stan Lee's death got onto the front page of my newspaper, if "below the fold." Mulling over that, even if that also meant remembering how I'd felt intimidated by their already existing continuities when young to the point of taking only the smallest nibbles at Marvel superhero comics and for whatever reason don't watch their steady stream of movies now, lasted me though the day. While I was doing that, though, I picked up on reports of a death that wouldn't reach quite as far but still had me aware of "one thing after another" coincidences. Fred Patten, one of the earliest North American manga and anime fans, had also died.

Most of my connection to Patten came from having bought his book Watching Anime, Reading Manga from a local comics shop over a decade ago. I happened to say something about that book here just this summer, commenting that beyond its historical tidbits the thought of Patten having kept commenting about anime and manga for three and a half decades to that point was encouraging at a moment when fans much younger than him on some message boards I hadn't quite backed away from yet were exuding impressions of burnout. With that said, beyond reports that Patten had kept going to conventions in a wheelchair I don't quite know what his most recent opinions on "drawn entertainments from Japan" were. That he was also a "furry fan" can provoke a strange thought or two, but I suppose I'm positive about a few things I'm also cautious about certain potential responses to myself.
krpalmer: (anime)
When I took the solemn step of ripping the plastic overwrap off my Blu-Ray of Kyousougiga, once more collapsing the dizzying sweep of "things I could watch" into a single like-it-or-not choice, it was getting late in the "quarter" now closed. Rather than having to wrap up my then-upcoming summary of anime watched in those three months finding something to say about a mere waypoint in a longer series, I'd wanted to get all the way through something short. Out of what twelve-to-thirteen-episode series were ready to hand, I suppose what had got my attention about Kyousougiga in the first place had been the interest I'd seen at least a few other people show when Discotek had pulled that series out of the "not licensed over here" cracks that can still catch some newer anime. The company has made a go of releasing older anime with some show of care and skill, some of which I've watched with interest (even as I keep supposing I like not just "older anime" but being able to go back and forth between it and brand-new shows), and I was willing to suppose there had to be something about a newer series they'd also release. At the same time, though, I was aware I couldn't quite give a clear, attention-getting short summary of the show itself starting off.
A choice and how it turned out )
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
I've been watching anime for long enough to have come up with a few reasons for why I've stayed interested in it for all that time. One of them could be that I've been able to adapt to changes in style, subject, and ways to see it. (However, this boast of adaptability might have some small bearing on how seeing certain complaints about changes in domestic genre entertainment doesn't just annoy me but seems to detach me from those works themselves, which has been another reason I've come up with for my enduring interest in anime...) Changes in style and subject do seem to happen at a slow enough pace to only notice in retrospect, but sometimes changes in ways to see it can hit fast. The announcement the partnership between Crunchyroll and Funimation would be dissolving did feel that way. I can remember past seasons where I'd see Funimation license series for streaming and suppose I'd just have to wait for the home video release, given the grand shows of negativity some people kept displaying about their streaming service; the only problem there was that by the time of some of those releases initial interest had faded and I'd decided instead to buy titles Crunchyroll had licensed and Sentai Filmworks had wound up releasing on disc.

Of course, since the partnership began I'd merely gone from "not watching the series Funimation licensed" to "not watching the series on Amazon Prime or Sentai's own 'Hidive' service." (That might have been one factor in having gone several seasons without watching new series streaming.) The distaste of others for "having to pay for multiple services" is obvious enough, even if I can think a bit of the theatre chains the big studios had owned in the Golden Age of Hollywood and a previous era of winking at vertical integration as a form of oligarchical monopoly. So far as affording things goes, I am thinking of how I just contributed to the Kickstarter for Right Stuf's Nozomi label to go back and dub the Victorian Romance Emma anime, just perhaps more for a glow of altruism than having to face that long-standing subtle distinction "I don't seem to feel the disdain others display towards English dubs, but I always wonder if watching too many of them might develop that..." Maybe I'll just have to try harder to not be swayed by the disdain of others.
krpalmer: (anime)
A "three decades of Gunbuster" piece on the Anime News Network caught my attention; when it was brought to my attention again by being mentioned on my reading list I thought that much more about the Original Video Animation series. My "default anime icon," after all, does invoke it, even if that might also have to do with how, when I saw someone on a message board rotating through "anime meets the Powerpuff Girls" icons quite a few years ago and started saving them myself, the Gunbuster one just looked the most appealing in the end.
It's been a while for me, too )
krpalmer: (anime)
At the start of the three months just past, I had one more dose of a very particular sort of good fortune in deciding some more new anime series sounded interesting enough to watch streaming. It's been a while since I've dwelt on the thought "if I can't find new things interesting, one day I just might resemble those people who never seem to stop complaining about them." More than that, not all of the new series had "familiar brand names," as I had been conscious of for the series I'd watched streaming in the season previous (although a certain number of the new shows had their own links to "known quantities.") As if to demonstrate some strange "conservation of concern," though, I kept thinking back to the comment I'd been lucky enough to receive on my last "quarterly summary," and its noticing how I kept dwelling on the reactions of others as opposed to my own. The week-by-week comments on the message board I've long followed keep slowing towards silence, but I'm still not seeking out new sources elsewhere, as if the fear lurks somewhere I'll just sort of crumple up at the mere sight of opinions that don't align with mine. If being aware of the problem is a first step, though, I'm still not quite sure I've managed to take any more.
At my own pace: V Gundam and Hyouka )
Sports and service: Hanebado! and Harukana Receive )
Two roads from manga: Planet With and Cells at Work! )
Continuing on: Lupin the Third, Yamato 2202, and Gundam Build Divers )
Moving along: Great Mazinger, Gundam the Origin, and Gundam Thunderbolt )
Finishing up: Kyousougiga, Planetarian, and Jigen's Gravestone )
krpalmer: (anime)
A little while ago, my area newspaper ran an article about thirty years having passed since the movie Akira opened in Japan. Something about anime showing up in something like a newspaper (and I'm afraid I can think to add something like "especially in these page-straitened days") does get my attention, but beyond that it had me remembering I'd bought the movie on Blu-Ray a while ago to move up from the DVD I'd first watched it on, seen some criticisms of that particular release and let the disc sit, and then heard it was being released on Blu-Ray again and bought that disc as well only to also let it sit...
Crossing the Pacific )
krpalmer: (anime)
For the third season in a row, I was attracted enough by the first descriptions of and reports on several new anime series being streamed on official services I already have subscriptions for to watch "with everyone else." By now, though, with that good fortune a little more familiar I was conscious first that all of the series I'd settled on had the leg up of connections to existing franchises (a little too resonant of certain rhetoric weighing on merely "domestic" productions these days) and second that the message board I follow has slowed down a great deal these days, with two or at the most three people commenting on new episodes. Presumably, seeing positive reactions from other people is a major point of watching things one episode a week.
Taking things my way: V Gundam and Chihayafuru 2 )
Continuations: Lupin the Third series 5 and Yamato 2202 )
A different revival: Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These )
Mecha multiplication: DARLING in the FRANXX, Full Metal Panic IV, and Gundam Build Divers )
Finishing off: Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card, Girls und Panzer das Finale, and Star Gunman Bismarck )
krpalmer: (anime)
In the three months that closed last year, I managed to take an immediate interest in some new anime series being shown through online streaming and watched all the way through them with enjoyment. After nine months of not quite managing that for one reason or another, the reassurance I wasn't altogether excluded from the modern game of many other fans was pleasant. However, I was a little aware "nine months" meant I'd also managed to pick back up on streaming series in the final three months of the year before last, only to wind up dropping back to "older series" of whatever vintage as the calendar changed...

As I started off this new year, though, I did manage once more to find some new series that interested me. Combined with a few shows continuing and not choked off from older titles of my own choosing, it made for a solid schedule. As I started putting these thoughts together (if aware of how vague I can be, through the half-formed conviction that since part of my experience keeps managing to be surprised I don't want to "give the surprise away" to others), I was also thinking further back to how it's been ten years since I started managing to do this every "quarter"; remembering the old world of "waiting for DVDs" crumbling a decade ago and official online streaming not much more than a promise then, I can reflect both on what's changed and that I'm still around (so to speak) to draw the contrasts.
Starting off by starting back: Horus and Chargeman Ken! )
Closer to the present: Skip Beat! )
Closer yet and further down: Made in Abyss )
Up to the minute: A Place Further Than the Universe and Violet Evergarden )
Larger risks: Citrus and DARLING in the FRANXX )
It's magic: Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card and The Ancient Magus' Bride )
More movies: In This Corner of the World and Gundam F91 )
Finishing off: Full Metal Panic The Second Raid, AICO Incarnation, and The Dragon Dentist )
krpalmer: (anime)
Amid the constant uncertainty whether its official translations would keep being released or I'd be reduced to hunting down "scanlations" (however stilted) should things leave off on an unsatisfying stopping point, I suppose Makoto Yukimura's Viking manga Vinland Saga getting an anime adaptation had been very far from my mind. Seeing a news item mentioning that was a fair surprise.

The studio mentioned in the notice that will be producing the adaptation seems to have built something of a pedigree in the last little while for works like this one, although I was able to remember old thoughts that "manga can go places anime can't" and balance an apparent counter-example with contemplations of just what might yet get toned down. Too, I'm wondering how far into the manga the production might get; I can imagine things could stop at the end of one plot arc fairly soon into the story, but it wouldn't be close to a happy ending. At the same time, though, I can at least be philosophical and think of other cases where, having started with the manga, I've left anime adaptations alone and been fine with that.
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
A famous-for-being-famous celebrity (as far as I know, having to admit to steering clear of the reality shows and gossip reports that build that kind of fame) making a perhaps vague social media comment about anime but including artwork of a character from a new series now streaming raised a flurry of discussion among already identified anime fans. I took my own time contemplating some of the things said, but consider them I did. They did have me bumping back into the latest answer I'd slid into for a long-standing and perhaps important question.
Answers long forming )
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
Consistent proof might not be needed that "you can't please everyone," but announcements of anime series being licensed for one form of release or another on this side of the Pacific can seem to fall into that unfortunate category, even if it depends both on the company making the announcement and who's reacting. I shouldn't pretend to be above this, but I do have to admit I can shrug off the indignation some show at announcements from Netflix, which sticks to a "make it available in large blocks" schedule at odds with the "as soon as possible after it airs in Japan" strategy shaped years ago by "fansubbers" and given above-ground force by other streaming services. I've been watching anime for long enough that I can think back to days when my interest was piqued by comments overheard from the better-connected; I can also admit that the building excitement of generally positive week-by-week reactions seems much outweighed by souring moods.

When I heard Netflix had licensed Violet Evergarden, a series that had attracted attention just by being made by Kyoto Animation, I managed another shrug. I'd waited to watch Little Witch Academia, and supposed I'd enjoyed watching it "by myself." Then, just a few days ago, rumours started flying that some countries outside the United States would be shown the series one episode a week, and my own country seemed included. I told myself things might not pan out, and kept thinking that right up to seeing news it had happened just like the rumours had it. It just amount to a bit of long-delayed compensation for the years-past indignation I saw some stirring up over Canadian content rules keeping out the American cable channels that showed dubbed anime and certain other issues; it might only be the second wrong (whether in itself or in the risk of coming across as "gloating") that doesn't make a right.

Anyway, I did tell myself that helping to add to the "week-by-week" viewing numbers might do something towards Netflix extending this model to larger countries, and for all that it meant not getting around to Space Battleship Yamato 2199 as soon in the week as I'd been managing last year I connected my iPod touch and budget Chromecast to Netflix instead of Crunchyroll and started the first episode of Violet Evergarden. I'd managed to miss out on the previews beyond an impression the series was supposed to be more serious than the Kyoto Animation shows that first come to my mind, and perhaps even set somewhere beyond Japan. After first impressions of the exceptional attractiveness of the animation, I started getting a definite "just post-World War One if safely elsewhere" vibe; the sudden revelation of the episode (for me, anyway) might have made that resemblance that much stronger by having me think of Fullmetal Alchemist. I do want to be cautious about what the reactions of others might be to a "post-action series," especially with the passing of time and the reactions of others to recent Kyoto Animation series that haven't hewed close to possibilities of formula, but at least the opportunity being available (if for others who might really want it as much as for myself) is something.
krpalmer: (anime)
The first day of the year being a day off had me thinking I could spend part of it watching one of the movies I hadn't quite found the time for in the last weekend of the year just ended. I have movies enough to get to, but my specific thoughts were of an anime feature that had arrived not that long ago. Not quite getting to it until this year worked out in an odd way, though: I was now reaching back an even fifty years to it.

While I suppose I might have taken some notice of Discotek's licensing notice for Horus: Prince of the Sun and whatever first reactions there were to that on the anime sites I follow, what really made me pick up on the movie was Mike Toole putting it at the top of a list of "The Other 100 Best Anime Movies," a half-joking response to a previous list by someone else that had seemed at first glance all the easy, obvious choices, and itself an exploration of the fine lines separating curiosities, obscurities, and hidden gems. Describing Horus as the breakout moment where Japanese animation had first created something other than "kids' stuff" (although Toole had put a good number of features made in the years just before it not that far down his list, too) did get my attention. When I happened to see the movie on special sale on Right Stuf at the exact moment I could order enough other things to reach the rarefied goal of free cross-border shipping, I went ahead and ordered it.

The movie really was an interesting experience, although I still wonder a little about the possible risk in taking in "formative works" well after the fact, one of not quite understanding just what its contemporaries had been to take the innovations for granted but fixate on anything that might be called a holdover. I'm also stuck with a familiar feeling that in being invigorated by something I hadn't heard much about before to the point of trying to share my reactions, I risk depriving anyone in the position I'd just been on of their own chance of a similar experience.
My specifics )
krpalmer: (anime)
After opening three "quarterly reviews" of anime watched by dwelling on how little luck I was having joining in the game everyone else seems to play these days by watching lots of series on official streaming services, things changed at last three months ago without much fuss when some upcoming shows did get my attention and I had every opportunity to watch them. I still wasn't quite joining in the game in full, as I wasn't watching so many new series I couldn't keep watching shows from seasons or years before on my own. Still, as I can enjoy that as well, I was more than happy with how things were coming together for myself.
Starting off: Chihayafuru and Symphogear AXZ )
Known quantities: Love Live Sunshine series 2 and The Ancient Magus' Bride )
Chances taken: Recovery of an MMO Junkie and Anime-Gataris )
Follow-ups: Yuki Yuna is a Hero and Full Metal Panic Fumoffu )
An unexpected return: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 )
krpalmer: (anime)
I've watched my share of "popular" anime series, although I can think of some examples I haven't yet got around to for several reasons. Every so often, though, I do manage to pick up on a series that may not be what everyone's talking about, but for which the interest that is shown seems to make up for that. In the past, I've sought out Princess Nine and Princess Tutu for that reason, although I did take quite a while getting around to watching the DVD collection I'd bought of that second series.

When I began noticing people talking about a series streaming called Chihayafuru, built around a Japanese card game called karuta that involves listening to the first half of one of a hundred Japanese poems and then grabbing the card with the second half of that poem before your opponent, it did get my attention. However, I could never quite seem to find the time to watch it myself, and I did start thinking that streaming series aren't available forever. One day, though, there was an announcement the series had been licensed at last for a home video release over here, and taking note of how pleased some people were at that news I ordered the Blu-Ray set sight unseen (although I didn't go so far as to order the deluxe boxed set). What was more, when the set did arrive, I was able to fit it into my viewing schedule right away.
My trip through the series )
krpalmer: (anime)
Three months ago, as one more "quarterly review" of anime viewed meant working out one more explanation why I'd more or less missed out on what seems the modern game of watching new series on a weekly schedule through official streaming, I was at least thinking things might be different in the summer. In those three months I wasn't away on a long vacation, and yet in just their first week or two I realised I'd once more sit out the game.
The latest explanation, and RWBY )
Starting off at last: Little Witch Academia )
Getting around to it: Ano Hana )
Mirror experiences: Zeta Gundam and Gundam Double Zeta )
One conclusion: Mobile Suit Gundam Char's Counterattack )
A peculiar experience: Chargeman Ken )
Again at last: Love Live Sunshine )
A nostalgic discovery: Star Gunman Bismark )
Another conclusion: Gundam Unicorn )
krpalmer: (anime)
It was something, anyway, that three months ago some of the capsule descriptions of anime series from the upcoming season were catching my attention, something that just hadn't happened at the start of the year. That, though, just put me in another uncomfortable, familiar dilemma. Knowing I'd be leaving on a month's vacation in the middle of the season, no longer able then to circle around to streaming shows every week with the small, helpful push of routine, had me remembering similar vacations now several years past where being left with my own thoughts just had me dwelling on how far the reaction threads had soured for the series I'd taken chances on, such that I found myself rehearsing end-of-the-quarter explanations for why I'd dropped them myself until I returned with accusing blocks of time empty on my schedule and uncomfortable thoughts about yielding to peer pressure. (At certain times afterwards, I would go ahead and buy the home video releases of some of those abandoned series just because I felt "sorry" for them, but a lot of those peculiar purchases are still sitting around unopened...) I'd already spent some vacation-affected seasons since then not starting anything brand new, and with all the previously made anime I have ready at hand to watch I was just in the same position as at the start of the year, but I do still feel aware of all the possible consequences of "disconnection" from other fans, even if it's only wondering if anyone else will find something in these reaction posts.
Getting started: Lupin the Third and Please Teacher! )
Queue-clearing with verve: Symphogear GX )
A major project begins: Mobile Suit Gundam movies )
A major challenge: Zeta Gundam )
Getting back to queue-clearing: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too )
Not what I'd thought: Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars )
Movie experiences: your name. and A Silent Voice )
More movies: Time of EVE and Strike Witches the Movie )
krpalmer: (anime)
It was something that Makoto Shinkai had gone from "making a work of animation lengthy for one man on his own" to "directing full-length anime features," but I'm always aware of a nagging sense of the general rhetoric about "impressive lighting effects and background art" being followed by "but..." Working backwards through his filmography, The Garden of Words was short and might have raised an amused eyebrow or two, Children Who Chase Lost Voices just perhaps took "someone has to carry on the Ghibli tradition" to the point of "now let's see your own thing" dismissal, 5 Centimeters per Second could provoke some resistance to "downbeat, inability-provoked developments," and I remembered more positive impressions of The Place Promised in Our Early Days, but not its title without looking it up.
There was something different about Your Name, though... )

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