krpalmer: (anime)
I've mentioned before the interest I've taken in the anime series "From the New World." It has a lot to do with the feeling there was fresh thought put in, and room for my own further thought, to its exploration of a particular idea science fiction has long included (although part of the novelty did have to do with my impression written science fiction backed away from "psychic powers" decades ago, perhaps not coincidentally around when a general credulousness for the idea crested and ebbed, to leave it for visual science fiction). Before the series had completed its first streaming run, though, I'd managed to hear this thoughtfulness had come not from the beginning of a manga or "light novel" series (or even from an "original production"), but from the adaptation of a serious and self-contained Japanese novel.
Piqued curiosity and an eventual surprise )
krpalmer: (anime)
Three months ago another new season of anime series was getting under way, but I didn't seem quite able to join in the general anticipation. In half a month I'd be leaving on a vacation, and while I was preparing to bring an assortment of encodings to stay on the self-imposed schedule for the antique series I'd started watching at the beginning of the year as a sort of commemorative project, I suspected I'd have neither the connections nor the time to keep up with streaming too. That had me remembering years past when I'd left on other vacations chased by the feeling the series I'd been watching streaming now seemed burdened by fine cases of contempt from what seemed everyone else on the message board I follow, and in the enforced break from routine found myself mentally rehearsing seemingly clever explanations for why I was dropping the series until not returning to them on getting back was pretty much automatic. Even if I did think at times I'd be leaving so early in the season negativity might not have had the chance to really settle in, with all of that in mind it just seemed none of the capsule descriptions in the licensing announcements were grabbing me. That might not have even taken into account how, once I'd got over the uncomfortable feeling the series Funimation licensed for streaming were disproportionately represented among those I'd dropped, the seemingly wide-spread disdain for its private-label streaming service kept me from watching anything on it at all for the simple fear I might see the point of that negativity, or the troubling sense I'm developing a distinct taste of preemptive "sour grapes" towards the series licensed by Aniplex of America and Pony Canyon USA because of how expensive their video releases will be.

In any case, a new season was under way, and I wasn't watching anything from it. I was completely aware this followed from the season before, where I'd only started watching one "all-new" series, and that on a last-moment whim only to drop it three episodes in. I was a bit less aware of missing the first episodes of the old reliable Ace of the Diamond in its new time slot until all of a sudden I was concluding I wasn't that interested in seeing its high school baseball team start to climb the greasy pole again. Still, as often as I've worried about those who sit around and complain to anyone within earshot how anime has abandoned them, the older series to watch before and during my vacation and the stacks and stacks of DVDs and Blu-Rays to open something from once I got back (there didn't seem quite time to get through even a short series before leaving) kept me from dwelling too much on that.
Getting to a conclusion: Sailor Moon )
More old stuff: Cat's Eye and Mazinger Z )
Starting into the new: Strike Witches 2 )
A daring return (at length): Gundam Seed )
A second experience: From the New World )
One more old milestone: Dallos )
The new replacement: High School DxD )
Finishing things off: Amagi Brilliant Park )
krpalmer: (anime)
The anime series "From the New World" caught my attention and kept my interest when I saw it streaming. There seemed a good deal of "world-building" complexity to the future society of psychics elaborated in it, and its story had some suspenseful developments. I wound up hearing it had been adapted from a science fiction novel (as opposed to the more familiar adaptations of less involved "light novel" series), which in itself did keep me thinking how English-language written science fiction has seemed to me inclined since the 1970s or so to step away from presenting "psychic phenomena" as if abandoning it to the "visual SF" its fans then turn around and dismiss as much less thoughtful and reasoned. As much as I'm inclined to skepticism about "the paranormal" in the real world and aware that even the most reasonable and non-conspiratorial "psychic SF" of the 1950s might amount in the end to invoking phenomena without plausible mechanisms, the whole subject getting narrowed down to "superpowers" does sometimes seem to miss new opportunities for storytelling, opportunities that just might have been presented in the anime series.
Differences in adaptation )
krpalmer: (anime)
Three months ago, I led off my look back at the anime I'd watched in the three months previous facing the new wrinkle of the online store I'd got into the habit of ordering all my anime from having raised its free shipping threshold, and in the three months since then I may have had to face compounding consequences. It's one thing to be establishing a fresh habit of "waiting until what I want to get can meet that still higher threshold," but perhaps not pre-ordering may accentuate the deadening effect of the constant complaints on the message board I frequent about how Blu-Ray releases over here don't sound as good or look as good as releases over in Japan, or worse yet have subtitles that can't be turned off, with the blame always pinned on the companies over here for not being able to negotiate adequate terms. The line between "I'll wait," "I'll wait and see," and "I won't get it at all, then" can seem to get pretty fine. Still, I hardly lack for DVDs to open yet. There's also the small yet interesting note of this being fifty years since the first television anime series premiered in Japan, as explained through year-by-year summaries by well-known anime weblog writers (although in my case at least I've made a few discoveries).
Starting off: Mobile Suit Gundam and Jubei-chan 2 )
Seeing what it's about: Hayate the Combat Butler )
Nostalgic modernity: The Garden of Sinners )
Up to the minute: Space Brothers, From the New World, and Vividred Operation )
Differing follow-ups: Transformers Victory and My Otome )
Added in: AKB0048 and Voltes V )
Movies, too: Madoka Magica and The Castle of Cagliostro )
krpalmer: (anime)
Every time I start one of these quarterly looks back at the anime I've watched in the past three months, I seem to wind up dwelling on some fear of being cut off from it in the future, if only to make a show of geting over that concern. As soon as I wasn't worrying quite so much about losing interest in anime the way so many other fans on certain message boards made a great deal of, I replaced that worry with the uncertain future of all the companies that translate it for consumption over here. I may not be dwelling quite so much on that right now, but after thinking about that for so long something I hadn't quite been expecting (but perhaps should have) did happen. I had got into the habit a while ago now of ordering from one particular online store, in large part because everyone else on a notable message board talked about it. To save a bit of money with free shipping across the border (which at least compensated for never quite facing up to what the exchange rates and cash-on-delivery fees added up to), I had to make what seemed very considerable orders, and while I wouldn't say certain titles in my "backlog" wound up there just to get free shipping, my interest in getting to them might have been somewhat less strong than other series. At last, though, faced with rising shipping costs, the store had to raise its free shipping threshold still further. After toying with the idea of ordering "just what I really want to see" and dealing with the shipping fees as they come, the thought of waiting for the end-of-year sales also happened to me, and I made some still larger orders at the end of this year with the thought that they, and of course my "backlog," would have to serve me for quite a while to come.

There was one interesting new thing I managed to do in the past three months, though. Happening to learn the anime club at my university was holding a special twentieth-anniversary showing, that there would be a "flea market" to sell DVDs and other merchandise at, and that alumni were welcome, I decided to make the journey back with a fair load of old DVDs, most of them series I had since bought newer releases said to be at least somewhat upgraded in video, but a few (alas) ones I was reasonably sure about being not that interested in going back to. While I spent most of my time at the showing behind a sales table, there was indeed something interesting about being among "fellow fans," seeing those in costume and talking a bit to some of them. I wound up selling quite a bit of what I'd brought, and despite some uneasy feeling at first about standing out as an alumni, I did notice some people who'd been in the fandom for a while, and talked with them a bit about how the club had changed over the years. (Things definitely seem more social now than they once were in the days when it wasn't so easy to come by anime...)
Once more, now with more: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya )
Finishing something off: Strawberry Panic )
Up to the minute: From the New World, Bakemonogatari, and Space Brothers )
Something old anew: Lupin the Third, first series )
A rare find (thankfully, perhaps): Strike Witches )
An evaluation: Angel Beats! )
Another visit: Martian Successor Nadesico )
In at the last minute: Children Who Chase Lost Voices and Alien Nine )

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