Posted by psgels on 25 December 2012 with categories: Yearly Summaries

Top 19 OSTs
I mentioned this before, but one way in which 2012 stood out, was its huge amount of stunning soundtracks. Seriously, where I could count the number of soundtracks that really caught my attention in 2011 on one hand, here I’ve got nearly 20 shows that delivered beyond expectations in the audio department. Because of that I’m dedicating this part of this year’s summary to the soundtracks.

#19: Uta Koi

I’d love to be able to showcase a sample of each ost this season, but for some series I just can’t find them. Anyway, Uta Koi’s soundtrack was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, who is famous for composing the soundtracks for Chrono Trigger and Xenogears. His soundtrack here is quiet and stays much to the background (hence the lower place here), but he did nail the romantic undertones of this series. There is one particular violin track that seems to be this series’ main theme, that really impressed me.

#18: Mirai Nikki

Mirai Nikki has lots and lots of paranoia. What with the mother of all yandere being one of the main cast members. Such a series deserves a paranoid soundtrack, and Mirai Nikki in the end ended up delivering that. It took me a while to warm up to it, though, because it kept saving its best tracks for its second half so in the first half the soundtrack sounded a bit generic and monotone. After a while though, the combination of all sorts of distorted instruments won me over.

#17: Uchuu Kyoudai

I was debating whether or not to put Uchuu Kyoudai on its list. Sure, it has a fantastic selection of OPs and EDs, but its soundtrack isn’t really that big, and it just keeps playing the same songs over and over again. But then I realized: we’re three seasons in and I’m still not bored of those songs. They are incredibly recognizable, and whatever scene they’re used for, they make it work and they manage to draw out a ton of emotions. It’s simple, yet effective.

#16: Zetman

This is the kind of epic soundtrack you needed to make Zetman work. It contains a ton of fast-paced tracks that are great at drawing out the adrenaline with lots of violins and bombastic sounds and drums. I also love how well produced everything is. That’s not always something in a show’s advantage, but it definitely is here.

#15: Fate/Zero

I’ve said it before: I prefer Yuki Kajiura’s older work above her newer work. These are a bit too overproduced and sound much of the same. Nevertheless, I am a big fan of the use of choirs, and these are used wonderfully here. It’s a very gloomy soundtrack in the same vein as used with Kara no Kyoukai, just heavier.

#14: Natsume Yuujin-Chou

Natsume Yuujin-Chou used the same soundtrack that it has always had this year, but that does not make it any less charming. Here it’s not so much that there is one track that stands out, but the entire OST just fits together wonderfully in creating a dreamy atmosphere. It’s something that this series has been great at from its first season, and yet again it gets the award for the most relaxing soundtrack of the year for me.

#13: Saint Seiya Omega

Heck, we’re not even in the top 10 yet and we’re already getting to the soundtracks that made a big impact on me. That’s how good this year is. At first I didn’t think much behind this soundtrack, but as I started listening, I was surprised at how many stunning tracks it had. Heck, this soundtrack is one of the big reasons why Saint Seiya Omega elevated itself from an average action show to something that just made me keep coming back, even after more than 26 episodes. As this plays, I could just feel the tension rise. This is also one of those soundtracks where it’s impossible to just pick one track that really stands out.

#12: Jormungand

I really love experimental soundtracks. Because of that, I’m completely sold on the Jormungand soundtrack. This really sounds unique, and this one track, “Time to Attack” just exemplifies everything about it. The silly over the top lyrics just scream cool, even though at first I admit that I was wondering what the heck I was litening to here. The rest of the soundtrack also has some really well fitting techno-tracks.

#11: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

I love what the creators did with their sound in this series. Unlike the above mentioned soundtracks, this one is simple, but the way it uses its instruments to build up tension: they really spent time into thinking how to make it work best. I especially fell in love with this particular track using just a bass and a piano using very minimal sounds that gets played during a few heavy scenes. The tension that that managed to create was amazing.

#10: AKB0048

Um… I’m sorry… I hate J-Pop! I really do. But this soundtrack just had me bouncing up and down on my chair. Heck, Shoji Kawamori. This guy knows how to make an animated musical that kicks ass with a number of great and exciting songs. In this show, the performances, they all sounded right and were clearly very very well produced to make them as bombastic as possible. Well, they succeeded for me.

#9: Eureka Seven Ao

For most OSTs, it’s the main tracks that sound the most impressive. That’s how they’re made. Eureka Seven Ao is slightly different, though. The main tracks are nice indeed, but the side tracks that you only hear once or twice were the ones that really sold me, especially in the second half. And especially the ending, that contained many actual songs as the background, and that’s where it really started coming to the foreground. This is the kind of series that just keeps spiraling out of control, and the soundtrack just went along with it perfectly.

#8: Chihayafuru

This soundtrack still astounds me as to how ridiculously solid it is, for 25 episode it managed to keep the same addictive pacing. The creators just took one tune, and based an entire soundtrack around that that feels so huge and complete. The creators really needed something that captured the essence of working towards your dream and not giving up. Well,they succeeded.

#7: Psycho Pass

Psycho Pass has an interesting OST that uses whatever it feels like fits best for its songs. As a result we got to enjoy Beethoven’s 9th symphony a few times where it really fitted with its themes. Apart from that there is the above main track (which only got played once so far), slow tracks, fast tracks, suspenseful ones. It’s very varied overall.

#6: Nazo no Kanojo X

This one really surprised me. I thought that this would be just a normal romance show, and then BAM! Awesome soundtrack. The composer actually went for this theme park theme that feels all like a dream, just as what the romance of this series is supposed to be: weird and too good to be true. The main track in particular is just something I’ll probably listen to a lot before it really gets boring: the use of instruments and sounds really is wonderful.

#5: From the New World

From the New World is based on a novel that is DARK beyond belief. The composers actually nailed that feeling by using children’s choir on one hand, and dark music on the others with a lot of electric guitars. Like, the soundtrack of a full fledged horror series. This combination between horror on one side and innocence on the other. It works really well.

#4: Sakamichi no Apollon

Yoko Kanno is back! And how. If I had to name my favorite composer for 2012, it’d be her (*hint*). But this just is completely amazing how well this show managed to capture the feeling of jazz, alongside various of the classics. The entire show is just full of some of the most amazing pieces, and seeing the characters actually play them using rotoscoped animation makes it even better. I mean, this was by far the series that had the best combination between animation and music of the entire year and you can really see that the musicians here are playing with feeling and freedom, rather than being too constrained (which I notice about a lot of other OSTs).

#3: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Now we’ve gotten to the OSTs that completely blew me away this year. I mean, what the producers did with this series is just absolutely amazing. Not only does the soundtrack of Jojo KICK ASS beyond belief: it also gets just better and better as it goes on. The series consists out of two halves, and the creators actually made two separate OSTs for both halves, composed by two entirely different composers with entirely different feels. Both OSTs would have made it on this list, let alone a combination between these two. There are so many tracks on this soundtrack that just scream manliness, it’s unbelievable.

#2: Zetsuen no Tempest

This is a soundtrack that I still can’t believe how good it is. It is its composer’s, Michiru Oshima, best work most definitely and the complexity of some of the songs on this OST is still unbelievable. Again this is a soundtrack that just blew me away. It has classical influences, yet it’s not. It just keeps going and it also manages to use its tracks at the best possible moments. My musical knowledge is by far not good enough to really explain why this soundtrack is so fantastic and miles above the others. Just… listen to it.

#1: Aquarion Evol

For Aquarion Evol, the creators also combined two OSTs together: the ost of the first Aquarion, and some crazy guy on a piano with ridiculous skills. Really, the creators needed someone with incredible skills for one of the characters in this series, and they actually found one. I mean, this soundtrack is the only one this year that I’ve called a godly soundtrack, and for good reason: some of the tracks here are just insanely good. This show has so many orgasm references, and the soundtrack just fits in completely with it.

Top 61-46 TV-Series
Ah you know what? I’ve seen a bit fewer series this year compared to other years. I’m going to rank all of the shows for this year’s summary. In order to egilibile, I need to have finished watching it, or need to be watching it right now. So if a series is missing: that’s why. Today, I bring you numbers 61 to 45.

#61: Guilty Crown

For the worst show I managed to finish this year… I just have to go to Guilty Crown. There really is no contest here: it just went wrong on so many levels. The story revolved way too much around Shu, who could never really decide what he wanted to be. It kept forcing the most ridiculous plot twists through, and despite all that, it was incredibly boring with incredibly bland characters.

#60: Ozuma

Ozuma just managed to make this list because it was so short: only six episodes long. The whole premise around underground submarines really had me intrigued for a while, but this show never really uses it. Add in some incredibly stupid characters and a background that is nothing but empty exposition, and you’ve got a show that I’m not gonna recommend…

#59: Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online is the last show that I reluctantly finished this year. As in, I’d given up hope on it but just finished it for the sake of finishing it and having a good view of what went wrong there. It started off very interesting, but it just jumped the shark in its second half by completely disrespecting its female lead and just making no sense in so many ways.

#58: Medaka Box

Medaka Box’s biggest problem was its timing, especially in its second half. Here it had set out this interesting shounen series, only to air right next to two other shounen jump adaptations that were just in the midst of breaking all boundaries in the genre. The result was that it just paled in comparison. It had some interesting ideas, but spent too much on explaining stuff and too little on actually delivering a good storyline and characters.

#57: K

K was gorgeously animated and fun, but unfortunately also a tad unambitious. At first I thought that this would be a really ambitious series, but in the end the only thing that the characters ended up doing was run around trying to find the truth behind some murder that actually turned out to be pretty simple, all amidst some talk about seven kinds of kings whose significance I still don’t really understand…

#56: Tari Tari

Tari Tari aimed to be a character study, and for most part it worked out. In the end though, it was a bit too bland for its own good, and it rather looked down upon its male characters, who got much less attention than the female cast members. Add that to a rather flimsy ending that just felt lazy, and you have a series that I’m looking back to with rather neutral feelings.

#55: Sankarea

Ah, Sankarea. You had great ideas, and a number of really good episodes there. There were some points that really impressed me, but most of the show just moved too slowly, or just plainly got on my nerves. Especially that damn cousin was annoying, and the resolution itself was one that I found rather flimsy.

#54: Papa no Iukoto ni Kikinasai

Here is the thing with Papa wo Iukoto ni Kikinasai: I remember that it was better than expected and had some genuine moments, but I can hardly remember anything about it now, 9 months later. It was rather… forgettable, even though it did show some interesting things about a guy having to take care of his cousins and having to find ways to cope with it. Usagi Drop it wasn’t, though.

#53: Teekyu

Teekyu was just the people from Studio Mappa wanting to do something completely silly and nonsensical, so they made a show about a tennis club that tried to be as random as possible. Just something to shut my brain off to and enjoy the energy and weird camera angles.

#52: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon in the end never really managed to convince me with its combination of really creative powers, over the top action and huge setting. In the end, none of the characters caught my attention, and they all never really went beyond their one-dimensional caricatures. Even though there was so much interesting stuff going on in the background, it made the show a bit of a pain to sit through at times. Nevertheless though, I do appreciate this show for trying to be as creative as possible.

#51: Little Busters

Little Busters is a show that still needs to redeem itself, but it’s right now harmless enough. It has some incredibly annoying characters, but it still is enjoyable enough to watch and it’s got some good characterization amongst its main cast that helps a lot. The male characters in particular are quite well done. The female characters… yeah.

#50: Thermae Romae

I originally wanted to list this series a bit lower on this ranking due to its incredibly crappy animation, but in the end I just had to acknowledge: this show was really entertaining with just its three episodes about roman bathing. It’s unique, and I love the risk that Noitamina took in order to air it. Just next time, let it get animated by an actual animation studio, rather than DLE.

#49: Ano Natsu de Matteru

This series was solid romance. Nothing more, nothing less. It never really gets really high, but it wasn’t pointless either. It’s got some good climaxes, believable acting and an interesting overall theme of making a movie, which are balanced out by a few rather annoying and pointless episodes and contrived twists.

#48: Nisemonogatari

The past winter was definitely the season that made me the most angry and pissed off. There are three series to thank for that: Guilty Crown, Persona 4 (which got so bad that I had to drop it), and Nisemonogatari. DEAR GOD, talk about wasted potential. The animation is stunning. It just oozes style. It has so many interesting ideas. So why on earth did it take so incredibly long to get somewhere? There were so many points at which this show just wasted ages on pointless fanservice. One episode okay, but this show just had to do this for every single girl in the cast or something. It took way too long to get from A to B because of that. Aargh, I really hope that the next Monogatari series are a bit better balanced so that they can really show off their creativity like with the toothbrush scene.

#47: Black Rock Shooter

You know? I think that in the end, I did like Black Rock Shooter. It had some… really weird design decisions and the whole set of characters in the black rock shooter world were just there to fight, but the action was epic and really well done, and the plot, while really weird actually did lead to a very nice conclusion in the end. Despite some over the top characters who were a bit too much like psychopaths, I enjoyed the ride. Also, the show had the guts to just be 8 episodes instead of being dragged out. More shows need to do that.

#46: Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou

Perhaps not the funniest comedy of the year, but it did have moments that really made me laugh with its combination between weird role play and weird reversal of high school stereotypes. There were enough scenes at which it just wasn’t funny, but the funny scenes made up for it. Tomokaze Sugita as a voice actor especially was on fire in this show.

16 Responses

  1. Airies says:

    All in my opinion
    (don’t rage people who think that I state everything as fact, its not okay!)

    Okay I just listen to that zetsuen track and I must say, I hated it! really did not like that one sorry. Chihayafuru I absolutly agree on but should of be placed higher. good that Nazo no kanojo X, ShinSekai Yori, sakamichi no apollon and akb0048 are on this list because they all have fantastic tracks. Rinne no lagrange should be on there and also ano natsu de matteru.

    but your actual list of anime I pretty much agree on except for some. ano natsu de matteru which I actually thought was an awesome show so thats interesting that it scored low here. Nisemonogatari was far better than black rock shooter, which was a very horrible show. medaka box is better than K and Sankarea is better than teekyu. But other than that its pretty agreeable.

    • aoi says:

      That’s because the truly amazing soundtracks of Zetsuen are nowhere to be found on youtube :P

      Just watch the first episode, and you’ll hear the theme playing somewhere.

    • boa_sting says:

      Likewise I disagree about Ano Natsu not delivering any highs. *general spoilers below*

      The main couple was pretty lame once hooked up, the alien subplot didn’t really fit, the action scenes and alien healing didn’t really fit either, the movie-making backstory didn’t particularly do much, the beach episode was a beach episode, and so on, sure.

      Kanna and Tetsuro in particular had some decent character development, and I thought the directing was pretty good at times. As just one example, notice that in Episode 1, Tetsuro’s talking to Kanna, trying to prod her towards Kaito and give her a chance to score. In Episode 12, with pretty much the same setting and backdrop, Tetsuro pretty much starts to say the same thing–but this time, Kanna (knowing what’s going on, having been hurt but having moved on, etc.) cuts him off and changes the subject.

      I also don’t particularly mind the slow pace and excessive dialogue in Nisemonogatari, though I’m not really a fan. I’d also put that a bit higher. Some of the interesting ideas and animation really put it far ahead of a lot of shows.

      Maybe my tolerance for inconsistency and poor parts of shows is higher than the norm. Dunno.

    • anona says:

      I won’t listen to zetsuen’s ost separately since it’s not to my liking. but it really fits and really enhances the scenes in zetsuen so I consider it to be very good.

  2. info600 says:

    Eventhough I agree to most of your reasonings, I wish you would give the characters in Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon another chance…

    (or did I misinterpret something there?)

  3. kram says:

    Tonari Kaibutsukun OST was actually pretty good too.

  4. imredjimmy says:

    I have to agree almost completly with your choices. Aquarion Evol’s OST is without any doubt one of the best of the year. I still get chills when I listen to Aquaria Mau Sora.

    I don’t seem to see anything wrong with your top anime for now. I’m curious to know if Uchyuu Kyoudai will be #1. That would be your kind of choice.

  5. nasary says:

    You´ve liked this zetsuen no tempest OST because this is BEETHOVEN!!!!! And the beethoven _tempest_ sonata 3rd movement (yes this is not a coincidence!!!)… http://youtu.be/LfjD-DQ5REk How I love when they use classical music and revisited them…. regards!!! I just love your blog!!!!

    • boa_sting says:

      Somehow I liked this reference a lot more than From the New World’s usage of Goin’ Home as the signal for kids to go home for the day. (Goin’ Home is heavily based on the Largo theme from Dvorak’s 9th Symphony aka New World Symphony).

  6. Komosha says:

    Hmm. I mostly agree, but I am immensely surprised to find Niseimonogatari so low. I found it very enjoyable, in particular the excellent dialogue and random fun.

    • KaZuHiRo says:

      psgels had high expectations with the -gatari series. The expectations were not met apparently.

      • FreshSushi says:

        Personally I thought that Nisemonogatari was one of the best shows this year (sadly it wasn’t as good as its predecessor). I guess I just have different views on entertainment than psgels.

  7. Vonter says:

    The AKB0048 medley sounds like something I’ll hear in Super Smash Bros.

  8. Entrav says:

    Interesting pick for the number 1 OST. Haven’t really paid attention to Aquarion Evol.

  9. reverse says:

    good work on compiling soundtrack, Nazo no Kanojo X sounded interesting

    • reverse says:

      so i assuming ranking of the soundtrack based on how well sounded or does it fit with the situation, what are the priority

Leave a Reply

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Anonymous1057532
Konstantinos here: I have to disagree. I liked the episode and felt they did a good job giving exposition. I like Meteora. That said when Alicertia meets Selesia. Oh boy, that will be a rumble.

On other notes: Attack of the Titan. If they do not pull a bait and switch, we are not in Kansas anymore.

Shingeki no Bahamut: What exceptional animation.
AidanAK47
It really does feel like this show is aiming to be something akin to Fate/Zero as that too did have a exposition heavy beginning. Difference here is that series had Urobuchi writting and while the man my be more famous for his murderous treatment of characters, he is a master of presenting exposition.
AidanAK47
I hope that's the majority of the exposition done for Re:creators. We established the stakes, rules and factions. So now would be good to focus on the creator and creation interactions plus badass battles.
Honestly I really regret Meteora coming into the story when she's being pretty much a massive exposition device.
Konstantinos Travlos
Hmm the "The Man who Knew 75 Languages" reminds me of the game "The Last Express". Great game. Definitely interested.
Anonymous1056824
moster keaton
Anonymous1056607
ditective conan
AidanAK47
@Anon, Pretty sure you are just trying to pick a fight more than defend the show but a decent show to me would be one that is deeply flawed but enjoyable to some degree. Sagrada reset is not this. It goes out of it's way to be unenjoyable. To me it's a 3/4 out of 10 show. Interesting concept but with a presentation so alien that the viewer can't empathise with anything on screen.
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
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