It’s often said that nothing is perfect and generally, I agree. Everything has one flaw or another. The important question is less “how many issues does this have?” and more “how much do these issues bother you?”. Most of the time, a show’s issues bother me somewhat, even for shows I’d generally call my favorites. There are a few exceptions to this, but one anime has stood out as nearly flawless in my mind for the last 4 years. That anime is Aria.
If you’re anything like me, then you came out of Devilman Crybaby interested in looking at other works by the original mangaka, Go Nagai. Following Crybaby’s release, there’s been a lot of discussion on Nagai’s impact on anime and manga as well as the quality of his works. It’s only natural then, to try and look at those works, especially if you enjoyed Crybaby for the elements that originated in the source material.
Adaptations are as varied as anime itself. The art of adapting a work from one medium to another requires a series of careful decisions. By looking at how individual adaptations turn out, we can examine the priorities of the staff as well as the way in which different mediums interact.
Bokura no Hentai was covered based on selection by patrons. If you’d like to influence what I write every month, consider supporting me on Patreon. For only $5 you get a say in which works I cover.
Lately, autobiographic manga has seen an increase in prominence. What was once a fairly unknown genre has exploded in recent years with greater access to the tools of creation. Social media like Twitter and sites like Pixiv have made it much easier to draw manga and have it reach a broader audience, at a much lower cost than in previous decades.
I only just watched Haruhi but I’ve been hearing about Endless Eight for years. I’ve heard the memes, been told to skip most the episodes, and seen plenty of people claim that it ruined the show for them. Given all that, I was expecting something that was absolutely awful, so it came as quite a surprise when I not only enjoyed it but loved it. In fact, I believe that it’s probably my favorite part of Haruhi aside from Disappearance. Such a strong claim needs justification but I fortunately have plenty of reasons for liking it so much.
There’s nothing wrong with narratives that focus on the darkness of humanity. We’ve done some pretty awful things throughout the years and continue to do so now. Frankly, it would be absurd to act as if humanity is nothing but good. One of my favorite stories in anime is Hunter x Hunter’s Chimera Ant arc since it so expertly captures the way in which humans are capable of great atrocities by comparing us to another species.
At this point, yuri is a well-established genre. Having seen unprecedented growth in 2017, it’s a genre that most any anime fan is aware of. With it comes a massive number of common tropes. All-girls’ schools, especially Catholic schools, are everywhere. Stories rarely go beyond high school and are often entirely non-sexual. Relationships are frequently between senpai and kohai. Sometimes you’ll see a “girl prince” character paired with a more femme character.
2017 is probably my favorite year in anime for as long as I’ve been watching it seasonally. I can easily see how it would have little to offer those not interested in certain genres and franchises but it easily beat 2016 for me and I thought 2016 was quite good. To put it into context, I gave 5 TV anime a 9 or above last year. 10 TV anime are getting a 9 or above this year. This good of a year doesn’t come often so I want to celebrate it.