That’s the question I found myself asking once episode nineteen finished and it’ll be the theme of this post. Follow with me and as we take a look at ALO as a game. Let’s forget about Kirito, Leafa, Asuna, and all the other characters and plot and just look at the system. ALO suffers from some hideous balance issues, but there are also appealing aspects to the game that sometimes get forgotten amidst all of the problems. Unlike the death-trap that was Sword Art Online, ALO offers a large world to safely explore and adventure in. The ability to fly is also a tremendously appealing aspect of the game that offers a completely new experience from real-life.
A recent discussion with a friend about characters in literature got me thinking about the most unlikely of anime, Guilty Crown. A show that I blogged episodically back when I first started this site, Guilty Crown was an awful show that was widely disparaged in the aniblogging community. One of the major complaints that I had about Guilty Crown was that its protagonist, Ouma Shu, was an inconsistent character that rapidly changed depending on what the story needed him to be. I considered Ouma Shu to be a poorly written character, but after the discussion, there is perhaps a better way to look at it. Shu’s character was unlikable because of his inconsistency, but that isn’t necessarily a result of bad writing; the inconsistency in his character could be intentional and indicative of a character with a weak core.
Today I’d like to talk about an aspect of the anime episode that is almost always present, the ending sequences. These animation sequences (lasting about a minute and a half each) are often skipped by viewers and are easily forgotten. However, while it is easy to forget about these sequences, they do contribute (sometimes significantly) to the overall presentation of an anime episode. For good or for bad, there are times when the ending sequences stand out and I will be highlighting some of those instances in this post.
Steins;Gate was a personal favorite from the previous year and recently I decided to revisit the show. A brilliant sci-fi show, Steins;Gate has a great cast of characters and a compelling plot that manages to incorporate time-travel in a way that doesn’t make the story fall flat on its face. There is also something else that I liked about the show, that I don’t think gets much mention, and that would be the nature of scientific research as it is portrayed in Steins;Gate.
I think it would be safe to say that opinions on Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean have been very polarized. Perhaps it was inevitable with Bones reviving an extremely popular franchise as a lot of fans of the original Eureka Seven have expressed discontent with Astral Ocean. If you have read any of my weekly Anime Power Ranking picks then you will have a general idea of my thoughts on Astral Ocean. Recently, though, I have begun to lean towards the thought that Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean simply should not exist. Rather, it should simply be Astral Ocean because the Eureka Seven franchise name has been too much of a detriment to it.
Before I began watching shows as they aired, I would choose my anime very carefully from review sites such as Anime-Planet or The Nihon Reivew. In doing so I got to see a number of really great anime, but it also severely limited my exposure to the medium. In time I began watching a lot more anime and I became less particular about what I did watch. Following shows as they aired led me to watch a lot of average or mediocre shows and some downright awful ones, but even if they weren’t the best things around, I still found that there was a lot of benefit to watching them.
Chihayafuru is a show that I did not cover at all in the two seasons that it aired, but it was easily one of my favorites from the past two seasons. It wasn’t perfect, but the show did a really good job of exploring a competitive game and the people that play it. When I was younger, I played a lot of chess. Not just with family or friends or in some small club, but competitively. I played in a large number of tournaments and even traveled to different states to compete in national tournaments. Chess and Kurata are fundamentally very different games, but Chihayafuru did an excellent job of portraying the spirit of competition that is common between them. Continue reading →