I’ll be frank. Times have changed. I have a job that demands about 50 hours of my attention every week. I’m also at a point in my cycle where I’m more interested in video games and its community than anime. That’s not to say I’ve stopped liking anime. I’m still keeping up with the seasons. I also post little things I find amusing or insightful on my Tumblr. I just lack the time or motivation to write much of anything. However, since I was part of a recent invite for the Anime Power Rankings, I’ve found something I can hopefully spend an hour or two each week contributing towards. My goal is to come up with at least something to say about what I vote for each week. I don’t know if I’ll necessarily post up the text here all the time, but this week I had two of my comments featured (of which I’m excited), so why not?
While I definitely appreciate technical merits, I mostly vote where my emotions go, for better or worse, and you can probably see it in the writing. I’m also not too finicky about style, which you can probably see in my, um, mildly confusing Chihayafuru observation. Anyway, here’s my thoughts for the week, and I encourage you to check out the Power Rankings weekly to see thoughts and rankings from across the blogosphere!
1. Persona 4
After the Adventures of Loveline last week, we get the other half from Narukami’s perspective. Where there was humor before, we get several crowning moments of heartwarming as our protagonist spends his summer helping people. As much as life can drag you down, you always have to keep your sights on what’s really important, whether that be your family, your friends, your goals, or your memories. This may well end up being my favorite episode of Persona 4, and one of the top for the entire season.
Although it was an admittedly weaker episode this week, I still think it needs recognition. Faced with insurmountable odds, she sees a crack in her opponents defenses. Then she capitalizes it by trapping her with her best card, which her defensive opponent logically puts into the back. Given how many episodes are left, Chihaya is probably going to lose in the next episode, but this is still probably the most brilliant move Chihaya has done or will do for the rest of the season.
3. Mouretsu Pirates
I’m falling in love with this show for the same reason as Chihayafuru. We’re presented with a likeable protagonist, and the series immediately vests our interest in her success. I not only want to see how she progresses as a character, but I also want to see how the world around her plays out with her becoming Captain. At least, it seems like the world is pretty interested in her, and I sure hope they don’t drop that thread and leave it hanging.
4. Ano Natsu de Matteru
I’d say this series has one of the best crash-into-hellos I’ve seen since FLCL. That said, Ichika seems like the polar opposite of Haruko. I checked this out on a lark, and I’m sticking with it because of how it presented the premise. Yes, the kids are shooting a movie, but as Kaito mentions, the film and the drama had already begun. The film exists for the sake of the plot, and the plot exists for the sake of the real film, the lives of these characters.
5. Guilty Crown
Guilty Crown and I have a love/hate relationship. At least to me, the show seems to get completely lost in itself up to the halfway point of every episode. Then, somehow, it punches its way out into an explosion of awesome that keeps me interested for next week. In this case, it was an explosion of tragedy. Gai was just like Kamina before him: too cool to live. I just hope Shu can be like Simon and take a level in badass quick, especially because this series once again has no clear direction.