This has been the first year (since 2012, and, boy, does that feel like an age ago now) that I’ve made a conscious effort to watch a good percentage of seasonal anime. I do feel that, as an aniblogger, it’s important to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the anime world and that keeping up with seasonal shows is a good way to do that. But, blogging aside, it’s also so much fun to be part of the conversation and to share memes, news, and theories with other anime fans. That’s difficult to do if you’re only watching the most ancient and/or obscure shows out there!
Anyway… I managed to watch 30 of this year’s anime. I know that that’s a pretty paltry figure to some, but I’m not in the habit of dropping shows, so I prefer to only pick a handful per season that I know beforehand that I’m likely to enjoy. In the following post I attempt to collate what I loved (or loathed) about the 30 shows that I watched this year.
Author’s note: if you feel that an anime has been unduly underrepresented, chances are, I didn’t see it. See the bottom of this post for a list of the shows that I did see this year. If you’re looking for something a bit more comprehensive, check out The First Ever WordPress Anime Awards. This features an impressive collection of categories and nominations put together by a team of brilliant bloggers (including yours truly)!
Bar Jojo Part 5 (natch), Run with the Wind is probably my favourite anime this season. As I’ve said many, many, many times before, I love sports anime! It also helps that the show’s characters are extremely entertaining and that there’s awesome chemistry between them. During episode 5 we see King wrestle with his commitment to his newfound hobby, running, as he struggles to find paid employment. This got me thinking about a recurring theme in anime: passion vs. practicality. What do I mean by this? Well, anime about plucky characters with heads full of dreams are a dime a dozen. Maybe they want to be recognised by other people, go to nationals with their sports team, or make it big with their band… But what happens when life, with all of its obstacles, gets in the way of these dreams? Today I wanted to devote some time to exploring this conundrum, using Run with the Wind as a springboard for discussion.
You may or may not know this about me, but it used to be my policy to never drop an anime, no matter how much it made me want to put out my own eyes! In fact, I hadn’t dropped a single anime in over 10 years – and I’ve seen some real trash! But this week I made the momentous decision to finally rescind this policy and drop my first ever anime: Black Clover. Join me as I discuss what led me to this decision. Hopefully you’ll gain some insight into why it’s not always a bad thing to drop anime.
But first, a bit of background…
I used to write what I called season previews, where I would write a little bit about every single upcoming anime (yes, even the ones for children) after digging up some info on them. The aim was to help inform my readers’ decisions on what shows to watch. But the amount of anime that airs every season has increased substantially, so from now on I’m only going to write about the shows that I’ll be watching. I’ll cover three kinds of show: the ones that I’m continuing to watch from previous seasons, sequels, and standalones. I’ll also write a short summary on my overall impression of the upcoming season. I hope that this will not just help you decide what to watch, but also give you an idea of what especially stood out to me and what I may end up writing about in the not-too-distant future.
Disclaimer: I know that some people really commit to their research into new shows, even going so far as to check out the source material, but I prefer not to do that. Partly because I think this can reduce the impact of the first episode and partly because I can’t afford to invest in manga, games, etc. that I don’t know for sure that I’ll like. My “research” usually involves watching trailers and doing a bit of digging on the forums. If that doesn’t sound in-depth enough for you, you’re not going to get much out of reading further.