I took some time recently to look at my favorite anime and suss out a top 20. Always an enjoyable exercise. Also included some brief comments on each one, for anyone who’s curious about that sort of thing.
Minus Yowamushi Pedal (cheat to win-strong is still way too fresh in my head for me to care about cycling) and Pupa (airs who-knows-when), the last pair of shows to air this season are running in the noitaminA timeslot, the first pair of original series they’ve run in over a year. Shows on noitaminA are still cause for moderate excitement, but the brand’s taken a bit of a dip in recent years, so I approached the day’s fare with cautious optimism.
Full Disclosure: I like making lists. This particular list is the result of an afternoon of me sitting down and trying to list all the anime episode titles I remember. This correlates pretty well with my actual favorite anime episodes, because I’ve seen most of them enough times to remember their titles. When making this one, I set myself a limit at 60 and reached it fairly quickly. After making the list, I actually ranked them. So yeah, had a lot of fun with this one.
Previously, I had Devil Survivor 2 pegged as a grey vs. grey morality show, the type that seems to show up a lot these days. This episode pretty much turned that assumption on its head; it’s much less of a moral conundrum and much more of a clear case of the large organization being a different kind of evil from the demons, while the rebel faction is, in the absolute worst case, lacking knowledge about the situation. This story choice leads to a show that holds more of a “protect the civilians” ethic, something I’m perfectly happy with. Too, It’s more fun to watch a protagonist proactively picking a side.
So Photo Kano ended up being a study as to why scriptwriters are necessary even for skilled directors. The visual sense in that show is excellent, and fits the main character’s story very well, but the script is a bunch of torrid rust. I’m willing to bet Akitoshi Yokoyama had full control over the situation to the extent that nobody with veto power could come up to him and told him some of his story ideas were really, really bad. Even Masaki Yuasa’s name in a cutaway bit can’t save that script. I would watch another thing of his, provided his next producer keeps him 10 kilometers away from the script.
Moving on to shows that actually have me interested, I really like where Devil Survivor 2 is going. After a mediocre first episode, it’s been picking up the pace by laying down a layer of intrigue, setting up fast-moving, area-conscious fight scenes, and pumping up on drama. Thus, I’m making my hop right back on the ol’ rock-steady Kishi Seiji bandwagon.