I’ve spent the past week or so beginning my research into anime timeslots in the mid-to-late 90s, and it’s a truly fascinating subject. My ultimate goal here is to get an accurate accounting of which shows during that period were actually late-night specific, as opposed to just series airing in daytime. In the very tedious and very, very fun process of collecting data on shows airing in this period, I’ve discovered a number of dedicated timeslots that existed around this time that are interesting enough to summarize.
The TV Tokyo Friday 18:30 slot, which lasted for over 20 years, served as a sort of proto-late slot for part of that period. It started rerunning Captain Tsubasa in 1985, but soon moved into rebroadcasting of OVAs and then new anime. Many of the series in this timeslot in the mid-90s are debatably works that would have been OVAs if they had been made 5 years earlier and late-night shows had they been made 5 years later. And that’s not purely idle speculation; Slayers aired in this slot throughout the 90s, but the new Revolution season aired in the same timeslot as Toradora (Wednesdays 25:20, TV Tokyo), and El Hazard had its first TV season aired here (in the same year as the first OVA series) before the second one in 1998 went to a similar late-night slot (Wednesdays 25:15, TV Tokyo).*
Every quarter, I take the anime season as excuse to go watch and quote-mine one of my old favorite shows. This time, the one on the chopping block is the show that is my favorite Hideaki Anno show and the show it took me the longest to watch to the end (I acquired the first 3 DVDs over the course of 2007-2008, then didn’t get my hands on the last 2 until 2011). The show has a really interesting, introspective romance plot backed up by some fantastic backgrounds, and I picked it this time around because this Spring 2014 season features plenty of both being played for great effect.
Last week for the shonen/seinen bracket, I wrote about how shonen manga cleverly taught kids a variety of fairly useful life lessons. I originally wanted to start the shojo/josei series the same way, but the “shonen/seinen/shojo/josei is not a genre” frustration stuck me at the right time and before I knew it I had an article. But there’s plenty of juice left in this battery, and 2 weeks left in the first round of competition. Let’s get to it.
There’s one theme I’ve noticed which shows up a lot in shojo manga (and still quite often in josei manga). Call it peer adversity, bullying, social stress, or whatever, but it’s fairly common for the lead character in manga targeted towards women to be on the receiving end of nasty treatment by her peers. They way different characters respond is a study in variety, and while my experience with shojo manga is by no means exhaustive, what I see shows me a medium with a mission of teaching women young and old how to cope and fight back.
This post represents the second of three entries our blog is submitting to the Manga Olympics for Bloggers. Voting begins on June 16th, so just enjoy the article for now. Or checkout ourillustrious competition.
Maybe it’s because I have fewer female anime/manga fan friends than male ones, but there’s no demographic of manga I see misconstrued more often than shojo. The idea that it’s synonymous with sparkly, tween-appeal school-life romance seems to show up at least once a week in conversations I have. Fortunately, there’s one very easy way to dispel this misconception; look at some of the shojo manga that actually exist.
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.
So if you’ve been following the Spring 2013 season at all, you’re probably aware of how much of a hubbub Aku no Hana has kicked up. The trimodal mal score distribution attests to the strong difference in opinion, which has caused tensions to flare up in any number of discussion forums. Forums nominally for discussion, anyway, because there hasn’t been much actual discussion going on.