To me, anime is a hobby whose primary purpose is trading free time to for entertainment. So I’m always ready to drop shows that aren’t providing a fair return on that 20 minutes a week, in order to use the time on discovering classics, rediscovering the contents of my hardcopy disk collection, or just doing actual work. These are the Fall 2013 shows that prompted that decision.
In Fall of 2007, I was very much a beginner at anime. I’d explored the discount stores in my neighborhood and encountered some very interesting, engaging titles, but I wasn’t any kind of plugged in to what stuff was current. One series changed all that, basically on its own.* Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji was the complete package in so many ways; tense, human drama, a rich cast that skirted the line from likeable to detestably inhuman, tight direction, idiomatic yet pithy dialogue, and the best narrator in anime bar none.
Those last 2 attributes also make the show handy for an alternate purpose; rampant quotation abuse! There’s a Kaiji quote for everything, and the Fall 2013 anime season is no exception. In celebration of the show’s free availability on crunchyroll, let’s break it down.
I can’t recall the last time a season opened (not counting Miss Monochrome yesterday because 4-minute shows that aren’t Teekyu and Puchimas can take a hike) with 3 shows I had pegged as high-odds winners in the first day. I can recall the last time a show I had pegged for high odds disappointed me with a breaking tailspin, so the eye test is obviously important here.
In 2011, Toei Animation and Banpresto collaborated to fund a mediocre 20-minute ONA based on an awesome trailer. In 2012, Director Rie Matsumoto returned to the fray to do it right, cranking out a new five-episode ONA. We watched the latter, and are ready to dish in the latest “us-doing-whatever-we-want” feature!