One of the things I love about giving panels/talks at cons is the Q&A component. Sure, every time there’s at least one guy whose question that’s a recitation essay, but you also get a lot of stimulation; observations beyond your field of view from people outside your normal circles of interaction. One of the best questions I got during Ohayocon came after the Myth of Fanservice panel talking about the results of this article. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was to the effect of “I get from this presentation that shallow fanservice doesn’t sell, but fanservice that’s a component of an otherwise good show actually annoys me more, because it makes it harder to recommend shows. What about fanservice as a minor component of a show, rather than the central one?” At the time, I replied that it was an interesting question, but that I hadn’t tested it and couldn’t come up with a way off the top of my head.
After I thought about it for a while, I realized there’s actually a fairly intuitive way of getting at this question. Since exactly how fanservice/ecchi elements a show has to include before being a fanservice/ecchi show varies from person to person, it was very possible that one could get a snapshot of that spectrum by looking at how two separate databases with varying standards classified a show. As fate would have it, myanimelist (ecchi genretag) and animenewsnetwork (ecchi+fanservice themetags)* classify shows as ecchi in ways that are different enough that one can split shows from my original black/white sample into 3 meaningful categories.**
1. No/Minimal Ecchi (Not tagged under either system)
2. Ambiguously Ecchi (Tagged under one system, but not the other)
3. Unambiguously Ecchi (Tagged under both systems)
Theoretically, if a show is really heavy on the fanservice, it’ll end up being in category 3, and if it’s got naked men wrestling behind one-way glass, it’ll end up being in category 1. If there’s room to dispute how much fanservice a show has and/or how central it is, it’ll more likely end up in category 2. And by comparing those 3 categories, we should be able to get some idea of how much fanservice as a component does for shows with other notable selling points. The breakdowns for the categories can be found on this doc, and analysis can be found after the break.
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.
The first match ended in a tie, something I forgot to make a rule for. I’m going to say higher seed wins by default if that happens again. Anyway, day 2’s matchup gets a lot more comedic, featuring a somewhat oddball straight man up against a straight-up oddball.
There are times when we at Animetics like to slow down, get serious, and look at the finer points of what defines excellence. This, much like our seasonal anime previews, is not one of those features. There’s no objective way of determining who the best anime character actually is, and we don’t claim to be any more accurate than a series of purely random coin flips. That said, welcome to Charactology 2012, the Animetics bracketology-inspired character polling feature.
This time, we cover several topics, including the inspiring success of crowdfunded anime since our last show, several bits of recent anime news (both depressing and intriguing), and the rockin’ Summer 2013 slate of anime.
Drew: This episode had a fairly simple premise; the main character goes around trying to get his hands on a sky boat, once owned by his teacher but now in the hands of Benten. I want to say that up-front, because this was probably the least-comprehensible episode of anime I watched this month. They introduced a bunch of things from nowhere, like the seaside clocktower that Benten apparently owns. The worst part was the one conversation between Tengu that dropped a bunch of terminology with minimal context, one that I would have been totally lost for if I hadn’t encountered the term Kurama Tengu before. It’s still a visual feast, but the visuals are often a lot less tightly targeted than, say, a Tatami Galaxy. I’m starting to worry (admittedly just a little) that this might be a TV anime with movie problems rather than a TV anime with movie benefits.
Sam: So this might just be my favorite of the season so far, of what little I have watched. I went in expecting little, but the way that the airsoft battles are staged are everything that I have ever wanted in these kinds of things: interesting, varied, and awesome. So far I haven’t been liking the drama though. It brought up the idea that Yukochan is lonely and wants friends, but the way that it presents it makes me feel less like the group is destined friends and more like Yukochan is slightly emotionally damaged and C3-bu is just there at the right time. Still, when the airsoft battles start, everything just clicks.
Based on what I’ve seen of reactions to Free on the internet, it seems like a large quantity of people are ruling it out with one glance at the promo material rather than 20 minutes of episode time. It’s becoming increasingly obvious how much of a shame that is, because this show is complete in ways it didn’t even have to be to be an enjoyable ride.
We at Animetics believe that ordinary anime seasonal blog previews are kind of boring. Thus, we made Spring’s preview into a wager-based game. Now, the winner of Spring’s game coolly makes odds for summer while the losers set themselves up for failure while chasing back wine and rum. Unless you’ve been reading us for a while, you’ve never read a preview quite like this. We’re taking mad bets on the Summer 2013 Anime Season, Vegas-style.