Fun With Numbers: July 2014 US Amazon Data (Initial Numbers)

Another month, another set of anime releases to track on amazon. Of particular note are Hetailia The Beautiful World (~5000th with 4 weeks to release, big US fan presence) and Deadman Wonderland (~3000th with 3 weeks to release). Those two have legitimate shots at the big charts, though any series should have to rank 500th or lower for multiple days to have a realistic chance.

Continue reading

Fun With Numbers: Anime as Light Novel Advertisments in 2013

While light novels work a bit differently from manga in several key ways (stronger second-week showings, lower thresholds, etc.), they similarly often see big boosts after and presumably due to from anime adaptations. I collected the light novel sales history of the series to get anime adaptations in 2013 on this doc, and plotted them on the charts below, to illustrate which series did and didn’t get visible boosts.

This post doesn’t cover series with no post-airing releases (Maoyu, Uchoten Kazoku) or no pre-airing releases (Free/High Speed).

Continue reading

Problem Children: Thoughts on Episode 8

I am liking this series appreciation for myths and legends. The villains of the last arc were a group of Greek soldiers and had Medusa as a boss, and one of the villains here is a Will o’ Wisp. They even provide the scientific explanation for what is believed to cause the illusion (natural gas bubbling up and igniting from swamps). And then we get the main villains of this arc, who are based on the legend of the Pied Piper, and the show goes the extra mile once again by basing the villains on some natural disasters that are believed to have caused the incident. It’s a small touch, but I really enjoy it.

This episode was okay, with some great parts and some bad parts. The great parts were the designs and ideas; we got some really cool villains in the Pied Piper and Jack o’ Lantern characters and the ideas behind the challenges were cool. Izayoi was awesome as always, which is a plus. There was also a really funny scene at the beginning about skirts and why it’s better to never quite see the undergarments…

Image

…and the image of the scrolls landing all around the town was really cool.

Image

The kids were actually the bad part of the episode this time.  Yo appears to be starting an arc about having to rely on others, after making the stupid decision to not bring in a teammate to a match and ending up having to surrender, and Asuka is in the middle of an arc about how she feels weak compared to the others. These are both really generic plots, and it’s annoying to see them resurface here.

ImageJust a few episodes ago you were perfectly fine with being the distraction

Particularly exasparating is the unwillingness of Yo to bring a teammate in; there is no drawback to bringing a teammate in, and she should be smart enough to understand an advantage when there is one. Her blunder just seems out of character and makes her appear stupid.

ImageTHIS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IDIOT

A minor complaint, but the way that Izayoi explained what they meant by “reveal the true legend” five minutes after that was introduced was baffling; the tension is gone, and if you were really going to go for any mystery, it’s all dried up.

The episode was still good, but not as great as earlier episodes. Hopefully this show gets back on track.

Animetics Podcast: The Winter 2013 Season

Live from what may or may not be a filing cabinet, we bring you the Animetics Podcast, a (presumably) monthly recording of our panelists jawing over various topics. If the very thought doesn’t scare you, you can download it from the following link:

http://www.mediafire.com/?dtwsd2810g366d0 (94 minutes, 85 MB)

In this inaugural episode, we’ll be talking about the Winter 2013 Anime season. This discussion is a two-pronged assault. First, we cover the shows we’re watching, trying hard but not too hard to stay on topic. Second, we discuss the season in historical context with recent previous Winter seasons, taking on the oft-disseminated “worst season of all time” rumors.

If you’re strapped for time or only want to follow a certain portion of the podcast, you can find each particular segment at the times listed below:

Tamako Market [0:50]

Maoyuu [5:58]

Blast of Tempest [12:13]*

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman [17:05]

I Don’t Have Very Many Friends Next [20:07]

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai [26:42]

Cuticle Detective Inaba [32:38]

Senyu [35:40]

GJ-bu [41:12]

Koutoura-san [44:12]

Mangirl [54:00]

Problem Children [55:24]

Puchimas [58:32]

Vividred Operation [60:56]

The Unlimited [63:30]

Comparison with past Winter seasons [72:47]

Seasonal Charts We Used:

Winter 2010

Winter 2011

Winter 2012

Winter 2013

Winter 2011 full chart (w/ Madoka)

*Blast of Tempest is technically a Fall 2012 show. It’s in there mostly because Sam and I wanted to hash out a topic we had argued over the past week. One that I proved myself wrong about 2 days after emphatically declaring that studios didn’t really matter.

Problem Children: Some Thoughts on Episodes 1-7

Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They? (Hereafter referred to as Problem Children) kind of flew under my radar at the beginning of the season; it looked generic, the plot seemed kind of clichéd, and it seemed like it would be boring. So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be one of the most fun shows of the season! Problem Children centers around (guess who) three kids with special “gifts” who receive letters inviting them to Little Garden, a magical place where all sorts of different races compete in gift battles, where they play games in order to win prizes. These games can range picking the right card out of a deck to killing a demon lion with a certain sword. The kids are met by a bunny girl after they enter Little Garden, and soon become the saviors of a community that had been completely wiped out and is trying to regain its status.

The three kids are the main reason that this show is so fun. The three kids are Kudou Asuka, a rich girl with the power to command people to do her bidding, Kasukabe You, a quiet girl who has a talisman that allows her to use the abilities of animals, and Izayoi Sakamaki, whose gift is unknown but includes super strength, agility, perception, and even the power to destroy other gifts. So we’ve got three kids with special powers that have to help the underdogs, what else is new? This is anime, those are a dime a dozen. The kids in Problem Children, however, have one big difference: they are complete badasses. They kick ass, take names, are proactive, and regularly take on people bigger than they are. The second episode cemented my opinion of them; in it, the leader of a community sits down and tries to convince them to join his side. Within five minutes, they’ve already figured out he’s evil, learned his plan, thought up a way to defeat him, and, when he attacks, them, piledrives him into the ground. Of all the kids though, Izayoi is the most fun to watch. It’s rather cliché to say this, but he does not give a F**K. He stops swords with his feet, insults living gods, and never breaks a sweat.

Image

This is to the main villain of the arc

The rest of the characters are a little bland, but they work well. The bunny that brought them there, known as Black Rabbit, is a little annoying, as she is constantly fretting, but she can be cool when she wants to. The villains in this series are just complete slimeballs with no depth whatsoever, but that makes it so much more enjoyable when they get beaten up by the heroes.

The rest of the show is OK. The world is kind of cool, if kind of boring and not well-explained. The animation is great, used well when needed. The comedy is kind of bad, with most of it using super deformed characters and consisting of Black Rabbit yelling “What!?” to everything that seems weird. The thing is, though, that the kids make all of those things irrelevant. Who cares about improper character depth when Izayoi is kicking a laser beam in half?

Image

I wasn’t kidding