Lists Are Fun to Make: Favorite Episodes of 2013 By Title

I find anime episode titles lined up to be aesthetically pleasing. There’s an art to picking a good title that really speaks to the content of the episode. Here I tired to keep things simple, and limited myself to one episode per show to keep Gatchaman Crowds and the non-racist parts of Space Brothers from dominating the chart and keeping some other interesting ones out.

10. Change the World (Samurai Flamenco)

9. Autumn of Arts, Appetite, and Attack (GJ-bu)

8. Soccer… Soccer? (Outbreak Company)

7. Because It’s Fun (Yuyushiki)

6. Everyone has Close Calls. Learn from Them and Keep the Workplace Healthy. (Servant x Service)

5. Shocking No Breathing (Free)

4. Muromi-san and the Ryuuguuju (Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san)

3. Qualifications of a Hero (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)

2. Excitement of My Youth (Space Brothers)

1. Crowds (Gatchaman Crowds)

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Fun With Numbers: Anime as Manga Advertisments in 2012 (and their respective myanimelist ranks)

Update 2 (July 15, 2014): New, more accurate data is here.

Update (Jul 1, 2014): This post doesn’t measure releases in 2-week totals, which turns out to be a huge deal in many, many cases. I’m currently working on an updated version of both this and the 2011 data. Just be aware of that before citing the data from here regarding any one show.

By all rights, a 30-series sample like the one I had for 2011 was enough to get most of the relevant information regarding how anime boosted manga sales. However, during that analysis, I bumped into an incidental correlation, myanimelist ranking versus gain in manga sales, that was far too juicy to ignore. If that correlation is real, it points to a very tangible link between the Japanese mainstream community (who have enough disposable income for manga but not for anime) and the English-speaking online community (who generally pay a comparable pittance, if anything, for the anime they watch). But I couldn’t be sure from just the 2011 data, since that was the sample that gave rise to the theory. So I did what any good researcher would do, and pulled another year worth of data to see how things would match up. The results can be found on this spreadsheet, and are sorted in order of descending myanimelist rank below.

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Fun With Numbers: Thermae Romae, Curious Outlier

One of the interesting tidbits that fell out of my research on manga that got anime in 2011 was the surprising coincidence of high (1500th or better) myanimelist rankings and increased manga sales. At least, it was intriguing enough that I decided to delve into it further, pulling sales figures for the 20 manga which both got anime and charted on the Oricon rankings in 2012. The full analysis is coming, but, short version, there’s a 90-plus percent that that correlation is a very real thing, indicating a strong link between the opinions of myanimelist users and the Japanese manga-buying public, to the extent that I might even be able to plug it in to my sequel probability equation and get the “can’t predict loss-leader effects” monkey partially off the sequel probability equation’s back.

All of which makes Thermae Romae, which presided over a 100k+ increase in week one sales of its manga while posting a piddling rank of 2248th on myanimelist, a case worth a closer look.* Is the jump in average week-one sales from 222,000 volumes for 3 and 4 to 323,000 volumes for 5 and 6 indicative of the effects of the anime, which began and ended between the releases of 4 and 5? Continue reading

Midseason Update: This Fall in Kaiji Quotes

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.

Midseason-Fall-4

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.

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Fun With Numbers: Adaptations of Award-Winning Manga and the Myth of Madhouse

It’s fairly frequent among people who have started to get interested in anime enough to start knowing things about the people who make it find themselves encountering the names of certain directors and studios over and over. Kasai Kenichi excels at college life stories. Hiroshi Nagahama was the bold visionary who directed Mushishi. Perhaps one of the more preeminent studios in that regard are Madhouse and Gonzo, the studios behind Death Note and Gankutsou, respectively. They can flash those series names on “from the studio that brought you” title cards of the trailer for anything else they make, despite the fact that Madhouse made the Marvel anime and Gonzo hasn’t been run by the people who made Gankutsuou since 2008. I’m here to make the case for why Madhouse’s reputation, along with a number of others, may be a bit overblown. It’s not that they’re not making awesome anime, but they are picking source material that gives them a lot of help.

This situation with directors can sometimes be a bit like that of the quarterback in American football; they get too much credit when things go well, and too much blame when things go wrong. In reality, lots of factors beyond the men at the top contribute to an anime’s success. I’m here today to take a look at one in particular; the pre-production choice of high-quality of source material. What follows is a look at anime adaptations of Shogakukan/Kodansha Award-Winning manga, including observations based on both their relative frequency over the years, their strength as a function of which studio makes them, and their performance in the marketplace.

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First Reactions: Space Brothers Episode 72

The longer we get past the lunar canyon crash arc in this series, the more convinced I am that it ended in exactly the right way. This way keeps Hibito around and lets the show explore the careers of the two siblings, staying true to the title. Lately, it’s been responsible for some evolution in the dynamics between the two, showing them dealing with careers stalling out for reasons that appear separate (Mutta’s turning down the backup job, Hibito’s PTSD), but are actually largely identical. The revelation that Mutta was really being held back because of Hibito’s PTSD and the NASA director’s handling of the situation was a smack in the head that made a ton of sense.

SB-72-1

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First Reactions: Space Brothers Episode 71

It doesn’t help that Space Brothers has been in sort of a lull phase recently, but the bad aftertaste from Mr. Hibbit shorts still overshadow the rest of the content in a big way. I’m pretty sure I know why they’ve come into existence, and I’m very sure it’s got little-to-nothing to do with anything other than time constraints. While it’s entirely possible to manage time elegantly (as the first 60 or so episodes of this very show did), that just isn’t what recent episodes have been doing, and the actual meaningful content is suffering for it.

SB-71-3

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Charactology 2012 (Group 1, Match 1): Nanba Mutta or Fuwa Aika

(Check out the stickied post for the full bracket.)

In the inaugural matchup of our Charactology feature, we compare the appeal of a character who spends most of the series trying to go to space with a character who spends most of the series deader than a Hokuto no Ken villain.

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Charactology: The Animetics Non-Answer to “Who Was the Best Anime Character of 2012?”

Charactology-2012-r1

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.

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