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).
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’m a bit less sure that I know what I’ve got with this show after two episodes; the second one mixed in a lot of of new elements, some more surprising than others. It’s still introducing of its story elements without getting infected with proper noun disease, which is a plus. Still looking forward to it, but a lot of what I’m assuming would develop into plot elements is still covered in question marks.
Even though Thursday isn’t crowded, I’m on enough of a mid-major kick that Outbreak Company seems like a fun blog target right now. Golden Time is somewhat lacking in pizazz, though definitely a keeper, and Kill La Kill isn’t packing much more than a hollow imitation of TTGL/PSG after 2 episodes. Of the shows that I’m still following, Outbreak Company is only behind Tokyo Ravens right now in terms of how much it’s been able to surprise me, so I feel like it’s worth talking about until it proves me otherwise.
The fundamental appeal of Outbreak Company is one with a pretty good chance of striking a chord with anyone who’s ever had to get a friend started on anime, or convince people it wasn’t all one cliched genre. Thanks to the fact that it’s executing with minimal forced fanservice, what might become the saving grace of a lesser series becomes this show’s cold-steel core; watching a smart fanboy import culture with the full faith and credit of the Japanese government behind him. In essence, it’s a show that focuses on all the cool things happening in manga and anime (more manga so far) as a whole, respecting the power of both everlasting classics and modern-day megahits. For as low as I was on the show going in, I have to say it’s been executing its premise in more or less the best way possible.
I can’t help myself. Coppelion may have had the better high-concept first episode, but Kyoukai no Kanata presented the higher ceiling. That and the 100% odds I have of blogging Tokyo Ravens at this point gives me the chance to blog two good mid-major battle series for the first time since opening the blog. No way I’m passing that opportunity up.
Last week, I did have two semi-serious complaints about this show – the dialogue was a bit canned, and the camerawork was a bit uninspired when the action wasn’t running at 100 klicks per hour. The show’s pluses (aforementioned action and the male lead’s Yokoshima Tadao/Taiga Kuzumi combat style) were still more than enough to make it one of my favorite first episodes of the season. This episode’s combat scenes continued to be a great ranging experience, but I wasn’t really expecting it to get the dialogue into a rhythm as fast as it did.
So the first episode of Tokyo Ravens was really solid. I’ll have a better idea of where it actually is as a show in 3 or 4 weeks, but right now, it’s clear to me it’s going to be fighting Kyoukai no Kanata for the seasonal belt of best show of the season with a mid-major battle premise.* And similar to KnK, it also packs the OP that launched a thousand ships; one that teases gobs of potential while looking really freaking cool. I do have some comments on it, but I recommend just watching it first. Make your next 90 seconds a fine bunch:
Among the really interesting things this OP does is that the title comes in 40 seconds in, and isn’t punctuated by the up-tempo swinging of the song. This is something 95% of anime OPs don’t do; usually there’s a matchup between the title card and music for easy symmetry. But here they’re cracking that convention for effect, keeping the music relatively steady while bookending the title card with two strong visual moments (the sliding splitscreen image of the cast and the MC punching the screen), and it definite gives the OP a bold, ambitious feel.
But really, it does so many slick things, including the TVs-within-TVs imagery that leads to the MC punching the screen halfway in, the hovering/sliding credits, and the glasses that turn into a moon on fire. It only sometimes relies on super-framerate animation, also mixing in rapidly shifting camera angles and doing the Utena thing where it drops something ostensibly important and obviously cool-looking for half a second before flashing away. The whole sequence from 36 seconds to 75 seconds is so jam-packed with stuff like this that it’s near-impossible to break away from. The content it’s teasing intrigues me as much as the OP itself, but I’ll have more time to write about that as it actualizes its potential over the rest of October.
*Not in sales or overall popularity, certainly, but when I want to write about numbers I’ll write about numbers. My stance on them is that they correlate with a show’s quality and they’re really important when it comes to understanding trends in the type and number of anime produced, but they only correlate with moderate strength against a show’s true entertainment value. Advertising and the fact that some people easily dismiss shows on superficial things like artstyle play into that, but they’re far from the only reasons.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a week since the season started. This Fall has been packed with interesting prospects thus far, and today was, oddly for a Tuesday, no exception. Though of course not all prospects play out the way you expect them to; that’s what makes air week so much fun.
It’s that time of quarter again! We’ve got a very interesting Fall season that’s coming out swinging this week, and there’s no better way to pay our respects to a season with potential deep sleepers like Tokyo Ravens and Gingitsune than to cavalierly turn them into race horses. We’re making mad bets on the Fall 2013 Season, Vegas-style!