Midseason Update: This Winter in s-CRY-ed Quotes

Back in the day, before I had the money to import anime, or eve to buy them at a discount, I had access to a VCR and a stack of 5 VHS tapes. I learned to program that VCR for the express purpose of recording Toonami, Adult Swim Anime, and the like on days when I couldn’t make it home. And if there was one show that was my number 1 at the time, it was battle/rivalry series s-CRY-ed.

Fueled almost entirely by banter between the leading duo. Kazuma and Ryuho were as memorable a pair of rivals as I can recall having watched to this day, and the script that was field-raised ham on a whole-wheat drama bun produced a memorable, unique-tasting fight series. And plenty of potable quotes, which is why I’m dedicating this entry to cemented legacy club member director Taniguchi Goro.

Scr-screen

And to punching things while yelling loudly

Oh, and incoming spoilers for a 12 year-old show, if you’re averse to that kind of thing.

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Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Wake Up, Girls and Nou-Rin

We’re approaching the end of the Winter slate, and we’ve finally hit on the biggest economic-side enigma of the season. Wake Up, Girls had an unusual setup that, nominally, required viewers to watch the movie before the first episode. It’s an interesting setup from a commercial perspective, to say the least. I talked in my post about the upcoming Tamako Love Story movie about how movie sales could be an effective way to tap a larger, less enthusiastic fanbase. Based on the fact that the show is targeting fans from a similar demographic to Love Live’s upcoming season 2, the argument is that it’d be better to get something than nothing. But to make that movie ticket and 50 minutes of time a required entry fee to the franchise seems less advisable. You might simply end up with a really small fanbase if you don’t let them test the waters for free; even if otaku audiences are more willing to burn money on things they might like, this is a season with two sequels to 10k+ shows in the mix for their attention. I didn’t watch the movie and skipped straight to episode 1, because I’m not spending 70 total minutes on an unknown quantity from a director I dislike, general principles or not, until and unless it becomes a known plus.

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A Pre-Wake Up Girls Defense of the Much-Maligned Yamamoto Yutaka

Right now, the NBA is divided up into two 15-team conferences. One of them, the Eastern Conference, is a garbage fire which contains a total of 4 teams without a win-loss rate under .500. The other, the Western Conference, is a den of monsters run by hypercompetent GMs that contains 9 teams with a win-loss rate over .500, and, by NBA’s own power rankings, 6 of the best 8 teams in the sport. You take one look at those statistics, and it’s painfully obvious that, since winning a playoff spot requires a team to be one of the best 8 in its conference, the situations of teams that want to earn a playoff spot in those two conferences are as different as night and day. The current number 8 team in the East, Brooklyn, has a record of 14-21, or .400. There are a grand total of 3 teams in the West that can’t beat that record. But of the season ended today, Brooklyn would be a playoff team while the above-.500 Denver Nuggets would be on  the outside looking in. It’s not a particularly fair system, but it is the system.

If my straw example worked the way it was supposed to, it should seem pretty obvious that simple playoff seeding shouldn’t be the only measure of success or failure for a team. Because it’s so dependent on the team’s surroundings and circumstances that  if it is the sole measure of success or failure, some teams without any legitimate talent are going to be labelled successes due to everyone else around them making their task easier, and some teams with plenty of legitimate talent are going to be labelled failures merely because they got stuck in the basketball version of the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny at the exact wrong time.

The principle of judging something by circumstances, rather than simply by results, is a general one that extends well beyond playoff seeding. It’s even a problem that the advanced stats crowd in the NBA still struggles with to some degree. Just read Kirk Goldsberry’s take on how Monta Ellis went from being the league’s single worst shooter to an above-average shooter; the only real change that happened was Ellis switching teams to one where his teammates could actually play professional basketball and all of a sudden not being double-teamed on every play. When we judge people, their starting situation is always as important, if not more so, than the results.

But results are exactly how we judge the directors of anime. Part of this article is an uncomfortable level of #hottake that’s either going to look really stupid or really gutsy in about 3 hours. But the general sentiment is one I’d like to argue regardless, so here goes.

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