(NOTE: Meant to get this published while I was out of town last week, but site issues kept me from accessing the draft to publish it. But it’s still technically the holidays, and it’s in before the year is over, at least going by US EST) In accordance with Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei vol. 4, this holiday season I have decided to celebrate Kurushimimasu in place of Christmas. While many out there in the blogging community have posted their best moments and the things from the past year in anime that have made them thankful, in the spirit of Kurushimimasu here’s my listing of anime-related things that made me suffer and/or despair. So, it’s time to hang my disappointments and frustrations from the Kurushimimasu Tree and indulge in some bitterness and you are all welcome to join me in the comments section with your own contributions to celebrate the holiday. It’s the things that I’ve been irked by from the past year and had to endure hearing about or watching, and while it may seem harsh try to remember that it’s all in fun. Merry Kurushimimasu!
Why is this popular exactly?
Hate me if you want, but this vocaloid shit is ridiculous. The concept itself is kind of cool, being able to make vocals with just a computer program. But people have gone freaking nuts with it. I just do not understand the god damn obsession with Hatsune Miku and the others that has gripped much of the fandom. They’re not even actual characters that have a backstory or development or anything, other than a few traits thrown in for some of them in descriptions. No vocaloid sounds half as good as a real human singing, hate to break that to you fans. Really, I think the obsession people have originates from deep in the hearts of the most twisted nerd/otaku souls: the ‘singer’ isn’t a real person so the crazed fan never has to think of them in any way other than they mental image they have in their head. A vocaloid will never contradict a fan’s obsessed thoughts about them like a real singer would. A vocaloid will never have a relationship with someone, so the obsessed fan can always hold out hope/lift them up as a pure idol. If you think that last comment is too cynical or disparaging, just look at that shitstorm that happened when the author of Kannagi revealed that Nagi had a boyfriend in her past.
The Lack of Mecha This Year
I feel like something’s missing here…
Despite the PURE WIN that was MS Igloo 2, there were only those three episodes plus season 2 of Gundam 00 (which was a poor substitute for a true mecha series) for us mecha fans this past year. You could include Shin Mazinger Z, but I wouldn’t since that’s a Super Robot show and mecha has pretty much come to mean Real Robot shows. And the upcoming winter season is continuing this starvation for mecha fans. I feel like we need to make one of those Save the Children commercials except for mecha fans. Set it to some sad music and have a montage of mecha fans going through withdrawal. Please anime studios, for less than it costs to make yet another harem anime you can feed the thousands of mecha fans in their time of need. To show how your contribution is helping, you’ll receive quarterly earnings reports detailing how your series is selling thousands of model kits and other merchandise. Please, think of the fanboys and fangirls.
Turning Graham Acre into Bushido Bob
Observe how Gundam 00’s writers turned one of their few good characters into crap.
Speaking of. There was a lot to hate about Gundam 00. A lot. The weak, oversimplified, pretentious, uniformed attempts at using real geopolitics and suggesting how to change the world. The insufferable main characters who I wished long and painful deaths upon every moment that I watched the show. The endless deus ex machina that allowed the forces of terror and instability (Celestial Being) to escape the justice that they deserved. There are many examples. But the reason I kept watching the show was because there were a few things that were done well: the ‘bad guys’ who fought against Celestial Being. The people who actually had the best interests of humanity in mind, who bravely faced down the evil that was Celestial Being. And my favorite among them from the first season (alongside Prince Ali al Sarshes) was Graham Acre. He fought the enemy with both professionalism and suave. He was a leader of men, and repeatedly led his squadron of Flag mobile suits (my favorite MS from the series) out in defense of Union. The Flag Fighters worked as a team, and he also had the guts to stand by his men and to get them the very best equipment.
Well, that was in season 1. After his death that no one ever believed for a second was his death at the end of the first season, he reappeared in the form of Bushido Bob, a weaboo solo fighter who imitated Japanese swordsmanship and martial code while not following orders and generally disgracing his former reputation. I should have known that Gundam 00 would ruin one of the few good things about it. Same deal with how Louise actually became a decent, self-confident, and impressive individual, only to be turned back into a docile doll who couldn’t think for herself and had to hang on Saji’s arm all the time. Fuck, at least they didn’t ruin Patrick and Kati by the end.
People Obsessing Over A Few Animation Glitches in Minami Ke: Okaeri
Your disproportionate complaints make Chiaki cry. Is that what you wanted?! Huh?!
While I understand pointing out issues with quality control and whatnot, I was really, really surprised by how much people made a big fuss out of some problems with the animation in Minmi Ke: Okaeri. It went beyond just pointing them out, people just attacked the show for them. And to be honest I barely noticed most of them. Did they affect the quality of the jokes? No. Did they ruin the comedic atmosphere? No. The shut the fuck up and enjoy the comedy. Without Okaeri, we wouldn’t have has such great moments as the Curry no Yousei scene.
The Continuing Degradation of the Once Great Adult Swim
If you’re lucky.
Plenty can be said of the they’re-not-even-trying-anymore, stoner-oriented content that is half of what is aired on Adult Swim these days, but this is an anime blog so I’m going to concentrate on my beef with Adult Swim’s anime series, or should I say the lack thereof anymore. Perhaps I am old and bitter when it comes to AS. I’ve watched it ever since it started back when I was in late elementary or early middle school, and I watched the Toonami Midnight Run eventually turn into AS. Eventually it became an every night thing, showing all different anime series and later on added some original comedy series on Sunday nights. Today it’s 6 days a week comedy, at least half of it anymore being absolute crap (Superjail, Squidbillies, Xavier, etc) though there are some great series as well (Robot Chicken, Titan Maximum, The Boondocks.) But there is only one night of anime anymore, and it’s only ever the big name series like Bleach and Code Geass. Adding insult to injury, in the past year (on one of the few occasions I watched it) the ‘bumps’ during the breaks sometimes even actively made fun of their anime show and the fans of them. What a way to treat the fanbase that got you started.
Back in my day, we walked fifteen miles in the snow…I mean, AS introduced me and so many others to great anime every night, with the premiers on Saturday and Sunday nights. The AS that I knew and loved introduced me to Gundam 0083, Cowboy Bebop, Inuyasha, and Outlaw Star. And it even showed less well known/popular series like Milk-chan and Paranoia Agent. Even if they didn’t go almost completely over to the low budget comedy side of things, I couldn’t imagine AS today taking a chance on the more obscure shows like they did. Granted, this slide towards suck didn’t just occur this year, it just continued along a path it’s been on for a few years now. And it’s not like it’s exactly necessary anymore with the proliferation of high speed connections and fansubbing groups. But it still pisses me off every time I flip past Cartoon Network at night, so I’m writing about it here.
Inuyasha Kanketsuhen Killing Off Two of My Favorite Characters
I’m really pleased with the final season of Inuyasha, with the exception of a few leveling up episodes early on, and I’m excited to see the story finally get its conclusion. While I know that deaths are inevitable near the end of the saga, and while I don’t disagree with the need for this, no Kurushimimasu list would be complete without the suffering inflicted on this fanboy by the deaths of both Kagura and Kikiyo, two of my three favorite characters from the show. Both deaths were handled well and the characters got to go out on something of a high note, getting to be with their loves at the end and Kikiyo even getting a final kiss. But god damn if they weren’t upsetting, both in and of themselves and because I liked the characters so much. And their deaths make my two OTPs impossible! I might have to go and make myself taller if anything happens to Sesshomaru, the last remaining member of my fanboy triumvirate. Inuyasha Kanketsuhen has left me in despair!