The following post is the result of your humble blogger not having kept up with the current season, with the exceptions of Gate, Erased, Ojisan to Marshmallow, and Shouwa Rakugo. Usually, I’d be giving a rundown of what I thought of each show, but I haven’t been able to give enough attention to anime recently for that. (At least, not yet.) Here is the complete list of what I’m trying to follow:
1) Active Raid
3) Dagashi Kashi
4) Dimension W
9) Ojisan and Marshmallow
10) Sekkou Boys
11) Shouwa Rakugo
12) Utawarerumono: The False Faces
Here is a season bursting with competent shows! I can only point to one show which is actually bad on the list above: Utawarerumono. (It saddens this avid fan of the prior series to have to write that. Sed, semper vera dicere decet.) At the same time, only four shows have struck me as beyond competent: Erased, Shouwa Rakugo, and Ojisan and Marshmallow. (Gate almost falls into this category–almost.) Unlike the other shows in the list above, I feel involved in the hero’s journey or daily life in each of my three favorites. Part of me does not want them to end, even though I know that none of these three is of the sort to remain interesting for more than two seasons.
Here is an odd fact: it is very easy to write a competent show these days. (Let me point out that I have written about this before in my article “Zankyou no Terror and Following the Handbook.”) The entertainment industry is a giant factory for the production of competent stories. Most of the writers know the rules for constructing a plot which engages the viewer and the rules of character building. Apply these rules to a certain premise, and voila! Entertainment! One is almost tempted to say that it is easy to write a good story these days.
Creating an original and competent story is much more difficult. Most stories have been told in one fashion or another. But, a story which captures an author’s unique insights and elevates us from our everyday life or edifies us concerning the truth is very rare. Amusingly, original stories are often badly done. Take Gate for example. I enjoy Gate, and it is original; but, the plot meanders and I doubt even the author knows where he wants to take it. Dagashi Kashi also strikes me as original, but I can’t watch more than two episodes in a sitting before the comedy is not enough to keep me interested. Still, these two shows are original even if somewhat incompetent, and I have no doubt that I shall remember them long after I have forgotten shows which were technically better. To borrow an example from literature, Jim Butcher is a far better writer than Sir Walter Scott and Charles Williams in terms of technique. Yet, people will still be reading those two long after Jim Butcher, enjoyable as his novels are, has passed on.
What shows have left the biggest impression on my dear readers this season? Any which strike you as rather original?