Thoughts on Darling in the FranXX after episode 18

The best part of this show is how the ending song always starts just a bit ahead of the credits.

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Spring 2018 rankings: impressions

Wanted to just jot down my ranks for various anime this season, since I’m watching a ton of series. Not going to put much detail into any of these…

  1. Hinamatsuri (3 eps): 9/10
    Biased from my love for this series. I’m just as excited about the recently-announced US release of the manga, though!
  2. Hisone to Maso-tan (2 eps): 9/10
    This has been the shock of the season for me. What an amazing first two episodes. Bravo, Bones. Also, the best ED this season.
  3. Tadakoi (3 eps): 9/10
    Despite an overdone premise and characters that are far too over-the-top, it’s so creative with its storytelling, legitimately funny with its parodies and execution of even telegraphed jokes (Nyanko Big’s face gets me every time), and really sweet when it comes to romance.
  4. Saiki Kusuo S2 (14 eps): 9/10
  5. Megalo Box (3 eps): 8/10
    It’s been great so far, but only 1 cour for a sports anime is pretty rough.
  6. My Hero Academia S3 (3 eps): 8/10
    This is gonna go up. There’s no way this season can be bad with the content it’s going to cover.
  7. Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These – Encounter (3 eps): 7/10
  8. Wotakoi (2 eps): 6/10
  9. Golden Kamuy (3 eps): 6/10
    A 9/10 story meets a 1/10 animation studio. The worst part is seeing people defending the CG fire and bears. Go see your optometrist. Good lord.
  10. Izekaya Nobu (2 eps): 6/10
    Can’t tell if this is better in anime or manga form. Pretty average either way, though.
  11. Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory (2 eps): 5/10
    It’s been a long, long time. The whole feel of this show seems… retro and behind the times. It doesn’t seem like such an old formula will be able to stand with the heavy hitters this season.
  12. Darling in the FranXX (15 eps): 4/10
    The characters of this show piss me off to no end. It’s a crappy knock-off of Eureka Seven with unlikeable characters, uninteresting world building, and a feeling that everything that happens is utterly pointless. Just sticking with it because it’s the most popular thing right now.
  13. Mahou Shoujo Site (3 eps): 4/10 (dropped)
  14. Mahou Shoujo Ore (3 eps): 4/10 (dropped)

Still need to watch:

  • Steins;Gate 0
  • Gegege no Kitaro

Maybe:

  • Sword Art Online – Gun Gale Online
  • Lupin III: Part 5

South Pole Shoujos 13

I was going to write a “Winter 2017 wrapup” post, but then I realized that it would be almost entirely about Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho. This show has been unexpectedly good, refining the “genre” of cute-girls-do-cute-things to focus solely on the characters, making it seem a hell of a lot more meaningful than all of its otaku-pandering peers. Its depiction of a growing friendship was very heavy-handed at times, but never pointless. From the girls running in Shibuya to overcoming their past regrets in Antarctica, every moment felt like a tangible increase in their friendship levels.

At the start of this episode, I was planning on giving the show a 9/10. I kept thinking about the quick resolution to Shirase’s plot in the last episode, and it just felt so jarring compared to the incredible amount of time they spent saying goodbye in this one. Yet I felt emotions welling up as the episode went on, and I realized that I would be missing this show dearly. I’m not going to remember the plot of A Place Further Than The Universe (in true CGDCT spirit, there wasn’t much), but the characters are going to stick around in my memory for years to come.


Antarctica 10-12

Last time, I said Antarctic Girls was obviously going downhill, and with good reason! The episodes of the trip to Antarctica (Ep 6-9) were a lot weaker than the first third of the series introducing the girls (Ep 1-5). The conflicts either felt petty and small or were getting resolved too quickly.

In contrast, episodes 10 and 11 were the best we’ve seen so far.

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thoughts on the AniMetacritic, five years late

I just found out about the AniMetacritic (version 2) today, a sampling of the anime scores of aniblogging’s finest. As a physicist, I naturally found myself drooling at the very thought of this sort of data. It’s kind of like why graph.anime.plus appeals to me: despite its limited functionality, it offers something as simple as standard deviations on my anime scores, scores vs. year, vs. genre, etc. The very act of working with this data to extract something as basic as like “elitist anibloggers believe Legend of the Galactic Heroes is the best thing ever” just sounds so exciting.

At the same time, I’ve always wondered where I could find the definitive list of “good” anime…

MyAnimeList, ANN, Anime Planet, etc. all have userbases that have grown too large, and it becomes a sort of popularity contest (for the ultimate version of this, see the complete joke and shitfest that is Crunchyroll’s “Anime Awards”). While Legend of the Galactic Heroes is top 10 on MAL, a lot of well-regarded shows are stuck with low popularity and low scores. For example, ranking by {scores, popularity}, the divisive yet famous Revolutionary Girl Utena has a {#306, #830}, the original Gundam series has a {756, 1202}, and Satoshi Kon’s trio of Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers all sit at around #230 in scores and >#400 in popularity. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a show that single-handedly defined modern anime, yet it features a score rank of #555.

Without knowing anything, the only way to find out about these shows is, I think, through word-of-mouth. Data-driven lists like MAL’s top anime page pale in comparison to the words of a few experts who’ve gone through the slow process of learning about what’s important and what’s not. And while everybody has gone on and on about their own top 10s, 20s, and 30s, it should have been obvious to make something like the AniMetacritic long, long before 2013. It’s a list of the shows that all of us in the blogging community already knew were considered “good”, but to see it all laid out in a ranking is so… satisfying.

Of course, it’s obviously another popularity contest, but that’s something bloggers are all too familiar with. And it’s equally obvious that this list is idealized by anibloggers, for anibloggers. It was made by a very specific subset of anime fans: people who were most active around 2006-2010, not too long after small-time personal blogs took off, and not too long before other social media took over. But because I fall into that category, I feel validated looking at (most) of this list. It verifies the tiny voices in my head…

Aria the Origination (AMCv2 #2) is top tier? I knew it all along!

Infinite Ryvius (AMCv2 #57) is an amazing show? Sure, I guess!

Nobody else liked Nichijou (AMCv2 #247)? …I knew that.

Anyway, this list doesn’t meet my expectations for a definitive list of “good” anime. It’s five years old, which in anime terms is an entire generation and a half of anime fans. Remember – Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan came out only a year before the AniMetacritic! It also doesn’t hit some of the older stuff (pre-Bebop), because people like me in 2008 didn’t want to watch 1980s shows. There’s no Ashita no Joe, not even on the “obscure” list. And those small sample sizes? That’s an error bar away from a score of 0.

All that said, and even trying to account for my bias as an anime blogger, I still think that this list is the best data-driven option around. I’ll be using it to fill in the (many) holes in my anime history.

P.S.: somehow I got onto the second version of the AniMetacritic along with a bunch of my fellow retired anibloggers (thank you for remembering me, kadian), though not under this name. I’d also like to point out that that account was made before Nichijou, and my (probably lone) 10/10 score would have shot Nichijou up from #247 all the way to… #241.

P.P.S.: with two seconds more time to investigate, I found out that I’m actually NOT counted as part of the ratings so I guess.. uhh .. whatever