Saturday, January 03, 2009

Winter Anime Thoughts

Happy New Year, folks!

I'm not as into anime as I used to be. It's mostly a result of having less free time than I used to - I can barely keep up with comics now for the same reason and I've just dropped RPGs as a hobby. I also feel like my tastes have matured a bit, such that I need more than wicked sweet action to keep me entertained for more than five minutes. Even at the height of my interest, though, I never followed the anime "scene" and actively kept an eye on upcoming schedules. I did get sucked into a few series because of their popularity (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Ouran High School Host Club in particular) and ended up watching each episode as it came out, but I don't have the energy to do that nowadays.

That said, I'm looking forward to the coming anime season for the first time I can remember solely because of Axis Powers Hetalia, a webcomic-turned-anime that I was turned onto by chance on TV Tropes Wiki. In a nutshell, it's a series of gags about world history in the last 200-odd years starring various nations anthropomorphized as handsome young men, mostly revolving around the relationship between Germany and Italy, hence the title. It's potentially very offensive in how it skips over all the blood that's been spilled in the World Wars and other conflicts, not to mention the various national stereotypes, but that's mitigated by the fact that the author really knows his history and geopolitics and gives every country his fair share of ribbing. I'm a bit of a history buff so I'm sure I'll get quite a bit out of it, but for various reasons I can't get into the manga, so I'm hoping the anime will give me something to latch onto.

Anyway, I've also taken a look at the rest of the 2009 winter season, which is laid out in this image (which Photobucket has regrettably shrunk). The only things that particularly appeal to me are a remake of the underappreciated mid-90s superhero action anime Birdy the Mighty and a new season of The Slayers, the perennially popular fantasy comedy that's been going strong for nearly two decades. Nothing else jumps out at me as something I'd watch, but one show does stand out for just how utterly braindead its premise is:


That is quite possibly the stupidest idea for a TV show I have ever seen.

I can only wonder how the planning phase of this waste of ink went...

"Hmm. Who's our target demographic, again?"

"Sex-starved male shut-ins with no understanding of women whatsoever!"

"Gotcha. So we need a whole mess of gorgeous, submissive young girls who are inexplicably head-over-heels in love with a nerdy loser and an excuse to shove them all into a contrived romantic plot. What've you got?"

"Okay, so, like, the girls are all actually soda cans, and they need carbon dioxide to survive. And how do they get it? By kissing this guy. It's scientific!"

"Uh... pardon the pun, but are you sure they'll swallow that?"

"As long as we flash some panties every five minutes, they'll swallow anything!"

"...Give this man a raise."

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