Tonari no Seki-kun was a pleasure to watch over the course of 21 weekly seven-minute episodes.
There’s not much I want to say about it other than I laughed a lot at Yokoi’s reactions to what her classmate Seki was doing at his own desk, I’m looking forward to Vertical Comics’ January release of the manga’s first volume, and I would recommend at least giving the first couple episodes a try if you haven’t seen the show already – it’ll only take about 15 minutes of your time.
When Viz brought back the original Sailor Moon anime this year, I started watching it because I’d never seen it before. Anime-original episode 6 had a music-focused plot that stuck with me.
Jadeite’s minion Kyurene tries to use a cassette tape in a broadcast studio to steal life energy from people but the tape gets mixed up with a demo recording made by jazz pianist Yusuke Amade. Yusuke is in love with Akiko Yanagi, a record company employee that he sees often, and when she gets taken hostage by Kyurene, he and Usagi/Sailor Moon work together to rescue Akiko from danger.
Each anime season, I desire a good dramatic series I can watch on a weekly basis. In the recent past, that was satisfied through titles such as Mawaru Penguindrum and Madoka Magica. This summer, one I stuck with the whole way was Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror). Like the other two series I mentioned, it had its own flaws but it prompted discussion and speculation among the people watching it including posts like Emily’s (aka ajthefourth). Those conversations propelled me along in conjunction with enjoying the plot of the show, similar to how I kept watching the American TV series Lost to the end despite its lackluster final season. Yoko Kanno’s fantastic score adding to the tension in certain scenes also contributed to me liking the show enough to call it one of my favorite anime of 2014.
Miss Monochrome was one of my favorite shorts from last year so I was happy to see the lead girl from that make an appearance in front of an alkaline batteries supermarket display during Wooser‘s second season.
The Chihaya birthday surprise was a more attention-grabbing crossover from later in the season.
Despite these two moments, the second season was disappointingly less funny overall than the first one. (I can’t remember what else happened in season 2 other than the character appearances I just mentioned.) The ending song was up there among the catchiest of the year, though, so that was a plus.
It’s the middle of December again, which means it’s time to begin reflecting on my anime-watching experiences from 2014 as part of the multi-blogger 12 Days project, spearheaded by The Cart Driver this year.
I think this will be my 8th year I’m participating in such a thing (you can see the titles of previous-year posts from 2007 to 2012 via Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine – 2013’s list wasn’t captured unfortunately) so I should be experienced in writing posts for it but I still seem to run out of topics more than halfway through the process, mainly due to the declining amount of series I manage to finish during a calendar year. I tried to plan ahead this time around so I’m more confident that I’ll cross the figurative finish line than I might have otherwise.
One series that I watched with the SCCSAV Classics group this year was Ghost Stories. Of course, we watched the English dub done by ADV in the mid-2000’s for more humor than the Japanese track could have offered.
While exploring the Internet Archive’s magazine collection earlier this month, I happened across a two-part article by Fred Patten in consecutive issues of Starlog (April 1986 #105, May 1986 #106).
The feature focused on science-fiction anime that had been translated into English as well as, in part two, mentioning “some of the most popular SF cartoons with American fans” that were only available in Japanese at the time. Notable black-and-white series from the 1960s – Astro Boy, 8th Man and Gigantor – led off part one while part two began with then-more-recent offerings like Robotech and TranZor Z (aka Mazinger Z).
The last page in part two highlighted six anime series that would all eventually get released on DVD in the US: Fist of the North Star (Discotek), Space Adventure Cobra (Nozomi), Mobile Suit Gundam (Bandai; Sunrise announced it would re-release Gundam in spring 2015 through a partnership with RightStuf), Urusei Yatsura (AnimEigo), Lupin III (Discotek) and Dirty Pair (Nozomi).
Both articles can also be found without pictures in Patten’s 2004 collection of his writings, Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews.