Too Many Good Anime Is the Best Problem

I always give the ol’ 3 episode test when I could, when it’s a new season and we’re met with new anime and new IP to dig through. It’s not easy. For the past 2-3 seasons I’ve had the same problem, which is the problem I see a lot of people having this season: there’s just way too many good shows. Or I should say, I want to watch a lot of new anime this season–I don’t know if they’re really good or not, but I’d like to find out by watching them.

Shows like the new Lupin and Tsuritama are shoo-ins. Space Bros and Apollon are definitive for the medium. Achi Kochi? Nyaruko-san? They’re at risk, despite being quite entertaining. Even otaku straight shooters like Medaka Box is with enough merit to put it above the mediocre line. Resuming Fate Zero and Korean Zombies, and keeping up with Sket Dance, Aquarion and Mouretsu Pirates become difficult, despite being the sort of shows I have a hard itch for. This is not even to mention that I kind of like Upotte, the throwaway anime of the season (that and maybe the new Queen’s Blade–Itou Shizuka as a pirate again! And what’s up with the transparent horse LOL). I tried that Bear Cafe anime, that’s not too horrible but it stands no chance this season. Same with Kuroko’s Basketball–these two shows are things I’d watch in 2010 but not today. Nazo no Kanojo X was a manga that I enjoyed briefly but the retro look in the anime is a great touch. The first installment of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is interesting and curious, much like Sankarea, but will I have time to explore them? Ozma is classic and interesting after 3 episodes, but I really don’t have time for old school with this new school of new anime, not to mention Fujiko has got that itch scratched.  Intriguing and well-executed shows like Sengoku Collection will not fare well at all despite doing all the right things, just because it’s a moe-historic-character sort of deal and it hits my sweet spot with episode 2. Jormungand brings back that Revy feel or Lovely Haruka feel, whichever, and it’s White Fox doing something very cool.

I wish I have the time to entertain Saint Seiya Omega, but how can it stand a chance? That bread making anime? How do I have the time? Piggy Online? It’s rather solid chuunibyou anime. And lastly there’s still Eureka 7 AO, which I guess I should slot it with Saki as a continuity/side story dealie. Oh, there’s NatsuKise (which I’m blogging for jtor) and AKB0048, which, well, I kind of have to watch as well. Oh, there’s also Zetman, which Hulu-fication and strangely familiar setup demands its audience.

I could watch and enjoy almost everything this season. I think only Panda Cafe and Kuroko fails, and even then I’d rather give them 3 episodes. Who doesn’t want to see Stealth Momo play hoops? That’s the thing. If you are the average avid anime viewer following Japanese TV anime (of the late night kind), even if you skip half of the shows this 2012 Spring season, odds are very good that you’ll be dropping actually a show worth watching. I guess it just means it really, really pays to be extremely picky?

Late night TV anime is finally thriving, maybe. It’s been a long journey since Those Who Hunt Elves.

But the risk here is that will these fairly well-produced production meet the unyielding reality that the market is packed with them? Will KyoAni’s Hyouka make a splash? How can studios and productions and committees distinguish themselves economically and in the minds of the fans? In a price war often times it is the consumers that benefit; but I get the feeling there are no winner in this war, only losers and otaku.

Personally, I feel this is pretty exciting. The only thing is I have this weird spiteful feeling for everyone who thinks anime or noitaminA is saved because of Apollon. It is kind of like Redline; I get the feeling that as much as Watanabe loves his jazz music, it just doesn’t feel right for him to adopt a josei/shoujo manga faithfully. I have no doubt it will be great, it will just be kind of weird. On the other hand Nakamura’s Tsuritama is somehow so delightful for me, on so many different levels, that I have no words. So who am I to say?

Of course, I’m waiting for someone to tell me that this season is crappy and there are only like two good shows. Because oversea anime fandom is incredibly distorted like that.


14 responses to “Too Many Good Anime Is the Best Problem

  • schneider

    THIS SEASON SUCKS…

    …MUCH MORE OF MY TIME THAN I’D WANT IT TO

    Best problem? Best problem!

  • thoughtcannon

    Yeah there’s a lot I would totally watch however this season I’m probably gonna limit myself only to anime I get a *REALLY GOOD* impression of after 3 eps rather than shows that are still merely watchable after 3 eps.

    After just one ep I’m pretty sure I’ll be watching:
    Nyaruko…it’s like…Index and Ikamusume had a child voiced by Asumi Kana
    Space Bros…I’ve actually seen 2 eps of this
    Nazo no Kanojo
    Sengoku Otome…not sure what exactly it is but I really like this
    Lupin
    Zombie 2
    Saki
    Zetman
    Jormungand
    Fate/Zero is a given

    On the cusp: Saint Seiya, Shirokuma Cafe, Sankarea, Accel World Medaka Box,
    In danger: Acchi Kocchi, Natsuiro Kiseki (I should love this but instead I just couldn’t get into it), Upotte, Tasogare
    Dropped outright: Hiiro no Kakera
    Haven’t watched yet: Sakamichi no Apollon, Tsuritama
    Still watching: Moretsu, Fairy Tail, Toriko, Sket Dance, Aquarion
    Favorite Show: Aquarion…easily.

  • jal0021

    It’s a good season to get back into anime, too. I haven’t watched much at all the past couple of years… one show a season, at best. Lots to choose from this season, though. I don’t want to overdo it.

    If I only end up watching one show this season, however, it’ll probably be Tsuritama. Delightful, indeed.

    Need to catch up on some missed connections, too. My wife is off to the baseball game today (the first of many… I have anime; she has baseball), so I have the house to myself for the afternoon. Ano Natsu is on deck.

  • omo

    Well I hope you get some time to go back and watch something you missed, either this season or some later season~

  • dm00

    It’s a truly fine season if it brings jal0021 back to comment-land.

    It is a good season, and I haven’t even managed to get to all the top-tier series yet.

  • omo

    I had (and still have) to deal with Anime Boston so i was behind all week, but I think I’m just one Eureka Ao away from getting to all of them. Which is to say, “haven’t even managed to get to all the top-tier series yet.”

  • Stef

    Strangely enough, I’m not in a hurry to watch anime this season (I have only three first episodes checked on my notepad). I haven’t even finished Ano Natsu and Miniskirt Pirates (episode 6!) yet! I suppose that’s my reaction for feeling overwhelmed.

  • The Kenosha Kid

    I’ve already given up on watching all the good-looking shows from this season, so I’m just taking note of what people like and saving some to watch later on during a particularly dry season.

    It still sort of hurts.

    Agreed on the “Apollon saves noitaminA” deal, by the way, but not so much because I don’t like what Watanabe’s doing, and more because I see perfectly good, interesting series being made without needing that timeslot. Sometimes I think people talk about noitaminA as though it were a studio. Ugh.

  • Numbers and Space

    I watched maybe 4 shows of last season? This season is looking more like 10-11. I’m ridiculously happy about this.

  • BranchDevidian

    How’s about that Accel World, omo?

  • omo

    This is why we can’t have good things.

  • Vucub Caquix

    Of course, I’m waiting for someone to tell me that this season is crappy and there are only like two good shows. Because oversea anime fandom is incredibly distorted like that.

    You rang?

  • omo

    Well, “grabbed me” is not quite the same. To be honest only 1 or 2 new shows this season grabbed me as well, but I will continue to watch a lot more than that.

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