I probably overindulged in the number of anime I attempted to keep up with this season. Given that I never got around to a part 2 of the mid-season review, it’s apparent that I struggled to keep up with a few of the series that didn’t draw me in completely in the first episode or two, even if I did like them well enough to keep them on the watch list. All that said, I was quite impressed with several of the entries to the Winter Anime 2015 season. Overall, the season was a mix, but of the shows I stuck with, the majority will probably be purchased if they receive physical releases, and many will also be re-watches with Paradox down the road.
Between running, running injuries, and going back to my hometown to attend a funeral, I haven’t been reading a great deal the past few weeks, and it’s mostly been manga. However, I did also borrow My Friend Dahmer from the library, and it certainly lived up to the critical praise I’d heard about it.
Although I had originally planned on tackling Red Garden for my next backlog sample, recently I’d requested recommendations for a comedy anime to try out and someone had suggested The Wallflower. Since it happened to be on my shelf as well, and I was still in the mood for a comedy, I decided to try it out. I was apprehensive as I was not particularly fond of the manga–and my apprehension turned out to be well-founded.
I haven’t been on much of a media consumption kick recently. Actually, that’s not true–I’ve found myself hooked on watching M*A*S*H and Parks and Recreation on Netflix more than my usual viewing of anime and reading of books/manga. However, I did read through a fun by fluffy novel as well as finally checked out a few of the comics I picked up from the 2014 Free Comic Book Day on Comixology.
When I think about the North American/English manga market, one of the easiest ways to organize it in my mind is to think about it by the publishers/licensors that have brought a Japanese series to the Western audience. Various publishers have certain “feels” to them, an essence that in some way also pervades how I perceive their products. I think this is a worthwhile line of thought to follow, so I’m going to be writing a series of posts highlighting the various manga English licensors and my perceptions of them.
First up: Vertical Comics
After working my way through the first episodes of a lot of shows, I’ve let quite a few episodes pile up for each of the series I was planning on continuing. This is slightly by design, slightly by accident. I do like watching several episodes in one sitting for shows that require at least a little thought/contemplation–but I also thought I might watch some episodes as they aired. Tennis keeps getting in the way of this, I think. That, and I’m planning my first ever cosplay. I need fewer hobbies.
After blitzing through some volume 1s at the start of the year, I took a bit of a step back from manga and focused on the new anime season for a bit. Now I’m back to doing a bit of reading–although my mind isn’t processing things quite as well as I might like, so I’m sticking (in general) with relatively laid-back series (and non-manga) rather than those that I want to immerse myself in. It’s a bit cruel since I’m really yearning to read the latest volume of A Bride’s Story.
After doing reasonably well with tackling my backlog of anime DVDs/BDs (and streaming shows) in 2013, in 2014 I backslid. A lot. I may have only finished 1 backlog series the entire year, which is really poor progress. While the “Weekly Backlog” posts were not particularly sustainable because I didn’t have enough to say about any given episode of a show, they did at least keep me on track.
In 2015, I’m going to try a new approach: backlog sampling. Basically, I’ll watch the first disc (or 4 episodes for streaming or series with jam-packed discs) and decide if I like it and want to continue it then, like it but not in the mood (so will put it back on the shelf for a time when it fits my mood), not sure about it but due to reviews will put it back on the shelf (so will try another 4 episodes later and if that doesn’t work, give up), or if nothing suggests it will get better then I’ll drop it and remove from the collection.
I’ve recently been in a comedy mood, so I figured Love*Com would be a great option to try out my sampling procedure. It’s a show I blind-bought, but it’s received good reviews and has been well-received by other shoujo rom-com fans, after all.
It wasn’t necessarily intentional, but it seems I left most of the best stuff for last. Well, a few of the shows I checked out this week certainly don’t qualify as part of the best, but the majority had some charms and most were certainly more enjoyable than some of the shows I checked out earlier. In fact, I’m keeping all 7 from this week on my watch list. Although how I’ll manage to watch that many episodes of anime in any given week is a problem I’ll have to figure out later.
I’m currently working through my manga backlog as quickly as possible. While there are some series that I think deserve an in-depth review of volumes, many just don’t have that much that can be said about them. So I think I’ll start doing a bit of a roundup of what I’ve read in a week with just a brief paragraph/review. Up this week: lots of volume 1s from the Viz sale at Right Stuf in December, and some continuing series from Kodansha Comics and Vertical.