This season is a bit unusual in regards to how I’m enjoying it. For one, I’m watching a lot of stuff that I’m enjoying after four weeks. Yeah, it’s possible that it could end up like last season where I was enjoying a huge selection at first, but either got tired of or disliked all but a quarter of them in the end. But for now, I’m embracing the fact that I’m liking such a good chunk of Japan’s output.
Hell, there are even three anime that are really clicking with me: Dandy, Hoozuki, and Zvezda. I would have been happy with just one of them, but three at once? That’s pretty damn rare.
So for something I consider an unusually strong season, what is this I hear about this season being weak? I can understand it being a weaker one by comparison or something like that, but “weak” itself? For the past year or two, I’ve been noticing at least one person per season say “There’s only three shows I’m liking. This season sucks! Anime is dying!” or some variant of that. To which I resist the urge to say “Stop being a spoiled brat!”. Yeah I can understand if you’re not liking anything this season, let alone what I’m liking, but that’s practically never the case.
You want to talk about a weak season? Let’s buy into the fact that movies and OVAs don’t exactly count towards a season’s individual quality and look at what I consider the most terrible one I’ve ever experienced. It would probably be the season that I started blogging: Summer 2012. All of the big hits from then like the noitamina stuff, Humanity, and Kokoro Connect annoyed me big time when they weren’t putting me to sleep. I wasn’t watching Joshiraku during that period and the Spring leftovers don’t count, so my favorite anime then was probably Sword Art Online. Yes, that SAO. I didn’t really enjoy the anime by itself, but a bunch of good things came from it. It helped to get my blog well-known throughout the community and I bonded with a bunch of other people in the anime community as a result. Plus, watching Episode 24 as a group is one of the most fun moments I’ve ever experienced doing this hobby.
But yeah, as a season by itself in terms of getting enjoyment from actually watching the anime, it was bad, and if it wasn’t for the Spring carryovers, I might have taken another break from anime afterwards. Only thing I could think of that rivaled its awfulness was Winter 2013 and Summer 2013. But the former had Inferno Cop and the latter had Teekyu AND Turning Girls. Those anime rank pretty damn high with me. And don’t give me that “shorts don’t count” nonsense. Turning Girls aside since it ended early, those things aired weekly throughout the entire season like everything else. I seriously doubt you guys would have complained if a Looney Tunes short or Tom and Jerry was airing in those slots. I also notice nobody has any complaints about labeling Seki-kun as one of the better anime of the season either. The existence of those shows alone kept me happy, and thus I can honestly say I had fun with those seasons. That’s more than I can say for Summer F*cking 2012.
Is there some rule regarding anime that you have to be entertained every day that I’m missing? Do you guys not have other hobbies you partake in when you’re not watching the stuff? Maybe some backlog you could clear if you’re that anime snob who shuns books and live-action movies and stuff? Maybe a job that you kind of need to have in order to partake in this hobby? What’s wrong with current-running anime entertaining you for a brief period once a week and you filling up the time with some other stuff? It’s not like anime died or something. Well okay, it might be dying slowly and these series are the last gasps of breath left for it. But when they’re awesome gasps, I could care less.
Besides, maybe anime needs to die. That way, it can be reborn into something stronger akin to how Obi-wan became a powerful figure of the Force after getting cut in half in the first Star Wars film. And it is the first. There are only three Star Wars movies. But that’s a topic for another time.
And that brings me to my main point: if you have at least one anime series you’re liking a season, then it’s alright. If you have one you’re loving a season, then it’s a good season. Saying otherwise is either naïve or selfish or some kind of optimism regarding the medium that I don’t take part in because I’m one of those “most anime suck” fans that happily accepts that ideology because it makes the anime I love stand out all the more. I thought when it came to enjoyment of fiction, we’re supposed to believe in “quality over quantity”.
What’s wrong with settling for that one anime you’re enjoying? You don’t see movie fans giving up on the medium because they’re not enjoying a new release every week for two hours, do you? I’m not familiar enough with live-action TV to do a comparison with that, but I doubt I’d think much differently regarding that medium the way I do with anime if I indulged in it more. Does it have something to do regarding the structure of the anime market? How it’s niche and how it’s released and all? I can’t deny that it’s affecting my view of how anime should be, so maybe that’s it.
If you have some reason regarding why you think one anime isn’t enough or whatever, comment below. Because this is one of those topics that I can’t really back up with hard facts of any kind, nor give a definitive conclusion towards. It’s one of the most subjective things regarding fiction I have ever witnessed and any attempt to change that status quo is time better spent on those non-current anime watching things I could be doing instead. Besides the blog of course. All I can say as of now is that if you have one series you’re enjoying this season – and not enjoying by default because everything else is trash I might add – and you’re not satisfied in the least, then I’m not going to sympathize with you. Because I’ve experienced worse. It was called Summer 2012.
Note: I probably would have experienced worse regarding the year 2000, or the year 2005, but I wasn’t watching current anime around those times.