12 Days, day eight. This bear.

bearbeer

I wrote briefly about it before, but how can you deny a moment like that. A lighthearted ribbing of Penguin’s drunken antics turns into a sort of melancholy moment where Sloth misses out due to his speed, which in turn becomes a heartwarming slice of Polar Bear. It’s a great distillation of what makes the show great.

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12 Days, day seven. The End Of Ideon.

ideon

It’s been a long time coming. In fact, it almost didn’t make it into this list. Honestly it’s not much to talk about — everything happens that you think happens, with perhaps a little more brutality and child-beheading than you might expect — but the achievement in itself after a long episodic slog and poor animation is worth mentioning. Of course, the movie remedies a lot of this; it’s twenty times better looking and conveys both the action and desperation quite well. The Evangelion parallels are obvious, even the unintentional ones (abstract, seemingly truncated TV ending followed by a movie with ridiculous amounts of death and another semi-abstract but pretty linear ending), but as IKnight said before it really is a whole other ball of wax. Worth a look but you may want to just do the pair of movies.

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12 days, day six. Taking my balls and going… somewhere? Seriously where am I going with this

play ball

I’m not unaccustomed to adding a little bit of social commentary to blogging, but Kokoro Connect’s “kick a man in the balls because that’ll fix your attempted rape trauma” was my first foray into the wider world of thinking about feminism and rape culture as they apply to aniblogging — and my first run-in a readership that hates you for spoiling their fun. Then there was the Monster-kun omelet, which broke a few more eggs. I suppose the whole A&V thing (spoiler for future moments!) was borderline inevitable at that point. Now, I consider myself to be slightly changed for the better this year thanks to bloggers like the_patches and Day. Who says aniblogging can’t make you a better person? Don’t answer that.

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12 days, day five. Girl Cartoons.

dem cures

I’d tried to watch Futari wa Pretty Cure a couple times, as it’s on Crunchyroll, and never got very far. I’m not the type to watch spinoffs or sequels first, after being burned by Gundam Wing, SEED, and 00, but at the prodding of a few people I started Heartcatch Precure. And that’s all she wrote. It’s a fantastic show, and though it relies on some pretty tried-and-true building blocks of magical girl series, it executes incredibly well and managed to make me feel heartwarmingly like the target demographic. Now I’m back to Futari Wa and I’ll gladly attach myself to the new one when it starts.

Futari Wa Pretty Cure is an interesting entry — though it doesn’t look too good for its day, and the mascots are mostly infuriating, it has a lot going for it. There’s a visceral appeal of the fight scenes, which are really just punch-and-throw-fests. And there’s the interesting subtext of the Cures being trapped in their unstoppable fate, worn out and unable to live their normal girl lives doing whatever it is girls do around that age, which in the Pretty Cure world is somehow not “horrifically abuse your peers.”

Give it a shot. If you need a starting point, I’d recommend Heartcatch, it worked for me. Watch out for the pooping fairies.

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12 Days, day four. Eureka appears, and briefly we care.

eureka

Not much to say about Eureka Seven AO, it was a mess that ham-fistedly tried to accomplish the heartfelt interactions and complicated worldbuilding that the original did so well. But the appearance of Eureka herself, regardless of how obvious and nostalgia-reliant it was, worked. And for a moment, I thought it was gonna come back. But of course, I was blinded by the secondhand emotional manipulation just like everyone else.

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12 days, day three. Too much Nisio.

teef

I enjoyed Bakemonogatari just fine. It was a sexed-up, Shinbotastic, verbal sparring match with characters attractive enough to forgive the talkiness and Nisioisin’s self-conscious cleverness. And I started enjoying Nisemonogatari just fine as well, but eventually, once all the oral hygiene was over, it became a little too much for me. I think I stopped about 3 episodes from the end. Yep. I didn’t write about dropping it like a rock though, so I’ll never have the top google result for “Nisemonogatari sucks.” Shame.

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