25 CommentsTwelve Days / By Inushinde /

12 Days of Anime #7: The Fuck, noitaminA?


Quick, what are three characteristics shared by shows occupying the noitaminA timeslot, a few very noticeable exceptions aside? Name any three at all. There are no wrong answers, though I can guarantee that none of them could be used to describe Black Rock Shooter, save maybe pretentious. This was the year that confirmed the fact that noitaminA has had no idea what the hell it’s doing for awhile now, something that I attribute to anime that it’s picked up having increasingly more accessible openings since its humble days of freeform jazz and rapping about horror.

Now, depending on which camp of detractors you ask, noitaminA has either been tumbling in flames down a shitty hill of shit for only a few years, or did so long ago before people even knew about it, most only catching glimpses of its noodly form on its way down. I think no matter where folks sit on the issue though, or even if they think that it hasn’t been buried under a veritable mountain of shit so tall you can see it from the stratosphere, I won’t hear too many dissenting voices when I say that Black Rock Shooter is the farthest that noitaminA has dropped the ball.

Most series that’ve aired have maintained some level of overlap with the mission statement; hell, even Guilty Crown was an original (loosely defined) series. But I didn’t know a single person who immediately leapt to their feet upon hearing the news, shrieking with jubilation that the OVA and paradoxically popular franchise that they loved was finally getting a true adaptation. Nearly everyone in the ‘sphere was set on either dropping or ignoring BRS before it even aired, something that hasn’t been seen to the same degree since, even with somehow worse series taking up the mantle of awfulness.


Of course the show was horrid even without comparison to certain successors of suckage, running for less than a full cour and still somehow dragging for far too long with nary a macaroon in sight. I wish I could recall any specific details beyond the appropriately terrible opening that’s notably the opposite freeform jazz or horror rap, but there’s absolutely nothing that stands out. Everything’s executed with an approach that’s not so much directing or writing as it is desperately scratching at a blank storyboard to make something happen, no particular feature coming out less malformed than the rest. In short, there’s absolutely no reason why this had to be made.

As a series, Black Rock Shooter is terrible. As a noitaminA series, it stands as a brief moment where everybody stood back and said “What the fuck, guys?” in harmonious unison. Dislike it or loathe it, I think we can all agree the airing of Black Rock Shooter as a single inglorious whole by noitaminA was pretty fucking weird.

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  1. Posted December 20, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I marathoned this sometime at the beginning of the fall season.

    Imagining that they were all closet chuunis made the viewing experience a lot more enjoyable.

    • shytende
      Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Chuunibyou. Check !
      Pretentious. Check
      Unfunny. Check !

      BRS and Ebiten have far more in common that I could imagine !
      And Ebiten was supposed to be the worse useless Anime of this year…

      And the only way to actually enjoy it seems to have no knowledge of noitaminA, or Anime in general
      (That’s more or less my case. At least,it was…)

      • shytende
        Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        I forgot :
        Unlikable character ? Check too.
        And actually, even me doesn’t enjoyed it…

        The battle scenes looked cool, I guess.

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 22, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      I have heard that imagining them as chuunis does make it better, but I think you’d forgive me if I decided not to watch it again to find out.

  2. Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Welp, this entire year has been a letdown for noitaminA. Still, I’ve long since passed the “What the fuck, guys?” stage and I’m not even mad at P-P and R;N. BRS is only one of a whole bunch of stinkers with many more yet to come.

    noitaminA _could_ have saved the Winter season but so much for that.

  3. Narcogen
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I won’t defend BRS in any way, shape, or form, except to say that it was at least short.

    I still think Guilty Crown was worse. BRS I can dismiss as shallow, pretentious, and obsessed with meaningless visuals. Guilty Crown is all of that and much longer.

    • Posted December 20, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Agreed, GC is a worse show, but at least one could derive some enjoyment from it from mocking it. BRS was just so bland and impressionless.

      • Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        ^ What Processr said

        I literally remember nothing about this show other than pain and the fact that for an 8-episode series, it felt twice as long.

  4. Posted December 20, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    BRS, a crap show that I regretted that I have watched four episode of it. Sure it has pretty visual, but story wise, it feels like 5 years old kid scribbling at a drawing book. Really, it left such a foul taste.

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 22, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      The visuals were hardly a redeeming factor when they couldn’t keep it from falling into the depths of public amnesia. But yeah, of everything, they were the least shit.

  5. Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Was noitaminA ever that good?

    • Gunslinger
      Posted December 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Not since fractale. But they have quite a lot of really awesome shows – Nodame, honey & clover, kuragehime, shiki, eden of the east …..

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 22, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Fractale did kind of bend it over a pool table, but there are still quite a few series coming out of noitaminA.

  6. Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    BREAKING NEWS: noitaminA to air Katanagatari in Spring!

  7. Taka
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Which Noitamina OP is the freeform jazz? The horror rap is obviously Ayakashi. Is the freeform jazz referring to Mononoke’s OP?

    Listening to most of the earlier noitamina OPs I would say they are the exception rather than the rule.

    The way you frame your argument against the opening makes me suspect you know little about its history. Is that a fair assumption? Or perhaps you aren’t a fan of Miku. It’s just that…the song and character were popular way before the anime ever came out. (indeed since before Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari put Supercell on many peoples radar) I think the song taken on its own is composed well enough, if being somewhat typical of Supercell’s style.

    • Desi
      Posted December 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking freeform jazz was referring to Kids on the Slope

      • Taka
        Posted December 22, 2012 at 2:15 am | Permalink

        Nah had to be an early OP since he was referring to the “humble days” and Sakamichi no Apollon aired the season after BRS.

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 22, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Admittedly, I never did understand the appeal of Miku. To me, the song is like having my ears assailed constantly by nails screeching against the hood of a car, which in turn is representative of what the experience itself is like.

      To be fair though, I do like when Miku sings opera. That’s made to surprisingly good effect.

  8. Fumoffu!!
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t mind the opening actually…

    The show is so bad I almost smashed something.

  9. Posted December 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Not being the dumbest, most wretched pile of the year is actually a strike against BRS. There’s a trainwreck spectacle element that gives the Guilty Crown experience value. BRS has no redeeming value, which is as damning of a criticism as one can make.

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 22, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      It’s actually funny how not being the worst thing ever actually makes it one of the least tolerable shows of the year.

  10. Hisoka
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    The good battle scenes and _some_ of the figma (BlackGold Saw, I’m looking at you) make the fact that I loathed this series all the more painful.

    • Posted December 21, 2012 at 3:26 am | Permalink

      I know. I could’ve dealt with 8 episodes of nothing but beautifully animated pointless fighting, but when they introduced the plot…

  11. yepperoni
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    I never really understood why that block of programming was so special. Some basic marketing material said “It’ll have great anime lots of people will like” and people bought it. Some shows were good, other not so much.

    Anyway, it looks like the block doesn’t have any shows to fill it in the Spring…

    • Inushinde
      Posted December 22, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      It delivers a greater than average number of shows that wouldn’t likely see the light of day otherwise. It’s pretty much the Oscar Bait of anime, with roughly the same number of hits.

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