It’s been fun this last year. Anime has been generally quite good and we just had our wonderful Christmas meals and a big comfort sleep after a massive dinner and too much chocolate. But before we enter the new year, there is one final cleansing exercise we must all embark on. On the day furthest from Christmas, as I have done in 2015, and 2014, and even 2013, even even 2012, as too in 2011, and even 2010, we must list the worst moments in anime in 2016.
Sukeroku’s final performance is the perfect final encapsulation of everything that makes Shouwa Era Rakugo Shinjuu such a great anime. From the very first episode I had always admired how the anime showed the entire rakugo performances because to properly use them to tell your story, you needed a level of nuance beyond most others. The voice acting had to be on point to get across how the characters were feeling and the different methods of delivery. The animation and directing could only really use very subtle movements and gestures to get across their meaning without it just being a boring radio play. Rakugo did this time and again, but it was in their final performance that they nailed it harder than anywhere else.
There was a fantastic moment in the first episode of My Hero Academia that I felt summed up what the show was trying to say. The main character had just been told he doesn’t have any superpowers. To a kid like him who watched videos of heroes endlessly and wanted nothing more in his life to be one, this was a crushing blow on a level like telling a kid with no legs that they’ll never be a sprinter after they watched videos of Bolt running at the Olympics. His mother at this point catches him watching his favourite video of his hero again with tears in his eyes, asking if he can still be a hero.
Bodybuilders have always struck me as weird. It’s not about being fit and healthy, which I could understand. It’s the strange desire to achieve an unnatural image of ripped muscles so they can feel more attractive. Maybe it has something to do with body building magazine covers featuring frankly unhealthy amounts of veins ready to burst. Or the body building forums I stumbled in that felt one step away from pick up artist forums, as though you could get those dumb bitches in the sack by flexing those biceps like it’s some kind of stat you build until you’re able to cross that magic attractiveness threshold. Thanks to Mob Psycho 100, I now see things differently.
It took me several episodes before I figured out what March Comes in Like a Lion was actually about. It was when they started talking to us about the main character’s adoptive family that it became clear to me. It was a story about depression. A kid with complicated feelings about his adoptive father and what impact he had on his step-siblings, his feelings around shogi and his loneliness in his life, alongside some more standard parts of depression such as being depressed that you are depressed. However it didn’t really hit hard for me what the catalyst for his depression was until we met his step sister.
Sports anime suddenly got really popular. I wonder why?
Welcome back to A Day with The Cart Driver anime podcast with myself and Day from GAR GAR Stegosaurus. This time we’re doing the episode we’ve been threatening to do for a while: Haikyuu! Lots of lots of Haikyuu chatter. Mostly about the latest season and how much we liked it. Because we liked it a lot. Also bonus discussion of embarrassing parents.
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Going into the third season of Haikyuu, there was a potential issue I saw coming up within the story. I didn’t see any character development that was left for them to do. Kageyama and Hinata had gone through their arcs. They had even finished them off with the final match of last season with them facing off against Mai Waifu Oikawa again and prevailing using techniques they had built up over the course of the season. The match used for season 3 felt like it had been bolted onto the end of the main story, like a shounen action movie where none of the events really matter as none of them are considered canon. However I had forgotten about Tsukishima.