8 CommentsEditorials / By Scamp /

The search for number 7 has ended. The search for number 8 has begun

There was a blog that died about a year ago called ‘In Search of Number Nine’. The main idea behind the blog was this fellow was searching for his 9th all time favourite anime. The 9th anime which he could rate a 10 and love unequivocally. I had, thus far, found six anime deserving of a perfect 10. Well, I’ve found number 7.

I could go on all day about why Gankutsuoh has become my number 7. One large factor was it’s probably the first time I’ve seen a studio go so crazily artsy and for it to work perfectly. Normally I just find myself eye-rolling at the likes of Kaiba and Trapeze, both of which are excellent anime, but try to stamp into your mind how different they are from your standard fare. The crazy artsy style of Gankutsuou pays off to such a magnificent degree (the scene where they enter the Counts house mansionliving quarters for the first time sticks in my mind as one of the most mindblowing pieces of animation I’ll ever see) and CGI that actually works and fits within the entire art-scheme of the show. Oh I could go on and on. The epic plot twists, the trainwrecking, the perfection in story-telling, the flair, the music, the quotable to the extreme, but that is not the purpose of this post. The purpose is to address the idea that I was searching for this number 7.

Let me give you an idea of what I’m on about. The number 6, the last time I watched an anime worthy of a 10, was Mushishi. I watched that about 18 months ago. In fact if I go back to my first blog posts on Natsume Yuujinchou you can see that I had literally just finished watching Mushishi. Since then, I’ve watched over 100 anime. Granted, a lot of these have been weekly airing where the chances of me finding a 10 is much less likely than when I was able to cherry-pick the best from the past, but it still shows how utterly rare it is to come across these anime. Now if I had spend my time from Mushishi to Gankutsuou searching for that number 7, I would have been hitting disappointment after disappointment. None of these anime I’ve watched I deemed worthy of my absolute praise. But I’ve loved anime just as much now as I did then. Why have I not been beaten down by the lack of this number 7? Because I was never searching for the thing.

When I do my season previews I’m looking out for what will be my next favourite of the season. But when I say favourite, I’m not talking about the possibility of being a 10. When I give an upcoming show an anticipation rating of A on my ‘upcoming anime’ page, this means I’m looking at it being a hugely enjoyable watch, not as a possibility of it becoming my number 8. I’m not searching for the 10’s. I’m searching for those 8’s and 9’s. The title of this post is a lie. I was never searching for my number 7, nor have I started searching for my number 8. Don’t go through life searching for those 10’s. You’ll be left wanting.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted January 21, 2010 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    I’m a relatively easy grader — I’ve got 10 10s out of 135 completed series, and three 10s out of 35 movies seen. Basically what I look for, aside from the obvious, is a series that will take me onto an emotional and intellectual high; I want a 10 to make me think and feel like no other. The last 10 series I watched was Rose of Versailles about three months ago.

    But, yeah, I really don’t think much about finding a “10” series when I sit down and watch shows, haha. When it happens, I know it when I see it, feel it and think about it. That’s about as much thought as I care to put into the process of actually ranking a series.

  2. Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you liked it! This is one of my sister’s favorite animes, and I like it myself.

  3. Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    I’ve only seen two anime that I’d consider rating 10/10. Gankutsuou is a 9/10 anime, but it was ranked 4 on my top 50 list, so you won’t hear any questions about your ranking from me.

    Maybe I’m being way too strict with how I rate anime. No anime I saw from this last decade deserved the top rating, IMO, but in the last year alone I’ve played two games and watched a handful of movies that I gave 10/10.

    And, you’re right, there’s no point searching for perfect 10s. Setting expectations too high is pretty much the quickest way to burn out from a medium.

  4. kadian1364
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 5:26 am | Permalink
  5. Scamp
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    @Shinmaru

    I do subconciously (I so spelt that wrong) rate a series while I’m watching it nowadays. I didn’t in the past so I guess it’s a trait that comes with blogging and generally being a critic. It’s probably a bad thing to do but I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a series any less than I would’ve done otherwise.

    So yeah, Gankutsuou was always bordering on a 10 while I was watching it. It wasn’t until the epic trainwrecking towards the end that it placed itself firmly up there

    @Sorrow-kun

    Actually even inside my 10’s there’s a gap between the top 2 and the rest. But I like to be a little bit more liberal with my ratings, especially at the other end of the spectrum

    @kadian1364

    I’ve actually tried starting LOGH twice but got waylayed both times and still haven’t got passed episode 2. It does sound like everything I would love about an anime, I’m just finding it hard to commit myself to starting it.

    I’d noticed that ‘search for the number 1’s’ on your MAL. There does come a point in everyones fandom that you genuinely start to wonder what is the absolute worst anime possible. I haven’t quite reached that level myself, although I have found myself staring longingly at MD Geist and Mars of Destruction

  6. Posted January 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I don’t watch anime actively looking for a number 10 either. I have 6 10’s at the moment and they almost all came as surprises. And this included LOGH, so you should sit down and watch it soon. It’s so worth the commitment (fangirl squee).

  7. kadian1364
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    MD Geist isn’t nearly as bad as it’s reputed to be, just that the company Central Park pushed it hard and even made Geist their mascot of sorts, so it became the butt of many jokes. Geist II is pretty bad though.

    Mars of Destruction is bad in the laughable kind of way, many ways similar to Legend of Duo in that they’re both very poorly animated and idiotically written. Apocalypse Zero, however, was a horrendous experience, disgusting and offensive throughout, the kind of bad that pales all others in comparison. Unfathomable that someone saw it fit to animate, and gets my vote of worst anime ever.

    If you want to start LotGH, Central Anime just subbed Overture to a New War, which is a movie that can effectively replace the first 4 eps of the series. That’d be a great place to start.

  8. Scamp
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    @Libera

    That wasn’t a fangirl squee. There wasn’t enough !!! or < (>~)#% and so on. I blog Hetalia so I know what a fangirl squee looks like

    @kadian1364

    Stop tempting me to watch these terrible anime! I’m far too busy watching the likes of Gankutsuou.

    I’ll give that a try, although probably not now. It takes a lot to motivate me to watch something that big so I’m gonna wait until the next holiday break

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