Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

I think it’s a little pointless to make “best of the decade” lists when a majority of the series you’ve experienced, period, were from this decade. Excepting the random movies and shows I saw dubbed in Chinese or whatever as a kid and those from the glory days of Toonami, most of what I’ve seen debuted post-1999, including pretty much everything currently on my favorites’ list (not that I ever really figured that out).

So instead of that, here are nine series I kind of meant to watch at some point during the last ten years and never got around to, either because I was too busy or too lazy or too cheap or forgot about it. Maybe I’ll get around to some of these eventually, but some of them will probably just slip on further and further into the back of my mind where I’ll forget about them like I’ve probably already forgotten about a dozen other things I intended to watch at some point.

These are in no real order.

1. Voices of a Distant Star (2002)

After seeing 5 Centimeters per Second, I was very interested in seeing Makoto Shinkai’s other works. I was going to include The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004) in this as well, but I think I’ve actually seen a few minutes of that, either of the beginning or the end, I don’t remember. Voices of a Distant Star seems to have a theme similar to 5 Centimeters, which is depressing in that I can relate too well, but it also reminds me a little of PLANETES, which was considerably less depressing, perhaps because it slipped in a lot more comedy. Either way, this movie is definitely something I still intend to check out eventually. I really don’t know why it’s so hard for me to sit down with movies; I never feel like I have enough time.

2. Seirei no Moribito (2007)

As with most series that manage to get on [adult swim], I intended to watch this when it aired there. Unfortunately, its debut coincided with me not owning or having regular access to a television set, and [as] didn’t care to provide it with an online stream like many of its other series at the time, including Code Geass. So I missed out for the while, and I guess it was just as well considering the various bullshit [as] put the series. I think they eventually did air all of it, but yeah, it definitely never got the respect or attention it probably deserved. To be honest, I really don’t have a good grasp of what the series is actually about or why it’s good, but ghostlightning, among others, assures me that there’s good character development and such, so I guess I’ll probably get around to it eventually. (Then again, ghostlightning, among others, also goaded me into Eureka seveN, so maybe I don’t trust his judgment anymore…)

3. Junjou Romantica (2008)

Actually, nothing about this series interests me. The premise bores me and the character designs bore me, and those are really the only solid things I have to go off of. It seems like a huge combination of all the things that would make a newcomer skeptical of the genre, and after having dabbled in a few other shounen-ai series, I’m inclined to think that maybe my fondness of Gravitation is a huge, huge fluke. Nothing else has appealed to me since, and in retrospect, I can accept that Gravitation really wasn’t all that amazing either. Junjou Romantica interested me solely because, for a while, it seemed almost as popular as Gravi had been in its heyday, especially in that a fair number of guys seemed to regard it with some positivity. It also managed to get a second season. It’s definitely not high on my list of things to see, but I may eventually check out a few episodes at least. Dunno.

4. Kino’s Journey (2003)

My brother’s read and recommended me the manga a few times, but I’m better about eventually seeing an anime than I am about eventually reading a manga, and Kino’s Journey is wonderfully short at 13 episodes. Observations of the human condition always tend to interest me and for one reason or another, I feel that this series has a whimsical nature to it. (Maybe it’s the talking motorcycle.) I definitely want to see this eventually. Eventually!

5. Gankutsuou (2004)

I really like Alexander Dumas’s Count of Monte Cristo. Perhaps that is reason enough not to see this series. I mean, I hated Romeo x Juliet, though honestly, I think that hatred stems more from the atrocities of storytelling and character development than any offense I took to the utter bastardization of Shakespeare’s play. But Gankutsuou looks so like such a trippy visual treat! But I’ve already had Monte Cristo ruined for me once before a la the terrible 2002 movie adaptation. Not sure I want to deal with that again. Sure, I’d expect Gankutsuou to be a much looser adaptation, and really, as long as it manages to tell an okay story with okay characters, I probably wouldn’t be that pissed at whatever they end up changing… but by now I know that I’m a purist at heart, even when I try my best not to be. So will I ever see this series? Maybe.

6. Azumanga Daioh (2002)

I just feel like I’m missing out on a lot of Internet nerd culture references by not having seen this, y’know? That and not having read more than a few chapters of Yotsuba&!.

7. Yakitate!! Japan (2004)

When I’d first heard about this show and that it was about bread and puns, I really, really wanted to see it because really, who doesn’t love bread and puns? For one reason or another though, I was unable to do so immediately and so forgot about it and then put it off and then put it off. With a final episode count of 69, it now violates my usual rules for picking up a new series that isn’t currently airing, which are basically “it’s gotta be less than 27 episodes or a Gundam series.” There have been exceptions to this rule certainly, but the more I continue to put it off, the less confident I am that Yakitate!! will be ever an exception.

8. Xam’d: Lost Memories (2008)

I was excited about Xam’d being launched on the PSN and all, but that was mostly irrelevant to me since I didn’t have access. Still, as the series aired, I heard many good things about it. BONES’s animation looked gorgeous as usual and Michiru Oshima did the music! Not to mention the awesome, awesome theme songs Boom Boom Satellites provided. With all those technical goodies, I still haven’t really bothered to see what the story’s about. Maybe if it’s cool sounding, I’ll get to checking it out faster. If it’s forgettable, I’ll probably keeping putting it off and putting it off…

9. Chi’s Sweet Home (2008)

I think I just need more simple adorable sweetness in my life. It’s ongoing and already has like sixty episodes, but this probably isn’t a series for hardcore watching, analyzing, and discussion, so whatever, right? Maybe I’ll be able to sneak some episodes this year in between all the running around hectic and stressed. Who knows. Kitty is so cute.

Happy New Year!

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  1. ghostlightning on January 1, 2010 1:10 am

    Hey, you didn’t hate EVERYTHING I sent your way T_T

    Voices of a Distant Star is awesome mostly in the context of how one guy made it all, and as a short film. I like Gunbuster/Diebuster a whole lot more (as time dilation stories go).

    I dropped AzuDai (couldn’t stand the prolonged dwelling on punchlines that sapped all the funny out of it), but finished all of Yakitate! Japan (I won’t EVER rewatch this, but I’m glad I did watch it).

    Part of me thinks of Xam’d as Eureka SeveN lite, which is unfair perhaps; but it does similar things well, but overall I like it a lot less.

  2. Kiriska on January 1, 2010 1:16 am

    Hahaha, this is true. I enjoyed Onani Master and Solanin a good bit. ;P

    I was never really sure how much I’d be able to get into Azumanga, but it seemed like one of those series I should at least check out once even if I end up dropping it.

    I’m now more curious about Xam’d though. Maybe you liking it less will mean I’ll like it more. XD

  3. TJF588 on January 1, 2010 11:05 pm

    I rented Voices of a Distant Star from BlockBlister once, and my dad watched it with me, but whatever point it was trying to make was prolly too artisyly presented for me to really get it. It didn’t even feel like anything, just kind of a string of words and pictures and then it was over (I remember it being short). Nothing really felt “happening” .

    As for the Count (I need to get back into mah Castlevania(s)), it was on Japanator’s list of top 50 animus of the decade, so perhaps it’d be worth it.

  4. usagijen on January 1, 2010 11:28 pm

    Rather surprised to see Junjou Romantica there! Guess you can either enjoy it for the lulz, or you can even take it seriously like a BL-loving friend of mine and still enjoy it (lol)

    Azumanga is fun, retardedly fun. I think it’s the kind of show that’s best watched with someone (better with a group!) who can laugh with you, or curse you for sucking him/her into watching it lolol.

    I also have Gankutsuou, Kino no Tabi, and Seirei no Moribito in my backlog of ‘awesome animes to check out’, among others — there’s Kurau, Planetes, Utena, Juuni Kokki… gah the list keeps piling up T_T

    Happy New Year!

  5. Kiriska on January 3, 2010 8:32 am

    @TJF588, that fits with my impression of Shinkai’s style after having seen 5cm/sec, though that was part of why it ended up leaving such a big impression on me. Most of the movement in the movie was in the characters’ heads, so there wasn’t as much to see in the movie action-wise. It was all art and symbolism. I guess it’s a matter of taste.

    And yeah, Gankusuou has been highly regarded on a number of review sites and blogs.

    @usagijen, that link didn’t work for me. :( I guess JR just caught my interest as one of the few “mainstream” BL series in a while and I am really hoping to find another in the genre other than Gravi that I can enjoy. The more I look, the more skeptical I get though. x_x

    Hm, I don’t have many folks irl that will watch anime with me (or that I enjoy watching anime with), especially since I don’t get to see my brother much. But if/when I do eventually pick it up, I guess I could try and get him to watch it concurrently with me so we could at least discuss it. :>

    Ah, I definitely want to watch Utena eventually also, but it wasn’t made this decade, so I didn’t include it here. XD You should definitely see PLANETES! :O

  6. Martin on January 3, 2010 4:28 pm

    That sounds like an excellent plan for next year’s viewing; I’d strongly recommend Voices of a Distant Star, Xam’d and Kino – they’re personal faves of mine. As for the others, people have recommended them to me too so I ought to follow your example and promise myself to watch them. In any case, happy 2010!

  7. Alex on January 3, 2010 9:38 pm

    Very well written post!

    I haven’t seen any of these series either, with the exception of Chi’s Sweet Home, which I watch all the time with my little niece. It’s so cute!! I’ll have to watch some of these other ones though, especially Voices of a Distant Star, I’ve heard good things about it for FOREVER but haven’t gotten around to watching it =/.

  8. Toonleap on January 3, 2010 10:13 pm

    Happy New Year Kiri…I was wondering where you have been and discovered you was in Japan…duh…

    Good to see ya around…I think the only anime I saw from your list is Azumanga Daioh and voices of a distant star….the rest is unknown to me…

  9. Dum boi on January 14, 2010 11:35 pm

    Kino no Tabi doesn’t have a mango =X It’s only a light novel and animu/ova.

    Have you seen any of the new animu this season?

  10. Kiriska on January 14, 2010 11:44 pm

    MY BAD. <_< I haven't seen anything new this season, but I'm planning on watching Durarara!! and Nodame this weekend. And maybe the SHAFT vampire thing.

  11. Jura on June 27, 2010 7:49 pm

    It’s for the best that you didn’t read the Kino’s Journey light novels, as it was canceled by Tokyopop after they released volume one and previewed the cover of volume two.