There have been some quite interesting developments within TAY recently regarding anime. What I'm talking about, of course, is Ani-TAY: Anime Club or more affectionately known as Ani-Club! This week's "meeting" was quite a success with a lot of people joining in on the conversation on Ouran High School Host Club, the current designated anime for Ani-Club.
Ani-TAY's Ani-Club discusses the hilarious Ouran High School Host Club. Last Wednesday's discussion was about the first and second episode. Make sure to watch episodes 3 and 4 for next week's Ani-Club meeting! Oh, and before we forget, we should thank Odin and TUT for organizing the Ani-Club! Thanks!
TAY tries to answer a question that can be very divisive. Just how do we define what a classic is? Some have answered that it's being "vintage" while some put emphasis on a series' "timeless" quality. My personal favorite is the description that classics are shows that "transcend" barriers/genres and even the "anime" classification itself in a way that it affects people who wouldn't really be into that kind of stuff. This one, from MementoMorie, is also a personal favorite:
1. Stuff that helped form a genre or was a standout in its genre. That would include Akira, GitS, Eva, Macross, Gundam, Sailor Moon, Utena probably, maybe Madoka Magica, etc.
2. Some degree of time test standing/durability
3. Anything made by Satoshi Kon
Even more divisive questions! In this one, E1SALVADOR asks us about the anime that we do not like or even hate. Some have pointed out certain shows while many have listed genres.
Finally, we have this cool recap from E1SALVADOR of some shows using the most beloved image format on the internet. He gives his impressions on OreImo's second season, Hitman Reborn!, and Code:Breakers.
Kekkaishi (Barrier Master)
In this article, Ulgar the Frostclad reviews Kekkaishi. Below is an excerpt from his review. Be sure to check out his article if you're interested in knowing more!
The story of Kekkaishi revolves around two families, the Sumimuras and Yukimuras, who have been tasked with protecting the land of Karasumori. This filial tradition began centuries ago when a powerful Kekkaishi named Tokimori Hazama first took up the mantle of defender of Karasumori. Now that duty has been passed on to Tokine Yukimura and Yoshimori Sumimura. Karasumori is a source of great power yet at the same time this power attracts evil spirits or ayakashi. A singular group of ayakashi called the Kokuboro are seeking to conquer Karasumori so that they can use its energy to rejuvenate their leader, the Nine-tailed Fox Princess. Along the way, Tokine and Yoshimori are joined by the half-ayakashi Gen Shishio and the mysterious Yagyou or Night Troop who also have a stake in the fate of Karasumori.
At it's heart, Kekkaishi is a shonen action anime with supernatural elements. The show was aimed at a younger audience but this in no way diminishes it's quality. If anything, it only makes Kekkaishi more enjoyable for everyone. There isn't even the faintest suggestion of fan-service nor does it ever become crass with it's humor. Without these distractions Kekkaishi is able to focus on its strengths, that is, the story and the characters in it.
Toradora is quite a popular anime that places highly on a lot of "Top Anime" lists. As far as RomComs go, this is one of the best you can watch. Why is it so special? Well, for one, the character development and development of their relationships feel very natural that when things happen they just click. It also doesn't stay too long on a single plot point so the pacing prevents the show from having lots of boring moments (if Ryuuji and Taiga or on screen it's almost guaranteed that the scene won't be boring).
Not only does it do RomCom well, it even does drama quite well. Though at times it may seem heavy handed, the drama often always led to advances with regards to plot and character development. The only part that kind of seems a bit confusing (sadly) is the ending. I needed to rewatch the last episode to understand what was happening. Nonetheless, it was a good ending.
Overall, Toradora is a very memorable anime. It not only delivers on the comedy and romance, it also delivers on the drama. Some of the best scenes employ all these along with some great cheery visuals to deliver a satisfying experience. I highly recommend watching this show if only for the love of Taiga. Thankfully, the show is good over-all so it's very much worth a watch.
Ano Natsu de Matteru (Waiting in the Summer)
Ano Natsu de Matteru is another RomCom from J.C. Staff (they also did Toradora). While Toradora progresses from mostly comedy to being a bit more serious, AnoNatsu has a bigger focus on the romance from the get-go.
The story revolves around Ichika, an alien girl who crash landed on Earth. Eventually, she meets Kaito and the rest of the cast and through some strange turn of events they end up making a short film together.
So, what makes this anime special? I'd say that there isn't really anything "special" about it, it's just that it does what it is supposed to really well. There are quite a number of comedic and memorable scenes scattered throughout the show. The main cast also has to be applauded for the fantastic work that they've done on the voice acting (Lemon-senpai!). The story is simple and straightforward but it manages to be sincere and fun to watch.
AnoNatsu also sets up a very interesting romantic conflict between its main cast. I think that this show had one of the best "love triangle" (though not really a triangle in this case) scenarios I've watched. The way it was set-up, developed and eventually resolved is just satisfying.
Some have complained about the "shift" in tone with the last episode. I beg to differ and think that it is one of the best final episodes I've watched. The build-up during the episodes leading up to the finale definitely payed-off with some awesome scenes and visuals. Oh, and again, this show has some sweet and cheery visuals and it's really a pleasure to watch. The ending was well-done and lends a nice air of closure to it all.
Overall, I would recommend that you watch this show. It may be just "above average" but I think that it is at least worth a look even if for just 2 or 3 episodes.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster)
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is probably my favorite RomCom show. It's as slice-of-life as slice-of-life shows go. Still, it does stuff very well that I wouldn't be surprised if you finish this in one sitting (I did).
So, what makes a slice-of-life show stand out? Character development of course! I know, I've used this word a lot throughout all my articles but this show really does have it. I think that by the end of the show, you'd at least love Shizuku or Haru.
You know what else you'd be doing by the end of the show? Squealing. This is just one of the shows where the romance comes naturally and when it happens you feel all mushy and fluffy inside. It doesn't help that Haru is an awkward amazingly intelligent idiot. Shizuku's progression throughout the show is also admirable. It's just a show whose plot, scenes and characters will stay in your mind for quite some time after you watch it. You definitely will want more because the ending definitely leads you to believe that there is more. I hope they do more. This show comes with a heavy recommendation! Watch it and feel the marshmallows flowing through your veins!
Aku no Hana
This one will be short. I just want to rave about how AMAZING the seventh episode of Aku no Hana is. That episode (especially the last half) was one of the best things I've seen in anime. The climax just felt like a huge middle finger to all the people who said the show looked like crap. I for one think the use of rotoscope works very well for the atmosphere and the range of emotions displayed by the characters. The amazing scene from this episode just showcases the good that the art style they chose brings. The show started out slow and rocky but it definitely turned into something to look out for. If this doesn't let up, this show will end up really great and probably be one of my favorites.
Is that enough RomComs for this week? I figured I'd do RomCom reviews this week so I chose the trio above. Share your comments below! If you have an article that I've missed, just post it down below and I'll edit it in or include it in the next AniTAY Drop. You could also post stuff that you want to have reviewed or a genre that you want discussed (just like the focus on RomComs on this week's AniTAY Drop Reviews). Oh, and don't forget to tag your anime related posts with AniTAY! It makes organization easier and I get the articles from the AniTAY tagged posts.
Not only should you tag your anime posts with AniTAY, you should tag all your posts with TAYClassic! Have some casual fun and discussions with fellow TAY peeps over at TAYClassic :)