Improving Tiresome Anime Debates — A Response to Irina

In the past five years of being a blogger and almost eight years of being an anime watcher, I’ve personally seen a lot of discourse and discussion over a variety of topics from plenty of angles – opinionated and factual alike. There are always those debates, though, that continuously circle back around after some time again and again, almost as if they are scheduled to appear once a few months have passed. There’s never really any reason for them to re-appear sometimes, nor is there really anything new to add to the discussion, but they reappear anyway and suddenly they become the hot topic of whatever your preferred social media platform is. It’s akin to watching some horrible rendition of Re:Zero where instead of watching Subaru trying his best to reach his goal and making several mistakes that result in his death instead, it’s watching people you know engage in futile discussions until they’ve either said their piece or become a completely different person than you once knew.

This is why when I found that fellow blogger Irina posted an article about this sort of phenomena that occurs so frequently, I was curious to see what sort of community debate overlap or dissonance we were experiencing within the anime community. I found some of these topics discussed in the post lined up pretty well with what I had noticed from the community and definitely shared some of those same sentiments. While I could also add many other topics to the list, I wanted to take some time to focus on what Irina is talking about in the post itself: the nature of how these debates are no longer “interesting” to have.

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Help! The Tears Won’t Stop! — A Spring 2020 Seasonal Showcase

This season has led me to two major realizations within the space of seasonal anime and how we perceive it, as viewers and fans of anime. 

1) With a lot of shows delayed until this crisis is over, I was initially disappointed by the lack of my “main” shows such as Re:Zero and OreGairu S3 and wasn’t sure how I was going to fill the “anime void” left in my heart. However, I think this also has been ground-breaking and intriguing in its own way. Having an anime season happen that has negated a lot of the “hype” surrounding series such as these has left a lot of space for lesser-known series to make their own name based on their own merits, and likely more people have given them a chance because of this.

2) It’s not necessarily the name or popularity of shows that make them desirable as shows; it’s because of the animation quality and emotion delivered with each released episode. It’s so powerful that these shows can stand on their own, without needing any of the advertising frills or gimmicks to really sell the shows for them; they don’t need any of that. This may seem rather basic, but it can be hard to realize when giant anime companies constantly try to force their own interests into your social media, inbox, or in-person merchandise. 

While I don’t think my picks of the season necessarily have all the relations to either category, I think these are things we should be considering when watching seasonal anime. Thinking about “why” we watch anime to begin can be interesting at times, and I think that these shows below capture what I think is “interesting” within anime. I hope that you can find the same sort of shows for yourself within this season as well!

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Digital Media Preservation: Why the Interspecies Reviewers Controversy Matters

Anime has come so far from the days of having to watch subbed episodes of Evangelion on bootleg video tapes and trying to find any anime streaming site worth its salt that just wasn’t clustered with ads. One thing that I appreciate about modern anime streaming services and availability is being able to just sit down and watch a series when I want to without having to go through the hassle of worrying about where I’m going to find the episode or when the next episode will be subbed and released before I can watch it. It’s something that only now I can appreciate, looking back upon what I would have considered the “golden days” of anime (and I’m sure many others consider it those as well in certain regards).

There’s no question about it; the anime streaming industry has become such an integral staple of everyone’s watching and consumption of anime these days. Crunchyroll, Funimation, and many others (yes, even Netflix…) have created their own sort of anime accessibility bubble that burst when these sites became popular. They’ve popularized a lot of shows that may have been considered “niche” years ago and allowed everyone to enjoy great shows that lots of people had never heard of before, which is fantastic for the medium at large.

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Seasonal Showcase Winter 2020 — Idols, Turtles, and Detectives

Since the winter season’s been in full swing for several weeks, everyone’s likely chosen what anime they want to watch from the seasonal pool of shows. We’ve got all of these Great Winter Anime this season, and honestly it’s probably one of the best Winter seasons we’ve had in recent years. It may be so good, though, that narrowing down what shows to watch can be a huge issue, as it has been for us at The Backloggers.

Well, that’s where the Seasonal Showcase comes in! Perhaps you’re looking for some hidden gems or overlooked shows from this season, or maybe you’re just trying to find a new interesting show to try? In either case, you’ve come to the right section of Anime Town™, where I discuss some of the dark horse picks of the season that are interesting in their own way and may be worth a second (or perhaps first) shot. Anyway, let’s jump right into it!

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Owningmatt93's Picks for the Anime of the Decade

So, it’s my turn now, huh? I don’t think the world is ready for my Anime of the Decade list, but here we are! 

Just like the other two, I’ve chosen shows that I enjoyed the most and found the most interesting throughout the decade. No gimmicks; no “one anime from each year”; no rankings or any of that. These are solely shows that I most enjoyed from 2010 to 2019 in the order that I first watched them. That’s it; nothing fancy. I like to think of it as a sort of journey through my anime life, I suppose. 

Anyway, I won’t hold back on the content in the picks themselves, so let’s jump into some of my favorite anime of the decade, hooray! 

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Your Lie in April – A Shining Light Within A Sea of Despair

To “lose” something is such a powerful, yet diverse word when it comes to what it means to different people. It’s a word that can mean both a misplacement of something important to us and a heartbreaking parting with someone we know. A word that can mean both a failure to achieve a personal goal and also one of misguidance and confusion. It’s hard to pin down on what “losing” can mean to any individual at any given time. Even further still, it’s complicated to understand how different individuals can cope with each scenario of “loss” regarding its various meanings. Sometimes to “lose” is something we don’t focus on too much, yet at other times, it can be devastating to the point where it feels soul-crushing and unable to be overcome.

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The Backloggers Blog Update: AKA, A Letter to Irina’s “Blogging Breaks” Post

Note: I’m starting off this post by saying that this is my no means to be any reflection of the other members of the Backloggers. This is solely my thoughts on this topic alone. Although this post will talk about general blog updates and general impressions of the blog, I obviously cannot speak for anyone but myself and my opinions on the subject at hand.

This post will probably be the longest post I’ve ever written, but I think this will offer some explanation and insight behind our blog here at The Backloggers, and also explain some of our recent behavior (or lack thereof). So, I encourage you to read this post as a sort of response to Irina’s “Blogging Breaks” post on Karandi’s blog, although it won’t directly pertain to the content in that post, along with some of the stuff that’s been happening with this blog.

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[Season Sampler] Senryuu Girl Episode 1 – Cherry Blossoms

There’s no better way to start off Spring season than with a show that seems to truly capture the perfect essence of the meaning of “spring time”. You have the trees and flowers blooming, the lack of any sort of “hey, it’s cold and miserable” mood that always seems to come with many anime based in the winter months, and most importantly (for anime at least), the general school romance that seems to always flourish during this time of year.

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[Short Thoughts] KonoSuba: God’s Blessing Upon This Wonderful World (Seasons 1 and 2) — Thus, Hilarity Ensues

When someone mentions the words “comedy anime”, this is often one of the first recently airing shows that will be brought to the table when tossing out names for recommended lists or “must watches”. Not quite an MMO anime of the years past, and not quite an isekai anime of the current years, KonoSuba manages to both cater to the fans of those types of shows, while also simultaneously poking fun at all the ridiculous concepts behind said shows. It may even be tempting to call this type of show a “parody” or a “subversion” of the genres its mimicking. Honestly though, I don’t think either of those terms really fit what this show is.

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[Season Sampler] The Price of Smiles 1 — Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

If you’re anything like me, you may have given this anime one glance and thought that it looked like a strange concoction of what people would regard as a “generic fantasy show” with very under-stellar elements regarding animation and effects. There’s nothing really that makes this anime stand on its own from just reading the synopsis and watching the PV. To older anime viewers such as myself, it almost looks like a cross between Aldnoah.Zero and Chaika: The Coffin Princess in terms of both style and elements presented to us throughout the show. Both of those shows were at varying levels of popularity and quality, but I think that while comparing Price of Smiles to those shows may be accurate in terms of plot setup and world-building elements, it’s also disingenuous to say that this show is exactly like either of those, as it does have a wide array of differences in terms of execution and tone that keeps it apart as its own entity.

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