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.
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!
To intercept any potential issues about it – no, the Winter 2020 season is not bad. We say every time that we’re surprised with how good the Winter season is, but no more! Winter seasons are pretty much always good, and this one is no exception.
We have a lot to offer this time around: we discuss the totally real Room Camp/Magia Record collab with TripAdvisor, we introduce Eizouken as “the anime that doesn’t have anything to do with stabbing”, we get really real with Kyle’s fear of mind control and the hilarious amount of shows that dip into it this season, Zack gets one last verbal rant about Babylon, and among all that weirdness, we have a lot of really solid recommendations for y’all! Get in while the getting’s good!
“Everyone, have you heard of the trolley problem?”
Over the last few years, I recall numerous times seeing folks on Twitter crying for politics, social issues, and “SJW”s to be kept out of anime. Comments and sentiments like these have been around for quite some time, even though they may not use the same language or platform to disseminate those ideas. Hilariously enough, however, one can easily look back to some of the oldest anime we have, or some of the anime considered to be in the canon of the medium, and see that there is a solid history of series that have worked to discuss issues that are deeply important and relevant to the human condition. So when I hear people complaining about the so-called “tainting” of their entertainment media, I can only think about how many shows have worked over the years to actually be about something, even if it isn’t right in your face, and how the medium has always, in some ways, been political or about real-world ideas.
With that being said, I think that it is important to consider how shows actually work to approach more serious concepts. While a lot of shows might want to be about some loftier or more important ideas, the inclusion and handling of them might not always be handled well, which honestly may be worse than not talking about them at all. Considering this, I have a small selection of shows from the current and previous anime seasons that I feel highlight the two different extremes of this concept – shows like Stars Align and The Case Files of Jeweler Richard, which effectively highlight current social and cultural issues that don’t get much attention in anime, as well as shows like Babylon, which try and fail miserably to be about mature moral and political issues.
Hey y’all. I know it’s been a while since we’ve gotten out a post about seasonal anime amongst the three of us, but this post is about to change all of that. We typically do a podcast episode about the season and our impressions based on the first episodes, but we experienced some… technical difficulties during the last podcast which prevented us from doing that this time. So instead, we took the opportunity in our hands to do something different and try something new-ish for us. Let us know what you think!
This is going to be a long post so I’ll keep this part short, but basically with this, we wanted to address some of the shows we found interesting during the season. Hopefully you’ll find something good here in case you wrote the season off early like some of us were going to, or if you’re just looking for Backloggers branded recommendations, then you’ll get that here too.
We decided to drink and do a seasonal podcast to come to terms with Mythos’ absence.
We talk about some of our favorite shows from the fall anime season, along with other shows that we thought were boppin’. We discussed what made some shows like Zombie Land Saga and Bunny Girl Senpai unique within their genre of shows, and how others like SSSS.Gridman and Run with the Wind are similar to other shows, but also doing their own take on those elements as well.
As a final send-off to our year, we also showcase our Anime of the Year Top 5!
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.