So for the past 2 seasons, I’ve seemingly watched nothing but Jojo and to make matters even more apparent, I didn’t even really review anything a season before Jojo aired either. No doubt, not too many anime series in general these days really pique my interest especially with the amount of work I have but why even keep this site afloat when I only bother watching Jojo and posting music? I asked myself the very same question and wondered what exactly I could talk about here when I don’t have too much time thinking about the minuscule amounts of series I watch in general.
Then it hit me that I never really gave one of those Top 10 series I love and all kinds of lists and lists of my favorite X-series. Truth be told, I still don’t have a concrete list of what I absolutely love. But what I do have is a particular collection of series that I like to rewatch, and given how much new anime comes out every 3 months, there’s an undeniable merit to the ones that get on my folder. I got my external hard-drive around a year or two ago and a good chunk of it is my backup drive but another significant portion is my anime folder. Keep in mind, these series are “mostly” fairly recent and I haven’t tracked down the older series yet.
So let’s just embark on what exactly constitutes as a literal example of a series that I bothered to remember and watch again.
Ping Pong The Animation: A series I oh so wholly praised is unsurprisingly one of the first things I bothered getting on my hard-drive. The classic tale of sportive competition is timeless but Ping Pong as many know isn’t all about the sport individual motivation that fuels our 5 main characters. Even to this day the happiness in the finale and the smaller conversations hold immense weight and emotion to me. Hard-work, effort, talent, family, and the likes are still something very empathetic and personal to my life so the series has a very special place in my heart that knows the pain of disappointment. It’s hilarious how every single person I have convinced to watch this series ended up marathonning it the entire way through, it’s happened around 5 times now. I should say this now though, the “good series” probably won’t get too much said on them for obvious reasons. It’s a lot easier to hate on something than genuinely praising it. But as far as praises go for Ping Pong just wins a lot of emotional highs and lows that I see a lot of people can really find themselves in. It’s definitely one of the series I’ll probably hold on to for a longer while than some of the other stuff I have in my drive..
Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance: An oddity in how a rather mediocre light-novel harem adaptation got into my hard-drive, especially with something as heartfelt as Ping Pong is above it. There’s something so shamelessly acceptable and cliche with Blade Dance that it’s possibly one of the easiest ones to watch. It’s surprising to think that but upon literal years of watching shitty harem series, I can say with some confidence that Blade Dance’s redundancy is its greatest strength as well as its biggest weakness. It just follows the same tropes and cliches but somehow, it’s so average that there isn’t anything to really complain about when compared to other series and it’s just inoffensive and something to just have as background noise. The fights are absolute garbage, the setting is quite literally Infinite Stratos, and the main girl is annoying but there’s something I somewhat appreciate in Blade Dance’s attempt at character development even with its formulaic 1-volume per girl style it does. Just a shame that TOURNAMENTS just happen to be its whole draw and hilariously enough, they don’t even get to the Blade Dance they won’t shut up about. But the draw, at least for me, is that they bothered to try and characterize 3 out of the 4 girls and their interactions were at least tolerable and that’s what’s mostly enjoyable to watch.
Oreshura: On a similar note, Oreshura is yet another series in the same vein as Blade Dance. However, it thankfully isn’t a battle-harem but a standard school harem. I mostly keep it around as standard-watch-whenever series since it definitely isn’t the worst thing out there compared to others of its ilk. I say that but I only focus on two characters in the series and that’s Masuzu and Ai. I’ve always liked Masuzu since her dynamic with the main character was admittedly fun to watch (and seeing Yukari Tamura being domineering in a way is fun to ehar as well) while Ai was just adorable, and the style of child-hood friend I find way more likable. Chunni and Chihuahua however just never struck a chord with me, even if the childhood friend trope is something I like, Chihuahua’s way of vying for love was just the wrong way to approach it. She basically throws a fit over how the main character belongs to her just on the grounds of being childhood friends and thinks of it as a privilege. Ai basically has the right mindset to it since even with said childhood friend privilege, she still tries to get closer and be desirable in advancing the relationship while Chihuahua just stands her ground and doesn’t really want the relationship to advance all that much. Also, the visual style is also absurdly “soft” looking with its bright but pastel like color-scheme so it isn’t really painful to watch. The opening song is admittedly catchy as hell too.
Space Dandy: No surprises here, I love the whole Watanabe Trio for their own reasons here and Space Dandy is something always fun to watch and listen to. I said it before that Space Dandy, for all the hype it was getting before its release, wasn’t something all that comparable to Bebop or Champloo, but it still contains, in my opinion, more enjoyable episodes than lackluster ones. There’s a strange expectation I had with each episode to either fulfill some thematic nuance for each episode or just some mysterious need that I felt sometimes wasn’t always met in certain episodes. Stuff like the space-dog dying and then the other half of the episode being about the fleas never struck with me all that well. That entire episode about the inane pants vs shirt episode was slow and unamusing but then the last minute of it got salvaged with its Stardust Pipeline. Then there’s episodes like the Red Line one where I was thoroughly entertained but hoped to see more of the race itself instead of constant cuts, not to mention its ending which sort of weirded me out. But like I said, I was left with an enjoyable impression than a bad one purely on empirical data. It’s music goes without saying, definitely one of the more memorable soundtracks that’s nothing short of what Watanabe’s shows comes packaged with.
Samurai Champloo: Speaking of Watanabe, this one shouldn’t be a surprise at all. Believe it or not, I actually don’t have Cowboy Bebop in my folders because I found Champloo’s episode variety ever-so more entertaining and memorable compared to most of Bebop’s. As far as Cowboy Bebop goes, aside from the episodes where it focused on a character’s backstory, I only vividly recall the pilot. Toys in the Attic, the clown, and Mushroom Samba. While I’m an enormous fan of jazzy smooth tunes, I’m biased towards the type of music Nujabes, Fat Jon, and a number of other artists collaborated on Champloo with more since it also happens to incorporate some jazzy motifs that I enjoy. To this day, I cannot sit and watch the final end-credits of the series with midicronica’s San Francisco playing in the back while the trio just walk away from each other and get on with their lives. It feels so happy but bitter-sweet with the parting and the song is just so energetic with beautiful visuals to boot but the fact is, the three are separated and will never meet again, or maybe they will, and the fact that we’ll never find out kind of brings it home.
Join me again real soon to see what else I got lurking in my hard-drive. Thanks for reading.