This year was filled with all sorts of shows. Good shows, average shows, “I-ought-to-watch-these-some-other-time” shows. I’ll be doing a verylong rundown on what I think is a list of all of the shows I’ve watched for the first time within the year. VERY tl;dr post up ahead, grazing past 2500 words. Read it or skip along as you please.
Archive for December, 2008
As any regular reader of this blog will know by now, I am an incredibly impulsive spender, which translates to well, lots of needless spending and what I would call, “bad buys”. Because of my rabid fandom for some things, I also tend to completely ignore the price when it comes down to it, like Adun. There have been a number of factors that somehow inhibited my overall spending, such as figures that never arrived, the global economic crisis, and another new hobby. Still, compared to previous years, my spending has still increased significantly. Hit the jump for details.
Honya-chan‘s already written a review, so I won’t bother going into plot summaries. Instead, what will follow is a rambling commentary about the game. Do be forewarned of spoilers. Oh, and for the record, I’ve never even touched Fate/stay night, so no comparisons here.
Awfully late as always, but a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. Or day. Whatever.
Moment #1: Aria
To be specific, the ending of Aria the Animation. Okay, sure, it wasn’t exactly a Christmas setting, but the feelings, the mood it invoked, were the same.
Truth be told, I watched the full series earlier this year, and then the thirteenth episode another time just a few minutes ago, just to keep the feelings a little fresh. It really delivered a simple message to me: No matter what you occasion you’re celebrating, what makes it all worthwhile is being with the people you hold dear. For Akari, it was being with her friends and seniors, Aika, Alice, Alicia, et. al. For me, well, it’s my family and my friends are (though obviously they’re with their own families).
It really hit me hard this year because, if you remember a previous post, my grandmother passed away. She was always there during our family’s Christmas parties, so her absence really drove home that little insight I had.
I just love Aria for things like these. Despite being set so distantly, it still feels so close. The wonderful things I pick up from this show only add to my appreciation of the series, and adding to that, the wonderful, relaxed feeling I always get when watching the show, it makes for a perfect way to celebrate Christmas and the rest of the year.
Moment #2 – 5cm per Second
Byousoku was, and still is, my favorite animated film.
I’ve re watched it twice last year and another time this year, with each rewatch adding more and more to my appreciation of it. The visuals were excellent, the sound was great, but there was something more to it. A lot of people mentioned how they were able to empathize with Takaki – how his experiences in the film were able to remind those people of their own. Now to be honest, I’ve never had a romantic relationship before (go figure) so I never could empathize, but despite that, it was able to bring out a sense of sympathy for Takaki.
In my first viewing, I was never really able to take in the deeper aspects of the film. Rather than concentrating on the movie’s other portions, like themes, moods, emotions, I was more concentrated on the technical aspects of 5cm. The graphics were downright stunning, and the voice acting wasn’t half-bad either. In the end, I didn’t really feel much about the movie. It was an incredible display of well, scenery porn. And that’s all I thought in my first watch.
My second was a little more satisfactory. The last part of the movie was able to get me awfully depressed because of the ending – its ability to bring out raw emotion in me is perhaps only matched by a small number of things – ARIA and planetarian to name a few. I was also able to relate it to another of Shinkai’s movies – Voices of a Distant Star – and I noticed a couple of parallels in the themes present: love, distance, separation, they were there. After that, school took over and I wasn’t able to think about it much after.
This year, I was able to view it with a little more time to spare. A lot of parts of the movie stay in my memory, but there is a certain part: the last moment at the crossing where I found something more to the movie. It’s where a train cuts off a possible reunion with Akari and after which, Takaki moves on. Everything comes back back full circle, except this time, Akari isn’t on the other side of the tracks. To be honest, it really made me depressed and angry because they could have seen each other again, yet they were not; the distance of a single train crossing becomes comparable to that of one light years away as in Voices of a Distant Star.
I thought it was just unfair – the entire thing. And then Takaki just moves onward with a little smile on his face. Evidently, it’s not exactly a happy ending, and I guess that’s life. It’s never going to be a happy ending, but even then, you have to move on. You have to accept what life throws at you and press forward.
I guess what makes 5cm so great is its encapsulation of so many little things that you get to realize and appreciate the more you watch it.
Moments Left: 1
Moment #3 – “It’s a Sony!”
I was pretty damn surprised when they pulled this off. This practically made Kannagi for me; the blatant brand advertisement had me stifling my laughter for some time, and it will probably not only live on as a Kannagi-related meme, but even as a Sony-related one. I lol’d at how no one even knew what the hell Blu-Ray and Betamax were.
And as for the series itself, it really shows how you could be totally off the actual manga (not that I’ve read it, but I doubt there’s a karaoke chapter in there) and still make one hell of an entertaining show.