Except I don’t really usually make this kind of end of year post, meaning that this is less of a token post than it is an anomaly.
It’s been a weird kind of year for me anime-wise. I feel like I’ve seen a lot of stuff, but I’m not really sure that’s actually the case. I mean, the likes of Kurogane talk about having seen some 40+ shows, and I know for a fact I’ve not seen that many (at least, not that many from this year). Sure, I’ve seen a fair amount of older shows on home media formats, but I doubt even that would make up the difference.
No, in actuality, I’ve been watching a lot of anime these last three or four months, whilst the first half of the year was pretty barren. I don’t think this is anything to do with the quality of the shows airing during those periods, more just where my mind was at the time. In addition to that, with the anime events at the BFI back in May, Scotland in October and at the Leeds Film Festival in November, I’ve certainly seen a hell of a lot of anime movies theatrically this year (Actually, I’ve just seen a crapton of movies theatrically in general).
But, hey, it’s certainly been another year of anime. I don’t really think it’s necessarily been any better or worse than any other given year in recent memory, even though we are in a still downturn in terms of the number of shows being produced. I think my biggest disappointment of the year is that Sunrise have been in some regards quiet. Of course they still made those Gundam Unicorn OAVs I’ve not got around to watching, the Gundam 00 movie and a few other bits and pieces, but at the same time they’ve not made any of the kind late-night otaku fare I’ve tended to get far too obsessed with in the last decade. If it wasn’t for the fact that it ended with what felt like a clear set-up for an OAV series they didn’t sell well enough to fund, I’d say that it probably explains the whole tone of last years SoraKakeGirl – somewhere between a loving tribute and a scathing mockery of everything Sunrise was in the 00’s. Kind of an “out with the old, in with the new” thematic purge, if you will.
That’s enough of ambiguities, though. Let’s talk a few specifics with the Beta-Waffle Entirely-Pointless Awards for 2010 Anime Existence.
The “LALALALALALALA I’M NOT LISTENING” Award for Attempted Spoiler Avoidance – Katanagatari
Once upon a time, crazy Japanese pulp-fiction author Nisioisin decided that it would be an amusing idea to write and release a novel for every month in a year, and as a result he churned out Katanagatari. Then some clever guy thought it’d be a great idea to do an anime adaptation following much the same pattern. Unfortunately, the effect is kind of lost if you decide to follow the home release rather than whatever pay-per-view airing the show was actually getting on Japanese TV, since the release was offset by a whole three months. Which makes it kind of infuriating. I mean, just the fact that you can see a lot of people talking about a particular episode is the clear indication that something happens in it – and as the show progressed towards it’s end, people were certainly talking about it.
But I’ve made my stand and I’m sticking to it, darnit!
The packaging it pretty, though
Katanagatari is a terrific show, though. It gets off to something of a slow start – it has a simple “Catch’em All” premise that effectively turns each episode into an RPG fetch-quest, but with outcome of each instalment snowballing onwards it complicates and subverts it’s own concept every time it starts to look like it might get a little too comfortable with itself. It also makes a running joke out of the origin of the word “Cheerio”, which is either showing tremendous confidence in it’s own writing, or astonishing contempt for the audience.
I’d like to think it’s the former, as it’s the confidence in it’s own content that really permeates the show. It’s shown it in way they trial content that never actually appears in the episode it’s trialling, it’s peculiar running jokes, or the way it’ll brazenly drop it’s own spoilers for the following episode before it even reaches the next episode preview. The show knows it has compelling content, and really likes to rub it in the audiences face.
(Speaking of Nisioisin, I’m not going into novels in this post as I could easily double it’s already excessive length, but astonishment of the year was Del Rey actually putting out the second volume of Zaregoto in English. People should consider picking the two English volumes up now, because aside from being brilliant, with the whole move-over to Kodansha USA they’re also likely to fall out of print).
The “Dammit, Car Chase!” Award for No Subtitles on the HK DVD – Keroro Gunsou Movie 5
Alas, the comedy gold has come to an end, although to be fair the release of Keroro Movie 4 wasn’t too bad subtitle-wise. Apparently the HK distributor was asked not to include English subtitles with the most recent movie in order to not step on the toes of recent licensor’s in other regions, which is presumably talking about Funimation in the US.
This would be all well and good if Funimations R1 release of the show hadn’t completely stalled at this point. Now I’m just going to not see Keroro Movie 5. Bah.
(On the positive side, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have anything as awesome as Zidane ‘nutting Keroro anyway)
The “More Interesting than it is Good” Award for Being More Interesting Than It Was Good – Macross Frontier ~ The False Diva
I wrote about what made the movie interesting a while back, so I’m not going to repeat myself at too much length. The movie itself was really merely an “alright” – it’s been a year with a lot of good movie releases, and it doesn’t really stand amongst the best of them. If nothing else, a lot of the new animation in the movie actually seemed to fail to match up to the quality of that in the TV show.
What I have read since writing about the movie, however, is that Kawamoris view of the Macross animated projects is even more confusing that I thought. You see, Kawamori doesn’t actually appear to consider there being an actual Macross canon. Essentially, every Macross series is a fictionalisation of events that may or may not have happened in the Macross universe. Whilst this does make it possible to reconcile the tonal shifts between the likes of Macross 7 and Macross Plus, it also makes how to take any given Macross property somewhat baffling.
In effect, what Kawamori is saying is that neither the TV show nor the movies are the definitive take on Macross Frontier – they’re both dramatisations based on possibly second-or-third-hand information. The movie does a lot more with the dramatisation concept, which is what makes it interesting.
(Plus, Universal Bunny is really catchy)
The “Best Ending Credits in a Terrible Movie Cash-in” award for Terrible Movie Spun-off Apparently Good TV Show – PreCure All Stars DX2
Whereby “Apparently Good TV Show”, I specifically mean Heartcatch PreCure, because for all the cross-over craziness, Erika and Tsubomi were the movies central protagonists. People seem to be really digging the Heartcatch TV show as well – certainly, it’s got a lot more buzz surrounding it than previous PreCure shows. There’s kind of a chicken and egg situation going on with that, admittedly – it’s hard to tell if it’s popularity is because it’s getting fansubbed more pro-actively than previous incarnations, or if it’s getting fansubbed that pro-actively because it’s just that much better than previous incarnations.
Which is largely irrelevant when talking about All Stars DX2, because it’s kind of crap regardless. For a franchise which is all about selling merchandise to both little girls and otaku, it pushes it’s merchandising agenda way over the edge into the territory of being painful. When it’s conclusion relies on crowds of people waving their magical flashlight wands around, it’s not exactly being subtle about it’s purpose. That alone could be forgiven, but it’s badly paced, jankily animated (it doesn’t really help that the Heartcatch character designs sit so uncomfortably with the rest of the PreCure universe) and doesn’t have nearly enough action for a movie featuring so many magical girls. I understand there’s a lot of callback fanservice fluff for those who’ve seen every incarnation of the show, but that’s not really enough to justify a full length movie. DX1 did more at half the length.
But, hey, the ending credit sequence, an all-singing, all-dancing, all-CGI medley of the theme songs from every PreCure series, was really, really cool. It’s probably my most looped piece of video of the year.
(As a side-note, I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Heartcatch specific movie that came out recently).
(Also, also – I actually got one of those magical wandy things as a pre-order bonus with the DX2 Blu-Ray ^^;)
The “Why Do I Own This?” Award for Show Most Likely to Get Me Ridiculed For Owning – Angel Beats!
Yeah, that show. Kuroganes year-end post said ”Maeda sure doesn’t know what pacing is even if it was a 380-pound albino gorilla wearing the Brazilian jersey emblazoned with the words “PACING” and blowing a vuvuzela to each ear. ” – that was in quotation marks, so I’m not sure if it was his words or not (actually sounds like something Aroduc would write, but I think it was from Kuros own AB! wrap-up post), but it’s a hard statement to argue with regardless of it’s origin. As someone who is used to writing visual novels with Unlimited Text Works, Maeda has an awful lot to learn about how to pace something with a limited running time.
That’s not really the sum of Angel Beats! problems, though. The biggest problem with Angel Beats! is that it’s really, really hard to figure out how to take it. In fact, it doesn’t even seem to be clear in itself what it wants to be. With it’s retreaded themes, settings and characters playing like a “Greatest Hits” of prior Maeda works, it sometimes seems like Maeda is writing a self-parody, but then it’ll take itself far too earnestly to that to be a viable take on the matter. With it’s Haruhi lookalike and all-girl High School Rockband, it’s sometimes seems like a scathing commentary on the merchandising-friendly machinations of Key’s old comrades Kyoto Animation, but it also leans so heavily on those elements for it’s own substance and popularity that it’d far to disingenuous for that to actually be the case.
Still waiting for the last disk…
Basically, it’s a schizophrenic mess of a show, which leaves me utterly baffled as to why I quite like it. I think it’s mostly just the music – as much as an entirely cynical otaku attention and cash grab I think the very existence of Girls Dead Monster is, the GirlDeMo album is far and away the best thing to actually come out of the show, and it’s had heavy rotation on my musical playback device of choice this year.
(But not as much as the K-ON!! singles. I’m a sucker).
The “What The Heck Is That?” Award For Most Stupid Mecha Design In A Show Full of Stupid Mecha Designs – The One With The Anime Face in Super Robot Wars: Original Generation: The Inspector
You’ll have to forgive me for not remembering it’s name given how many of the things that show has, but, seriously. The Angelg with it’s enormous robot-tits is pretty silly a design, but in a show with so much crazy going on, I can at least quantify that one as making sense, or at least justify it as homage, but the anime face takes some kind of biscuit. A very surreal one. With chocolate chips and possibly some kind of caramel-based coating.
Then again, SRW:OG:TI is a show with more than eighty characters to keep track of, for which I’ve neither played the game nor watched the (reputedly terrible) prior series of, so it’s not as if I’m watching the show for it’s coherency anyway…
(The best moment of the show thus far is when one of the Inspectors manhandled a split-screen line, largely because it was so hilariously out-of-tone).
(Also takes the award for “best attempt to make a non-badass word sound almost kind of badass” with it’s use of The Inspector).
The “What Do You Mean It’s A Candle?” award for Damn You Kadokawa Extras – Haruhi Blu-Ray Box
I don’t care what anyone says, Kadokawa clearly made more Itsuki pencil boards than they did for any of the other characters, if the entirely anecdotal evidence of a small sample of purchasers is anything to go by. Either that, or they shipped an inordinate amount of Itsuki boards to the stores they knew shipped outside of Japan. It’s not that I don’t know of people getting the other characters, it’s just that I know more who got the Itsuki board than got the other boards combined.
(Does the movie have a random extra or not?)
The “I hope the guy infront doesn’t sit up” Award for Sitting Uncomfortably in a Cinema For Three Hours – The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
As I’ve already mentioned, and will probably pop up again later in this post, I’ve seen a whole lot of anime movies theatrically this year, and very few of them had got me quite as excited to see it as the Haruhi movie had. It got a lot of other people excited, too, as people turned up all the way from France and Germany to see what was the first screening of the movie in all of Europe.
Unfortunately, this also meant that the cinema was packed, and whilst I was well positioned in regards to the screen, the guy infront of me was just a touch too tall – or would have been if he had sat-up straight. Thankfully he didn’t for the most part, but it did result in me sitting in what ultimately proved to be a moderately uncomfortable position in order to maintain a good view throughout, and for a movie verging on three hours long, that’s not exactly ideal.
But, hey, it’s a damn fine movie that half the internet has already written far too much about, and whilst I should be getting my BR copy shortly (damn Christmas mail), I should be seeing it theatrically at least once more in 2011. Hopefully more comfortably.
(Jonathan Clements made a “Kyon-kun, denwa!” joke before the screening. I laughed)
The “Yes, I’m a Hypocrite” Award for Needing Another Joke – Squid Girl
Because clearly I never reuse the same joke over and over again.
I don’t know, I was watching and kind of enjoying Ikamusume, but missed an episode during a weekend of internet outage and never got around to picking it up again, nor have I really felt any burning desire to do so. It’s the kind of show that’s passable when you are actually watching it, but ultimately is just the same thing repeated over and over again.
This wouldn’t really have been so bad, given it’s only twelve episodes in length, but the fact that it shares it’s joke with Keroro Gunsou, only without the diverse cast and rich vein of otaku-humour to mine, really didn’t help it.
(The chibi-Ikamusume was kind of cute, though).
The “This was written by the guy behind Seikon no Qwaser?” Award for Shows I Need to Watch More Than Five Episodes Of – So-Ra-No-Wo-To
Because the bizarre dissonance of the author of the original Seikon no Qwaser manga, Hiroyuki Yoshino, also being the lead writer on So-Ra-No-Wo-To (also Macross Frontier and the whole My-HiME franchise) can’t be reiterated enough for the pure surreality of it all. Seriously, that’s some diversity the guy has going there.
Then again, I really should get around to watching past episode… I think it was about nine of So-Ra-No-Wo-To. There’s every possibility that it’s conclusion hides some kind of terrifying secret whose horrors I couldn’t possibly repeat on a family blog such as this. Though I doubt it.
(I’ve suddenly started hearing a lot of non-negative things about Qwaser this last couple of weeks. What’s with that?)
The “Why Do People Still Use The Term Gainax Ending?” Award for Seriously? WTF!? – Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao
I can’t even bring myself to explain it. Or, rather, I’m not even sure I can actually explain it. I probably shouldn’t attempt it, anyway, because of spoilers and all that.
As schizophrenic as Angel Beats! was, there was at least a slither on consistency to certain elements of it’s production. As far as Daimao goes, everything was up for grabs – tone, pacing, art-style and character design were all over the place – often all within the same scene (particularly the “character design” part). It only got more-so like that as it went into it’s final episodes. I challenge anyone to anticipate the full insanity of the final episode from the shows outset. Which all probably comes down to the age-old story of trimming down a series of novels into far-too-short a TV show. The hints were probably there in the original work, but you’d be hard-pressed to spot a lot of them in the anime.
For what it’s worth, it was the week on week reports of the shows increasing surreality that actually made me keep watching the thing.
(Actually, it is at least fairly consistent in it’s level of fanservice, if nothing else).
The “This Is Only Awesome Until Everyone Else Sees It” award for GREATEST THING IN THE HISTORY OF THINGS – REDLINE
Anime production of the year? Maybe, although technically they’ve been working on this for about six of them. Best soundtrack of the year? Certainly – I’m almost tempted to rename myself Machinehead just so I can claim his badass theme song for myself.
I feel that I should be somewhat hesitant in proclaiming REDLINE to be the greatest thing ever for various extenuating circumstances. I mean, I’ve seen the movie twice, and adored it the second time every bit as the first, so it’s not some kind of passing infatuation, but at the same time I also saw it theatrically. Given that it’s a movie which relies on an incredible sense of spectacle, that’s the ideal way to see it – big and very, very loud. I realise that I’m an in an enviable position here, and that most people aren’t likely to be watching the movie that way unless they happen to live in San Francisco. I can’t imagine watching the movie on a laptop will in any way replicate that kind of experience. Or a computer. Hell, I’m not even sure if I’ve got a TV big enough for it. (I really need to figure out how to cram a 55″ set in here…)
Which is why it’s only awesome until everyone else sees it – the movie blew me away, but I’m not expecting everyone else to have the same reaction to it. I don’t expect people to shut themselves out of the world, crank the volume up and just let the movie wash over them. That’s just not how people on the internet seem to watch anime.
Which is a shame, as it’s how the movie deserves to be watched. In terms of pure quality of animation, I don’t think anyone will be able to deny that nothing of this level of quality has been produced in decades (just watch the trailers). It’s an incredible feat of production where everything of significance has been drawn by hand. It’s astonishing that something like that would even get made in this day and age. Whether or not the other elements of the production stands up is another question entirely – I think it does, but I’ve been proven to be very out-of-step with the rest of the anime community in that regard on many an occasion.
(Also wins the “F******G C**K S****R” Award for Title Most Needing A 90s British Dub”)
The “Wait, That Show Was Actually Good?” Award for Most Not-Terrible Show That Should Have Been – Detective Opera Milky Holmes
If there’s a show which demonstrates the way that Crunchyroll has changed the way I watch anime, it was Saki a couple of years back. It was something I only really started watching because of it’s proximity to the airing of Natsu no Arashi, but eventually became one of the highlights of my viewing week. Not actually having to seek out anime to watch changes my very viewing practices.
Milky Holmes wasn’t really aired in close proximity to anything – infact, it’s Crunchyroll release time of late on a Sunday evening made it kind of awkward a watch – but it’s something I wouldn’t have watched had it not been relatively effortless to do so. It’s the thing I started watching because I had my laptop hooked up to the TV, had been watching something else and just figured I may as well click onto it whilst I was already on the site. Like Saki, it had something of a slow start for me yet somehow became something of a fixture of my viewing schedule. I started to actually make time to watch it on a Sunday.
The thing with Milky Holmes is that it really shouldn’t be entertaining. I mean, there’s nothing that’s particularly exceptional about it. As a property, it’s the most cynical kind of cash-grab – it’s marketing for not just Weis Schwarz cards, but also some CDs and a PSP game. There’s nothing particularly exceptional about the production, either – it’s a series consisting almost entirely of what would be considered filler in other shows. The animation production (outside of the last episode) isn’t anything spectacular. Having the word “detective” in the title almost breaches trade descriptions given there’s very little actual detection in it.
Yet, it’s a damn entertaining show. I guess it’s the shows devotion to stupidity that proves itself to be infectious. It’s not just a dumb show, it’s an aggressively dumb show. That may sound like an extraordinarily odd thing to say about a detective show, but it does it with enough of a sense of humour and in such a hyperactive fashion that, if you aren’t immediately put-off by it (which a lot of people will be), it just proves itself incredibly diverting.
Which I really didn’t expect from it. Bravo.
(Also, Pi isn’t 3, it’s 3.14)
The “Probably Better Than I Thought At The Time” Award for Something I Really Kind Of Want To See Again – Welcome to the SPACE SHOW
Waiting for movies has become something of a theme for anime fans this year. It’s a bit strange as a Westerner, from a certain perspective. The gap between theatrical and home releases for US and British movies has come down to an average of three months. That’s not the case in Japan, at least for anime, however – we’ve pretty much just seen the last of the movies from the beginning of this year being released with The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, and we are still waiting for some of the mid-year releases to materialise.
This was rendered doubly bad for Welcome to the SPACE SHOW, since the BFI managed to pull off a screening of the movie before it had even seen release in Japan (admittedly only by a week or so). Infact, the whole experience was kind of weird for me – as a fan of the production staffs previous work, I was enormously excited to see it. Coming out of it, I’d gotten myself even more excited having had the opportunity to ask director Koji Masanari about Mikan Boxes (seriously, I did). That said, I think my opinion after seeing the movie seems to be pretty much the same as everyone else who had (and given it’s also screened at Otakon, there’s quite a few who have in the blogosphere), which is that it really could have done with trimming about twenty minutes from it’s running time.
Which hasn’t stopped the movie from clawing at my mind like a rapid mahou shojou mascot ever since I saw it. I’m really not sure what exactly it was about it – it may have just been the excitement of the screening – but almost more than anything else I’ve seen this year this something that I really, really kind of want to see again. Despite having my own feelings echoed back at me by everyone else who’s seen it, I’ve almost got myself convinced that the movie really wasn’t twenty minutes too long and that it was more about my state of mind than a problem with the actual movie. I’d seen Evangelion 2.0 the day before, and that movie kind of screws with the concept of what pacing is, and anything can seem slow in comparison.
It’s still a long wait until February, and out of all the anime movies I’ve had a chance to see twice this year, I’ve been disappointed that every one which wasn’t REDLINE wasn’t Space Show (seriously, Strong World was fun, but on reflection I didn’t need to see it twice).
(Also, I bought the OST, though there’s only a couple of tracks on there I actually like. Still worth it).
The “Greatest and Worstest Thing Ever” Award for Inconsistant Insanity – Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
Also, Chuck to the Future.
The “That Was This Year?” Award for Show I Keep Thinking Was 2009 – Durarara!!
Seriously, I keep thinking this was last year. It’s like how most of the Game of the Year awards normally ignore all the games from the first half of the year (except not this year, since it was so front-loaded with stuff pushed out of the Modern Warfare 2 window). I kind of figure it’s a show that I should be giving more props to right now, but it’s long enough since I’ve seen it that it’s difficult to remember enough to peg it in somewhere.
(That my iPad is called Celty should have tipped me off to it’s vintage)
The “Thank God That’s Over” Award for Unintentional(?) Humour – Chocolate Underground
At least, I think it was unintentional – I’m really not sure.
Chocolate Underground isn’t actually new, it was originally released as an ONA (that is, Original Net Animation) series a couple of years back. It was then recompiled into a movie, which somehow found it’s way into the BFIs Anime Weekend back in May. Now, the thing about the BFI is that they show a pretty wide variety of movies, and there’s a lot of people with members cards who’ll pop in to see a movie once or twice a week using their members discount. So, in much the same way as there were some 60+ year olds looking really out of place at the Leeds screening of REDLINE (obviously had festival season tickets), there was an old lady at the Chocolate Underground screening who, upon the movies conclusion, turned around and proclaimed to the audience “Thank god that’s over!”.
This, of course, had me in hysterics. Not that is was difficult by that point, as I’d been in hysterics for most of the movie. Not at any of the movies attempts at actual humour, rather at it’s attempts at being serious. You see, Chocolate Underground is entirely ludicrous. It’s set in a totalitarian society where unhealthy foods, in particular chocolate, have been outlawed, and yet some people will still attempt to circumvent the law to sample chocolatey goodness.
Chocolate Underground is actually based on a British childrens novel (long out of print, alas), which may make the old lady’s attendance less confusing. However, I can’t imagine that the original work included giant spider robots used to hunt down chocolate consumers. Giant Spider Robots that can detect chocolate but not the component ingredients of chocolate. Which seems like a bit of a design oversight, and is also hilarious. The whole movie is filled with things like that, as it’s characters pontificate the societal importance of junk food with the utmost of earnesty, and it wasn’t long before parts of the audience started trying to suppress their laughter at practically every other line of dialogue.
The reason why I’m really not sure if the humour was unintentional or not is that, well, turning the chessboard around and looking at it from another perspective makes it look like a dead-on, po-faced parody of how seriously anime can take matters which are completely and utterly ridiculous. It’s pretty funny from that perspective, but it’s also not one which the handouts the cinema had expressed the production staff of having, so goodness knows what that was all about.
The “I Don’t Get It” Award for Me Not Really Getting It – Black*Rock*Shooter
I couldn’t find my DVD to take a better picture from ^^;
I’ve written about it before, so I’m not going to reiterate the matter. Whilst I get why people like pretty art like the original illustrations, I don’t really get why some are so enamoured by the OAV as well. It tried way too hard to be structurally cute.
The “What Was That About Again?” Award for Being Ten Years Too Late – Trigun: Badlands Rumble
I really enjoyed Badlands Rumble, but I also rewatched the entirety of the TV show a week before seeing it. Not only did that put me in the right mood and mindset, it also meant that it was fresh in my mind, and therefore I could pick-up on every little injoke they spread through-out (and there were a lot of them). I do wonder how much of the rest of the audience would have gotten them, though. It wouldn’t have been a non-zero number, as there were a lot of people who’d made the journey to Edinburgh just for Trigun, but at the same time, there were an awful lot of people there who hadn’t even seen the TV show.
Which is part of the reason why this movie is ten years too late – whilst there’s a portion of anime fandom are are still really into the property, much of the current fandom hasn’t seen it at all in the same way that some almost pride themselves in not having seen Bebop or Evangelion. I mean, in anime fandom, anything older than a couple of years seems to be classed as ancient. Add to that the fact that it adds absolutely nothing to Trigun as a whole – the movie fits into the middle of the continuity and goes nowhere of importance – and it’s really far too late for it to make any kind of impact. Had it come out when the show was still big, I think it would have made a far more positive lasting impression.
The “I Promise This Is The End” Award for Show I Seemed To Like More Than Others – Occult Academy
People don’t actually hate Occult Academy. Well, most rational people don’t hate Occult Academy, but the general opinion on the show doesn’t seem to be quite as upbeat as mine is personally. There’s a few different reasons for that, some of which are far more justified that others. A lot of people really hated Bunmei, which is a standpoint which I can totally understand – there’s an awful lot to hate about how the character goes about himself. There’s also a lot of what I consider to be misinterpretation of the ending, which is rather more difficult to understand.
There’s also a lot of people who think the show is, surprise surprise, too long. It’s a standpoint which is entirely justifiable. One of the problems with the collapse of the general video market and the fact that nothing sells without there having been a TV show to advertise it before hand is that every production is forced into a minimum of twelve episodes. Which is what leads us to get shows like Occult Academy, which is a fantastic six episode OAV series padded out to double the necessary length.
Which isn’t to say that I think the other seven episodes are particularly bad – if nothing else I always got a laugh out of Kozue constantly being the butt of all jokes (and supernatural menace). I’m not really one to buy too heavily into the myth of “filler episodes” – they often serve as important atmosphere pieces if not doing anything important characterwise – outside of the likes of Naruto where they’re clearly simply buying time for the manga to get ahead. For Occult Academy, though, they also strike one as being unnecessary than most. Maybe it’s just having seen a lot of the kind of 90s OAVs that it throws back to, if not entirely tonally than certainly in it’s setting, that leads me to think that, but it certainly seems to have rubbed a lot of other people the wrong way too.