I realize that most of my random musings entries these days aren’t really random musings, but rather news posts or quick thoughts on stuff. Regardless, I wrote this entry in one sitting off the top of my head, so consider this the first true “Random Musings” in a long time, and please forgive me if I ramble a little.
Here’s a question that’s been on my mind recently: Have CODE GEASS and Kanon set the bar too high? One of GEASS’s biggest strength is that it has fantastic writing with plot twists and turns one after another that keep you guessing on what’s going to happen. Kanon’s visuals and emotional impact meanwhile are what I consider a new standard for that type of show, or even for all anime. Between those two, Thursdays for the past half year have been pretty incredible. I’m sad really that they’ve ended, at least for now.
The reason that question has come up is because it’s starting to feel like I’m less and less easily impressed by new stuff. Take for example this upcoming season. Out of the dozens of new shows, I have only perhaps six or seven that I really want to see, but even then, I’m not really looking forward to anything in particular. In fact, I admit that I’m looking forward to a couple of those series largely because they have good musical talent lined up.
Now technically the new season has already started with the first episode of Hitohira and the advance previews of the first episodes for Idolmaster XENOGLOSSIA and Seirei no Moribito. But both Hitohira and Seirei no Moribito left me feeling rather underwhelmed (you might have noticed that I didn’t blog either and I don’t intend to now). Sure, they both had good production quality: Seirei no Moribito in particular had some fantastic background visuals. Hitohira had a main character Mugi with plenty of cute qualities, and it’s always a pleasure to hear Kawasumi Ayako. The problem is that neither show presented me anything that compelled me to want to continue watching – nothing that made me say “I really want to find out what happens.”
And then there’s Idolmaster XENOGLOSSIA. This was the show I was looking forward to, and perhaps my expectations were too high because I ended up being disappointed. Of course, I’ll still watch it in hopes that it gets better since it is a Sunrise series and features several of my favorite voice actresses. But therein lies the issue: I’m going to continue watching it because I know it’s Sunrise. It may still turn out to be crap, but I expect it to be good because it’s by a studio and staff that I’ve had a good track record with, so I’m giving it a second chance.
I probably wouldn’t give that chance if this were another group and might even consider dropping the show after seeing just one episode. You might say that I trust Sunrise to reach that high bar in storytelling and character development. The same applies for Lucky Star when it airs next week: even if the first episode turns out to be completely not funny, I’ll keep watching it since it’s Kyoto Animation. I hate to say it, but because I have limited time to go through a lot, the shows of other studios – with a few exceptions like BONES – have to perform well early on or else I’d need some type of motivation to stick with it (usually in the form of a trusted friend who recognizes the good points that I might not see).
Having said all that, I’m sure I won’t think about this as much once the rush of Spring 2007 season really gets started in a day or so. Hopefully there’ll be some unexpectedly good shows that are still relatively under my radar, like Suzumiya Haruhi was a year ago. And if not, in the worse of cases, there’s always the rest of CODE GEASS and CLANNAD to look forward to in the coming seasons…