A usual suspects sort of ranking this week, though Dororo‘s domination actually increased – it just missed sweeping all first-place votes. Kimetsu no Yaiba had its best week yet, based on a very strong episode (this was the first week I ranked it). And in a heartening development (for me) Kono Oto Tomare breaks into the rankings for the first time.
We tackle another one of those revealing sorts of questions in “Ask the Writers” this week. The answers are an interesting melange – draw your own conclusions!
Weekly Staff Poll
Dororo (2019) – 19 points, 4 first place votes
Kimetsu no Yaiba – 11
Sarazanmai – 8, 1
Fruits Basket (2019) – 8
Kono Oto Tomare – 4
Ask The Writers
“If the person you were in love with said “What anime should I watch that would show me what sort of person you are”, what would you have them watch?”
- Stilts: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, especially the end of episode eight. Understanding a complex human being through a single story is impossible (even if they wrote said story … unrelated, but trust me), yet anyone who’s seen that eight episode will at least understand the creative side of Stilts, for it elucidated my creative philosophy better than I ever could when I first joined along for the ride with those crazy boys and girls of Sakurasou.
- Stars: I think for my choice, it would have to be Mob Psycho. Ultimately, the main theme of the series is making connections with others, which can be difficult. Sometimes we hurt people who are close to us, and that hurts us in turn. All the pieces that make us who we are, there are times when they don’t fit together, and we can choose to make it work or go our separate ways. I’d want the person I love to know that I don’t know myself the way I’d like to, that I’ll make mistakes; have doubts and stumble, but if they’re willing to stand by me, regardless… then I’d like to try to be my best self for the both of us.
- Choya: I would have to say Arakawa Under the Bridge since its a combination of multiple elements that resonate with me. As a surreal romantic comedy that explores the meaningful connections we make with loved ones and acquaintances through a cute & quirky aesthetic, this anime combines all of these components to create an experience that encapsulates what appeals to me effectively.
- Zaiden: Caligula (Editor’s Note: I forget this anime even existed). The show puts into perspective the modern struggles that individuals and society face, in conjunction with the exponential growth of technology and the way it’s taking over our lives. We all have our fair share of problems and personal shortcomings. But like the characters in the series, most of us will continue to live life out and see where it goes, regardless of the obstacles. While I think there are other shows that would tell a person more about myself, I think that for the reasons I’ve mentioned above, Caligula would best convey myself to my lover. Honourable mentions go to Hanasaku Iroha and Little Busters – both which could very well have been deserved winners on another day depending on my mood.
- Enzo: Again, this is one of those “harder than it sounds” questions. I could have gone many different directions here including the most obvious, picking my favorite (Seirei no Moribito). But I think I’ll go with Kyousougiga, because it covers a lot of bases in terms of things I love. Fantasy, Kyoto, Japanese history, beautiful music. And it exemplifies why I love anime too (and that has to say something about me), with it’s limitless imagination and free-flowing narrative – it’s not a story you can easily imagine in any other medium. As I noted at the time it aired, Kyousougiga doesn’t just remind me why I love anime – it reminds me why I started loving it in the first place.
- Passerby: CLANNAD. And I feel like explaining why would defy the point of the question.
- Pancakes: Only choice for me is Psycho-Pass because nothing else can come close to fusing my love and interest in dystopia, near future sci-fi, engineering in all its forms, and critical philosophical thought together in one tasty pulp thriller cyberpunk series.
Zaiden his choice is actually an interesting one for me ( side note, never watched past first episode out of time constraints and forgetting about the show ) .
He knows there are shows that will tell more about who he is and still stuck to that show.
I am kinda curious now though zaiden, why caligula instead of serial experiments lain?
In all honesty, I would give Caligula a 6/10. It wasn’t the best. While it had a fascinating premise, the execution left much to be desired. But at the end of the day, I could not deny that it was such a unique experience, and in a positive way too. There really is no other show like it. It also helped that I went into the first episode blind – many people read the synopsis and weren’t caught out by the surprise hook.
Despite an overlap where the psychological and technology are concerned, I think that Lain and Caligula are very different shows. I am an energetic person with a positive outlook who wears my heart on my sleeve. If I told my lover to make assumptions off me over liking Lain, they would assume that I’m an introspective, intellectual, vague/mysterious person – which I’m not.
I’ll list a couple of things going in favour of Caligula.
1) The music is incredible, because they pulled in some of the top Vocaloid composers to produce parts of the OST. My top three picks would be Renetto, Distorted Happiness, Tír na nÓg. SEL’s music was very good, but in an experimental and creep way to set the mood, as opposed to music I’d listen to recreationally in my own time.
2) Whereas Lain takes a speculative approach to the internet, I feel that Caligula (with the benefit of releasing more than a decade later) can really hone in on contemporary issues that are faced by our modern generation. Consequently, Caligula is far more reflective of the problems we actually face nowadays, while Lain was speculation about a possibility that didn’t really come to pass.
3) The premise is that only people who are suffering that want reprieve from their usual lives will seek to escape to the world that Caligula is set in. It’s not isekai by any stretch, but the main pulls of the premise remain there, and I’m a devout fan of the genre. And it would tell my lover that there are problems in my life I wish I could escape from.
4) The finale was pretty special and left me very emotional. Liking that finale and telling them that I teared up would tell my lover that I really cared about them. For those who have seen SSSS.Gridman, think something similar to how that concluded. Not to say Lain’s finale wasn’t special, but it was very vague and confusing, as opposed to the straightforwards message that Caligula ended on.
5) The characters are quite open about their personal problems, feelings, emotions, etc. They express their thoughts rather freely, whereas in Lain, there’s a lot of guesswork and interpretation you have to make yourself. I’m much more the expressive type, than one who keeps things to themselves.
I had to wonder why they even bothered making that Caligula anime. No one bought the games, and no one bought it in anime form in Japan either. The disc sales were hilariously bad, like under 300 copies for some volumes first week.
Hyouka for me. Sometimes it was like looking in the mirror. Haven’t met Chitanda yet though.
Death Parade because it was a dark show that stripped every character to the core and that fascinates me more than anything
That was on my shortlist, for much the same reason.
What would you recommend that is like Death Parade ? I don’t recall anything like it in the past couple of years
Wow. DP is pretty close to a unique series for me, TBH. I would say Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu only because it’s likewise deep, profound and intellectually challenging. But thematically there’s not much overlap.
God I loved Shouwa Genroku
If you haven’t seen Colorful (the Hara Keiichi film, not the TV series) I would definitely check that out.
You still see some people that want a sequel to Death Parade too. But there’s little point of that as the general setting of it makes it impossible to give it any sort of meaningful conclusion beyond what they’ve done already with the cast so far. They will always be there and nothing will change that. Doing more would just rehash the same thing and would diminish the series as a whole. And hey, I wrote all that without spoiling for anyone!