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12 days of anime #12 – My anime year in review

14.12.2015

HE 08 - Reina from behind

It’s this time of the year again. It’s the time of the year when I hope that my English (as well as willpower) is competent enough to write a series of 12 consecutive posts. “12 days of anime” is one tradition in the anime-blogging world, and one which I choose to adapt for this blog. Its requirements are simple: choose some memorable moments or ideas, make sure they are anime-related, check that they happened this year, and blog about them for 12 days until Christmas. I participated last year, too. Of course this year I’ll write in English again, because only then can I reassure myself that I’m just trying to brush up on my language skills; I am still a useful person through the endless pursuit of language!

As another year of work kicks in, I became impatient with life in general, and selfishness – or to put it in a nicer term, “self-reflection” – stems from that. I’ve written posts after posts thinking about myself. Sometimes I can tone it down in the review, but other times I just blabber on and on about what I’ve been through. I didn’t necessarily feel so bad about that; many of my favourite anibloggers also write reviews from their life experience, though in my case, self reference may be abused out of laziness and convenience. It seems that’s just how things are for this year. With that in mind, I intend this 12 days series to be yet another chance for me to vent my reflection, frustration or joy, using anime as a superficially moé cover.

This year I didn’t watch a whole lot of current anime, at least compared to my perception of how much an ordinary anime blogger should watch. It’s often beyond me how others can follow 10 or 15 airing series a season, while in my best attempt, I barely finished 4. It doesn’t help that I’m supposed to write 12 posts for the coming weeks. If ideas should be run out, the future posts might be filled with walls of Kumiko’s screenshots, but let’s believe I won’t succumb to such temptation.

This year I also didn’t watch a whole lot of old anime. Again guiltily I admit that Mushishi is on my on-hold list. I remember my firm intention of checking out Haibane Renmei but somewhere along the way it just slipped my mind. The same fate befell some other shockingly famous titles. All of which inspires me to stop thinking of myself as an anime blogger, but rather, a mere “blogger” is enough. As things turned out, I started adding different sorts of posts to the blog and further made a mess out of my online quarry. Regardless, my level of fangirling was upgraded following the successful marathon of Revolutionary Girl Utena early this year. The complexity of the series offered a beautiful contrast to my stupidity, which is why I’ve been refraining from bringing up the name, but let’s believe I won’t leave it unhonoured.

This is a good year for yuri. I didn’t even pay attention to yuri before. The way I remember it, Homura was a super good friend of Madoka. There was nothing worth shipping between Saber and Irisviel. The bath scene of Nekomonogatari: Shiro was just plain distasteful. However, this year I actually embrace a great number of yuri hints shown on screen. We may happily conclude that this change of attitude comes from the blessings of Utena, although I think there’s more to it and feel curious myself as to why (which is another way of saying some writings about same-sex relationships would be inevitable).

This is a bad year for anime blogging. Favourite bloggers of mine showed up less often. Some of them are my age, some are 4, 5 years older, a few are students and a lot of them are getting busy or just growing out of anime. Then there’s the emergence of big players such as Myanimelist that pay for their writings but restrict the styles and drown the reviews under heaps of popular posts. Around the end of last year, the staff of thenihonreview managed to bring back Anime Power Ranking, which is amazing but doesn’t seem to progress quite well. Fortunately kevo saved the year with animemaru, the most reliable anime news site in the universe.

I’d love to keep on blabbering, but for fear that there would be no more left to write in the next few days, maybe this is where the first post should end. This is my anime year in review. For an overall and more objective take on the year, qyll did it better with his animegraphy 2015 amv. The clip is so marvellously edited that it reminds me of how much I love, and like to laugh/facepalm at, anime.

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