My Anime Matrix

So over the past days during my weekend I was thinking about what I want to talk about, until I came up with (at least to me) interesting idea how to categorize anime in a way it doesn’t tell you simple black and white good and bad but a more nuanced way.

The Anime Matrix

animematrix

Based on a similar matrix called the political compass, I thought of a way to put anime into perspective.

Beginning with the Y axis you have a spectrum going from (top) a serious tone, to (bottom) a less serious or light tone. This refers to the intentions of the creator. A movie like Ghost in the Shell would be very high at the top of this spectrum while a lighthearted comedy like Nichijou would be closed to the bottom. This doesn’t tell you about the quality however which is why…

On the X axis you have a spectrum on how well the anime was executed. The more left the less well executed the anime was, the more right the better.

Which brings us to the 4 squares.  The red one says ‘Pretentious‘, meaning the show tried to be serious but failed because of something making it a poorly executed serious anime. An example could be Mars of Destruction which is one of the worst anime ever but tried to be serious.
The green square south west is called Trash and just generally refers to any anime which is just mindless but fails to be entertaining. I don’t have an example for now (but will add some candidates of mine here later) so just think of any show that didn’t try to be serious but also wasn’t good in being light hearted. (well maybe something like Vividred Operation could be considered here)

On the right side we have both Art and Fun. While fun is easy to pin point, it is basically just shows which are very entertaining but also well crafted at doing so. Example could be Baccano which is more on the light end of the spectrum but was also very well made.
Art is something that might not be easy to pin point at first but it is basically something that takes itself very seriously, has a consistent tone and also is well crafted. A good example would be Mushishi, which is not particularly fun to watch but is more a piece of art.

 

Now to some of my picks this season:

season

Wixoss clearly tries to be serious and also does it quite well. It is not perfect and also not super serious. Chaika also falls into the “art” category, while ‘art’ surely doesn’t suite all as a description it basically means well executed serious show. Chaika is less serious however than Wixoss but is pretty well executed. Unlike Mahouka which lies in the realm of pretentious. Not that ‘pretentious’ is the one and suite it all description but you get the idea.
Akuma no Riddle lies somewhere between absolute trash and absolute pretentious. While it tries to have this serious tone, it throws in all those stereotypical shit and ecchi and fan service and fetishes etc. It just does it all very badly.
Dragonar is a guilty pleasure. You know it is shit, but you still kinda like it. It is somewhat serious as it tries to have a plot but also throws all this fan service at your face. Similar is No Game No Life, which is better executed than a mediocre show like Dragonar however is also less serious as it does not only rely on ecchi fan service but otaku pandering, breaking the 4th wall and reference humor. On the furthest right is JoJo as is encompasses everything you have to do in order to create a “fun” show, a show which relies more on entertainment than on deep thought. It’s so over the top and campy but also extremely well made in its own right.

This all of course is debateable as this is merely a beta version of this Matrix. Feel free to use it yourself, expand it and put in your shows!

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Spring Season 2014 Update

So now that spring season has reached it’s half I will update my impression list, change the ranking and will then, when the shows are finished, rank them one last time.

Also I only go over shows I still follow and will ignore the shows I have on hold or just dropped. Furthermore I will use Starts to indicated my overall impression in a sort of numerical fashion.
☆ = half a point, ★ = full point
★★★★★ = Best score

Warning this post contains at least one NSFW picture, you have been warned!

#11 Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin

Let's be all preachy and shit and forget about it in the next episode.

Let’s be all preachy and shit and forget about it in the next episode.

Still not too happy with the tonal handling in this anime. Mixing together too many genres, styles and tones is a really hard thing to accomplish and certainly Kanta Kamei isn’t up for the job. He did a good job in shows which have no serious tone, but the seriousness is just way too overblown especially contrasted with the lighthearted rest of the series. While I certainly cannot hate it and it does some things right, the hick ups are actually too bad for me.

Episode: 6
Ranking: ★★

 

#10 Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Seriously I this is all my face can express.

Seriously, this is all my face can express.

I already talked about Mahouka here. And this is why the show took a big hit from where it was before (#4). I got nothing more to say than what I haven’t already said in my last post about it, so now I just wait for the next arc to end or something stupid (or good) to happen to mention it here.

Episode: 7
Ranking: ★★

 

#9 Seikoku no Dragonar

[FFF] Seikoku no Dragonar - 06 [49F9399E].mkv_snapshot_12.29_[2014.05.22_22.21.26]

No magical light beams or fog for once +★

Remember me talking about how censorship helps plot? Yeah but if the plot is bad you can at least fap you know? I was pleasently surprised when they showed these amazing nipples in the TV version not just the BD version. I was expecting everyone to have no nipple tits in this show, however I was proven wrong and I appreciate that. On the other hand the show is still just below average.

Episode: 7
Ranking: 
★★

#8 Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara

He will create an army of one dimensional female characters and take over the world.

He will create an army of one dimensional female characters and take over the world.

To be honest I don’t even have anything to say about this. The formula is easy. Each episode you introduce one to two new girls, make them fall in love with Souta-Kun and splash some plot in here and there. It is overall still very innocent and lacks ecchi which I like because it plays on the cute factor more than on the sexual factor. This way it isn’t just like Dragonar, however it’s no where near anything amazing. I think I also am being pretty nice to it giving it 2 and a half stars.

Episode: 7
Ranking: ★
★☆

#7 JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders

[HorribleSubs] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - Stardust Crusaders - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.38_[2014.05.22_22.36.07]

Maybe I just don’t like fabulous?

JoJo is almost on my on hold list. For some reason it just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe it’s because of the long stupid explanations duing battle or the almost nonexistent animation during an episode. I mean really everything is still frames most of the time with some Kana thrown in there say menacing!. I don’t know maybe I drop JoJo and just give up on it.

Episode: 5
Ranking: ★
★☆

#6 Captain Earth

Delicious Loli-Belly-Button.

Delicious Loli-Belly-Button.

The anime I was most lazy with is Captain Earth. I mean I don’t like Mecha that much, and so far this show was pretty generic. It’s not bad it actually has a lot of cool things in it, but is just not great eiher. It clearly is Bones high budget show this season even though, as you will see later, I think it doesn’t deserve it. Cute red head girls however always give bonus points.

Episode: 4
Ranking: ★
★★

#5 Black Bullet

Cower before me, for I am a generic SAO-esque villain!

Cower before me, for I am a generic SAO-esque villain!

Last Episode really disappointed me in Black Bullet. While everyone was calling it a train wreck right from the start I was giving it the benefit of the doubt. However with rushed pacing, quality in every episode now, and simplistic predictable story elements Black Bullet has also me on the ‘fuck man I really don’t know how I can defend this’ fence. At least Guilty Crown had the budget, but Kinema Citrus has proven themselves to be actually one of the shit studios…

Episode: 7
Ranking: ★
★★?

#4 No Game No Life

News Flash: Loli-Incest Kiss saves anime industry!

News Flash: Loli-Incest Kiss saves anime industry!

Yeah I must say I am not overall pleased with this show and I could probably complain about it without end, but I also am entertained by it, so I just leave it at that. NGNL is the most hyped show of the season, and while I see why people hype it, I don’t think it deserves it. It’s just not that great, just a typical escapism story about over-powered protagonists. It’s basic wish fulfillment with ecchi, but it is well done so I give credit for that.

Episode: 7
Ranking: ★
★★

#3 Gokukoku no Brynhildr

Well I actually think she is kinda cute.

Well I actually think she is kinda cute.

I read the manga (well I mostly skimmed over it) and it is not good. But yet here I am enjoying the show. I don’t know why, maybe the hinted romance, the harem, the ecchi, the conspiracy or the genuine curiosity how they get out of this (and I couldn’t even tell from skimming through the manga). The show has all sorts for problems but maybe this is my Elfen Lied, since I never wanted to watch the original one and I hate it based on what I saw and know. So yeah this will pretty much stick to this place till the end, unless they make some really stupid anime only ending…

Episode: 7
Ranking: ★
★★

#2 Hitsugi no Chaika

Chaikas are a miracle of the universe.

Chaikas are a miracle of the universe.

Every episode so far has been good. Seriously this show is Bones latest decent anime, and I cannot even say when the last decent was they were creating. Maybe FMAB, maybe something else. However if anything is an issue with Chaika it is the animation quality. I guess animating 3 anime at the same time (Chaika, Captain Earth and Soul Eater please NOT!) has lead to the overall shitty quality of Chaika. I wish the money spend on Soul Eater ROT(inhell) would have been used to pay the animators for Chaika more so they could either work better or longer to ensure this show looks awesome. However if it wasn’t for my number one this would be my number one.

Episode: 4
Ranking: ★
★★☆

#1 Selector Infected WIXOSS

battorumeguka

Meguca infested Weaksauce!

Yes it defends its throne. I just finished watching episode 8 an hour or so ago, and damn did it impress me. The twists are mind crushing and the tone is consistent. The characters all(most) have more than just one trait and go through all sorts of phases. The side characters mean something to the plot and it goes at a decent pacing. Really this show is what I would like from a good psychological show. It is everything Madoka should have been to be honest. Or at least this show does everything well Madoka couldn’t get right.

Episode: 8
Ranking: ★
★★★

 

Censorship helps plot!

This probably doesn’t make sense at first glance but let me explain.

As a guy who is aroused by drawn pictures of  naked girls, watching ecchi with plot can sometimes be hard. And no I don’t just mean hard down there, but hard to focus on what is going on.

See, when something important is presented and in the next moment or the moment before some boobs, or asses were shown with the clear intention to arouse you, then you kinda think “screw this shit I wanna see more tits and asses! Fuck this talking man!“, which ultimately kills your attention to what is actually going on.

A horrible example of ruined plot was Yosuga no Sora for me, which wasn’t even bad from what I can tell, but the constant nudity and sex just really was my main focus when watching the show, so much so, that I basically rushed through all the actual plot and hoped for some more sex or nudity.

This here, as frustrating as it is, actually saves the show for me.

[HorribleSubs] Brynhildr in the Darkness - 04 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.18_[2014.05.06_22.09.55]

If instead they would have shown tits, I am pretty sure I would have said “screw the  plot more tits please!” and would have watched the show entirely for the fanservice and nothing else.

 

Well sure Brynhildr isn’t a master piece or anything. But it actually has plot and I want to know what will happen next. Thanks to the censorship I can focus on the talking, without fearing my dick will take over my brain and I will blank out anything that isn’t female shaped and naked.

 

But what do you think? Does censorship help you focus on the actual stuff than on the fanservice, or are you not affected in the first place? Maybe you hate censorship in any case, or don’t care about the plot at all. Tell me!