The troubled life of anime from 2013

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When I look at the list of anime that aired in 2013 and I only recognize a few titles it tells me that I was either very busy, very depressed, or both. Of the entire year, I’ve only seen three shows. One of which, I watched last week. My podcasting output was also low, with a seven month gap between episodes at one point.

My memory is hazy, but I know this was a tough year for me. Dropping out of college and changing majors at 25 after completing most of a degree wasn’t something I took lightly. I became motivated to a fault, pushing myself away from friends so I could focus on studying. They didn’t much care for that.

On top of my full-time college schedule, I was also working at Domino’s and a radio station. Most of the time I only worked one job a day, but on the weekends I did both — radio all morning, pizza all night. On rare ocassiaons, I would work the morning show before going to class.

I was living The Good Life — Work. Drink. Sleep. Repeat. But The Good Times Were Killing Me, and I was losing touch with what really mattered.

Anime.

One thing that cannot be disputed is that I watched anime during the Winter season. How much is anyones guess. Another indisputable fact is that Tamako Market has a bird in it. What role does that bird play in the narrative? I don’t know. And I don’t care, because birds aren’t real.

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai was beautifully bewildering and had a remarkable opening episode where a city melts into an inescapable sea of chocolate. Sadly, they were unable to maintain this momentum, and lost me in the second one.

Was Vivired Operation about appreciating butts? Did anyone watch that show?

Something I did watch in the Winter was The Troubled Life of Miss Kotoura. It’s about a high school girl who can read minds, but only when it’s convenient to plot. Her grandfather is like if Master Roshi was a pedophile, and for some reason nobody is bothered by this. There’s also a weird arc in the middle where Kotoura uses her powers to solve a murder.

Fucking anime, I tell you.

I would be negligent in my duties if I moved on without saying this is when Love Live! School Idol Project debuted. I couldn’t get past the first episode, but my friends still won’t shut up about it.

Spring was a little more promising, but that doesn’t mean I actually watched anything.
Yuu Watase, creator of Fushigi Yuugi: The Mysterious Play, got another show with Arata: The Legend. This comes 13 years after the last anime based on her work, Ceres, Celestial Legend.

The Devil is a Part-Timer dared to ask the question, “What would happen if Satan got a job at Burger King?” I wish I could tell you the answer, but I only watched the first episode when it was streaming. This is, of course, didn’t stop me from buying it when it was released on Blu-ray and leaving on my shelf to collect dust until I sold it pay rent several years later.

Flowers of Evil is the only manga I’ve ever purchased because of how ugly the cover was. The Lack of Color and lazy graphic design had the reverse effect on me, and I had to know what it was about. I was instantly hooked by the nihilistic worldview of the characters, but I never finished it because the wait between volumes was so long that I forgot I was reading it.

The anime sparked controversy when ZEXCS made the bizarre choice to using rotoscoping à la A Scanner Darkly instead of traditional animation. I only ever read the manga, so I can’t tell you if the decision paid off. But I know that Ink is a fan.

Oreimo received a sequel that I didn’t watch. I’d consider buying the Blu-ray, but $130 is a lot of money to spend on something I need to hide anytime I have a woman over. 

Arguably, the biggest show of the year was Attack on Titan. Inexplicably. The animation budget for the first season was so unevenly distributed that you could’ve mistaken it for a slideshow at times.

I didn’t watch Attack on Titan until I bought the home release. I’m not sure why I kept buying anime without watching them first. As was often the case, it didn’t pay off. I got bored partway through the second half and gave up on the franchise.

The only thing I remember from the Summer is WATAMOTE, a show about a high school girl with crippling social anxiety. Some people found this offensive, others found it relatable

WATAMOTE is also a show that people use as an example to justify piracy because the manga-ka gave 4chan a shoutout once. They returned the favor by sending her dick pics on Twitter. 

The internet is a bad place. 

The Fall season gifted us with Kill la Kill, the hotly anticipated follow-up from Hiroyuki Imaishi and Kazuki Nakashima. Similar to how a tree sheds it leaves during Autumn, the characters in Kill la Kill shed their clothes to beat the shit out of each other. I know I’m sounding like a broken record at this point, but this is another show I bought and never watched. I’m sorry.

The last show I’ll mention is Beyond the Boundary, something I hadn’t heard of until last week. There was short clip of the Bespectacled Beauty, Mirai Kuriyama, featured in Canipa’s video on how poorly the Crunchyroll translators are paid. As someone who appreciates women in glasses, I needed to investigate the matter further.

And boy is that show some anime-ass-anime bullshit. I plan to write a proper review on it, so the only thing I’ll say for now is that the stink bomb episode is both the most pointless and simultaneously necessary episode of anime I’ve seen since Goku tried to get his drivers license.

Did You Know — 2013 is also when the Playstation Vita was launched? The Vita was a perfect handheld console mired by — well, everything. It required overpriced proprietary memory cards, had a minimal game library, and all the apps sucked. It was also one of my favorite ways to watch anime. 

I watched both Gurren Lagann movies on that thing. What

While the year didn’t bring me much joy in the anime department, I was finally happy with the career path I was on. I may have been a grouch in college, but I was passionate about what I was studying. In the years to come, that passion would be the only thing that kept me going.

Things only get harder from hereon, but like a drill, I “advance[d] a bit further with each turn.”

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Gary Piano
Fake Anime Fan. Professional Audio Boy. Founder of GONZO.MOE.

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