Oy chirrinz! This here July marks one year since I disappointed you all and plunged myself into weebery. As such, I wanted to give somewhat of a highlight reel of the journey as well as a Top 10, all that hoo-hah and fiddle faddle.
So firstly, what brought on this horrid disease you ask? A good number of things, my dude. First to blame is HungryForTomorrow. These blessed beauties streamed a play-through of Doki Doki Literature Club, which y’all might have heard of. That game knocked me into a state for about a month due to all its fitting psychological reasons, and I was just a bit less than okay. But, being an homage/satire of Anime Virtual Novels and Dating Sims, it kind of put anime running in my mind.
As a countermeasure to the madness, I would listen to upbeat Electro music while working, which YouTube suggestions gradually turned into Kawaii Future-Bass style music such as Snail’s House, Moe Shop and others, most having some form of waifu or another for the image on each song. That, combined with having watched Aggretsuko of our own free will and choice about a month or so before DDLC, had got me thinking about anime again. Harbour and I had just finished listening to one of the Stormlight Archives books (super good, go pick them up) and she had mentioned that she’d watched an anime with her sisters back home that had some similarities to it called “Soul Eater.” She’d been telling me it was good and that I should watch it for a few years now, and as we had watched Toriko together 4 years before that and enjoyed it, I said “Sure why not?” (I actually think there was some flavor of bargain along the lines of “I’ll watch/play ____ if you watch Soul Eater”).
So, I pretty much binged Soul Eater and noticed the hunger welling up within me. The void. The abyss had begun, but I knew not what it was. At that moment I had grown a new appreciation for storytelling and animation in general, so we added Gravity Falls to our watch list. In the meantime, I had a Soul Eater flavored void, so I searched “TV shows like Soul Eater” and Bleach came up. “Sure, I recognize that name, it was in the Game Grumps ad for Crunchyroll,” I said as I began. Leave it to a shonen to feed and strengthen a growing need. I binged the first three seasons before giving up on it because that show DRAGS. Not satisfied with Bleach, I picked up a show whose name I’d heard a lot a few years ago, One Punch Man. It was hurlarious, and I said “ya know, I could get used to this.”
We’d been meeting up with a good friend of ours at that time who had mentioned that he had been binging a lot of anime that summer, and my curiosities tingled. So, he gave me a recommendation list and I said “alright, I’ll check a pile of these out!” And so I did. The OneNote file that started that evening as “let me write these suggestions down so I don’t forget” has now become “The Watch and Watched List.” Having these puppies written down makes it possible to get things done. The next two shows I watched were Kill la Kill and Violet Evergarden, which are two polar opposites on the spectrum of Wild, Crazy, Stupid, and Meta to Serious, Elegant, Beautiful, and Sincere.
And how wide that spectrum is. Green Goblins kids, anime pushes boundaries all over the place in regards to content, feel, and animation; there are so many genres and so many series that push the envelope on expectations and structure, while so many others will embrace formula and kill it at the same time. You’ll have Kill la Kill’s over the top explosive hyper-cartoony exaggerated animation and hyperbolic tropes, then Violet Evergarden as the pinnacle of beauty in 2D animation and art.
ANYWAY, now that I’ve fulfilled my role as a recipe blog site and told you the history of my life and why crisp autumn evenings will always remind me of my grandmother’s cornbread for a month before getting to what you came here for, let’s finally get down to my top 10 for the years. These aren’t necessarily the ones I gave the highest rankings to, but rather the ones that had a strong impact on me, that asked hard questions, or that were hard to shake from my mind. Order is flexible.