Fanart Friday returns, strongly recommending that you don't mix Fireball with Martinelli's sparkling cider--you'd think cinnamon and apple would go well together, right? Not this time. Last week, I got to see the word "feels" like fifty million times with a family theme, but this week, we're going right back to tradition with a look through Crunchyroll's Anime Library!
CR's anime library just keeps getting bigger and bigger, spanning a huge variety of genres with titles new and old. Let's get started!
DISCLAIMER: None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll. All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners. All art is the creative property of their respective artists. Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.
Let's do this a little differently this year, and start by listing off Crunchyroll's current top ten most-popular anime! I liked #10 somewhat, but stopped somewhere around episode 4 or 5 and put it on the "I'll marathon it all later" list. Although honestly, Golden Time really could be called Overly-Attached Girlfriend: The Anime for the first handful of episodes.
I watched #9--Strike the Blood--for the newsletter and wrote a review for it that'll be up sooner or later. While it was pretty easy to go down the "this anime is based off a light novel" checklist for this show, it had some really gorgeous animation and cool world-building.
On to #8! Truth be told, I wasn't particularly impressed by Magi at first (I preferred the author's previous work, Sumomomo Momomo), but it very quickly grew on me.
Blowing down the doors at #7, Kill la Kill is a show that hides its message (embarassment is a sign of weakness? don't ever half-ass anything? an overall feminine outlook compared to Gurren-Lagann's themes of growing from boy to man? it's arguable) and mentality behind its appearance as a by-the-numbers (and yet insanely spectacular) fighting series.
I've heard #6, Log Horizon, described as "Sword Art Online, but more low-key," which makes me pretty interested in seeing it! It's been sitting untouched on my queue for a while, and I personally like having a ton of episodes to catch up on instead of watching week-by-week. Speaking of that...
...it's killing me to deal with #5's cliffhangers! Kuroko's Basketball is the most popular sports series we have, and like most sports series, I had a total blast marathoning the first season. This second season's pretty awesome (IRONHEART 4 LIFE MAWFUGGA), and has quite possibly my favorite opening of the past year. I'm gonna be sad to see it go.
Oh, the how mighty have fallen... although I think that has everything to do with the series having ended (for now). Once #1, Attack on Titan has slipped to #4. Also, I give everyone (except maybe Mikasa and Annie) about ten seconds before Keith goes on a murdering spree.
Hunter x Hunter thunders along through the Chimera Ant arc, showing why it's just that damn good and holding a solid #3 place for what feels like ages now. Seriously, it's a good series that takes a lot of the familiar elements of classic JUMP titles (becoming the strongest and/or fighting progressively stronger bad guys) and makes some really cruel, last-minute changes.
Whoa, how the hell did Sword Art Online jump back to #2? Oh yeah, that's right, EXTRA EDITION is out--I'm not a hundred percent sure I actually want to check that out. The first arc of the anime really had me hooked, but once they introduced Kirito's sister/cousin/whatever, I checked out. Admittedly, the ALO arc had some amazing fights... maybe SAO needs another viewing so I can give a full, final opinion. 14 out of 25 ain't bad, right?
Of course, leading the pack is Naruto Shippuden, which I think is fair to call our flagship series. Love it or hate it, Naruto represents a lot of what I think makes a shounen series not only gain a lot of fans, but keep those fans. While a few recent developments in the manga have made me scream and tear my hair out, the anime's still at the point where it's all OH SHIT SON THAT WAS SO BADASS.
Reader Xiruk21 not only recommended this particular image for GJ Club, but recommended I check out the series. Problem is, I already did,way back when it first came out and everybody was raving about it. I triiiied. Here, let's make a deal, Xiruk21--I will watch the rest of this series, but you need to watch Sakigake!!Otokojuku or something in return. Then there will be balance.
Seriously, it's not that I'm down on the softer, modern art style of anime, because stuff like Kyousougiga hits me right where it hurts. No hyperbole, this is one of the most beautiful anime series I've ever seen. Also, am I the only one thinking of Katamari Damacy whenever this show is brought up?
I'm personally more a fan of the Read or Die OAV (Yomiko x Nancy, yo), but R.O.D.--the TV series--is still really awesome, and Yomiko still shows up a couple times.
After how many thousand requests I've seen over the years (and probably a bunch more from before I started working with CR), we finally have One Piece. I may have been talking up Hunter x Hunter before, and that series is great, but One Piece reminds me why I like anime and manga in the first place. Oda Eiichiro has direction, he knows what he's doing and where he's going, and he's crafted a story that has all the energy and heart of Dragonball while sidestepping a lot of its problems.
I mentioned it back in my 2013 Favorites, but damn, Beyond the Boundary was good. I have two episodes left, and I kinda don't want to watch those... mainly because it means I'm gonna be done with the series. Y'ever get that feeling?
Durarara is a hard show to pin down on genre. It's got a little bit of everything, literally, with a pretty cool supernatural angle to the whole show.
Joining Log Horizon on the "I'm totally going to watch this at some point and everybody is saying I should" list is Galilei Donna, which looks beautiful but I really have no idea what it's about. Three sisters? Astronomy? I don't f**king know, it looks good and I'll check it out in the next month or so.
The World God Only Knows is 100% not my type of series (see also: any recommendation I make for Fist of the North Star), but I'm not the kinda guy who puts people down for the stuff they like. BUT SINCE WE'RE HERE I made a joke a while back that if video games were sports, JRPGs are badminton, so what does that make dating sims? The spelling bee? OKAY I'M DONE SORRY TWGOK FANS ENJOY YOUR SHOW
Gingitsune was pretty neat! It was a nice, relaxing show that was about a straight-up good person doing good things, which is refreshing in this day and age. Gintaro's kind of a jerk, so it's not all idyllic and super-pleasant. Check it out sometime!
by MadPandaKira READER SUBMISSION!
Dude, MadPandaKira, pull that camera a little higher, we still have a couple months until I bring Unsinkable Dreamboat Edition back! Seriously though, I'm so glad that One Piece is part of our library now. The minute we get the older episodes, I think it's time for some (totally unnecessary) catch-up.
The Monogatari series is another one I've tried really hard to sit through, mainly because I see how popular it is with you guys and how often you keep requesting it, so I wanna see what all the fuss is about. All I remember from the two episodes of Bakemonogatari that I watched were some really fast and fun writing and beautiful animation. I'm just... not comfortable with fanservice characters who are that freakin' young. You feel me on that? I'll give it another chance soon, though, I promise.
So, uh, SPOILER WARNING for Samurai Flamenco, but I do not feel bad at all about Flamenco Girl getting her ass beat. It was kinda funny at first watching her completely debilitate muggers, but soon I saw that she was just doing it for the thrills and to be a bully, and when the spotlight was off of her, she lost interest in being a hero--hopefully, this whole ordeal will force her to change and grow. Hazama's kind of an idiot, but at least his heart's in the right place. Can you tell this is my favorite show of the past season?
The only bad thing I can say about us getting Toriko is that this is not a good place at all for new people to jump in. Toriko does the same thing One Piece does--take Dragonball's sense of adventure and fun, take out a bunch of the storytelling problems (hindsight is a wonderful thing) and then add something new and fresh--in this case, the world as seen through the eyes of a very hungry stoner. Can't wait for those earlier episodes!
Neo Angelique Abyss is one of many smaller shows we have in CR's library--maybe it doesn't have the insane spectacle of Attack on Titan or Kill la Kill, maybe it doesn't have the production values of Monogatari or Sword Art Online, but there are always these special, second-string gems that hit the spot, no matter how derpy they can get. Whoever requested this is right--the show doesn't get enough love on Fanart Friday.
I was pretty surprised to see that we were streaming the Mushi-shi special episode! This series is a recent favorite of mine, for playing things smart and low-key, and having really beautiful art and overall design sense.
I was also surprised that nobody requested Free! for this week's installment (to my knowledge, at least--I've been burned saying "nobody requested something" before). This is a show that makes me look down and sigh at my beer gut in shame, to the point that I've been doing crunches every morning. DAMMIT, KYOANI, LET ME REVEL IN MY SLOTH
Y'know what's sad? I looked up the hilariously long Japanese title for Problem Children are Coming from Another World, Aren't They?, found art on Pixiv, posted it here, and then completely forgot what show this was when I came back to write the commentary. I sat dumbfounded for a minute trying to think of something to say, went back and looked at the "reader request" list, facepalmed, and then realized I don't have anything to say anyways (God dammit), because I haven't watched this series, but you guys love it. So, uh... there's a victory somewhere in there?
On the other hand, I can talk about Gintama at length for days and days, because few shows perfectly meet my "goofy comedy," "smart comedy," and "badass fight scene" quotas all at once. It's like watching a well-written sitcom about lazy-ass slackers that turns into The Raid every forty episodes or so.
And what's my favorite catalog addition? Why, Rurouni Kenshin, of course! While I'm glad we also got the dub (although I'm rewatching it sub), I'm kinda sad we're not getting the dub's outtakes. Richard Epcar (credited as Richard George) cannot pronounce Japanese words to save his life. The man is a saint.
But y'know what? I was happy to say it back when we first got it a couple months ago, and I'm happier to say it now: we have Hajime no Ippo. One of my all-time favorite sports titles gets another shot at being brought to North America, and if its views are any indication, you guys actually like it. I really hope we get to see the coach's backstory--it's by and far my favorite arc in the series.
And that's everything for this week! While this was a slightly-larger installment than normal, there's no way I could have included everything--what are your favorite titles from CR's anime library? Sound off in the comments!
Like I say every week, your personal submissions are always welcome here on Fanart Friday, so don't be shy--send 'em in! I'll make sure to include every submission in a future installment. For those of you prepping for the coming weeks, here are the next three themes for Fanart Friday:
-Next week, on JANUARY 10th, we'll be blasting off into SPACE! Lots of titles take place out on the final frontier, from genre-defining classics like Star Trek and Star Wars to new adventures like Space Dandy! THIS IS THE ONLY THEME I'M TAKING REQUESTS FOR THIS WEEK!
-Then, on JANUARY 17th, we follow up Wide World of Sports Edition with GAMES! From Cardfight Vanguard to Akagi to Chihayafuru, we'll throw down without actually throwing down! Unless somebody's cheating, and then they're gonna lose a f**king eye!
-On JANUARY 24th, we're putting on our plain white button-up dress shirts and looking as normal as possible with our favorite GENERIC PROTAGONISTS! We're talking Shinji Ikari, Touma Kamijou, Kyon (sorta), Banri Tada, Kyousuke Kousaka... the list goes on, and there are not enough basic school uniforms in the world. What's it gonna be like, seeing them all side-by-side?
Thanks again for coming by to check out Fanart Friday, everybody! Have a great weekend, try and stick to your New Year's resolutions, and I hope you drop by next time!