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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? January 2017

February 4, 2017

(This article is presented in spoiler-free-o-vision.)

11Yo! January sprinted right by and I’ve not much to show for it! Was 2017’s opening salvo productive for you?
One thing which I feel live action entertainment media can’t quite accomplish compared to paper media or anime, is character. There can be memorable characters, sure, but it’s so difficult when watching actors on the screen to disassociate said actors with their characters. How many times have you been talking about a movie and said “(such and such)’s character” rather than mentioning their character’s actual name?
Anime side-steps this slightly by giving you fresh faces with each new series you watch, though with the prevalence of A-list voice talent grabbing roles big or small, you do encounter the same sort of issue in that a character feels more like yet another manifestation of (insert your favorite voice actor here), rather than a wholly unique character. This can be distracting if you’re watching the anime adaptation of something after reading through say, its original manga or novel form, because once you hear that voice, you’re reminded of past characters you’ve encountered, which can break immersion, distracting you from what is occurring on screen; but that voice might also mismatch the one you originally had in your head for that character.
It’s a difficult issue to fix, as of course professional voice actors need to keep getting work, and it’s always encouraging when voice talent goes out of their way to develop numerous styles of voice for their various characters.
January was a speedy one, and I only managed to find time to finish one, lonely backlog series:
 

cs463_anne-happyAnne Happy-
Hanakoizumi An is a young girl with an unwavering, bright personality and a one-sided adoration for animals, despite her miserable luck’s tendency to see her falling into rivers or exposed manholes constantly.
She is a new student at Tennomifune Academy, and in its infamous Class 1-7.
Dubbed the “Happiness Class”, Class 1-7 is inhabited by only the most unfortunate individuals. Whether that misfortune happens to be centered around personal health, relationships or sense of direction, it is the goal of the Happiness Class to see to it that these unlucky souls find their way in a world which seemingly has it out for them.
Will Hanakoizumi An and her new friends find their own brand of happiness together, or are they instead forever destined to be the plaything of misfortune?

What I thought- “The happy one is me.”
I didn’t have high hopes for this series through first impressions. Sure, it’s bright and pleasing enough to look at, but the comedy wasn’t especially sharp, and while the characters were wonderfully designed, they took awhile to grow on me, and their antics were certainly somewhat one-noted.
Grow on me they did, though; Botan-chan in particular was a melancholic treat, and her and the others’ interactions, while yes, somewhat repetitive, never failed to bring the cheer or the charm.
In truth, the strongest scene in the series in my eyes belonged to two of the supporting characters, which is unfortunate, though by that token, perfectly fitting given the overall premise of this series.
As mentioned before, this is a very nice looking series, with nice clean character designs and a mix of various art styles dotted here or there to keep scenes interesting, and it also sports one of the catchiest OP songs I have encountered in some time.
Overall, this is a series for those into moe comedy without the emphasis on fan service which often comes with the territory. Yuru Yuri would be a good comparison. Its characters aren’t the most original, and its comedy might not go for the jugular, but I enjoyed just about every second of it.
Anne Happy doesn’t go out of its way to provide a heart-felt narrative or comedy steeped in shock-value, but for what it is, it is a fun premise executed with solid production, led by a cast of wonderfully lovable while wonderfully unfortunate characters.
 

The Winter anime season has been iffy, but there appear to be some winners in there among the more generic stuff. Demi-chan wa Kataritai is the strong starter, spearheaded by its irresistibly bright Takanashi Hikari. Among the other series I’ve started is Schoolgirl Strikers, but so far it has been rather dull, with a who-cares plot and some very unimaginative character designs. Maybe it’s a series which takes awhile to find its groove though.
The Winter season has also seen the return of Yamishibai for a fourth season, and I have been truly impressed with how they’ve righted the ship with this series. The stories are aimed at mood again, rather than lame scares or poorly executed shock value, and they’ve added live action shots which work out far better than I would have expected. Way to go!
(The world is now a darker place, but don’t let spoilers make it any darker!)
次回までね。

From → Anime

3 Comments
  1. Cool Guy permalink

    Didn’t read any of this just wondering why you write any of it or even make videos? Do you have fans?

    • Couple reasons:
      I wouldn’t mind being paid to write at some point in the future, and having something to point prospective employers at to say “Here is something to give you an idea for my voice as a writer or proficiency at writing (or lack thereof). The best way to practice writing is additionally, of course, to write.
      Also to put it simply, I like talking about my hobbies. I don’t have a lot of local friends who play video games or watch anime, so writing here is a good way to ramble on about those things to anyone who might stumble by.
      It’s never been about fans necessarily. I don’t have the interest in being any sort of internet personality, nor the charisma.

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