I feel like I’ve grown up in a few different ways over the course of the year. I’m a senior in high school who will be attending college in less than a year. I’ve furthered my growth as a singer.
I have a boyfriend. I sewed my own Halloween costume. And I devoured an obscene amount of anime.
I’ve watched approximately 210 titles this year. That’s more than the amount of anime I’ve watched in the past five years combined. Yes, I realize that’s a bit of an issue. But so much anime consumption really helped me mature as a fan.
I made my MAL account back in 2007, but only started using it this year. Up until now, I only followed two blogs. Now I’m stalking twelve. Hell, I started my own damn pathetic excuse for a blog. (Twice.) I now know my preferences when it comes to animation studios, and in a few cases, directors. I’ve matured as both a person and as an anime fan. (Although I still act like a five year old a lot.)
Moment #1: Hopping on the blog train.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!
(I got the first season of Utena on DVD. Nothing else matters right now.)
I’ve watched tons of shitty anime, but a lot of excellent ones as well. Many of which have made it onto my Top 30. But none of them, not even Baccano! or Madoka Magica, had as much of an impact on me as one show did.
An anime that only took me two days to complete, including the movie. An anime that captured my heart and mind like no other. An anime that really made me think. An anime that actually made me want to write. A lot. An anime that simultaneously confounded and fascinated my brain time and time again. This year, I watched the greatest shoujo series ever created. Twice.
Moment #2: Watching Revolutionary Girl Utena.
(I’m really really hoping that I get those DVDs for Christmas!!)
Back in the winter season almost a year ago, there was an image of four pastel and fluffy looking girls on the preview charts. “Oh dear god, it’s the token mahou shoujo of the season,” I thought to myself. “Oh wait, Kajiura Yuki’s composing the soundtrack? And Kalafina’s singing the ending theme? Maybe I should watch this anyway.”
And then, episode three happened. The Internet exploded. Madoka Magica became a phenomenon.
Thousands of people were entranced by it, people who had dropped it picked it up again, and it landed a spot on a vast number of fans’ all time favorites lists. No one expected it to be as popular, or as epic, or as well told as it was. I feel pretty confident saying that Puella Magi Madoka Magica is the first classic of the 2010s.
Moment #3: The moment Madoka Magica finally showed its true colors.
Yes, I know it’s not anime. Deal with it.
I consider myself gamer. Well, a light one. After all, the only type of games I really play are JRPGs: Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Golden Sun, etc. I also play the Professor Layton games, Mario Kart, Pokemon of course, and a few others. (I’m terrible at FPSs though. Don’t get me started.)
Anyway. The point is: I have never played a Zelda game until last month. The franchise that was named the greatest game of all time in Game Informer magazine. The RPG that transcends the title of legendary. I’ve never touched it.
When word got out among my nerd friends in school, I was jokingly harassed to play them. In November, my then-boyfriend forced me to play them. I started a few: Majora’s Mask (which seriously gave me nightmares), Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time, and the newly released Skyward Sword. I promptly began to read up on a whole lot of things: titles, terminology, characters, etc. I soon found myself immersed in the magical land of Hyrule.
Words don’t even describe how much I suck at playing these games. It’s really pathetic. My boyfriend enjoys laughing at my failure. But they’re fun nonetheless, and I play them almost every time I go over to his house. Not necessarily by my own volition.
Moment #4: Finally playing the Zelda games.
The name of a legend. A god of the anime world. Mention this name in any anime community, and people will start singing nothing but endless praise for the man. Unfortunately, I was only blessed by the anime gods this year and just discovered him about a mere six months ago.
My first Kon directed anime was Millennium Actress, and it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Then I moved in to the TV series, Paranoia Agent. It’s brilliant, filled with tons of excellent metaphors, and is one of the best psychological/horror stories out there. Tokyo Godfathers is perhaps, as Scamp so puts it: the greatest feel good anime ever. Paprika is tons of fun, and Perfect Blue is a genuinely creepy and an extremely well done horror flick. Basically, everything Satoshi Kon does is terrific.
I’m a little late here, but RIP, Ssatoshi Kon. I’m so sorry I couldn’t celebrate your magnificence while you were still alive.
Moment #5: watching the works of one of the greatest storytellers ever.
Prior to this year, I’d only seen a small handful of mecha series: Evangelion, Gurren Lagann, Code Geass, and Macross Frontier. And I love all of them. But despite the fact that I like them, I still had the awful tendency to judge mecha as a whole. Well, that finally ended this year.
I completed Rideback. I got through half of Eureka Seven. I watched and read Bokurano, which quickly became one of my favorite mangas of all time. In addition, I watched all of the Evanglion movies (save for Death & Rebirth) and both Gurren Lagann films. And now I’ve also become a fan of one of the biggest anime franchises of all time, Macross. (I have one more Macross installment to go, Macross 7. I’ve heard abysmal things about it, and I hope that they’re not true.)
It’s taken a while but I’ve finally gotten past my bias against giant robots. (For the most part anyway.) All that’s left to do is become a Gundam person. Then I’ll really feel like a nerd.
Moment #6: Discovering the ten year old boy within my heart.
Steins;Gate is undoubtedly one of the best shows to air this year. It’s also one of the most well received, ranking at number three on MAL. (Which I still disagree with.) But it took a long time to get so great. The first half was full of witty humor and other interesting things that slowly moved the plot along. But it was very, very slow.
However, the end of episode twelve was then Steins;Gate finally kicked it into gear. Episode twelve fulfilled a desire that I had from the very beginning. It was the moment when all of the underlying danger finally rose to the surface. The moment when I finally started looking forward to seeing the next episode every week.
Moment #7: Seeing the HanaKana moeblob getting a well deserved bullet to the head. (As well as getting hit by a train, etc.)