I am currently going through post-convention depression. That pretty much means it was an awesome convention. I enjoyed it more than I’ve enjoyed any Otakon in a decade. I want to go again next year. Here’s a quick summary of what I watched:
- Rail Wars 1-3: Student trainees join the Japan Railway Security Forces. Its okay. Probably wouldn’t seek out more of it, but I didn’t mind it.
- Re:Hamatora: I watched one and a half episode and bailed. I have been hardcore watching anime for almost 25 years, and I can say without hesitation that this is one of the most incoherent pieces of crap I’ve ever attempted to watch. Seriously, fuck this show.
- Argevollon: I only saw the first episode, but it seems to be a fairly stock mecha show. I’d certainly be willing to see more of it to see if it develops into something beyond stock. The mech designs reminded me of the old PC game Total Annihilation.
- Sailor Moon Crystal 1-3: A delight! Sailor Moon Crystal takes everything wrong with the original Sailor Moon TV series and fixes it. The original series had a lot of padding, this cuts all of that out. The artwork is much closer to Naoko Takeuchi’s original manga style. The only flaw, and it is a minor one, is that the opening theme is not the least bit catchy, where the original theme was. I might have liked, perhaps, a remake of the original opening theme as well.
- Dramatical Murder 1-3: I had never even heard of this one until I saw it, and was pleasantly surprised. This one is set in a really cool cyberpunk setting. Its about a guy who does deliveries for a junk shop who gets sucked into a deadly game of cyber-duelling. Afterwards, I noticed a few people dressed as characters from this series, so I guess this is just a series that I missed somehow.
- Akame Ga Kill 1-3: A young man comes to the imperial capital to join the military, but finds the capital is a corrupt mess. Instead he winds up joining a group of assassins who specialize in terminating corrupt officials for rebel forces. It seems fairly good.
- Kill La Kill 1-6: The fact that I watched six episodes of this should tell you a lot. What it should tell you, and what I will tell you now, is that this is amazing. This anime is a masterful blend of action, drama, and comedy. It is set in an unusual setting. It is presented in an insanely hyperkinetic retro style. There is nothing here for me to not like.
- Le Chevalier D’Eon 1-3: Conspiracy and mercury-filled zombies in pre-revolutionary France. Highly-detailed artwork too. Pretty good stuff.
Panels were a more mixed bag. We went to four of them. Two of them were garbage, because the panelists were awful.
- A panel called “Psychology of Anime” spent the first EIGHT MINUTES (as confirmed by the panelists themselves) just fucking around and joking with each other. This may have been mildly entertaining if they were actually funny – they weren’t. It was painful, but we were kinda stuck deep in a large crowd. There may have been fifteen minutes of content. Kiril used the opportunity to take a nap. I wish I had too.
- We bailed quickly on a panel called “Anime and the 1980s” when the fumfering panelists mumbled “Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs” 4-5 times in a row after showing us the intro to the same, which ended with the text “Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs.” I mean, literally, they took turns doing that, and a handful of other meaningless words in-between.
- We had MUCH better luck with Jed A. Blue’s two panels: “Postmodern Anime” and “Break the World’s Shell.” The latter is a quote from Revolutionary Girl Utena and was about apocalyptic anime. I really felt like I learned stuff in those panels, and Mr. Blue actually knows how to speak and make a presentation. I’ll give away the most valuable thing I learned: Utena is heavily influenced by, and quotes, the Hermann Hesse story “Demian.” I watched all of Utena and found it fascinating, but I couldn’t tell you what the hell happened in that show. Maybe I need to read Demian!