In my tradition of churning out article after article with no hope of stopping, let's recap October's leg of my marathon for everyone just joining me on this journey. I'll make my opinion on the biggest winner, the biggest loser, and the dark horse from this month known to the world, like it or not.
First off, for those of you just joining us on the review bonanza, this is my Anime Marathon 2013. For the rest of 2013 I've dedicated myself to watching anime after anime to catch back up after I stopped watching it back in 2008. Instead of just watching it, I decided to start logging it all in this review marathon.
It was a great start to the marathon this month with some very strong performances across the board. Even the weakest link (we'll get to that later) was a good anime on its merits. I mean, just look at this lineup:
- Sword Art Online
- Valvrave the Liberator
- Eureka Seven
- Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean
- Guilty Crown
- Infinite Stratos
- Eden of the East
- Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone
Is that lineup not awesome? In addition to that little recap, I'll also give you guys a peak inside the review/watch pipeline as of right now:
Still to Come:
- Majestic Prince
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero
- Infinite Stratos (Season 2)
- Valvrave the Liberator (Season 2)
- Log Horizon
- Date a Live
- Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance
- Ghost Hunt
- Spice and Wolf
So many shows and so little time to get it all done. Still, I'm having a great time with it. I don't have much to say at this point, so I'll skip ahead to the big part of the recap, the awards.
The Biggest Winner: Valvrave the Liberator (Season 1)
The biggest winner this month was Valvrave the Liberator. Valvrave is so shamelessly insane and action-packed that it really wasn't much of a contest I daresay. I love mecha, but I also love shows that decide that crazy town is the best place to go in the first episode. Valvrave does both and then follows it up with wham episode after wham episode with little regard for the viewer's mental health.
Time will tell if the second season is able to keep up the trend and beat the odds to become the winner next time as well.
The Biggest Loser: Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean
Unfortunately for the Eureka Seven franchise, they have to take this home this month. When it comes down to it, the show just isn't unique enough to stand on its own but incapable to leaning on the Eureka Seven universe. It tries to be sequel, but it fails. It tries to be an action adventure, but it gets messy. It tries to be deep and thought-provoking about change and acceptance, but it doesn't go all the way.
Don't get me wrong, it was good, but the other shows this month beat it up in the back alley. I'm sure Valvrave took the first punch.
The Dark Horse: Blood+
Alright, alright. I'm totally cheating on this one. The review is being written right now, so I feel like I can include it, but it isn't technically reviewed yet. At the same time, this series has defined the Dark Horse award for this article. Without it, this category wouldn't exist.
Blood+ was a series that I went into expecting to be a crazy, kinda nutter show that would be a bit of good fun, but this show is awesome man. We'll hear all about it in the review within a few days.
UPDATE: Added the link to the Blood+ review.
Other series that came in close for the "Winner" were Guilty Crown, Blood+, and Evangelion 1.0, which all were in a pretty close running for the top spot, but in the end I decided that Valvrave had this one nailed down, if only because I love mecha too much. Sword Art Online was a contender for the "Dark Horse" segment, though Blood+ has that one firmly in hand.
In addition to my reviews, I also made an opinion piece entitled "What Japanese Animation Gets so Right" for the community where I highlighted things that the Japanese anime creators seem to get right, a lot. It was my second "serious" article of sorts where I analysed something outside of my usual reviews. This could become a theme in my marathon as well. It was seemingly met with amicable reviews by the populace, which I appreciate.
Keep reading and I'll keep writing.