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“Clover 3” by Vibe Mountain
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury OP: “Shukufuku” by Yoasobi
A couple nights ago, while browsing my Twitter feed, I came across #MechaMarch for the first time. I assume this writing event has been around for a while and I am just now learning about it given the responses I’ve seen thus far. I don’t consider myself knowledgeable in mecha anime by any stretch of the imagination; I came to the genre relatively late compared to my exposure to other styles, like isekai and school-set comedies.
If I had to remember one of my earlier experiences, Full Metal Panic!, Code Geass, and Neon Genesis Evangelion jump to mind. Since then, I’ve picked up some classics, dabbled in novelties, and tried enough mediocre to awful entries in the field. Current favorites include FMP Fumoffu, Macross Frontier, Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Knights of Sidonia, and Break Blade. Now with this month’s theme in mind, I’m determined to find something new and equally engaging.
It was with surprise and delight that I discovered the original 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam in full on Crunchyroll. My experience with the franchise is limited to a few entries, with those other than IBO getting dropped early on. From the handful of episodes seen so far of Gundam 79, I’m happy to say that the likelihood is high that I’ll keep with it and finish; I’ve already the 2019 prequel origin series to my future watchlist out of sheer curiosity about a couple of the major characters.
I’m hoping my time with the classic will encourage some writing in response, but I’m also resistant to pressure to just produce–I might just end up tweeting passing thoughts not long enough for a blog post. If any of you have any suggestions for topics or anime titles you think I should check out in line with the mecha theme of the month, let me know!
In the hopes of shedding my winter gear and moving into the spring, I’ve decided to continue on with this second part of my season wrap. I may or may not give my final thoughts on Tales of Zestiria the X after the last episode airs at the end of the month (05.13.17 edit: Zestiria review can be read here).
Overall, this winter season treated me remarkably well, with a couple of gems I would include in a top-30-of-all-time list. It’s not often that a series comes along I can definitively say exemplifies the possibilities of anime as a medium for storytelling, or that transcends its art style in such a way that anime skeptics can still appreciate. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu and ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka are two such titles.
In addition to these pillars, there are also several shows that have already become cult classics, such as Kemono Friends and Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon. These anime understood and executed their roles perfectly, capturing the hearts and loyalty of their audience almost from the beginning. Maybe I can’t provide a synopsis about either to a non-anime viewer without raising some eyebrows, but that doesn’t change the fact that these characters had a powerful impact on me. Shows like Kemono Friends remind me to see the best in myself and others no matter how bleak the surroundings. That’s a particularly important reminder these days.
ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka
Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
Kuzu no Honkai
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season
Here comes my favorite season, with its cooler weather perfect for cozy hats, mittens, and scarves and its turning colors of purple, red, and yellow. This season is also when I start craving soups and stews, and my hot beverage intake skyrockets. We also have our fair share of rainy weekends leading up to the winter months, so that hopefully means plenty of time for anime and gaming.
Right now, KWoo and I are working our way through the final portions of the PS3 version of Tales of Graces F. I had played it several years ago, but never finished it. He’s liking it much more than Tales of Symphonia, which we completed earlier this year. I actually found a rough draft for my initial review of Graces F, so I’m hoping that I’ll have the time this second play through to actually write about it.
But back to this season’s choices in anime. As usual, this “set menu” is subject to change as the weeks progress. For now, this is what I have chosen:
3-gatsu no Lion
Bungou Stray Dogs 2nd Season
Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou VS Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou
Hibike! Euphonium 2
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season
I made it!!! I dropped a good number of series as the winter season progressed, yet somehow I still ended up in the double digits for shows. If you haven’t already read part 1 of my winter wrap, please check it out!
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
Musaigen no Phantom World
Prince of Stride: Alternative
Garo: Guren no Tsuki
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri 2nd Season
So for those of you who haven’t seen these anime and don’t know why I decided to group my thoughts on them together despite Hunter x Hunter being already two episodes in, the reason is simple. Both Mobile Suit Gundam AGE and Hunter x Hunter (2011) make me feel like a kid again. And this is a good thing, since feeling “like a kid” in this case has nothing to do with the head, but everything to do with some mighty big heart.