Seasonal Reputation, Take 2

For take 1, see Seasonal Reputation, although this is more specifically replying to Ang’s post on the “worst spring anime season”.

The first take on this post was primarily concerned with perception of seasons as “bad” or “good”, since the type of shows coming out at the time were of one specific genre. However, now that we’re in spring 2019, it seems the complaining is actually worse than it was in winter 2018. This one focuses on other factors, but probably isn’t the be all and end all.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with this season – probably because shifting priorities elsewhere (such as giving more effort to finishing off my non-manga TBR pile and sinking deep into Gacha Hell) mean I need to turn my brain off a lot more when it comes to my entertainment – but this seems to be for different reasons than last time.

One reason, which I haven’t addressed in the previous post, is the good stuff has at least one season’s barrier to entry this season. Shield Hero is enough to irk me from time to time, but not enough to shake me off entirely and that’s the lowest performer of my entire season. When it comes to Bungou Stray Dogs, I’m probably too deep into my rose-tinted view of the fandom I can’t see outside it, but that also helps to offset said irking. (Then again, I’m quite biased towards subsequent seasons, in part due to the fact you know what you’re getting…so maybe I’m not the best person to argue this point.)

As for the CR-Funi “divorce”, it really just depends on if you rely on Crunchyroll or Funimation for anime (which would be a lot of people) and even then it takes a while…specifically a few seasons…to see the aftereffects from the moment the decision came into effect. Deals for anime are made ages in advance if they can, which is why Crunchyroll was able to snag an anime from winter 2020 (In/Spectre) in spring 2019. Spring 2019 is the first time effects from the “divorce” and the subsequent buyout of AnimeLab by Aniplex are really showing up, since Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka (Funimation-AnimeLab) showed up in the season before and come spring, you can’t rely on AnimeLab…you have to go straight to Funimation, not to mention the anime are now more evenly distributed than ever (although paywall-affected services tend to have less overall).

What Ang calls “bargain basement anime” have been acquired since Crunchyroll was first getting simulcasts. (I mean, I wouldn’t have seen the terrible short-ep series Tono to Issho otherwise.) I’ve always seen Crunchyroll being the exemplar when it comes to “bargain bin” shows, since they tend to be overlooked by other services, but Funimation has had a few over the years (Daimidaler comes to mind first – although I haven’t watched it, I know it’s a stinker because Funimation didn’t really care about it) and sometimes services will use other content to fill in gaps for when they fail (cartoons from elsewhere, live-action or bringing in new backlog) – it’s just a way to keep that moolah coming in.

I feel like it’s not live-action and reboots that are taking sole focus away from new original anime. It’s the state of the industry. Now that CGI is more prevalent than ever, studios are being booked out years in advance and the effects of such quick anime production on the industry are being made known, it’s nice to have a grumpy spot in a world where simulcasts are the be all, end all. It means you’re still critical of the medium and maybe you can pick up an older series instead – you don’t have to be focussed on being up to speed if there’s an entire season that doesn’t wow you. Or you can just take an anime break instead.

Live-action is not an uncommon practice in Japan – some shoujo that never got anime get them instead. It’s just that Netflix thinks it can do better with the live-action by producing things that need a lot of special effects and then backing that up with their money. As for reboots, they’ve been showing up a lot in the past few years and they’re slated to come for a while yet (I still remember seeing a DVD case for the first Orphen series, back when I didn’t distinguish anime from the other cartoons…and now they’re going to remake it). That’s a lot harder to pin one source to, since Fruits Basket is a Funimation-led deal, knowing them, while nostalgia from the Japanese side for the anime boom and even before that drives quite a few of the other reboots/readaptions (e.g. Gegege no Kitaro). Strangely, Crunchyroll, Netflix and Amazon seem to fund and go for new shows rather than appeal to nostalgia, with the notable exceptions of Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix’s part and whatever other collective backlog they scrounge up.

I don’t think I’ve ever revisited a post like this, so it was sort of weird to do so. I still think the first piece was the best, since this is basically an “answer” to the “question” posed by another blogger, but I gave it the title of a previous post with the hopes of them going back to that first piece.

So, what are yor thoughts on spring 2019 as a “good” or “bad” season? Is our relationship with entire seasons as binary as that?

6 thoughts on “Seasonal Reputation, Take 2

Add yours

      1. I find myself complaining about less shows to watch then the other season quite often I think. May have to look at some of my older blog posts to make sure of this though.


  1. I’m still looking forward to catching up on Fall 2018…!
    At a glance though, Spring 2019 looks just about as balanced as any other season. Personally I think the only title I’ll end up watching is One Punch Man S2, but I know that people have been enjoying Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, Isekai Quartet, Fruits Basket, et cetera..
    Honestly though, I think every season has more than enough to offer. Not every anime has to be a AAA super anticipated title, there are plenty of good anime that fall between the cracks.

    Liked by 1 person

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