Around the time the year ends, I look back on it and feel this weird form of nostalgia. That strange feeling of wallowing in the past tense. Is it even possible to feel nostalgia over such a short span of time? I’m not a psychologist, so I won’t argue over the precise definition of nostalgia (the scientist in me wants to, but I must resist). Regardless, I’m just going to talk about anime that aired over the year.
Looking at this chart, there are only two TV airings I was invested in: Madoka Magica and Infinite Stratos.
When I think about Madoka Magica, I think of all the discussions taking place around the internet. Speculation over what was going to happen in the next episode, theories about deconstruction, some well written pieces on the art style. For many, this was a large part of enjoying Madoka Magica. When the grand final ended up being delayed, appreciation from many people for this series dropped down to sub-zero levels.
Though I enjoy good discussion, I especially like the ones that aren’t about “what is going to happen next” but more about “what is actually happening”. The delayed air date hardly affected me. It even gave a lot of emphasis to Madoka’s theme of salvation.
In this sense, I really like Madoka Magica. All the characters have clear functions, intentions, motivation. All of their stories serve as a clear stepping stone towards the climax. It’s a great story that has something to tell and it deserves a lot of praise.
If I think of Madoka Magica as thought-provoking, then Infinite Stratos is what I consider good ol’ fashioned dumb fun. Every once in a while I just have the urge to watch something incredibly dumb and satisfying. That is not to say IS is good or bad. It is neither the stellar example of story structuring nor does it have the most solid of dialogues. It has some sort of plot running in the background that I can’t get myself to care about too much. I don’t think the action is all that noteworthy (though the CG is pretty good). Quite frankly, I don’t care whether or not IS is good or bad by whatever standards. I really enjoyed it. In other words, when I think of Infinite Stratos I think of Charlotte.
A show like Infinite Stratos can be refreshing once in a while. I’ll usually watch a show like this every season. If anything good comes with the fan service, like what is happening in Idolm@ster right now, that’s all a great bonus. For some reason, these shows are also very memorable to me. Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun has left a good impression in my mind. Nyan Koi is definitely something I’d watch again. I had a great time with Asobi Ni Iku Yo! These are certainly the shows that define a part of my anime viewing and I can look back at them with joy.
Although I did watch other shows this season, I hold the most fond memories of these two. Discussing the intricacies of Madoka and raising my heart rate with Infinite Stratos. A year is quite a short time and actually it has been less than a year. But sometimes I just want to look back at what I’ve seen, smile awkwardly and just be grateful.