You were asking in the thread for K what series have a start that doesn't really tell us about the main characters. Well I was going to cite Legend of the Galactic Heroes as an example since believe it or not the entire first two episode of the series actually tell us nothing about the conflict or characters and why it's being fought and everything has to be inferred in a way very similar to K's opener based on what the characters are doing in the battle, body language, the setting which they inhabit and the manner in which they interact. It isn't until the 3rd and 4th episodes when the characters return to their respective home planets that they actually start to reflect on the conflict, why it's being fought, and why they are fighting in it and things start to expand from there.
I don't think I need to mention that LOGH is widely hailed as one of the greatest anime series of all time and one of the best written to boot, but it requires a little patience before it gets going and once it does oh boy. I would hope K is cut much from the same cloth.
So how about that win over the Russians in the latest Canada Russia Super Series. Feels like it's been ages since we've had a definitive win over them, but I mostly credit finding competent goaltending in Malcolm Subban and the coach for finding discipline, which has been a major issue for Canada in international tournaments of late.
It seems like if we get good goaltending (i.e not Mark Visentin) and don't have a parade to the penalty box (Getzlaf ) we do really well against elite teams, if not then things become more problematic.
Actually I was poking more fun at Shaft than Kyoani. While Kyoani historically has that whole aura of perfection surrounding them in the eyes of it's biggest fans it's arguable that Shaft has since supplanted them in this category and while Kyoani definitely has a lot of noticeable visual cues (car filled streets in rain, sunlit windows, wood grain in school architecture, snow to name a few) they aren't quite as frequently noticeable as SHAFT's and they aren't rotating them constantly throughout every episode. I really wasn't trying to exaggerate when I mentioned those things about SHAFT shows cause honest to god they really do them about that frequently.
Yeah honestly if we get a couple solid (not even necessarily outstanding just competent) defensemen to replace Campoli and Kaberle and find a couple better wingers for Plekanec or god forbid Gomez then we're probably back to being a playoff team. At this point the keepers are looking like Price, Subban, Gorges, Markov (if he can still play if not Emelin), MaxPac, Cole, Desharnais, Plekanec and Lars Eller. Everyone else should waived or traded as necessary. The question is whether it will be the right people making these decisions if you know what I mean.
Yeah, I certainly don't have any problem with anybody enjoying and liking Nise Episode 8. It's just kind of what you referred to - "proclaiming it's inherently genius without properly supporting the assertation with logical reasoning as to why they think this is" - that worries me a bit.
And yeah, that thread has been very well-moderated, which is good to see.
As for the AK46 trade, I'm not a big fan of it. I'd rather have seen him resigned. But ah well, at least it's not a terrible return. Anyway, I'll catch you in April.
One positive I can take from all of this is that unlike back in 2006 when I had my first real crisis of faith with anime, I can see that there are people that are taking out the same grievances and concerns as I am and who are asking similar questions and looking at the broader picture. Back then though I was truly alone without a single friend, confidante or form of support for my arguments and points and so it was literally man versus forum in terms of viewpoints.
It was basically like, "Well you don't think Haruhi is a masterpiece and the true goddess' ressurection, well **** you! " as just an example as opposed to, "You don't think Monogatari's latest episode was genius art defined, well x number of people think it is so you're probably looking at it from the wrong angle, try this approach instead". Both scenarios feel like having your opinion marginalized, misunderstood and semi-ignored (my issue is not with people enjoying the episode, I'd have to be a real asshole to make that my issue, but rather with them proclaiming it's inherently genius without properly supporting the assertation with logical reasoning as to why they think this) like it's an inherently flawed approach, but one is less outright hostile towards critical viewpoints than the other and comes with the benefit that you do have some people who think similiarly and who you can bounce ideas off of like we have.
Another positive is that the mods have also done a fantastic job of moderating that discussion without resorting to siding with any particular party which has kind of restored my faith in them a little. It was a very smart call to have pretty much all of them keeping tabs on that thread and the fact that only one person has appeared to take an infraction for it shows an extraordinary amount of patience and at least an attempt at understanding (however limited) from the majority of parties involved even if the result is still a sour taste in my mouth from a "what does this mean for the future" POV. I'll take sour over outright bitter like the 2006 situation any day of the week though.
Speaking of uncertain of the future, how about that AK46 trade earlier today? I'm really not sure what to think of it and obviously it's another one of those situations where we wont see the results for at least another 5 years down the line. I just hope it doesn't result in another last place team, kind of like how I hope that recent trends don't result in a lack of variety/quality in TV anime again 5 years down the line just as things had looked to have been righting themselves. If all of this didn't come married with the continual lack of broader appreciation and success for shows I find to be of pretty high quality (Gundam AGE, Chihayafuru) it probably wouldn't be so worrisome and frustrating to be a fan of anime right now, but all of this happening at once is like a compression of crap trends in anime culture and makes me realize I need to dip out for a bit like right now.
My tentative date for formal return to anime watching and discussion is some time in mid to late April so I'll catch you then.
Yeah, I have to say that I share some of your concerns. I think that many anime fans go through peaks and valleys (I myself certainly do), and it's only natural to take a break from it from time-to-time.
You wrote a post recently on the Black Rock Shooter thread that really resonated well with me, about the 10 elements that Japanese otakus like, and as long as one or more of those 10 are there to a sufficient degree nothing else (like just basic good storytelling, or good character development, etc...) seems to matter. I am starting to see more and more of that recently, and it is a bit disheartening to me, because much of what brought me in to anime was great storytelling with compelling characters exploring interesting ideas.
Because of really high quality 2011 shows like Madoka Magica, Steins;Gate, and Tiger and Bunny, my impression is that anime was really getting back to great storytelling with compelling characters exploring interesting ideas. But I suppose that anime, like anime fans, can go through peaks and valleys.