I've actually seen some of Monster. I watched it somewhere into its teens/early 20s in episode count. Its writing in the first eight or so episodes was indeed fantastic, but it became a bit more episodic and slow-paced than what I liked later on (still very good writing even at that point, though). It's probably worth me picking it up again. I'll watch at least 5 episodes of it beyond where I stalled it to honor our wager (and hopefully I'll see it through to the end this time, though that will take awhile, lol)
Now Asatte no Houkou I have not seen. I'm looking forward to that to be sure, as it looks promising based on that link you sent to me.
Anyway, thanks for your answer on Mio and Mikoto, as well as their anime shows. I will definitely say that Mikoto meets one, if not both, of your two favorite types of female characters. Also, I'm a K-On fan myself, so I'm pleasantly surprised you mildly liked the show, as well as Mio.
Anyway, congrats to you on your win in our wager. Just in case you're curious, the second show I had selected for you to watch if Shana had won was Hajime no Ippo. Very manly show that I honestly think you might like, but it's of course up to you if you ever check it out. It's not a personal favorite for me as El Hazard is, so that's part of the reason why El Hazard was my first choice.
Well, I can appreciate K-ON characters on an aesthetic level. Character-wise, Mitsurugi bores me, Ritsu is underdeveloped and Yui is too tryptophan. I'm not saying I necessarily like Mio - but I do think she is moe. I honestly thought out of the group, she was the most mature, hardworking character. In all honesty, though, Ui is miles ahead of the rest for me. As for the show - 5/10. The exact definition of a show I felt no worse and no better after watching.
There's two types of female anime characters I like - mature, confident dominant women and spunky, feisty ones. I can't stand Railgun at all - like I've said before - Mikoto is the only thing I liked in Railgun. I wish she was in a different show, just like I wish Charlotte was in a better show than Infinite Stratos. Railgun would be a 3/10 max for me, IS no more than 6/10. Shan would be lucky to get 1/10 from me.
Like I said in the ISML thread - I don't have to like the show to like the character.
El Hazard - Got it.
Well, my 2 choices for you are:
The one I was always going to pick for you - Monster - 74 episode series from 2004. I know it's long but...it's...perfect....It is easily the best writing I've ever seen - Urusawa is a master. There are so many plot lines delicately woven into this and developed throughout. The characters are just dynamite - Tenma is my #1 male character in anime by light years. HE IS THE MAN! THE GREATEST MAN EVER! Nina Fortner is one woman that is very rare in anime and Noto Mamiko voicing her is an unexpected choice but wow - she owns that role! This is pretty much a very anti-norm anime/originally 18 volume manga for Japan - but the manga was insanely popular in Japan because it was so bloody well written and crafted. Urusawa's art style is very unique. He knows how to be epic but keep it together. And to set the whole story in Germany is so daring - but it's the perfect setting. This is the masterpiece that seems too daring for a lot of people - but you have to try once. I choose this one because you value good writing. I put it to you that Urusawa wipes the floor with Urobuchi. If you don't like it after 5 episodes, let it go. But honestly, I'll be amazed if you don't like it. There's very mild horror but nothing graphic that you wouldn't see on TV in prime-time shows anyway. Please watch this. I became a more earnest anime fan in 2003. Last Exile quickly became my #1 and stayed there until 2 days ago. Monster is now my #1. I do not recommend this one lightly.
The other pick - Asatte no Houkou (Living For The Day After Tomorrow - 12 episode series from 2006 that went under the radar then got licensed in the US recently. It's a very different type of storytelling and characterisation. The art is a little low-budget but seriously, the story is so solid and so heartwarming and there's rare maturity within the characters stuck in this scenario - along with plausible drama. This is a real soul food series for me. If you don't like it after 3 episodes, you probably won't ever like it. But I honestly think since you value proper writing and solid characterisation, that you'll like this one.
You're a Mio fan? O_o I never thought K-On would be your type of show at all.
Also, what makes you think that Mikoto is an "Awesome Character"? I couldn't get into Railgun or Index at all myself. What about those shows clicked with you?
My anime for you is El Hazard: The Magnificent World. It's a 1995 7-episode OVA (hence the five episode aspect of the wager will take you through more than half of it, hopefully leading you to watch it all ). The first episode of it is a double-sized Premier, so you can stop after 4 episodes if you like to make it fair (although I obviously hope you sincerely like it and watch it through to the end). If you have problems finding a download or stream for it, just let me know. I know that the English dub for it can be found on Veoh.
Last Exile has been #1 on my list since mid-2003. In over 8 years, nothing has toppled it. At present, I'm watching a show that is likely to topple its long reign. I'm pretty certain you haven't watched it. And I'm picking this show because it is easily the best writing I've ever come across. My second one is one that has a very unique scenario and very solid writing/storytelling.
Don't worry, I'm not a sadist, even with a sports wager. The show I intend to get you to watch is an all-time favorite of mind. I actually haven't decided on a 2nd show yet, but I'll aim for quality with it as well if necessary.
My block list:
Welcome to the NH
Kimi ni Todoke
Genshiken (1st season)
Basically, I just took anime shows listed on your AS favorites list that I'm not in the mood for watching and/or are of a genre I'm not fond of (try to avoid horror and harem comedy if you can). In Kurenai's case, it just didn't click with me. In Kimi ni Todoke's case, it just lost my interest after awhile (too slow for my liking).
So, we're agreed on the wager. Good luck to your pick as well.
If that show you're keen to make me see is anything but AnoHana or Shana, I might be convinced to give it one more try but I wouldn't be thrilled. The two shows I have in line - the one sure one in particular due to the result spoils - are designed to be in line with your most recent blog post. I'm not going to make you watch crap. I have something good planned. So I hope you have something similar in mind.
Care to make a friendly wager on the ISML Grand Final?
You're on Shana's side, I'm on Mikoto's.
The backer of the winner gets to pick two series the loser has to watch/try at least five episodes of. The loser picks one the winner has to watch/try at least five episodes of. This way, there's something to gain for both sides.
Series to be watched mustn't be ones either of us have seen in full. We can also nominate ten shows we will block the other from picking to prevent the element of being made to watch something we truly dislike. Any show nominated will have all seasons/series of it blocked.
Either way, good luck to your pick in the Grand Final.
1. The series itself is the definition of 'Do the absolute minimum required to trick the viewer into thinking enough happened for the episode to be worthwhile.' It is so painfully slow, so dull - any time I ever spent checking this series out is time I desperately wish I could have back.
2. J.C. Staff. intentionally scrimp on the aesthetics. They could make it look better - but they don't. They budget for mediocrity.
3. I can't stand Rie Kugimiya's voice. Need I say more about how I feel about her or any other character? As for Shana the character herself, very simple, snappy, service target. The list goes on. I get people say she grows up at some point. But I don't care. She's merely more than a whiny brat to me. Furthermore, you're the only person I've ever heard to call Shana a feminist. Nearly every Shana fan I know IRL likes her for lolicon reasons...and lolicon reasons only! Therein lies a big problem I have! A lot of people don't care about the fact Shana the character in full! Only that she's a loli that looks cute to them!
4. The battles were pretty generic. Honestly, potentially cool concept/world design made very flat. Side characters I just didn't care about. Just more underwhelming. Then there's scenes like the one in Episode 4 where Shana was changing and Yuji walked in. Someone of Shana's age being shown in that way is sickening.
5. I know a good deal of Shana fans.The thing is, a considerable number of the ones I've met - they are near impossible to get along with. They only talk about moe and lolis. Not just in anime - in ANYTHING. You can't talk to them about everyday life, current events, music, sport or whatever. They only care about things that are cute, are RieKu and loli. They'll shove their graphic merchandise in your face and be super hostile if they don't like your response. They'll play their fave music from shows like that and listen to nothing else. They don't watch any other type of anime. And really, perhaps that is the biggest problem I have with Shana. There's too many people that like her that get warped into lolicons and people you just can't be around in public because they'll say something that is completely out of line/the worst thing they could say in that situation, but they don't care. Heck, there's a 44 year-old guy I know of that only likes pre-teen characters/material only - and he started from Shana. He then moved on to 6 year olds and below...It's sickening...
7. Could you honestly talk about this show to the average, everyday person or show it to them? I don't think so...
It comes down to the show and the behaviour/hostility of a significant proportion of the Shana fandom. It creeps me out. I know not all Shana fans are like that. But some of the fandom is just utterly vile.
And for the record...I'm not that keen on Railgun either. I hate Kuroko in particular. But I genuinely think Mikoto is a good character - surrounded by a stale cast otherwise.