suntzuanime

A thoughtful response to current anime.

Category Archives: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

Sun Tzu’s Picks: Top 10 Anime of 2011

2011 has ended, as years often do.  Soon the new year’s anime will be starting; I haven’t taken a close look at them, but I’ve heard there isn’t much to be excited about.  So rather than worry about the upcoming year right now, let’s take a moment to stop and reflect on the year that has passed, and rank the ten best anime of the year.

Some rules regarding what I consider eligible to receive a ranking: I’m counting anime (so no J-Dramas or My Little Pony) that aired on TV (so no movies or OVA) starting in 2011 (so no Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu for #1 anime five years running).  I’m also excluding any anime that were just continuations of a series that began prior to 2011.  There were a few good second seasons that aired this year, like Ika Musume 2 and TWGOK 2, but those shows have already received consideration during their original airing years, and it’s time for them to step aside and make room for new blood.  Shows that aren’t done airing or shows that I haven’t finished watching are fine, though, so long as I’ve seen enough of them to have an opinion.  All the descriptions below are going to contain spoilers, so maybe you should just read the titles and then go off and watch all of them?

The Top 10 Anime of 2011, in Ascending Order (the last shall be first and the first shall be last)

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Anime, Digested – Fate/Zero 13, Mirai Nikki 11-12, Haganai 12, Ika Musume 10-12

I watched some anime!  Here’s my thoughts:

Fate/Zero 13: It was a cool episode, but come on.  There’s no excuse for hyping the audience up for an epic confrontation against a Horror from the Deep and then saying, “oh, by the way, the show’s on hiatus now, look forward to spring”.  This is the battle we’ve been building towards for the past six or seven episodes, and they’re dangling it out of our reach.  This is going to be the worst case of anime blueballs since Haruhi Season 2.  They set the confrontation up six episodes ago and they’ve been stalling ever since!  I figured they were stalling because wanted a climactic battle to end the season on, I didn’t realize they wanted a climactic battle to end the season right before.

Mirai Nikki 11-12: That’s the end of Kurusu, I guess.  I had higher hopes for him than that.  He seemed like the sort of responsible adult supervision that Yuno and Yukiteru could profit from.  I wonder if Akise Aru will step into that role now?  I’m sure he’d like to think he fits that role, but he’s asking unpleasant questions about Yuno, which is unlikely to endear him to the pair.  Yuno, of course, is liable to take the first opportunity she gets to shut him up permanently and add him to her bag of corpses, but I feel like even Yukiteru wouldn’t be too interested in hearing what he has to say.  He defeated Kurusu with the ~★♥power of love♥ ★~, that’s a sign that he’s made his choice.  He’s going to go see the stars with his pink-haired future wife, and he’s just not going to think about how she’s a crazy stalker who murders people.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai 12: Your standard harem anime non-ending.  They want to end their season with some sort of climactic plot event, but they can’t actually change anything for fear that the harem setting will fall apart and they won’t get to make a second season, so you end up with these big events that just sort of sputter and fall flat because they have to maintain the status quo. So Kodaka realized that Yozora was his childhood friend, but they agree to keep it secret from everyone and it’s not like they are going to treat each other differently or call each other by old nicknames.  The only real effect is that Yozora’s hair got shorter.  I guess in this show they have an excuse for the non-ending: Yozora’s pride won’t let her accept anything good that happens to her if it’s not completely on her own terms.  Kodaka didn’t immediately recognize her, so to hell with him.

Ika Musume 2 10-12: Ika Musume’s still cute.  Over the course of these three episodes we got to see her in her winter outfit, her with short hair (tentacles), and her with braided hair (tentacles) in a yukata.  The bits were funny enough, nothing really outstanding.  The final storyline with Ika Musume at the festival sad because nobody would ever love her was sort of overshadowed by Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai’s storyline with Yozora at the festival sad because nobody would ever love her.  Yozora does a much better job with it, it just seems out of character for Ika.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 11

The previous episode of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai was the third swimsuit episode of the season.  That’s plenty, in my opinion.   Swimsuits are wonderful, but ordinary clothing has its own charms as well.   Oh, and cosplay!  Remember when Yozora was wearing a horse mask?  That was pretty sweet.  I guess for fully half the cast, their “ordinary clothing” would probably count as cosplay – Yukimura dressed as a maid, Maria dressed as a nun (she is a nun, but also, she is dressed as one), Kobato dressed in the gothic lolita style, and Rika dressed in a lab coat (she may work in a lab but that’s no excuse).  When you get right down to it, it’s a mistake to refer to anything in this show as “ordinary”.  Let’s see how extraordinary episode 11 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai turns out to be.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 10

Last episode on Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, the Rinjinbu planned a visit to Sena’s private beach.  I presume that this episode we’ll actually see them there.  I’m not sure how helpful it is to go to a private beach if your goal is to make more friends, but I guess they have to start somewhere.  They can use this excursion as a chance to get familiar with the physical characteristics of beaches, like sand and tides and stuff, so that when they end up visiting a public beach, they can focus entirely on the social aspect.  Let’s smash open the boundary between land and sea in episode 10 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai!

…thirty minutes pass…

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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 9

Last episode on Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, the members of the Rinjinbu tried to go swimming, but failed due to crippling social phobia.  Have they considered maybe seeing a psychiatrist about this?  I mean, it’s one thing to have trouble making friends, perfectly sane, healthy, brilliant, handsome people can have trouble making friends.  But if you can’t even handle being in a crowd of people without becoming sick to your stomach and collapsing, that sort of problem is maybe beyond the scope of an after-school club to solve. Don’t they have universal healthcare in Japan?  Let’s see if the club members can get the help they need in episode 9 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 8

Last episode on Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, the Rinjinbu finally made it into the third millennium and started using cellphones.  Now they can talk conveniently across any distance, rather than relying on communicating by throwing rocks with notes taped to them at each other.  Maria is a nun, right?  Couldn’t she just borrow one of God’s angels to run messages for them?  I guess an angel might not be thrilled to be carrying Rika’s sexts around.  Anyway, let’s see how they put the power of the modern telecommunications infrastructure to use in episode 8 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 6

There is a new episode of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai out, which we will watch, but first I want to link you to this blog post about the show.  I sometimes engage in pseudointellectual pretension in this blog, so I thought I would talk briefly about what an actual anime intellectual has to say.  I haven’t read the Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai manga, but I can see where he’s coming from about how the show’s visual style fails to effectively communicate information in favor of communicating tits.  But apparently he’s upset because he thinks the characters are less likable in the anime than they were in the manga?  It’s great how unlikable the characters are!  That’s like the best aspect of the show, that it doesn’t take some romantic point of view on how all friendless people would be nice once you got to know them, and has the guts to actually make its friendless characters unfriendly.  If that dynamic wasn’t in the manga, then all the artistically skillful shot composition in the world couldn’t make it better than the anime.  Ok, that’s all I wanted to say, let’s watch episode 6 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 5

Last episode on Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, three new members were introduced to the Rinjinbu – a nun, a genius scientist, and a dude who looks like a chick.  They all have their unique contributions to make to the club.  I wonder if any of them like to play videogames, as near as I can tell that’s what the club’s activities mostly consist of.  Maybe now that the completely unfriendly people are outnumbered in the club, the club will actually start moving into friend-making activities.  But Sena and Yozora have seniority, so they’ll probably just continue sniping at each other in episode 5 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 4

Last episode on Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Sena and Yozora were set up in conflict over Kodaka.  Sena is attracted to him because he’s the only guy who is willing to stand up to a girl of such wealth and social status and tits.  I don’t know why he would be, especially, except that he’s the protagonist, and protagonists tend to have the moral qualities each of us believes we have, so we can relate to them.  None of us wants to believe we’d toady to someone like Sena, so Kodaka can’t either.  And we all want to believe that we’ll be reunited with our childhood friends and get heck of married to them like we said we were gonna, so that explains Yozora.  I’d hoped this wouldn’t be just another wish-fulfillment harem comedy, but as long as it’s funny, it’s fine.  Let’s see if episode 4 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai is funny.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Episode 3

So last episode on Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, the members of the Rinjinbu sat around playing videogames.  Sounds like a good time to me, but in terms of accomplishing their stated goals of making more friends, I’m not sure it’s the best play.  Basically as I see it, the problem is that the club has three members, all of whom hate one another.  It would be like if the SOS-Dan consisted of Haruhi, Kyon, and Asakura Ryouko.  Yozora needs to recruit some less prickly people, some smiling Itsukis, some easily cowed Mikurus (no Sena does not count no matter how much you think she resembles a cow), or some docile Yukis.  Maybe those sorts of people already have friends and are already in clubs, but Haruhi never let that stop her.  And now there’s three of them, that’s probably enough to start launching raids on some of the weaker clubs.  You just have to conquer the weakest club, then they can help you conquer the second weakest, and so on inductively until you rule the whole school.  Then everyone will have to be your friend!  Let’s conquer the world in episode 3 of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.

…thirty minutes pass…

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