Anime update: Stand up to the Victory!

I mentioned in my last update that I had some interest in checking out Space Runaway Ideon, as I understood it was something of a spiritual predecessor to both Zeta Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion. However, a brief look into some short snippets of the series has led me to reconsider. I don’t mind my anime being dark from time to time – after all, Evangelion is my all-time favorite – but Ideon looks downright morbid. Young children being brought along onto the battlefield only to have their heads blown off? No thank you.

So with that said, I think I’m going to go full steam ahead with completing Victory Gundam – I have approximately twenty episodes left, and though I do make a habit of taking breaks about halfway through these longer anime, I am quite hooked on it. I’m also all caught up with Unicorn Gundam, and I am happy to say that it got back on track after that brief stint of preachiness in episode four. I can’t say for certain yet, because Unicorn still has one more episode before it is completed, but if the last episode stays on the same track the rest of the series has, it could end up as one of my favorites from the Gundam franchise. Assuming I complete Victory Gundam before the end of the summer, I plan to pick up either ZZ or the original Mobile Suit Gundam thereafter as I move into the final phases of completing my viewing of every Gundam series to date.

Also, I recently powered through roughly two-thirds of the episodes that make up Shin Sekai Yori (aka From the New World), and that series has me very interested as to where the remainder of the story will go. Expect that to be reviewed in the near future, likely around the same time as Victory Gundam. I also took a crack at the first handful of episodes of Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, and while I have to say it’s even more explicitly sexually charged than older Lupin works, it’s just as humorous and entertaining as the classic series. It’s a series that I don’t plan to work through as quickly as either Victory Gundam or Shin Sekai Yori, but I will certainly get to reviewing it as well once I’ve completed it.

While I’m still a bit frustrated with Toonami’s shift in the programming earlier this year to accommodate One Piece, Bleach, and Naruto, I can say that Sword Art Online has me intrigued. The first two episodes were quite solid, and it seems like an easy enough watch. I think it helps that I didn’t experience the series back when everyone else was on the hype bandwagon for it, because, while I do have decent expectations for it, I don’t expect it to be the most mind-blowing anime of its kind. I expect it to be fun and adventurous, but beyond that I’m simply hoping it’s a solid blend of science fiction and fantasy.

On the note of the ‘bandwagon effect’, I will go out of my way right now to state that I have absolutely zero intention of viewing either Attack on Titan or Free!, the two most recent flavor-of-the-season anime that everyone and their grandma seems to be gushing over. I did try a few episodes of Attack on Titan and thought the writing was subpar at best, while the characters didn’t interest me much and the art style was grotesque and unappealing. As for Free!, the whole sports anime genre doesn’t do anything for me to begin with, and the pretty boys in speedos approach seems very much like a one-trick pony. You’re welcome to indulge in those series all you want if that’s your scene, but I’m firm on my decision not to.

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