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Highlighting the Best Anime of the 2010s

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The 2010s were a strange time. I went through middle school, became an anime fan, went to high school, stopped being an anime fan, became isolated and depressed, became an anime fan again, started this blog, and then became depressed again. Truly, it is a cycle that never ends. One of the other things I did during that time is enter college and start writing for my college’s newspaper.

Since the decade ended in the same semester I did so, I ended up writing a retrospective on some of the best anime of the decade. Now, because I have consumed a lot more, my opinions have largely changed and expanded. Even so, I thought it would be fun to throw up on here as a fun read and reminder of just how much time has passed. Anyway, hope you enjoy it!


Welcome back, tourists. With 2019 over, the decade has officially reached its end. While the constant seasonal cycle still continues, it is worth remembering anime in the 2010s. 

The 2010s were an explosive decade for the anime industry overall and for fans like myself who love the variety that the medium brings. Indeed, the anime industry’s net worth topped 19 billion U.S. dollars, and the number of shows coming out each season increased dramatically from the beginning of the decade to the end.

Because of this increased growth and diversity, the decade produced a number of incredible anime, both in series and film, that are worth remembering. Here is a list of some of the best anime from the 2010s.

Durarara – Winter 2010 – Studio: Brain’s Base

The decade started off strong with Durarara, a show where almost anything can and will happen. 

The series focuses on Mikado, a high school student who moves to Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district at the behest of his friend Masaomi. Soon after, the two begin hanging out again, only for Mikado to find out that there is a lot more going on in Tokyo than he initially thought. Before he knows it, Mikado is caught up in gang wars, urban legends and battles for mysterious ancient weapons.

There is a lot to love about Durarara. It is a series where new adventures unfold every episode, only to then later reveal something about another previous adventure, culminating into a season finale that, while admittedly somewhat weak, leaves one begging for more—that is, until you realize there is an excellent second season which more or less picks up from where season one left off. 

Wandering Son – Winter 2011 – Studio: AIC Classic

The issues faced by transgender people in today’s world are something not often explored in storytelling media. While representation for trans people is catching up somewhat, it is still lagging behind what it should be, given that nearly one percent of the population identifies as such. Luckily, some creators, like author and illustrator Takako Shimura, were ahead of the game. 

The 2011 adaptation of her manga tells the story of two kids, Yoshino and Yuuichi, who have struggled with their gender identity since entering middle school. The two are able to confide in each other over their confusion but still ultimately struggle to fit in. Luckily, they have other friends to help them through it in a story that explores bullying, relationships and identity for transgender kids.

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Psycho-Pass – Fall 2012 – Studio: Production I.G.

There are a number of influential figures in anime whose work has shaped the medium, both for better and for worse. One of its more positive influences, Shinichiro Watanabe, created many amazing works throughout the 2010s, but arguably his best was Production I.G.’s Psycho-Pass.

Psycho-Pass is set in a futuristic Japan, but this time there is a twist. In an age of advanced technology, the country’s justice system has also caught up and uses an invention known as Sibyl. Sibyl allows police to determine the likelihood of any individual committing a crime, and because of this, the entire criminal justice system is based on this technology. However, it becomes a problem when those such as Makishima appear with the unique trait of being undetectable.

To put it bluntly, Psycho-Pass is like if every procedural crime drama show was even remotely interesting. It comes jam-packed with plenty of action, while still holding true to its themes of the inherent injustice in criminal convictions, as well as the problems of relying too much on technology. While its subsequent seasons were less than stellar compared to the first, it is still worth watching nonetheless. 

Log Horizon – Fall 2013 – Studio: Satelight

There are also a ton of individual anime that are influential as well, one of those being Sword Art Online, a series whose trapped-in-a-video-game storyline inspired many similar premises to receive adaptations of their own. However, coming before does not necessarily mean that a show is better.

Enter Log Horizon, a series about a group of friends who get trapped in a world that looks a lot like their favorite MMORPG “Elder Tale.” Although initially comforted by their new environment’s seeming familiarity, they soon realize there are many things about this world they do not yet know. 

While it definitely helps to have some knowledge of how MMOs generally work, it is not necessary for understanding just how amazing this show is. A lot of what makes it so great is its main character Shiroe. For most of the series, Shiroe acts as the not so charismatic leader, helping organize the players in a way that lets everyone live comfortably. Despite not initially coming off as that interesting, Shiroe becomes an even bigger focal point later on as the mystery behind his old guild, The Boston Tea Party, is slowly revealed. 

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No Game No Life – Spring 2014 – Studio: Madhouse

Imagine a world in which war, robbery, theft and murder are all gone. It is one where physical violence is impossible due to an ancient war in which the god of play took over and remade the world into one in which all conflict is to be settled by games. Now, imagine the story of a brother and sister who get transported to this world by God himself, and who soon realize the secret hidden within. 

Put all of that together and outcomes No Game No Life, one of the most exciting anime to come out in recent memory. Sora and Shiro, the aforementioned brother and sister, come to the world of Disboard because they wished for a new life, one where their incredible skills at games can shine through.

The thing that makes it a remarkable series is the tag team of Sora and Shiro. Even when it looks like they might lose, the two of them always believe in each other and find a way to beat the odds.

Haikyuu – Spring 2014 – Studio: Production I.G.

Not often talked about in the world of sports is volleyball, a game whose rules and skillsets create a scenario where a play can start and end within a matter of seconds. Luckily, this high-octane sport has not been forgotten about. 

Haikyuu stars Shoyou Hinata who in middle school dreams of playing volleyball on the national stage. In middle school, he forms a team with a few of his friends. The team practices quite a bit, only to be stuffed out in their first tournament by Hinata’s eventual rival Tobio Kageyama. When the two find out that they are attending the same high school, they realize that, for the better of the team, they need to put aside their differences in order to strive for victory.

Good sports stories are often just good underdog stories with sports being the main conflict, and Haikyuu fits that bill easily. Due to his small stature, Hinata initially struggles to find his spot on the Kurasuno High team. Eventually, with the help of Kageyama, who becomes the team’s setter, Hinata is able to become an amazing spiker. 

Tune in next week as I finish highlighting the best of the 2010s.

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Now, since this is the future if you want to see the rest of this list it is available already on The Daily Beacon, but I will also be posting the second half next Friday. Now, I know what I think I missed, but is there another show that should be on here? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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My Top 10 Favorite Anime (As of August 2021)

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Well, It certainly has been a while since I made this list, about three years to be exact. Sometimes it can feel a bit pointless to try and nail down favorites because tastes are constantly changing, but I have watched a few series lately that I feel strongly about, and thus I thought it would be fun time to remake this list and share it with all of you. With that being said, let us get started.


10. Terror in Resonance

Honestly, I thought out of all the shows on my previous list, “Terror in Resonance” would have not made it on still, and yet, through hours of internal debate, it still managed to find a spot. I would say that its one thing in particular that keeps me thinking about it, but that would lie. From the gorgeous animation produced by then up and coming studio MAPPA to the gorgeous Icelandic vocal filled soundtrack, this show has so much. As time has gone on, my sympathies for the series’ political messages have also gone up significantly. While “Terror in Resonance” might have just barely made the list, do not take that to mean I think it is bad, because that is far from the truth.

9. Fire Force

Speaking of shows that I did not think would be on this list. Although, what can I say, it grew on me. “Fire Force” may have some serious problems when it comes to its female characters, which I will definitely continue to talk about, but it also just has a really cool premise that it executes on fairly well. Couple that with the fact that the series was created by the original author of “Soul Eater,” and thus has some fairly similar character designs, and yeah I am on board. It may have taken me a bit more time to fully get into it, but it has certainly earned its place on this list.

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8. Robotics;Notes

Oh, look, its the anime that got me somewhat interested in mecha. Not sure how Scott will feel about that, but it is true. Without “Robotics;Notes,” “Gurren Lagann” probably would have ended up as the extent of my mecha experience. However, this show is also just good on its own merits. The character-driven, sci-fi mystery plotline has twists and turns at virtually every stage of its progression, as well as boasting one of the most interesting fictionally diseases in the form of Cat and Mouse Syndrome. I have wanted to revisit this series for a while now, and since I now own the “Robotics;Notes” visual novel, I may just do so…

(This is totally a hint that you should follow me on twitch ;))

7. No Game No Life

Look, I get it, the show is a bit problematic in its depiction of Sora and Shiro’s relationship. Ngl, kinda cringe. However, for those who are willing to look past this, there is a lot to like about “No Game No Life.” Not only did Madhouse do a great job animating the entire series, from the games to conversations between characters, the color palate for this show looks gorgeous, though I am incredibly biased because purple. On top of that, there are some intriguing ideas when it comes to the series’ message and philosophy. For those who are fans of Isekai stories and have somehow not come across “No Game No Life,” this is a much watch.

6. A Place Further Than the Universe

Oh boy. I can count of two hands the number of series that have made me cry, and “A Place Further Than the Universe” happens to be one of them. What is even crazier is that, it does not use any incredibly sappy set up to try and pull at your heart strings immediately. Rather, it just tells the story of a girl who really wants to follow in her mother’s foot steps, and three others who are along for the ride. They share the adventure of a lifetime going to Antarctica and…well, not to spoil too much, but it is certainly an experience.

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5. Log Horizon

Alright, so I have a confession to make. I have yet to watch the third seasons for both of the next two series. I know, I know, it feels a bit weird to still have them on here without having technically watched all of them. In my defense though, the first two season of “Log Horizon” are just good enough on their own. Drama, politics, worldbuilding: “Log Horizon” has it all, and then some. It may not be the best looking show ever, but when its got one of the best hype anthems ever written by Man on a Mission fronting every episode, it does not have to be. I said before that Isekai fans should have “No Game No Life” on their to watch list, and that goes more-so for this series.

4. Oregairu

Truth be told, the only reason I did not end up watching the third season for “Oregairu” is because me and my friend got a little too intoxicated while we were re-watching the first two and, well, let us just say it got messy. Regardless, like with “Log Horizon,” “Oregairu” could be carried by its first two seasons. I am still a little bit salty about the change in art style after season one, but honestly, given how good the show is, that is a minor complaint. There really is not too much else to say for this one other than it is a fantastic slice of life comedy that is certainly worth anyone’s time.

3. Golden Time

What can be said about “Golden Time” that is not already buried in my 1000 word video script on the series (I meant to put out the video a long ass time ago I just kept forgetting to record and edit.) Romance in anime has felt one note for a pretty long time, outside of some recent exceptions like “Horimiya.” However, the romance in “Golden Time” is dynamic and feels real. While it may have a fantastical element as it core premise, it is believable because all of its characters, including the main character, develop relationships that mean something. In show’s best moments, there is a deep sense of investment in the lives of the people on screen, and to think, it all started with a dude getting slapped with a rose bouquet.

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2. Princess Jellyfish

The hardest part about making this list was not writing these blurbs, but rather deciding who would get second and third between the last two entries. In fact, it probably took me at least an hour going back and forth in my head to make a decision. While “Golden Time” is without a doubt great, I only really felt its impact all at once, at the end, when I could barely contain my tears. “Princess Jellyfish,” on the other hand, was different. It hit in waves, as if at the end I was not able to fully process what I had even just watched. After sitting with the series for a few days, I can be assured in the assessment that “Princess Jellyfish” is a remarkable series.

1. March Comes in Like a Lion


As remarkable as “Princess Jellyfish,” It was unlikely that the series that helped me in one of the darkest periods of my life was ever going to get dethroned. “March Comes in Like a Lion” lacks in no category, and while the subject matter may seem a bit inaccessible, shogi is simply a means to a storytelling-end. Rei, and later on Hina, are two of the most complex characters in all of anime, and their arcs are some of the best storytelling I have ever seen. Couple that with studio shaft’s unique, occasionally minimalist art style and you get a series frankly deserves a lot more recognition than it currently gets.


What are some of your favorite series? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Five Anime I REally Want to Re-watch

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The fact that I have seen a least a few dozens memes related to this topic tells me that we are well into that phase of quarantine. Ya know, the one where everyone has tried all of the new stuff that people said they were going to do and has gone back to just re-watching their favorite shows. Yeah, well, I never really tried to much new stuff. In fact, this last season is probably the most amount of new anime I have consumed at one time. I know, I know, fake fan, I get.

But, hey, that’s kind of just who I am, I really like what I am already comfortable with, so for today, I thought I would go over some of the shows I am most excited to Re-watch in the near future. With that being said, lets get started.

Toradora!

“Toradora” is one that I have already started on again and, if I am being completely honest, I am not exactly sure why. At least so far, the show has the same decent qualities I vaguely remember. However, I can’t help but feel I was spurred on by a bit of leftover high school nostalgia and the legacy that the show has with long time anime fans. Like, do not get me wrong, there is plenty there worth watching again, but this is probably the series I want to re-watch the least at of these five if for no other reason than I am not sure how I will end up feeling about it on the other side.

Log Horizon

On the other hand, “Log Horizon” is a series that I have been meaning to re-visit for a long time now, as it is one of my favorite series of all time. The series was one of the first to come out of the early Isekai boom that followed the immense success of “Sword Art Online,” but had significantly more of a focus on worldbuilding and politics that I found to be much more interesting. It is a series that dares to questions fundamentally aspects of living and how those things work inside this video game world, something that a lot of modern Isekai do not even attempt, let alone succeed at. Plus, with the latest season just about to wrap up, and me having watched none of it, there will be a nice little surprise at the end.

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The Toaru Series

A lot of this list could just be boiled down to “x series has new material, therefore I would like to re-watch said series for full context” and it would be entirely true. However, the “Toaru” series is also a franchise that is just a lot of fun. Its confusing system of “magic” vs “science” powers combined with the weird jumps from the main character to side stories about other areas of the city makes it so that there is so much going on all at once. Like, its not good, but it does have its moments. Also, hot take, “Railgun” is significantly better than “Index,” just sayin’.

Psycho-Pass

If I were to do an anime studio tier list, which, in all likelihood, I probably will at some point, expect production I.G. to be fairly high up on that list. It will be for a number of reasons, obviously, but one of the big ones will be “Psycho-Pass,” a show that explores the ideas of criminal justice from the perspective of a futuristic society in which people are judged by a system that gives them a number from a gun based on how likely they are to commit crime. This show has a lot of re-watch value because of how intense some of its best moments are and also because with each passing day I am reminded of just how important this show’s message really is.

*stares in George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, and literally hundreds of other names have died at the hands of cops who only saw them as a crime*

America is kind of an awful country, huh…well that’s a separate post entirely.

Re:Creators

While there is not as much a focus on world-building, much like “Log Horizon,” “Re:Creators” questions fundamental assumptions about how its own world even works. Rather than hold your hand through some boring plot, it presents the idea that creators, i.e., novelists, video game creators, mangaka and the like are gods, and that their creations have now come to this world for some undisclosed purpose. For some that might not sound like the most original idea, but the series presents it in a way that makes it a matter of literal life and death.


What series are you planning on/are re-watching at the moment? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

5 Anime I am Looking Forward to Next Year

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Surprisingly, the never-ending hell-scape that is 2020 is, in fact, ending pretty soon. While I personally have very little hope that the U.S. will be recovering from COVID-19 anytime soon, there is still plenty to look forward to, and one of those things is anime. While my attention largely drifted away from seasonal shows in 2020, what has been revealed for next year has me as excited as ever to be an anime fan. With that being said, here are the five anime I am most looking forward to, as of right now.

Megalo Box 2

Ok, so maybe most of the series on this list are sequels, but hey, there’s very little chance of them being bad, right? Bad might not be the right word for “Megalo Box,” however. The original “Megalo Box” was not only one of the best anime of 2018, it arguably competes with the best of the last decade. Despite its more traditional sports narrative, it still feels like a powerful story of man willing to bet everything in order to succeed in the thing he loves. Not to mention, his rivalry with Yuri gives the series a serious “Rocky” vibe.

All of this is to say that the second season has a lot to live up to. With the first season already being a complete and fulfilling narrative, it feels unlikely that the second season will be able to match its profound impact.

Eden’s Zero

My falling out of love with “Fairytail” in past years has left me wondering about whether or not Hiro Mashima actually has what it takes to write anything of quality. While I did consider reading the manga for “Edens Zero” a while back when it first came out, I decided against it only because there was other stuff I wanted to get to first at the time. While, at the end of the day, I still do not expect much out of the series, I am hoping at the very least that it is entertaining.

The Promised Neverland 2

“The Promised Neverland” has become one of my favorite series of the last few years, and much like “Megalo Box,” it has an ingrained legacy to live up to. However, unlike “Megalo Box,” the second season of “The Promised Neverland” is a true continuation, and given where the series left off relative to the manga, it is likely to be an exciting second season. Studio CloverWorks did an amazing job with the first season, so now its time to see if they can replicate what made it so great.

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Dr. Stone: Stone Wars

“Dr. Stone” also left off on the beginning of a pretty important arc in its story, where Senku is preparing to go to war with Tsubasa after their ideological differences lead them to splitting up. While Senku is working to revive all of humanity, Tsubasa believes that it is the adults who have ruined society, and wishes to leave them in stone. Since it is likely that this ideological dispute will be at the center of the story, I am totally on board.

Log Horizon 3

Man, to think after so long its finally back… Log Horizon has been one of my favorite series since its release in 2013. While not being as highly regarded in the Isekai sub-genre as some other shows, its unique focus on the politics of running a society of people trapped in a video game, combined with its diverse cast of characters makes it a stimulating watch. Unfortunately, after the author got in trouble for Tax Evasion, the series got put on hold. But after getting out at the end of 2018, and continuing his work while under house arrest, he managed to continue the series. Now a new 12 episode 3rd season is coming and I am excited.

Honorable Mention: Beastars 2

This is only kind of a joke. While anyone who has read my final thoughts on the series knows that I do not like “Beastars,” its ending left me extremely confused about the direction of its story. Granted, the entire series left me confused about the direction of its story, but that is an argument for another post. If I hate watch anything next year, it will be this series without a doubt.


Thanks for reading! What shows are you most looking forward to for next year? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

30 Day Anime Challenge Two: Day 20

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It is day 20 of the second 30 Day Anime Challenge.

#20: Anime Series You’ve Seen, But Not Many Have

Ok, so maybe there are a good number of people that know about “Log Horizon,” but not many people talk about it consistently, probably because few have seen it. It came out it the wake of a rising in popularity “Sword Art Online.” Because of that, the people who did see it saw it as lesser than. I talked before about why I think this is not true, but long story short, I you have yet to see “Log Horizon,” watch it.


What anime have you seen that others haven’t? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

30 Day Anime Challenge Two: Day Five

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It is day five of the second 30 Day Anime Challenge

#5: Anime You Love, But Everyone Hates

While it certainly is not fair to say that “Log Horizon” is hated to any significant degree, it also feels like the show does not get as much appreciation as it deserves. As it was the one that popularized the sub-genre of trapped-in-a-video-game, “Sword Art Online” still gets a lot more of the love despite not necessarily being much better, if at all.

While “SAO” was carried initially by its incredible animation and soundtrack, “Log Horizon” seems to have a lot more presence in its writing, taking time to set up its world and characters much more than “Sword Art Online” really ever did. Granted, I cannot speak to the former beyond its first season, it would not surprise me if that trend continues it to its sequels. All in All, I just find “Log Horizon” to be a much better series between the two.


What anime do you love that others don’t? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

One of the Important Conditions for a Good Isekai

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With the amount of Isekai anime coming out every season, it’s getting harder and harder to avoid it as a genre. Shows like “Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody” and “The Rising of the Shield Hero,” for however questionable their quality, will always be on people’s radar because, well, its the new Isekai, so maybe it will be good. Still, despite its current oversaturation in anime, the Isekai genre still has one advantage over others: Its potential.

Now, before any of what I am about to say gets lost in language, I am not saying that other anime do not have potential. I do think, however, that the general premise that comes along with what defines an Isekai is one that can be taken in a lot of different ways. It also seems to me that the Isekai anime that most people would agree are bad fail to take advantage of the world that they have set up, either because the story doesn’t engage with these elements in an interesting way or they rely on previous tropes that have become tired.

One good example of this is “In Another World with my Smartphone.” Sure, in the beginning, the setup has a bit of novelty. A kid enters another world that he knows nothing about, with the catch being that he can bring his smartphone and have it work, as well as allowing him to use magic. However, unlike a comedy show like “Konosuba,” none of this is played for laughs, and the main character mainly comes across as overpowered and uninteresting. In this case, the story has failed to engage with the world and its mechanics in an interesting way and has therefore failed to realize its potential.

An example of a good Isekai would be something like Log Horizon. In it, the main character Shiro suddenly appears in a world that is eerily similar to an MMORPG he plays called Elder Tale. He assumes this because the world itself is structured much like the game and because he now has all the abilities of his in-game character, as do all of the other 30,000 players that are trapped in the game-esk world. From there, much of focus of the plot is on figuring out how the world itself works, as well as building up the world’s infrastructure enough to where adventurers can live happily in the hopes of one day escaping back to the real world. Shiro, being a famous player of Elder Tale, becomes a sort of de-facto leader, and starts to build up the political alliances and government infrastructure that makes the world function. In this way, Log Horizon does engage with its world in an interesting way, and actively tries to understand utilize its mechanics, fully realizing its potential.

However, this is not the only condition on which to judge whether or not an Isekai anime is necessarily good. If this were my sole condition on which to judge that, then I would have to admit that Sword Art Online is good, and I am not sure I am quite ready to do that.

It is helpful to think about it in some philosophical terms. In Epistemology, there is a concept known as Necessary and Sufficient Conditions. A Necessary Condition is one that is required for something to be true or for a definition to be met and a Sufficient Condition is one that satisfies a truth or definition completely. In this case, I would argue that engaging with the fantasy world that has been set up in an Isekai story is a Necessary, but not Sufficient Condition for calling that Isekai good.


What do you guys think are the elements of a good Isekai? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you would like to support The Aniwriter or are just feeling generous, consider donating on Ko-fi or using one of my affiliate links below:

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If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

This Week in Anime: 2-1-18

Welcome, once again Friendos! Time to talk about some anime news. There are a lot of interesting stories this week, some of which I’m really happy about. With that said, let’s get started.

Log Horizon Volume 11 to be Released in March

After a long period of uncertainty for English speaking fans after the author Mamare Touno was charged with tax evasion, the 11th volume of Log Horizon has been slated for a released date. The announcement came from Kadokawa’s official website, which has the official release date set on March 20th. Touno has also released volumes 12 and 13 online without illustrations from Kazuhiro Hara.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably heard me talk about Log Horizon before, because I love it. I still haven’t read most of the light novels, but hearing that the volumes are back on a regular release schedule makes me feel a lot better about starting reading it again.

Piano Forest TV Anime Reveals Production Details

Originally a manga in 1998 and a film by Studio Madhouse in 2007, The Piano Forest is receiving a full TV anime, and the details of the production were released on Wednesday. The staff includes Director Gaku Nakatani who previously has mainly worked in visual effects for 3D animated films, including Monsters vs. Aliens. Sumie Kinoshita, who had previously worked on Girlish Numbers and A Sister’s All You Need, is credited as both character designer and lead animation director. Other information can be found here.

While I did enjoy the 2007 Madhouse adaptation, I’m not entirely convinced based on the info here that this is going to be a quality production. Nakatani’s lack of credentials in the directorial seat does not necessarily mean he cannot make a good show, but I do question his knowledge in areas that would make this a more tightly focused series overall.

One Punch Man Mangaka to Make “Back to the Future” Manga

At an event celebrating the premiere of the movie Ready Player One, Mangaka Yuusuke Murata, responsible for the hit series One Punch Man, announced he would be working on a manga adaptation of the hit movie series Back to the Future. The Manga will officially be called BTTF and will be supervised by the movie’s original screenwriter Bob Gale. Details about the manga, other than it being a direct adaptation of the films, are scarce, but Murata does hope to have the first volume out by April 20th, 2018.

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Honestly, I cannot wait to see how this turns out. I am a big fan of Murata’s art style and based on the promotional art released already, this could end up being something great, especially when considering how big a fan Murata is.


What do you guys think about the stories this week? Excited about something I did not mention? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos! Also, if you like the content your reading, consider supporting The Aniwriter on Patreon. It would help pay for supporting the site and being able to make better content.

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My First Patron Only Post: Log Horizon and Establishing Order

Hello again Friendos!

Some of you may remember that I started a Patreon page a little while ago, but now there is just a bit more incentive to pledge.

My first official patron only post is up, and its about Log Horizon! If that interests you at all, then check out my page here. Thank you all once again, and bye for now.

Log Horizon: The Better Written Sword Art Online

I’ll be honest, When I’m deciding what shows I would consider good, as opposed to a show that I just happen to enjoy, I generally tend to reward more points to a show that has more in-depth writing than one with huge flashy action scenes. That’s not to say that shows with flashy action scenes are bad, or that those shows can’t also have good writing or interesting ideas. I think a lot of the Fate series makes that point well. My point is that a show needs more than two characters trying to beat each other to death in order to be considered good. This is where the debate between Log Horizon and Sword Art Online comes in.

Log Horizon in a lot of ways borrows elements of Sword Art Online’s premise, although at that point it would also be fair to say that Sword Art Online borrows a lot from the .hack franchise’s premise. Both of the show’s start out in familiar situations in their respective first episodes. A male protagonist who plays a lot of video games suddenly gets sucked into a world based on a game he’s playing and can’t get out. However, even though the show’s start in similar places, the show’s both take radically different approaches.

 

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Sword Art Online vs Log Horizon. Source: TheMarySue.com

 

Sword Art Online is quick to focus on Kirito and the people around him, with the first couple of episodes actually remaining quite tragic. Kirito is trapped in a world he can’t escape from with a bunch of people he doesn’t know. Not only that, he is hated by a lot of people for simply having been a beta tester and thereby having a stronger character. A lot of this focus is quickly replaced by a focus on Kirito and gang’s quest to get out of the game. Kirito meets a lot of female companions and the show quickly turns into Kirito’s Not so Happy Harem Time with fighting. 

This shift away from unique character development is ultimately what leads to the show’s lackluster finish. Full disclosure, I am not the biggest fan of SAO, if you couldn’t already tell, but even I would admit its strength are indeed strong. The show’s animation is extremely detailed and its musical score is impressive to be sure, but as I said at the beginning, a showy presentation can only do so much for a show’s quality.

Log Horizon, while admittedly losing out on things like animation and musical score, does what Sword Art Online tried and failed to do: write an interesting story and build an interesting world. Log Horizon chooses to focus on its characters in the beginning and stay focused on developing those characters throughout the entire series. Log Horizon’s main character Shiroe, in comparison with Kirito, has a distinct personality (an intelligent, sensible leader who knows how to engage in Diplomacy and work behind the scenes to achieve his goals). Kirito comes off most of the time as a typical shonen protagonist who thinks that he can achieve anything he wants by just believing hard enough.

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Log Horizon’s writing also speaks for itself in the way it uses details to build its world from the ground up. It is explained in the first episode that world that the characters are in a world like the one they knew as Elder Tale, but not Elder Tale itself. Many of the world’s rules function the same way as in the game, but some details like the types of monsters in specific locations have changed, and also the way that they travel to other parts of the game (mainly through the transportation gates) no longer works. This hints to us that the world they are now is not necessarily what they think it is.

The show also differs in how the characters feel about the world they are in. While almost all of the characters in Sword Art Online agree that breaking out is the immediate focus, Shiroe takes a much more pragmatic approach. He, of course, is worried about getting back to the real world, but he also feels that there needs to be a sense of order in their new world for the time being. In order to accomplish this goal, Shiroe sets up a council with the leaders of the group’s largest guilds and hammers at a plan to cooperate and keep the people happy. Parts of this plan include trading agreements for different clans, organizing what is effectively a standing army, and also solving the problem of food not tasting like everything.

One criticism that is fairly leveled at the show’s story is the arc during the first part of the show where Shiroe and company go and rescue a little girl from a guild of thieves. Most of this arc does very little in terms of the overall story except for introducing us to two new characters. However, what the show presents in those first few episodes is enough to keep us interested. It explains the basics of combat in an MMORPG setting, as well as explaining the class system, all stuff that while boring to someone who has experience with desktop MMOs like this, is vital to someone who doesn’t. Sword Art Online, meanwhile, does very little in establishing much of anything when it comes to rules in its own world, and often times resorts to Deus ex Machina plot explanations of “Kirito is a beta tester, therefore he is invincible to all damage ever.”

 

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Source: Sword Art Online Wiki

 

Not every show can be perfect. In Fact, most shows won’t excel at everything. There is always going to be something a show could have improved on and made itself better. Log Horizon, while certainly having its flaws, is unmistakably a much better-written show than Sword Art Online.


What do you guys think? Am I right? Am I wrong? Is Asuna worst girl? Let me know in the comments. Bye for now, Friendos!