It’s not often that this blog’s schedule lines up perfectly with Christmas, but here we are! And as this time of year is always scary busy, you’ll have to excuse my slightly lazy ideas for our last two posts of the season being recaps.
This year has been a crazy one for me. I got a new job, moved and made some very important life decisions that I can’t reveal quite yet. It’s hard to fit shows in these days. But I still enjoy analyzing and, occasionally, ripping the anime industry apart bit by bit, so thank you all for sticking it out with me this year!
As we get ready to finish up some shows for early 2018, let’s look back at some of this year’s biggest lost potentials… Because nothing says “Christmas” like a bag full of regret!
Missed Opportunity #3 – Chronos Ruler
I swear, it’s like this show was intentionally trying to fail. It had the most amazing set up for a great father/son dynamic. The two LEADS were a father and son. And they just…. ignored it. The show plays up their relationship as if they were classmates in high school more than a parent and their child. Which is a real shame as father/son relationships in anime are petty rare to see, where as the high schoolers getting on each others’ nerves thing? Yeah. That’s sadly common. Really common.
Missed Opportunity #2 – Flip Flappers
This show was beautiful. There’s no way around that. The art was unusual, but lovely and some of the movement was great. Sadly this is one of those shows that had no idea what it wanted out of life until halfway through its run. And that’s sad as once it found what it wanted, it had a few good messages on sexuality. Buuuut, of course, we can’t have nice things in anime very much these days so even while we get those good messages we still got smacked in the face with the female characters being sexualized for an obviously male gaze half the time. It’s such as waste of potential as this series’ very setting of dream worlds was a perfect place to show, rather than tell, female and queer sexuality in a tasteful and deep manor. Sadly, that’s just not what we got…
Missed Opportunity #1 – Yuri on Ice
Before you stone me to death, give me some time to explain. This anime was not bad (the top best and worst of the year post is at the end of this week), but it certainly could have been better. And by quite a bit. And it’s something that could have been fixed in the first ten minutes of the very first episode.
I’ll prove it.
What’s the very first scene we see with Yuri? He’s crying in the bathroom, right? While this is an interesting way to start a series, it also leaves a very unfortunate impression of Yuri as a character. Our first interaction with the lead shows him as an immature crybaby. Of course, this doesn’t prove to be true. We later find out that his dog, who had been with him for years and one of his few companions, had died while he was on tour skating. He never got to say goodbye. While it isn’t said right out that this causes Yuri to fall during his first world’s series (and thus end up in a bathroom crying), it’s heavily implied. And who could blame Yuri for being distracted? He lost someone special to him. But he had to keep skating anyway. He had to at least try. And THAT’S the important bit we didn’t get to see. Him going back on the ice, despite his pain and fear. We don’t see that extremely strong side of Yuri. So his failure and crying in those first ten minutes? The vast unfairness and frustration he feels? They feel pretty empty at best. At worst, they paint a very weak image of our lead, an image that doesn’t fit with his strong imitation of Victor’s skate only a few scenes later.
Considering this show is named after Yuri, it would have been far more fitting, and more engaging, to get a bit more of Yuri himself and his true struggles in those first few minutes. It would have given us a clearer image of both his strength and how painful his fall really was.
Of course, as always, the anime industry is a rough one and having the time (and staff) to go over scripts and scenes to make the most of every minute is a tall order. Still… I would have gladly sacrificed a few minutes of Victor’s naked butt to get a better picture of our hero. Though, as per usual, anime does have to think about what sells… and let me tell ya… the butt sells… It really does…
Well, anyway… HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL!! Hope it’s bright and full of wonderful food and amazing anime! See you at the end of the week for the Best and Worst of the year!!!