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Monday Musings
Monday, 04 April 2011 11:51
The Winter 2011 anime season kicked off on Saturday (at least as far as I was concerned) with the Viz simulcast of Tiger and Bunny. I suspect most anime fans look forward to the new season - all those new shows to try out, and in terms of the raw number of shows being broadcast I believe this season is the biggest in a while. For me, though, there's a certain amount of dread - I don't bother doing much, if anything, in the way of pre-season research, so all I see is a list of 15-20 new simulcast titles waiting to be ploughed through and find myself wondering how much of them will be any good. You can't tell from artwork or PVs, either, as what little promotional material we see in the West seems to be deliberately designed to tell you as little as possible anyway.

There's also the constant mutterings of the "all anime is crap" side of fandom, which gets a little more vocal at this point. I don't necessarily believe that myself - if I did I wouldn't be running this site - but I do believe that anime is becoming increasingly disposable. This is something that anime blogger Tim Maughan explored in a recent blog post (and on the most recent edition of ANNCast) and it's something that I've found myself in recent seasons. I've thoroughly enjoyed Kore wa Zombie desu ka?, for example, but I don't see myself buying it or watching it again. See it once, toss it on the pile, for the net outlay of whatever portion of my Crunchyroll subscription went to pay for it (a few dollars, if that).

That increase in disposability leads in turn to a lack of anticipation when the new season comes around. The best I expect when I stream the first episode of a new show is to be mildly entertained, to have a little fun then forget about it and move on to the next thing. So far, though, I'm three shows into the new season (Tiger and Bunny, Nichijou and Hanasaku Iroha) and finding it surprisingly ahead of expectations. Whether any of them are good enough to make me want to splash down the cash for a physical release remains to be seen - and is enough of an issue these days to be the subject of its own column, when I get the chance - but to start with three shows that each easily raise a smile, in their own ways and for very different reasons, makes this a decent season already.

Now, what's going to be the show that comes along and spoils it...?

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