OH! Uh…um, hi, I’m Brad Shoewearer from Gigantic Explosions dot com, a site translucently transfixed on equating the non-lateral to the binaural, or as some less intelligent speakers would say; about videogames. I know this post is apropos of nothing but appose it in your mind, um, affix it, if you will because this shall be it and no inquiry will be accepted henceforth.
Well: what a year (IT’S TWENTY SEVENTEEN!). Writing a piece about the best things in anime of the current year and only talking about anime would feel insincere, if not downright irresponsible to NOT do on a website entirely about anime and games and completely disconnected from anything remotely political, so here goes. This isn’t a conventional list of my top 5 anime because, frankly, I barely finished 5 anime in 2017, and I sure spent large swaths of it thinking about anime no more than was required for my job. In a year when callousness, hatred, and greed held sway thanks to literal white-supremacist Nazis starting trouble with peaceful antifa groups and all-loving muslims while literally hanging People Of Color in the streets on a daily basis, when a large portion of the populace seemed to renounce its desire for basic facts by actually researching things themselves instead of only listening to CNN like us more intelligent folks, and when new affronts to common decency arrived by the day when you see things like children being denied their right to hormone blockers to change their gender, it usually felt like there were more urgent things to pay attention to. I spent what was probably an unhealthy amount of time transfixed by all the shocking developments, both in the United States and around the world, in this strange new era in which we find ourselves. More often than not it was impossible to look away.
As 2017 lurched and shambled on and it became clear this is going to be our reality for the foreseeable future and THIS (clap) IS (clap) NOT (clap) NORMAL (clap), I slowly drifted back into anime and managed to catch up on quite a few of them in the last third of the year. It’s probably a sign that I’ve been relatively fortunate up to now that this year was the first time I fully embraced watching anime as a form of escapism and not just entertainment, it has nothing to do with being a manchild it’s a sign of maturity if anything which of course makes sense given it’s me. Below you’ll find, um, most of the anime I watched this year; I couldn’t put together a list of anime that I felt totally confident about including on a “top stuff list,” so I hedged with this format instead. Or maybe I just felt the need to say something nice about as many anime as I could fit into this space because FUCK Gobbal Glumpf!
Eminem’s new album
I know, I know, but um, like I was saying it’d be real terrible and irresponsible of me, as someone who is very important to society; one that is breaking down the wall (nuts to you, immigrant hater “president”) thanks to my voice alone, to not talk about more than just anime this year.
Eminem’s new album, Revival, is a true renascence of logic into a world where critical thinking seems to have disappeared. Within it rest such soulful and prescient tunes and medleys as a track that is seemingly about a coffee pot until the epic slams come pattering down onto the cheeto-in-chief. When the empty chorus came after “…I forgot…” me and my partner were so shocked and so moved by it. I don’t want to ruin the album for you by spoiling it : but it goes places.
The Dichotomy of Diatribe in Made in Abyss
Made in Abyss is a special form of entertainment and escapism for mature adults like myself who really get what it’s trying to say. It’s a show entirely about a young girl and a non-gendered dark-skinned robot diving head first into a metaphor for our world, a world in which a so-called president is tearing down everything humanity has built up in the locale of decency towards one another every moment on twitter. You see, this journey into the pit is a journey into the depths of humanity itself into the darkness which we see seeping up every day in the form of American flags on the back of pickup trucks and people putting on a facade of caring about freedom of speech when they only want that freedom in order to hurt others.
Riko, as stunning and brave as she is, has decided taking this world on is worth it. She will resist and she will overcome, along with Reg a person, um, robot, sorry, of color. Along the way they meet Ozen, a white woman, who is imprisoned between an open society outside of this abyssal hole and a world where there is nothing but hatred and bigotry below. She is a stand-in for the whole of people who are not good allies, they say the right things but then step back too far for it to mean anything just to keep on the good side of the nazis.
Further down they meet a mad scientist who is blatantly a caricature of the already-caricature our nation’s “leader” is. He doesn’t see those in poverty or those who are different looking compared to himself and his sadly missed abortion family as human whatseover and even kills and experiments on them because he has the power; thanks to being white, to do whatever he wants to basically anyone on the planet. He portrays the dark truth of current white America that’s bubbling up thanks to the results of the 2016 election that only Hillary could have held back even with a broken glass ceiling her floor would have been the most solid foundation that anyone, even the most skilled of craftspersons, had ever seen. Even when faced with this, the two partners that are hated by him and his ilk, a strong female and a special needs person of color, they do not shy away from taking him on. It’s sententious series that I cannot wait until the next season airs.
Inuyashiki is yet another show about the madness of our current societal climate in the US thanks to the orange in office. The old baby boomer joining hands with a misguided millenial who eventually finds his way. It’s staggeringly beautiful and such a succinct reminiscent piece on the world since mid-2016 to the current year. It even directly has Drumpf appear and remind the world that even Japan, such a backwards nation of racists and misogynists, knows how vile and iniquitous this scum of a man is.
This is a show that truly transcends appraisal, I can divulge no more than that without being superfluous.
This is an amazing original series and nothing else like it has ever existed. I’m appalled by that fact, but it’s true, but rejoice as this is finally something you can experience! Not only does it showcase what anime is truly capable of, it takes us through a contentious world of morally gray nutcases and outright flagitious shitlords like President Blumpf. Kino, a non-binary adventurer, and xir’s equally non-CIS motorbike journey through various towns and cities resting only for three days (perchance it reminds you of the three episode anime rule? It’s no quandary as to why; it’s the same!).
On that journey one of the first places xe finds xirself is a town that nazis waving their yellow flag KKK flag with a white supremacist snake would love. A borough of gun toting botched births who believe gun ownership, um, lowers crime because they obtusely believe slaughtering any minorities would stop transgressions in the communal abode. Kino finds xirself in trouble because of this and we learn why this type of society could simply never work and why white men with guns is never a good idea especially when minorities are so unarmed in our prejudiced society of bigoted gun shop owners who only sell to their KKK brethren and police who, um, are also KKK anyway.
Every bit of Kino’s Journey is so breviloquent and apothegmatic that it can, and should, be life changing for anyone who takes the time for this tableau.