The snowy nights and racing trains of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Scar and Kimbley face off

Choosing the best anime of 2009 is no contest for me, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood wins it hands down every time, but we’re past any stabs I could make at being objective about this, the show has everything I look for in anime, yet still manages to keep getting better, so much so that earlier today I even started comparing it to Legend of the Galactic Heroes! I mean, what the hell?! All this was again brought to the surface by episodes 32 and 33.

Firstly there is the unending expansion of mangaka Hiromu Arakawa‘s story into newer countries and climates. She achieves the sheer sense of distance usually exclusive to great fantasy, of creating a living, breathing world, which is why I’m now comparing it to Legend of the Galactic Heroes, because even though it’s now over half way through, FMA continues to introduce exciting new characters into the mix.

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Injections of fun / Trapeze and episodic anime

"noitaminA rocks!"

At the moment, I’m probably more satisfied with the anime I’m following than I have been for a long time. Whenever a new season begins there’s always the temptation to try to see as much as possible, particularly as an anime blogger with the self-inflicted responsibility to talk about this stuff ad nauseum, but for the autumn at least, I resolved to take things at a slightly slower pace.

The truth is that I’m not good at following anime week-in, week-out anyway, and quite frankly, I’d much rather enjoy the anime I’m watching than to make some token effort just to keep up with everyone else. There’s definitely some new series that I’m really itching to see, but it can all wait until it’s finished.

Well, there is but one exception. I mentioned before that I’m watching Trapeze (also known as Kuchu Buranko.)

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Trying to get back into anime movies / Sword of the Stranger

Action from Sword of the Stranger

Writing this now is probably a bit old hat, but I finally got around to watching Sword of the Stranger at the weekend!

Why the delay? I’ve developed a strained relationship with anime movies; having become so used to watching anime in the 20-min TV format, the mere suggestion of watching anything even slightly longer than normal isn’t attractive at all! I might have been institutionalized by TV!

As such, I’ve avoided many of the most important releases of recent years. I still haven’t seen Mind Game, The Sky Crawlers and Howl’s Moving Castle, and I’m embarrassed to admit I still haven’t seen Paprika, either.

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Timelessness and anime / Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG

Major Kusanagi

In the four weeks since this blog was last updated, I’ve seen at least 80 episodes of anime! Not bad, eh? But to write anything of decent length, more than ever, I need to feel like what I’m writing about is really worth your time.

That isn’t to say everything airing right now is poor, but how much of it is good enough to be remembered in years to come, particularly outside of their respective genres?

For example, I love every minute of Cross Game, while the recently finished Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-Hen was fun and exciting, but what else is there that’s left to say about them? The former is sports anime, the latter is super-robot/mecha; there is literally nothing left to add that hasn’t already been written a million times over. If you’ve seen Touch, you’ve basically seen Cross Game.

Anime sticks so rigidly to its genre tropes that after a few years of watching, it feels ever so slightly repetitive; not that these series aren’t fun to watch, because they are, but to think about? To write about? Not so much. Not after 3 years of blogging.

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