Welcome to my favorite anime community posts from 2021 week 12!
Every week I look for posts that celebrate amazing moments in anime or otherwise blow me away with their wit and charm. I check hundreds of sites, and I can tell you that the ani-blogging community constantly produces a ton of amazing posts. I hope this list helps you find some of them!
Here’s the list of the sites I check!
My Favorite Anime Community Posts from 2021 Week 12
Do you have a favorite series — that you’ve never watched? I can see how that question might seem strange to you. But if you have a huge backlog of series that you’re dying to watch, I think you know what I mean. There’s always a handful of shows that you are convinced you would love to pieces, if you just got time to watch them. Natsume’s Book of Friends is one of those series for me. So many bloggers whose insights I trust have gushed about the series. Just look at examples like this post from Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime. Or this post from Grand Immortal Tofu King (BiblioNyan) on BiblioNyan.
And then I read a post like this one by Alo on Alo’s Watchlist. It touched on an aspect of the show that I think I’ll find particularly interesting: Strong and subtle character development. This review talks about how Natsume’s Book of Friends approaches its particular kind of character development. It did so in such a way that now I really, really want to drop everything and go watch the show. I’ve heard sleep’s overrated…
There’s an awful lot to like in Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table. In my (not so) humble opinion, it’s one of the best examples of the isekai genre because of how seriously it takes its world. Log Horizon takes place in a world where players are trapped in a Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). I don’t often see such care and attention given to things like the world’s politics or its game-based mechanics. Those things not only adds a level of realism. They make the show more interesting!
As much as I enjoy those aspects of the show, there’s one other aspect that I like even more: its characters. That’s what attracted my attention to this post by BulletoonGirls on the site Galvanic. This post nailed what makes some of the characters so great. It also went on about the utter awesomeness of one character in particular. I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just give you a hint: She has way more than her fair share of my favorite quotes and moments in my reviews of this series! See if this character is one of your favorites!
When I was young (and contrary to popular belief, no, the farm I grew up on did not raise Apatosauruses or any other dinosaurs; how do these rumors get started, anyway?), I had an opinion. I was under the impression that the whole knight in shining armor rescuing the princesses was a good thing. So much so that when I got to college and some women-folk pointed out that it was kinda sexist, I couldn’t believe it. How could such a wholesome and admirable idea be bad? Well, the answer, in retrospect, is obvious. It was “bad” because it had degenerated into a cliche. Worse, the cliche involved the princess being weak and/or passive. She needed a knight to rescue her because she was a wimp.
I get that. Honestly, I do. Using fiction to constantly tell young women they were powerless is a terrible message to send. I mean, just look at how the strength of the white knight affected my impression! The knight thing appealed to me because that’s how I wanted to see myself. But there’s a problem with tossing the trope out. There’s a problem in saying that the damsel never needs to be rescued. What is that problem, you might reasonable ask? This post from Irina on I Drink and Watch Anime explains that problem. Even better, the post addresses the baggage that trope has accumulated over the years. Even more better (betterer?)? It talks about how anime has treated the topic. That’s a lot of goodness in a single article!
One of the things I find attractive about anime is the breadth of the characters it can present. Sure, anime has its share of cliches, but I can’t think of a media that doesn’t. A well-written character, or even a poorly written character that’s still interesting, can elevate a series and make it memorable. That applies even if the plot or animation might otherwise have brought it down. At least from my perspective, character is just that important.
If I had to name a character type that I’ve seen make a series stumble, I have two answers. The first is a hero who just wants to be altruistic just because. The second is a villain who wants to be evil just because. That’s why I really enjoyed reading this post by Merlin from Merlin’s Musings. As you can tell from the title, Merlin talked about two different takes on heroes and villains. Both a villainous hero and a heroic villain can make the show way more enjoyable to watch. Don’t want to take my word for it? Then take Merlin’s! The examples in this post are absolutely spot on. See if you agree!
It must be character night in Other Posts to Crow About! I like it when a theme develops spontaneously like that. This season, I’ve become more aware of how moral judgements and expectations can get in the way of enjoying a series for what it is. I’ve been reviewing Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation this season. As a writer, the show has me seriously geeking out about its character beats and plot construction. At the same time, there’s some controversy about Rudeus that frustrates me, because it gets in the way of telling the story. There are some stories that can only be told from the perspective of characters who are not sparkling white/squeaky clean. Or who aren’t even admirable from some perspectives.
Understanding characters who are unheroic, or even anti-heroic, are challenges I love to accept. I love the insight and texture they bring to stories. It’s not often we see such characters used effectively. Even in anime, it’s not uncommon to see the cliches of the evil villain or the morally compromised laughing stock. When the character’s done right, though, it can be amazing. That’s why I enjoyed this post by Dewbond from Shallow Dives in Anime. Dewbond talks about a character from Mobile Suit Gundam Seed who could be easily overlooked and misjudged. Instead of discounting that character, Dewbond investigated the powerful impact that character had on the plot. The end result? The show is more enjoyable and memorable than it otherwise might have been. Can you guess which character it is?
Want to Read More of My Favorite Anime Post Lists?
Want to explore more amazing anime blog posts? Check out the previous editions of My Favorite Anime Community Posts!