Quality is Not Ease of Consumption

Sometimes, while experiencing the bliss that accompanies thoughts of my favourite things, I find myself in a conundrum. And that conundrum is the conflict between a piece of media’s quality and ease of consumption in my eyes. Some of our favourite works are so easily consumable you could just sit down and experience them whenever, however, whatever one’s mood. But others, no matter how much we know we’ll enjoy them when we actually get around to watching/playing/reading/listening to them, seem like such a slog to reach. This is the concept I’d like to explore here.

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Should I Watch in Chronological Order?

“Yo, like, Wikipedia has, like, ten orders, for, like, this one Haruhi show. And, like, there’s this Kara no Kyoukai… show? Movie?, and apparently they’re all messed up. And about this one anime Lucky Star? Why am I watching these girls I don’t know talk about food for, like, ten minutes, yo?”

Don’t worry, oddly inarticulate anime watcher! You have every right to be confused. It does seem overly convoluted to mess up anime out of their chronological order. But there’s definite reasons for why this is done, and although everyone defends this decision as an attempt to keep emotional climaxes at the end of a narrative, and while this is legitimate, there are other, equally reasonable justifications that I don’t often see talked about. I’ll be looking at the roles achronological order play in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Kara no Kyoukai, and the Fate franchise, using K-on as a point of contrast.

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Casshern Sins’ Biggest Flaw

Casshern Sins is one of my absolute favourite shows, but its biggest flaw is one I’ve devoted a lot of time thinking about: The fact that Casshern Sins is two very different shows, divided cleanly into the series’ two halves. What’s also interesting is how little this comparatively massive flaw harms my enjoyment.

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Sentimental Sentences: Correctness and Rightness in Unlimited Blade Works

Immortal words uttered by the oh-so-divisive Shirou Emiya. Right up there with “People die when they are killed”, it’s a line that I have often seen presented as evidence for the Fate/Stay night’s lack of quality, and particularly, bad writing.

These lines are dumb. They are dumb because Shirou is dumb. And he is. So the Unlimited Blade Works Blu-Ray subs deigned to fix it. Read More

Five Nights at Satoshi Kon’s: Tokyo Godfathers

I was quite apprehensiveexcited for this one. Apprehensive: I was unwilling to watch another film in the vein of Millennium Actress, in that it merely did the thing the other thing did again, while adding minor points that, while important, didn’t save the sameness of the film overall. Excited: I was definitely aware that this was the film that differed in tone and subject matter, and was certainly looking forward to a film that would apply Kon’s skills to something different, yet perfectly conducive to comedy through the detail of his art. So I was absolutely on board with the film, despite a fear of burning out on Kon’s style.  Read More