So I’m a bit leery about doing just a regular post considering the disaster in Japan at the moment, but I shall comfort myself with the fact that I do intend to do a post about that… just not here, over on my new, non-anime blog I Remember California, a blog I just started yesterday for the purpose of creating a web-presence for my “serious” writing. Obviously quite a bit of what I write here is serious, too, but I’m looking to have a blog for my writing persona… y’know, one that doesn’t feature half-naked pictures of cartoon characters. Just a personal preference.
So lately I’ve actually been pretty much a loser about watching anime – the only show I’m even slightly up-to-date on is Hourou Musuko, and even that I am now an episode behind on because my internet connection slowed down on Wednesday and hadn’t sped up enough to support streaming. Hopefully this is something that my internet company will address soon, although I sort of have my doubts.
However, if I’m doing poorly at keeping up with the shows I’m following (Madoka Magica, Level E, Hourou Musuko), I am starting to do very well in one area: the re-watch. And, if one wishes to include manga, the re-read.
It all started with Kobato. When I finished Kobato. a while back, I knew I wanted to re-watch it, and I knew I didn’t want to wait a huge amount of time before I did. It was just something about the final arc of the show – it compelled me, even if the first half had been fairly uninspiring. Not terrible, just sort of… bland. Not really the kind of quality I expected in a CLAMP work being adapted by Madhouse. But the final arc was fantastic, enough to elevate the entire thing to the realm of “I want to re-watch this.”
So, hemmed and hawed for a good while, then bit the bullet and started re-watching recently.
However, it isn’t the only show that I’ve begun to re-watch or plan to. I also have begun re-watching Mai-Otome (which I personally consider superior to Mai-HiME), as well as Outlaw Star. Outlaw Star is an interesting case itself, as it is probably the anime I’ve watched the most, having completed it four times and also had some failed re-watches. Both Outlaw Star and Mai-Otome to me are shows that aren’t particularly spectacular, but excel in being fun. Why wouldn’t I want to re-visit such a thing?
And then I’m lining up my quality pieces: Trigun and The Big O. Or, at least, I think Trigun is quality; I haven’t seen it since I was fifteen, so who knows? I want to re-watch it since I am in such a vastly different place than I was when I was fifteen, and I’m very curious as to how much my reaction will have or will not have changed. Vash’s pacifism struck a chord with me back then, but will it only seem naive to me now? (And, yes, I know that there are things within Trigun itself which may challenge his beliefs, but I don’t remember it all well enough to even say if the show agreed with him or not.)
Now, this all actually fits into a larger pattern I’ve been experiencing lately – this need for re-visitation. It seems like that’s almost all I’m doing these days when it comes to entertainment. Re-watching movies. Re-reading books – which is where everything seems to have started. I decided to re-read A Separate Peace in December, motivated by similar reasons to my desire for a Trigun re-watch; it’s just been so long since I read it originally! Although in its case it was probably more of a matter of wondering if it would hold up at all.
What is it? Why am I returning to old things?
Honestly, I don’t know. I’m not in a state of flux in my life, really, so can’t really make the psychoanalytical argument on that front. All I know is that lately I just am not terribly interested in new things. Even watching Hourou Musuko is a return, after all – I’ve been following the manga since 2006, and the material being covered by the show thus far is years old.
Who the fuck knows. Just add Jigoku Shoujo and the Black Rose Arc of Revolutionary Girl Utena to that re-watch list while you’re at it.
EDIT: Oh, and Revolutionary Girl Utena: Adolescence Apocalypse. I REALLY need to re-watch that one.
I’ve been rewatching more things lately too — Gundam X, Simoun and, funnily enough, Adolescence Apocalypse (which is your fault because we discussed it on Twitter last month).
I hope your ISP sorts your connection out quickly.
Was Kobato‘s final arc good enough that you’d recommend the show to others?
I’m glad you mentioned Simoun, ’cause that’s another one I need to re-watch, and I couldn’t remember it for some reason when I was writing the post.
Hmm… Kobato.’s final arc… Ok, it’s complicated because I don’t think the first half was bad exactly; it was just a bit bland, I suppose would be the best way to put it. It takes a while for the story to gel. So, I think that would be a ‘yes, watch it’.
Simoun totally rewards the repeater.
I find that there are the complex, densely packed shows that need several viewings to appreciate – like Simoun, Xam’d, Dennou Coil-
– and then there’s the cheesy favourites that you rewatch because you could just eat that cheese forever – in my case, MariMite, Hikaru no Go, You’re Under Arrest, etc etc
I disagree that MariMite qualifies as cheese, but I do agree with the notion that more complicated shows are worth re-watches; hence the inclusion of The Big O. Haven’t seen it in years, and the final few episodes were such a mindscrew.
I rewatched all of Utena in 2009, and I really appreciate the Black Rose arc more because I could see how it was building the story and characters this time around!
In particular I want to look at Mikage again, because I know when watching it I felt he was basically Utena if Utena had lost her pure-heartedness. I don’t think its a coincidence that they were the only two pink-haired people in the show.