While my official year anniversary as a reviewer is not for a few months, I thought I would take a look back at 2005 and recap the year. First, a few stats about what I reviewed (to the best of my memory) in no particular order:
- 2 Robotech Remastered box sets (#6 & #7)
- 6 volumes of Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex (#2 - #7) & the Official Log
- 5 volumes of Project ARMS (#12 - #16)
- 2 Inu Yasha movies (#2 & #3)
- 11(!) volumes of Inu Yasha TV (#26 - #36)
- Slayers Book of Spells
- 4 volumes of Pokemon Advanced (#5 - #7, did I catch them all? Likely not…)
- Legend of Crystania: Chaos Ring
- Ghost in the Shell Special Edition
- Petite Cossette
- 3 volumes of Gilgamesh (#1 - #3)
- 2 Gundam Seed "movies" (#1 - #2)
- All 3 volumes of Grenadier
The past year provided a good mix of continuing series and new series to review; out of all my review titles, every volume of GitS: SAC had no competition and was my favorite title of the year. If you have not picked it up yet, roll up those pennies, hit the Right Stuf sales, do whatever you need to do to own it. And pick up the original Ghost in the Shell movie to compliment it; I have watched this film more times than I can recall over the years, and it still keeps me captivated as it did the first time.
I was sad to see the long saga of Project ARMS come to a close. This series has surprised me the most with the consistent level of storytelling it provided. Going into it roughly two years ago, I was prepared to find a mindless slugfest of super powered teens. Instead, it provided a rich conspiracy that allowed the characters to grow into ones worth watching. It saddened me as the series went on to see most forum posts about it boiling down to "I’ll skip it until box sets come out". Well, the series is over, and box sets are looking unlikely now. This is a series that deserved a larger audience over its lifetime.
The rest of my continuing series was a mixed bag; Inu Yasha will run until the heat death of the universe and continue to have its ups and downs (Hi, Megs!). I had my fill of Pokemon to last a few lifetimes. But, most of it was entertaining enough to pass the time.
Of the new material, Gilgamesh is easily going to be my favorite continuing series of 2006. Much like GitS: SAC, the writers know how to build a good mystery and develop the characters into people you not only want to watch but need to watch. Beyond the visuals, I did not know much about the series before asking Chris if I could take it on. Fortunately, the series has plenty of substance to go with the style that caught my eye.
Grenadier was picked up purely for eye candy (and a chance to pepper my reviews with double entendres) and turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Copious fan service was coupled with an amusing cast of characters and a half decent plot. While I would not watch it often, it is a title that one could pull off the shelf, pop in any episode, and have it put a smile on your face. Did the pillow case ever come out for it? I doubt it did as no fabric outside the realm of anime could contain Rushuna’s pillows (had to get one last shot in…).
The only other title of note from 2005 would be Petite Cossette; the most concise summary I can give this title would be "acid trip". However, it is a trip worth taking due to its incredible visuals and Twilight Zone-esque story. Not everyone will be able to get into a title like this, but I would definitely love to see more like this produced and brought over.
As for my actual reviews, I thought they came out… decent; some I was very happy with, but I still feel the majority of them lack the polish needed to get my point across. Hopefully, I managed to communicate to some degree the reasons why I found a title’s content appealing or not. Suggestions, comments, etc. are always welcome in the forum threads for each review or via private channels.
Here’s to 2006 and another ten volumes of Inu Yasha!