Anime Yearly Summaries

2016 Anime Summary


Personally, I hold 2016 year dear to my heart, given it was the year that I started blogging anime. So, from watching 3-4 shows per season in previous years I would watch around 14-15 shows (now, I retain a healthy meal course of around 10 shows per season) and probably watched more trash shows than necessary for the blog but you know what, I love every minute of it. Compared to my original top 10 list back in 2016, you can see that while the shows remain unchanged (just the #10 was replaced), the order has been shuffled around, futher reflect how ranking and criticism are not… you know… exact science. Anime films are absolute beasts in 2016, with the release of these following: Your Name, A Silent Voice, In this Corner of the World, Kizumonogatari and Doukyuusei. The success of Your Name and Yuri on Ice in particular are welcoming signs as they are passionate projects from one of the most talented anime directors working in the field right now.

Most Popular Show of 2016: Re:Zero

Re:Zero is now seen as one of the crowning example of isekai subgenre and I can see why. Although it follows the tropes of the genre with a main character who “happens” to have special abilities in another world, it goes beyond that and showing the real curse of having the ability. There’s a lot of suffering for Subaru as he dies and dies again and repeats the circle. And while it’s true that he can advance to the next stage once he clears the hurdles, the psychological effects of these horrible events clearly affect him. Hence, Re:Zero is at its best when it doesn’t offer an easy way out for Subaru. He’s in a bind and we can clearly feel his struggle. The show suffers, then, when sometimes he clears the stage a bit too convenient, and when it relies on tropes and anime humor. It’s still entertaining enough for me that I m looking for the second season nonetheless

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New Update

It’s rather ironic but I just received words from Armitage yesterday that her uni just announced the exam timeline and sadly that means our joint project Cannes 2000 will have to postpone for 1 month. Since we haven’t even started, I take it as good news because we won’t have to worry about it tailgating us anymore. So in the meantime, I figure it’s best for me to finish 2010s Anime Summary and 2010s Oscar Animated Features and still continuing watch animated films, as well as catching up with anime shows of the decade that I have missed. In a perfect world I would be at Cannes right now, and it still feels pretty weird to go through a year without a Cannes event, but that’s the way it is and the best I can do now is stay ready for a return to normal.

And I like to wrap this short post up by sharing my current favorite song. Sometimes, a screenshot of a movie can perfectly capture the essence of the film, and sometimes, a title alone can resonate powerfully with me. Such is this song title: About The Courage To Become Someone’s Past by Say Sue Me. The band Say Sue Me is an indie Korean band, although they sing mostly in English and their style is influenced by Western’s bands. In 2016, their drummer fall into semi-coma during a tragic accident, and this wordless song reflects the band’s feeling about him.

I’m afraid of making new memories without you“, she sings in another song – and I feel the same. When you regard someone as your special, to go on without them in your life is just rough.  Enjoy the piece

2000 Cannes, Cannes

Cannes 2000 Preview

As we’re approaching the starting line of our 2000 Cannes project, it’s time for a little warm up. Here in this Preview both Armitage and myself will give you a rundown of our initial impression and expectation towards the 2000 Cannes lineup and Cannes itself.

Mario: My prime reasons for picking the year 2000 as our first edition are due to the fact that it was the first year of the whole new century and what a year to kick-start a new millennium with style. It was the year where Asian cinema took the world by storm with the massive cultural impact of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon to the Western world and many other works like Platform, Suzhou River, Battle Royale that didn’t make this official list but proudly stand the test of time. Iranian cinema had a good showing as well with The Circle,The Day I Became a Woman and a young talented voice in this Official list. 

As for the lineup, I have only seen 7 films out of the Main Competition so far, which is to say that there’s a lot more to unravel, and I’m more than happy to revisit films that I am always fond of. It’s worthy to note that 2000 was one of the last years where Gilles Jacob was the president – the current-director Thierry Frémaux would later replace him as artistic director in Cannes 2004 after a general negative reaction over the quality of the Official Selection in 2003. It remains to be seen on which side this programme will befall, but if I have some minor complaint as of now it would be the decision to place Luc Besson as a Jury President. I don’t mean to disrespect one of the best action auteur working today, but his works have never been in Cannes In Competition, making the decision feels more because of his star-power status. The rest of the jury was in great shape, in contrast, with a 50/50 ratio between the ladies and the gentlemen.

My most anticipated titles: Sight-unseen: Eureka 

                                            Already-seen: In the Mood for Love

Armitage: Hello, dearest readers of the blog, how are all of you doing these days? I know you must be unfamiliar with who the new girl on the block is, but in the coming days, I hope to be better acquainted with you all. 

I shall be joining Mario (as the voice of reason) as we watch movies together over the coming weeks. We are going to undertake the ‘Cannes: Year in Review’ project this time around but there are many more such projects to come in the near future. The reason we picked this project is because Cannes film festival has always held a special place in the hearts of both of us. I have never personally been to see a movie there but some of my all-time favorites have been part of past Cannes line-ups and I have discovered many hidden gems which I would have never gotten around to watching if not for the recognition they received there. 

As for what these favorites might be, all I can say is some people like movies to lift up their mood while some people like it when they are able to shed a tear or two while watching one. Out of these two, I fall more in the later category. My favorite genre of media has always been understated character dramas. Though, I can always appreciate if a movie has real ambition behind its story-telling no matter how flawed it may be. I particularly enjoy the works of Andrey Tarkovsky, Richard Linklater, Michael Haneke and Lars Von Trier. The latter two being perennially beloved at Cannes. 

And over the coming weeks, I hope to discover many new favorites as we delve into the short-listed movies at Cannes from the year 2000. There is no great metaphor at play in why we decided to start with this year apart from the fact that well, what better way to start a new series than with the start of this century!

With that, I conclude my introductory monologue. As for you all, come join me and Mario as we watch some great movies over the coming month. It’s gonna be real fun!!

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New Project Announcement – Cannes 2000

Hello readers, I’m here to announce the new project. As this year’s edition of Cannes has been postponed, and as of this writing, no new date has been confirmed and every news has been quiet, me and my friend/ fellow anime blogger ARMITAGE decided to cover the Cannes Main Competition of 2000, which will start on May 15th, exactly 2 weeks from now. She’s even more passionate about cinema and Women cinema (oh yes, that will come too) than I am, so it’s an honor to collaborate with her on this project.

Apart from being exactly 20 years old – and In the Mood for Love would have receive its 20-year anniversary special screening at Cannes (under normal circumstance), we both have personal connection to that year to the point it was the first year that comes to our mind when we think about doing a retrospective year. Our plan for now is to watch and review one film in Competition a day, after which we will grant our own awards. There are 23 films in the Main selection, so it should take up around 3 weeks – a month. Depending on how we feel then, we might tackle some other films in parallel selections. It also means the temporary halt of my current 2010s Animated Movies, but it’s my full intention to return and finish it by the end of the year.

Personally I’m super excited for this project. Since my breakup it’s the first time where I feel genuinely looking forward to something. Here’s hoping you enjoy our first joint effort of this “Cannes at home” edition.