Sun 12 Aug 2012
|Rank||Anime (First Place Votes)||Studio||Episode||Change|
|1||Hyouka (7)||Kyoto Animation||16||–|
|2||Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (1)||AIC ASTA||6||–|
|3||Kokoro Connect (7)||Silver Link||5||2|
|4||Uchuu Kyoudai (5)||A-1 Pictures||19||2|
|5||Joshiraku (4)||J.C. Staff||4||N/A|
On the cusp: Natsuyuki Rendezvous, TARI TARI, Shirokuma Café, Moyashimon Returns, Hunter x Hunter
This week’s Anime Power Rankings was one of the closest results in recent history. Hyouka continues its run at the top spot by earning a single point more than Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita. Jintai itself is only two points clear of Kokoro Connect in third place, and Uchuu Kyoudai is four points down from there. A well-engineered last-minute ballot could have shuffled the top 4 places quite a bit.
Hyouka and Kokoro Connect are two shows running now that appeared similar at a first sight, both in their art style, and in their premise (“it looks like K-on, it is arguably a slice-of-life with a twist”). Yet they grow more and more different from each other as the episodes pass. Ironically, the one with a genuine sci-fi/fantasy element, Kokoro Connect, proved to be the more mundane one, while Hyouka is getting more of an intriguing mystery plot.
The latest episode of Kokoro Connect was great, with dramatic themes that fascinated me, and it even retroactively soothed some of my earlier concerns, such as the implication that the girls are being “fixed” too quickly. But ultimately, it was only great because the author happened to have a better story to tell than in the previous ones. Maybe the next one will also be good. Or maybe not. It’s becoming an episodic drama, so it’s completely random.
Meanwhile, Hyouka has all of it’s characters, themes, objects, clues, character developments, constantly piling on top of each other in every episode, helping it to grow into a single fascinating, larger-than-life universe. Even if the current mystery will be solved, I’m already pretty sure that it will lead to an even greater one.
Alterego (Anime September)
I’ve been pleasantly impressed with Kokoro Connect, despite some of the negative press it gets for simplifying more serious issues. If it was just straight on silly, people would call it black humor. It’s the fact that it inserts compelling characters and drama that gets people uncomfortable because it gets them to take the show seriously. It’s a good sign, really.
I am so glad I decided to pick up Kokoro Connect. Episode 5 fucking got me. I have not been that emotionally drawn into a series this entire year and I really look forward to what this next arc has in store. Plus Inaba will probably go down as one of my favorite characters of the year next to Koko. This show is great.
Lerxst (Anime Afterlife Podcast)
Jinrui came comically close to taking the top spot in the Power Rankings despite having only one person put it at #1 on their ballot. While this week’s episode wasn’t as crazy or anything, I really enjoyed the dialogue near the end of the episode between Voyager and Pioneer (that’s a sentence I never thought I’d type). I love how Jinrui just pulls out seemingly random devices to draw some kind of narrative or insight, and it works. And it’s entertaining. A Soylent Green-esque dystopian automated factory? Manga parody? Space probes? The anime seems totally dysfunctional on paper, but it works.
Finally, Joshiraku breaks into the top 5 this week. The show is technically on break, but since subs are coming out I will just keep it on a delayed schedule and see if it catches up to the broadcast. Every episode of this show has been solid. The Comiket parody with all the J.C. Staff references made me laugh out loud, and it was funny seeing the rabbit in the moon was abusing all the girls. What a great show.