Anime adaptations of light novels and especially manga have a nasty inherent problem to them. Most are made with the intention of promoting sales of their source material – usually a still-ongoing series – which will inevitably have a slower release cycle than the week-to-week release of a TV show. Naturally, this is a tricky business.
You don’t need to be overly-familiar with anime or manga to know that they tend to fawn over their female characters. For better or for worse, modern stories have an observable habit of leveraging "damaged" characters - typically girls and women - rather than letting them speak for themselves, and even stories that make a run at deconstructing this structure can still hit pitfalls.
Something as quick-hitting and disconnected as sketch comedy is in a perfect position to come across as impenetrable from the outside. Yet Nichijou’s glowing acclaim proves that a firm enough grasp on the fundamentals of comedy can surmount any of these barriers.
I openly adore Pokémon. The series has maintained an overwhelmingly positive image for over twenty years running, and for the occasional flack that it gets for its parallels to cockfighting, the series has always been every bit as much about the childlike wonder of exploration, discovery, and collection. The franchise behaves the same across other media, too – including its annual movie releases.
One of the things I’ve loved about anime for such a long time now is its broad reach and willingness to focus on just about any subject. The Great Passage is an eleven-episode television series entirely about the process of editing a dictionary - and it’s absolutely among the most fascinating show that premiered in its debut season.
Certain anime can have some miserable pacing issues – and I don’t always consider that to be a flat problem. There’s definitely more than one way in which a series’ complete lack of urgency can actually work in its favor. Enter the near-entirety of Shoujo series.
Assuming that you have even the most passing degree of pop culture literacy, you absolutely shouldn't need me to tell you that Dragon Ball has a penchant to move astonishingly slowly. It's practically the series' defining feature. And ya know what? I don't really mind.