Since I essentially ran full-force into the brick wall of blogging burnout a few months ago and put a screeching halt to my relentless (yet largely meaningless) anime reviews, I’ve still been watching various anime shows. But because I didn’t want to interfere with my previously-planned schedule of reviews (which at that time I was still planning on continuing), I shifted my focus to other shows entirely.
For the past few months, I’ve gone back and I’ve been watching what is available on streaming services through Roku — notably Netflix, but as the pickings start to get a little thin on Netflix I can easily shift over to Hulu, Crackle or Crunchyroll as well. Netflix’s current offerings can basically be summarized as “Funimation’s Dubbed Non-Current Greatest Hits”. There’s a couple hundred series available, but nothing subtitled, nothing newer than 2010, and also (much to my displeasure) basically nothing from before about 1998.
Now, given the choice, I’m much more likely to choose a subtitled version of a show over the dubbed version. Yet, I am most definitely *not* a “dub snob” who will turn up my nose at anything that is dubbed. Back in the eighties and nineties, the quality of the American voice acting was truly a terrible experience that made shows largely unwatchable (although occasionally HILARIOUS). But with experience the dubbing studios have definitely improved, and nowadays badly-dubbed shows are few and far between. Most are “acceptable”, and in some cases quite decent.
And the one big advantage to watching a dubbed show over a subtitled one is that I can do what I am doing at this very moment: Sit in front of my computer typing away with some mediocre show on the television in the background. With a subtitled show, I must focus by undivided attention and eyes to screen — with subtitled anime you can’t do two things at once.
I kinda sorta want to get back to doing some sort of anime reviews, albeit at a much greatly reduced rate. The previous way I was doing them required many, many hours a week, going episode-by-episode with a shit-ton of screen grabs to boot. Instead, I’m thinking of completely changing things up, one or two paragraphs, a picture or two, more of a capsule review than multi-paragraph theses.
I’ve already watched a few dozen different series, usually moving along at one episode a week on each as I work through my Netflix queue. It really does run the gamut of good, bad and ugly shows. There’s the good (like Canaan, Ghost Hound, Moribito, Birdy), the bad (like Air Gear, Slayers, Kaze no Stigma>, and the godawful bad (like Rosario and Vampire, Dragonaut, Shuffle, Moeyo Ken). There’s the Better Than Expected (like Gunslinger Girl, Princess Tutu, Schools Rumble, Full Metal Panic Fumoffu), the Worse Than Expected (like Chobits, Fruits Basket, Blue Gender, Baccano), and the About As Expected (like Sacred Blacksmith, Full Metal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Trigun)…and of course the incomprehensibly unwatchable (like Tokyo Maijin, D.Gray-Man, and Tears to Tiara).
And I really should get back to finishing off what I started with all of those shows that I left hanging from 2011. There’s around 20 shows I was in the middle of watching that I just stopped cold-turkey, like Nichijou, Mawaru Penguin-Drum, Ano Hana, Stein’s Gate, Usagi Drop, Last Exile, Hanasaku Iroha, Mirai Nikki, Chihayafuru, and many more.
Not to mention that I have intentionally avoided watching anything from 2012 — even though I’ve been told this year’s shows include some of the best new stuff in a generation. Oh well, I guess that means I just have that much more to look forward to.
Anyway, sorry about the radio silence. I’ll make no promises for the future, though, I’ve been terrible about keeping those promises before.