As anyone that knows me knows, I have a massive backlog of videos that I bought but have yet to watch. Hence the incredibly uncreative name for this column! Seriously, I sat and thought on it, and that was the best I could do. Deal with it. So anyways, as I have about 850 discs that I have purchased but never watched, I thought it would be best if I sat down and watched them and gave my thoughts on them here. They’ll all be anime, but this is different from the Anime You Should Be Watching column I infrequently wrote before. With that column, I was cherry picking the titles that were the best of their particular genre. Here, there’s going to be a lot of average shows, because there are a lot of average shows produced in Japan. In fact, just because I bought it doesn’t mean it’s any good. It’s entirely possible that I bought a steaming pile of shit. If that’s the case, well, if I sat through it and watched it, then you’ll have to suffer through my review of it. Lucky you! Thankfully, I like to think that for the most part, I have pretty decent taste, so the worst that you’ll have to put up with is a resounding MEH from me.
So, without further ado, let’s start this new column!
I really wish that I had started out with an instant classic, but that’s just not the case. As I said before, they can’t all be winners kid, and this one is certainly not what I’d put in my stable of timeless classics. When Sgt. Frog first was announced for license here in the US, there was a huge swelling of support. The way people were acting, you’d have thought that the second coming of Cowboy Bebop was upon us. Then the company that originally licensed it, ADV Films, went bankrupt, and that was that. Until FUNimation swooped in and picked this up. I hadn’t watched any of the fansubs of this, and I was strictly going off of word of mouth when I bought it. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case it doesn’t. The sad thing is that I bought every release that FUNi made before I ever watched the first one. That’s the drawback to having the backlog that I do. I’m only now watching stuff I bought 3 years ago. C’est la vie.
This particular release follows pretty much all the others. A lot of Gundam humor and veiled references to other similar shows. That’s great if you’re a fan of Gundam. I’m not. Hence my mileage on this particular show is highly limited. I do love the yandere type of girl, so Nishizawa, while not a strict yandere, does amuse me with her going from all dere dere to conniving psychopath. But that’s largely negated because Fuyuki is a clueless idiot. So here we’re mainly going through the winter months. This means the typical things like Christmas parties and New Year celebrations. I really wish I could say that this brought something new to the genre, but it really doesn’t. Everything we see here we’ve seen many a time before, and more importantly, we’ve seen it done better. I don’t care about things being repeated. When you’ve seen as much anime as I have, you’re not going to see a ton of genuinely new content. But a lot of anime can take these well worn tropes and still make them interesting. This one doesn’t. Frankly, I have no idea how this managed to go for 358 episodes. I’ve watched through 51 and frankly that’s enough for me. Unfortunately I still have another collection of this to get through, although I should be happy that FUNimation didn’t pick up any more than that, and since it’s been over a year since they licensed any of it, I think it’s safe to assume that no more will find its way over here.
For something that had so much buzz going in to it, I must say that this has been a massive disappointment. I don’t often let public opinion influence what I buy, and this gives a good reason why I shouldn’t. The public at large doesn’t know good anime, and they certainly don’t know what I’d like. I may not always pick out a winner, but I certainly can do a lot better than Sgt. Frog.