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[Meme] Fandoms of 2012 
24th-Jan-2013 01:57 am
(Well, it's almost a month into 2013 already, so might as well put this up. I'm probably not going to be able to improve it even if I let it stay on my computer any longer.)

Ah, I did this meme two years ago. No longer remember where from the f-list I stole the meme from. ^^;

And I know I can simply list the name for each category without elaborating. But I like giving some reasons for (or at least my feelings toward) my choices. So wall of text ahead, probably.

First Fandom of 2012:
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches. From the creator of Yankee-kun and Megane-chan (which I still never get around to checking out (either the drama or the manga)). I read Yamada since it came out in February, but I'm occasionally on and off on the series (like to read it more in batches rather than to wait week by week), so maybe I shouldn't really list it. But in that case I have no idea what I should put here...

Favorite Main Character of 2012:
Haruto from Kamen Rider Wizard. I really shouldn't be hasty and say this when there are only 16 episodes out (as of the end of 2012), but I'll be optimistic that the writers are not going to mess up his characterization -- which is rather complex, imho. It's not that he is anti-social/aloof precisely. He seems friendly enough on the surface, but I don't feel like he shares much of himself with anyone. (It is almost like it doesn't matter to him what could happen to him personally -- physically and mentally -- as long as people are saved.) I don't know. He just seems different from the past three years' main riders, who were more or less 'what-you-see-is-what-you-get' nice guys with practically no shade of dark side.

And that was a very pleasant surprise, that Haruto does not outwardly appear as 'hero-ish' as his predecessors, and seems more mysterious and darker. Not that I dislike those past riders (scroll down and see me listing two of those as my favorites), but a variation* once in a while for the main rider would be nice.

And, if nothing else (there are plenty else, but it's too embarrassing to write them out), how can I not love a character whose name is almost literally made of heart? Yes, I think heart is usually rendered as haato, but let me have my illusion.

*(I don't know how true this is, but I heard that Eiji (from Kamen Rider OOO) was originally supposed to be a darker character. Not sure if that would be a good idea actually. Kind of glad with the characterization he ended up getting...)

Favorite Villain of 2012:
I don't tend to like villains all that much. No matter if they are villains with tragic past/backstory, or pure villains with no shade of anything good, or the types of villains I haven't thought about. For no particular reason other than I am shallow and like cheering more for the good guys.

So the answer to this one is more like the villains who don't annoy me. Who make me glad that they are there to foil the good guys' plans. Who are intelligent and use the heroes (and everyone else) to their advantages. Who (preferably) do not change sides (bad to good, or good to bad (though this one sounds more like a backstabbing character on the good guy side)). I want the villains to believe in and stick with what they are doing and don't turn good just because the heroes manage to sweet talk them into it.

I admit, that is a very generic description that would fit many villains. My deal breaker is the annoyance part. If I'm annoyed with a character (for whatever reason -- could be non-rational sometimes), I wouldn't care to check if he/she fits the rest of that description.

So, from a purely subjective point of view, my answer is Enter from Go-Busters. I don't think he's the greatest villain there is or anything even close to that, but he manages to entertain me. Watching him is really a refreshing experience. I don't want him to win, of course, but sometimes I can't help thinking he is too competent for the Go-Busters.

And, bonus, Hayami from Kamen Rider Fourze. I dislike most of the villains there (imho, they become villains for childishly selfish reasons), so Hayami is definitely a surprise (in a good way, if that's even possible for a villain). I actually don't remember his reasons for his turn toward darkness, but obviously whatever they are, they don't bother me.

Favorite Character of 2012:
Isn't this already covered by the second (or third) question? But I guess I shouldn't waste an opportunity to list more people.

So, if not counting anything not airing in 2012, I've settled on Kamen Rider Fourze. While I've warmed up to most of the Kamen Rider club, Gentarou remains my favorite. I'm not even sure I can explain exactly what I like about him (maybe because he easily believes (and easily forgives) people and will most likely never learn to be less trusting). Perhaps it's his ordinary-ness. He is a normal person who asks to be put into extraordinary circumstances. Everything (stuff, events, people) seems to revolve around him (well, he would not be the main character otherwise). Or more correctly, he goes and reaches out to people, and when faced with that kind of boundless enthusiasm, how many people could have resisted him? I mean, if Gentarou wanted to be friends with the sun, I guess nothing could possibly stop him. ^^;;

And I think Gentarou is one of those easy to read people. Normally I prefer characters to have at least a secret or two (i.e. be more mysterious like Kengo), yet in this case I actually prefer an almost complete open book. Wearing his heart on his sleeves is probably his weakness, yet at the same time I believe it is also his strength. I mean, people are probably more likely to trust (and sometimes betray, but that goes with the territory) someone like him, who seems like he has virtually nothing to hide, than someone whose intention is obscure or unknown. And he needs the trust, since he intends to be friends with everyone. Yes, it's rather a naive worldview, to think that everyone would want to be his friend, but I don't think he is all talk -- he is doing all he can to prove that it is worth it to be his friend.

Gentarou is the type of character no one could possibly doubt is a hero. Even someone who finds him annoying (or whatever other problem they might have with him) probably would have a hard time denying that he is a good guy who really does want to help people.

(Ah, I'm lazy and just mostly cut and paste what I wrote about Shoutarou. It works so well I'm a bit scared by how alike I find Shoutarou and Gentarou to be. Their series share a writer, though, so perhaps their similarities are not entirely coincidental.)

Favorite Het Couple of 2012:
I really really can't think of any. So have Tokiko and Kintoki from Mantama. ^^;; This anime did air in 2012, after all. (And, yes, they are het.) As for why them, I guess I have my weird humor. Silver and gold are not cute at all? Oh, but they totally are.

More serious answer, I would say Kouga and Kaoru (GARO: Makai Senki), but they have been together since way back in the original series, so I'm not sure they count. But I don't care either way. Maybe it's slow, but I like their courtship, which I find really fit the tone of the series (good guys have pure innocent romance; bad guys have more graphic ways to express desire). (And I may be one of those rare people who like Kaoru.) In any case, everyone that matters in the series knows they love each other and supports them, and that's good enough for me. (And this only works in English, but they share four out of five letters in their names.)

Favorite Yuri Couple of 2012:
None. There are probably some in series I read/watch, but I don't tend to look for Yuri all that much.

Favorite Slash Couple of 2012:
Kaitou and Tsukasa (Kamen Rider Decade)

...Wait a minute. 2012. Not 2009.

I know, I know. But I saw them in Super Hero Taisen, and since the movie came out in 2012, that should count.

But are they really a couple? I don't know. Kaitou stalks Tsukasa all the time, though, so that might even be a bit creepy, but somehow I find it comforting that, after all these years, Kaitou still hasn't succeeded in his romantic endeavor (nor made much progress for that matter ^^;;)...

Favorite RPS Couple of 2012:
N/A I only pair up fictional people.

Fandom That You Never Expected To Get Into:
None. I only seemed to watch standard tokusatsu stuff (sentai, kamen rider, ultraman) last year, so no real surprise. GARO isn't standard, but, well, I've known it since back in 2006.

Fandom You THOUGHT You'd Get Into But Didn't:
Gankutsuou. This is a series from around 2004-2005, iirc, but I only came across it last year. I guess the anime is too different and not really what I expected, so I dropped it after two episodes in. (Naively I thought it would be more similar to the book it is based on.) My problem is mostly with the anime's style, though. I think some fans of the book enjoyed the anime just fine. Still, this might be picked back up later since I dislike leaving things unfinished.

Fandom That Crashed and Burned:
In general, it is difficult to crash and burn an on-going series for me unless the writing has undergone a drastic change (or writer is changed and new writer can't write something passingly similar to the original style). (Retools are fine with me most of the time.) And if we are talking about a series that is already finished, I wouldn't change my opinion about it so drastically (sure, I might have slightly different feelings toward a particular series as time goes on, but to do a 180 degree turn on a series I already love would have been almost impossible).

Fandom That Made An Unexpected Comeback:
Detective Conan. Maybe not exactly an unexpected comeback (since I've never really left it to begin with), but I've watched more episodes this year than I had during the past few years.

Fandom That Inspired The Most Crack:
Toss up between Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches and Kamen Rider Fourze.

On a second thought, I think Yamada would have won. This is really a manga I read when I just want crazy hijinks in my entertainment. Fourze seems almost tame in comparison. But yet I find them kind of similar, since each is about a group of high school students in a (rather underground) club doing/investigating supernatural-related activities/events (usually caused by some other students -- who then may or may not end up joining their club). Yes, probably many other anime/manga series also fit this broad description, but I can't really think of any now. I don't watch much anime/read much manga either.

Last Fandom of 2012:
AkibaRanger. Yes, it aired earlier in the year, but I only got around to watching it after I am more or less caught up with other regular toku series. I knew practically nothing about it before I went in except that it's probably some kind of parody on sentai.

Turns out that I wasn't exactly wrong about that. There are many references on past sentai shows, kind of like Gokaiger. But it seems to break more fourth wall, sort of similar to what Gintama does for anime. (I'm not exactly lost (have seen most of the sentai series from the past twelve years (except Gaoranger and Hurricaneger), but I imagine people with no knowledge of sentai might not enjoy it all that much.)

And for some reason, I don't seem to learn a single thing new on Akiba culture. It's possible that I haven't paid enough attention when they reference Akihabara specifically (as opposed to a sentai reference), though. ^^;

That said, I don't think I'm even in an AkibaRanger fandom. So the above is just an excuse to talk about it a little, since I'm probably too lazy to devote a new entry for it.

Whether I'm in the fandom or not, it's cool that apparently there will be a new season. An unofficial sentai getting a second season whereas most official sentai series never do seems kind of ironic, I think. Wonder if they will add more characters...

So what's in store for me this year? More toku (or at least live-action), probably. Specifically, I'd like to watch more Ultraman, preferably newer stuff, but there seems to be no current TV series, as far as I know, other than Ultraman Retsuden. Either way, I'm still not up to date on the Ultras.
Kamen Rider Decade; In A Bottle
23rd-Jan-2013 10:12 pm (UTC)

Neo Ultra Q just started airing. While it's not exactly Ultraman and doesn't have an Ultraman and is quite e different format, I loved loved loved Ultra Q - Dark Fantasy, one of my all time favorite toku, and I'm planning on watching both the original Ultra Q and this new one.
If it's anything like the previous two it's mostly bizarre short stories that involve anything from ghosts to monsters to aliens. And it does belong to the Ultra fanchise, in fact Ultra Q came before the original Ultraman. So you might want to give that a try :)

Oh and I also like Kaoru :) While not being my favorite character on Garo by far I've never had reason to dislike her. Plus her and Kouga are just adorable together.
24th-Jan-2013 07:17 pm (UTC)
Hi :)

Oh, I know about Neo Ultra Q, I just forgot to mention it. ^^; Well, I haven't seen any of the previous two Ultra Q series -- wonder how connected they are to each other. But I guess I would want to start on those two first anyway since I prefer to not watch things out of order. Thank you for the recommendation in any case. :)

Kaoru isn't my absolute favorite, but I tend to like almost everyone from Garo almost the same. I'm glad to hear that you also like her. :) And, yes, Kaoru and Kouga are adorable together. They seem to have the kind of understanding that goes beyond words, I think. (Kaoru would need to be able to read him anyway since Kouga doesn't say much, if at all.)
25th-Jan-2013 07:52 am (UTC)
Where do you watch all those tokusatsu shows? Do they actually show them on your TV channels? *is curious*

Edited at 2013-01-25 07:52 am (UTC)
25th-Jan-2013 04:06 pm (UTC)
I just downloaded them, mostly. ^^ (And those I really like I also buy DVDs (domestic releases more than Japanese imports), such as with some of the Ultra series.) But, yeah, it usually means I already know which shows I want to watch. Otherwise, I would check tokusatsu fansub groups and/or discussion forums for some idea of what to watch.

At least one of my TV channels has toku, but the series are not all that current. And one series airs early every Sunday morning so I don't really want to get up to watch it. ^^; Either way, I don't watch all that much tokusatsu on TV here since they are dubbed, and I prefer Japanese voices.
27th-Jan-2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
I see... Wow, you even get domestic releases for this sort of series, that's cool. I kind of want to watch some tokusatsu, but the only one I really liked was Ultraman Mebius, I somehow could not get into any other series...

Lol, I completely understand that, I would not want to get up early on Sunday, either XDD
28th-Jan-2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
Tokusatsu is quite big here, almost as big as anime, I think. The releases are several years behind Japan, however. Not that I mind, since at least I can say I own tokusatsu DVDs. :)

Well, there are a lot of tokusatsu, so I hope there will be more you can enjoy. Mebius is kind of different from most other tokusatsu, imho, since it focuses on the main cast rather than guest(s) of the week (perhaps except the tribute episodes, but even then they match at least one of the regular cast up with the featured Ultraman). And Mebius characters get along more often than not, which I prefer over people who are supposed to be on the same side (good guys, I mean) having miscommunications and/or conflicts among themselves almost all the time...

Apart from a few series you mentioned before, I don't know what else you have tried. If it helps, KRDL is a site that has a lot of English subbed tokusatsu for download, with a brief description for each series. Generally, it is probably easier to get into other Ultra series or Kamen Riders (especially Kaman Rider Fourze, which feels like a mostly light-hearted high school anime in live-action setting to me), but you might find something else more interesting there.
30th-Jan-2013 11:25 pm (UTC)
Wow, lucky you, it's pretty much unknown here XD

I think it's also different because they found out about Mirai's true identity pretty early on, and I thought it was great because in anime when somebody has a secret identity, that is usually overlooked by everyone to the point of being silly XDD

Oooh, thank you, I'm sure I'll manage to find something interesting there :) I've tried Kamen Rider 555 and didn't like it much, but maybe other Kamen Rider series would be more interesting.

4th-Feb-2013 06:21 pm (UTC)
They didn't find out by themselves, though -- Mirai just flat out told them. ;) But I do think it is refreshing that Mebius is the only Ultra series, as far as I know, where a reveal happened halfway through. While I agree that it would be silly if intelligent people otherwise couldn't figure out a secret identity of the guy/girl they see everyday (and that happens in tokusatsu almost all the time ^^;), I personally prefer that the heroes at least attempt to hide their identities, partly because doing so is such a rarity outside of Ultra series -- many Kamen Riders and Sentai heroes don't seem all that concerned that everyone knows who they are.

Most Kamen Rider series are standalones (except Kamen Rider Decade, which is an anniversary series, so will reference past series), so it is easy, imho, to just pick one and start from there. There are also many other tokusatsu series that might be interesting. At any rate, have fun looking. :)
6th-Feb-2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
Lol, well, that would be too good if they actually managed to use their brain and find it out themselves XDD But I think it makes sense that the team knows that this particular guy is Ultraman, what is the point of hiding that vital information from your own allies? Although the general public should not know, of course.

Thank you, I definitely will :)
8th-Feb-2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
This is what I heard about Showa Ultra series (well, and Mebius is a Showa sequel), but apparently if the host let other people (even if only their own teammates) know that he is Ultraman, he will have to leave Earth. (IIRC, around the time of the reveal arc, Ultraman Tarou came to Earth to pick up Mebius, but, granted, that was before he revealed his identity to his teammates.) So perhaps that kind of started a tradition of an Ultraman host keeping his identity a secret.
12th-Feb-2013 10:18 pm (UTC)
I suppose it is easier to keep it that way for the people who make the series, but it would still make more sense if at least the team knew the identity of the Ultraman - the fact that he has to hide and try to look for a good moment to transform can't be helpful in the execution of his tasks.
15th-Feb-2013 08:36 pm (UTC)
...the fact that he has to hide and try to look for a good moment to transform can't be helpful in the execution of his tasks.

That is true. But personally, as unhelpful as it is to the hero, I still prefer that he keeps his secret. I like mystery on the hero's part. If his teammates know who he is, I feel like half the magic is gone already. A variation that I like, though, is when some of his teammates (okay, usually only one or two persons) figure it out, but don't tell him and let him continue to hide (for his own protection) and occasionally help him out in keeping his identity from everyone else.
17th-Feb-2013 12:52 pm (UTC)
That could actually be pretty funny - the hero is still trying to be all mysterious and keeps coming up with silly explanations of his actions, while some of the teammates are already exasperated and all like 'dude, stop it, we know already!' XDD
17th-Feb-2013 06:16 pm (UTC)
That should happen more often, but there is at least one series like that. The teammate I think of seems exasperated by the wait (for the hero to tell the truth). They say things to the hero that make me certain they have definitely figured out his identity.

And I like the silly explanations the hero is forced to come up with. Sometimes, it seems to me he is not even trying to make it a believable excuse, yet people don't question him any further. I know they are probably worried about other things like saving the world, but they still pay too little attention to their colleague for my liking.
18th-Feb-2013 09:33 pm (UTC)
And the hero still doesn't get it? XDD

I don't, I feel like that's too unrealistic, anyone would have noticed that there was something wrong with the excuses XD But then again, it's not like such series are very realistic in the first place XD
20th-Feb-2013 07:17 pm (UTC)
Going by what I see, I guess not. XD Or perhaps I just hope he is clueless, since the alternative* would be rather annoying. (*He does get it, but if the teammate is not confronting him directly, he is not going to admit it first either.)

Well, true, most of those explanations are unrealistic, but that's the whole point. If they were realistic excuses, they would make sense, then I wouldn't have anything to snark at. XD
24th-Feb-2013 03:56 pm (UTC)
A clueless hero can be kind of cute sometimes, but that can also get annoying, I think...

Haha, well, from that point of view I understand what you mean, but I still prefer things to make sense and people to act in a sensible manner.
24th-Feb-2013 06:47 pm (UTC)
I suppose people acting silly (and not being too sensible) when the plot calls for it is a trope that works for tokusatsu. In most cases, I don't mind that. But I do mind when the characters are written inconsistently. For example, in one episode a character would ask intelligent questions, in another episode he would seem so clueless in a similar situation, without any kind of reason I can see to explain the change. (Make up your mind, writers. Is he or isn't he observant?)
26th-Feb-2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, good point, I can see why that might be a very annoying thing, especially if you tend to notice little details...
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