9: Sound: Oof.

No one’s made that joke, right? Probably not, I’m clearly a comedic genius.

This is actually the sound I make every time TheKittyMeister suggests we watch Sound! Euphonium. I really like KyoAni. I never stopped liking them, from my time in grad school, alone in a tiny apartment, watching Haruhi and then reading fan translations of the novels (I stopped before Disappearance since I liked the anime better, but because of my half an hour checking out of anime fandom, I still haven’t seen it). I love Hyouka, and, uh, sort of enjoyed K-On? So this sounded good on paper.

I’m front-loading the bad part because I opened with the grunt joke. I actually like the show. But I do find it frustrating — for exactly the right reasons. See, I was one of those kids. I was in band for seven years, starting when I was eleven or twelve (saxophone all seven, percussion last four [and yes, real percussion, not just drums, though drums are real percussion too dammit]). I was, however, the main character’s lackadaisical senpai (I don’t remember any names in this show, sorry). There was a moment when I was first chair, because literally the entire saxophone section graduated but me. Someone else started that year. Teaching her what sharps and flats were? I could do that. Muster the energy to care about competitions? Nope.

Of course, I did pretty much what lackadaisical senpai did: I was galvanized by the idea that “this year is my last year” and actually started trying. I entered a competition and not only didn’t get called back, but got comments making fun of the music I chose: the Star Wars main theme (story of my life: do pop culture stuff in front of stuffy jerks, get yelled at). I did take part in an ensemble thing where we had to audition, but not to get in, only to pick first chair so on. I remember being very sick and that the instructor used the word “zesty” a lot.

My last year was the year our marching band was one point away from regionals, so you betcha I know what the children in Sound Euph are feeling. And that’s this moment in time, isn’t it? I have trouble watching a show because it’s accurately showing me to myself.

I haven’t even touched on what makes it hard to actually watch. That is how stupid I find some of the conflicts. Not “unrealistic,” notice. “Stupid.” That’s because they are, indeed, the conflicts we had in band as well. They were stupid then and they’re stupid now.

Is Reina the name of the trumpet player? I like her, which makes her the first trumpet player I like (they’re all assholes).

(If somehow anyone from band is reading this and you were a trumpet player, I probably do like you well enough. But seriously. Trumpet players are assholes. It’s a job requirement.)

10: Buddha Hand

One Punch Man. That sure is a show. I loved it from the moment I first watched it (let’s see here. 1:31 am on Thursday… I started it around this time of night two days ago). I’m seven episodes in and started watching it with @thekittymeister, so I’m not going forward right now. I’m still deciding if I’ll watch it by myself and then again with her, or just wait for us to catch up.

But I’m basically willing to watch the same episode twice in a less than 24 hour period. Wow. That doesn’t happen with me, particularly with anime (whose first episodes I either love or hate, generally).

What’s appealing to me about One Punch Man — keeping in mind I’m coming back into watching more than an old anime every so often when we feel like chilling on the couch — is that it has unusual ideas inside the action sequences. Not execution ideas, like shading or framing or anything, but philosophical ones. Since I don’t read too many anime blogs any longer, I haven’t seen anyone else say this (I’m sure they have, somewhere), but Saitama is basically Buddha. He didn’t lose his humanity, as he worries in episode one; he lost the tidal up and down of life that Buddhism does, indeed, seek to escape (I’ve spent the last year reading a lot of Buddhist texts, including The Lotus Sutra, the central sutra to Japanese Buddhism). I’m certain someone’s commented on this just because Saitama’s got the bald egg head. He looks like Buddha (some versions of him, anyway). I’m not trying to say anything impressive, of course, at least not at this moment, but moment 10 is the point at which I recognized new ideas I’ve been reading around for years, but finally actually reading this year.

11: Dog Days

So if you didn’t catch the tweet, @thekittymeister and I got married in October, on Halloween. If you didn’t catch the other tweet, that was five days after my dad died. Now, this post isn’t going to be where I unload about my dad — anime didn’t really get involved in that, at least not this year (I used to watch anime with my dad; he liked Cowboy Bebop and Trigun; the ending to Cowboy Bebop made him mad and sorrowful, like it did me).

But Kitty and me? We can talk about that. Because we had a tiny tv smaller than most computer monitors, and my XBox 360 as an entertainment system. I have a Netflix account. When she moved in, we needed something to watch late at night, when we were too tired to play games. We picked Inuyasha. We’ve both loved it since our salad days, watching Adult Swim, but neither of us watched every. single. episode. And they’re all there. Every one of them. At least, we’re far enough in that if Netflix doesn’t have them all, or takes them off, we’ll go out of our way to get them (I think I know a human being that owns it all on DVD, maybe I could borrow it).

These late night viewings will figure into more “moments,” but for now, for the eleventh, it’s all about relaxing into a new stage of my relationship with Kitty. We’ve just about lived together at times, since we spent so much time traveling from one place to another over summer breaks that we would be together for over a month. But of course we never actually lived together, and so there’s a pressure in my head to entertain her when she’s around. It’s eased up a lot, and sinking into a nice, familiar anime we could talk about (and talk during) while still seeing new things was great. Is great. We’re, you know. Nowhere near finished…

#12: Resurrection

Wow, it’s, uh, been a while. Three years since Christmas-themed anime posting, huh? Yeah, that’s actually my first point. I kind of stopped watching anime for a minute there. I was always fond of the 12 days tradition, even though I think I only ever did it totally successfully once — twice if you count the year I snuck a few in after the fact. Like I’m doing right now.

I spent a while, when I was working on my MFA thesis, really blogging, like watching shows for no other reason than to blog them. I watched a show I hated because readers voted for it. I can still make Pontifus mad by mentioning those posts, but at least I probably had the record for people angry at me over on SF.c. Right? And there are a lot of lovely bloggers now, and there were then those who were lovely but who seem to have drifted off (or changed usernames without forwarding addresses, anyway).

So my first “moment” for this year’s 12 days is that an anime made me pleased enough to blog again. I already had this blog ready to go, but Nozaki-kun was the first thing I posted about on it. We’re not supposed to be limited to any media here on the site, but even I am surprised that happened. Neat.