Friday, July 3, 2015

The Anime-zing Race: Changes and Plans for Summer 2015 Season

So I kind of gave up on the whole "The Anime-zing Race" project last season, mainly because the same couple of shows were always at the top or at the bottom, and one show dominated the season too much. I'll be doing it this Summer 2015 season, but there will be some changes...

1. Shows that I have pegged early on as likely favorites will not be eligible. The Race will instead determine which show will be the "breakout hit" of the season, surpassing my initial expectations to become one of my favorites.

2. Related to the above, if I watch a show's first episode and decide that the show is all too easily going to dominate the race, it will "ascend" from the race, and another show will take its place.

3. Sequels and continuing shows are not eligible.

4. Also not eligible are any adaptations for which I have read the original source material beyond about 2 episodes' worth. For this upcoming season, that mainly means that Gakkou Gurashi/School-Live! is ineligible, as I've read a good portion of the manga already.

5. I will be very hesitant to put any slice-of-life show among the race competitors. I judge such shows on very different standards and usually rely on them as relaxing diversions, so critically judging them for something like the Race is pretty hard. Such a show would have to be well below my average expectations for its genre for me to consider giving it a spot, and can easily "ascend" from the race after the first episode.

6. Only shows streaming on Crunchyroll or Funimation are eligible (I wouldn't be watching the show at all otherwise.)

7. Finally, there will only be 11 shows participating at the start of the race (just like in the actual The Amazing Race). Shows that "ascend" from the race or lose eligibility some other way will be replaced with a backup show. Plus, out of the 12 legs of the race, only 8 will be elimination legs, where the last place show will be eliminated; 3 pre-determined legs are non-elimination legs, with the last place show spared elimination; however, said last-place show must fulfill a certain additional requirement in the following episode or its final placement in the next leg will be two places below where it would have otherwise placed that week, which may be enough to eliminate the show.

I may introduce some other elements into the Race if I feel like it. For now, here's a look at the (potential) participants for this season's Race:

Actually, I Am (Jitsu wa Watashi wa): Honest boy discovers girl is actually a vampire, and must keep her secret, while other monster girls surround him. Since that other monster girl series is going to be too lewd for me, I'll have to make do with this one.

Aoharu x Machinegun: Because apparently, survival game anime is still a big enough thing. This one has more of a shoujo flavor to it.

Castle Town Dandelion: It's Big Brother but with magically-powered siblings (and audience voting).

Chaos Dragon: Fantasy RPG-esque anime ahoy!

Charlotte: A Key original work, like Angel Beats. Definitely could end up ascending in the first leg, but can't say for sure.

Classroom Crisis: A romantic comedy, but on a colonized Mars. Slight chance of ascension.

Gate: In which Japanese "soldiers" station themselves at a portal to a fantasy world, and one, who happens to be an otaku, gathers companions in said fantasy world and deal with inter-world relationships. (Outbreak Company all over again?)

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace: A mystery/horror series on the NoitaminA block, based on the late Edogawa Ranpo's works.

Rokka no Yuusha: Six heroes will be called to conquer evil... so when seven appear, one must be an impostor, right? (Basically, The Mole in a fantasy world.)

Suzakinishi The Animation: Two seiyuu transfer into school to check it out. Not really sure what to make of it, so it's a slice-of-life that I'm allowing in the race's initial lineup; there's a slight chance of ascension.

Ushio to Tora: A priest's son and a youkai must team up to defeat a greater evil.

Backup candidates:

Overlord
Gangsta.
Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei no Kyoukan

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If you want to see what I thought of various Spring 2015 shows, check out some of my reviews over at Beneath the Tangles, and check the comments afterwards for my thoughts on all the shows I've finished/caught up with this season:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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