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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1670
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:15 pm Reply with quote
I haven't seen much from noitaminA, but I have enjoyed what I've watched. 2006's Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror is a really cool anthology series, the last story of which (Goblin Cat) resulted in the absolutely spectacular 2007 spin-off Mononoke. 2008's Hakaba Kitaro is also a really neat variant of GeGeGe no Kitaro, as it plays closer to Shigeru Mizuki's earliest take on the series, where it was more cynical & played more into the horror aspects than the kid-friendly GeGeGe stuff; if also has a addictive OP theme by Denki Groove. It'd be really cool is a company was to finally give Hakaba Kitaro a chance here (so far, only Australia has received an English release), especially now with the newest GeGeGe series finding a loving audience, because it's definitely a very interesting take on the iconic character & his friends.

Unfortunately, that's all I've seen, though I do have a bunch of other notaminA shows in my DVD/BD collection that I should get to watching one day, like Jyu-Oh-Sei, Kids on the Slope, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, House of Five Leaves, Thermae Romae, & (soon) Hataraki Man.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 2871
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:38 pm Reply with quote
An entire piece on noitaminA that never once mentions "Bake Neko"/Mononoke? As of 2011, Mononoke had sold more DVDs (~12,500) than any other noitaminA show including Nodame Cantabile. That was a remarkable achievement for a show that was anime-original.

The ups-and-downs of noitaminA generated a long, spirited discussion spanning six years over at AnimeSuki that you might find of interest.

Nakamura Kenji was a particular favorite for the block, helming not only those "Apothecary" stories but also Tsuritama, [C] (not one of his best in my opinion), and Kuuchuu Buranko. Only the last of these was an adaptation. Tsuritama and Apollon ran back-to-back. I started off expecting to enjoy Apollon more given its subject matter and lineage but found myself even more enamored with Tsuritama as the weeks went by.

Manglobe's (RIP) adaptation of Ono Natsume's Sarai-ya Goyou ("House of Five Leaves") was another high point in the block's history.
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Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1769
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:01 pm Reply with quote
Kuchu Buranko (Welcome to Iradu's Office) would be my pick for favourite neglected Noitamina show. Bunny Drop is one of my favourite series in general, but it seems fairly well known as these things go, albeit often only as the adaptation of that manga that did you know what Sad

I'd say the block has always had a bit of a split personality, wanting to expand beyond the stereotypical audience while always keeping one foot in the late night anime pool (LIbrary War came out in 2008, for example). If anything, this has only become more the case as the block & audeince has grown - which sadly seems to have coincided with the decline of dramas drawn from Josei sources but with enough appeal for a general audience.


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ChibiGoku



Joined: 29 May 2004
Posts: 619
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:06 pm Reply with quote
Not trying to be rude, but the fact the article completely ignores and doesn't cover Hakaba Kitaro (one of the few noitaminA shows to break into the top 10 anime list rankings), both an adaptation of a historical Yokai manga, as well as the first time adapting the earlier chapters... It doesn't sit well with me. Really disappointed in that, despite the incite on other elements in the article.

I mean, you even mentioned Tatami Galaxy, despite the release being a point of contention over here in the US. I know a lot of people are not happy with the lack of legal availability of Kitaro. I think, in terms of western releases, only Australia got it so far.

EDIT: A couple others also above mentioned some titles that were obscured in the article as well. Particularly Kuuchuu Buranko, which was an extremely experimental Toei Animation series adaptation of a novel (I believe?).
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 926
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:25 pm Reply with quote
By my recollection, while Honey & Clover, Paradise Kiss, Ayakashi and other early Noitamina shows didn't get Nodame Cantabile-sized ratings, they all got great ratings by late night standards, and even landed on the weekly top 10 on occasion. I just wish Nodame got a movie or a mini series adapting the manga's encore arc (vols. 24-25), which I consider a more satisfying conclusion to the story than the vol. 23 ending adapted by the last episode of the Finale season.

I think I can count on one hand how many Noitamina shows I've never watched, and even though there were some real clunkers I forced myself to power through like Galilei Donna, this block is usually a reliable source of high-quality anime.


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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8105
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:41 pm Reply with quote
Amazingly, I've seen all or part of all but 5 NoitaminA shows (not counting live-action). They must be doing something right. Smile

I think the only real dud on their roster is Robotics;Notes. I can't make it through Tatami Galaxy, but at least I can recognize that there's quality there. Other than that, I've mostly enjoyed everything I've seen, even the weaker offerings, although Terror in Resonance kinda fell apart and also had my second most-hated character in anime, the turnip-brained Lisa.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:12 pm Reply with quote
Zhou-BR wrote:
I just wish Nodame got a movie or a mini series adapting the manga's encore arc (vols. 24-25), which I consider a more satisfying conclusion to the story than the vol. 23 ending adapted by the last episode of the Finale season.

Looking at their release dates, I suspect the anime sequels were intended more to promote the live-action movies that cover the same material and would certainly be more profitable than anything anime. I watched them both some time ago. Not having read the manga I don't know if the second film covered the material you're referencing.

I got a little tired of Ueno Juri's portrayal of Nodame as the series wore on as well as the extent of "mugging" by the entire cast.



I'm with Gina when it comes to Lisa in Terror in Resonance. Ritsuko in Apollon wasn't quite so bad as Lisa but close. Watanabe likes the two-guys-and-a-girl structure, but often the girl in these stories tends to be a "dishrag" character. Fuu in Samurai Champloo is probably the best of his leading ladies in these stories.


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Triltaison



Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 289
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:22 pm Reply with quote
Hmm... My favorites would have to be Mononoke, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Hakaba Kitaro (love that ending theme), Tatami Galaxy (I imported Australia's release since Funimation hates us), and Shiki.

My least favorite goes to Antique Bakery, but I'm really behind and haven't seen a lot of the more recent series.
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Angel'sArcanum



Joined: 02 Sep 2010
Posts: 295
Location: Toronto, Ontario
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:49 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Amazingly, I've seen all or part of all but 5 NoitaminA shows (not counting live-action). They must be doing something right. Smile

I think the only real dud on their roster is Robotics;Notes. I can't make it through Tatami Galaxy, but at least I can recognize that there's quality there. Other than that, I've mostly enjoyed everything I've seen, even the weaker offerings, although Terror in Resonance kinda fell apart and also had my second most-hated character in anime, the turnip-brained Lisa.


Of all the noitaminA shows that exist and you having seen all but 5, THOSE are the low points for you? Geez, that's discouraging. No Nanana's Buried Treasure, C, Fractale, Galilei Donna, Psycho Pass 2, Game of Laplace or GUILTY CROWN EVEN!? I can't attest for all of those personally, I've seen Guilty Crown, C and Galilei Donna and the first 2 episodes or so of Nanana, but I've heard the others are quite poor.

Sure to those saying Mike's article is a bit slim this time, that's fair, a bunch of noteworthy titles not covered and all, but I think it's still a nice little piece, more lax about letting people look into the catalogue themselves rather than some extensive history of the programming block and such as opposed to one of his director breakdowns, it's a breezy, fun read as opposed to one of his hardcore, extensive ones, I think this works fine too.

Lemme think, some ones I really enjoy would be:
-Honey and Clover (though a bit uneven, and not keen on all the relationship results really)
-Eden of the East (haven't seen the movies but I've heard to keep it that way, it's a modest like of mine)
-House of Five Leaves
-Tatami Galaxy
-Shiki
-AnoHana
-Bunny Drop
-Ping Pong
-Terror in Resonance (came around on it so much on rewatch)

Also like:
-Psycho Pass (though not HUGE on it, have only seen Spielberg's Minority Report and yeah it takes the concept pretty wholesale, but at least Psycho Pass is good to look at)
-Katanagatari
-Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (could've been half the length though)
-Kids on the Slope (last third or quarter really sours it a bunch sadly)
-Trapeze

Don't like:
-Mononoke (considered pretty much a masterpiece to most, but I found it insufferable, only Nakamura show I truly care for is Gatchaman Crowds really)
-C
-Guilty Crown
-SamFlam
-Your Lie in April (manipulative and cruel)
-Punch Line

There's a few other meh titles I've seen as well, and some I'm still very eager to see (the rest of Nodame, Banana Fish, maybe Sarazanmai, Library Wars which I own, still unopened, Hakaba Kitaro, Moyashimon and more) and though noitaminA has lost some of its luster over time, it's usually a mark of something a bit more daring and reputable, so it's nice to keep on the look out for it still.
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Kistune_bride



Joined: 06 Jul 2018
Posts: 23
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:08 pm Reply with quote
Some shows I haven't seen due tot the premise (Punchline), I can't legally find it (Kitaro) or I found it dull (i.e Guilty Crown, Fractale, and [c]), but most of the shows that aired on the block end up becoming my favorites.


My 10 favorite shows from the block: Tatami Galaxy (introducee to Masaaki Yuasa), Honey & Clover (I still own the Viz Media DVDs; I still cry rewatching it), No.6, Psycho Pass (NOT including season 2), Wandering Son, Ping Pong, Princess Jellyfish, Tsuritama, Banana Fish, and Mononoke.

I appreciate the art and cinematography of Terror in Resonance and Trapeze but, I don't think about them that much. The hair in Shiki was too goofy for me to take seriously but, the "twist" was quite unsettling. Kabaneri was the best popcorn action they had so far.

Still need to watch House of Five Leaves and Genji Monogatari. Thank goodness the Bunny Drop manga was only four volumes long because the anime was super adorable and NOT weird. My biggest disappointments were Natsuyuki Rendevous, BRS (I liked the short ONA more), and The Perfect Insider. I hated myself for watching all of Galilei Donna; what a waste of my time.

Samurai Flamenco....was better before episode 10. Same with Erased; hate the ending but loved the first half. I refuse to watch Ano Hana because the premise doesn't appeal to me at all and Mari Okada's writing leaves me feeling cold or irritated.
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EnableNoClip



Joined: 22 Apr 2019
Posts: 5
Location: Boston, MA
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:24 pm Reply with quote
Oh gosh, of course this is the article that causes me to make an ANN forums account finally...

Thanks for the great article, Mike! The noitaminA block is a perennial favourite of mine, both in terms of the sheer number of shows that are exactly my thing and the scope of what has aired on the block. It's a good basic overview to warrant further inspection, which is why I don't have a problem with some things being glossed over (such as Hakaba Kitarō).

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is one of those shows that I found super compelling when I first saw it on fansubs and ended up marathoning in an entire night. I need to still revisit it, and I'm glad it's easier now thanks to the Maiden Japan release. Between that, their release of Hataraki Man, and Discotek's release of Library War and Galilei Donna? I'm holding out hope for some of the older titles to see a proper R1 release.

One of the things I tended to notice was that while the shift started with Eden of the East (a show that I do love in spite of its movies), the change of show approach come the advent of Guilty Crown is unable to be ignored. There's a fair bit of stuff that I wouldn't expect to be on the block in the slightest that got run there (Black Rock Shooter, Nanana's Buried Treasure, every show that aired in 2015 besides The Perfect Insider) -- that tended to be where I fell off the block for a bit, but they have been recovering more and more in recent years.

I'm glad that there's now increased attention on this block! Makes me feel less alone in my rather unhealthy obsession over it in my own anime viewing habits.[/b]
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8105
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:30 pm Reply with quote
Angel'sArcanum wrote:
Of all the noitaminA shows that exist and you having seen all but 5, THOSE are the low points for you? Geez, that's discouraging. No Nanana's Buried Treasure, C, Fractale, Galilei Donna, Psycho Pass 2, Game of Laplace or GUILTY CROWN EVEN!?

Haven't seen past the first episode of Nanana, nor all of Guilty Crown (which I didn't hate, but just lost interest in around ep 5 and never went back to finish). But the others you mention, while not what I'd call good (Rampo Kitan is the only one of those I rated as high as Good), didn't leave me feeling angry for having watched them. I'm ok with a series being meh, but if it makes me want to hunt down the writers afterward and put them on the rack, that kinda sticks out in my mind as being awful. Smile
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 794
Location: Gahanna, Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:07 pm Reply with quote
Ah, noitaminA. What a block. And what a history I have with it.

Eden of the East was the first show I watched, in the latter half of 2009, and, being a big I.G fan at the time, I quite enjoyed it, especially the "best example of cinematic timing" that was the final episode. I have both movies on DVD, and while I haven't watched them, I don't expect to be soured on the series when I do get around to them. I also watched the first episode dubbed, though it was kinda weird when put up against the sub's balance between Japanese and English dialogue.

In spring 2010, The Tatami Galaxy served as my introduction to true seasonal anime-watching. Watching each episode new (until episode 8, in which I started to experience lag time) on FUNi's YouTube account was quite the joy, and to this day I still consider it proof that Yuasa is a kino director. I just wish all the anisong rankers on YouTube would quit using the clean credits version of the OP in their videos... it just looks wrong, alright!?

During my first stretch of seasonal watching, I always found it appropriate to have a noitaminA show in there every once in a while. Among those I watched were Princess Jellyfish, Fractale (first episode only), C THE MONEY OF SOUL AND POSSIBILITY CONTROL (love that stupid name), Usagi Drop, Guilty Crown (didn't drop it every week, but 17 was the only one that got me angry enough to consider), Black Rock Shooter TV, Kids on the Slope, Natsuyuki Rendezvous (the first 4 episodes and the ending were good, but the rest was just so blah), PSYCHO-PASS, and Robotics;Notes (nice to see Gina still hates its guts Rolling Eyes).

After dropping off the seasonal bandwagon in 2013, I came back to a couple of shows later on. I watched all 11 episodes of Ping Pong the Animation in 2014, but only watched ten of the total eleven for Terror in Resonance across 2014 and 2015. (I didn't care at all for Lisa, and thought Five being unlikable was the whole point; Shibazaki was the true MVP.) I only got one episode in of Psycho Pass's one-hour rerun edition, and never got around to the second half of ERASED when attempting to tackle it. I put Hakaba Kitarou on my backlog after it placed in the top four of a silly little NCAA-adjacent anime watch/blog tournament I did on WordPress in April of 2016, but never got around to watching it.

I did have luck getting more noitaminA shows completed with the last two: Your Lie in April in late 2017/early 2018, and Inuyashiki Last Hero in early 2018. I only watched the former just so I could have a memorable non-Saitama voice for Max Mittelman that I could mentally refer to for a story I was writing where he voiced one of the characters (which only saw success when Toonami aired Mob Psycho 100 a year later), but I thought it was a pretty good story. I didn't find it emotionally cruel or manipulative (though I think TV Tropes calling its ending a Downer Ending is pushing it); really, my main gripe was a combination of the existence of the awkward/annoying/out-of-place SD comedy moments that made FMA: Brotherhood's look thematically appropriate, and over half of them dogpiling on Kousei as if he wasn't suffering PTSD from parental abuse like he obviously was. Confused Inuyashiki, on the other hand, was absolutely great, which I attribute equally to my enjoyment of the GANTZ anime back in my middle-school days, and Team Four Star's Anime FMK series advocating the series as it was airing. It's thanks to them that I got into it, and I'll thank them again once I get into Killing Bites.

And, of course, I'm watching Promised Neverland on Toonami right now. I was gonna watch Sarazanmai this season, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet, even as someone who watched and really liked Penguindrum (though I did take some of the symbolism literally...).

Overall, noitaminA's a great block with a sometimes-good, sometimes-bad, never-boring mix of programs. And of all that I can talk about, I would pick Inuyashiki as my favorite overlooked series. I can only pray that most anime fans can be as tolerant of conspicuous CGI as me, if only because I hate having to hear them complain about it whenever it comes up.
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Gwydion



Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 133
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:02 pm Reply with quote
I really wanted to like Kids on the Slope while it was airing, but there were several things that worked against it for me personally, and one of those was that fact that it was airing right next to what ultimately became one of my favorite anime of all time and is a sadly underrated noitaminA show: Tsuritama. I would watch KotS episodes first and end with Tsuritama, and the enjoyment I got from the latter far overshadowed what I got from the former despite all the online praise going vice versa. But that tends to be the way with me - I either go full mainstream or completely against the grain, it seems!

But, yeah, my favorite is easily a little show about a socially anxious kid and his friends learning how to fish while being tasked to save the world from aliens that force you to dance 'til you drop. It's a colorful, fun mix of comedy, drama, and slice of life with a main character that resonated with me personally in a way none ever has done before or since. I would highly recommend Tsuritama to anyone looking for something that will put a smile on their face.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1004
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:14 pm Reply with quote
This news item, now ten years and six days old, was the first I'd ever heard of noitaminA. Intrigued, I started watching Eden of the East via fansubs, and though it started much stronger than it ended, I enjoyed it to the end, as I did its immediate successor Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. (Anyone interested in watching it... don't read about any plot details ahead of time. Just don't.)

By the time I checked back in with The Tatami Galaxy, the simulcast era was getting underway properly (though to be fair, I do recall FMA: Brotherhood being simulcast, same season as EotE). According to my records, I didn't follow this one in real time, though -- I watched the first episode the day it came out in April 2010, the second a few days after its release, then I didn't get around to episode 3 until December. Then I watched the remaining eight episodes in the span of five days. Smile

2011 brought the disappointments of Fractale and [C], and... I actually never saw Anohana, popular as it was. Or Psycho-Pass the next year (despite my love of Madoka and Thunderbolt Fantasy). In fact, the next noitaminA show I'd end up watching was 2013's Samurai Flamenco, which I actually didn't see until 2015 -- and the next after that was Punch Line, which I didn't see until later that fall. (I actually sorta like it -- it tickles the same part of my brain that loves how bonkers Homestuck can get.)

I wouldn't end up watching another noitaminA show live until Erased in 2016, and I was only doing that one semi-live -- I was a week behind on account of not having a Crunchyroll subscription. And that's how I'm watching Sarazanmai now, too.

Maybe someday I'll go back and watch Psycho-Pass and Scum's Wish, but until then, the above is the sum total of my experience with noitaminA. I'd say it's been good, on the whole.



One thing that's puzzled me for years, though -- the timeslot's predilection for 11- and 22-episode series. There were 53 Thursdays in 2009, and noitaminA aired 44 anime episodes that year; taking some days off for holidays is common, but not that many. 44 episodes aired in the first half-hour in 2014; the same year, 51 episodes aired in the first half of the Animeism block. 46 noitaminA episodes aired in 2016, in which the two halves of Animeism averaged 49 episodes.

Why the difference? What's Fuji TV airing in those missing timeslots?

Quote:
And so, in April of 2005, Fuji TV rolled out Honey and Clover at 12:35am—or, as Japanese TV parlance refers to the timeslot, 25:35—under the banner of Noitamina.


(I believe it's 24:35)

[EDIT]Hey, whaddya know -- my 1,000th post! And in under ten years, no less![/EDIT]
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