My Journey through Kyoto Animation. Part 1 – Backstory

My first real post in this blog and it’s anime-related, oh boy.

This post is actually a revised version of a Reddit thread I made not too long ago (and that you can find here, which I recommend to check out, at least the comments, since I clarify some things) and, believe it or not, was the last push that I needed to start a blog where I can share my thoughts. So whatever conclusion I reach at the end of this “journey” about the anime studio in question and its shows, I thank it for making a great topic to talk about and for making me create Rook with the Pointed Hat. Seriously, the simple fact that this exists and you’re reading this means more than you can’t even imagine and I hope someday I’ll be able to share with you why.

But for now, let’s embark on this journey, shall we?

The goal of this “journey” is to watch every worth watching show and movie that this studio Kyoto Animation, has and will produce. I decided to do it after finishing Maid Dragon and get extremely surprised of how good it was, since until that moment I didn’t really thought much about, and even kinda avoided, KyoAni, not because of its fame of being the “moe studio” and “moe is shit” and yada yada -my favorite show of all time is Aria, a good show is a good show, moe or not- but because its shows didn’t really speak to me in any special way. I feel this way about the studio because of my “story” with it, since even before starting this “journey” I’d watched a lot of its shows. Those shows and my impressions of them were:

  • Clannad: One of my first shows (around the first 50) and I hated it. It swayed my feelings in such a way that felt uncomfortable, they felt fake and the whole experience felt like a work whose whole purpose was to make me cry. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoyed it at all and changed my way of seeing pieces of art that evoke feelings in the viewer, but I’m kinda glad that it did because when a show really makes me feel something, it’s because it’s genuine, I can make the distinction between a tearjerker just doing its job and a work that really gets me. But because of that awful experience in realizing that, I can’t watch After Story (or anything related to Key, the dev of the source material) without feeling pissed, so there’s that.
  • Clannad (OVAs): I thought they were okay.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya (TV Series): Another that was between my first anime, I don’t really have any strong feeling about this, I watched it and thought that it was good, it had some really good moments but that’s it. On the other hand…
  • Haruhi Suzumiya (Movie): This hitted me hard. Not in and emotional sense but in the sense that it changed a bit how I view anime and how it’s possible to tell a story in this medium. One of my favorite movies.
  • Nichijou: Haven’t been able finish it… for some reason… When I picked it up I wasn’t in a really good mood so I put it on hold and never watched it again. That happened 4-5 years ago.
  • Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu: One of my favorite comedies even though I didn’t particulary liked the 1st season or watched Second Raid.

Now something to mention before continuing. I didn’t realize Haruhi or FMP?F were made by KyoAni until recently after finished Maid Dragon and decided to start this journey. So yeah…

  • Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! and some of its OVAs: Pretty meh show IMO.
  • Kyoukai no Kanata: Another pretty meh show, but this was so meh that it almost hurts.
  • Tamako Love Story: This one is funny because I watched it without watching first Tamako Market and because of that I couldn’t decide what to think about it. On one hand, it has some of the most awe-inspiring scenes that I’ve watched in anime. On the other hand, I can’t care about anything because I don’t really know shit about the characters, I get that MC girl is in love with boy and some other stuff but really couldn’t get immersed into it. Priority to rewatch (after watching Market): MAXIMUM.

Because of all this I really, my image of KyoAni wasn’t the best. A studio that has this particular style that I didn’t really find amazing, that can pull some good stuff once in a while but didn’t have substance, or at least the substance that I like in my anime, but that changed, like I said earlier, when I watched…

  • Maid Dragon: I started watching it mid-season when it was airing and only picked it up because it looked interesting enough. This show managed to consistently please me in a lot of ways. Apart that a setting different than school was something I was looking for at the time, it surprised me how well in conveyed some of the emotions in the characters, without pointing out the obvious (too much), the relationship of Kobayashi-Tooru-Kanna as a non-conventional family, really funny, and there are some moments that really caught me off guard for how… human they felt.

Because of that, I decided to check more about KyoAni and realize that I watched all the meh shows of this studio first (that I knew before that) and that some of the shows I liked were made by them and didn’t knew until then.

So yeah, I’ll watch a lot of KyoAni shows and see if they’re as good. In fact, I already finished one… or some. The pride of the studio (I think) and one of the shows that is always mentioned when the name KyoAni appears in a discussion. THE CGDCT SHOW, K-On!, its sequel K-On!! and the movie.

My impressions and overall thoughts of the show in the next part, also I plan to get in more detail why I feel that way of each show that I watched before embarking in this journey in later posts.

Until next time.

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