Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Baccano! Quality/Content Review

The logo of Baccano! and a selection of characters.
Baccano! isn't the easiest thing to assign a genre to, so I'm going to go ahead and call it a "period action mystery." I mean, it's set in Prohibition-era New York, there are crazy fight scenes in every episode, and you have no idea what the heck is going on for the first half of the show, so it seems fitting. This is one of the shows that I've heard about for many years, but just hadn't made the time to actually get around to watching it until now. It's a critical darling, for sure, and now that I've seen it, I think I can understand why.

The show aired in 2007, and was animated by Brains Base. This was really their first major work, though nowadays they're known for Natsume's Book of Friends and Durarara!! as well (the latter of which is often compared to Baccano! since both of them are adapted from light novel series by the same author, Ryougo Narita). The Baccano! novel series has 21 books, and the first 4 are covered by the anime. Sort of. There were 13 episodes that aired on TV, and those cover the first 4 books. An additional 3 episodes were released on DVD later, which cover the events of book 14, which was released after the anime. So maybe that book adapts the anime... These three episodes are basically a coda to the rest of the series; the main plot wraps up in episode 13.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

5000 Episodes Reflection: Managing Massive Character Counts

My goodness, I'm already to 5,000? It's barely been 6 months since the last one of these! In fact, I've barely published anything here since then, and almost everything that I have published was from Spring Break! I don't even know what I watched so much of to hit a thousand episodes so quickly. I guess finishing Inuyasha and Puchim@s! probably had something to do with it, but those only account for about a quarter. Ah well. I guess this just means that there has been a lot of good simulcasts lately.

So, what's changed since the last one of these? Well, I finally subscribed to both Crunchyroll and Funimation. I was originally going to go with just Crunchyroll, but then Funimation decided that The Heroic Legend of Arslan would be a 3 week delay for free users and The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan would be a 2 week delay, and I buckled. It was worth it though, since those shows are great. And now I get to watch more dubs if I so choose, which is fine by me. Side note: D-Frag! has a solid dub.

A graphic of my anime watched stats, including total hours spent and ratings distribution.
This is no longer up to date, but the current one is always available at Anime-Planet.
Are there any significant changes to my stats compared to the 4,000 episode mark? There's really only three things that I'll bother mentioning: my "watching" count has jumped from 7 to 17, my "dropped" count has... dropped, actually, from 8 to 4 (they live in the "stalled" category now), and my ratings histogram has crept even closer towards the normal distribution. In fact, the 4 star rating is now so popular that the 1.5 and 1 star ratings don't even show up on this scale. Thankfully, this also means that I haven't watched any horrible shows in the past 1,000 episodes either. I do like to think that I'm pretty good at avoiding trash. Oh, and I started reading manga, but that doesn't really factor into this discussion.

Well, now that the recap is out of the way, I should probably start into what I promised in the title: how to deal with a large cast. Now, this isn't an "I have all the answers" type of article, since I most certainly do not. Instead, I'll be giving some examples of shows with large casts that I think get it right, and some examples that get it wrong too. I'll explain why I think they're worth mentioning and what they did that's notable. If you're looking for tips on how to manage a large cast for your own project, at the very least this article should give you some examples of shows with large casts that you can learn from on your own.