Here I stand some three days after the conclusion of Project Twelve Moments 2009, my fingers bent and bloodied, my mind weeping ichorous tears after twelve days of wracking. And yet my work is unfinished. A mere twelve posts aren’t enough to cover every specimen of drawn and/or animated media I consumed in 2009 that hit me where it counts. I’d like to mention, briefly, a few other examples of note, and though even this list will surely leave things out, I’ll at least feel a little better for recommending a few extra things that seem to deserve it.
O Nasu! Verily I am smitten!
Fate/stay night is the product of an unholy one-night stand involving Watchmen and ancient mythology. I’ve talked about it a good bit already. It’s dark and ironic; it’s metafictional and meta-mythic, if such a thing is possible (and not too redundant); and for an H-game, it can be rather romantic, if in a twisted sort of way. Above all that, it’s a damn good story. It taught me what visual novels can do — in fact, I think it broke me; a while after finishing Fate, I tried my hand at Kanon, and I just couldn’t do it. Maybe some other time, when Fate’s wicked afterglow has worn off a little more. Or maybe if someone patches the Nasuverse magic system into Kanon.
This may have made my twelve moments list. I thought about it. And, in retrospect, I’m not sure why it didn’t — maybe because the whole thing is so crazy that it’s difficult to isolate one moment from the rest.
So much anime and manga seems geared toward a teenage audience. It’s nice to see something that speaks to the venerable occupants of the twenties.
Well, it’s nice except — ah. The more I say, the more you’re spoiled. Suffice to say that if you see Solanin’s one-volume bulk sticking out of the manga shelf at your bookstore of choice, you really should pick it up if you’re in the mood for something rather realistic. And I mean it — the emotion here is about as authentic as it gets in manga, prose fiction, or anywhere. You may get the most out of it if you are among we twenty-plus-year-old drifters, but I’m sure its potential appeal is much wider than that. If you’ve ever wondered what you’ll do with your life, Solanin probably has something to offer you.
Also, there’s a Solanin movie due out in April 2010. Check out the somewhat spoiler-ridden trailer here, if you haven’t already.
If I had to choose one moment from the whole thing, it’d probably be — that final concert? That’d be a good bet, anyway. But I also enjoy (if that’s the right word) how Solanin handles its big turning point. It’s…overwhelming, almost. Some of you may know exactly what I mean.
What can I say about Bakuman that Ghostlightning hasn’t said already? His description covers it, in a nutshell. To put it in a smaller nutshell, it’s a manga about making manga, and it’s a remarkably human story. And, as it’s done by the Death Note team, it’s pretty much the only thing that has ever given me any desire to read Death Note — and that’s impressive, believe me.
Here’s another story that doesn’t make the selection of individual moments easy. With its over-the-top presentation of everyday things and its sometimes frantic pacing, it seems to outdo itself with each new chapter. But this is great insofar as each new moment is the best. I’m not sure how Bakuman pulls that off, but it pulls it off well.
I’m still out of town at this point, but I’ve commanded my robot slaves to post the second part of this list on Super Fanicom in my absence, so watch for it.