2006: A Year-End Retrospective

“Two thousand and six” is almost over and I feel obligated for some reason to look back on the past year. However, I am confronted with a problem that I believe happens commonly among academics: my sense of a year’s time is screwed up. For me, the beginning of the year isn’t January 1 but rather late September and New Year’s Day only marks the start of the second “third” of the year known as Winter Quarter. So I have to think a little harder when placing what happened when relatively in my mind.

I went through some news archives and decided that I would reminiscence on three fronts: the news that actually happened, the fandom scene (as best as I can), and my personal experiences. I wanted to make a video on the theme “it was the {blank}-est year” (e.g. Rockin’est year) but I ran out of time so it got shelved for now. I’ll make some predictions and resolutions for 2007 in my next post so look out for that very soon.

The News Front:
Last January seems so far gone that I had forgotten there had been a minor squabble over other online stores (like Rightstuf) selling ADV’s “exclusive” title, Prefectural Defense Force. I bet you didn’t remember that either until just now. News items I hopefully will recall as occuring this year include:

  • Eureka Seven, Trinity Blood, and Bleach all premiering on Adult Swim
  • Gainax announcing the “Rebuild of Evangelion” spanning four movies
  • Toonami Arsenal launching in mid-July with Hikaru no Go and Prince of Tennis as headliners
  • ADV Universe debuting in September with high-quality albeit DRM’d video at five bucks an episode
  • Bandai pushing their weight around regarding Solid State Society and fansubbers
  • ADV renaming Utawarerumono “Shadow Warrior Chronicles” before reverting to the original title two months later
  • Bandai Channel blocking out non-Japanese IP addresses
  • Three different manga versions of the Densha Otoko story hitting US bookshelves

This past month featured the long awaited announcement of the Haruhi anime license along with ADV finally setting a release date for Kurau Phantom Memory. We’ll have to wait and see how those work out in the coming months.

Fandom Front:
This was a year of ‘Uguu’s and ‘Nyoro~n’s, killer lolis and hikikomoris. Two different Haruhis hit the fansub circuit in April and played to seperate but not mutually exclusive audiences; Fujioka-san and Suzumiya-san quickly became stars along with their entourages. Anime Nano was born and the site’s podcast was formed as a kind of zeitgeist for the aniblogosphere (I sure hope that’s a word…) as well as a place for listeners to ask strange questions of the hosts.

Kyoto Animation cemented its status as a high production quality studio with Haruhi and Kanon while Churuya-san drooled over smoked cheese, Shana DVD omake exhibited the Flaze Haze in her chibi form, the term ‘tsundere’ gained prominence, and the entertaining Nerima Daikon Brothers interestingly snuck under the noses of the fansubbing community.

Personal Front:
Personally, the past year was a better one regarding my relationship with anime. I started blogging about anime and learning how to write more creatively to avoid becoming repetitive. In the summer, I made an well overdue external hard drive purchase to store media and free up some notebook space. (Just a larger excuse for acculumating a backlog!)

I became an officer of my university’s anime club under some lackluster circumstances but that has spurred me to become more involved in the organization such as creating posters and member cards (gotta get back to work on those…) along with meeting more people and an overall friendlier experience. Oh, and I won an empty artbox from AoD! Score!

I’m sorry if you were expecting a top five or ten anime list from me. I didn’t make one because I don’t think I watched a sufficient number of complete titles for me to feel comfortable compiling such a list. Haruhi, Hachimitsu and NHK would definitely be on it along with Ouran and Love Roma (not an anime), in no particular order of course. I suppose I could tag BECK onto that list because I finished it in early in the year. And what about me taping GitS 2nd Gig and Evangelion off cable and completing those in the spring? Does those count? I’d like to include Chevalier but I only watched 2 episodes of it and then…

*coughs loudly at self* See what I mean? I suppose I could just avoid this internal drama and simply say that there were many good series I watched bits of and haven’t gotten around to finishing yet. Okay, whatever, moving on.

NEXT TIME: predictions and resolutions for 2007!

One response to “2006: A Year-End Retrospective

  1. another successful year down. another one to go. o.o>