Spring Recommendation: Tsugumomo

Aside from Natsume Yuujinchou, Tsugumomo is the only other anime I have been following studiously week in and week out. With a new studio Zero-G helming the production, I was unsure what to expect. But with the catchy theme songs, especially the ED, I was immediately hooked to watch more. That is why I believe that having strong theme songs inevitably makes an anime much nicer than it really is sometimes. Music is important, and theme songs are important. Tsugumomo uses a classic approach of having an upbeat OP and a slightly melancholic ED which is a tried and tested formula that works by keeping people watching.

If I were to only say that Tsugumomo was only good for its theme songs, I would be doing it a huge injustice because as you watch, you develop strong attachments to the main characters. 12 episodes is definitely too little for a manga that has been serialising for over 10 years. Surely, there is sufficient material for more, but sometimes, having too many episodes for the sake of it becomes slow and torturous. Watching Tsugumomo, you can tell that this is a carefully written anime that you can hardly spot any unnecessary scenes. The pacing is just impeccable. The anime reminded me a bit of Kaze no Stigma, Shakugan no Shana and even Inuyasha.

Aside from the pacing, what makes Tsugumomo so good is that it has everything in it. It is an action genre with fantastic action scenes, but it also leaves sufficient time for ecchi when it is appropriate without interfering and taking the spotlight away from the story. It has drama at appropriate times for you to develop an attachment to the characters. Finally, it has comedy all around. This is definitely an anime that anybody can watch, regardless of whether you are a particular fan of a certain genre. It is very mainstream, except for the ecchi, and easy to get into it. So if you are looking for a fun anime that has great action and good chemistry between the male and female leads, this is the anime for you.

TL;DR: Tsugumomo is an anime that has very good pacing despite having the tall order of reconciling multiple genres together in action, comedy, ecchi, drama, and finally, it has very good theme songs. Watch it and you will not regret.

Regarding NyaaTorrents

Never thought I would get to see or even say this, but Nyaa is down and most likely gone for good. I am unsure why they did not bother looking for another domain, but I guess what we can all learn from this is the same as you would in any investment strategy: never park all your goods in one basket. If something happens, you can still rely on other baskets. This is called diversification, and turning anime piracy into a monopoly only makes it easier for the authorities to get rid of the root and with it goes everything. Fortunately, Oyatsu has members who were wise enough to foresee this happening, therefore we have Minglong as our primary tracker aside from Nyaa. Till this day, Minglong has never gone down ever, at least not that I have known. Aside from having zero seeds, you could still grab our releases on Minglong, not that I am implying anybody still watches our releases or even know we exist. Alternatively, there are still a few torrent index libraries such as Animetosho and Tokyo Toshokan, the latter, still going strong after so many years.

In any case, even if torrents are dead (due to excessive reliance on Nyaa), the IRC community is strong and will continue to be strong because it is tougher to eliminate releases through the IRC unlike through bittorrent. The IRC community was the old way of getting releases and sort of forces fans to interact with the fansubbers while downloading releases. It does not require seeds unlike torrents, so getting old releases should not be a problem so long as the XDCC bot still hosts the releases. Additionally, it also allows fans to gather at one channel and interact, talking about the anime they like. This community spirit is noticeably on the decline due to the convenience of torrent. Perhaps, without Nyaa, this would encourage more fans to return to the traditional IRC XDCC mode of downloads. But I would be naive to think that because torrents are still well and alive, even if Nyaa is not. Pretty soon, an alternative will come up, and everything will be back to normal.

Haven’t you heard?

Spring has one of the strongest line-ups I have seen in recent years. There are many shows that have great potential, but I have not gotten to them yet because I am still stuck with Winter anime, in particular, finishing G-Tekketsu.

But I have heard about Sakamoto and gave it a try. It is now my must watch every week. It is freaking hilarious. You have to take my word for it, because I am such a serious person, not many comedy gets my stamp of approval. But this one really does. Go watch it and it will surely brighten up your sour day.