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from the depths of my abandoned drafts folder:

For all the talk about how refreshing and unique so many “slice of life” anime series are, so many feel up to their necks in quirky, contrived characters so far beyond any of the relatable/every-day charm that they’re supposed to be particularly notable for that watching something like Naruto or Fairy Tail, by comparison, feels like a thoughtful study in actual human emotions and behavior. I’m not complaining about the elements of fantasy or magical realism that so often contribute to the story of such series, but the surfeit of characters in these series that are rarely developed beyond a set of traits pushed to extremes, and whose “complexity” rarely extends beyond some kind of cliche that their conformity to is apparently meant to be a kind of meta-commentary on. Or something like that. Anime fans would rather congratulate themselves for being in on the joke than to ever pause and ask why so many of the stories that they follow so closely are actually about people who could never exist in a world that even slightly resembles our own.

Anime fans hate reading this shit, just like they hated being lectured by a “grumpy old man” like Hayao Miyazaki whose comments about the anime industry a few weeks months ago stirred up a typically defensive reaction from most anime fans online, most of which had totally missed his point but were happy to point out how misguided and deliriously out-of-touch he really was. When it comes to “realism,” however you want to define it, the status quo is just fine thank you very much now would you please let us get back to our regular diet of high school sex comedies? Complaining about this stuff is so 2009!

This commercial for a by-mail cram school (correct me if I’ve misunderstood the nature of their business), directed by Motoko Shinkai, does not feature screaming tween sexpots in bunny outfits or male viewer surrogates unexpectedly caught in the middle of a harem of girls oblivious to how their behavior is leaving him horny and frustrated. What it does feature is some beautiful animation, a scenario that’s believable and heartwarming, and characters that are immediately likable and interesting.

I would absolutely watch a series like this, which will never come to be, but I’ve read a lot of other comments online from viewers who feel the same way.