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Dated 10 June 2013: I started watching Aiura

It probably doesn't mean she has crabs.

I forgot to mention that I started watching Aiura. It's a pleasant enough show, but I don't have much to say about it because it's so short. (It's another one of those jobbies with four-minute episodes.) I guess I can say I also have no idea why crabs and Steve Jobs are in the OP. There has been some speculation that crabs refer to the zodiac sign Cancer1 since Steve Jobs died of cancer, but I'm calling that one a coincidence absent some more compelling reason why that would be in the OP either.

Saki and Ayuko
It's not easy being best.

I can also say that the show does appear to be the labor of love of somebody with a deep appreciation of the bare thighs of teenage girls. There is that. Oh, and it's the second show this season (along with Valvrave the Liberator) where the BEST GIRL is named Saki. If you include Saki from Natsuiro Kiseki, that makes girls named Saki three-for-three in shows from recent memory seizing BEST GIRL honors. When Genshiken Nidaime starts in a few weeks, girls named Saki will go four-for-four. I might be on to something here.

Note 1: Or possibly the genus, since hardly anyone in anime outside of The Melody of Oblivion seems to care about the western zodiac.

Dated 28 June 2013: Aiura was last in, first out

You can tell Saki is the Best Girl because she has a turntable.

Of the shows I watched spring 2013, the first one to end was the last one I started: Aiura.1 I don't actually have much to say about Aiura because it is such a short show. Practically everything I could say about it I've said before: Crabs. Steve Jobs. Cancer. iUra. Gams. So many gams. Saki is the Best Girl. Are girls named Saki more like to be a show's Best Girl? Sure seems that way. But what I suppose I can do is use Aiura to talk about a show I didn't watch—one that everyone appears to adore: Yuyushiki.

Wet socks are actually kinda gross.

That's right. I didn't watch Yuyushiki at all and know basically nothing about it except for what people have gushed in IRC or on the Twitter. I think there might be heavily implied lesbianism? I know there are girls in it who close their eyes a lot as they let their jaws hang slack—sort of like a reptile's smile. I haven't watched it because I'm not actually a big fan of the Cute Girls Doing Cute Things sub-genre. I struggled to watch K-On! and still dropped it at episode four of the first season.2 I liked Aiura, but its short episode length probably helped quite a bit. For me to enjoy a Cure Girls Doing Cute Things show, the primary draw needs to be its humor or some other gimmick. E.g., Azumanga Daioh, Ichigo Mashimaro, and Natsuiro Kiseki. I never finished Lucky☆Star, though. It's not that I feel it's a "cancer killing anime" or anything like that. I'd just rather see the characters doing something more interesting. Maybe operating tanks.

Note 1: Technically Straight Title Robot Anime ended first, but that was a carryover from winter 2013.

Note 2: I liked the movie well enough though.

Dated 3 July 2013: In re Cute Girls Doing Cute Things

Following this post regarding Aiura, Author from ani-nouto had this to say about Yuyushiki:

I'm wondering if not being being a fan of CGDGT [sic] would still permit one to watch it purely as a connoisseur of anime technicalities. That transparent head was a devastating blow to SHAFT, I thought. It wasn't the most impressive technical achievement, of course, just most trollsome. Aside of that, I am very much puzzled just how they did all the various camera angles. It's the perfect merge of 3D techniques and the 2D aesthetics that I wanted since, dunno, before I saw the chandelier in Disney's Beauty and The Beast.

Not having seen Yuyushiki, I can't comment on its technical merits. However, I don't think I personally would be more likely to enjoy the show for its animation quality alone unless it is absolutely stellar. Although I find animation quality to be a notable factor in my enjoyment of anime, I'm by no means a connoisseur of animation itself or an obsessive fan of animators as individuals (as an increasing number of anime fans now seem to be). I'm still more likely to be swayed by seiyuu or a show's music. It kind of makes me wonder if there are anime fans out there who obsess over such-and-such sound guys and the apparently otherwise largely overlooked work they do? Even in Hollywood sound editing and sound mixing appear to be dark arts. Note, for example, The Matrix beating out The Phantom Menace for the Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing at the 72nd Academy Awards. Were those Oscars appropriately awarded, or did the voters just choose the movie they liked better without regard to the technical and artistic merits involved? It's a mystery to me, and quite a digression from the original Cute Girls Doing Cute Things subject I started out with, to be sure, but still a topic that I'm increasingly curious about.

Dated 12 January 2016: I wish they had made more Aiura instead of animating Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

A very welcome Noto Mamiko appearance, but she probably has a small role.

You can't shake a dead cat without summoning a "trapped in a fantasy world" anime far from the tree these days. The prettiest looking one of these this season is Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash), which at least distinguishes itself by trapping an entire party of Japanese kids in its fantasy world instead of just Potato-kun and some girl he has to rescue all the time. Grimgar also looks great with watercolor backgrounds and pleasant designs which should remind viewers of Aiura, a 2013 show produced by some of the same staff.