Despite running a website about the stuff from 2003 to 2007, I've been out of the loop on anime for years - basically since I moved to Dundee (or, more exactly, since I stopped running the website and was no longer sent new stuff for free).
Recently, the newest stuff I'd seen - other than the Rebuild of Evangelion movies - were Dennou Coil (2007), Eden of the East (2009) and Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011). I've been keen to get back into the habit though, so the arrival of the Crunchyroll app on Xbox 360 seemed like as good a reason as any to sign up for the service (I hadn't realised until that point that it was even available in the UK) and see what's out there nowadays.
Even the free offerings on Crunchyroll are decent, although a fiver a month gets you HD video and iOS/Android/Xbox streaming, as well as removing all the ads. Trying out the first couple of episodes of a show to figure out if you like it isn't a problem, and it means there's a lot less time (or money) investment to try something out - it starts playing instantly. The downside - such that there is one - is that they have a lot of stuff, going back to the start of 2009, and it's a bit overwhelming to know where to start when you've not been following any of this stuff for a couple of years.
So far I've watched all of Kids on the Slope (my new favourite show) and Sword Art Online (decent first half ruined by the second), and have seen most of GIRLS und PANZER (surprisingly awesome), BTOOOM! (really stupid but irritatingly moreish) and Shin Sekai Yori (f--king weird, in a mostly-offputting way).
As part of this 365 posts thing I'm planning to write a full post about each show as I finish it, as well as (probably shorter) posts about the stuff I give up on partway through. I've got drafts written for a few shows already, but I'm praying that inspiration strikes about something else soon and I don't end up writing about Japanese cartoons all the time.
*Looks at XBox thoughtfully...*
It's a seriously cool service. There's a 14-day free trial that gets you all-access to the anime and drama stuff (although the drama selection's a bit rubbish) and streaming, so even if you decide in the end it's not for you I'd still highly recommended you give it a shot.
I've discovered some really great stuff on it already; I'm really just hoping that it's as strong into the new seasons as the back catalogue is.
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