A long long time ago, back when I was still randomly active and never really stuck to a schedule, Mitzuka wrote an editorial about the time and effort put into creating every single show we watch with an argument that we shouldn’t bash animation studios for the bad shows they create, or something like that. The argument initially spawned from the overwhelming amount of bad reception for P.A.Works’ anime Glasslip and the great number of people blaming the studio for how poor the show was. Overall, Mitzuka was saying that P.A.Works shouldn’t have been to blame for how bad Glasslip was received. But I’m not Mitzuka, and my opinions are a lot different from Mitzuka’s. I don’t care how much effort and care is put into every show, they’re a company and as a company they’re held accountable for a few things.
Despite me hating my least favourite anime so much, I’m glad it exists because as of now it serves as a perfect example for the point I’ll be trying to make today. Mekakucity Actors is bad. In 2014, Studio SHAFT, a studio responsible for some extremely good shows like Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, Nisekoi, and the Monogatari Series, created the one anime that I will endlessly hate forever, and even gave a score of 0.8 out of 10 after finishing it. The show was based off of a multimedia story by Vocaloid producer Jin known as the Kagerou Project and was handled not only by Jin himself, but by very high up people in the chain of Studio SHAFT. As someone who is a fan of Vocaloid and was also rather interested in Jin’s song series, seeing it get an anime was really interesting and somewhat exciting. But then Studio SHAFT did what could not be seen in any other way than a blatant display that this anime was only something to hold them over for a season while they produced Nisekoi: (which, let’s admit, wasn’t that great either). It was frustrating. After the last episode which I didn’t even think would be that bad, I was furious. Pacing was garbage, animation and art was extremely lack lustre, the story made no sense, suspense was nowhere and every moment was predictable, and on top of all of that they never played my favourite song from the series (Outer Science; here’s a link for all those interested) despite playing all of the other popular songs from the series. In Mitzuka’s argument, I shouldn’t blame Studio SHAFT for the crappy show. I disagree.
Studio SHAFT showed in every single way, shape, and form, that they did not care about Mekakucity Actors. From the English typos to the animation quality that was outclassed by shows that aired in 2006 to Nisekoi: coming out and showing that they cut their production team into pieces in hopes that they could produce a show that some people would care about while they made the sequel everyone was waiting for. This all failed miserably and I say that this was the worst Studio SHAFT has ever done. I could go on for a long time on why Mekakucity Actors upsets me, but that isn’t the point of this post. Mitzuka’s post was primarily against P.A. Works being opposed for their poor work in Glasslip and that they shouldn’t be blamed for the poor outcome of their show. Even if blood, sweat, and tears went into making that show, I don’t care. P.A. Works is still held responsible for the outcome of their production. Making a plot that wasn’t confusing as all hell and having pacing that didn’t make my head hurt was their job. I don’t hate P.A. Works for my dislike of Glasslip and I don’t think anyone who watched Glasslip ever developed a genuine burning hatred for the studio because of the same reason I don’t hate Studio SHAFT for Mekakucity Actors. The strength of their other productions, Another being an extremely prominent example, shows that P.A. Works is capable of making great shows. In part, that is why the end result of Glasslip was their fault. They’ve proven themselves worthy, and they ended up producing something disappointing, and to some even frustrating. Regardless of how much effort was put into the production, they needed to make sure the effort was well spent. The same goes for Studio SHAFT. They are responsible for the outcome of Mekakucity Actors because they had shown so many times that they are capable of better and there was zero reason for them to fall into mediocrity. Whatever effort they put into the show was not well spent in the slightest.
They should have spent more time and effort into making a show I would have enjoyed right off the bat. Even though Studio SHAFT is known for their higher quality BD releases over TV airing releases, it is essential practice for a company not to display a bad product on a massive scale. A company needs to create a product, in this case an anime production, that people will want to the point where they can make money off of it. When producing the product, every ounce of effort must be spent correctly so that it backs up consumer interest. I expect everything I experience as a consumer to be produced with those basic ideals in mind. Anime studios don’t get a break, game studios don’t get a break, musicians don’t get a break, no one does. When you’re creating a product, especially in the insanely competitive market of entertainment, you cannot expect a break. In games media Ubisoft has gotten a bad reputation for terrible video games like Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Konami is constantly being called out for their bad behavior. Anime shouldn’t be different. Just because effort is put into a show, that doesn’t mean the people responsible for the show are exempt from criticism. It doesn’t matter if it’s difficult, that is the nature of this field and that’s how it has been for a long time. As a company, as a group of entertainers, your job is to produce something I will be entertained by; not something I struggle to complete. That is your job, and as a fellow entertainer I do not feel like you should be exempt from expectations.
Hey, I made it! I legitimately started writing this post ten hours ago despite having a topic picked out weeks ago. Thank you to Mitzuka and Kirien for helping me get this post out on time! If any of you beautiful people are interested in what I do whenever I’m not writing, editing, and planning an entire post in one night, you can check out my Twitter! Since I’m writing my third novel, every week there’s going to be teasers of my work and on July 8th the book will be available digitally! So exciting stuff. I’ll see you all next week with a new topic!
The featured image for this post was drawn by pixiv artist のん.