A little over a decade ago, you may or may not have noticed a rising trend in the way certain anime were titled. These certain types of shows were generally the slicey lifey kind that, more often than not, were adaptations of a visual novel or dating simulator. This trend that I speak of was placing at least two of the words in the title between two ~tildes~.
This started happening in a magical time in the anime industry known as the early 2000’s. New technologies were coming out making digital animation easy on a budget (or in the case of some examples below, no budget at all). Studios were eager to turn anything into a show at the time while audiences were willing to watch almost anything that was put out.
Some examples of these wholly original show titles include:
- D.C.~Da Capo~ (2003)
- Gift~Eternal Rainbow~ (2006)
- H2O~Footprints in the Sand~ (2008)
- Canvas 2~Niji Iro No Sketch~ (2005)
- Wind~A Breath of Heart~ (2004)
- Kita e~Diamond Dust Drops~ (2004)
- Kashimashi~Girl Meets Girl~ (2006)
- To Heart~Remember my Memories~ (2004)
- Sketchbook~Full Color’s~ (2007)
- Zaion~I Wish You Were Here~ (2001)
- Triangle Heart~Sweet Songs Forever~ (2000)
Fortunately, some of these shows were fairly decent and set the contemporary trend of school life/romance comedy shows that we still see to this day. A few of these series gained a significant fan base that would lead to follow-up shows and eventually establish further cooperation between game studios and animation studios.
One such example is the Da Capo franchise of visual novels by CIRCUS and their collaboration with Zexcs (known more recently for “The Comic Artist and His Assistants”). Just barely over a year after the original game’s release in 2002, the first episode of the anime aired on TV. And while the second season (aptly called D.C.S.S.~Da Capo Second Season~) was produced by studio Feel in 2005, that year also saw the release of another CIRCUS game. The uniquely titled GIFT~Eternal Rainbow~ would get its own anime the following year also produced by studio Zexcs, solidifying their place in the industry as the go-to studio for adapting these games into shows. In fact, the first four shows on my list above were done by Zexcs.
Now, not all shows would immediately become major successes like Da Capo, but instead would eventually lead to something much greater. Triangle Heart is a fairly obscure trilogy of eroge that feature a love triangle as a major moving part of the plot. The third game in the series, ~Sweet Songs Forever~, received an anime adaptation in the form of an eight episode OVA. The OVA is notable because it is the first time that a certain popular anime character appears in a show. After the main series of games were complete, they created a spin-off game called “Lyrical Toy Box” where one of the minor characters from the main game series, Nanoha Takamachi, was featured as a magical girl. This game was then loosely adapted into the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series which is a media powerhouse (and likely future post topic) that continues to this day.
I mentioned earlier that this trend started in a time where almost anything could get made into an anime. And by that, I meant almost EVERYTHING was actually made into an anime. So let’s take a look at a show that didn’t stand the test of time for itself as a franchise and the studio that produced it.
Case Study: Wind~A Breath of Heart~. Animated by Radix Ace Entertainment (known for Jikuu Tenshou Nazca – the 1 second anime clip that shows in the Malcolm in the Middle opening), so you know this is going to be some quality stuff. And quality stuff it was. Bad quality.
The animation is beyond cheap(animated in flash??), the writing makes no sense, and the company that made the original game is only known for Ef: a Fairy Tale of the Two. Not only that, but the animation studio responsible for this show closed its doors two years after making this show. I highly recommend you watch it for how ridiculous it all is, or if you like drinking. There’s no drinking in the show; drinking just makes it more fun to watch.
I’ve talked a lot about these great shows most of which never got a western release, but now it’s time to talk about the exact opposite: a show that got a western release that honestly doesn’t deserve to even exist. Now I know that’s a little harsh, but Zaion~I Wish You Were Here~ warrants such criticism.
When it was created, CG animation had already fully replaced cel animation and more studios were beginning to experiment with 3DCG to quite poor results. That said, the animation itself wasn’t even the worst part. I can be pretty forgiving with experimental art/animation, but the overall design for the characters, monsters, and the main characters’ supersuits are bland at best. The fact that the characters were unlikable isn’t helped by the series only being four episodes long which, at the given pace, isn’t long enough to flesh out anything about any of them. I would go on longer about how bad this show was, but it was so forgettable that nothing could really come to mind if I tried. I actually watched this with Dave about in spring of 2015 and it was so bland it took us about eight months to remember the name of the show let alone whether we even watched it.
For those that have seen any of the shows I mentioned, do you think I judged them fairly?
Are there any shows like this of note that I neglected to mention?
Do you know of any other show title conventions that are prominent today?
- D.C.~Da Capo~ (games if that’s your thing, 18+)
- Gift~Eternal Rainbow~ (AniDB)
- H2O~Footprints in the Sand~ (AniDB)
- Canvas 2~Niji Iro No Sketch~ (AniDB)
- Wind~A Breath of Heart~ (AniDB)
- Kita e~Diamond Dust Drops~ (licensed and subbed)
- Kashimashi~Girl Meets Girl~ (licensed and subbed)
- To Heart~Remember my Memories~ (AniDB)
- Sketchbook~Full Color’s~ (licensed and subbed)
- Zaion~I Wish You Were Here~ (licensed and subbed)
- Triangle Heart~Sweet Songs Forever~ (AniDB)
You may have noticed that this is the first post from Mister P. For more info about the authors, check out the about page.
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