Saturday, January 01, 2022

Anime 2021

A generally disappointing year in all.

Spring season had a few "might watch" titles, but Crunchy picked up none of them, so I only picked up Odd Taxi, a noir-ish story of modern social-media driven ennui, which ends up being AOTY (long-form) pretty much by default.

Summer had the global release of Shin Eva, which was as much of a mess as it had seemed from original accounts, the painful and wildly mislabelled Fena, Pirate Princess (dropped after one episode of Fena being a vapid gold-digging whore), and Aquatope which began by looking like it would be cute girls doing cute aquarium things, with a little bit of low-key magic (from a local sprite wandering around in the first couple of episodes, and the occasional trippy underwater sequence), but rapidly turned into family drama and "welcome to the world of work", rather like Hanasaku Iroha, only without the bondage; and got dropped after 5 episodes.

Autumn brought just the tried and dropped Takt Op. Destiny, Sakugan and Digimon Ghost Game -- the latter being an episodic "urban legend kids' horror" series, a world away from Adventure, Adventure 02 and Adventure: that were a background to much of the year and now form an indistinguishable melange in my memory.

From the backlog, I went through Berserk in both '97 and '16 flavours, which passed some autumn evenings; but I still don't see what the fuss was about (except for the detailed crafting of the art in the original manga).

2H21 cycling

Ickneild Way, near Royston

In the second half of the year, I managed to do more each month than in 2020, reaching 2000 miles 21-Aug vs 29-Sep-20. At the end of November, I also managed to twist the frame on the old bike that had served me since '98, just shy of the 20,000 miles logged on that odo mark; and at the same time had odo problems on the newer bike, which just passed the 10,000 miles from new mark. Time to buy myself a present in the new year, I think.

As before, September was the high point -- monthly totals being July 361.1 (summer bike), August 504.4 (a little of the folding bike), September 609.9 (mostly summer bike) -- probably an all-time record -- October 429.1 (a dry month, this time, but mostly winter bike), November 309 miles (winter mostly, until written off), December 172 miles (including riding to both Christmas lunches I attended this year, much to the amazement of the others in the respective groups), for a total of just over 3700 miles for the year. The summer bike starts the new year with 77.8 miles on the (latest) clock, and the folding bike 66.5

While a lot of the rides were retreading old territory, I did a fair amount of exploration on byways, like taking the Ickneild Way most of the way from Royston to Baldock, even if many byways end up being just dead-ends; and from the ancient to the modern, making a lot of use of the new Girton to Fenstanton multi-use path in preference to the busway -- a very convenient fast route to places like the Golden Ball at Boxworth.

Henge, at Carriages, Fenstanton

The highlight of the year, though, was the opening of the long awaited Abbey Bridge, just before Christmas. Even if the Chisholm Trail itself is on the wrong side of the tracks for convenience (cycling it was only the second time in 40+ years living in the area that I'd taken the path across Coldhams Common), it means that I'll only use the Green Dragon bridge as and when I next visit the Green Dragon, which had been a regular location for pub lunch with former colleagues working on the Science Park, but alas such attendance has suffered under the continuing work-from-home regime.

Abbey Bridge, Christmas Eve, first full day of operation