Iridium Eye: 2022 in Review Pt. I (Top 10 Most Viewed Posts)

2022 was a weird year for Iridium Eye. COVID is still a thing, and it finally got my number for the first time that year which definitely wasn’t fun. I also stopped reviewing for several months and only made monthly Top 7 lists to ensure I was somewhat active. It was good to cover some movies from countries I didn’t cover before and I also wrote some reviews to deconstruct an image some people had of me late in the year (Gasaraki and Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet) of people assuming I call everything a ripoff or how apparently I don’t know anything about “highbrow” and classic things. I mean, that’s what I assume of people since I have difficulty thinking positively. It was also great to get some encouragement from other bloggers, especially The Demented Ferrets, who really helped me when I wasn’t feeling my best that year which showed in one of my Top 7 lists. Some bizarre things that happened included me getting skyrocketing annual views, and two of my reviews are now two of my most-viewed posts of all time with each of them racking up over 1000 views in 2022 alone despite them being older posts. I’ll get to them later.

Much like last year, most of my popular posts have been from my Top 7 lists. I guess people like my little lists about random subjects involving film and animation? I wonder why people would be that interested in them. Let’s get into the heart of this year-end recap to find out which posts of mine have gotten the most eyeballs in the year that was 2022.

10: Extremis

WOW! People want to know my thoughts about a short Netflix documentary I reviewed years ago? This was a huge surprise I didn’t expect at all. This sobering documentary about a patient’s right to live while being hooked on life support was undoubtedly a serious look at what happens and will happen to several people on this planet. It’s not the best medical documentary I’ve seen, but it was worth watching and hearing all the questions raised in this Californian hospital. However, this is not something you can bring popcorn for, not just because of its short run time, but also because death plays a significant part in this film. I wonder why Extremis got this much attention on my little blog, but I hope people watched it and made their own thoughts on it.

9: Hikaru no Go

(Last year, it ranked #4 on my most-viewed posts.)

Yes! One of my favorite reviews I’ve written is still getting some love on Iridium Eye. This underrated Shonen Jump work is still the longest anime series I’ve covered here, and this series deserves more attention. Revisiting Hikaru no Go felt great, especially when lockdown happened in the middle of my watching the TV series on Viz’s site. I’ll be honest that it was one of the times I was elated to type up my thoughts on this anime even when I’ve given similar or higher scores to other series or movies; I still haven’t felt that happiness in a long time. I hope more people check out this creative and innovative series to realize how it still holds up in the 2020s. Hikaru no Go is something I continue to recommend to this day. I hope they can animate the Hokuto Cup Arc sooner than later. Part of me is curious about the Chinese live-action remake, but I have my reservations because of live-action remakes of anime, in general.

8: Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid

We’ve got a first over here. This is the first time an “alternate universe” of a Disney movie has shown up on my Top 10 most-viewed list, especially an anime take of something Disney would eventually adapt. I’m talking about official adaptations, so I’m not counting a particular Osamu Tezuka work because I know someone is going to make a joke about it, assuming if they aren’t going to call anime fans who’ve seen that show idiots like they usually do. But enough about that! This version of The Little Mermaid is more accurate to the original fairy tale than Disney ever was. Even though I didn’t think it was a masterpiece like others have said (although I completely understand why they would think that way), the anime version does have a special place in animation history, and more people should realize that Mickey Mouse’s versions aren’t the only ones that exist.

Also, if you’re one of those people who were triggered enough to hit the dislike button because you couldn’t handle Halle Bailey as Ariel to the point where Mickey Mouse removed the trailer, then you’re scum. Shame on Disney for giving in to the racist snowflakes.

7: A Class Divided

Documentaries must have been popular on my blog, haven’t they? I remember how timely it was reviewing it in the summer of 2020, and even though there were some awkward moments, the message still holds up. It was interesting hearing from a teacher who used this documentary to show their students and liked what I had to say about this work. Does this make me educated folk like the Wresthings crew? Maybe! I know my anime reviews typically get the most attention, but it’s good that people still appreciate what I have to say about documentaries. A Class Divided was worth watching, and it brought insight into race relations and how people need to pay more attention to this topic. There are more documentaries to be mentioned on this list.

6: Top 7 Anime for the Art House Crowd

(In 2021, it ranked #1 for most-viewed posts.)

It amazes me that some people like their anime to be artsier. In their defense, Japan has more arty animation than America at large, so I don’t blame them for thinking that way. There’s more to anime than Naruto, Pokemon, and Dragon Ball Z to all the mainstream-media-obsessed heathens out there! I could’ve mentioned far more series, and I would only be scratching the surface. It’s great how this list has gotten positive attention. For those that don’t recognize that picture, that’s Ichise from Texhnolyze…the avant-garde post-apocalyptic cyberpunk crime thriller the world didn’t know it needed. Definitely check that out if you’re feeling adventurous, but don’t watch the last few episodes if you’re depressed!

5: Paprika

(In 2020, it ranked #9 in most-viewed posts.)

The Original Inception is back in my year-end recaps! WOOHOO! Satoshi Kon’s cinematic swansong still holds up, and I’m thankful to have first seen it in the 00s. Paprika is an incredible, yet surreal movie that deserves to get more attention, let alone Kon’s filmography. I guess others wanted to check out how amazing the movie is or they found out Inception wasn’t so original after all, and they saw my rant about it. Hahaha! Seriously, I wish Satoshi Kon was still alive, so he can make more movies and series. Speaking of that animator…

4: Top 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Satoshi Kon

Director Satoshi Kon waves to the crowd at the Cinema Palace in Venice September 2, 2006. Kon’s latest movie ‘Paprika’ is showing at the Venice film festival. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (ITALY)

That’s an effective transition! This is the 3rd list I’ve explicitly written about someone in film in animation after making similar lists about Yoshitoshi ABe and Ousmane Sembene, respectively. Satoshi Kon left this world way too soon, but he made quality works such as the aforementioned Paprika, Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and more. I learned so much in my research in making this list and never guessed about some of his influence or things he’s worked on prior to his directorial career, such as helping animate the original JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure OVA, for example. He’s finally getting more recognition such as GKIDS relicensing some of his films and winning posthumous lifetime achievement awards in his animation career. You all better put respect on Kon’s name!

3: Top 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Hikaru No Go

(Last year, it was #5 in my most-viewed posts.)

Again, Hikaru no Go shows up twice on my year-end recaps! This is glorious. Is there a resurgence of people showing their appreciation for this unique anime? Not only is this series from Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata the longest anime I’ve covered at 75 episodes, but it is still the only media with its own Top 7 list. No other series or movie has that distinction on this blog so far. I loaded the original review with loads of fun facts, but this Top 7 list took it to a new level with things most people hadn’t thought of, such as it being affiliated with Toonami despite not being on the main programming block or how a German rap song sampled one of the ending themes (THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!). This was one of my most fun Top 7 lists to write, and it was loaded with exciting trivia you wouldn’t expect.

Before I mention my two most-viewed posts of 2022, I will say that the next two outrank every single post I’ve written since 2017 in all-time views, and my mind was blown as to which two things I covered got a ton of attention. Trust me, you wouldn’t expect either example after this to rank that high in the history of Iridium Eye. Personally, I thought any of my Hikaru no Go posts, my Hunter X Hunter Jump Festa OVA review, or even my Mulan: Rise of a Warrior (especially after 2020) review would be in the highest echelon of views. Man alive, I was WAY off!

2: Mickey Mouse Monopoly

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!? Of all the documentaries I reviewed that surpassed 1000 all-time views, it was Mickey Mouse Monopoly? This is now officially my 2nd most-viewed post on my blog of all time, and not just #2 for 2022. Even though this was made in the early 00s, several of the points are stronger in hindsight. I’m glad a documentary like this exists. Not many docs are that critical of the House of Mouse, and these conversations need to be had. The aspect of Disney buying up so many companies rings a LOT truer in these times. This came out before they acquired Marvel, LucasFilm, 20th Century Fox, or even got a piece of the Vice Media pie. The interviewees were brave calling out the rampant commercialization, its cutthroat bullying business practices, and even racism with multiple characters. Sure, some Disney fans will denounce aspects like the massive company buyouts, female characterization of the older films, or how characters like the crows in Dumbo and the Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp are bigoted, which they deserved to be taken to task about. However, it takes real courage to excoriate Disney on the double standards of how they handle intellectual property or to expose the racist implications of the hyenas in The Lion King (This bears repeating, but you or Disney might as well be saying “I have Black friends!” when you say “But James Earl Jones is Mufasa!” as a strawman defense mechanism when you hear that statement). I don’t know all the reasons why this got so much attention after I reviewed it in 2021, but I believe this review may or may not have been used in some academic setting, like when a teacher thanked me for my A Class Divided review when I looked at my stats and what linked to that post, but I can’t confirm it. I’m glad this documentary exists and surprisingly still holds up.

As much of a surprise to see Mickey Mouse Monopoly rank this high, nothing could prepare me for seeing how much this review got a ton of attention years after I typed it up.

1: XXY

Barely anyone paid attention to my thoughts on this Argentinian film when I watched and reviewed it in 2019. How and why is it just NOW that people want to know my thoughts on this movie. XXY was one of the more controversial films I’ve reviewed since it covers a subject that isn’t talked about in film, let alone fiction by having an intersex main character. I know trans rights and gender identity issues have been discussed a lot in the past year, but I wasn’t sure if this condition was talked about that much. Personally, I had issues with this movie that had nothing to do with the Alex character, but how the plot played out and how I disagreed with how certain characters reacted to certain situations I won’t mention lest I spoil the film. The fact that my XXY review is now my most-viewed post of all time absolutely baffles me. Why did my thoughts get this much attention? I’m surprised, and I wish I knew what made it get this many eyes on my blog. This wasn’t some popular movie, so why all the views? It is something I wondered about.

Those were my most-viewed posts of 2022. What did you think? Why do you think they got that much attention? Feel free to leave a comment. Also, Happy New Year!

All photos property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws.

Extremis is property of Netflix. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of Netflix.

Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid is property of Discotek. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of Discotek.

A Class Divided is property of PBS. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of PBS.

Hikaru no Go is property of Yumi Hotta, Takeshi Obata, Viz Media, and Studio Pierrot. The Screenshots are from YouTube. The screenshot from the TV series is from YouTube and is property of Studio Pierrot and Viz Media.

Texhnolyze is property of Funimation. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of Funimation.

Paprika is property of Sony Pictures Classics. The screenshot is from Anime Person and is property of Sony Picture Classics.

The Satoshi Kon picture is from Outsider Japan.

Mickey Mouse Monopoly is property of MEF. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of MEF.

XXY is property of Film Movement. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of Film Movement.

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