Sunday, December 30, 2012

Richard Eisenbeis is the Best Reviewer I've Ever Seen on Kotaku

In the world of entertainment reviews, Richard Eisenbeis is truly a special person.  You don't often encounter someone who has written about entertainment for years, yet is still able to approach each and every work as though it were his first.  The joy and thrill he feels while discovering new excellence in everything he watches and plays is so apparent in his writing that it takes on an almost lighter-than-air quality.  It is completely unencumbered by the critical sensibilities most reviewers gradually pile on over the years. 

This weightlessness allows him to view the world of entertainment from an elevated perspective, and to see a world filled with only the best.  And so while others might look at the idiots populating Tokitowa and see a bunch of anime cliches, Eisenbeis sees best characters in JRPGs this year.  Although many of us scratched our heads at the disappointingly trivial efforts of Sword Art Online, he has revealed it as the smartest anime he's seen in years.  This consistent pushing back against the restrictive system that withholds praise from all but the remarkable and noteworthy is a refreshing alternative to the typical review.

That being said, I sometimes worry that critical perspective is gradually weighing on Eisenbeis.  I would hate to see him brought down to our level, which is why I was concerned to see him call Ixion Saga DT merely one of the funniest anime he has ever seen, rather than the absolute funniest.  My fear is that whatever pressure he's under to censor his opinions like this will prove to be the first step towards forming a critical opinion.  Thankfully he is still a long way from that, judging by the way he points out how good Ixion is at upending expectations, and offers as supporting evidence a girl who looks to be 10 but is actually 8.  This sort of unexpected observation reassures me that he's still operating on his unique level.

And that's why Richard Eisenbeis is the best reviewer I've ever seen on Kotaku.  I nominate him for the Dave Halverson Non-Exclusive Superlative Award for Excellence in Making the Best of Everything.