Sunday, December 11, 2011

WTT: Most Memorable Anime, Pt2

    Ok, this is where the going gets tough. In all honestly, all of these have been at number 1 at some point in my life but I'm going to try really hard to prioritize them by all-time favorites. I hope you come to enjoy them as much as I do, one day.

    Here's where we separate the wheat from the chaff, the boys from the men, the one's who've seen GTO and the one's that had him as a teacher. Which would be nobody. But how cool would that be?

    Onizuka Eikichi, 22 years old, is the teacher we all wished we had when we were still at the age of having teachers. His policy was tough love, his enforcer, his foot. He followed no law but the law of the streets and taught through popular culture metaphors. Onizuka was a showcase of all that could go wrong in the upbringing of a man in late 1990s Japan and he came back to give the kids what he had never had: a teacher that gave a shit.

    The thing with anime is, it makes you love mediocre songs even if they're just that, mediocre. I for one became a L'Arc-en-Ciel fan after going through half the show.

    Ah, Monster. How many lesser men have thrown in the towel at the sight of thy first five episodes. Meaning, if you can get past those the show becomes really good. It's become a sort of milestone for failed jumpstarts. Like say, if a show is really bad in the first few weeks, I'll say it pulled a Monster.

    At first it's nothing but the story of a Japanese surgeon in Germany going through the motions of his daily life. It eventually spirals into a megaplot of serial-killing and cross-dressing. Yes, it's that good.

    The soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful and if you're looking for something more down to earth this is the anime for you. In fact, it's the most sober and serious one on this list and once you're hooked on it you'll be ever so thankful that it is so very, very long. Well, not all the time. Sometimes you'll just wonder "hey, wasn't there a guy called Tenma in this show?"

    3. Tengen Toppa Gurren Laggan

    I seriously considered putting this one higher up there just because I love it so much. HYPE TRAINS BE DAMNED, THIS SHOW IS AWESOME! It's fucking awesome. I daresay its Fawesome.

    From the same bunch that brought us the afore mentioned FLCL, comes this gem of a show about spirals. And if FLCL sports an unhealthy fascination with hands (it does, pay attention) this one is all about faces. Face robots and robots with two faces, faces, faces everywhere and the show is no worse for it.

    The soundtrack is decent but it only gets better after the opening. The words "Fight da Powah!" are forever ingrained in my skull due to the over-the-top ending. And if this show is anything it is over-the-top. It boasts all other mecha-anime's clichés and it yells at you to love it. It yells in your face so hard you have no choice but to wipe the spit from your mug and love it.

    It's exciting, it's fast-paced, it can be romantic and seeped in tragedy. I laughed till my cheeks hurt and I also wiped a small tear at the corner of my eye. But only because it was over and it was so GOOD.

    2. Now and Then, Here and There (Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku)

    Now and then, I've loved this show. This was the first time that I realised that most characters that share my name suffer a horrible lot in life. Truth be told, every character in this show suffers a horrible lot in life. That's just the way it is, somethings will never change.... Damn it, Bruce Hornsby!

    No opening because, honestly, it's crap and it adds nothing to the show. This piece, however, is one of my all time favorites and earned Taku Iwasaki a place in my heart forever.

    Shuu is a boy from the present that is sent to the future (ring any bells? Not yet? Ok.) After suffering yet another defeat in his "always picked last" existence he crosses paths with a young girl named LalaRu (still nothing?) She is then suddenly kidnapped by some foul people to do their foul bidding and Shu, armed with his trusty stick, journeys to a gruesome future to save her.

    If you read part 1 closely this might begin to sound a bit familiar. Rightly so because there are that many parallels between Now and Then and Conan. You may also begin to remember that I underestimated it's impact on me and I have since (in all but 10 minutes) re-evaluated it's ranking.

    I am not ashamed to say that my girly heart cried a few times watching this show. The soundtrack doesn't help as it is one of the best I've heard in any sort of entertainment medium (excluding books and perhaps theatre). If Monster is sober, this one is tear-jerking.

    1. Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (Honnêamise no Tsubasa)

    One of the first, if not the actual first, full-length animes I ever watched. Needless to say, it struck a chord somewhere in me and I've always come back to it. Guess who's behind this masterpiece? Why GAINAX, of course. And haven't I mentioned them before? Maybe not by name but if we scrolled back I'm sure we'd bump into at least two more of their creations. Yes, it seems they were good at what they did even back in 1987.

    So when people say stuff about Miyazaki's work being the best in anime full-length I chuckle and add in a condescending tone "poor child, come closer. Sit in my lap so I can tell you a tale of self-discovery that will blow your socks off." Then I add how Miyazaki finds touch technology like the iPad to be disgusting in that it mimics masturbation. That should get my point across.

    Not only is the story of the movie quite good, following a man's journey from not being good enough to be a fighter pilot to being the first man to venture into space, but the soundtrack is amazingly good. If you've never heard of Ryuichi Sakamoto before now would be as good a time as any to give it a go. But maybe you watched Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence oblivious to what you were hearing. Just don't let it happen again.

    Anyways, the movie is good. It's so damn good that I don't want to spoil it by writing about it here. I'll say only this: the animation was seriously above the rest considering this dates back from the 80s. So go watch it if you never did. In fact, go watch it even if you did. Beats jerking off your iPad.

    And that's that. Hope you had as much fun reading this as I had searching for the videos.

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