Anime might be cool

Necromance old blog posts, talk about Shamus' books or videos, or discuss allied projects like Errant Signal
Forum rules
This forum is not for swiping blog threads. Avoid talking about blog posts less than a month old.
User avatar
Retsam

Anime might be cool

Postby Retsam » Thu May 09, 2013 4:02 am

It occurs to me that some people who come to this site regularly probably aren't aware that Shamus used to review Anime. Even when the categories had icons at the top, it was easy to miss, and arguably easier with the category drop-down. (It is at the top of the drop-down, but at least I never even look at the drop down, usually the big featured categories are enough)

So, yeah, anime. I'm really not an otaku; I actually watch quite little anime, but I have come to have somewhat strong feelings about it, simply due to the general indifference to it compared to how good a lot of it. It's particularly not popular at my college; even having 3 somewhat nerdy roommates, I'm the only one who's ever watched it. It frustrates me how many people just decide it's "weird" without ever really giving it a chance. (Especially, again, because I think most of American television is pretty terrible)

But yeah. It probably deserves it's own topic.

A good way of proving how not otaku I am is probably to say that I haven't seen any of Miyazaki's films except I've seen parts of Spirited Away and wasn't hugely impressed.
RedSun
Location: Hayward, CA

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby RedSun » Thu May 09, 2013 5:31 am

He isn't the only one-Josh used to be an on-off anime reviewer for the Escapist, back when they still ran them. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/article ... iews/anime

I'm actually not that big a fan of anime myself, though I love anything animated and am pretty nerdy. Partially, I just don't find like starting new things. I hate the idea that I might waste my time. That said, here are some recs:

Trigun-Basically, it's a old, christian-influenced anime about a pacifist gunslinger in the wild west; and yes, I'm aware of how DUMB that sounds. Believe me, once you get past the premise, its probably the best exploration of pacifism, second chances and what it means to be willing to die before you're willing to kill that I've ever seen.
Welcome to the NHK-Black comedy slice of life revolving around a fearful, paranoid, completely and utterly pathetic shut-in/conspiracy theorist desperately trying to reintegrate into society despite his smorgasbord of insecurities. Its very condemning of otaku and geek culture in how they enable people to mindlessly consume and avoid the stress of real life, but is also very sympathetic to how scary the real world can be, and how it can leave us feeling awkward and wrong and ashamed of our own awkwardness. Its the kind of series that makes you ashamed to at all identify with the main protagonist, but also root for him; it makes life seem terrifying, but also worthwhile. Its the kind of thing anyone geeky should at least try to watch, though I will reiterate that its a very dark comedy that can be emotionally draining in how much it wallows in the absolute pitifulness of its MC.
Baccano-one of the best junk food anime I've ever seen. Basically, imagine Pulp Fiction as an anime, but set in the 1930s, with a more lighthearted, fun tone. Enormous cast of great characters, good humor, great animation, weighty action scenes, and overall, it just oozes that jazzy Depression Era flavor.
User avatar
newdarkcloud

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby newdarkcloud » Thu May 09, 2013 10:48 am

After Code Geass and Death Note, I haven't watched any anime in quite some time. Not because they're bad either. I just kind of fell out of it.

If you haven't seen either one, you should. They're both excellent in their own way.
Nano Proksee

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Nano Proksee » Thu May 09, 2013 1:21 pm

Just watched the third movie in the Rebuild of Evangelion, soooo bad is insulting to the rest of the series, but all those sexy mechas animated in current technology are almost worth the hour and a half that that awful movie rob me.

Cowboy Bebop is amazing. Jazz, space bounty hunters and countless references to classic cinema.
Also from the same director (Shinichiro Watanabe) Samurai Champloo. Edo period Samurais, hip-hop and top notch animation.

One think that I really like about some anime is that every now and then some artist takes a classic theme and explores it in new way. Most notably Evangelion, that ask the question "What happens in the minds of 15 year old teens when we give them big robots and tell them they have to save the world?"

Recently I saw "The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki" by Mamoru Hosoda and its amazing 'cause it ask the question "How does a werewolf grow up in modern society?" really great slice of life movie.

"The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" and "Summer Wars", both by Hosoda to, are really great if you like great animation, slice of life and romantic stuff. (The former being my favorite movie probably)
User avatar
Daemian Lucifer

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Thu May 09, 2013 2:57 pm

Not a fan of anime,but I still watched a few,and enjoyed them immensely.Death note,trigun and princess mononoke.Also avatar:the last airbender,but I dont know if that counts,since it is a mix that can go either way.

I know I should probably watch cowboy bebop,and would probably like it,but I never get around to actually doing it.

Also I used to watch the hell out of robotech and voltron back when I was a kid,but I forgot practically everything about those.Maybe I should also rewatch all of the 80s things I grew up with.
User avatar
dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby dudecon » Thu May 09, 2013 5:00 pm

As with other creative medium, about 90% is trash. Anime has the advantage of a long history (from Manga) of artistic excellence, so it's at least trash with high production values.

Among the non-trash stuff: the above mentioned Cowboy Bebop and Trigun (learned about both in college from my otaku wannabe roommate and friends) and just about anything by Studio Ghibli (from my wife). Also Akira and probably a huge truckload of stuff I've never heard of. Shamus' reviews are a good place to start.

Disclaimers! Don't watch anime if you are sensitive to:
Environmentalism: Studio Ghibli and others. Japan is highly developed, and many city-dwellers have a nostalgic longing for "untouched nature". A contributing factor is that very few Japanese are eaten by bears or freeze to death these days.
Pacifism: Trigun, Studio Ghibli, and others. After the Japs got nuked they decided they would try pacifism for a while. It really shows in much of their media.
Violence: Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Akira and others. srsly so much violence I don't even
Moralistic messages: All Anime Ever. They are usually pretty subtle about delivering it, but goodness! Everyone has Something To Say!
Philosophical dissonance: All Anime Ever. For whatever reason, they have a Really Hard Time getting the story, moral, and world to all line up. Kind of surreal when you first start watching Anime. After a while it just gets annoying.
User avatar
SpammyV
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Thu May 09, 2013 5:13 pm

I'm gonna have to disagree with Newdarkcloud on Code Geass, I thought it was average overall and largely frustrating.

I enjoy the occaissional serious anime, although I don't do much to seek it out. I have a meager collection (in ascending order of quality) of Vandread, Samurai Seven, Samurai Champloo, Last Exile and my personal all-time favorite, RahXephon. I've also watched Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Un-Go with a friend, those were both pretty good. Mostly it's an issue of me being too broke to buy new animes, too lazy to look up legal streaming sites, too honest to torrent them, and too unexposed to new titles. Mostly I just rely on my friend to refer titles to me.
User avatar
Narratorway
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Narratorway » Fri May 10, 2013 9:59 am

I haven't watch anime in ages, but I am getting back into the swing of animation, so I'm rather eager to see what happens with Kill La Kill by Studio Trigger. They're Little Witch Academia was a super boss short so I'm eager to see what the former Gainax guys (and original Team Gurren) can do.
User avatar
Thomas

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Thomas » Fri May 10, 2013 9:22 pm

Has anyone seen Madoka Magika? I was watching a couple of the sf-debris episodes and then I stopped watching to avoid spoilers because something about the style (maybe even the voice-acting :P) was drawing me in and I might check it out. But does someone know if it's actually any good or not?
User avatar
krellen
Location: The City in New Mexico
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby krellen » Fri May 10, 2013 9:27 pm

Watch the first three episodes. If you want to stop watching after the third, feel free, but if you start, you are absolutely not allowed to stop before the end of the third episode.

It might mean more to people who are more familiar (whether or not they are fans) of the magical girl genre, though.
User avatar
Thomas

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Thomas » Fri May 10, 2013 11:20 pm

I'm glad I stopped on the 2nd sf-debris from the sound of it. I think I know enough of the magical girl tropes to understand a subversion or something but I don't have an emotional connection the genre (and I haven't got a clue why I feel like I know how it goes down. Pop culture osmosis?)
User avatar
anaphysik
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby anaphysik » Sat May 11, 2013 4:16 am

Thomas wrote:I'm glad I stopped on the 2nd sf-debris from the sound of it. I think I know enough of the magical girl tropes to understand a subversion or something but I don't have an emotional connection the genre (and I haven't got a clue why I feel like I know how it goes down. Pop culture osmosis?)

Madoka is *definitely* still worth watching even without being a fan of the magical girl genre (I would know, as my experience with the genre is also pretty much limited to pop cultural osmosis (and the rare bit of Sailor Moon from when I was a kid and Toonami showed it), yet Madoka still worked excellently). Yes, it's an extremely well-developed subversion, but it doesn't rely on that trick being its exclusive draw - what I mean is, it's a brilliantly put together series even without viewing it as subversion.

Amazingly, it's one of the rare (good ;P) things that my brother introduced to me, rather than the other way around.

---

Random grab-bag of recommendations: I second Welcome to the NHK. I'm surprised no one mentioned FLCL, but then again that's a pretty standard suggestion. For something a bit different, I always like to plug the (very short) miniseries Eve no Jikan (humans and androids chat in a secret bar where they're not allowed to know who's an android and who's human). Also, Sgt. Frog is freaking hilarious and folks should watch that (though it's really fast-paced in its gags, so pause-button at the ready). Lucky Star is pretty good too (it has that sort of subdued humour that something like Nedroid Comics has). I would also heartily recommend Planetes to any hard sci-fi fans.

((EDIT: "(goo ;P)" persistent typo, damn))
Last edited by anaphysik on Fri May 17, 2013 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
krellen
Location: The City in New Mexico
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby krellen » Sat May 11, 2013 5:55 am

No one who values understanding and reason should ever watch FLCL.
User avatar
anaphysik
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby anaphysik » Sat May 11, 2013 6:20 am

The nonsensicality of FLCL is greatly sensationalized. FLCL certainly indulges in the zany (very frequently, non-stop for some segments), but its core is far from nonsensical.

That being said, it's certainly a love-it or hate-it sort of series (well, love-it or hate-it or love-it-but-for-the-wrong-reasons-you-chaotic-stupid-rube), but it should be experienced. At the very least, the first two eps, which work the most (obviously) coherently anyway.
User avatar
lurkey

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby lurkey » Sat May 11, 2013 3:06 pm

Some of my favourite stuff comes from this medium. :-) For any fans of Philip K. Dick's works, lemme recommend you anything by Satoshi Kon, particularly "Paprika" and "Paranoia Agent".

It works both ways though, so if you don't get Philip K. Dick and are put off by slightly surreal stuff, you probably won't like it.
User avatar
krellen
Location: The City in New Mexico
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby krellen » Sat May 11, 2013 4:00 pm

anaphysik wrote:The nonsensicality of FLCL is greatly sensationalized.

I watched it. It was nonsense.
User avatar
dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby dudecon » Sat May 11, 2013 4:35 pm

krellen wrote:I watched it. It was nonsense.

Think of FLCL as a stream of conciousness imaginative exploration of the effect of the fifties on eighties culture in Japan as viewed through the lens of the sixties from twenty years away. It might still be nonsense (and upside down) at that point, but you'll have a little more understanding and reasonable conclusions that way.

Of course, that's a lot of work. It would be much more efficient to watch it for amusement than cognition.

Speaking of cognition, are there any really good "thinking person's" anime? I know Death Note is highly spoken of in this regard, though I haven't watched it.
User avatar
Retsam

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Retsam » Sat May 11, 2013 9:33 pm

dudecon wrote:Speaking of cognition, are there any really good "thinking person's" anime? I know Death Note is highly spoken of in this regard, though I haven't watched it.

Ghost in the Shell is also pretty thoughtful. It cyberpunk that explores a lot of the questions of what it means to be human. Granted, I've only seen scattered episodes and the original movie, so I don't have the strongest idea of how it all fits together.

Paranoia Agent that lurkey mentioned earlier probably counts, too.
User avatar
Daemian Lucifer

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Sun May 12, 2013 12:53 am

dudecon wrote:Speaking of cognition, are there any really good "thinking person's" anime? I know Death Note is highly spoken of in this regard, though I haven't watched it.


Well it is a show where the epic battles between protagonist and antagonist revolve around mundane things,like eating chips.Its all about keeping ones poker face,while trying to outsmart the other one.
User avatar
Thomas

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Thomas » Sun May 12, 2013 2:39 am

Death Note has such a fantastic concept. It's hard to hear a summary and not want to see what they do with it
User avatar
SpammyV
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Sun May 12, 2013 3:07 am

What they do with it is episode after episode of Light going on about how great he is and then they get rid of his interesting antagonist and bring in two less interesting people and then Light gives everyone swimming lessons. I wasn't much into Death Note.

Un-Go has a lot of interesting mysteries and is the least cyberpunk feeling cyberpunk story you'll probably ever see.
User avatar
A. Hieronymus Bosch

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby A. Hieronymus Bosch » Sun May 12, 2013 8:21 pm

I strongly recommend Sword Art Online and Accel World.
User avatar
modus0

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby modus0 » Mon May 13, 2013 12:30 am

I'd strongly recommend Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (not the 2003 one, though it isn't too bad, the ending was a bit of a downer IMO).

Also, Bleach. And I feel it important to note that unlike Dragonball Z, the main character of Bleach doesn't experience the same kind of obscene power-ups that Saiyans do. All of the supporting cast are still able to contribute in battles, right up to the end (of the anime, the manga is still powering through the final arc), and it's implied that several characters might actually still be as or more powerful than the main.

Just about any Gundam series if you like giant mecha.
User avatar
Narratorway
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Narratorway » Mon May 13, 2013 4:12 am

krellen wrote:
anaphysik wrote:The nonsensicality of FLCL is greatly sensationalized.

I watched it. It was nonsense.


Clearly, you are not familiar with Shinichi Watanabe's work if you think FLCL counts as 'nonsense' in the world of anime.
User avatar
krellen
Location: The City in New Mexico
Contact:

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby krellen » Mon May 13, 2013 12:53 pm

Narratorway wrote:Clearly, you are not familiar with Shinichi Watanabe's work if you think FLCL counts as 'nonsense' in the world of anime.

I stopped watching Excel Saga in the second episode. It's my secret shame. No one tell my half-brother; he'd disown me.

Return to “Twenty Sided Stuff”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest