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Day 10 (Am I Ahead or Behind?) Weirdest Anime Series You've Watched So Far: Code Geass

Firstly, watch this, and tell me if it is what I think it is:



Yeah, I think she's humping the table too. I hate Code Geass.

The trailer will sum it up...I guess:


So giant Blonde Brittanians conquer Japan and Lalouche (La Douche) decides to rebel in a giant mech. They are fighting against tyranny and injustice, right? So it shouldn't have table humping, or whatever this is:



Good Meow-ning...I hate Code Geass! I hate it even more because it was created in conjunction with CLAMP (who I respect and admire), and because it's won all sorts of awards...and is the (if wikipedia is to be believed) 4th best selling Anime in Japan.

But, I LIKE WEIRD! And Code Geass is so weird that it should be good. So, why does it SUCK??!! It sucks because I think it's just being weird for the sake of being weird. Things are so random in this anime. The characters say things that make no sense. They wear cat outfits for no reason. They have long discussions in the shower and then suddenly realize they're naked. There's an episode long game of catch Lalouche and kiss him, which should be funny, but is really just confusing. And there's mech. Is this a gunman anime? Is it a high-school comedy? Is it a sort of alternate reality thing? Why do they have psychic powers? Is that high-schooler a nightly news anchor? How dumb is that mask? Did he just levitate? Why are those girls in a sort of harem bathtub? Is that a fart joke? (Yes, in the middle of a serious scene a girl randomly farts.) Why is there a naked purple haired lady in a waterfall? Does he have to laugh like that? Why is he secret royalty? BLAH! Not fun weird! Just weird weird.

But, maybe I'm only assuming that it is trying to be weird for the sake of being weird...what if it isn't trying to be weird at all? My mind is blown.

Code Geass you are both the weirdest and the worst.

It sucks so bad the whole country of China banned it! (That's not why they banned it, apparently they are against table humping, naked schoolgirls and implied yaoi, but they should have banned it for sucking!)

Good Weird is this:

CRAYON SHIN-CHAN! No guts, no glory hole! Get that onigiri inside you turtlefart!

Day 9 - Saddest Anime Scene: TIE: Grave of the Fireflies and/or Loveless: Zeros (Girls) Defeat

**Disclaimer: Please remember this blog is spoiler city...we don't care. You have eyes so look away if you're concerned.**

I couldn't decide. I know, that's somehow cheating, right? But, both of these animes left me sobbing and wrecked for a week. They may have given me post-traumatic stress disorder for a short period of time.

First up, what may officially be not only the saddest anime I've ever seen, but the saddest film I've ever seen. And yes, this takes into account some fairly high-ranking live-action tear jerkers, like The Lover, Schindler's List or anything with James Dean in it (I have a problem, and admitting it is the first step).

This US Trailer for Grave of the Fireflies is highly misleading.



Oh, happy pretty right? NO! This film is an epically sad tale of two orphaned Japanese children who attempt (ATTEMPT) to survive on their own during World War II. A few scenes in this beautifully animated film are so intensely horrifying and heartbreaking that it causes physical pain. If you are a person who cries easily you CANNOT watch this film. I publically forbid you from seeing it. If, however, you feel you can watch the exceedingly slow and tragic demise of young children without wanting to cry yourself into a coma...by all means, watch away. It is worth the view, but I cannot bring myself to watch this film more than once every 5 years.

Likewise, this episode from one of our (Ms. Shakespeare and my) favorite series Loveless is intensely sad for very different reasons.



Most Fighters and Sacrifices in Loveless are paired, Soubi and Ritsuka are the exception (something that hinders their ability to fight, ut not their ability to bond. Fighters and Sacrifices usually share a name, a fate, a destiny, all that jazz. And these two high school girls, Kouya and Yamato, who share the name Zero love one another deeply as a result of their bond.
The problem is that they are not a unique pair, their bond was artifically created by a group called the Seven Moons, and their "partners" can be interchanged should one of the pair fail. This is the fate of these defeated Zeros...they will be separated. The sacrifice in this scene takes her role very literally, she says she would rather die than be a burden to the one she loves. Should they forfit the battle, they are as good as dead; the group who sent them to battle and kill Loveless (Ritsuka) and Beloved (Soubi) will either separate them or destroy them entierly. and yet the fighter forfits out of love for her partner. At the end of the scene they crouch in the graveyard alone, the battle forfitted and with it their bond. They make a pact to die for one another rather than be separated. Surprisingly, "dying" is not what we think it is...they break their bonds with the organization, killing themselves metaphorically so that they can finally live on their own. To do this, they take a risk; they thwart their destiny and create a new one based not on the artificiality of their "names" but their very real love. Their symbolic death allows them to be reborn. So sweet.

Day 10 -- Weirdest Anime I've Watched? Abenobashi Magical Shopping Arcade


Abenobashi Magical Shopping Arcade is good, and it's weird.

As a writer who loves to play with genre, I <3 this anime, which also plays with genre. Arumi and Sasshi are on a journey through place to find home. Abenobashi remains the fixed point in the cosmos, but each successive adventure brings them into a new genre of anime with the same characters manifesting the attributes of the genre.

Failing Abenobashi, I'm going to say Pokemon. Why? Team "F'kin Rocket." That's why.



Prepare for weirdness.

We're gonna capture Pikachu, mmm'kay?

Day What? Saddest Anime Scene...

Oh, man, I should have left that Mirage of Blaze epic scene for the saddest scene. It is pretty sad. Along with Epic, most anime is also really good at Sad. What do I mean? Well, there are plenty of cliched "sad" anime-types.

Nobari No Ou's Kira Wielding Angel of Death ninja kid, Yoite, is pretty sad:



Both Ritske and Soubi from Loveless are sick sad tragic figures:


How about Yami no Matsuei's Tsuzuki and Kurosaki?


Here is a familiar anime cliche: Character X is abused as a child, maybe locked away or shunned because he/she had some differentness about them, light hair, psychic powers, nothing-definable. Character X is miserable. He/She reaches out innocently only to be abused and abandoned again and again. Maybe Character X had parents who he/she really loved, but some douche bag killed them, those wonderful people, right in front of Character X (Bonus points if said killer is someone Character X really loves and admires).

Character X is hard on the outside, but so lonely inside. Character X seems apathetic. He/she can't understand why anyone would want to be nice to him/her, but all sorts of people are. All sorts of people spend a lot of time convincing character X of his/her greatness.

There is a long journey in which Character X grows thinner, weaker and stronger at the same time. There are a lot of long pauses. There is wind, possibly swords, staffs, ninjistu. There is definitely an epic battle, in which Character X emerges triumphant and softer with some kind of understanding.

Everyone loves Character X, and Character X begins to little by little find worth in him or herself.

One of the reasons we girls squee over anime and manga is because it is full of pain and suffering. Our favorite characters are tortured, dark, unloved by their parents, abandoned, abused by their teachers, left for dead, beaten, starved and special. Our favorite characters are the saddest of people. We want to gather them up and hug them. They stir something inside of us.

Sad in anime is overdone. I like it both ways, when it's fresh, and when it's an obvious stereotype.

I think I actually really like the scene from "Welcome to NHK" when Tatsuhiro Satō accidentally enters a suicide pact, which he thinks is a tropical vacation.

After some misadventures, he decides he will commit suicide, but he is talked off the ledge by his friend, Misaki Nakahara, who convinces him that she needs him to live because she needs someone more pathetic and lower on the social ladder than she is. Then his other friend, Kaoru Yamazaki, tells him, he is too boring to have a dramatic death like suicide.

This scene is so depressing because it feels really true. Enjoy.

Day 8 - Most Epic Scene: Gurran Lagann's final battle with the Anti-Spirals

This is impossible. I was dreading this catagory because there are so many epic scenes. Every Miyazaki film has at least 1-2 scenes that are all light and drama and cinematic animated "WOW!"
So, to pick one...sucks.

I gotta go with the most epic of epicness of Gurran Lagann. The whole series is climax after climax, and it ends with a fight for the universe...THE FREAKING UNIVERSE! Which we win, because we are awesome.  To pick one scene, I suppose I should go with the obvious.

The final battle of Gurran Lagann, "All of the Lights in the Sky are Stars."





JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE??!!

Yeah, they're throwing universes...no big whoop. Gurran Lagann is the most epic epicness that ever epiced an epic. I am a total fan of this series. It is ridiculously awesome.

"Do not grieve for me, my soul  once drowned in a sea of despair and weariness. And, if this body can create a life for all of tomorrow, I will gladly give it."

Day 8 -- Most Epic Scene

Damn it, M, this is a really unfair challenge! Anime is epic by its very nature. Take color, add wind, add music and speed lines, get EPIC. Today I watched the entire series: Nabari No Ou



It wasn't even good, but the whole thing was epic. It was all about warring ninja clans. There was tons of wind. I couldn't stop watching, even when I kept thinking about how they did nothing to set up the plot or the characters. They just relied on the typical character tropes for 26 episodes. There was nothing interesting about it at all.

Afterwards, I saw that Most Epic Scene was today's challenge, and I thought, take anything, add feudal Japan, warring clans, some kind of hidden power/magic get epic. So speaking of feudal Japan, warring clans and powers, I always liked this scene from, you guessed it, Mirage of Blaze (around 20:50):



When a lovesick, desperate, obsessed Naoe decides to fuse himself and his Lord into a mirror and cast them to the bottom of the lake where they can live together eternally, basically a murder/suicide pact for the immortal. Oddly, this may be one of the least epic scenes in the entire anime, which is very, very, very epic all around.

Day 7 -- Favorite Anime Couple -- Taeko & Toshio

"Only Yesterday"



Okay, this is sort of a cheat. It's a full length Ghibli Movie, and probably my favorite one. Taeko and Toshio aren't really a couple until the end, and the movie is more about Taeko, a single office worker in her late twenties who is being followed around by her ten year old self. She goes on vacation to pick safflower in the country side and falls in love unexpectedly with Toshio, an organic farmer.

I like this couple because I'm a fan of last minute saves, and if you watch the movie, you'll find it contains a lovely last minute save. I like this movie because I am a single office worker who one day dreams of marrying an organic farmer of my own.

Day Six --Super Milk Chan -- Most Annoying Anime Character

Everyone I know liked Super Milk Chan.



Not me.

Day 7 - Favorite Anime Couple: Dee X Ryo

This counts. OFFICIALLY there is ONE episode of Fake. So, I get to select Dee and Ryo  as my favorite on-screen anime (and on-page manga) couple. They kill me. Unlike many yaoi titles there isn't a weird femme vibe in either Dee or Ryo. They are dudes. They are in their 30s. They are cops. Dee is a god (just my opinion...and his own). Ryo is reflective, affectionate and tender without being girly, and he balances Dee's gung-ho, intensity and immaturity.


And, as is evident above in a still from the anime, they're smoking hot.
Dee's all, "RYO! I will pounce on  you and seduce you and you will want me because who wouldn't want me? Also you are the air I breathe and whatnot."
And Ryo's all, "Dee, no, I can't. I guard my heart."
And I'm all, "SQUEE! Now suck face like 'mwah!'"

And in the middle of their torrid will they/won't they romance drama, they manage to come to terms with their tragic pasts, forge a family out of their bonds with one another, AND be bad ass fighting, shooting and crime-solving detectives in the NYPD.

I feel that this catagory is screaming for some runners up:
1. Inuyasha X Kagome--Another pair who guards their hearts and emotions. There are things about their relationship in the anime that Americans might not pick up on, for instance her "I'm going home" refrain is pretty significant to Japanese viewers (it suggests the end of a relationship or a divorce, which suggests that there is more love between Inuyasha and Kagome than is revealed on screen). Their love is subtle and timid, but ultimately very sweet.

2. Tamaki Suoh X Haruhi Fujioka--From Ouran High School Host Club.  Tamaki and Haruhi are adorable, and perhaps not super-complex, but nonetheless I was rooting for them from the beginning. The anime ends with an implication of a love-hexagon, but the manga moves in a different direction as it continues beyond the anime series' "ending" into something a little more mature and tender.
3. Shizuku and Seiji of Whispers of the Heart--So sweet and realistic, even if there are talking cats.
4. Saya and Haji --From Blood +.  He will not only keep dying for her, he keeps living for her because he promised that he would destroy them both...powerful crazy love. Timeless shit. Maybe a bit masochistic in a good way? I really like the idea of Saya and Kai, because Saya will get her normal life, but Haji has given her so much. Wow.




5. Shunsui Kyōraku X Jūshirō Ukitake ---Okay fine, there's no "official" sort of coupling of them, but it's so obvious...I mean...Come on!


There are plenty of others, but I'm saving those for other catagories.
Ah, love.

Dee is a god.

Anime Character You Feel the Most Like -- Day 5 -- Tohru Honda

Yeah, this may come as a surprise. I think M would compare me more to Ayame Sohma (also of Fruit Baskets) or Suichi Shindou (from Gravitation). I can be excitable and egotistical and annoying! However, I think I'm more like Tohru.


I'm not anime-esque, leggy and uber-thin, but I do have long dark hair :)

Being a geek, I was often the onigiri in the fruits basket:



And, I relate to Tohru's outsider-ness, even though she seems like a pretty normal girl.I'm also really, really nice like Tohru, sometimes dimwitted with niceness. I don't give up on people, and I guess some people will call it naivete. But, I know what I'm getting into.

Tohru loves all the animals of the zodiac without condition. I strive to love the people around me in the same kind of open and sweet way, even if it causes me pain. So, yeah, I think I most relate to Tohru.

Gakuen Heaven: Should I be ashamed I enjoyed it? (Day 4)


This is an anime based on a video game. It takes place at an institution called Bell Liberty Academy, BL academy for short, an upper crusty all boys school. It is not very good and yet, I have fond memories of watching it all in one sitting while sucking down giant Mexican freezy pops and gallons of beer and ice cream (I should also be ashamed of what I had come to call food toward the poverty stricken grad/immediately post grad years of my life).

Basically, this anime is full of boys and first world problems -- boys, wind and first world problems. The plot is contrived. There is some kind of secret crush from the past and a rivalry between the chairman and vice chairman.

I could explain it, but the opening credits pretty much encapsulate the entire thing:

My Anime Crush... Naoe, Mirage of Blaze


Okay, I'm a little behind! I spent the week being tortured by AT&T whilst trying to move my internet from my old apartment to my new apartment across the hall. The Customer Abuse - hrm Service division of AT&T could really teach the government a thing or two about mentally breaking enemy combatants. Forget stripping people, keeping them up for hours, blasting bad music, and denying basic human rights. If you want to take away a person's dignity and get her to admit to anything just to make it end, put her on the phone with AT&T U-verse internet representatives!

After spending about 8 hours on the phone and chat between about 15 people over the course of a week, being transferred, put on hold, lied to, hung up on and taking a half day at home from work to wait for a technician who arrived  2 hours late, I have the internet again. I've never actually cried when dealing with customer service before, so I was surprised to find myself balling on the floor, in a fetal position, and rocking back and forth to comfort myself. What made this all so much worse is that I recognized that this was a first-world problem and that people all over the globe are starving, dying and being shattered by natural disasters and war, and I was crying over the prolonged and incomprehensible incompetence of AT&T.

So what does this have to do with my anime crush, the sexy Naoe from Mirage of Blaze? Well, because Naoe is tortured. He's in love, and he's been in love for hundreds of years with a man who loves Naoe as much as he hates him, which is a lot. Naoe's love is so intense and painful and sick, and I love him for it. He has done some really f*ed up things in the name of "love." Some would say he's a masochist, but his way of being transcends masochism.



The relationship between Naoe and Takaya is so messed up, awful and abusive, but it's one of my favorite anime pairings. Naoe is singularly and painfully focused on Takaya. If only someone would be a fraction in love with me. Le sigh.

Day 6 - Most Annoying Anime Character: Haruko Haruhara

I'm going on record as saying I hate FLCL. I think every character, except for main character Naota is annoying to the nth degree. But chief among them is antagonist Haruko Haruhara. She could not be more annoying to me if she tried.

That's saying something because there are a LOT of annoying characters in anime. Nearly every series has one annoyingly hyperactive and grating idiot. In Ouran it is Renge Houshakuji (self-proclaimed manager and ubiquitous crazy fangirl)--every time she comes on screen I get annoyed. In Bleach there are a ton of annoying characters...too many to list. In Yami No Matsui those effing bird librarians have such horrifyingly irritating voices and personalities that they should be eaten by dragons out of principle.

But Haruko Haruhara wins, not just because she's annoying, irrational, stupid and ultraviolent, but because I find the entirety of FLCL annoying. It's just so...dumb (for the lack of a better word). Just DUMB! And because she is the most annoying character on the most annoying anime she has earned Day Six props.
Congrats! You are annoying!

Day 5 - Anime Character You Feel the Most Like: Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck

The character of Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck (Nel) is introduced in her child form (above left) in the seventh season of Bleach. Nel's child form is very affectionate, animated, loud and troublesome. That's me. She is playful when she should be serious and is generally a pest. That's me too. She runs around with bare feet and has a cracked hollow mask that looks like a cartoon skull on her head. I would do that too. I wish I weren't Nel, but I am. My husband, Roy, (yeah, someone married me) watches Bleach  with me, and the first time Nel came on the screen he said, "Look, it's little you." And I said, as I usually do, "Why's every little loud troublesome thing me?" It was a rhetorical question. I know why. Yes, Nel is little me. Also, her drool has healing properties...I don't know how that fits in, but whatever.

Here's the thing that's lovely though--Nel has two forms. The adult Nel (on the right) is pretty fucking badass, concientious and honorable, but her badass is limited in that she can only be badass for short periods of time before her energy is drained and she reverts back to Child-Nel. This is like me; I have very little staying power with the adultness. Nel is cool, and although viewers find out later that she is "officially" one of the "bad guys" (an Arrancar) she isn't very bad in either of her forms. She, unlike the other Arrancar, avoids fighting, and believes that warriors should be honorable at all costs. There must be a reason to fight, and something worth fighting for. I believe this too. She changes for the first time into her adult form to protect Ichigo (who has the best name of any hero...Strawberry the Soul Reaper!) from harm at the hands of a dick-head Arrancar named Nnoitra Gilga (sexist douchebag) and is nearly killed in the process. Although Nel doesn't say so, I know she is willing to die to protect the people she loves. I respect that. I would die, or kill, for the people I love.

Like Nel, I can be pretty badass in short bursts, I am protective of the people I love, I can be serious and even (dare I say) complex, but essentially...why not be a happy, loud, troublesome child? There's some blending of the two that seems important and well, me. That and Adult Nel has quite the bodacious anime-rack...I too am burdened by a bodacious rack. It sucks.

So, although I'd rather be someone more together (as in whole and as in respectable/responsible/with-it), I'm not. My scowling, serious, smirking side has to put up with my loud, troublemaking, affectionate side. I like to play. I like loud things. I like to run around barefoot. And although I'll let myself be pushed around to a point, don't push anyone else who doesn't deserve it, or I'll go all centaur on your ass with nothing more than a smirk and a "heh."

Odelschwanck, out!

Upcoming: Supernatural: The Anime



I can't tell you how excited and nervous the official trailer for Supernatural: The Anime makes me. I love Supernatural...I am an addict. So, when I heard that they would be reimagining the series as an anime, I was stoked. The latest news is that the US Release is scheduled for July 26. I will be saving my meagre dollars. Supernatural is a series that could lend itself well to anime...long story arc, monsters, complex characterization.
The only things that concern me are:
1) The animation of older brother, Dean Winchester, is not exactly what I would have envisioned (then again, I am a fan of Dean Winchester) and younger brother, Sam, seems to be getting the brunt of attention...he might be the lead, which is offputting to me. They are a duo, plus I just don't think Sam is as interesting (or complex) as Dean is.
2) Someone covered "Carry on My Wayward Son" as the themesong. It plays a prominent role in the live-action series, and is a good classic rock song...I happen to like Kansas (it is one of my favorite state-named bands). So, the cover seems weak.
3)Jared Padelecki (Sam) voiced the US episodes, but Jensen Ackles (Dean) only did a select few...who is doing them? Does anyone but Ackles sound like Ackles? I don't think so. I like his voice. He was awesome as Red Hood in Batman: Under the Red Hood, so he CAN do voice work. (Plus his dad is a voice-over legend). The choice is odd.
4) It may be drawing too much from the storyline in the live-action series. What I see from the preview is most of an episode called "Roadkill" from season two. (Yes, I am that much of a geek.) I hope that there are new plotlines, otherwise I'm not sure what the point of redoing the series in animated form might be.

Concerns aside, I am (pun intended) geeked! I look forward to viewing and then reviewing the series here on Squeefinity...it will give me something to do during the summer hiatus of the live action show. And new ways to oogle Dean.

Day 4 - Anime You're Ashamed You Enjoyed: Boku No Sexual Harassment



Boku No Sexual Harassment is a story about a young businessman willing to do ANYTHING to please his sadistic and demanding boss, Mr. Honma. Among those anythings are, per the title, allowing clients to "ahem" sample his "ahem" skills (that's a nice way to put it). Oh, and there's a scene involving corn rapery. Now, before you, dear readers (of which there are like two), write me off as a complete and total pervert please understand that this anime is NOT SEXY AT ALL! I am not (well, not in this way) a total pervert. And, I am completely embarassed that I enjoyed Boku No Sexual Harassment (My Sexual Harassment). I have so much shame, that it is actually difficult to post this. So, let me redeem myself by explaining why I enjoyed it.

1. It is so exceedingly wrong that it becomes hilarious. It is shame-inducingly, side-splittingly funny. Some of the lines are so ridiculous, blatant, warped and obviously psychologically damaging to the main character that it is impossible for me to keep a straight face. The laughter is a combination of discomfort and bafflement, with a measured dose of shock and (I'll say it) amusement.

2. You can MST3K the hell out of it. So much to comment on...so horrible!

3. I like showing this to others just to see their reaction. When the "corn scene" comes on, the look of perplexed horror on their face is priceless.

This anime is, to put it plainly, just freaking wrong. Wrong! Wrong ! Wrong! Every aspect of it is wrong, but it's also really (accidentally) funny. There is plenty of hentai in the world that jumps the line to "that's freaking gross" with wild abandon and NO humor. A few "H" or "Ecchi" anime, like Papa to Kiss skeeve me out so badly that I can't think of them without shuddering. I watched one episode of Black Bible and it gave me nightmares...I'm not kidding...NIGHTMARES!

So, yes, I feel sickened and ashamed that I laugh so uproariously at the treatment of this "innocent businessman." I am a horrible person.

Day 3 - Your Anime Crush:

I have more manga crushes than anime crushes. I mean there is ONE episode of Fake, so I suppose I could put Dee Laytner down here and technically not be cheating. I love Dee. LOVE HIM! I won't even try to help it. I like mean boys.
So, in the spirit of liking the mean/tragic I'm going to have to go with Eri Yuki of Gravitation, who has already been mentioned by Ms. Shakespeare and I several times.

I wish the artist had added their name to this picture so I could give them credit, because when I found it I was all...BISHONEN BUDDHA! That is hot!

Eri Yuki is cruel, sarcastic, devious, talented, tragic, scarred and beautiful. He's a writer, and he's a total asshole when it comes to emotions. I appreciate this.

Some of my favorite cruel quotes (directed towards Shuichi Shindou, his "lover?") from Yuki-san (many from the manga rather than the anime):

"Moron, moron, moron!" That's pretty ubiquitous.

"You're boring when you're not acting stupid... but you're even worse when you're trying too hard. If you want to get all emotional, then go someplace else. Take some Ritalin. I don't want to hear you bitch and moan." (Track 7)

"That day I met you, out on the street... I should have just backed my car up and killed you." (Track 26)

""Now that's the self-centered drama queen I know. That self-sacrificing bullshit was as dull as dirt." -(Track 30)

Eri Yuki is a dick. A total dick. But he's funny. And he does do the right thing. And once in a while he pulls out a charming confession like this one:

"It's hard to be truthful sometimes. I respect that you [Shuichi] can always be so honest. I don't know if I can be that way, but I'll try. So... don't ever leave me again. It's inconvenient not to have a hole to fuck when I get in the mood." (Track 42)


Or this favorite of mine:
"Get over it. This is just the way I express my love." (Track 54)

He's like Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights if Wuthering Heights centered around a wannabe pop star and a romance novelist.
Color me smitten kitten.



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Smitten.

Day 2 - Favorite Anime Series You've Watched So Far: Loveless



Since Loveless has been mentioned before on Squeefinity I won't do another lengthy recap. Instead I'll give you five words: oneness, betrayal, sacrifice, devotion, suffering. Yes, those will do nicely.

I picked Loveless because it is the anime that affects me the most in a lot of ways. I could have picked (much to Ms. Shakespeare's dismay I am sure) Inuyasha because I have devoted the most time to both it and the characters in it, or Gurran Lagann for being one of the most inspirational and thought provoking (yes, I know) animes I've seen, or even Ouran High School Host Club for nostalgic and squeedorable reasons, but I chose something that kills me.

There is something absolutely emotionally destructive about Loveless. There is only one season of the anime, and it veers away from the manga (which continues) at the end of the series, leaving everything open ended and raw. I am sick for a week whenever I watch it, but the pain is worth the loveliness of the story, the animation and the characterization. So, although I am putting this down as my favorite anime series I've watched so far, I don't know that it is necessariy a pleasant watching experience. Loveless is devastating. There is no "end" to the series (or the manga, which is on hiatus with no set startup date), but it doesn't stop me from appreciating the complexity of the incomplete story. And it certainly doesn't keep it from breaking my heart.

Gravitation

Day 2 Your favorite anime series so far?



This is not a hands down, not by a long shot. I happen to both love (and hate) many anime for many reasons. Today I will say "Gravitation." Why? I think discovering "Gravitation" was a kind of tipping point for me. The manga came first. Until then I had been collecting mostly American comics, long boxes full of superheros and arty/alty stuff, picking out trades and graphic novels. Every new comics day I was at the shop picking up my "stories," watching the dorky boys at the games tables rolling their 7 sided die, and semi-browsing the videos and discount comics section to see if there was anything that appealed to me.

I'm not sure how it happened really. I had bought this kind of silly manga, "From Eroica with Love," which is about this very flamboyant art thief who is always trying to get the goat of the handsome man who is trying to catch him. I got it as a joke to read to my blind friend who I often read comics to. It annoyed him, but it fascinated me. I mean what were these somewhat racy books doing at a comic shop in the midwest? And who were they meant for? I started reading more about genres in manga and found myself fascinated with the idea of shonen ai and yaoi-- the type of comics that might cause seizures of disdain in any self respecting straight and narrow type, and also made girls squee with delight.

That's when I discovered "Gravitation" in all its glory and ridiculousness. I started buying the manga and plowed through it. I was fascinated by Shuichi and Eri and their rock star / romance novelist antics. The comics, frankly, had all the elements of melodrama which I loved and studied in college and grad-school. Give me Thomas Hardy. Give me Maki Murikami.

Naturally, it followed, that I loved the anime, which I felt was more coherent and ultimately better done than the manga.

Day 1, 1st Anime: Belle and Sebastien & Mysterious Cities of Gold

Not the band! Known as Jolly something in Japan...



The show is about the kid, Sebastian, his white Pyrenees Belle and the little dog, Poochie. They were on the run from the cops and Sebastian was looking for his mom. Other than that, I don't remember much, except there was also a girl named Sarah who was kind of sickly. I loved that show. I loved the way it made me feel kind of sad and melancholy even as a kid.


I also LOVED the Mysterious Cities of Gold



This show is about a kid named Esteban, who also happens to be an orphan on a journey to the new world hoping to find his dad. It's the search for Eldorado.


Apparently I really liked shows where kids were orphaned and hoped to be reunited with their parents. It should be noted both of these shows aired on Nick Jr, which also had awesome shows like Dr. Snuggles, The Adventures of the Little Prince, Inspector Gadget and more:

Amanderpanderer--Post One: Very First Anime

This is hard for a 30-something year old kiddult to remember. I have distinct memories of Voltron and G-Force and even the sweaty-faux-anime of Speed Racer. What counts? Not American animation because that's something altogether different. But is The Last Mermaid anime? There is something VERY anime about it in both its style and its adult themes that makes me want to count it. Plus, I saw it in the theater, which was cool. Because I am old.

Or should I start with the first series I followed? Hands down that's Digimon. I didn't start watching it until graduate school (yes, I's edjumacated). I still have the first three seasons on VHS. That could count, right? I do love me some Digimon...so complicated and lovely. Much more complicated and lovely than ANYONE ever gives it credit for. Kids don't get the nuances of that show; there's no way!

Or, SHUDDER, Excel Saga the first "real" anime I ever rented, which made my brain hurt with pain and stupidity...although now I bet I'd think it was funnier. Excel is a parody of other animes I wasn't familiar with at the time.

Or, could it be Miyazaki's Nausicca? The first feature length anime to dazzle me to no end.

Or, should I count the anime that started my sick obsession? Because Gravitation lit that spark. Oh, YUKI! Oh. Yuki.

Maybe they're each firsts? Because, in their own way, they are, and added fuel to my burgeoning interests in anime, which lead to a serious manga obsession!

And although I don't update much, rest assured, my obession is strong. I am still watching; I am still reading; I am still squee-ing.

Your turn Ms. Shakespeare...

30 Post Anime Challenge

I challenge Ms. Shakespeare not to a 30-day anime challenge, but to a 30 post anime stand-off. Following the list for the 30-Day anime challege, we shall cross post our responses to each of the headings.


Day 1 - Very First Anime
Day 2 - Favorite Anime Series You've Watched So Far
Day 3 - Your Anime Crush
Day 4 - Anime You're Ashamed You Enjoyed
Day 5 - Anime Character You Feel the Most Like
Day 6 - Most Annoying Anime Character
Day 7 - Favorite Anime Couple
Day 8 - Most Epic Scene
Day 9 - Saddest Anime Scene
Day 10 - Weirdest Anime Series You've Watched So Far
Day 11 - Favorite Mech Series
Day 12 - Anime That Everyone Should See
Day 13 - Underrated Anime
Day 14 - Current (Or Most Recent) Anime Wallpaper
Day 15 - Post Which Anime Character You Wish You Could Be
Day 16 - Favorite Mahou Shoujo Anime
Day 17 - Favorite Anime Ending Theme Song
Day 18 - Anime with Best Plot Idea
Day 19 - Mandatory Victory Pose
Day 20 - Favorite Dubbed Anime
Day 21 - Best Yandere Character
Day 22 - Favorite Anime Character Team Up
Day 23 - Anime You Think Had the Best, Or most intriguing art.
Day 24 - Favorite Anime Hero or Heroine
Day 25 - Best Anime Villian
Day 26 - Your Favorite Harem Anime
Day 27 - Favorite Anime Opening Theme Song
Day 28 - Favorite Pokemon
Day 29 - Most Pointless Anime
Day 30 - Favorite Anime Involving Guns

You're on, Ms. Shakespeare! I got first dibs.