I was not sure what to write about today, so I thought I would write about something I enjoy that is NOT art related. I do like things other than art. I love books, movies (OK horror movies,) cartoons, tea, games, new socks, baths, and anime.
I enjoy anime quite a lot.
I was first exposed to it when I lived in Alaska in my early teens. Even then I liked to stay up quite late and I would end up watching some crazy things on TV at 2am. It was super cool! Spaceships, crazy hair, new stories and drawing styles that I had never seen. I was seeing images Sci-Fi book gave me on TV! So cool.
I do not remember the name of the first one I saw, I remember it took place in space and the people were very elongated (tall and skinny.) It made a huge impression on me.
I have three criteria that I judge almost all visual entertainment by.
1. Story content
2. Telling style
If you blow me away on two of the three I will consider the video good. There are very few are 3 for 3 and these are the ones that I remember and want to keep.
For example Rojan: the Robbers Daughter. Cute story and told okay, but OMG the visuals drove me bananas. Bouncing between 2d and 3d and the hair.. .what the heck. I thought the hair was bad, but then they bust out fur shawls and the details on those were really distracting. It was still OK, 2 of 3 is good. I only remember it because I just watched it and my spouse and I had some conversations about the animation.
Here is a list of anime that made an impression on me. Most are older, some are new, some are popular and some are obscure, so obscure they are hard to find. I have not seen some of these since I first watched them. I watched Chobits while in the military, 14-16 years ago... And it still sticks with me.
They are not in any order, more as I remember them.
Chobits – really interesting and trippy. It is slow so buckle down.
Fruits Basket – another slow one, but it gets you in the feels.
Paranoid Agent – weird. Watch the whole thing. I was watching this as it was released on TV and I missed a few episodes, this made it really confusing.
Paprika – this is a movie, hard to get as it is out of print (so to speak.) Another weird one (do you see a theme developing yet?) This movie was the inspiration for the Cell and Inception movies.
Perfect Blue – while thinking about movies, this one is really cool. A up and coming actress gets her first stalker. I love way the story was told, you get so caught up in the girl’s life that you end up as confused as she is.
Mushishi – I love this. The stories are excellent and the animation is gorgeous. I wish there was more as I want to know more about the protagonist.
Mahoutsukai no Yome (the Magnus’ Bride) – This one is so exciting, and it is new! I have a hard time finding new stuff I like. They all seem to be shallow action flicks. Not this one.
Mardock Scramble – another hard to find one. It is actually three movies (first, second and third exhaust.) I saw the first in 2014 and had to search for the second (they started release in 2013.) I had to wait a whole year for the last installment. I remembered to keep looking for that whole year, that is how awesome it is.
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo – The story for this one is fairly well known, but the animation designs are so cool. They add a totally different level to the visuals of the story. Almost everything is moving. I have watched it several times and I get hypnotized every time.
Metropolis: This movie blew my mind. I was crying and just amazed. The animation style was in such contrast with the heavy subject matter. Since I have watched two versions of the black and white live action movie, but the anime will always be the one that blows my mind.
Ghost in the Shell – This movie should not be a surprise to anyone. The theme on my list is either amazing visuals or existentialist. Ghost in the Shell is defiantly both. The animation is so clean and interesting and the story makes you question who you are.
Lupin the 3rd – This is a TV show, manga, AND a series of movies. This has been going since 1967! It is 50 years old this year. I was amazed. The older movies (The Mystery of Mamo and Castle of Cagliostro) were done in the 1970’s and you would be hard pressed to tell, based off the story. The animation tells you, but you would still not think 70’s. I really enjoy all the interesting cultural differences that show up in this. Watching all the movies kind of tell you what was important during the generation they were created in. In the latest one, Goemon Ishikawa’s Spray of Blood Lupin and the gang get drunk and stoned, in the past all they did was smoke cigarettes.
The are so many more that I cannot remember the names of. I hunt down new anime from time to time. I am about to check out Inuyaskiki (apparently an older man gets turned into a combat robot. This should be neat.)
I found this list online. I have seen almost all of these, some I loved and some… not so much. These are all worth checking out if you can.
Here is a nice list care of IMBD of some really cool obscure anime worth checking out. Again I have seen most of these and really enjoyed them. Some are not my thing and a few I have not been able to find on my budget.
One more site. Gymkata lists a bunch of amazing anime. There is so much good stuff out there. I have watch so many the titles just hide out in my brain and I cannot find them when I want them. House of Five Leaves for sure, and Angel’s Egg.
I have watched all the “classics” Cowboy Bebop, Vampire Hunter D, Macross, Bubble Gum Crisis, Hellsing, Full Metal Alchemist, D. Gray Man, .Hack, Howl’s Moving Castle, almost everything from Studio Ghibli and hundreds of others. I have many of the full length anime on DVD or on a hard drive some where.
I am always looking for more anime to watch (or manga to read) so leave your suggestions!