I don’t like anime.
Sometimes I hate anime with a passion.
I used to think these are the worst kinds of shows infesting the TV at the moment, bar none. I really don’t understand them. I mean, it’s just 2D cartoons right? It’s as crappy as South Park, ohhh I so HATE that lousy excuse for a show. I mean, Hollywood has long ago abandoned the concept, and now they are releasing such 3D computer-generated classics as The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. Cars is also a very recent cool movie. I recently went on a date with my ex watching that, she liked it too.
Anyway, about this anime thing, it just doesn’t hit my stride. I recently researched a bit about it, mostly because I am at a drought of watching shows (Only American Idol is good, Heroes is on a break, and 24 and Lost is getting pretty annoying lately), thinking I can touch on a new genre of entertainment. Alas, I watched some clips of some anime, watched a couple of series and movies, and one very long series that… and… ugh… someone please reverse time for me… this is a very BIG waste!
I tried to research for myself, and found this show about Haruhi. I don’t even know what the fuss is about. I mean, they all talk about Haruhiism Haruhiism as if it is a religion. So many blogs, so many forums go crazy about Haruhi. I honestly don’t understand why they go all gaga over a girl who crossdresses to be a man who… er… serves girls, being a Host of some kind. I may be in a loss here, but the anime did not have any “dancing”… but searching for Haruhi I found lots of dancing. Am I watching the same show here?
At a loss, I decided to call for help. I recently phoned an old friend of mine (a fellow videophile back in our high school days), named bluemist. I recall he’s the most knowledgeable about these things, recalling him blabber about Dragonball, Neo Genesis Evangelion, and a bunch of other names I didn’t understand (Love Hina, anyone?). He invited me to his house, and, well… it’s kinda like my entrance to the world of anime. Whoa, his room is sooooo designed with anime things (kinda like my room, but more hardcore). He has figurines, posters, CDs, DVDs, and wow that awesome 42″ 1080p HDTV I’ve been dreaming about (I only have 720p)… only with stickers of anime. He must be rich… but alas no GF at the moment. He’s going emo about some girl he called a “tsundere meganekko”, which according to him means a bitchy girl but can be sweet in a sarcastic way… and wears glasses too. Must be his fetish. I recall him giving me pr0n about a teacher with glasses… oh the lavish HS days… He’s seriously devastated because of the girl, and hopes for a resolution (he’s trying to get over it). Dunno what happened though, but I bid them well.
He’s running an anime review blog too, so maybe you could visit him (I’ll give the link later). New girlfriends are always welcome too (don’t quote me on that… sorry bluemist, just had to say it LOL). He provided me a LOAD of content… and I really mean LOAD (quite a haxx0r too, he setup blank Bluray Discs which I can play even with my DRM-infested PS3 and HDCP-protected TV). He said there are new stuff and old stuff on the discs, and gave me a primer on what to expect from anime. Alas and indeed, things are getting grim. I don’t think this is my kind of entertainment AT ALL. I respect my friend though because it’s his genre, and “for each their own”, as I always say.
First I saw a new just-released anime called Hidamari Sketch. Four girls, four apartment rooms… how more boring can it get? The girl with X on her hair is a lame one, the yellow-haired is too energetic, and the pink one is too perky (worries too much about fat). Sae… the only remotely interesting character, seems to have emo complex of her own, but I didn’t pursue the story because I stopped watching after a couple eps. Then I tried an old one called Kareshi no Kanojo no… err I give up, His and Her Circumstances is the English name. This one’s quite compelling, I imagine this would be for the “true love” hopefuls, because the relationship portrayed seems very steady. And imagine that, plus in just 4 eps they became lovers!?! Impossible… by Dawson’s Creek standards. This kind of romance is so 80s. I dropped it for lack of story, there’s nothing interesting about a stable relationship.
There’s another love story called Kimi wa Nozumo… agh… Rumbling Hearts. This one’s teh soap opera of the world. Lover girl had an accident and a 3-year coma. Best friend stole his boyfriend during that time. Soooooooooooooooo typical. I’m surprised by the abundance of seks in this one. At one point I wondered if Rumbling Hearts is some rehash of a US soap. My friend bluemist explained though that it is part of a new and exciting genre in the anime, the bishoujo or ero-game anime (anime which are based on popular PC dating games… dating games meaning you date one girl out of several… kinda like the crap flash games I see on the internet). The genre is particularly scary to me… because I guess this is the maximum hardcore it can be. The girls can have radical hairstyles, clothing, and personalities. And yes… you get to bang her in the game… and you fa* in real life. I guess this is where bluemist gets his digg for having no lovelife at the moment, yes? Well, it’s no different from reality TV dating shows for wish fulfillment so you can’t really put it into shame. We all have our twisted fantasies, that’s why we are in our couch-potato popcorn generation nowadays.
One thing of note, another one of this bishoujo anime called Kanon, he told me it was the big thing currently. I don’t see any particular reason why. I would admit the designs were totally cute, and seemingly the quality of the work is well-polished. But again the stories are so typical. It’s kinda hard to put into true context. Who is the real target audience for this? I mean, I don’t think kids could understand this, nor girls would like it despite the cuteness of it all. Again, loveless teen males? I can’t put the finger on it yet. I thought loveless teen males could only find solace in MMORPGs like Second Life and World of Warcraft? They wander in their game worlds like crazy. I guess these anime and ero games make you immerse yourself in the male character too, thinking you are somewhat important to a girl or something. Unlike the other anime, I finished Kanon. While typical, it had enough story to keep me from turning off the TV. If the other animes I don’t know yet are as good… or better than Kanon, I think I could pass it up as a worthy entry in my TV reviewing.
All this time my quest for anime was some lighthearted disappointments, nothing too major, but this particular one took the cake. The catalyst, of which I blame this one alone for all my mighty hate for (some) things related to anime. Gundam SEED.
Believe it or not, I liked it. Gundam SEED was EPIC. Reminded me of all the Bravehearts, Private Ryans, and other medieval and modern wars put into television and film, given a futuristic robot setting. A story of factions and sides, conflicting ideas and resolves, love and courage… seemingly EVERYTHING is on the 50+ episodes of Gundam SEED. Better than Kanon IMO. Absolutely entertaining all the way to the end.
As a word of warning though, bluemist told me NOT to touch its sequel, Gundam SEED Destiny… “no matter what”. But being this excited about it, I found a copy and tried it anyway. Alas, I didn’t heed the warning of my good friend, and its repercussions haunt me even to this day. If Gundam SEED was an epitomy of epic anime greatness… Gundam SEED Destiny is an ABSOLUTE F***KING DISASTER OF EPIC PROPORTIONS!!!##%!#!#%#! The story and the characters which I cared about… all seem to be crap in the sequel. It basically rendered all the hardships and resolutions of the first series totally useless, and gave another spin at another war plot… really really badly. So many plot holes, so many crazy things happen. And the saddest part is… I still pursued the series until its very end. Every episode, painstakingly hoping that it will get better. But by the time I realized that there really is no hope for the series, it’s almost over. There it is. 50+ episodes DOWN THE DRAIN. The complete waste of time, effort, and money (over electric bills). These Gundam Seed series took me from UP to DOWN, and I ended up loathing both series anyway. Dammit, DANG IT REALLY!&$&$%%”#!!
After the worst experience of my anime discovery project, a couple of other anime made me smile a bit. There is this one called Naruto. Dunno why my friend hates it… I mean, it’s awesome! Cool ninja moves, cool powers, it’s like those Dragonball things I heard about back in high school, but never got into at all. It has nice animation too, which I appreciated so much, very unlike the seemingly static movements of that Haruhi show. Sakura is so hot, yeah! I want her poster, and I’ll replace the old Christina Aguilera one I have over at the wall. No wait, I should remove Britney by now, she’s real crazy to cut her hair. Also, I believe that anime, 2D animation in general, is a dying genre and is on life support because of a Ghibli cartoon called Spirited Away (won an Oscar). I watched that one with my younger cousins and they yucked at the weird animals and monsters. But I got the message and it was a very entertaining movie. With Disney and others seemingly not doing 2D cartoon movies, the last bastion should be films like this one.
After this relatively fruitful (not in a good way) experience with anime, I can conclude on some things. Regular shows, there are good stuff (like Heroes) and really really bad stuff (Desperate Housewives? ECK, sorry DH fans but I just really hate it). Just like them, anime has really good stuff and bad stuff too. I think it depends on the viewer. I’m glad enough to have a rational mind in these things. I respect other people’s inclinations. You shouldn’t bash a genre you don’t know jack about, research and actual immersion is key. But even Naruto can’t sway me for too long. By the next few weeks I will be back to watching my regular shows in peace.
Anyway that will be all for now, because I’m getting my new cat tomorrow, have to sleep early. I will post pics of the new cutie in my house whenever I can. Stay tuned for more! Rawr!
MANY, MANY THANKS TO BLUEMIST FOR MAKING ALL THIS POSSIBLE. Please visit his anime blog at:
Calling all girls… hahaha! “Gomenasai” bluemist (did I get that right?)
EDIT: I’m back and I found another anime some other guy recommended, it’s called Negima, and he found it very funny because it’s a Harry Potter ripoff. Well, indeed it is! I am really baffled on how those Japanese can get away with spoofing Rowling’s creation… maybe the addition of so many other girl magicians? One witch really caught my eye though, it’s Asuna and she acts so very much like Hermione. I like Hermione, and I’m looking forward to the new HP movie.
EDIT2: Wait, why wasn’t I talking about Pokemon all this time? I guess it’s second nature since my sister is watching it all the time (she has many of those on her Gameboy DS too). Basically, Pokemon is the most popular anime currently. I should do another anime post someday.
EDIT3 (promise this is the last): MY APPLE TV ARRIVED! YES! But… bah, it includes no cables, I still needed to borrow the HDMI from my PS3 setup. Oh well, I already watched a load of Bluray anyway. About the PS3, the kids here are bugging me to buy some games. I don’t see any good games yet, and the ones that are available may seem too violent. There should be some Spiderman, HP, or Pirates games when the movies begin showing up.