What you are reading here is the beginning of this blog’s 500th post. I worked it out so amazingly well that it falls dead in the middle of another bunch of posts and so it will be buried for weeks on end. So in that spirit, I’ve decided to do a list of my top anime. The humiliation won’t last all that long because of when this is scheduled thankfully.
I’m not too big on bandwagon jumping. My votes in the Anime Power Rankings reflect that. Plus, the spring isn’t actually looking all that promising. So following Inushide, Lostty, Caraniel, and Yumeka (along with many others who have probably done it, but I hadn’t seen) I’m answering a set if 50 questions that have been going around this particular blogosphere.
I’ve been slacking of late as far as the non-episodic posts. Blogging 4 series at the same time tends to lead to burnout rather quickly, so I plan to get to that when times aren’t as busy. Now that it’s down to 3 series I have a programming issue I haven’t had to address in many a year. I guess people want to see more insight into the personal lives of the people they are following because it makes it easier to relate to them. There’s quite a bit of that on Twitter, but these questions are supposed to address that. Here goes nothing
1. Who is your favorite male anime character?
This is really a hard question to start with because I generally have a hard time deciding on one. Ask me in 10 minutes and my opinion would change. I’ve gone from thinking Vegeta was utterly badass to going through various generic main characters because of the rest of the cast. I even had Kuroda from Giant Killing in this high tier of characters. Ultimately though I had to settle on Jinto from the Seikai franchise. The man takes action when necessary, and fully commits himself to the one he loves.
2. Who is your favorite female anime character?
This one is actually much easier. That would be one Hildegard von Mariendorf. Who could not like a character who was the perfect foil for the man who conquered the entire galaxy? Her marriage was rather farcical given that it came as a result of the two of them giving n to their passions. If anything, it actually made her character that much more endearing.
3. What is your favorite anime soundtrack?
I’d probably go with the OSTs of Macross Plus. It was the first anime I watched where it felt like the music mattered. It was essential to the plot as is the case in most of the Macross series. It then led to a rapid gathering of much of Yoko Kanno’s collection to that point. This was over a decade ago, I should add and this OST still gets into my music rotation.
4. What is your favorite anime opening + animation?
Eden of the East, at least the broadcast version because the music from the Mancunian band does feel necessary. The animation itself actually gives a full synopsis of the plot and the sense of desperation coming from Akira and Saki.
5. What is your favorite anime ending + animation?
Oh boy, endings. I don’t really watch many of these. Kare Kano probably doesn’t count since it isn’t animation. I’ll go with the ending from the 7th episode of Hanamaru Kindergarden. A tribute to silent film before a silent film could win an Academy Award. Unfortunately, I think everyone involved has probably moved on to a different studio by now.
6. What is your favorite anime scene?
Episode 82 of Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Anyone who’s watched it will know exactly what scene.
7. If you could meet an anime character who would it be?
I’d probably go with Fumihiko Matsumaru from REC. The guy works in an office all day and probably has good tales to tell over large amounts of beer.
8. What anime character is most similar to you in terms of personality?
Watashi from Tatami Galaxy, in the worst possible way.
9. What is your favorite thing about anime?
If I was completely and totally honest, I would probably say because it’s different. Not different in the way that those straight-to-Sci Fi Channel movies were during my teenage years, rather it’s more like a grocery or liquor store. There’s a section devoted to stuff from abroad, which makes it seem unique from everything that’s considered normal. It may cost a little bit more, but it seems like it’s different.
10. What is your least favorite thing about anime?
The thought that it could be considered a special product just on it’s own. Anime is capable of being just as bad as even the worst live-action movies and TV shows. I guess this is more an indictment of certain fans over anything else. So sticking entirely to the topic, I’d split it between the name used to define a block of 12 episodes at a time and the phenomenon of officially shortened titles.
11. Who’s your favorite anime couple?
Jinto & Lafiel from Crest/Banner of the Stars. When the question going around the aniblogosphere was “What anime would you want to see?”, all I could think of was more of those two. I don’t think anything else comes close.
12. Who is your favorite anime animal?
Leader from Honey & Clover. Though if we can count just non-human entities I would go for Chizuru from Kanokon, purely for superficial reasons.
13. What anime would make a good game?
The World God Only Knows as a dating sim would be incredibly meta
14. What game would make a good anime?
This is going to be a bit difficult as I don’t play that many games that translate into a story. Just for the hell of it, any of the new Street Fighter games to be adapted as top quality terribad viewing.
15. What was the first anime you ever watched?
This is sort of a difficult question. It could really be a number of things when I was a kid, like Speed Racer, Voltron or Robotech. Purists may not count that, but under other conditions it could also be Dragonball Z, Ranma 1/2 or Sailor Moon. It’s not a simple question to answer.
16. Do you think you’ll ever stop watching anime?
I could make this question morbid, but I’ll just settle for it’s highly likely that I would at some point in the distant future.
17. What is your favorite genre of anime?
I’m not really one for picking a favorite genre. That said I do usually consider what genre a show is trying to be when trying to rate it.
18. What is your least favorite genre of anime?
See the above answer if I’m trying to be fair. If not, then I would just stick to the “slice-of-life nothing happens ever” genre.
19. Are you open about watching anime with people you know?
There’s one guy at work who I took to ACen last year who knows. The rest of the people I know have never even bothered asking what I’m into. So I guess it’s more of an “if I’m asked directly about it” question than not.
20. Have you ever been to Japan?
No, but maybe some day when I actually have the money to do so.
21. What anime was the biggest letdown for you?
Clannad, which was supposed to have this emotional appeal to a large audience. I just wanted to violently throttle Jun Maeda into unconsciousness after watching it.
22. What anime was better than expected?
Probably Kaiba had the biggest jump between what I was expecting and what I watched. I really high on the show based on initial impressions and how poorly the show did in sales, and that it’s unlicensible outside of Australia. Turns out it was an absolute joy to watch. It’s a shame there’s little interest in it.
23. What is the best anime fight scene?
This is actually a pretty hard one, simply because I really don’t want to count mecha battles. For the way this battle concludes with the completely out of left field athletic ability of one of the participants, I choose this:
24. Who is your anime waifu?
I never really understood this concept. What the hell does it even mean anyway? As soon as someone can give me a logical reason for having one, I will get around to choosing one.
25. What was your favorite video game as a child?
Probably Sonic 3 & Knuckles, that locking mechanism was state-of-the-art for 1995. Think I got hundred of hours out of that game.
26. Most embarrassing moment?
You would have to talk to me in person to get this story, sorry.
27. Can you drive?
Yes, though it feels like I have a target on my rear bumper sometimes.
28. Are you mature?
I don’t think so. I do lots of stupid crap all the time and waste time and energy on things that I really shouldn’t.
29. What year were you born?
1983, 16 years after the Summer of Love.
30. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Dogs because cats just use people for their own ends.
31. Describe yourself physically.
6 feet even, and otherwise I don’t stand out in any particular way.
32. What would you name your first child?
I honestly haven’t thought about it because I’ve never thought the possibility I could have a kid was realistic.
33. What is the worst injury you’ve ever had?
I impaled my leg on part of a tree when I was 8, that’s probably about as bad as it gets.
34. What is your worst habit?
Always hiding who I really am from people. So fear is my worst habit.
35. Do you drink or smoke?
Yes…alright, I don’t smoke is that fair enough?
36. Do you have a tattoo?
Of course not. I just think any tattoo on me would look terrible.
37. Are you a morning or a night person?
Mornings because that’s just how I grew up in maximizing video game time when I was a kid.
38. Have you ever slept past midday?
Now that I think of it, probably not.
39. Do you regret anything?
Tons, I have that recurring wish that I could go back 11 years ago and change what I did then. I’d probably use that ability for evil, though.
40. Can you count the number of friends that you have on one hand?
Sometimes it feels like I have many, other times it feels like I wouldn’t need any hands to count. It really just depends on when I’m asked this.
41. Do you wear glasses?
I go with contacts. I was picked on when I had glasses as a kid, plus my parents basically picked for me. I still have a pair, but it never goes out in public.
42. Are you a picky eater?
Not really, I’ll actually try most things that look somewhat edible. I used to hate anything with mushrooms, and though I don’t love them, I will at least eat stuff with them in it. I do know people at work who consider pizza a vegetable, so I’m not terrible.
43. Would you die for someone?
As I am now, I probably wouldn’t. If I had kids then it might be a different story.
44. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Charisma to the extent that I could convince anyone to do anything I wanted. I’d be like the guy in these commercials:
45. Do you believe in the supernatural?
Not really, that’s something used to make more money be those selling supernatural goods or the idea itself.
46. Would you rather be rich or famous?
Rich, so I could use the money to become famous. Like donating enough money to have a hospital wing named after me, or kicking my Congressman out of office.
47. Have you ever committed a crime?
You’d have to ask me in person to get the answer, it’s related to the earlier question.
48. Time traveler or ghost?
Time traveling because screwing around with history and having untold consequences sounds exciting.
49. Does anybody have a crush on you?
I think my existence probably doesn’t register enough to make this possible.
50. Are you in a relationship?
Oh heavens no. I don’t think I deserve it either.
With the Sai Mecha tournament beginning, I thought it might be a good exercise to see if I could actually remember enough names to come up with a decent nomination slate. This blog hasn’t featured mecha in any decent amount since the early days where I had one reader. The tournament itself I find a peculiar idea, there’s clearly a large number of fans who care about the genre, but mecha themselves have ironically become an anachronism.
Now onto the nominations. Earlier I found out I couldn’t nominate such things as The Iron Giant, Megas from Megas XLR, neither Big Guy or Rusty or any of the mecha from Exosquad. Disappointed as I was with 5 of my favorites being disqualified, here’s 12 others:
1. RB-79 Ball
I figured I would just start with the Ball. In the UC universe as I remember it, it was the only mecha the Federation could utilize against Zeon until some kid and his training manual heroics came around. I remember it just being a mere joke, for it’s obvious inspiration from 2001 to the fact it was completely useless against any opponent with real mecha. That was until 08th MS Team‘s Shiro Amada showed off amazing skills in the Ball from the first episode. As the most technologically feasible on this list, it’s also the least powerful.
2, 3 & 4. MS-07 Gouf, RX-79[G] Gundam Ez8 and RX-75 Guntank
So it’s more from 08th MS Team. Needless to say, this is my favorite battle of everything I’ve seen. So I had to include the Gouf piloted by Norris Packard, Shiro Amada’s mass produced Gundam and the Guntank which was Norris’ objective in the mission. Apologies for using dub footage, but that was all I could find with minimal effort on Youtube.
This was something I watched about a year ago, but it is vintage Tomino. Ideon is a classic story of 2 races who are so similar to each other that they can’t comprehend coming together for the sake of the universe. The Ideon mecha is powered by a mysterious force that is also wreaking havoc on Earth and the Buff Clan’s Earth. What follows is near constant death of all who try to get close to understanding what that force is. Then, infamously everyone in the universe dies at the end.
Pretty much what was covered here.
“Y’all don’t know what Voltron is?” Maroney said, incredulous and just getting rolling. “Don’t tell me none of y’all watched Voltron? Nobody never watched the cartoon Voltron? They connect! Five of them. (Looking around, laughing) Man, all that stories and reading and things you do, y’all don’t know nothing about Voltron? Any of y’all got kids? You don’t sit down and watch (Voltron) with your kids…”
So mediocre NFL running backs aren’t necessarily the standard for the general population, but I can at least understand where he was coming from. Voltron as it was called in the Western releases was the first series with mecha that I can remember. Sure the editing was 4Kids level, but when everything else animated had a Disney label on it, it was different. I’m probably exaggerating on that.
8. Mecha from Kannazuki no Miko
I’ll be up front here and say I didn’t watch enough of Kannazuki no Miko to even care what the mecha names were. I just happened to come across this as my interest in mecha was fading badly. I guess you could say this represents all of those series out there where mecha is used merely as a device of conflict, a trend that continues to this day.
9. GF13-050NSW Noble Gundam
G Gundam is a fairly easy target for ridicule. Mecha with sombreros and another with a giant windmill on its chest pretty much represent lazy stereotypes of their nations of origin. The Noble Gundam was supposed to represent Neo-Sweden, and it’s design could be lifted straight out of mahou shoujo legend. When pilot Allenby Beardsley goes berserker, that hair has functionality I suppose. Maybe I should just move on.
10.XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero
At number 10 is the only one from Gundam Wing I think is worth nominating. It’s mind-destroying capabilities made the pacifist Quatre willing to blow up a few colonies here and there as revenge for his father’s death. That episode is actually one of my favorites, and it would be on a list of my favorite individual episodes if anyone wanted me to compile one. On the downside, it’s ridiculously overpowered and has massive plot armor effects as it was constructed with the same materials, yet is indestructible.
11. MRX-009 Psyco Gundam
How could I forget this one? It just reminds me of the tragic circumstances of Kamille and Four’s relationship. Anyway, this mecha was ridiculously large because of all the newtype enhancements that needed to be crammed inside. One thing worth noting is oversized suits never do well against heroes in the UC universe (see: Big Zam).
12. Jet Alone
The Jet Alone mecha from Evangelion isn’t much in the grand scheme of the series. It appears in just 1 episode only to showcase how vastly superior NERV is at building piloted EVA units. So what actually makes Jet Alone worth nominating. I like to think that it became sentient because it realized that the world as it was shouldn’t exist.
In the middle of a rather typical night shooting the breeze on Twitter, the subject of some sort of warfare between lovers and haters of moe came up. Not particularly having any sort of agenda on this debate, someone posted a link in it was argued that the likes of Cowboy Bebop had been glorified to such an extent that anything they believed had a similar quality with moe elements (Strike Witches in their opinion) because the latter is more typical.
This moved me onto the point of this post. In light of the revelation that something considered high-quality is not considered typical of the anime viewing experience, if one was to think of a truly representative series that represents everything coming out of Japan what would it be?
After ghostlightning once again set the agenda over at the creatively named THAT Anime Blog, and with followups from Rakuen at Borderline Hikikomori and Caraniel’s…Ramblings, I thought I may as well have a go at something like this too. Categorization of the characters in these posts have broken down into words like admirable, complex, entertaining and relatable. I would also think there are other ways to have favorite characters, which could even be in reaction to the favorites of others; positively or negatively. One could even have characters that are favorites for irony.