For the love of Anime

Rando here.

I’m a 42 year old man who loves cartoons. There, I said it. I think that animation is an important art form and is vital for some stories. There are some things that just cannot be conveyed in a live-action medium. The mind simply cannot accept something so realistic and yet so artificial at the same time. Enter animation.

Here are a few series and movies that I thing are worth your attention. This will range from the silly to the dramatic, so hang on!

1) The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi
This is a very interesting show about a time-travaler, an alien, an esper, a normal boy, and, for lack of a better term– a god. The god (well… goddess, really) character is looking for something extraordinary in her life. Something like the existence of espers, aliens, and time-travelers. Everyone but the boy has been sent to observe the goddess (Suzumiya Haruhi). The boy (Kyon) knows everything, Suzumiya knows nothing about the true natures of the others, believing them to all be fellow students. Here is the story of 4 very special people and a normal boy with a dry wit trying to cope with it all.

2) Utawarerumono
Wow, this is a really good dramatic fantasy piece. A man with no name and no past awakes to find himself in the care of a kind woman he does not know. He wears a mask that neither he nor anyone else can remove. All the people around him are anthropomorphic animals. The setting appears to be in feudal times. This world has magic, demons, corrupt emperors, and a shocking secret. This man works with the villagers who have saved him and together, they share a chequered life.

3) RahXephon
Pronounced Rah-Ze-Fon. How to describe it? In short, it’s like Neon Genesis Evangelion, but easier to understand. The “Angel” characters designs are all based on ancient idols and fetishes. It makes for a visually stunning piece of work. Also, it’s very dramatic with great acting (from the original Japanese actors) and lush characters. Check it out! You’ll be glad you did.

4) Read or Die
It’s the library secret service. Just watch the opening below. It’s an adventure series about a paper-user, a woman who can phase through solid objects (think Kitty Pryde, but sexy and deadly) and a commando.

5) Summer Wars
This is a title I was hoping would get an Oscar nomination. It’s a fun movie with good characters that you can emote and root for. A math whiz gets roped into playing the fiancée of a popular girl in school. He has to meet her family and pretend to fulfil the girls need to please her elderly grandmother. Hilarity and adventure ensue when a rogue AI program assimilates the main global online social network (which also controls much of the real serivces and technology of their lives) and tries to kill the entire family.

That could never happen, could it, Facebook? 😉

Well, there’s a lot more. But I’m going to save them for future posts. So give these a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Stay tuned for more!

Rando!

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