Growing Up with Anime

The more I watch anime, the more I change as a person. The older I get, the more ways I view different aspects in anime. Certain themes and subjects have grown weary and tiresome nowadays as they all seem to blend together into the gray area of love and friendship. High school romances and dramas have long been an exhausted trend. The more they pop up, the less meaning each one holds after the one before. Nowadays I look forward to the themes and characters that I can relate to. The themes and ideals that apply to me as a person.

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Commanders of Fate: Characters with a Reason

Warning: This post contains minor to major spoilers for Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (general).

As a sort of branch to my personal philosophy that I’ve yet to put into words, a few characters in anime came to mind that seemed relevant to what it is. There are quite a few things to factor in when thinking of a truly well written character, and to name a few they could be development, personality, motivations, and goals. One thing about characters that I truly admire is their actions in accordance with their ideology. Normally, characters tend to follow the general flow of the narrative they’re in, reacting dynamically to what happens around them, whether it’s an impending evil, or a common day-to-day adventure. The characters that I come to value the most are the ones who aspire to become the catalyst of that very flow, which distorts the direction of the future to their liking for whatever reason they may have. Following is a short list of characters that I believe to be candidates to fit this category.
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Evangelion and the Chips off the Old Block

Warning: This post contains severe spoilers to the Evangelion franchise.
No, this is not an analytical post as to why the Rebuilds are a sequel to Evangelion.

Evangelion was and is important. Yes, because it’s a big contribution to the industry. Yes, because it’s a precedent in the mecha genre, and for anime in general in numerous ways. Yes, because it’s cool, and full of religion and mystery, and for its psychological structure. What else makes it important, and where do the Rebuilds of Evangelion stand?
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The big anime slump


We all know the feeling. One of these days, you’ll feel like every anime you watch anymore just sucks and you can’t stand it. It’s this “rut” you just can’t seem to climb out of. Nothing satisfies your tastes. Nothing can keep up with your standards and everything just pales in comparison to the great shows you’ve already watched. Being in an anime rut just fucking sucks. Where did things go wrong? How it can be fixed? Never fear, my friends. I am here to help. Here are some suggestions I’ve come up with to get people out of this little rut.

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Saturday Morning Cartoons!

Ah, Saturday morning cartoons. If you were a 90s kid, you must’ve experienced the joy of waking up early every Saturday morning to watch the cartoons you loved. It was the only reason to get up at 8 am in the morning. You grabbed your bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (because who doesn’t love CTC?), cuddled up in a soft blanket and sat up close to the television screen. Saturday morning cartoons were a treasured past time that almost every kid looked forward to at the end of each exhausting school week. But one of the most amazing things about Saturday morning cartoons was that they had anime. Oh yes, they were among the many blocks on channels that introduced little kids to the world of anime. Of course, I wasn’t aware they were called anime. They all seemed to be grouped together to be generally recognized as “children cartoons”. Each channel had something new and interesting to offer when it came to anime. So when two shows you loved aired at the same time, and some fancy technology like DVR didn’t exist yet, you had to keep switching back from channel to channel between commercials to get as much of each show as you could.

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Funimation and its marketing

Funimation makes some pretty great dubs but sometimes they just need to work on their marketing. Not all of their marketing is poor, however. In fact, they produced some well designed trailers that do an excellent job in attracting an audience. The Summer Wars trailer and the Eden of the East trailer are edited very professionally, and the music composed for those trailers are an excellent listen as well. However, Funimation can screw up. They can easily mislead an audience with their advertising. What they show you in trailers might not be what you expect at all from a series.

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Anime Today: The Age of Spite and Abhorrence

Ritsuko at computer

I’m convinced. Actually, it’s not that recent of an epiphany.There’s an obvious truth (to me at least) that is not often acknowledged, and when or if it really is, it’s most likely brushed off apathetically. If you haven’t already noticed, then you’re not very involved in “anime communites,” and you’re probably better off that way. As a note, I don’t feel inclined to bolster this article with relevant and eye-catching pictures of anime.

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My five levels of sympathy

So throughout my days from watching anime, I’ve managed to establish five levels of sympathy, ranging from a deep connection with a character, to one that is merely laughable. I really couldn’t be able to label these levels properly without having seen some of the most depressing shows, or well crafted ones that allowed me to share something special with its characters. To make some examples, and to avoid spoilers, I’ll just name the titles of the shows. Some of the examples I’ll list don’t necessarily have character deaths in them, but rather the shows that would expect sympathy out of its viewers. Anyhow here they are:

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Censorship or Enough with the Bullsh*t

Censorship has been around for ages since the dawn of anime. Even as far back as Astro Boy, there were censors for graphic images or content that was too much for the public audience, much like the early cartoons of Donald Duck, that held racial undertones against the Axis powers during WW2. But throughout the years of censorship, it’s changed little by little, sometimes making clever use of its censors., other times just plain obnoxious and interfere with seeing whatever is being shown on screen. There would be clever censors every now and then, with examples such as using steamy fog to cover up a naked woman exiting a bathhouse or using an object appropriately placed in the right area, right in front of a pair of breasts, or a penis. However, as of recently, it has reached a point where the times it is used, it censors a rather significant amount of content, and watching that heavily censored scene can feel pointless.

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Twist and Shout!

Plot twists are like fireworks. Fun to play with, but really dangerous in the wrong hands. With the right amount of thought pressed into a twist, something beautiful can be manifested. I love plot twists. But no doubt, are they one of the most difficult features to implement in a series, that can coherently work so well with a plot. They’re a dangerous little device that can make or break a series. They’re revealed in a short instance, yet can completely change the direction of a plot around.

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