Fundamentals: Why I still love anime

Okay, I got called out by my buddy Lina at Tiny Ugly Animal for another of those blog tag games that are going around. And since it’s going around right now, that’ll be this week’s post.

Let me make this perfectly clear: I love being called out. It means I’m making an impression in the blogosphere. To be fair, Lina and I have had some good conversations going back to the beginning of my blogdom. She’s a sweetheart, and has pretty good taste, too. You should check out Tiny Ugly Animal.

So, the terms of call out are (cut and paste follow):

  • Write a post about why you love anime. It could be your favourite thing about it or one of your favourite things about it, it doesn’t matter which, but just pick one!
    You can get as personal or as impersonal as you like. You might want to write about how anime helped you through a tough time or something that it has taught you or you might want to write about just how much fun you’ve had watching it over the years. Your choice
  • Nominate three bloggers to do the same
  • Link back to (the original) post. Ty would love to see what you’ve written and may compile a list of favourite entries further down the line.

(You can tell it’s cut and paste. I don’t spell favourite with a u, except just now.)

I’m not sure I’m going to call out three others…that buck will stop here for now because it’s late and I’m tired, but I’ll have a rip at the main theme: Why I love anime.

I’ve made no bones about the fact that I am a trained animator. My work appeared on CBS and won a Philo award for excellence in cable programming.

Let me add to that the fact that as part of my job when I was working at a TV station was to curate the station’s film collection, so I got a chance to search out and repair the collection’s animated films. I love cartoons and know a lot about their history. I wrote and directed a three documentaries about animation in the 1930’s for the station.

That kept me watching cartoons long after other people my age gave them up. I watch The Simpsons all the time still. Family Guy is a problem, but only because I think Seth MacFarlane is a jackass. I watched Pokemon for YEARS because it was animated, although I also admit I gave up on CardCaptor Sakura. Bob’s Burgers I catch rarely, but Archer is spectacular. Teen Titans Go is on my TV daily.

I only was put onto anime about a year and a half ago. Before that, apart from Pokemon, I’d seen smatterings of whatever was on Adult Swim and nothing else.

But on that evil day a year and a half ago I asked my buddy Anna about something I’d seen late one Saturday night when I was at ConnectiCon and there was nothing else to watch.

Yes, I was at ConnectiCon to hear the writers. Dan Wells and Dave Butler were there that year, and Jack Campbell. You remember. It was the year Jack and Dan and Peter Wacks and Josh Vogt were on a panel when a pretty little gal (she was in a princess costume) got up and asked, “How do you find the motivation to write?” and the pros all looked at each other, dumbfounded, and then Dan said, “If I don’t write, I don’t eat.”

It was the year C. J. Henderson passed on, and the white paper tablecloth draped over his booth was covered with hand-written memorials.

And of course there were all those kids dressed as whatever the heck, with the polyester wigs and volleyball uniforms and Japanese schoolgirl dresses (yes, including the guys) and the plastic guns and foam swords and the half pairs of scissors.

So I was up that night writing the first draft of An Airshipman of the King and this anime comes on the hotel TV. It featured a monkey-faced man in a skinny suit leaping around and acting a fool, and it was amusing, especially since the animation style was so raggedy-ass.

Yeah, I know animation styles. Trained animator? Film curator? What did you think I knew?

What I was watching was Lupin III, but neither Anna nor I knew that. But she said, “A lot of people like Cowboy Bebop.”

Watched it. Poof. Mind blown.

Bebop Lineup

Wanted: For the crime of addicting innocent minds to anime…

Joined my college’s anime club. They didn’t last long but we watched Erased and Bebop and Full Metal Alchemist and Death Parade and Steins; Gate … well, there were a bunch of them and I don’t remember all of them, but some of them were cool and some were stupid and some just wild.

What I learned was that there was a deep mine there. Deep. Deeeeeeeeeep. What I learned was that if you were interested in something it was out there, and if it was out there, there was a half-dozen more like it.

I followed Bebop with Full Metal Panic (meh) and followed that with Black Lagoon (mind blown again). Then Samurai Champloo. I started taking recommendations from friends and found Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Amagi Brilliant Park. I looked at online lists and ran into Spice and Wolf. I started following certain artists and found Space Dandy and Terror in Resonance. I subscribed to Crunchyroll and Funimation (and already had Amazon Prime) and there were Kill la Kill and Elfen Lied and Shimoneta and Kimo’s Journey and The Ancient Magus’ Bride and Citrus…I started getting manga and there was School-Live! and Interviews with Monster Girls and Miss Kobayashi. I started ordering videos and met Haruhi Suzumiya (To heck with Haruhi…I’m in love with Yuki Nagato. Oh, and Rei Ayanami, too. Don’t tell Yuki.) and the Desert Punk and the Kids on the Slope.

To me, as a short-timer in the area, there’s still a vast mine of unexplored potential out there. I have a list of over forty series I want to see, and those are just the ones that I already know about. (I don’t think Cells at Work is written on it yet. BOOM. It is now.) I want to see My Neighbor Totoro. I want to see C. I want to see Violet Evergarden and My Bride is a Mermaid and Serial Experiments Lain.

I want to see where my fandoms go. There’s an eleventh volumes of Black Lagoon manga in the works; I want to see it, since volume ten ended in the middle of a story arc. (Plus in the manga we get to see Revy’s spectacular you-knows.) I want to see the fourth film of the Evangelion rebuild. Last night I ordered two volumes of Battle Angel Alita bound omnibus volumes and her OVAs as well; next month I’m waiting for the next Miss Kobayashi and the spinoff Kanna’s Daily Life.

To me, so much of it is all so new, and to me as a scholar so many of them are stories that speak to me as an artist and writer. That’s what you usually see here. I don’t just want to see them: I want to see what I see in them. I want to see the stories and the characters, and I also want to see what they tell me about story and character.

It’s fun. It’s mind-expanding. It’s exciting.

Why wouldn’t I do that?

Football, anime, and Doctor Who: what else is there to watch? (That’s was it today, in fact, apart from work…The Doctor (Love Jodi!) outsmarted the spiders, the Packers knocked off the Vikings, and it looks like Mugen and Jin are going off with Fuu to find the samurai who smells of sunflowers.)

I always look at comments and feedback, and I’m sure I’m not the first to see what I’ve seen, so have at it. Just keep it clean and keep it on target…no personal attacks, okay? Thanks.

2 thoughts on “Fundamentals: Why I still love anime

  1. What a passionate post! Thank you for sharing. And thank you for your kind words. Well, I like to talk to nice people so… 😊 I I thank you for think I have good taste. Sometimes I doubt myself but hey, I like Samurai Champloo too. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for taking part in my challenge! You mentioned in your post how there’s always more to see. That’s something that I touched upon in my post too. I’m grateful that no matter how many shows I see, I can rest assured that there’ll always be more to watch, which means that there’s more enjoyment to be had, more characters to fall in love with, more to learn, and so on…

    Liked by 1 person

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