Where to start? First of all, I watch a lot of TV. Second, I want to reduce that average to only two hours a day. Well, I must…for sleep purposes. Third, I only watch creative shows. Fourth, there is so much to fall in love with. That is why I want to share these fantastic experiences that have been an inspiration to me. And when I say inspiration, I mean that my mind has escaped my present body and wandered off into the worlds alive on the screens. I need to fly back…and oh yes; fifth, I don’t know what else to talk about.
The Japanese have given us so many things. The one I love most is Anime/Manga. It seems there is no greater story teller than the one who puts it down as art. With big eyes, strange worlds, great powers and beauty, its pretty impressive. The only downfall is the short skirts. I don’t get how the nation that gave us powerfully attired Karate and Samurai warriors, decided that a girl can only fight in a tight revealing getup. Sex shouldn’t sell beyond…well, making something believable.
This is the greatest show ever! This is the greatest story ever told. Well…except for the bible and The Lord of the Rings. So it’s the third best story ever told. There is nothing that is more thrilling and frightening at the same time. My mind was whopped and warped out of shape. By this, the inspired story of Light Yagami who discovers the power of a devil-god. He is an exceptionally bright student with a strange moral compass. He wants to make the world a better place because he feels; only he can do so. When he finds a notebook that can kill anyone whose name he writes down, he transforms into an unstoppable force of morality and malice. A mental battle of wits and cunning rampages through the show, as a brilliant detective tries to find this magical killer and the student tries to outwit them all and build an empire on fear and death. Seriously, this is a must watch show.
ATTACK ON TITAN
The newest craving to hit, is the attack on titan. Clever is not enough to express the brilliance of the show. Genius is probably still an understatement. To properly celebrate the show I will have to dig deep. It is frightening at best and fascinating, even if it’s letting us down. It takes survival and war and hope and gore and victory into a new realm and leaves us expectant for more. The story follows three children who live within a circular wall, 50 meters high. There are three such walls that have been built very high so they can keep away the Titans. The walls have provided a hundred years of peace until this wall is broken down by a titan, tall enough to look over. This is when the struggle for survival starts; and it will leave you overwhelmed. Titans eat mankind and are slowly wiping them out of existence. They gorge on man so easily that it seems there is no end to it. The only way out is for man to fight the giants and save their world. Survival itself almost becomes a burden when surprising information surfaces. Spoiler alert! They discover that it’s the titans who built up the walls and that the very leaders allow this onslaught for a hidden agenda that could actually save mankind. Complex huh! Too bad the Japanese public are not as fascinated with new realms as we are. The show may not continue for a while. But what is already out there is priceless.
This is my guilty pleasure. I love to laugh and I love adventure so I will gladly join the crew on One Piece and see the world. It is one of the longest shows to date, having lived for more than eighteen years. Eighteen years are whole lifetimes. And the show has maintained its popularity through it all. So it’s worth singing along with Luffy and his crew, even if it could take a whole year just to catch up. Luffy is a pirate wannabe. And not just any smug, popular pirate; He wants to be the King of Pirates. This is a title that can only be attained when one finds the greatest treasure of all, the One Piece. It is a treasure that will make you the wealthiest, most powerful person in the world and give you a whole ocean to control. Seems tempting, even for the ordinary pirate, and it proves to be. A great pirate age ensues filled with great powers, rivalries and military forces. There are many elements to the show that raise it above the rest. The devil fruits give powers when eaten. Powers like thunder, fire, sunlight, magma, darkness and rubber, which is Luffy’s own. Then there is the name D; a middle name that tells of a great world changing destiny or destruction for those who bare it. Then there are the alliances of pirates and navies and revolutions and so much more. It is a world within a world within another one and with the laughing Mugiwara (Straw-Hat Luffy) at the lead.
This is my tempting love and a world of so much sense. If you want a story that gives you life, victory, death and beauty in just one arc, then Bleach is it. Bleach is the one show that not only takes us to another world, but builds up that world with new ideas and levels. You will literally pull out a notebook, label it bleach, and start revising all that you have learnt. Ichigo is the main character and he has a power similar to those of demigods. Discovery of this power takes him into the world of the spirits (Soul Society) where he meets with great forces, enemies and beauties of existence. There is so much depth to Bleach that it needs more than just a paragraph. There are thirteen captains in Soul Society. They have swords with minds and thoughts that translate into the most unique array of powers. There are two releases. So when you hear BANKAI, you know you are in for a treat. And nothing, I mean nothing ever goes quite the way you think.
You know how things go full circle and when you reach the end you are tempted to go back to the beginning? Elfen Lied is a love story that is tied on such a circle. It is an inspiring love story of innocence and promise; and when things go wrong, death and despair. It is short, and I love short stories that leave a lasting impression. Lucy is the main character; she is a disclonius, which means she has a type of telepathy that represents the next stage in evolution. But it’s not a happy stage. It’s the ability to stop bullets and rip men in half with invincible hand-like projections. She is therefore, a dangerous prisoner; until she escapes of course and goes to the one place she always wanted to go. Memory loss associated with her escape leaves her timid, and she gets to live a childlike and simple life in the presence of the one person who matters most. It is a love story about a lie that will shock your perception of storytelling. You won’t be able to resist watching it again and appreciating the simple brilliance of it all. Then when you discover the true purpose of the hand-like projections of her telepathy, you may even cry.
No anime list will ever be complete without Naruto; and with good reason. Naruto is the story that has rocked a whole nation and made them set apart a day to celebrate it. There is now a Naruto Day in Japan. I admit to binge-watching the show first time I started watching it. The original story is the most impressive because it takes us through the true meaning of acceptance and purpose. Naruto is a child who is cursed from birth with the internal presence of a fox demon. It was sealed within his body by his father for the protection of the nation but despite this, he is treated as a demon himself. Without a father and a mother for support, Naruto must find himself in the village. And he is surrounded by people who openly rebuke him and avoid him. It builds a fire within him to be accepted, acknowledged and respected and he decides to be a ninja so he can achieve this. Along the way he meets Sasuke, a child with a similar form of inner demon. Sasuke watched his whole clan, father and mother included, being massacred into extinction by his own brother and he has never understood why. But he vows to get vengeance for the act. The two build an unlikely friendship. So when Sasuke leaves off on his own evil path to seek vengeance, Naruto vows to return his friend back to the village no matter what the cost. It is truly overwhelming. You will be left falling in love with the world of Naruto.
The list doesn’t end here. There are so many anime that even I haven’t gotten around to watching it all. I will, and hopefully share my findings later on.
FAIRY TAIL is the story of wizard guilds who build their friendship while they face many humorous and complex challenges. It is just a yummy show that’s so full of bright energy.
CODE GEASS is another one of my personal favourites. It follows the story of a dishonoured prince who saves the country his own father conquered. His methods put power and intelligence to the test and packs an ending that is memorable enough to outlive us all.
FULL METAL ALCHEMIST I haven’t watched it yet, but I can tell it’s awesome. Just listen to the name. What I have grasped so far is of a world in balance. If you create magic, you must destroy something else for it. Two brother’s pay this ultimate price with their own bodies. The youngest brother loses his whole body and the oldest, main character, loses half of his.
PSYCHO PASS raises the question of morality and our enforcement of it. It is a witty story about a world where every thought is scanned and a scale of evil and good intentions are set up. If you pass a certain rate then you are a criminal, even if it was just a passing thought or circumstantial. The first episode has a woman who has been beaten and brutalized failing the test and being killed instantly. The failure was the mental anguish of her ordeal. But the world around her wouldn’t accept her.
The truth about anime is that, there will never be an end to it. These are drawn stories that are only limited by the imagination of the writers. Imagination is as diverse as there are clouds in the sky. And for the anime world, it’s raining hard.