Friday, August 30, 2013

Top Thirty Anime Villans

Last year I made a list of my . I have now decided to do a list of my Top Thirty Anime Villains: the villains from Japanese animation whom I consider the best of the best. Before it starts, I'll mention the villains who were in the running but couldn't make it on, and why.

THE CONTENDERS: Prince Sincline from "Go-Lion", who, unlike his US counterpart Prince Lotor the royal dolt, was one of the earliest examples of a compelling villain in anime. He didn't make it on because he was ultimately overshadowed by all the competition in my favor. Naraku and Sesshomaru from "InuYasha": they were both excellent villains at first but then Naraku refused to die and just kept getting less and less impressive, while Sesshomaru became a bland anti-hero. Obviously, neither of them could make the cut. Orochimaru from "Naruto": what's funny is that he's actually a fairly average villain rather than a great one. Gaara was a better villain than he was! He really comes off as nothing more than Ninja Voldemort. He was only in the running because damn if he doesn't somehow have one of the coolest theme musics ever given to an anime villain. It's far more epic than he deserved! Sosuke Aizen from "Bleach": I'm sure you all know why he didn't make the list. When he first outed himself as the villain, he was hailed as one of the best manga/anime villains in years for it. But that praise was too soon, for he devolved into a bland, nonsensically written Villain Sue afterwards, and is now seen as one of the worst villains out there. Shameful of you, Tite Kubo. Shameful. And last there's Ladd Russo from "Baccanno!" While I really enjoy the character and he's one of the best things about that series, he just comes off as a dumb thug and supporting bad guy rather than a major villain. This list is for BIG villains only. So without further delay, here we go through the list!

30: GANKUTSUOU (GANKUTSUOU: THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO) - This evil alien parasite is the living embodiment of hatred, spite, and the desire for vengeance. It's name translates to "master of the cave", signifying where Edmund Dantes discovered it, and it's been consuming his life and his being ever since. As the Count of Monte Cristo, Edmund does everything in the name of taking revenge on those who wronged him, and Gankutsuou feeds off of those vengeful feelings, in turn driving the Count to more insane and villainous behavior. It's a relationship where the evil entity thrives while the host suffers. Yet it's hard to shake off, because the wants of the host are too strong, and the alien is what fulfills them. It, combined with it's vampiric host, was a great villain.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tenchi Universe

In 2000, this show aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami block and it is from that point on that I think that anime began to leave a pretty large imprint on my life. While I don't really remember TENCHI MUYO! RYO-OHKI from my childhood, I do remember TENCHI UNIVERSE enough to apply the label of "nostalgia" to a few of the episodes. This series is actually a bonafide TV series in that it was made and broadcasted for television and not for video like its preceding series. This show ran in Japan in 1995 on TV Tokyo.

When this show played on Toonami in the States it was heavily edited, but I don't remember just what the editing took away from the show. I was ten when I first saw it and I don't remember that much. But it is weird to think that a harem anime could ever be converted into a show aimed at preteens. Yeah, it's goofy and silly and sometimes even stupid, but the plot does get a bit complicated toward the end and... yeah, there's that whole "harem" thing going on.

Anime and need new manga :)

O.k so I know I haven't really blogged about anything Japan related. I unfortunately didn't get to go to Hyper Japan at the end of July which really upset me but I'm going next year for sure!

I thought I'd make a post about all the anime I've seen and see if I can get any recommendations for new manga to read. I realised all of the manga I've read (apart from a couple) are just the anime I've watched! I recently saw a post by that has led me to start Faster than a Kiss which I liked the sound of

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tenchi Muyo! Tenchi in Tokyo

Along with TENCHI UNIVERSE, TENCHI IN TOKYO was a show I had last seen in 2000 when Toonami broadcasted it on Cartoon Network. This was something I knew, but the nostalgia I felt for this show was not there.

After beginning my re-watch of it the day I finished rewatching TENCHI UNIVERSE, I realized a few very important things about TENCHI IN TOKYO that you should bear in mind as I explain my reasons for not liking this show as much as its predecessors.

TENCHI UNIVERSE finished its Toonami run on August 24, 2000 and TENCHI IN TOKYO started on August 25, 2000. On the surface this fact is relatively meaningless, but it is very important when you consider how the ending of TENCHI UNIVERSE really hit me. Like the first time I saw the ending of COWBOY BEBOP, I felt sort of stunned and awed. I didn't really want to watch anything else like it because I knew nothing else could be quite as good. Or, to be more truthful, I wanted to watch something just like it but without worrying that one day that show might come to an end and that ending won't be anywhere as good.

Actually, My Taste Has Gotten Worse

Wandering reflections on the concept of "taste".

ONCE upon a time, I became an anime fan. And it was, more or less, good. I happily cut my teeth on many of those shows upon which many other fans have cut their teeth - Sailor Moon, initially, followed a few years later by the likes of Pokemon, Digimon, and "Card Captors", with a heaping portion of Tenchi Muyo to follow it all up. I also tripped across lesser-known titles like Haunted Junction and Don't Leave Me Alone Daisy, shows which were a bit on the questionable side for a middle schooler to be consuming. And, then, a few years later, I thrilled to the likes of Yu Yu Hakusho and Bleach, the overblown shounen types that could easily keep one engaged for years before one suddenly realized that they'd gotten hideously bored with the endless showdownsor the sorts of shows that you gleefully watch in Cantonese with poorly-done English subs, all ripped inexpertly to VCD and available for rental at your local not-Blockbuster video rental store, where half the amusement comes simply from the fact that you are watching bootleg Cantonese-dubbed anime on a VCD, and your Cantonese comprehension is primarily limited to racial epithets.

Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar [Review]

Time for yet another anime review. I've been running behind on these, so I'm going to try and catch up.

Yeah, that was about the same reaction I had!

Tenchi Muyo!: Tenchi In Tokyo

No one TENCHI MUYO series is exactly the same, but there are familiar threads that run throughout each retelling. There's always a space pirate and a Jurian princess who constantly fight, bicker and argue with one another. Just as there is always a genius scientist, so too are there a pair of dedicated yet mismatched Space Police officers and young girl who wants nothing more than to play happy homemaker. TENCHI IN TOKYO is the third TENCHI MUYO revision/reimaging that slams all of these different personalities together.

The show kicks off with Tenchi Masaki announcing his intention to move to Tokyo, where he will attend high school and continue his training to be the next caretaker of the Masaki family shrine. The girls are upset by his absence until Washu creates an interdimensional portal that allows them to travel to Tenchi's apartment. Tenchi's life is further complicated by the daily disruptions from a woman named Yugi who spies on our heroes and sends minions and demons to cause all sorts of havoc in order to break Tenchi's bonds of friendship. Far worse than any powerful being is Sayuka, a classmate who develops a special interest in Tenchi, sending Ayeka and Ryoko into a jealous rage. At first, Sayuka appears to be nothing more than a normal high school student, but as the series develops, there are hints of something hidden behind her warm, caring persona.

H20: Footprints in the Sand

Cutesy wide-eyed anime gets old after a while, but in small doses it doesn't hurt. I am currently watching a bleak as hell and riveting anime called ATTACK ON TITAN and since I have to wait each week to see a new episode, I have basically been killing time on Netflix, Crunchyroll, and FUNimation just trying wait it out between installments. I tried watching an episode of a TENCHI MUYO! spin-off called SASAMI: MAGICAL GIRLS CLUB, but I couldn't make it beyond the first episode. If there is one thing that I can't stand more than the overuse of Super Deformed (which also goes hand in hand with the cutesy wide-eyed style more often than not), it's the overindulgence of Magical Girl genre. SASAMI: MAGICAL GIRLS CLUB is guilty of both. I just couldn't stick with it. Not saying it's bad, but it isn't for me. Plus it was only available for streaming in English so that was also an extra buzzkill.

I was browsing on Crunchyroll when I came across H20: FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND (named for a poem and the three main characters of the show) and while one of the still pictures used to describe the show didn't look all that spectacular (cutesy-eyed effect on me in action), the initial premise description did seem intriguing or at least different than the usual fanservice-filled harem anime. Basically, I thought it would be about a blind kid who moves into a village and forms a harem with some of the girls he meets there. And, hey, that's not a bad way to kill some hours, is it?

I got something a little bit different, though. There is some fanservice and there are some harem-like moments, but this show is something else. This show, despite its animation style, is a tough show to watch at times. One thing I can't stand is bullying and child abuse. Can't. Fucking. Stand. It. When I read descriptions of abuse in books or see it on TV, I try really hard to remind myself that what I'm seeing or reading is fiction and therefore not real. I know getting pissed at a fictional character and wanting to beat the dogshit out of said fictional character is kind of silly, but this kind of thing really makes my blood boil.