Anime Faves #1


Hey guess what? I watch anime! I'm sure I've mentioned it before on here at some stage, but as this is primarily a book blog, my various other methods of putting off doing important things tend to go unmentioned. But I'd like to branch out a little, so I thought I'd occasionally share some anime shows that I've enjoyed watching.

Soul Eater 

This is one of my favourite animes, although that might have something to do with the fact that I marathoned the whole show with one of my best friends, and housemate at the time, Tom.     This reminds me of chilling on the sofa in our pyjamas, trying in vain to sing along to the Japanese lyrics in the opening titles. Soul Eater is about another world, in which the grim reaper is a slightly Dumbledore-esque character, who runs a school teaching 'Meisters' and 'Weapons': Teams of (usually) two in which one person can turn into a weapon, and the other can wield them.
   The plot follows three teams, Maka and her weapon Soul, who becomes a scythe, Black Star and Tsubaki who has various forms but generally appears as a katana, and Death the Kid (The headmasters own son) who partners with sisters Patty and Liz who form into twin pistols. The very vague plot involves witches, and raising evil spirits from the dead and collecting souls and an inexplicable giant tadpole called Tadpole Jackson and honestly I can't really explain it in any coherent way, but I did really really enjoy it. It has the perfect balance of fun and humour, paired with 'No really the world will end if we don't get our shit together' that makes for something engaging and entertaining. It's also really heartfelt and explores a lot about friendship, family and kindness, even to people who might not deserve it. And, if nothing else, the title songs are dope af.

Gekkan Shojou Nozaki Kun 

Next on the list is some fluff. Chiyo is a sweet cinnamon bun harbouring a secret affection for the big quiet guy in class. One day she confesses her feelings to him and, due to her poor choice of words and his misunderstanding, ends up with an autograph and a job offer. Nozaki, the object of her affections is actually a manga artist and, under a pseudonym, writes popular romance novels. Unfortunately despite his heartfelt artwork, hes fairly clueless about romance in the real world and Chiyo ends up joining his team and helping him work, in the hopes that she can figure out a way to get him to realise how she feels.
   This is actually hilarious, particularly if you've watched a lot of fluffy romance animes, as the plot and the characters poke fun at a lot of the tropes we see in typical shows and even if you haven't, the heartwarming story and ridiculous loveable characters make this show something you can watch again and again. They're not making a second season of this and it gives me the sads.

Psycho Pass

Psycho Pass is a really strange anime. It takes place in the not too distant future, in which Tokyo's justice system has been completely overhauled, and is now headed by Sybil, an AI that can sense someone's likelihood to commit crimes. This allows the law enforcers of the city to prevent crimes from happening and to stem flows of anxiety and trauma in the city, leading to a seemingly pleasant utopia. However a new recruit ... enters the force with fresh eyes, and her diligence and determination to uphold morality, as opposed to a black and white judgement from Sybil, means that the cracks in the system begin to show.
 This show is pretty brutal, in every sense of the word. There are really hard hitting ideas about humanity and what we are capable of when we see others as things to be kept in order. It reminded me a lot of the hideous situation in America with cops shooting young black men, where the mindset is almost akin to a purging of people with the (assumed) potential to commit crime, rather than waiting for it to happen. In this new Tokyo, you are declared dangerous by a force without compassion or subjectivity and the law enforcement officials have their weapons automatically set to kill. It also gets very gory and upsetting so not one for a more delicate disposition. AT ALL.
 Also do yourself a favour and resist watching the second season. It was the most shrug-worthy follow up I've ever watched and took all the interesting premises and  ideas laid out by the first season and just ran around naked, waving them in the air and screaming. It was just bad.

Death Parade

Death Parade is another show that I watched with my friend Tom. It's a really unique premise and such an enjoyable show. The series takes place in a place similar to purgatory. When two people die at the same time, they are sent to one of a series of bars run by bartenders who act as arbiters. They must participate in a game, a different one for each pair, and during the process of these games the true nature of each person in revealed, as well as the truth of the circumstances of their deaths. The arbiter uses these games to decide whether each of the dead people are sent for their souls to be reincarnated, or banished to the void. The show focuses mostly on Decim, one of the arbiters, and a mysterious woman who finds herself there with no knowledge of who she is or how she came to be in purgatory, and assists Decim overseeing the Death Games as the mystery of her identity is unravelled. 
 Like Psycho Pass this show really explores ideas of human nature, how we all wear a facade of 'civility', and what we are capable of when truly pushed to the limits. There's also a greater mystery surrounding Purgatory and the people who live there, and the reason the young woman is there. It's a very intricate and involved series with a lot to think about.

50% off 

Ok this is a bit of a wild card. You may have heard of Free, a very popular anime about a boys swimming club. Well, as with most things on the internet, a parody version exists. Except I would be tempted to argue that this parody is just as good as the original. A lot of these 'Abridged' series exist and plenty are funny, but with 50% you can basically watch it as a show on it's own and it's still genuinely hilarious. You might miss some of the funnies if you haven't seen the original, but it stands as an entertaining, well written, well executed and oddly heartfelt. Even better, the queer-baiting that exists in the original anime, is changed into straight up romantic (or sexual) interest, which is excellent! There are only 18 episodes so far but it will hopefully continue on into the second season.

Let me know if there are any animes I'm missing out on!

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