A wise man once said that just because someone likes anime doesn’t mean they like all of anime. They often enjoy certain themes or concepts that, while common in anime, obviously don’t make up the whole of it. This occurred to me because, after coming across a chart that was a list of worthwhile anime for the average Western fan, I realized just how little those actually applied to me. The list does acknowledge that people have different tastes, and while a select few of those series on the list interest me (I’ve seen Gurren Lagann and know that I enjoy the genre Azumanga Daioh helped cultivate. Read or Die looks nice too.), the majority of it doesn’t. I get my news from Japanese blogs (I can read Japanese somewhat okay, mostly through years of exposure) more than American ones, and my taste tends to align with the Japanese fanbase, mostly, though even that’s prone to personal variables. While I was hoping the blog entries would paint a picture of who I was, there’s no harm in saying who I am upfront. That way, the playing field is open. Let’s begin.
There’s a growing trend in the anime fanbase that I feel compelled to question. Or perhaps it’s not a trend, but a few vocal people. Most of my exposure to the anime fanbase comes from one board, and it’s so fragmented that all I can do is present an anecdote. But it’s my hope that this anecdote serves as a possible question to something much greater than myself.
Since the year is about to end, and the number of posts on this blog have been few (I have a lot of other things I’m doing), I figure I should explain the three ways I tend to “watch” anime, and subsequently discuss them. It can basically be split into three distinct categories, with two of them tending towards the “watch” side of the equation.
This Article May Be NSFW
I’ve been wanting to write an article about something for a long time, but finding an entry point and the time to write it, on top of the other things I’ve been doing, is proving to be a bit of a problem. I am a huge fan of visual novels. It all started with 11eyes, which in turn started with me listening to its opening theme and getting drawn in by its black-and-red colored, gory, yet heroic visuals and strange, color-palette-filtered world. It should be noted that 11eyes is basically the only eroge I’ve played before watching its anime adaptation, but that’s because most of the ones I do like, the action-focused ones, rarely get chosen for anime adaptation, with the romance-focused ones being king.
This, in turn, ties into another one of my interests. I’m a huge fan of superheroes, Sentai, Kamen Rider, magical girls – even super robots, since they portray robots not as war machines, but as heroes who fight for peace and justice. I’m very much a Sayaka-type, if that wasn’t made clear. But finding eroge about transforming heroes is an uphill challenge, and this ties into a third point. The internet’s rule 43.
“The more pure and innocent something is, the more fun it is to corrupt it.”
This Article Might Be NSFW
There are two kinds of episodic stories. The first follows the same cast, just that their adventures are broken into smaller parts, each with its own beginning, middle and end. Often, they can be finished in half an hour. Stories can still form naturally as a sort of overplot, but for the most part, if you understand the premise, you can pick a random episode and begin from there. The other kind of episodic storytelling is much harder to pull off, because the cast is constantly changing. There may be one or two characters that play a role in all the stories, but each installment is a fresh experience, needing to set its own tone and message. This is the anthology.
Anthologies are actually pretty rare in anime. Hatsukoi Limited tried to become one, but its focus was so split that it had to force an abrupt ending. The anthology I’m here to talk about is Sengoku Collection. While other warring states series – Basara, Oda Nobuna and Otome – are all fairly similar to each other in their exaggeration and condensation of Japan’s civil wars in the name of entertainment, Sengoku Collection is a unique beast. The basic premise – generals are turned into girls – does add some flavor to the show, but it’s only part of what makes the show work. What it created was one of the most unique anime in recent memory.
The correlation between the anime and I watch and whether they have character songs is not necessarily a 1:1 kind of deal, but even for shows I don’t follow, I maintain a Twitter to continually give news. I love character songs. As I’ve said in previous articles, the heart of any shows it is characters, and these songs are based around those characters, reflecting what they’ve gone through in the series. I’m also a fan of tokusatsu, but my articles that are primarily about toku go somewhere else. Today, we’re going to be looking at the fanservice comedy Kamen no Maid Guy.