Friday, March 20, 2015

Anime

Anime is a term that refers to animations be it 2D or 3D graphics. Yet for some reason, more often than not, it’s become more loosely associated with Japanese productions of Manga (graphic novels/comics created in Japan). This review is on the Japanese anime productions because they showcase colourful graphics, fusion of genres, vibrant characters and unforgettable themes. They focus more on realism of setting, emotive eyes, weird character proportions, adult themes, and intriguing angles of shots as well as remarkable effects that feel like panning and zooming of an actual camera lens.

With the level of violence portrayed, these are definitely not for kids or young teenagers. The anime genre mainly combines fantasy with shonen, supernatural, drama, action, comedy, etc .You ask why am I reviewing them? It’s simple, I enjoy watching them.

So here are a few out of many:


1. Naruto – Written by Masashi Kishimoto, this story held readers the world over spell bound for years until it was concluded last year. It tells the story of a young boy – Naruto- who was raised an orphan, desperate for attention and acknowledgement due to the fact that he was castigated and how he rose above it, conquering even the evil within himself. Driven by passion, love and empathy for others (including the enemies he fought), Naruto’s evolution from boy to man will keep you captivated. The story is full of emotional challenges, lost visions, bonds of friendships, loss of mentors and loved ones, fights scenes of technique versus talent, wisdom versus instinct and best of all, the battle of good against evil. Needless to say, this is one of my favourite manga and anime of all time.


2. Bleach – Get ready for a spiritual journey as the concept of death and the afterlife as well as realms outside human existence are dabbled into. Tite Kubo, the creator of this story, starts with the tale of a young boy (Ichigo) who begins to see things no one else does. He encounters Rukia who shows him a world beyond the physical and soon they have a team of humans with superhuman abilities that can cross worlds, battle evil even within the realms of the heavenlies. Watching Ichigo train and become one of the most powerful beings is just as interesting as falling inlove with the other characters whose self struggles remind us of our own inner turmoil. It does get a little boring after a while but the characters are the one thing that’ll keep you going.


3. Claymore – This original story by Norihiro Yagi is a 26 episode sci-fi tale about a world ravaged by flesh eating demons called yomas - some territorial, others loners – who can sometimes disguise themselves as humans and live among them. There is an organization that is sworn to protect humanity at a cost of course, not just monies paid to them by communities they help but by recruiting young children and infusing them with yoma flesh and blood so they can become claymores, having the strength, speed and agility of a yoma while still being part human. Over dependence on yoma powers invariably awakens the claymores and turns them into yomas eventually. To hide this fact, the organization developed a code which is kill the warriors before they turn. In all this is the tale of a young claymore who ingested the blood and flesh of another claymore thereby making her unique. She learns that she can control her yoma side and doesn’t have to kill other claymores who have ‘awakened’. Bent on revenge against yomas, she finds that being able to love and share her life with a human makes her more human than monster and hence finds a cause worth living for.


4. Kenichi the Mightiest disciple – This funny series is about a teenage boy with teenage issues who is encouraged by a skilled female fighter to join a dojo (Ryozanpaku, in particular) in his personal quest to find some courage and sense of self worth after years of being a victim of bullies. Here he’s taught different forms of martial arts by masters in the different art forms and the stronger he gets, the more attention he gets from a street gang (Ragnorock) who want to recruit him. The more people he fights, the more people he removes from the gang by inspiring them to follow their true passions and stop being delinquents. The original comic book created by Syun Matseuna and every bit of its 50 episodes, is more fun than serious.


5. One Piece – This anime created and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda is filled with diverse characters with outlandish super powers in a world where being a pirate is both a thing of honour and a crime. Young wannabe pirates set out on an adventure with different agendas but along the way get unified by a common feeling of companionship. Together they help those in need, liberate lands from oppression, change the perception people have of pirates and overcome impossible odds all because of their steadfast determination reach to their personal goals. They stand by each other and those they regard as ‘nakama’ and together they triumph. One piece is light-hearted with good fight scenes; full of weird adventures as they travel down the Grand Line and exceedingly long (over 900 episodes with different arcs of different stories just like Naruto and Bleach). This is not an anime you can watch in a hurry.

I would tell you more (like Magi, Fairytail, Codebreaker, Blue Exorcist, Legend of Korra, Akame ga kill, Blade and Soul, Halo Legends, etc) but that would take forever. Maybe I’ll write another post later on other anime I have watched and enjoyed so you can know why I love them. These make for good distractions and now you know why sometimes I spend forever before a putting up a new post. *covers face in shame*.

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