In the wake of Ten’s exit from anime blogging, I can’t help but reflect on my own love affair with anime. In a few years time, could I find myself feeling similarly ambivalent, thinking back on this odd fascination as a mere fling? Or rather, am I destined to be forever an otaku? Decades on, long in beard but still a Narutard.
Today it’s hard to imagine what I would be doing had I not caught the bug. Simply put, I’ve spent a lot of time (and money) watching, reading and writing about anime; it’s a big part of my life. But why? What is it that attracts me, some bloke on the other-side of the world (England), to Japanese animation? Is it merely an aesthetic thing? Am I attracted to the Eastern-style of art? I would hope the fascination runs a little deeper. Read the full post
Coming from the dream combination of the emphatically cool Studio 4C and much admired manga-ka Taiyou “Ping Pong” Matsumoto, Tekkonkinkreet is a movie I’ve long waited to see. Based on those two names alone, you should expect several things – let’s start with moody and stylish visuals; almost-surreal art that gleefully shuns fan-pandering anime conventions and embraces the meaning of creative freedom, and then there is Matsumoto’s dazzling talent for empathetic story telling; his subtle use of natural dialogue and eccentric body language that’s clearly intent on plumbing the darkest depths of the human soul. Read the full post
I’ve always found it hard to write about Gurren Lagann. Any attempt at coherent bloggage is foiled simply because I like it too much; it’s just a quivering mass of animated awesome. Yet come every Monday and jaw on the floor after every single episode, I’ve been fighting that nagging feeling saying it’s my duty as an anime blogger to write about this show. It’s a disservice to myself and to you, dear reader, because while I’ve tried to keep a lid on it, Gurren Lagann just keeps getting better, and right now I’m oh so close to claiming it as my favourite anime of all time. So, pulsing with spiral energy, mine rippling rantage on episode the 25th begins. Read the full post
As of writing, I’ve managed to sit through 28 episodes of Turn A Gundam; satisfied that I’m just over half way there. I won’t lie – it feels like an achievement because I’ve struggled through the series; at one point I literally had to stop an episode half-way and take an energy boosting nap, such was the weary spell it cast upon my tired eyes. I’m only aged 24, supposedly a fully-fit man, not some tired old geezer!
To be honest, I’ve encountered the same struggles with a lot of Tomino-directed Gundam anime. His stories offer some fascinating ideas and exciting situations, his characters are unpredictable and interesting, yet the plot-heavy dialogue and non-stop “stuff happening” leaves little room for reflection and recovery; it’s like I’m constantly playing catch-up with what’s on screen, what’s blowing up, who’s attacking who. Damn it, its hard work. Read the full post
With September in full swing, we find ourselves on the verge of the 2007 fall season. What? Already? I’m not prepared for any of that new stuff yet; it’s still too early for all these fall previews, autumn can go fuck itself. On the other hand, I’m still hopelessly devoted to a number of currently running series; hence this post, so end intro and cue this countdown of my favorites. Read the full post
After realizing my disappointment in Naruto Shippuuden, I quit watching and renounced my faith in the old girl; for me, the magic had faded. All at once, it felt too slow, too choppy, too cheap and too predictable; my dreams had been lost – the hero’s comeback never happened. In that time, I enjoyed being one of those cool anime fans. Suddenly I had refined taste, people invited me for interviews and guest collaborations as I mingled with high society, yet my true colours, my dirty secret, never faded, and this weekend, the inevitable happened; I relapsed like a hungry junkie and gobbled up the last dozen episodes of Shippuuden"¦ Why does it feel so wrong, yet taste so good? Time to admit the truth, my name is bateszi and I’m a narutard! Read the full post
It sounds superficial, but something as stupid as a smile goes a long way; after a tiring week, it’s just a lot easier to relax in front of anime that’s pleasant and funny with happy characters who cheer and smile — that’s a big reason why I love watching One Piece. It’s just so colourful and fun — even the filler episodes, the so-called scourge of Shonen Jump anime, are good for a laugh or two; mindless fun is still, well, fun!
Today I watched episodes 320 — 321, the viewing made me realise how over the last few weeks I’ve utterly missed watching One Piece. I spent two years diving in and out of the series, losing sleepy weekends to Luffy’s adventures, but now the supply’s dried up and I suddenly have to wait in-line like the rest; my point is"¦ argh! The end of 321 is so frustrating. It’s not that I don’t know what’s going to happen — of course, (naked) cyborg Franky is destined to join the Straw Hats — but it’s the way it happens; the nostalgic goodbye, the embarking on a new adventure, the realisation of a dream"¦, I need to see it all right now, while these feelings are still warm. Read the full post