Allison & Lillia: Generation 1 had potential. The show was set in a fictional Germanic country and was based on the light novels of a noted author. The two main characters, Allison and Will, explore a pastoral world with WW1 era propeller planes. Their country is in a constant state of conflict with a neighboring country, but the characters never seem seriously at risk. The setting is so happy and carefree that it’s hard to imagine that this series is based on a novel by Keiichi Sigsawa, the author of Kino’s Journey. The connection to Kino’s Journey and the possibility that behind the ordinary adventure story lay a deeper plot is what made this show so alluring to me. At the end of 13 episodes I’m still waiting.
Watching anime is like connecting the dots of a picture; one leads to another, forever changing the picture’s shape. Some dots are out on their own, but others are connected to everything else, making the overall picture that much clearer in my eyes. One obvious example here is Mobile Suit Gundam, the first real-robot anime, another is Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Anime such as these I’m proud to say I’ve seen, because they forever shape my understanding of the medium today. I realise what I’m doing here is advocating watching anime for educational purposes, which might not seem fun (I mean, this stuff is supposed to be fun, right?), but if a series is as revered today as it was in 1980, I find it’s safe to assume that it’s also pretty good.
In October of 2009, I started watching Revolutionary Girl Utena. One year later, almost to the day, I started watching Star Driver. In my mind, these two are connected. Although Star Driver is a much less serious (and, if truth be told, inferior) series to Utena, there are some obvious similarities. By way of the process described above, then, in April of this year, I also started watching 1979’s The Rose of Versailles. Utena led me forwards to Star Driver, but also backwards, to The Rose of Versailles. Such is the journey of an anime fan.
bateszi: The hope is that this post will be the first in a new monthly feature. I say ‘new’ as if we’re bursting with regular features here, but no, this is more like our first attempt to do anything that isn’t a one-off blog post. Awkward introductions aside, then, welcome to the rare sight of another (and long-overdue) group post on this here blog, which collects our varied thoughts on Blue Exorcist, Toriko, AnoHana and Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko.