After taking note that you’ve repeatedly referenced Cowboy Bebop, I’d like if you could include in a blog any favorite/recommended anime. I understand that you are busy or may not have enough interest in writing such a blog. Or may be hesitant to receive the potential fan outlash because you didn’t mention “insert anime name here” or haven’t seen “insert more different anime name here”.
But I would just like your opinion, as that is one of the primary reasons I read the blog – to learn more about the author. I’d like to think I’m not alone.
Until next time, fellow space cowboy!
Ben (Twin Cities, MN)
First off, Ben. I have to say I love the term “outlash.” It fills a good linguistic niche. It’s different from backlash. Outlash is less of a reaction, more of an upwelling of directionless vitriol. It’s less justified than backlash.
Off the top of my head, I’d say that roughly 27% of the internet is composed of outlash.
Here’s my utterly off-the-cuff top five Anime recommendations.
1. Last Airbender.
First off. We’re not talking about the movie. We’re talking about the animated series. I hear the movie sucked to such a degree that words cannot fully encompass it.
This series was absolutely brilliant. I could easily hold forth for an hour on the clever storytelling techniques they use. I’m looking forward to the day that little Oot is old enough so that I can watch it with him.
2. Princess Mononoke.
Out of fairness to all other anime, we’ll only include one Miyazaki title in this list. Though it’s hard to narrow it down, this one has to be my favorite. Probably because the translation and dub is absolutely first rate.
Normally I’m a subtitle guy. 99% of the time, I go for subtitle. But this is one of the rare cases where I really do like the dub more. It made me feel better when I learned that Neil Gaiman was in charge of anglicizing the screenplay for the English version.
3. Cowboy Bebop.
A true rarity. A brilliant Japanese Anime series that doesn’t turn to total bullshit at the end.
Piece and Love!
Okay. You know that crack I made up there in #3 about anime turning into total bullshit at the end of the series/movie? This is the perfect example of that. The last 10 minutes of the movie are like a bad acid flashback.
But you know what? This still makes the top five despite the fact that the movie as a whole makes no goddamn sense. The music and cinematography are enough make up for the largely nonsensical story/plot/character conflict.
And believe me, that’s probably nothing you’ll ever hear me say again, that the cinematography alone makes something worth watching.
But in this one case it’s really true. Despite the fact that this is largely an action movie, I consider it a brilliant study in silence and stillness. If you’ve watched it closely, I’m sure you know what I mean.
* * *
Now before y’all start your anguished screeling that I didn’t include Inuyasha or Witchunter Robin or whatever your favoritiest BFF anime of forever is. Keep in mind that I might not have seen it. If you look at the dates of the above titles, you’ll see that I’m not really on the cutting edge here. I haven’t watched hardly any TV at all in two years. I’ve heard of Bleach but never watched it. Same thing with Death Note. (I read it.)
Then again, it’s quite possible your favorite show simply didn’t flip my switch. I watched Full Metal Alchemist, and while parts of it were cool, as a whole it felt draggy and slow. Though it came highly recommended, Monster just bored me, and I quit watching halfway through.
So much of this is a matter of taste, you realize.
- Ninja Scroll. Subtitled. (I once watched it three times in a row.)
- Anything by Miyazaki.
- Lupin the Third.
- All Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku Nuku. (Seriously. It was great.)
- Cutey Honey. (Because you have to respect the concept.)
- Millenium Actress. (A story about stories.)
- Ghost in the Shell.
If any of y’all have some particular favorites, I’d love to hear about them. Not that I have much time for watching TV these days. But someday I hope to be able to veg out in front of the tube again….