Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Anime I like

So in the past couple weeks I’ve felt that all I’ve done on Mormon Geeks is rant. First it was me ripping into TV shows I can’t stand, and then I had a hissy fit over the Kingdom Hearts franchise. I thought I’d talk about something I actually like for a change-well sort of.
Truth be told there isn’t a lot of Anime I like. I think most of the art and character designs are cool, but I just don’t understand the Japanese obsession with watching lovesick teenagers act like idiots, or why every plotline requires an entire Reader’s Digest devoted to it just to explain the convoluted thing. Though there are some Anime that I have seen that I have honestly enjoyed and wouldn’t mind seeing again, and here they are.
Fullmetal Alchemist
I love everything about this show. It follows two brothers, Ed and Al, in their quest to atone for a horrible mistake they made, tampering with the forces of nature to try and resurrect their deceased mother. The process lost Al his body, forcing his brother to use a special kind of magic called alchemy to bind his soul in a suit of armor. Ed came out losing an arm and a leg, which had to be replaced with a type of Steampunk prosthetics. They have adventures and use their special alchemy abilities to help others as they search for a way to restore themselves. The interaction between the brothers is so true it reminds me of my little brother every time I watch it. They banter, bicker, argue and annoy each other. I especially like it when Al gets caught hiding kittens in his chest cavity. It’s just such a little kid thing to do, and to see this giant suit of armor do it is hysterical. Definitely a must for anyone who’s ever had a little brother.
Cowboy Bebop
If Anime tried to make its own version of Firefly, I think Cowboy Bebop would be its attempt. The show is about Spike, a bounty hunter and his ragtag crew as they search the solar system for bounties they can get rich off of. They go undercover, perform covert ops, and when it all comes down to it perform awesome chase scenes to get their quarry. Bebop doesn’t really have a big overarching storyline, or even a message, which is surprising for Anime, it’s just this big space adventure. A warning though: The character Faye Valentine (explain to me the reason so many women in Anime are named Valentine? Jill Valentine, Mai Valentine… It’s ridiculous) is one of those disproportioned Jessica Rabbit-type characters, and while the show is clean she still dresses like she buys her clothes from Baby Gap.
Rurouni Kenshin
Rounding off the list is probably my favorite of the three: Rurouni Kenshin. Taking place after the Japan Civil War at the turn of the century, it follows a legendary assassin known as the Battosai, or Man-Slayer. After a lifetime of killing though, the legendary warrior has decided to swear off killing forever, even going so far as to have a sword with the blade on the wrong side so that he can still perform his legendary techniques without killing anyone if he had to. The series focuses on him helping a failing dojo, while fighting off guys still ticked for what he did during the war. The action is amazing, Kenshin is hysterical and the emotion that goes on with this series will take your breath away.

So there’s some Anime that I actually love. Go ahead and let me know of some others that you think I might like, but just to save some time:

Evangelion: Pretentious and confusing. Hated every minute of it.
Yu-Gi-OH!: Incredibly obnoxious. Comic books were way better.
Dragonball Z: Hate the animation and the story I thought was stupid.
Yu Yu Hakusho: Okay but the story was kind of confusing.
Naruto: Main character makes me want to grind glass into my eyes.
One Piece: Please, I’m over the age of 10.
Digimon: First two seasons rocked, after that the show was just nonsense.


  1. Hello everyone at Mormon Geeks! I'm usually content to just read your stuff, but this post laid some comment bait I couldn't resist.

    First, thanks for your pick of Fullmetal Alchemist! My #1 all-time favorite manga (manga being the operative word). The first Fullmetal Alchemist series was OK, but the made-up second half just missed the charm of Hiromu Arakawa's storytelling that makes Fullmetal Alchemist really special. Needless to say, I much prefer the Brotherhood series.

    Second, I mostly agree with your list of anime that is not worth your time, but I must take exception to One Piece's inclusion in that list. I think One Piece is the epitome of what it means to be child-like, but not childish. If the story and characters do not interest you, that's fine reason not to watch, but please don't think it is only "kids' stuff" (Incidentally, One Piece is the only other anime I have come across that rivals Fullmetal Alchemist in its plot consistency, storytelling and character depth and like-ability).

    I haven't seen Rouroni Kenshin or Cowboy Bebop, but I sounds like they're worth looking into.

    There are only a select few anime I really like enough to recommend, but I wonder If you would like the classic space opera, Legend of the Galactic Heroes? I'm also quite partial to Bakuman, Arakawa Under the Bridge, and Detective Conan (Case Closed in English).

    Keep up your awesome blog!

  2. Ohohohohohoho . . . .

    You can't expect to put up an anime blog anymore without comments from me! So here goes.

    I for one like both Fullmetal Alchemist series. I think the first one deserves some merit for not trying to ape the comic from the outset as they knew they would have to come up with their own ending, which makes it one of the few loose adaptations in anime, and when you consider how many ways that could have gone wrong, I think Bones knocked it out of the park! Brotherhood is good as well, simply because they followed the great manga to the end, and is more of a "Thank you" to the fans.

    Evangelion? Yeah, it's pretentious and confusing, but it kind of has to be. Otherwise, we wouldn't be talking about it. Like it or not, it has changed the face of anime forever. You can't watch it and not have an opinion about it. However, if you want to know what Gainax is capable of (without Hideaki Anno flopping a big, wet, depressing blanket it everything), check out Gurren Lagann. IT'S AMAZING!!

    I think you should give YuYu Hakusho another chance, but try reading the manga this time. It might make more sense that way.

    As with Sandra Law, I would also suggest you try One Piece again. I'm under the impression you tried to watch the 4Kids dub, which bowdlerized the series into oblivion, making it more a kids' show than it should have been. Try the FUNimation dub, at least through episode 53 (the Arlong Saga is amazing when it's seen uncut).

    I'm surprised you don't like Digimon Season 3 (also known as Digimon Tamers). It might be hard to sit through what is still a kids's show, but Tamers is probably the darkest kids show you'll see in anime (unless you try to watch Brigadoon; I'm still not sure what demographic that series was for).

    As for more recommendations, I suggest: Scrapped Princess, Soul Hunter, Guin Saga, Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Squid Girl (no, really!), Gundam 00, Hyakko, Fruits Basket, and the Story of Saiunkoku.

  3. A few quick thoughts on this subject.Thought one, all theanime you listed are mainstream, and cannot be thought to represent the whole genre.Two, I agree there is a lot of horrible anime out there. Three, here are some recommendations for good anime... welcome to the nhk, death note, kaiji, cannon, air, and season 1 of the melancholy of harui.

  4. Cowboy Bebop and Trigun are probably some of my favorite animes that I've ever seen. I have enjoyed Naruto and Bleach as well.

    I have the say that the Yu-gi-Oh cartoon series was supposed be for kids, but ended up surprisingly dark. I guess that's not a surprise compared to what I've heard about the manga series it was based on.

    Fruits Basket was also another good one!

  5. I play Yu-Gi-Oh with my son, and when we were first learning it was very annoying to discover that the show doesn't follow the rules of the game! Grrr....

    Plus all the trash talk...

    1. The show has it's own rules to the game. It mostly seems to be "we'll make up whatever is convenient to the plot".