Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best of 2008 - Anime

As stated earlier, I'm forcing myself to go back and review everything geek that was put out this year. A hard job I know, but I suffer for my readers--even if I don't post nearly as often as I should. The first in this series will be Anime.

There were a number of animes that I adored this year, and for a number of different reasons. Shugo Chara, Macross Frontier, Eve No Jikan, and Soul Eater to name a few. But the anime that I enjoyed above all the others, the one which made me go "wow" the most this year would have to be True Tears.

It's a great story between a guy and three girls, and more importantly it touches on so many other subtexts. Things about freedom and the difference between those that inspire us and those that we love.

It also doesn't hurt that one of the main characters just flat-out reminds me of my wife. It's a mixture of the character design and the character herself, but Noe reminds me of her. Noe was a bright, cheerful innocent type character--and she was eclectic. All of which are traits she shares with my beloved (naming the school's chickens is something I could see my wife doing).

Speaking of characters, they were all beautiful here. As were the backgrounds, and quite frankly all aspects of the animation. One technique involved here, which I really enjoyed, was how the backgrounds were painted scenes which the animated characters were in front of. In my opinion that add quite a bit to the scenery.

Now, I feel the need to point out that the title True Tears started out as a Visual Novel. A Visual Novel which I've never viewed, nor will I have a chance to unless they decide to translate it. This anime has nothing to do with that, despite them sharing the same title. The visual novel features different characters and a different plotline all together.

Anyways, in the anime there were 5 primary characters: the main protagonist Shinichirō, his friend Miyokichi , and then the three girls, Noe, Hiromi and Aiko. The story itself revolves around the relationships between these 5 characters.

Additionally, it brings to the front such concepts as growing up, living with your choices, liberation and the loss of innocence. These things are pushed, not overtly, but through subtext and makes the viewer think.

But above all, it was fun. I haven't enjoyed a anime this much since Sōkō no Strain. Which is saying quite a bit, because that is my favorite mecha show ever (it slapped down the previous place holder in that category, Voltron, like so much useless junk it's not even funny).

If you've not seen it, I highly recommend it. Additionally, if it ever does get released here in the States it's one of the shows which I do wish to add to my collection. For now, just watch the opening:

6 comments:

jp_zer0 said...

Good man. :)

The anime's themes you brought up are not the ones that struck me though.

Stephen Wrighton said...

jp_zer0 not a surprise there. There were a host of themes in that anime, and those I brought up are just the ones that made a lasting impact. All I know is that it was the best anime of 08, and right up there in my personal top 10 of all time.

ghostlightning said...

While I haven't seen the anime, I relate to you because I'm married as well, and my wife has her share of tsundere tropes.

I'm damn lucky that she watches a lot of anime with me (http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2008/11/16/who-do-you-watch-anime-with/ ), though she's not an otaku herself. She's like a Kagaimi to my Konata.

Stephen Wrighton said...

ghostlightning: you've missed out on something great if you've not seen it. There's supposed to be an R1 DVD Boxed set being released sometime (the original R1 distributor folded earlier this year).

And yes, you are lucky that your wife watches with you. Mine doesn't--I know she would love a lot of it (True Tears, Kanon, Deaneu Coil, etc) if she'd just give it a chance but, sadly, she doesn't want to.

It's also awesome that you've got a decent group there to watch with.

ghostlightning said...

Thanks Stephen, I'll consider it once my winter season anime list more or less takes shape. ^_^

Maybe your wife should read this post of yours ~^

Stephen Wrighton said...

ghostlightning - Oh she has read this post. And to be honest, she's come a long way since I've met her. She actively wants to watch comic book & other genre movies these days (caught her watching League of Extraordinary Gentelmen a few days ago) and she actually liked the Speed Racer movie.

She just has this hangup about animated fare *shrugs*

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