I can't really say Moon River itself is nostalgic for me considering the fact that I only listened to it for the first time just yesterday, but I can say it feels very... old. It's very the strange the multitude of emotions I've felt throughout Honey and Clover.
I am currently in the process of becoming a working part of society, not really sure how I am gonna do what I want to do for a living, but I am sure I want to be happy and play music. I am a sucker for a good heart-wrenching story, which is why I really pulled away from a lot of Shonen mainstream, and hit the Shoujo, and the much less action-y Shonen. Honey and Clover has been one of my favorites from the first time I saw it. Everything about it seems to be great, Chica Umino's artstyle is very distinctive and pulls away from a lot of the normal standard looks for big published manga. The feel of the whole story is very different too.
Takemoto, my favorite character, seems to be the big focus of the story. Takemoto is a boy who I would say is a lot like me, scared to move, but yet very sure when he does move. We see him fall in love with Hagu-chan, and adorable girl, who is beautiful, cute, and painfully innocent. Takemoto is madly in love with her, but for fear that he could destroy the friendship he refrains from moving forward for too long. Turns out, later that Morita who is also in love with Hagu, has Hagu's heart.
This is really what I wanna talk about. Am I the only person who felt my insides fold as I found out Hagu liked Morita. Morita was my second favorite, it felt almost like a betrayal for me. Takemoto is so cool, it was hard for me to handle the fact that he wouldn't end up with Hagu.
Chica Umino did a great job of portraying heart-wrenching loss, each character having his/her own fault, and setting up Takemoto and Hagu as the only two who were completely innocent really. To have these two characters, who most would root for not end up together was a very bold decision, an unconventional thing, because even at the end they only remained friends, no tag-on where they finally realize their love for each, a tag-on I expected until the last minute of the show, and when I get the last books, probably the last of the last book.
If you guys agree, disagree, let's start a little discourse here, cause I'd really like to know how other people felt about the development of this amazing story, and ultimately what you got from it. For me, this show actually helped me put things in perspective and realize even, no especially, good things come to an end. Ironic that I watched this a lot in my last months of high school.
I've been a fan of anime and manga for a long time, and it shocked me to find out Bleach was leaving the air. I feel that it's more than appropriate at this time to write a bit about how much Bleach as a manga means to me. To do this, we'll travel back to my troubled teen years.
I was in middle school, a rebellious little otaku in the making. In my time in middle school I learned more out of class than in class, really. I was big on reading, devouring every book that came my way. I remember a rainy day, the never comfortable smell of the library, my curiosity peaking as I browsed over the manga section. I took a look in a book I knew my parents wouldn't enjoy me reading. There was so much blood, in my young eyes, it was at first shocking, such visceral, grizzly sights. "Bleach", the cover read, I started at the part where Ichigo was fighting the Grand Fisher. I fell in love with it, somewhere, deep in my heart. I fell in love with the art style, Tite Kubo must have been blessed by something, because every bloody gash, seemed perfect. I soon obsessed over Bleach, I wanted to read all of it. The library wasn't really big on the manga section, never really checking on it, or updating it at all. But at this library I would soon discover another obsession, Densha Otoko, my favorite true love story to date.
Bleach is a classic, a beautiful, dark, gem. Tite Kubo forever has my respect as an author, his work is something I believe will stand out for generations to come, and the end of the television medium for Bleach, may be a revival of the manga medium for it. I cannot wait to see how this unfolds.
Clannad is an anime that deserves all the praise I've seen it receive. The carefully woven story of the simple concept of living is so well done that you find yourself being captured by the normal things happening to these Japanese High-School students in the story. This, is where Clannad in my opinion shines, it's ability to make the arguably mundane seem beautiful.
Clannad is as most of you reading this know, is the story that generally revolves around Tomoya Ookazaki, and his experiences in life. With a hint of a fantasy, a dash of romance, and a crap-ton of well written scenarios, Clannad managed to pretty much capture my heart from beginning to end. Save the somewhat filler-esque arcs (the Gang Fight arc, in particular). To be brutally honest Clannad is probably the most beautiful drama/romance/fantasy/comedy/tragedy anime I have ever seen.
I'd like to focus on Clannad's unique story-telling style. Rather than the classic, run-of-the mill, "this is a romance story, here it is". Clannad goes a very indirect route, bouncing you from character to character as Tomoya carries on life. This, I believe, is due to it's origin. Clannad is originally a visual novel by Key, which all you Japanators should know about, considering there's some coverage on them almost every week. Clannad tries not to focus on Nagisa and Tomoya, and in place it's let's you feel as if he could end up with anyone, rather than the single-minded way of most romance anime. Jump to the second season if you want that commitment crap, see what that gets you.
The second season is almost completely different, with a much more dramatic tone, consider these are no longer high school kids, but growing adults with kids on the way. After Story is just so good, it's bad, so good, it hurts. The turn of events is just so brutal. The way it's done makes you think the worst will happen, but then when it gets there, you feel so bad for the character that you convince yourself that it's gonna be okay.
And then you cry.
Clannad manages to do that very well. Too well. Another Clannad manages is a stunning, beautiful, and fitting soundtrack. The songs fit the moments so perfectly. When things get hella depressing, the music presents a deeper feeling of longing, without getting cheesy. Whoever scored this is a genius. The Dango Family song is so fitting for those moments of complete happiness, and terrifying sadness.
Clannad is an amazing show for fans of all types, and I hope if you haven't seen it, you give it a go. I doubt you will be dissapointed.
I am a frequent visitor of Japanator, generally twice a day, when I get home, and when I am going to sleep, I pop on to see if there's any crucial update on something I am interested in. I am noticing the heavy reliance on internet in my life, and slowly trying to kill it's overwhelming power. I realize that I inwardly long for the old days.
The moments when I feel incredibly old, at my ripe age of seventeen, are the moments when I realize that I played on screens that were ungodly fat. I miss small, fat, screens.
Well, with that small diversion out of the way, I can make my real point. Manga, games, and anime in physical form. I miss it.
I remember the days when video-games where INCREDIBLE, nowadays though, EVERYTHING is INCREDIBLE, and all that fascination and fantastic excitement is dead. I remember when I didn't know about online distribution of anime/manga, while I am fine with it, I believe the balance has been horrendously tipped in favor of the "interw3bs". While the internet, I believe, is the most powerful force in this current generation, I believe it is also the crippling factor in this generation.
The internet has dominated, destroyed, all it's competition, physical ordering is almost non-existent in comparison to the transactions that take place completely online. The current generation is, what I believe to be, the most lazy, greedy, egocentric, backwards generation to ever hold the earth. Yes, this is a very bold statement, but it must be said. The internet should be a tool, that man should use, not the other way around. When it begins to be more important than reality, there is a problem (says an otaku who has devoted his life to music and anime).
I believe the ultimate goal of being an otaku should not be to lock yourself in a room alone,but to enjoy the anime community in forums, conventions, and simply staying in contact like any community would. Whether you are a Gundam otaku, Yaoi otaku, otaku-otaku, or a fan of tentacles (God forbid!), there is a part of the anime community that can understand you, that can accept you as the introverted freak you are, because everyone else in the club is an introvert. That's what I find fascinating about the anime community, the fact that we are all one big angry, dysfunctional family.
I digress, back to my point, I miss the days when owning hard copies of anime, manga, and games was the most revered way to own them. I don't own many manga right now, my collection is depraved, and I truly wish to fix that. Nowadays, the pride of owning hard copies is almost gone. We can see that as bookstores, dvd stores, and other old anime/manga 'fuel-stations' close down and go bankrupt.
I truly wish there was a way to turn back time yet move forward, because I truly miss the way things used to be.
But you know what, noble as it is all things have their time, and in the words of Tite Kubo, "We are all like fireworks. We climb, shine, and always go our separate ways and become further apart. But even if that time comes, let's not disappear like a firework, and continue to shine forever. - Hitsugaya Toushiro (Bleach)"
Let me start off by saying that I've had a pretty awesome February. I've had an anime overload pretty much. I went to Katsucon, which was surprisingly reviving, if reviving is the right word. My grades have seen a decent increase, though they will never be satisfactory, i am just aiming to pass right now, really. Junior year is rough.
Right now I am wearing my Summer Wars t-shirt, which I received free with my purchase of the DVD (thanks FuniMation!). Speaking of which, watching the movie, I was not disappointed and feel that the movie is worth much more than the $25 i paid for it (it's also the Special 2 Disc Set!). Aside from my grand purchase, I managed to find myself a nice little Domo wallet, and a really cute squirrel cat thingy. I also got myself a Soul Eater scythe necklace (Soul). But probably my most important purchase is my DVD of Akira, I contemplated buying the VHS version, but that was a fleeting indecision i quickly put to rest.
Soon after, I paid my nearby Books-A-Million a visit and got a copy of Jack Frost Vol. 1. If you guys have any suggestions for anime/manga for me that are easily purchasable, comment this up with that janx.
And now, Katsucon. Gosh darn. I had fun.
Friday was hectic, but exciting, I arrived to find the usual long registration line. After getting through the line and getting my badge, I met up with my friends and the con'ing commenced! The first thing I remember is getting ready to watch Evangelion 2.22, sitting in yet another, but more anxious than you could even believe. And when I finally watched the movie, my mind was blown. I haven't watched a movie so satisfyingly brutal and intense and climatic in a long time.
Saturday was a blur, aside from watching Summer Wars and Eden of The East : King of Eden, a rather episode-esque movie, a little disappointing, though it picked up where the episodes left off, which also meant none of my non-Eden of the East watching friends understood anything AT ALL.
I'll end up abruptly since I have nothing left to say.
Well, it's been 2011 for a little while now, and we're going into February soon, so I might as well post this now while it's somewhat, relevant.
This year is an optimistic one, I am setting my goals high and my expectations almost as high. I can already feel that this year is gonna be very different from other ones. As i sit here and type this up, I can't help but reminisce on the good old days, though.
Back when I watched Dragon Ball Z on a VHS tape. Back when anime was more fantastic, imaginative and impossible than it is right now.
I remember, a long while ago, me and my friends would gather every Friday afternoon to crowd into a small house and watch Digimon. We would gather every week, without fail. And even before that, when I lived somewhere else, I remember watching Action Man on a fuzzy television, as bad as it was, it still tickled my eyes to watch, in a way. I also distinctly remember watching Dragon Ball GT religiously, and crying until my mom bought me Budokai 3.
And then I came to America.
Introduced to the vast power of cheap, limitless, untamed, internet, I was overwhelmed. I tried out pretty much everything. Eventually, I landed on the pirate ship known as fansubs. And how I devoured them. Day after day, I would watch continuously, until just recently, actually.
However, at the heart of my pursuit for entertainment, was a longing much deeper. I really just longed to be a part of something. To be significant, and to be noticed. You see, when I was growing up, I took a lot of abuse because of my loving anime, up until the end of the 8th grade. I would just shrug it off, but sometimes it really got to me.
Growing up in a generation where you had to live up a certain stereotype is hard. And that's what I had to suffer. I am black you see, so people would often ask me, "Why aren't you black?" And it was this question that truly infuriated me. I can't understand why it would be less black because I like what I like? And worse yet, why can't i just be a person, no race attached.
Of course, the times have changed. The problems I mention are mostly in the past, and rarely rear their ugly heads in this day and age.
As i mentioned, I just wanted to be a part of something. I wanted to be associated with a group, and while I watched fansubs I was part of a group, fansub watchers. I could talk to other people who watched fansubs, because they knew what I was talking about, and vice versa. I didn't understand exactly what I was doing watching fansubs, I just knew it was entertaining, and it won me some "friends".
Now, I hate to get all emotional, but it was a certain fansub that sent me spiraling into true fandom, and infact, it began my escape from fansubs. I hadn't really dipped into thew world of live action yet, but after reading the manga-version of Densha Otoko, I needed to watch the live-action.
I learned so much. And most importantly, I learned what I was, an Otaku.
It was truly a beautiful thing, to finally understand what I was, it sounds cheesy, but truthfully, this is how I feel about it. Never in my life had I watched through a whole show episode after episode, until I was done. The show consumed my life. I was so anxious to find out what happened next, where Densha Otoko would end up in the next episode, I cried, I laughed, I felt his success, and his pain. It may seem like I am exaggerating a little bit here, but truthfully, my experience with it was that intense.
After watching that, I wanted to find out more about "Otaku." My curiosity led me to conventions, and the illegality of fansubs, and the rewards of buying anime as opposed to stealing it.
It was in 2010 that I truly devoted myself to true anime-fandom. Heck, I even tried starting a show on YouTube, when I realized i lacked motivation, and that music was my strength, I decided to pursue a future in music instead. I've been off of anime for a while, buying what i can, when i can, (AND THE FLIPPIN NETFLIX, SHO GOOD TO ME).
I am hoping that 2011 will be a year in which my music finally breaks out, but I also want to give back to the industry that was my childhood. I'd love to do some voice acting someday. I'd love to be more than just a fan, instead of sitting on the sidelines, I'd like to be a part of true fandom.
By the way I really needed to add this in, but couldn't fit it anywhere, "WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!"