I’m tired of talking about writing, race, gender, politics, and all that other heavy crap. Let’s talk cartoons!
It’s no secret that I’m an anime/manga fan, especially since I mentioned in the afterward to The Broken Kingdoms that the World Tree was at least partly inspired by the giant sakura in the shoujo series Mahou Tsukai Tai!*. But I have to confess that I haven’t been a power user of anime or manga in about ten years, so I’m not up on the latest/hottest/coolest stuff. In fact, to my shame, I now get most of my anime as dubbed stuff via the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, and most of my manga in English translation. Once upon a time, I would never have been caught dead watching dubs, let alone those adulterated for American TV… ::sigh:: Alas, my geek cred has become a casualty of my lack of time.
Which is the reason for this post. I need recs! I have no time to sift through the long-tailed mountain of stuff out there these days, but I know some of that stuff is pretty cool. I’ve seen a little of it, and want more. So here’s what I’m liking these days, and why, if that will help you out:
- Fullmetal Alchemist: I collected the manga for awhile, until a very long gap between some of the English-language volumes annoyed me into stopping. Watching FMA: Brotherhood, tho’, so may resume the manga eventually. Anyway, what’s not to love about this series? It was steampunk before there was steampunk, has magnificent characterization, plot intricacies that make me jealous, and superb artwork.
- Noein: This is quite possibly the most beautiful anime about theoretical quantum physics I’ve ever seen. …Okay, it’s the only anime about theoretical quantum physics I’ve ever seen. But emphasis on the beauty: I didn’t actually like the art at first, but it won me over. Or maybe I just associated its artwork with its brilliant, heartrending storyline, and liked it better. Whatever. I have a thing for physics love stories.
- Darker Than Black: I don’t know why I like this series. It’s not at all my usual thing… and yet there’s something about the badass, nihilistic, somehow pathetic Contractors that fascinates me.
- Bleach: I’m a shoujo fan by preference, but I’m not opposed to a little standard shounen fightfest now and again. It’s cathartic. But Bleach is probably the limit of “I’ve gotta get stronger!” stuff I feel like watching these days, and it’s worn on me. Still, I’m willing to consider something new.
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: (Both seasons.) Also not my usual taste. Still, I’m willing to endure the technobabble and look-how-cool-post-cyberpunk-is blather for more interesting (to me) existential questions about who qualifies as human in the time of posthumanity. Also, I want a Tachikoma. We could have long rambly arguments about the nature of existence, and then it could BLOW UP SHIT.
- Blood+: The original movie was boring as all get out. The shoujoized reboot was perfect for me: excellent characterization, some interesting nonhuman biology, solid action. And OK, Hagi.
- FLCL: This one took awhile to grow on me. It made no sense, and not in a good way. But a few rewatches helped, and once I figured out most of the in-jokes, I love it.
- Code Geass: CLAMP designs, more junior Machiavellis than Utena, scads of Ho Yay and Foe Yay — it’s crack, but it’s good crack.
- Wolf’s Rain: I’m actually not a fan of most Bones stuff. ::dodges hatestorm:: I like their work! Just don’t usually love it — but this series I loved. It’s postapocalyptic poetic, and Yoko Kanno’s score just made it.
-I miss shoujo. Not enough of it gets imported to the US. Please suggest some?
-No problem with violence or sexuality, but not a fan of sexualized violence (e.g. rape). There are exceptions I’m willing to tolerate if they’re well-handled — see Blood+. Otherwise, no.
-Stuff that does not feature racial stereotypes or caricatures would be SUPER, thanks.
-I prefer subtitled works to dubs, so don’t be afraid to suggest those to me. But my Japanese is pretty much at the level of a two-year-old’s, so nothing raw, thanks.
*Which I highly recommend. It was also partly inspired by The Little Prince, specifically the image of a planet consumed by baobabs. Also highly recommended.
ETA: I’m actually quite familiar with anime and manga up to about 2002 or so, especially in the shoujo genre. So to clarify, it’s recent recs that I need, thanks!