Cartoons are awesome.
Who doesn’t like to watch colourful pictures on the tellybox?
Especially when the pictures involve badass Anime chicks and dudes kicking ass and defeating fantastical demon monster robots.
Ergo, Anime is Awesome.
If the above really doesn’t appeal to you; you are probably not human. (Or maybe anime isn’t your thing, which is cool.)
This week, I have decided to dedicate some blogs to a few wonderful Anime & Mecha Anime series that I have recently spent most of my allocated procrastination time watching. Because I so intensely enjoyed watching these shows, I am going to take a moment now to say that I am placing them all under an umbrella statement of wonderfulness and will recommend all of you to watch at your leisure. So, for all of you that love you some post-apocalyptic/alternate history anime worlds…
Check These Bad Boys Out:
Devil May Cry
Yes, some of you may be quite familiar with the Video Game Franchise. This Anime series IS based on the plot of the game, as far as I know. I have not had the pleasure of playing the video games (Aisling Fail) but I thought the TV series was BADASS. So I have a feeling that the games are probably just as awesome.
So the world is full of demons (SHOCK HORROR!) and the cocky, half-demon devil-hunter Dante is there to make their slimy horned heads roll. He carries a GIANT sentient sword that NO regular person could EVER carry (á la anime) and is very partial to Pizza (no olives) and Strawberry Ice Cream Sundaes ( I can relate, Dante, I can relate)
While there is not much to be said about the fairly standard plot motivation, I really liked some of the characters on offer in this series. The mysterious character ‘Lady’ whose origins are unknown is one that intrigued me most. She’s basically a fellow demon hunter with serious trust issues. Still, what the hell is her deal? There was too much ‘wall’ in front of her character for my liking, however, I did only watch the TV series.
(Here is usually where I fret about not having read the manga series or played the games, so if you have done so and haven’t bothered with the series, think of me as your poorly financed conduit.)
As the demons steadily work towards their climatic unveiling of an uncontrollable evil, we get glimpses into other characters such as Trish (a lightning shooting demon made in the image of Dante’s mother) and the incredibly annoying Patty Lowell who, for all her whining, tends to keep Dante in check. The Demons themselves are pretty well presented, as expected. There is an implied ‘hierarchy’ that seems to stem from Dante’s demon father ‘Sparda’, I can’t get into that without giving everything away, but essentially, I would have liked to have seen more development in this area . Again, I will probably have to read more on that.
Overall, with regards to Cultural Context the dystopia in the backdrop is not really commented on. Just kinda hones in on Dante and his ‘Devil May Cry’ business. The demon slaying is the priority and the gory and grim imagery makes that happen for us viewers. I really did like this series, I love demons and blood as much as the next girl. The only real problem I had with it was that there are only 12 episodes and there seemed to be an awful lot missing or out of focus. Of course this may have a lot to do with the fact that the series is so short and my lack of insight into the entire Devil May Cry franchise. However, I DO think I shall be going to my nearest comic book establishment and scoping out the manga or purchasing the video game. So if these features are your bigger interests, I’d say look into them for more background knowledge.
It will also automatically make you a very cool person.
GET READY TO ROCK.
This Mecha Anime is fully loaded with action, humor and an exciting post-apocalyptic backdrop that will make you wish for the world’s end.
So, Gurren Lagann (also known as Teggen Toppa Gurren Lagann) begins in a fictional future on earth where the evil Spiral King Lordgenome has forced humanity to live in subterranean villages. Until, the shy and insecure digger Simon and his delinquent older friend Kamina uncover a mechanical gunman while mining and break out of their underground village and into the surface world.
Their adventures follow them and their human comrades (Team Dai-Gurren!) rising up and fighting against the tyrannical Sprial King and his Beastmen in their gunman robot Gurren Lagann.
I loved this series.
The story was really awesome and the characters were very engaging. The depiction of earth under the sway of Spiral Power was something I immediately got on board with. A power regarded as dangerous for the evolution and constant development it brings and Simon begins as the digger whose drill (strong-ass-manifestation-of-spiral-power) will ‘Bust Through The Heavens’? Awesome.
Simon’s character is a great one to follow, along with the many interesting ones they meet on their travels. His relationship with Kamina is heart wrenchingly lovely in the first episodes; they endearingly refer to each other as ‘Bro’ and are constantly bouncing egos off each other, particularly when Simon starts out as incredibly insecure and doubtful of his role in the world. The other key character is Yoko who you will love, if not for her actual character, for her cleavage alone. A badass chick whose a dab hand with an electric rifle and struts around in a bikini top and hot pants? I ask you, what is there not to love?
There’s a lot to love about the politically charged plot too. There’s something about overthrowing power that just makes me want to dance with fire. The existing regime in Gurren Lagann that casts mankind underground and controls its numbers in an attempt to repress it, is fought against by the mighty Team Dai-Gurren in their shiny giant robots (YAY!).
The politics and a true fight for a balance of power becomes much more evident as the series continues. In accordance with this quest for power, the overall theme of spiral power and energy becomes more dominant as the series goes on. The theme itself is imagined as a spiral, a shape that represents something infinite and constantly developing/moving much like the very capable human race. Eventually, the development of earth and spiral power is stunted by another nemesis, the anti-spiral. Who steals the moon and is presented as a badly drawn person. No Lie.
And this is ONLY THE BEGINNING. The series becomes this giant energy ball of excitement, or at least I was excited. And it’s not just the ballsy fighting robot action that gets to you, it’s the humour and the characters that got me more than anything. This series is evidence of some really good character writing, I beg you all to watch it if your partial to anime or beginning to become partial to anime. I will most definitely be looking into the manga.
And that, my friends, is where it’s at.
As you can see, this blog holds giant raging piles of nonsensical awesome for you spry young readers, particularly those unknown to the anime world, to go out and discover for yourselves!
Isn’t that WONDERFUL?
Next time, there will be more demons.