Aniwords – Don’t Talk About Your Favorite Anime

This may very well be my most clickbait title yet, but I have no regrets because I’m honestly extraordinarily happy with how this post turns out and I want as many people as possible to read it. In a way, I consider this the sister post to the “Open Letter to Anitwitter” Tumblr post I wrote some weeks back; it just comes at the same general topic in a different way. And what is that topic? It’s paradigms of dialogue; that is, how we talk to each other within the anime fandom (although I hope the points I’m making extend in applicability beyond simply this one fandom). And these are all just, as I see it, me working my way up to what will hopefully be my seminal post on media, anime, and identity—my thesis, as it were, on being an anime fan.

But, for now…here’s the link!

39 thoughts on “Aniwords – Don’t Talk About Your Favorite Anime

  1. Interesting you bring up this distinction, because I can think of anime that would be nowhere near my list of favourites but significantly influenced my consumption patterns.
    For example, I used to follow religiously the recommendations of a certain reviewer. However, after watching Ghost Hound, which they praised highly in one of their earlier reviews, I was utterly underwhelmed.
    So I can argue that Ghost Hound was important to me because it caused me to evaluate my tastes and seek out anime for myself, despite that–or rather because– I didn’t like it.


    • Hm, yeah, that is interesting. I dunno if there are too many shows for me that I’d consider “important” but not also “favorites.” But that’s partially because a lot of that whole dynamic deals with emotion for me—so making those kind of distinctions becomes a bit difficult. ^_^”


  2. Maybe it is because I didn’t watch enough anime, or maybe it’s that I’m hard to get moved by them, I have a hard time finding out what anime are truly significant to me.

    I have absolute favorites. I know what messages some of the most meaningful anime are trying to tell, but I’m just not as moved (as much as you described how they moved you). I’m also well aware that different individuals receive and react to messages differently, perhaps it is just in my nature that I’m not as easily and deeply gripped by some of the most meaningful shows (or hard to be truly motivated by them, as powerfully motivated by them enough to make me change the ways of my living), and that makes me sad.

    I can still put up 9 anime that I think that are significant to me, but most likely they are just what ‘I think’ they are to me. What they truly mean to me are probably less compared to other people.


    • If you have absolute favourites, then that’s enough, isn’t it? I mean, if you’re watching anime for fun, then the most important anime will be the ones that are the most fun. If it’s for the cuteness, then it’s the ones you find the cutest. And so on. There’s no “just” to “what ‘I think’ they are to me”. That’s the entire point of the exercise. What does anime mean to you?

      I mean one of my favourites is Kimi ni Todoke, and the reason is very simple: I had a very easy time identifying with Sawako, it was easy to cheer her on, and I liked all her friends. Deep meaning? Nah. It’s just extremely calming and uplifting to watch; that’s all. It’s the perfect anime to watch when I feel alone. I can put this in fancy words and expand it to a thirty-page essay (I probably have), but in essence I’d still be saying what I just said.

      It’s all about what you feel when you watch the shows. (Or at least that’s what I thought the article was about?)

      Liked by 2 people

    • I mean, maybe it’s kind of healthy that you don’t get super invested in anime? 😛

      On a more serious note, I agree with what Dawnstorm wrote about. This is about shows that “are important to you in some way.” How are they important? To what degree are they important? Those are questions only you can answer, and I don’t think you do yourself any favors trying to compare those answers to the answers other people have. To use the old animeism, “You’re you!” Your experience is unique, and valuable.

      But, of course, none of that helps with feeling down about not being easily and deeply gripped by the stuff you watch. Sadly, I don’t have any great, mindblowing advice for you on that front—other than to just keep watching what you want to watch. I have confidence you’ll find something eventually. 🙂


  3. I especially like Mew’s square. Every signgle picture choice is very effective as a still. And the overall impression is one of… accepting melancholy? A mood hard to express in words, but it’s all there in the pictures. I could never achieve that effect. I have no idea who s/he is, but the square gives me a good impression not only of what shows s/he likes, but also gives me a hunch of why s/he likes them. That sort of thing is present in the other squares, too; but never as striking.

    Additionally, something that strikes me about whemleh’s formulation is that it’s not “top 9”, but “here are some of mine”. I’d have an awful time ranking my favourites; they don’t really come in hierarchies. My biggest worry would be that people might take the ranking too seriously. I can easily rank anime, but I couldn’t come up with the same sequence twice (except by accident). If I were to make such a square, I’d probably choose shows with respect to great variety, and I’d order them according to aesthetic principles: say, a hectic picture next to a calm one, or something like that. A list feels like an ordered sequence of taste; those squares look like a snapshot of taste. The shows don’t seem to compete with each other; they complement each other to form a whole (or a fragment thereof).

    I think you’ve touched on something important here. When we talk about shows that are important to us, the my-show-is-better-than-your-show attitude, or even the favourite/favouriter/favouritest attitude… the ranking of shows just doesn’t seem that important anymore. Is a show that calms you more important than a show that makes you laugh, or a show that puts you through cathartic hell? I wouldn’t want to miss any of those shows, would I?

    Great post.


    • Mew’s great—and yeah, his 3×3 was really good.

      And I’m definitely on board with what you’re saying about ranking stuff. Comparisons get you into deep water, very quickly. They simplify stuff, but they also make it harder to talk about, in a way.

      I dunno, I don’t have much else to say. This was a great comment. Made me glad I wrote the post to have been given the chance to read it.


  4. Ooh… I didn’t recognize five of the shows in your collage (basically everything in central and bottom rows asides from Soul Eater), but now I knew! Really nice to look at and felt incredibly distinct. As for the topic… I’m not really ingrained in online anime fandom the way you are, but in a general sense it does bother me a lot that it’s so hard oftentimes to tell where one’s ‘Internet persona’ (w/ all the snarkery and ironic wit) ends and where their actual personality begins. Things like this help, as we certainly could strive to have more… sincerity in our discourse.

    I was inspired to make my own collage as well. Had a lot of fun making and thinking about this, so thanks a bunch to you and your friends (here it is if anyone’s inclined: It’s interesting that in the process of making that, I come to realize the various ways they become incredibly personal to me; some of them correlates directly to my experience, some helped me through difficult times, and some created a special bond with certain people, but all of them contributed to my growth as a person.


    • I mean, I do think this extends outside of the anime fandom, too! Like, even just talking with your non-anime friends—you’re far more likely to talk about your favorite movies than you are about “movies that meant something important to you.” But yes, it’s especially bad on the internet and I think a lot of us have trained ourselves to be very guarded because of the frequency of snark, sarcasm, and overall playful (or not so) masks that we put up.

      And yeah, making these is a pretty darn cool experience. Like I said, I teared up making mine. Thanks for sharing yours (although I only recognize HxH, Chihayafuru, and The Twelve Kingdoms).


  5. Nice post! I think it was an interesting take to approach favorite vs “what important to me” approach. The former statement personalizes things more and makes it harder for the trolls and those with generally poor manners to attack than just saying “favorite”.
    I suppose one might find the word “favorite” to be too diluted or surface for some people to take seriously, but too personalize something to what makes it your “favorite” makes it deeper and harder to dismiss and, on the flip side, easier for others to connect to in their own personal way.
    And that’s how many “favorite” shows become favorites isn’t it? Through some personal connection. It may not be really deep. It may have just been the right show at the right time in your life that gave you some joy and that joy stuck with you. It may be something deep that connected you to something deeper in your life.
    I think sometimes people worry too much about others “liking the wrong thing”. If someone likes what you don’t like or don’t think is “good”: so what? They liked it. They watch it. You don’t like it. You don’t watch it. Simple. People don’t need to be told that what they enjoyed was wrong. I am glad you navigated a way around that.


    • Yeah, the word favorite is just so easy—it’s like a shortcut, but that also means that it has a little bit less significance, even though it really still should have it. It’s just kind of how things go, not just on the internet but in the world of language in general.

      Of more concern is the attitudes we bring to these conversations, and the willingness to be vulnerable. It’s hard, but I think it’s important!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I think this is your best article yet.

    From the title, I was expecting a different angle – something along the lines of staying away from internet fandoms when you have a show you don’t want other people’s attitudes to spoil for you. I’ve always avoided any and all internet discussions of K-On for that very reason, for instance. While it’s not a series that’s in the top 10 of my rankings, it is still a series that’s very personally important to me for several reasons (and if I were to make such a 3×3 it would definitely be on it), but I have a rough idea of what the general internet dialogue on that show has been like over the years and I want no part of it – it’s a show I’m content to enjoy entirely on my own terms. Your approach was even better, though, finding a way for people to share their appreciation for a series in a way that encourages thoughtfulness and dialogue, instead of just trolling and trivializing and making wisecracks. Even the comments to your post are following the same pattern so far – lots of thoughtful comments and sharing and not much joking around.

    And it is interesting to think about the distinction between “favorites” and “important” too. Sometimes they can be one and the same, but sometimes the importance of a show can remain long after the bloom’s worn off. I almost never talk about Naruto anymore – I quit watching Shippuden a few years ago when I got bored with the filler, and I can’t think of a word invented that would capture how much I hated the manga’s ending – so it often surprises people to find out just how active I was in the Naruto fandom back around 2009-11. I was reading scanlated chapters the day they came out, posting on message boards, reading fanfics, watching and commenting on people’s new chapter vlogs on YouTube, the whole bit. I also had lots of fun, got to talk to lots of cool people, and saw firsthand both the best and the worst of what anime fandoms can be like. So even though Naruto itself is far down my ongoing rankings list these days, I still have a lot of fond memories of those two years and some of the people I connected with during that time, and in terms of how it affected me, shaping who I am as an anime fan today and some of the lessons I learned from that experience, it’s probably one of the two or three most important shows that I ever watched.


    • I’m in agreement that it’s the best one I’ve done! Glad other people think so as well.

      And yeah, it was fascinating to watch the comments come in on this piece. I think a lot of people actually really do want to be genuine in conversations about the stuff they care about, but just need someone to lead the way or set the tone. Being vulnerable is super hard. And I guess, having authorial privilege in the form of my platform on Crunchyroll makes it just a little bit easier for me to push for that.

      Right now, a lot of (if not most of) the shows that are important to me are also my favorites, but that definitely could change. As you know, I’m just a young whippersnapper who hasn’t even been watching anime that long!


  7. Hmmm… you could take “anime important to me” a number of different ways as well. For instance, there’s a difference between the anime that have been important to developing my taste as an anime viewer and the anime that have the biggest impact on my life now or the anime that resonated with me the most emotionally or the anime that had the greatest effect on my worldview or… Well, you get the picture.

    I’m not quite sure what pov on the “importance” to have in mind when choosing my 3×3. Some shows would be on it no matter what. Other choices would be very different depending on how I thought about it. Very interesting exercise though. I might end up posting my choices on my new anime/manga tumblr.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup, it definitely varies. I don’t even have a concrete image in mind of what “important to me” means beyond what I said in the tweet: stuff I just can’t quit thinking about.

      Definitely comment on here or something if you do end up making one. I’d love to see it!


        • I also consider myself a CLAMP fan – if you don’t count the bowdlerized Cardcaptors (and I don’t), then it was Angelic Layer that was really my proper introduction to their work, which is one of the reasons why it was a candidate for my collage below. I haven’t gotten to Tsubasa yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed Chobits and the real Cardcaptor Sakura (and Tsubasa is of course a loose sequel to the latter). I also just added Magic Knight Rayearth to my manga collection last month; I really liked that series when I first read it a while back, and Dark Horse has a very nice omnibus edition out.

          How’s RG Veda so far? I don’t really know much of anything about that series.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve started volume 2 of RG VEda and I’m loving it! It is of course heavily based on vedic mythology but from, it seems to me, a distinctly Japanese point of view. I’m a big mythology nerd so this is totally my cup of tea.

            Chobits was actually the first Clamp series I watched, though at the time I was not at all familiar with what Clamp was. I really liked it, though the ending was a little unsatisfying. It wasn’t until I picked up the Tsubasa anime that I started looking into the Clamp universe. I also watched the first season of xxxholic and loved it. I didn’t really have any intention of watching or reading Cardcaptor Sakura. (My daughter loved the anime though.) It’s just aimed at such a young audience I’m not sure I could find it enjoyable. I’ve heard Rayearth anime is pretty good so I’d like to try that too.

            My plan now is to read RG Veda first and then tackle Tsubasa and xxxHOlic mangas together in the order they were meant to go together in. Then maybe I’ll dive into some other stuff.


            • Indian mythology, huh? Guess that’s not surprising, given the title, but that DOES sound good. That’s not something that gets explored too much in popular culture. Now I really want to read it too!

              It’s true that CCS was made for kids, and it would be silly to pretend otherwise. But it isn’t one of those typical episodic kids’ shows where everything always goes back to normal at the end of each day’s adventure – there’s a lot of plot progression and a lot of character growth for pretty much all of the significant cast members, and not much of it drags. Some filler episodes towards the end started getting a bit repetitive, but overall it held my interest very well. Also, as you’ve probably noticed by now, there’s a recurring theme in CLAMP’s works about the universality of love (regardless of social, cultural, or other barriers), and CCS explores that theme to the fullest extent of any of their works that I’ve seen or read so far, from all the various human relationships in the series down to the way the cards themselves actually have feelings for their master, so in a way it might be the most “quintessentially” CLAMP story of them all. Even if you don’t want to commit to a 70 episode TV series, I’d still recommend at least trying out the manga at some point (although the TV series – which was also scripted by the manga’s lead writer – has several changes that I think made it better).

              xxxHolic is right near the top of my plan-to-watch list. I picked up the Funimation SAVE Edition a few months ago – one of those rare times when I’ve bought an anime series sight-unseen – so it’s already on my shelf for whenever I get around to it.


  8. I don’t see the drama, because I generally avoid ‘fandom’ and stick to single-show discussion threads. That doesn’t mean I don’t have important and favorite (which are not the same things) anime, it just means I’m rarely in a situation where it comes up other than face to face at con.

    I’ve been part of one fandom or another for over forty years (went to my first Star Trek meeting at age 8 – in 1972!), so I’ve long since learned to approach them on my own terms. (And to largely not give a rat what other think.) With the advent of social media, it’s all too easy to get lost on the flood. I think people forget that.


    • Hm, that’s interesting. Personally, I guess I really believe in having conversations about “things that are important to us,” so I’m still in the “I’m going to make the fandom into what I want it to be/at least carve out a niche that will do that” mode. Bend them to my terms, rather than approaching them on my terms, if you will.


      • I enjoy such conversations but if not face to face, then generally in places like blog comments or Facebook rather than forum mosh pits. The opportunity just doesn’t come up that often.

        We grew up differently (in fandom) you and I. When I was growing up fandom was all face-to-face and mimeographed or xeroxed ‘zines. The pace was much slower and the behavior much more restrained. (Archaic weapons for more elegant times.) So, in some ways, that’s the environment I’m most comfortable in.

        You also I suspect think naturally in terms of branding oneself, that’s the way of the digital native. It’s an entirely foreign concept to me.


  9. Just for fun, I went ahead and did one tonight. I also ended up with a couple on here that I wouldn’t have initially expected to make it, but the more I thought about it, I realized I just had too many years of history with them to leave them out. So I’m completely happy with this group.

    Top row: Bastard, Toradora, Yuki Yuna is a Hero
    Middle row: K-On, The Vision of Escaflowne, Kanon
    Bottom row: Macross, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Naruto

    The toughest omission was Haruhi, which of course is still a top 5 favorite of mine, but when I started thinking about specific reasons why the last few shows I was debating were important to me besides “because I enjoy it,” I just didn’t have as many reasons to include it as I did for the others. Ditto for Angelic Layer, which was the other series that came right down to the final cut.


    • I’ve only seen two of those, and I dropped on them… 🙂

      I’ve having a deuce of time just coming with a decent list of reasons for an anime to be “important” without getting all lame. OTOH, looking at TheMythpoet’s list above, I may just be overthinking things.

      In the months I’ve been reading here and writing my Weekly Wall, I’ve learned to watch and think a little more critically about what passes before my eyes… But I’ve not yet learned to systemize it. I’m not actually all that good a critical/creative thinker, and while it’s a skill I need for various other reasons than writing anime reviews – I’ve always been a WYSIWYG kinda guy. It’s tough for an old dog to learn new tricks.

      BTW – the Yuki Yuna image in your matrix, that’s from her first henshin? Watching her transform not via device/spell/pose but by sheer force of will is what made me first sit up and go ‘huh? That’s different’.


      • That’s okay. I’ve only seen two of the shows in Bless’ group in their entirety (and even one of those I haven’t seen in 15 years), and not counting the blanket Miyazaki entry, I’ve only completed one show in Mythopoet’s nine. That’s one of the things that’s cool about this exercise – just seeing what’s out there that inspires people, even if it’s a totally different set of shows. Honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary to think that hard about your list – if you’ve watched anime long enough, you probably have a pretty good feel for which shows have stayed with you and which ones haven’t. Seven of my choices I really didn’t need to think about at all. Like asking me if Joe Montana is a hall-of-famer, I just instinctively knew they belonged as soon as they popped into my head (though for any of them, I could easily give you plenty of reasons why if you asked me). It was only with the last couple that I really had to think about why I’d want to include them over the other options.

        And yeah, you’re exactly right. That’s from the end of episode 1, when Yuna engages the vertex despite Togo begging her to run, and like you, I think that was also one of the first scenes that told me I might be watching something special. “If I just abandoned my friend, then I wouldn’t be a hero!” I noticed, on later re-watches, that this scene is also backed by the same ass-kicking piece of music that accompanies Togo’s first transformation in episode 2, and Karin’s recitation of the five Hero Club tenets in episode 11. They sure knew exactly the right moments to use that track!


        • That’s one of the things that’s cool about this exercise – just seeing what’s out there that inspires people, even if it’s a totally different set of shows.

          Yes!! Exactly! Obviously, there were a lot of shows that overlapped between my grid and the ones I put in the original post, but yes! People sharing things that don’t mean something to you (or don’t mean as much to you) and saying, “Hey, this is important to me,” it really reminds you of how distinct people’s experiences are while also reminding you how similar the simple statement of “these things are important to me” makes us all. Even if we can’t relate to why someone else loves something, we can at least relate to that love.

          Also, Karin’s recitation of the Five Tenets is pretty much my favorite part of YuYuYu.


            • Yes. The first time I saw the ep, I rewound it after the henshin and watched it again disbelieving what I’d just seen. Funny, interesting… I had it playing in the background, and on autoplay the next scene is Togo’s first henshin. It didn’t sink in, or I didn’t remember, that she went all in for the same reason – Yuna was under threat.

              But the power of friendship is one of the key things in the series – and something exploited to the hilt by the Taisha.


  10. I’ve been wanting to do a square of my own for a while, but pictures aren’t my medium, and I have nowhere to host the result anyway, so I’ll use words to describe the square I would have made.

    Top right: A life-long interest in zoology, a predispostion to quirky characters who accept each other, and a fondness for situational humour that relies more on character consistency and absurd images than on punchlines make Shirokuma Café the perfect comedy for me to relax to. The art is surprisingly animal-like for a show about anthropomorphic animals, and the voice-acting is stellar. What image to choose? It’s tempting to use the performance of the porcupine idol group Yama-arashi (you need to hear Mamoru Miyano’s voice coming from a center-stage porcupine), or the penguin kids playing train, or the salarymen (lion, tiger, and wolf) rememberin their wild days of youth in Grizzly’s Bar, but if the image scales well the top contender has to be the final image of the entire cast at hanami. This anime is the best to watch when I’m upset.

    Top middle: The next image is iconic and telling. A Japanese schoolgirl, expressionless, points a gun at you. Her name is Kirika Yumura, or so her student pass says. It’s clearly a fake name. She has lost her memories, doesn’t remember her real name. She knows that she’s an assassin, though, a job she’s frighteningly good at, but one she doesn’t like. There’s something cathartic of going through fictional depression like this. The name of the anime: [i]Noir[/i]. For a reason I can’t quite pin down, Kirika resonates with me deeply. It has something to do with how soul-deadening it is to do be good at something you don’t like. Kirika is the reason this show is
    on the list, but I would have to add that this anime also was my first encounter with the music of Yuki Kajiura. And I still think it’s one of her best; stylish and often carrying the scene.

    Top Right: After a bout of depression, you need something pick you up again, and what other anime could accomplish this better than the one best one to give outsiders the hope that they, too, can find their place. Kimi ni Todoke is nominally a romance, but it’s the journey of Kuronoma Sawako out of her shell that makes the show. The romance is part of that, and it’s cute, but the what resonates most with me is how she connects with her friends. If I could find a good picture of chibi-Sawako looking confused, I’d use that.

    Middle left: I’ve always loved SF, especially when it combines the logic of thinking through concepts with wild imagination. This particular combination is rare in anime. So imagine my delight when Shin Sekai Yori, a show I had high hopes for, outperformed those hopes by quite a margin. It’s wildly imaginative, atmospherically dense, morally complex, and conceptually interesting. And Daisuke Namikawa deserves an award for his role as Squealer (a role quite different from Kazehaya in Kimi no Todoke, heh.) The image? The false minoshiro, of course. I think of this sea-slug based creature as the mascot of the show.

    Centre piece: In the center of the square, you’ll find the anime that represents my outlook on life like no other: Uchouten Kazoku. What is fun is good, even if it leads to things that are not so fun. The image? If I knew how, I’d work hard on this one to make it work. Imagine a straight line through the square, so you have two triangles: The top triangle would have an image from the opening: a tanuki flying into a stylised sun. The bottom triangle would feature a frog in a well, hit by a drop of water so it looks like he’s crying. Both these elements make the show, because that’s life.

    Millde right: And now it’s time for my favourite cute-girls-doing-cute-thing-cutely show. The girls in this one are aged 11 and 12, and at that age, one year makes a difference. And you can actually tell in the anime (or so I think). They’re being taken care of by one of the girls’ sister, a working, smoking, motorbike riding sister, who’s job it is to be show’s deadpan snarker. One of the episodes involves the girls making her an ashtray for her birthday… from paper maché. The image? The name of the show? Ichigo Marshmallow. You won’t notice how good the show is until you try to watch the OVAs, where they show you what could have gone wrong. The image? A good ensemble picture in nice scenery? That one’s actually a tough choice. I’d have to keep on looking.

    Bottom left: Gender. I’m cis male, for all I know, but I’m neither especially masculine, nor especially feminine. And I don’t think I’m that androgynous either. I’ve occasionally been mistaken for a girl: only briefly in real life, but online I’ve encountered resistance to the idea I that I might be male. I don’t personally care, but things can get awkward when people who do care tell you things they wouldn’t tell a girl. The point of me rambling? If you don’t particularly care about gender, one of the things that becomes a nuisance is gender stereotypes. They’re everywhere in real life, and they can be even more prominent in anime. The purple bento of doom is supposedly funny, because girls are good at cooking, but not she. Some shows pull off the purple bento of doom, most shows make it bearable if your anime filter works well, and some are awful about it. Moving on from standard gender expectations, you enter the realm of sexual preference. Homosexuals don’t often get treated well in anime, and don’t get me started on transgender people. Or, perhaps, do. The anime in question here Hourou Musuko, and it’s about two transgender kids as they figure out their identities. A sensitive manga adapted by Okada writing to her strength, set to one of the most beautiful art styles I’ve seen in anime. Great cinematography and a wonderful soundtrack, too. I’m just happy that anime can produce something like this, and I wish it would happen more often.

    Bottom centre: It’s 1980, or perhaps 1981. Litlle Dawnstorm, aged 8 or 9, is sitting in front of a black and white TV (colour tvs are expensive). We have cable TV, and 6 whole channels. On the screen: a Japanese cartoon. Anime? Little Dawnstorm will eventually hear that term, but he hasn’t. Not yet. The cartoon is part of a series of cartoons based on World Literature, called World Masterpiece Theatre. Does little Dawnstorm know? Or Care? Not yet. The cartoon’s name is Marco (in Japanese Haha o Tazunete Sanzen Ri, but that would have been gibberish back then.) It’s the adventure of a little Italian Boy, who travels on his own to Argentinia, where his Mom has been working for his upkeep, until the letters stopped coming. Move on a few decades. I’m 45 now, and I can see how important this anime was for my development: Marco’s adventures are punctuated by set backs, but rarely by villains; and most people, impressed by his courage, are helpful and kind. As cynical as I can get, there’s still this little boy inside me who can’t think ill of strangers. It can’t have been only this anime, but I don’t doubt that it’s a major symbol this trait: a very basic trust in the kindness of strangers, and a reminder to be kind to strangers yourself. It’s not always easy, in your bitter moments, or when you’re at your wits end. Also, I only recently found out that this anime is directed by Isao Takahata, of Ghibli fame. I’ve always preferred Takahata to Miyazaki, and now I wonder: is this a natural affinity or did this show (along with Heidi, another childhood favourite he’s responsible fore) form my taste. Hmm… The image? Something that the puppeteer and his family. The episodes where Marco travelled with them were my favourites.

    Bottom Left: This is an odd one that has trouble finding an audience. It’s a really sweet romance, coupled with a really, really creepy survival game (á la Mirai Nikki). The two strand are tied together by an unapologetic parade of sexual fetishes the most prominent of which being… hair. I’m talking about Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge. Our protagonist meets a girl with uncuttable hair; the perfect target for his fetish. Luckily, he is in possession of a cursed pair of thinning scissors that cut through anything (I shall spare you its gruesome origins). And sure enough, the scissors can cut her hair, but it will grow back to its full length during the night. Our herione and hero immediately get along; she can live a normal life unhindered by much-too-long hair, and he can give her a new hair-style every day. Ah, but it’s not so easy. The scissors aren’t the only cursed goods out there, and he will use the scissors to fight against a sledge hammer, a syringe, a book, a horsewhip… Our duo fall in love, while our hero has to cultivate his dark side to protect her heroine, and only she can save him from himself… It’s weird, it’s creepy, it’s unforgiving, it’s hopeful, it’s sweet, and it’s oh so stylish. Is this show for you? Well, write a story inspred by David Lynch’s dark romances (Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet). Then make Tim Burton direct it. Then convince an anime studio that this might make a good anime. If this sounds appealing, give it a look. It is, in my opionion, the one masterpiece Studio Gokumi has created. I’ve had faith in them ever since I enjoyed A Channel (in 2011), and in 2013 it finally paid off. The image? Hero and heroine, patched up and in jump suits, dancing under stars, looking really happy. There is no other image I would choose.

    So this is a lot of words and it looks like a list, but it’s a square if you can imagine it.


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