'Twas a shot that only took 17 years to reach me...
I never gave much thought to anime merely two months ago. Sure, I had played Persona 4 and 3, and saw Persona 4 The Animation, but even so anime in general didn't seem to appeal to me. I couldn't look past what was plastered in front of my face: fanservice (especially hentai), over-the-top comedy and facial expressions, violence seemingly for the sake of it (I blame shows like Attack on Titan for this misconception), etc. It wasn't until I was recommended Evangelion (due to some parallels between it and Persona 3) that I gave the genre any serious thought. Let me restate that. *Clears throat* It wasn't until The End of Evangelion struck me in the emotional core and made me cry for the first time since I was under the age of ten that I really wanted to watch other anime at all.
Graphical representation of how I felt after The End of Eva.
The End of Evangelion was like a catalyst that finally made me suddenly open my eyes and realize much of what I thought of anime was wrong. In fact, I realized that anime was doing most everything that is missing from American animation and television in general. It was as if I stumbled upon a gold mine hidden beneath an disconcerting little thing. I could make an entire list of what the most notable of anime does better than the most notable of American shows, but for me, it boils down to subject matter/it's approach to it and storytelling.
I gave up watching American television for the most part long ago because I no longer gave two shits about what was going on. I realized that scenarios in live-action "real-world" shows were/were becoming unrealistic, I didn't hate but at the same time didn't like most characters, philosophical subject matter was rarely addressed, hard subject matter seemingly only recently was starting to be addressed properly (homosexuality for example), and so on and so forth. As I grew up, children/teen television revealed it's near-brainless nature, and I quickly realized that much of adult television is more or less the same. (I'm looking at all you something something crime shows...) The only true variety I see now days is in children's shows which, once again, is mostly branless.
Sure thing Spoungy... We all know it's because you can't.
However, in the month following me watching Eva, I've gone from watching a disconcerting magical girl show quickly turned dark (Madoka), to a mindfuck questioning technology and our relationship with it (Serial Experiments Lain), to an economical romp around a medieval land with a pagan goddess (Spice and Wolf), to a 1930's based dark and over-the-top supernatural drama that mostly takes place on a train (Baccano!), to a dystopian cyberpunk thriller that questions morality and the meaning of the word criminal (Psycho-Pass), and finally to an anime that practically defines anime itself and made me cry like I did after The End of Eva (Cowboy Bebop). Honestly, I'm not aware if there's variation like this in American television, and if there is, can you mention all the shows with similar praise?
Ok, maybe I'm just ignorant towards television here in the US (I most likely am), but I believe there is a reason for that (other than me being comparatively young to most of you). We in the US aren't great at immortalizing our television series (not including some children's television shows); we watch, we love, and we slowly forget. Sure, a mention will revitalize interest in a show from the past, but other than that most series will fade into history. This is wholly unlike anime because otaku communities generally keep series from fading into oblivion. This is why new fans of old series like Eva and Cowboy Bebop are still being made to this day (for example, me). Now with that said, give me an American series from the 90's that ended in the 90's and still has a strong fanbase that is always growing in numbers. I'll be surprised if someone gives me a good answer.
Sigh... I'm all over the place. Anyways, back to the story after this commercial break:
Please click it. I only get cash for clicks...
I'll wait... :-I
Once again, Evangelion helped me open my eyes and truly realise that anime was something special, and not completely in the ways that I used to belive. Each and every successive anime I watched helped drive this point home, and I came to realize that not only it was far from what I expected, but it was what I desired in, well, every storytelling medium. Consice, gripping stories, characters that I care about, action, philosophy, etc, etc. I'm not saying every show was the full package, no, no, but altogether they make up for all the disappointment I felt over the years of watching American television.
It may have only been a month since I truly began with this newly-found intrest of mine, yet my persona that existed before all of this seems like a different person now. I truly wonder how many more times that I will go through this cycle of eye-opening. Counting the suprise that was Persona, and my opening to Alternative/Indie music, this is the third time it has happened to me that I know of. Hopefully there are many more eye-openings to come, and are just as wonderful... Here's to.
What? No toast puns? Then screw you. :-3
And that's all I have to say for today. Hopefully you made it all the way through, but if not, eh, what can I do? See you later space cowboys...
So many suggestions... @___@ Anyways, here's the list of shows and movies I have and plan to watch if you are wondering: http://hummingbird.me/users/TheMessi…