Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Worst Kind of Hipster is an Anime/Manga Hipster

So, over the past few months/year, I've been trying to get back up to date on all my anime/manga- because it's something that I really do enjoy, it's just hard to be excited when no one is excited back. The good news is that I've gotten to the point in my life where I just really don't care what anybody thinks anymore about my hobbies, and if no one around wants to talk about it, well, there's the internet.

In hopes of getting a position at the youth department, I began frantically throwing myself into these manga series so I could be hip on what the kids read nowadays (because they certainly don't read the things I did when I was a kid- i.e. Tenchi Muyo, Sailor Moon, and Macross..)

There are a handful of series that I never read simply because I was going through that 'hipster' phase where everything that people liked was awful and everything (regardless of the quality) that no one had a clue about was God's gift to anime and manga.

Today, I would like to apologize to some anime/manga series that I snubbed before I even gave them a chance. I love you now.


For those of you who aren't familiar with the series.... BLEACH is the story of Ichigo Kurosawa, a moody 15 year old boy who has the uncanny ability to see and speak to ghosts. When his family is threatened, he inherits the powers of a Shinigami (or Soul Reaper) from Shinigami Rukia, and battles ...evil ghosts that want to eat good ghosts? - that's the only way I can explain it. Anyway, apparently there's this whole other world beyond death called the Soul Society which Shinigamis govern, and there's a civil war between everybody there, and Ichigo is the coolest thing to happen since sliced bread.

Okay, so the series isn't the most imaginative and to be honest, the series runs on forever BUT the character designs and the Shinigami abilities are SO COOL. I hated on this series for the 'soul' reason (haha, see that? it was a pun!) that it was popular among my classmates and now that I've given it a chance.... I like it! - funny, huh?

So, BLEACH .... I am sorry. I misjudged you.

Naruto to its' fans and Narutard to its' enemies. This ninja anime is possibly one of the most popular anime show to date. Naruto is about a young prankster ninja who has inherited the power of the legendary 9-Tailed Fox that nearly destroyed his village years ago. Naruto wants to become the Hokage, or ninja leader, to get the people that have shunned and ignored him over the years to notice him. Politics ensue between various ninja villages.

Yet again, I avoided this series like the plague solely because of its' popularity, and it didn't help that I had heard some horror stories about the kind of fans it attracted BUT I don't have to love the fans to love the anime/manga and when I finally gave it a chance, I discovered that it is a really fun little read. I'm only in volume 20 right now (and still going) but each volume of Naruto has brought something new to the table so far :) - the characters and abilities are also fun.

So, Naruto .... I am sorry. I misjudged you.

Gold Roger, the most infamous pirate in history, dared pirates at his hanging that they would never find his hoard of treasure - One Piece. It is said that whomever possessess the treasure will have infinite power and become king of the pirates. Monkey D. Luffy is one such hopeful who wants to find One Piece; he will recruit a crew and commandeer a ship and do whatever it takes. Hilarity ensues.

Popular and thus avoided. One Piece is my greatest regret of them all. I have never read a manga series where I have had so much fun with. I mean, the drawings are just goofy. The manga knows it is a manga and it has fun with it. I really admire the mangaka's talent. Granted, it , like Bleach, is really bad at recycling plots over and over. I can forgive it when there are drawings like this ----


So, One Piece, I am sorry. I misjudged you...

Dragonball is a modern adaptation of the Chinese epic 'Journey to the West' - the story of the Monkey King Son Goku and his companions to gain immortality. Goku of Dragonball travels with his companions to track down the 7 dragonballs which united can summon the Eternal Dragon to grant them a single wish. Hilarity ensues. Dragonball Z continues the story of Dragonball's Goku but adds a sci-fi element including aliens, other worlds, and space battles. They are considered by many anime fans to be classics. It is also notorious for being one of the first series to have 'filler' episodes (episodes with no real plot going on but just to extend the run of the show because it has such a huge audience - aka a cash cow).

Okay, this is one that I didn't try to avoid; I just thought I wouldn't like it, and since it came on before Sailor Moon when the two aired on Toonami, I didn't like it --- because I got caught in all the filler episodes. We got the Dragonball manga in at the library and I decided to give it a shot. I didn't expect a lot from it- a whole bunch of burly dudes bragging about the size of their penises power levels. Dragonball really surprised me though. I think it is partially due to the fact that I am already quite familiar with 'Journey to the West.' The entire thing is full of perverted humor and scatological jokes.... so why is it so popular? Because it is full of perverted humor and scatological jokes. It is a foolproof combination, and you know what, it works.

The characters all look the same, but you know what, you start to care about them. And then I got into the world and the mythology... and it's just a good series.

Dragonball / Dragonball Z, I am sorry. I misjudged you.

It's hard to explain FullMetal Alchemist without giving so much away. The best that can be said is that Edward and his brother Alphonse are travelling across a fantasy land in order to learn the secrets of the Philosopher's Stone and reverse the terrible mistake that they made years ago. There's a lot of science, medicine, and technology involved which makes it possibly the perfect anime for me, but alas, I was too blind to see it the time that it was extremely popular. Thankfully, it has been given a re-vamp called FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood (still currently playing) - so I can still get in on some of the hype. Nevertheless, I distinctly remember telling a girl in high school that this was overrated drivel. If I could remember her name, I would apologize to her too.

FullMetal Alchemist, I am sorry. I misjudged you.

.... that being said, my hunches were right about InuYasha. It's still awful.

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