Friday, September 12, 2008

The Best of Anime

I was introduced to the genre of anime a few years ago by a friend. After that, I never looked back. I was hooked!

The first anime I watched was Full Metal Alchemist. And boy was it good.

Edward and his little brother, Alphonse

Here's a little background. When they were young, their mother died, so they decided to try to revive her using the forbidden Human Transmutation.

However, the transmutation went awry and Edward lost his leg while Alphonse almost lost his soul. In a desperate attempt, Edward sacrified his left hand and managed to attach Alphonse's soul to the body of armour.

After that, Edward was fitted with automail (smtg like advanced prosthetic limbs) and he sets out to become a State Alchemist as that would allow him to have more resources for them to find a way to restore their own bodies. However, not all is sweet as the position also makes him a weapon of the notorious military. The full plot can be found here.

This anime is great because not only it challenges the imagination, it doesn't sugar coats the truth but includes elements of darkness as well. And the relationship between both brothers are rather touching. Highly recommended.

Next up, I was introduced to Naruto.

Naruto Shippuden - 3 years later after the first season ends

Set in a ninja village, Naruto is first shown as a naughty but determined little boy who wants to make everyone acknowledge him. This is because he has grown up as an outcast as the villagers shunned him because 12 years ago, a demon fox that nearly destroyed the village was sealed in him when he was a baby.

He gradually gains the acceptance of the people around him by working hard. He aims to be the next Hokage (village leader) and is full of determination to succeed.

The anime goes on to show him how he overcame obstacles, learn new cooler techniques and battle stronger enemies. A more detailed plot here.

However, of all the protaganists, I think my least favourite is Naruto coz he is kinda dumb at times compared to the others. For me, I watch this anime for the cool innovative techniques. And how the ninjas use their brains to outwit each other. Sometimes, one can't help but be awed by their amazing fighting scenes!

Recommended for those who like shows with less dark themes (except that you need some patience coz some parts are kinda draggy - coz the animator needs to wait for the manga to come out - sigh fillers!)

Next, I started watching Bleach after my friends told me it's nice.

Ichigo and his friends

The anime starts with Rukia, a soul reaper appearing in front of Ichigo and he is surprised that he is able to see her. A soul reaper is responsible for sending souls to the afterlife and killing souls who had turned bad (called "Hollows").

A Hollow appeared at that moment and injured Rukia severely. Ichigo tried to protect her even though he is powerless. Desperate, Rukia transferred her powers to Ichigo so that he can battle the Hollow on an equal footing. And Ichigo succeeded in vanquishing the Hollow.

However, Rukia tells him that he must take up her job as a soul reaper for now till her powers return to her.

And the anime goes on to show how although the cynic in him knows he can't save everyone, he tries his best to protect at least those close to him. A brief synopsis available here.

This is also another anime where there are amazing techniques shown omg. Great fighting scenes definitely to awe you. And some of the characters are so cool! hehe. Highly recommended!

Right. Next up is the anime called NANA.

Two girls with the same name, same age, going to the same place on the same train...

Although both share the same name, they are total polar opposites in character. They met by chance on a train headed to Tokyo. Little did they know, their paths will cross again when they eventually become housemates.

The cool gothic-looking Nana wants to go pro as a vocalist and is determined to succeed with her band Blast. However, deep inside her heart, she longs for her old lover Ren. The other sweet-looking Nana is friendly and outgoing but is weak in character and struggles with her love life and career.

Of all the animes here, this is the only anime not about physical fighting. But it is the one that touches my heart the most. I can't believe how much I cried when watching this. *shy*

The characters and their relationship with each other are very well-developed and the words the author chose to use are sooo beautiful that I could empathize very well with how they feel. And the topics touched upon are very real and complex, just like those in real life.. Just plain beautiful!

Synopsis here. Even my friend who didn't like anime was addicted to it after I bribed her to watch one episode. hoho see~ that is the power of this anime!

Highly recommended!! (especially for those who are into feelings and love stories hehe).

Alright! Next up is the anime titled D.Grayman which was introduced to me by a friend when I claimed I was out of nice animes to watch! And this turned out great.

Allen Walker with his mortal enemy, the Earl Millenium behind

The protaganist is 15 year old Allen, who was abandoned by his parents after he was born due to his "deformed" left arm. He was later adopted by Mana Walker. Sadly Mana died some time later.

Grieved, Allen tries to revives Mana by turning him into an akuma as the Earl Millenium persuades him. (Akuma are demons summoned by their loved ones who will kill the person who summoned them and use their body to obey the orders of the Earl) It is at this moment, Allen's left arm, which is an anti-akuma weapon activated and killed the akuma.

After that, using the ages old anti-akuma weapon called Innocence, he became an Exorcist with many others to continue fighting for mankind and stops the Earl's plans to destroy earth. Read more abt the plot here.

Personally, of all the fighting-based animes, Allen is my favourite protaganist because he is real. He is strong when it is needed but sometimes he struggles too. He doesn't give up easily but is neither rash nor unreasonable.

Due to the nature of this anime, it explores a lot about the sadness of some tragic stories. And the comradeship felt between the Exorcists is a resounding theme too. Although it includes dark elements, but there are funny light moments here and there. Highly recommended!

Last but least, the anime I am going to talk about is called Fate/Stay Night.

where Servants and Masters battle it out for the Holy Grail

Shiro, the protaganist of this anime is a relatively normal boy when suddenly one day, he is dragged into the war waged every 60 yrs to get the Holy Grail, which is said to be able to grant any wish.

The battle is between 7 Masters and their Servants. (Servants are warriors from the past summoned to do their Masters' bidding and are exceptionally strong) Most of the Masters are skilled in magic too.

The prize being the Holy Grail, the Masters do not joke around and are willing to battle till the death or kill other innocents just to strengthen their own power. Shirou being a helpful and honest teenager, is at first confused and irrationally shields people from battle, prefering to sacrifice himself to protect others. However, later this changes. Plot can be found here.

I am still halfway thru watching this anime (the downloads are so slow ma! haih) so can't fully comment on it yet. But so far, the anime is pretty entertaining. Though at times I can't stand how unsensible Shirou is.

The various type of Servants are so cool! And the way they fight! And some of the Masters are so mysterious.. and magic! A recommended watch.

Alright. That wraps up some of the most favourite anime that I've ever watched. All are really worth your time watching! Hontoni~

I hope you guys will enjoy them too and do tell me what you think of them if you have already watched any one of them. Toodles! ^v^


fireheart said...

Lol hey I didn't know you're into anime too! Haha...I've been an anime fan since high school till now (except for the brief period during hsc) and watched FMA and currently still on Bleach. Hehe I still follow the manga and anime weekly, Saturday and Thursdays respectively (i'm sure you know that). Anyway I've started fate/stay night but stopped after a while since my download is at a snail's pace. But there's a nice, light hearted anime that I'd like to recommend. Yakitate! Japan is really nice. It's not too serious like Bleach or FMA or fate/stay night. It's about bread and stuff like family, etc etc. If you havent watched it, go for it!

p/s: nice blog posting today =p

Zzzyun said...

haha i also din know u were an anime fan! i started getting hooked on it during my uni days haha..

oh i'd heard of Yakitate Japan b4 from my frenz. maybe i'll try it out. hav u heard of Cooking Master Boy? it's very nice too!!

and im glad someone appreciates my post enuf to comment. it took me rather long to write this one :P thks!