Happy New Year everyone! As we kick off 2018, I need to talk about a subject that’s near and dear to my heart … Anime! Now, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I really need to talk about this again. It’s becoming quite the obsession with me. I watch a different show nightly on my iPad. I’ve watch so many different genres its exhilarating. It’s so easy with services like Crunchyroll, Funimation, even YouTube.
I love watching anime, and its not for the reasons you might think. I know some people watch it for “fan service”, waiting for those gratuitous cleavage and butt shots of scantily clad women. It’s ridiculous how disproportioned women are in anime. They either have ridiculously large breasts or look like little girls. It’s weird and really, not my thing.
First off, and I know this is unusual, but I love the music. Anime’s have the best theme music of anything out there. These opening songs are catchy and memorable, even though I don’t understand the words. The songs resonate and rattle around my head like a catchy TV jingle. For example, I first heard the themes to Speed Racer and Space Battleship Yamato more than 40 years ago, yet I can still recite them verbatim.
Then there’s the comedy. The anime writers love to put geeky, ordinary guys in awkward situations that make you laugh. It usually involves them walking into a bathhouse or room where the female protagonist is dressing or, more than likely, naked. There are also common occurrences of flirting that makes one, or both, quite uncomfortable. These moments bring needed levity to sometimes serious stories.
Speaking of the stories, that’s one of the things I truly love in anime. The plots made be similar across different genres, but the stories are incredible versatile and diverse. They combine fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and action/adventure in so many different ways. I also love the “underdog to hero” story in many of them. It’s the heart of most of these stories; specifically, good versus evil. That’s the basis for a lot of them and its the best story there is. Now matter how bad it can get, good wins in the end. They take the morale high ground, even if the main protagonist is a pervert (i.e., High School DxD) or a nobody (i.e., Is it Wrong to pick up Girls in a Dungeon).
The next thing is the art. Anime is art on whole other level from other animation. The beauty of it is undeniable. It’s quite graphic and real, which makes it even more inspiring to watch. Between the elaborate costumes, weapons, spaceships and backgrounds, the art is so detailed and, quite frankly, utterly spectacular. I mean, take Chain Chronicle: The Light of Haecceitas. This series has such a wide variety of characters, races, and locations. Each one is more beautiful than the next.
I can’t begin to describe the inspiration I get from watching all these anime. Each one provides me inspiration for my own stories in more ways than one. I know I probably need to go to an AA meeting (Anime Anonymous) but for now, I’ll watching.
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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.