Most kids outgrown cartoons when by the time they hit Middle School at least. I never did. In fact, it was about then that I discovered anime. I was hooked.
Anime, to me, is perfect for us grown kids. The graphics are awesome. There’s something about the characters with their distinct sharp lines contrasted against exaggerated, dramatic eyes that sets the stage for the rest. I love how the emotions come to life like literally sweating buckets in huge tear drops or a guy bursting into a nose bleed because he’s in love, or in lust as the case may be.
“Cardcaptor Sakura” was my first real encounter with anime. It was originally a manga series that came to life as an animated television series, first in Japan but then we in the Western World were lucky enough to catch it later on. I was intrigued by Sakura Kinomoto then and still am to this day.
I think the Japanese are geniuses for coming up with anime. It’s so full of ancient Japanese culture. I don’t limit myself by believing that anime is only authentic when created in Japan by a Japanese artist. If it fits the bill and is worth watching, anime is anime to me. But the fact of the matter is that Japanese are the best at anime and manga too.
The art of anime creation comes more natural to Japanese because they grew up with it like we have grown up with American cartoons. Actually, even more so. Cartoons and American animation are popular and there are even some adult shows like the Simpsons, South Park and American Dad but they are not mainstream huge hits like anime is in Japan. Anime IS Japan so of course their artful expressions in anime are going to be in their blood. They just have the upper edge on it.
“Hellsing” is the ultimate as far as I’m concerned. I especially dig 1-4 when it was done in the Satelight studio, before Madhouse took over. One thing that made it the best was the amount of characters but the plot was great too.
“Naruto Shippuden” is a cool one too. I loved “Naturo” so you know I was elated when there was a continuation of it. The show is a perfect mix of demons and magic and humor too. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a good one to get you started.
Anime seems to have a sigma about it. When I express being into it, people either think I am an overgrown kid or a pervert. The majority of American’s just don’t understand my love affair with it because they don’t know much about it. If I was to tell a Japanese person that I was into anime, they would most likely say, “Of course you are. Who isn’t?”
I would love to learn the Japanese language. In fact, I am working on that. It’s a difficult feat because it is very complicated but anime is so much better in the native language. The words just fit. When translated, it just doesn’t flow as well like an American movie that is dubbed. A lot is lost. For now, when things don’t quite fit or something seems really out of place, I just keep that all in mind.
Anime defines the animation world of Japan. I defines Japan. And, in some weird and wonderful way…anime defines me too.