Hip Hip Anime!

Large glistening eyes, brightly coloured hair, obscure nose and exaggerated facial expression reminds me of only one thing.

Can you guess what it is?

If your answer is Anime, then BINGO, you just read an otaku’s mind!

Anime (pronounced: “Ah-nee-may”) is a type of animation usually from Japan. They have their own style and it can show that in strange and wonderful ways. Anime also has its own sense of comedy and has a unique way of thinking. It can get really deep and serious, or it can become silliest (like: “Lucky Star”, “Kill Me Baby”) and craziest (like: “Death Note”,”Gintama”) thing you have ever seen. Most Anime shows are based on popular mangas (Japanese Comics), just putting a little more life into them. Anime often covers more serious topics than typical cartoons. In America, cartoons are considered a form of entertainment meant for children. In Japan, people of all ages (no, not newborn babies!) watch anime. Most shows and movies are centred for kids, adolescent or young adults, but there are also many anime that are made for older crowd even businessmen and housewives!

The word “Anime” is the abbreviated pronunciation of “animation” in Japanese, where this term references all animation. Outside Japan, anime is used to refer specifically animation from Japan or Japanese disseminated animation style often characterized by colourful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes. Japanese animation began in 20th century. Katsudo Shashin is claimed to be the earliest Japanese animation. The 1923 Great Kanto earthquake resulted in widespread destruction including demolition of earliest Anime Studios and anime works; leaving Kouchi’s Namakura Gatana as the oldest surviving animation.The first anime television series was Otogi Manga Calendar aired from 1961 to 1964.

My introduction to anime was in class four when I watched “City Hunter” in a T.V. channel, Animax. Though I saw anime (as a matter of fact the plural of anime is anime) like “Doraemon”,”Shinchan”,”Avatar-The last airbender”,”Summer Days with Coo”, “AstroBoy”,”Dragon Ball-Z”, “Naruto” way back before yet I did not realize the profound sense of anime as it was dubbed in Hindi (rather I would say “contaminated” instead of “dubbed” by old, ridiculous male voices in Hindi who would crack unnecessary, slap-stick jokes deviating viewers from the plot and land you in a hotch-potch of indianised anime). My sister ( three years younger than me though I refuse to admit she is more mature than me) took strange interest in Japanese anime like ” Tears to Tiara” and “Stigma of the Wind” aired in Animax: which I thought strange at that time as my “patriotic inertia” would prevent me from accepting anything but Indian products. I was first repelled by the fact that all the voice casts were in Japanese and to understand the story I had to take trouble of reading the English subtitles and had to correlate the speech with the video shown; for which great deal of attention was required. It was impossible for me to do both those tiring tasks at the same time, so I returned to my old T.V. channels: Cartoon Network, Nickolodeans, Hungama, Pogo, Boomerang and Jetix.

After a long hiatus, in class seven, I again started experimenting my skills in understanding anime which turned out to be a success, when I first indulged in anime like “Hayate the Combat Butler” and “Fairy Tail”. Oh! Such a sweet poison! After a whole hectic day in school, tuition, swimming classes, art and music classes, and whole other heck lot of activities; I waited only to sit back and relax to watch these anime. At that time, nothing mattered to me; not even my parents, friends and teachers. In that virtual realms of pleasure I could tackle my defeats and sufferings as easily as I had taken in successes. Nothing bothered me, except when I had to attend phone calls or to open door, if any guest comes when the anime shows were ongoing. However, anime hardly did affect my studies as after watching two hour long program, I suffered from PADS (Post Anime Depression Syndrome) for which I suffered the guilt of wasting time which was more intensified by my mother’s rebuke (I would like to describe this situation as “Kata Ghaye nuun-er Chheta”) and this guilt would propel me to study harder, concentrate and work for longer hours and this occurred as daily routine for me; so I could easily outdo most of the students be it studying or swimming or any other work.

Thus to all guardians, I would like to request to allow your kids to watch anime as it worked out for me (maybe I have strange wirings in my brain!). Watching anime would definitely help you to hone your literary, vocabulary and analytical skills. More importantly, it would serve as an immense source of entertainment, at least way beyond the league of daily Indian soaps.

Understanding the culture of origin is very important to realize the plot, be it Japanese anime, Korean Aeni webtoons, Chinese Manhua Anime or American sitcoms (which I suffered when I was novice in watching anime). If you have watched any anime, you will probably notice that the characters behave differently and things in general (like houses, transportation, eating etc.) are bit different from what you used to. Probably the most readily apparent differences between Japanese animation and others is the artwork where huge eyes (bigger than nose), brightly coloured hair, some well-endowed characters and exaggerated emotional expressions and gestures are typical of anime. Being hand-drawn, anime is separated from reality providing an ideal path for escapism into which audiences can immerse themselves with relative ease. The production of anime focusses less on the animation movement and more on the realism of settings like “The Garden of Words”.

The opening and credit sequences of most anime are accompanied by Japanese rock or pop song which maybe related with the anime series, by popular bands. “Nanairo Namida” by Tomato n’ Pine of anime “Beelzebub” and “Just Awake” of anime “Hunter X Hunter” are some of my favourite anime songs, which you can try out.

As there are several types of anime, one need to classify them in different genres, some of them are: Action, Music, Mecha, Adventure, Mystery, Bishounen, Yuri, Yaoi, Akuma, Seinen, Shoujo, Shounen, Kodomo, Slice of Life and many more. Whether you’re a die-hard anime fan (like me generally labelled as “otaku”), a casual watcher, an interested onlooker or commoner from non-anime domain: anime genres shall equip you with some basic knowledge and help you to venture the anime world with ease and delight.

I am going to share some memorable quotes of anime which etched my heart are:

• Motoko Kusanagi of “Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence”

“We weep for blood of a bird but not for the blood of a fish. Blessed are those with a voice.”

• Shinchi Akiyama of “Liar Game”

“People SHOULD be doubted. Many people misunderstand this concept. Doubting people is just a part of getting to know them. What many people call “trust” is really just giving up on trying to understand others and that very act is far worse than doubting. It is actually ‘apathy’.”

• Hachiman Hikigaya of “My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU”

“If truth is cruel

Then

Lie must be kind

Then

Kindness must be lie”

You can watch anime on T.V. by subscribing to Animax, Aniplus, AnimeCental, TV Tokyo or on internet on sites like animehaven.to, kissanime, Funimation.com, Netflix, Crunchyroll.com, hulu, YouTube etc.

Top Shows Like Log Horizon (Anime)

Log Horizon. By far one of my favorite shows, for multiple reasons. If you are unfamiliar, the show is about a bunch of players of a popular MMORPG that suddenly appear inside the game, except, it’s no longer a game. Somehow, the world they knew as “Elder Tale” has become a reality, and they have to learn how to survive in this world. Between learning to fight with their new bodies, that resemble their old avatars, to figuring out how to manage the relationship between Adventurers (players) and the People of the Land (NPCs). Log Horizon covers it all, and it does so brilliantly.

So what makes it so good? For me, it’s the details. Unlike most shows, Log Horizon drills the details home, and I love it for that reason. The fact of the matter is, they are inside a game world. The author explains the story from the players perspective of gamers, using terms like “party” or “raid.” However, it is also their new reality. We get to see the characters struggle between this “reality” and thinking that it’s still “just a game.” More importantly, the show heavily goes into player interactions, to the point of self-governing. Behind it all is Master Shiroe, probably the best main character I’ve seen.

So… that’s all fine and good, but you are probably reading this because you know how amazing it is. You want to know what you can watch that will give you that same feeling. I got you. Let’s get to the list, shall we?

Sword Art Online

Where there is Log Horizon, there is SAO; that’s just how it is. Though, I’m putting it in here for a slightly different reason. SAO and Log Horizon are similar, but focus on different aspects. SAO has the “game” feel that Log Horizon does, but takes it to the next level based on the fact of death being absolute. SAO enacts the drama side of being trapped in another world really well, which is why I think you’ll like it.

Of course, there is more to SAO than that, but I want to focus sorely on the first season (Aincrad). We get more of the awesome fights that are far and few between in Log Horizon; mainly, boss raids. Though SAO does not go into as much detail as Log Horizon on these raids, the fight scenes are still pretty cool.

I’d recommend you checking out SAO, at least the first season, if you are wanting a more drama out of the show, and don’t mind being stuck to the main character (unlike LH where we follow many characters).

No Game No Life

So you like Log Horizon because of the depth. You are in love with it, as am I. Well, you will probably like No Game No Life. If you go crazy, fan girl over some of Master Shiroe’s plans, then you definitely will like this show. I’m not going to lie, this is more of a comedy show, but the depth of the games that the main characters play is second to none.

Basically, the two main characters are beast gamers and they get trapped in a world where games decide everything. You can guess what happens. We get to go along with these two on some amazing, high risk games. Some of which you have no idea how they won until after the end. The only thing you have to know about this anime to enjoy it: Blank never loses.

I’d recommend giving No Game No Life a go if you are in a lighter mood, you know, wanting some comedy. This anime doesn’t have as much drama attached, but the thoroughness of the games they play is something to marvel at.

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

I love me some Grimgar. This is one of those shows that usually flies under the radar, you know, because it’s not a high dollar show. This has a very similar premise to LH, meaning that the main characters just appear in another world. Except, Grimgar is far from a game. It has game-like qualities, like guilds or skills, but it is most certainly a reality, and our characters learn that very quickly.

This show doesn’t go as in-depth on things such as combat or strategy, but focuses more on the struggle of life. We are taken on a journey where these teenagers are thrown into a world where they must kill to survive. They have to kill to make money, and, as the main character Haru says, “everything costs money.”

I’d say give Grimgar a go if you are wanting an adventure that is real, not fantasy. The drama present in this show is that of real life and death, and isn’t masked by a video game. Do try and ignore the fan service in the first few episodes, it dies down after a while (they use it as a comic relief way too much in the beginning).

Konosuba

This show. Let me tell you, will have you dying with laughter. If, like No Game No Life, you are looking for a more fun spin, this is your show. Quite simply, it is pretty much a parody. There is not a single serious moment in this anime, well, maybe the very beginning. Basically, main character dies and gets the option to be re-born in a fantasy, game-like world. Of course, he takes it, and the goddess granting him the wish with him.

Chaos ensues. Hilarious, glorious, chaos. We get to see a dysfunctional party form together, which includes an explosive mage that can only cast one spell a day, mind you. Even the fights with the “evil” guys in this show aren’t very serious, if that tells you anything. Of course, with fantasy / comedy usually comes fan service, and this show is no exception.

Konosuba is a great breath of fresh, comedic air after the intensive, dramatic shows like LH. Give it a go if you are a fan of the game-like worlds and want to have a good long laugh. Not to mention, it’s getting a season 2 as well.

Gate

Lastly, we have Gate. Gate is an interesting show, to say the least. Basically, modern military meets fantasy, medieval-like world. A portal forms in modern world Japan, connecting the modern world to this other world with mages, dragons, and the like. However, they may have magic, but they are no match for guns and tanks!

This show is great because you get a little action, a little politics, and a little of just about everything. You get to follow the main characters perspective as a foot soldier, but also can see what’s going on with Japan’s leader and the political pressure he is under. This show also accurately depicts the slanderous ways of the media.

Give this show a watch if you are a fan of a good story that covers more than one angle. You get to see so many different perspectives in this show that it is quite refreshing. Plus, we get to learn that war is not all about the fighting, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Also, Rory is an awesome character.

Conclusion

There you have it, the top anime that I would recommend if you are a fan of Log Horizon. You may love or hate some of these, but that just comes with the territory of anime shows and people’s personal tastes. I, personally, enjoyed all of them, and thought I would share my thoughts on every show. Happy anime watching!