The task of collating favorites is both an exciting and an onerous endeavor. The excitement is in sharing what you love; the burden is in setting limits, in the cherished tales left unspoken. What sets these stories apart? What magic endears them to our hearts–renders their characters our close friends, their experiences our own–that these few deserve mention above all others? I could chart each objective quality–from writing to editing to cinematography to sound–delineating the success of each ingredient in delivering the recipe’s divine flavor. But I must admit I’ve always lacked the attention and capacity for such detail. So, glancing at the garish plastic adorning my bookshelf, I asked, “What do I love about stories? What spurs my hunger for the next tale to devour, cel by cel?” And, as I eyed the titles before me, my mind’s eye conjured images of their characters–the interactions between them–that move us to laughter, tears, or a simple smile of pleasure at a tale well told.
So, here are a handful of my favorite anime, with an eye for the relationships that spoke most deeply to me. I hope you enjoy! Continue reading
One night, bored and trawling the web for reading material, I landed a seinen romantic comedy that promised the addition of laser-beam-firing alien antics. A recently completed four volume series, so far 13 scanlated chapters of Ashita Dorobou exist in English. While those chapters deliver on the promised romantic shenanigans and alien antics, it is the relationship between the protagonist and his ex-girlfriend that sparked my curiousity, for in the very first chapter I noticed the resemblance to that newly-coined romantic trope, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Continue reading
“Renton, people shouldn’t use up any more energy than what the sun shines down upon us. When you try to use up more than that, you end up having to dig for scubs to drain energy from, or having to build towers. You don’t have to do that. People can survive on what little land they are given to them.”
~Will Baxter, Eureka Seven
The announcement of Eureka Seven Ao last December sparked my dormant interest in its parent story, a story I began several months earlier and neglected six episodes later. Fueled by Twitter’s enthusiasm, I revisited Eureka Seven, swiftly engrossed in its universe. And as I huddled over the flicker of the 3.5” screen of my iPod Touch during the morning’s wee hours, Renton’s convalescence and education at the hands of William B. Baxter awoke memories of another tale. A tale of a young man on a journey not unlike Renton’s, encountering influential individuals not unlike Will Baxter. That tale was Lloyd Alexander’s juvenile epic, The Prydain Chronicles, and as a youth its perspective on everyday life influenced my own outlook on the world.