Princess Tutu … one of the best animes ever made. And that is despite its silly title. Or the fact that a brief description would be: a duck turns into a girl turns into a magic girl ballet princess. This is simply one of the most beautiful and beautifully crafted works of art in anime. (It also has funny bits.) The most wonderful thing is that the first half has a storybook ending, but the second half has an ending that is much more satisfying, even if there’s a bit of pain (but “without a hurt, the heart is hollow,” right?). There’s also a mindflip for watchers. What is really going on?
My favorite animes are generally ones centered around people changing each other for the better, often healing each other, but sometimes just spurring each other on to greater heights. That’s a theme in Japanese anime that I really like– we can help each other be who we want to be. [We will ignore my guilty pleasure of harem animes for the nonce– the following do not fit into that category… for the most part.]
Kenshin : A story of redemption… a killer samurai in the Meiji era decides never to kill again. So he becomes a wanderer. But there’s a problem when you’re really good at killing– people want you to do it more… and sometimes bad guys want to do bad things and you have to prevent them without becoming bad yourself.
Fruits Basket : A story based on the zodiac… a family with a secret. An orphan girl who finds them. Healing.
HimeChan’s Ribbon : A great children’s anime. Hime-chan becomes a magic girl with the help of accessories from her doppelganger from the magic kingdom. She’s so genki!
Ouran High School Host Club : A smart but poor student gets a full scholarship to a rich kid’s academy. Breaks a vase. Has to pay it off by working at an after school club called the Host Club. And people grow up and change and find their families.
Natsume Yujincho : A boy is able to see spirits trapped against their wills and sets about freeing them.
Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge : a somewhat creepy goth chick ends up sharing a house with attractive young gentlemen. Her aunt is giving them free rent if they turn her into a lady. She resists, and changes them instead.
Kodocha : A super feisty girl actress… her life, her mom, her school, her drama… Frenetic anime.
Slayers How could you not love Lina Inverse? She’s small and eats a lot and kicks ass. Skip the dub on this one– one of the characters’ English dub drives me batty.
Noir : This one is a drama and not really about redemption… but wow, beautiful music, mind-flipping story, and man, can these female assassins make killing look beautiful. The popcorn episode…
Currently watching: Sgt. Frog (via Netflix– so there are a lot more episodes!). The US dub on this one is hiLARious. I’m sure they’ve taken a lot of liberties and they have fun with that. I’m curious what the original Japanese is like.
[Note it says “My” instead of “Our” because um, #2 feels the same way about anime that she does about mushrooms, only maybe even more contemptuous.]
Anyone else an anime fan? (*crickets chirping*) What do you like to watch? Also: sub or dub? (I promise I won’t judge if you say dub… dubs are getting better…)