Tuesday’s Top 5: Appearances of Cherry Blossoms in Anime

We are finally done reflecting on the anime of 2017 and now it is time to get into some new lists. To start us off, I am look at my 5 favourite uses of cherry blossoms in anime. These flowers are just adorable and are incredibly prolific so I am absolutely certain that you all have your own favourite scene from an anime so please feel free to share in the comments below. While I started off the list with some fairly standard pretty flowers, I think the ones that stick are a little out of the ordinary.

As an added note, for those that don’t know, the Cherry Blossom symbolises how fragile and yet beautiful life is (that’s an oversimplification but you get the point). It is a fantastic flower to show transitions in one’s life which is probably why so many anime start with them.

Please Note – Some spoilers below.

Honourable mention this week goes to every high school anime ever that starts with the main character walking under cherry blossoms to get to school.

Number 5: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card

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I’d be lying if I didn’t point out that this was the moment I thought of writing this list. I probably could have picked some scenes out of the original Cardcaptor just as easily, but this scene of Sakura on her way to school was gorgeous. It perfectly captured the feel of the old Cardcaptor while showing us just how visually impressive this new series was going to be.

Number 4: Your Lie In April

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No surprise at all given the symbolic meaning and the season that cherry blossoms feature heavily early on in this show. While it doesn’t have the same magical quality as the scene in Cardcaptor, these scenes are absolutely perfect in setting up the relationship between the two main characters and the inevitable ending in Your Lie in April. It might not be subtle symbolism, but is is affective.

Number 3: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

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What to do when you want to film and it isn’t the season for cherry blossoms? Just hope your director is also a god and you’ll be just fine. While the SOS brigade are shooting their movie, in addition to causing one of the group to shoot a lazer from her eye, creating white pigeons and a talking cat, Haruhi causes the cherry blossoms to bloom out of season. It is a bizarre series of events that are all undone when Kyon gets her to declare that the film is a work of fiction but it was an interesting use of cherry blossoms.

Number 2: Nurarihyon no Mago

Nurarihyon features one cherry blossom tree very prominently in the Nura Clan’s family compound. It gets used a lot throughout the series’ run time but we’ll see it often as Riko stares at it in his human form when he is thinking and when he is in his yokai form he sits on one of the branches in the tree looking down. Nura’s grandfather is also regularly seen near the tree. Additionally, there’s also a ‘secret’ technique used by the family that includes using saki and a sakura petal and ends with all the enemies incinerated.

Number 1: Bleach

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I came to the conclusion fairly early on that there is really no way to show just how impressive Byakuya’s bankai really is so if you have never watched Bleach you really should just for this attack. The first time we see it is when Ichigo pretty much goads Byakuya into releasing his bankai  and after the usual condescending remarks Byakuya literally lets go of his sword and in its place, after a very impressive entrance, we have thousands of blades scattered that Byakuya controls (and yes, they look just like cherry blossoms). What makes this technique particularly brilliant, other than looking gorgeous, is that it can be used for attack and defense and when he uses his hands he can increase the speed of the blades. Basically, anyone besides the protagonist is going down fast once Byakuya brings out this move.

Time for you to share your favourite appearance of cherry blossoms in an anime.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Episode 3: Did We Want To See Some Magic In Our Magical Girl Show?

Review:

While I will admit I liked this a great deal more than episode 2, I also have to admit this one isn’t a must watch for me this season. While the nostalgia is still there to an extent and I could happily watch Sakura and Syaoran blush at each other all day, if I missed an episode of this I’d be fairly fine with that.

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While last week the focus was on the normal everyday before a card showed up at the end, this episode hits us hard and fast with weird things as the school day starts and rain appears out of nowhere. It continues until the afternoon and Sakura is attacked by water on her way home from school. Fortunately, Tomoyo once again packed necessities including a new outfit for the capture.

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Toya and Yukito get a brief moment before we get back to Sakura cheerleading at school and then yet another card appears.

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There’s a few things that are going to need answers such as what is Syaoran actually doing after school that he never seems to be around and what is Toya up to? Also, does the fact that the cloaked figure is the same height as Sakura mean it’s just Sakura projecting herself or was I reading too much into that comment?

So yes, plenty of fun to be had here even if I’m not quite as caught up in it as I may have been once upon a time.


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Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Episode 2: Tomoyo Knows What’s Important

Review:

I have to say that while watching this episode I have the distinct impression I may have outgrown Cardcaptor to the point where not even the nostalgia lens made the first fifteen minutes of this episode feel like anything but dragging. We did get the initial buzz from Tomoyo who continues to know exactly what she cares about and is already planning and making costumes for the coming trouble.

But otherwise we get some exchange between Syaoran and Sakura, we get the girls in an art class, Sakura watching Syaoran play soccer, lunch with friends where we’ll discuss the other character who hasn’t shown up yet, before we’ll go home and make a cheesecake and really it just stretches. In fairness, this is a pretty typical Cardcaptor episode and it looks gorgeous, so I kind of had to draw the conclusion that it is me that has moved on from this rather than the show not delivering.

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Despite that, when the business of weird stuff happening and capturing a card came around, we weren’t left disappointed.

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And as always, the capture itself looked amazing. No wonder Tomoyo wants to film Sakura all the time.

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However, do those few moments of nostalgia happiness in the first half and a couple of minutes of magic make for an overall enjoying viewing experience? I’m going to try a couple more episodes before I answer that question and see whether I’ve lost the magic of this show.


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Karandi James.

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Brothers

We all know there are some terrible anime families out there, but every now and then a show finds a way to remind us that not every blood relative wants to abandon you, use you to destroy the world, or is on a vendetta to kill and destroy you. I’m dedicating this list to all the very cool brothers out there in the anime world and my criteria was simply that they had to actually look out for their sibling/s in some way.

Please Note: There will be some spoilers below.

Honourable mention this week to Byakuya from Bleach (admittedly, it took him awhile to warm up to the idea of saving Rukia but after that point he was a pretty good brother).

Number 5: Sora from No Game No Life

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Sora is an incredibly confident gamer who is absolutely certain of victory, but only so long as his sister, Shiro, is by his side. More importantly, he prioritizes her happiness and well-being at every turn and absolutely trusts in her abilities. While there relationship may be unhealthy in some respects, separating them leading to the both of them all but shutting down emotionally, you can’t doubt the love these siblings have for one another and how much Sora is willing to do to give Shiro exactly what she wants.

Number 4: Edward and Alphonse from Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

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Oh, they are so cute. Seriously, these two are adorable as brothers even after one of them ends up as a soul attached to a suit of armour. Realistically these two could be put at number one on the list given everything they do is initially driven by Edward’s desire to ‘fix’ Alphonse but to be honest they get caught up in a lot of other stuff and even while the two will forever help each other out, both are aware there is more at stake. Still, utterly adorable.

Number 3: Lelouch from Code Geass

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I’ll be the first to admit that Lelouch’s family situation is complicated and not exactly nice, however his genuine love for his little sister Nunnally remains one of the touching cornerstones of Code Geass and is pretty much the only reason Lelouch shouldn’t just be written off as another egomaniacal character wanting to show off how smart he is. While I’m not entirely convinced that Lelouch ever really succeeded at ‘saving’ Nunnally, his determination to give her a better life was pretty admirable and he did end up shouldering an end that really shouldn’t have befallen him in order to spare her from having to take the responsibility.

Number 2: Touya from Cardcaptors

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Best big brother ever. Okay, maybe not given I put him in the second spot on the list, but he would still be an awesome brother to have. He doesn’t fall into the sickly sweet category as he certainly teases his little sister, as any self-respecting big brother would, but he never crosses the line into being mean and he most definitely always has his sister’s back even when she doesn’t know what he’s given up for her. This also carries over into Tsubasa Chronicles, though Touya has a much briefer role there.

Number 1: Komui Lee from D Gray Man

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While most of the time Komui acts like such an idiot it is hard to take him seriously as a character, it is important to remember that he gave up everything in his life to be with his sister and be her support. She was taken by the Dark Order because she could use Innocence and then she was pretty much on a self-destructive path and perfectly happy to die until Komui gave up whatever future he’d been heading towards to work for the Order to be with her. While casual observers think he’s the sister obsessed one, it is more that he knows how important his presence is for his sister and it really is the case that she’s the one who is a bit obsessed. Whenever you remember those scenes where we see Komui join the order to care for her, it makes so much of his character more tolerable and makes him my very favourite anime brother.

Over to you, who would you have included on your list of anime brothers?


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Karandi James.

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Friday’s Feature – On Magical Girls (3/3)

Let’s wrap up this mini-series of posts (though I am definitely going to revisit the subject matter at some point because really nowhere near enough has been said). This week I want to look at exceptions within the magical girl genre and discuss the lack of an equivalent magical boy genre.

While there are a few modern exceptions, I actually want to look at a more classic ‘magical girl’ that kind of does things her own way, and that’s Sakura from Card Captor. And already I hear people saying she defines magical girl, what do you mean she’s an exception?

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True, she becomes a Card Captor after Kero recruits her to recapture the cards she let loose and it was more or less her destiny to release the cards in the first place and she fights an array of silly villains while wearing fairly ridiculous outfits using a magical wand to summon cards to fight for her, so it all seems fairly normal for the magical girl genre. However, there are a few distinctions.

Firstly, while her friends are most definitely dragged into the magical encounters Sakura has after becoming a Card Captor, with the exception of Syaoran Li, most of her friends do not have any power and don’t end up joining her back-up group. In fact, Sakura pretty much fights solo for most of the series, occasionally assisted/hindered by Li and offered moral support by her best friend Tomoyo. Furthermore, Tomoyo doesn’t end up being the victim of the week every other episode, unlike Molly (the magic free friend of Sailor Moon).

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Secondly, Sakura doesn’t transform into a magical girl. She always has her magic powers whether she’s in her school uniform or one of Tomoyo’s creations. Every single ridiculous outfit Sakura ends up in she changes into willingly (or at least because her best friend is trying to help in her own way and Sakura doesn’t want to hurt her feelings). So no magical girl outfit (and this right here could throw Card Captor’s right out of the genre entirely given how important transformation sequences are in other shows).

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Thirdly, Sakura defeats the escaped cards and then uses them to fight and capture other cards. These villains have no grand plan to take over the world. They’re magic cards that have escaped and are running wild. Mostly they aren’t working together or plotting anything. So no gloating villain sneering about how they will beat them next time. Instead, this is a fetch quest that got out of hand but serves as the background for Sakura’s growth as a human (even as her increased stash of cards makes her stronger).

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The last point I want to make is that Syaoran is both a rival and a love interest. He battles with Sakura to be the Card Captor, though eventually is forced to bow out of the fight which is when he takes on a far more traditional role. This is a refreshing role for a male character in a magical girl genre because he has his own strengths and agenda outside of saving the girl so she can save the world.

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I’d love to know your favourite exception in the magical girl genre so please share below.

Onto the lack of an equivalent magical boys genre. While there are definitely anime boys out there with magic (think Fairy Tail etc) these aren’t magical boy anime. Generally they are actions or dramas. They are fast paced and usually full of a large number of characters who the protagonists can fight with and support.

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Of course, if magical boys was a thing you would have to wonder who the audience would be? As Cute High Earth Defence shows, just putting boys in silly outfits and making them go through the motions of a magical girl anime isn’t exactly compelling viewing, and even if they played it straight it would be hard to take it seriously.

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As stated in part 2, a large part of the magical girl genre is about imparting messages about qualities that the audience should admire and work toward. These messages are already presented by male characters in shonen anime and a range of other avenues. One could almost argue that the magical girl genre exists only to fill the void that existed for strong female characters who fight villains. They used magic as a way to overcome the traditional stereotype of weaker female and then gave the protagonists admirable personality traits (even if these only developed throughout the series).

So do magical girl series still have a place for modern audiences when there are now plenty of other shows and media that present stronger females?

Definitely. This is a genre that filled a gap but also carved out its own niche and will continue to develop and grow with the modern audience. The success of shows like Madoka Magica clearly show that there is still a large market for the magical girl, even if she has evolved a bit from the shiny and sparkly days when all she had to do was spin around occasionally and wave a wand.

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That concludes this run of magical girl posts and I know I’ve barely touched the surface. Feel free to leave your comments, thoughts and suggestions below.

Friday’s Feature – On Magical Girls (1/3)

We know all the titles: Sailor Moon, Card Captor, Shugo Chara, Kamichama Karin, and so on (there are a lot of magical girl anime out there). We also know the parodies: Cute High Earth Defence and Is This A Zombie. We know the darker magical girl shows that are starting to emerge: Madoka Magica and every following magical girl show. So why are magical girls so popular when essentially every one of these stories (whether it is trying to be cute, fun, funny, or deadly serious) is kind of identical at its core?

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To really get into this genre of anime I’m going to break the post up into a few parts (so a few features until this one is done).

  • Firstly, what is the basic narrative structure of a magical girl story?
  • Secondly, who are the basic characters and what is with character transformations?
  • Thirdly, what about the magic itself?
  • Fourthly, what about the exceptions?
  • Finally, why isn’t there an equivalent magical boys genre (and Cute High Earth Defence does not count)?

I’m just going to look at narrative today and then I’ll group the others into two posts each given characters and magic are intrinsically related and the exceptions and magical boys will go together reasonably well.

Keep in mind, everything here after is my own opinion and I am a crazy Sailor Moon fan so  I doubt I’m going to be as critical of this genre as I would need to be to actually pull it apart.

1 – The Basic Narrative

I don’t know how many magical girl shows you have watched but with few exceptions they start the same way. My main examples are coming from Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura but I’m trying to keep the information generic.

Usually there is some kind of hook. A look back at some ancient catastrophe or a puzzling dream that is suggesting some disaster in the future. While this is usually great for grabbing your audience’s attention and gives a frame for the narrative as a whole, it serves a greater purpose. Most of the first episode of these shows will feature very little actual magic and usually it isn’t until the end of the first episode that our magical girl will actually do anything magical so this is kind of the only chance to show off something supernatural and cool in the first half of the episode. It also gives a more serious tone to what might otherwise seem like a fairly frivolous show.

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After the destruction of the Moon Kingdom they were all sent to earth.
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Sakura dreams of a mysterious girl and wonders what it could mean.

After hooking our attention we then meet our protagonist usually waking up and frequently late for school because they are inevitably still a student and somewhat of a flake – okay that is less true in the last fifteen years than it was in the 90’s but clichés exist for a reason. Regardless, we meet our very ordinary school girl doing very ordinary things. Usually there is a dressing sequence (putting on a school uniform, adjusting their hair, putting on their  knee pads – nope that one was just Sakura because she fell victim to the roller blading craze poor dear). We’ll discuss the inevitable dressing sequences in more detail when we look at the characters.

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Madoka may have actually included some characterisation and a touching moment with a parent in her dressing sequence, but she still had a prepping for school sequence.

Then we go to school. This is where the shows start branching out but there are a few commonalities.

The basics of the first episode include introducing the ‘normal’ friends who may or may not ever be involved in the magical side of the story. We learn what our protagonists are good at and what their insecurities are (in a highly manufactured fashion – Serena tossing her exam paper over her shoulder and hitting Darien highlighting both her lack of school ability and social skills in one quick scene).We learn that deep down inside this girl is a good person despite all of their faults and absolute ordinariness. These are all very important things to know if the story is going to hold together.

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Amu is all about her image even though she knows it keeps her isolated from her classmates.

Because then things change.

If we didn’t spend all of this time establishing a base line for our character would we know or care about how magic changed their life and the strain it put on their ordinary existence? And how could we know about their incredible development as a character unless we had a starting point?

The catalyst for change can be more or less anything (as proven in the parody Cute High Earth Defence when it is a pink wombat from space that gives the boys their magic powers). Cards, eggs, rings, brooches, wands, and more or less anything else you can imagine (that would make for good product placement and something pretty you can sell people – oh that’s just me being cynical, never mind). Sometimes they tie it up with destiny (you were reborn or chosen) but other times it is convenience of circumstance. You’re here, you can activate this, go. Almost always this coincides with a villain attacking for reasons that will later be endlessly explained – don’t worry. It might also be worth noting the number of talking animal and mascot characters that are involved in this catalyst for change.

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Being the mascot character in a parody show is not all it is cracked up to be.

Normally our protagonists then go through a few different emotions (usually in very rapid succession). Denial, incredulity, acceptance. Must admit, our modern magical girls have learned from their predecessors. They are less likely to take the talking cat at face value because they know that the whole magical girl thing isn’t all its cracked up to be. Plus, those outfits are pretty embarrassing.

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Not a magical girl but you can tell Ikuto would like to kill the person who designed that outfit.

There’s usually a fight sequence of some sort and then we can get onto the next episode. It’s interesting how most magical girl shows fall into a bit of a rhythm at first. Normal day, monster appears, fight it, defeat it, back to normal day. During this time, we see our characters grown and develop and learn about their powers, new characters and rules are introduced and all of the logic behind the show is firmly established and they better not break their own rules later. What also happens in most of these shows is the lore is being established. Who are the good guys and why do they fight? Who are the villains and why are they attacking? And the whole sequence may seem repetitive but it is gradually ramping up to a point where it can get away from character and world building and into the story itself without having to stop for explainers (the final pivotal reveals are of course held off for later – like how the Moon Kingdom was actually destroyed got its own episode right before the final battle sequence).

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Madoka didn’t have long to establish its rhythm but still managed to cover this essential plot element.

At some point, even the frilliest of magical girl shows will start to take a turn for the darker side. Maybe that villain is unkillable, maybe someone got hurt, maybe the protagonist loses their confidence or their resolve, or maybe things just got a lot more dangerous, but for shows that generally begin all cuteness and light they inevitably turn dark.

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And it’s amazing how many times it involves the love interest – boyfriend in distress much.

This gives the audience another chance to rally behind our heroes as they prepare for a final battle where the stakes have been made very real. The result of the final battle may be a foregone conclusion but you still sit on a knife’s edge hoping your favourite characters make it through unscathed (though by season 3 of Sailor Moon the scouts death’s have ceased to have a whole lot of impact).

And there we have a magical girl narrative. With that basic structure you could even argue that Soul Eater (with it’s heavy focus on Maka) is actually more akin to a magical girl story than an action or supernatural story. Though, Maka at least fights with more than pretty coloured lights and sparkles but we’ll save that for our discussion on characters and magic.

So, what did  I miss? What are your thoughts on magical girls in anime?

 

Friday’s Feature – Anime for Kids

This post I am writing in response to a question I was asked a few weeks back.And I wanted to thank angieabk for asking because after replying I just kept thinking about the question and why it had stumped me when it seemed like it should have been an easy one to answer.

I was asked of my top picks for the season which anime I’d recommend for kids, which kind of stumped me because to be perfectly frank I wouldn’t recommend any of the anime I watch these days for kids.

(Keep in mind, this post is not becoming a tirade against people who think anime is for kids – I’m simply explaining why I found it hard to answer this question. There are already plenty of tirades out there against viewing anime in the same light as cartoons and as children’s viewing.)

That isn’t to say there aren’t great anime for children out there, but I’m not a child and I don’t watch things that are particularly kid friendly. The other reason I wouldn’t make a recommendation for a child is I don’t actually know what the parent of said child deems appropriate for their child.

For instance, are they okay with stylised violence or do they want something that resolves issues through discussion? Is it okay if girls have visible curvature or do you consider that unnecessary in a children’s show? What about themes? Drugs, mind control, hypnosis, death, life, relationships, good, evil, magic? Which do you find appropriate?

I can’t answer those questions for someone else. And I am not a good judge of what is and isn’t appropriate for the simple reason that my own viewing as a child was never particularly censored by my parents. That isn’t to say they ignored what I watched, but it is more that they would tell me what was in something and warn me if they thought it would scare me, but they allowed me to decide what I would watch. Of course, they certainly steered me around things that would probably have crossed too many lines, but from a reasonably young age I became a massive fantasy and B-Grade horror fan.

Magic and spells and characters who faced death and monsters and incredibly fake blood filled the screen and I learned to love predictable and dependable narratives where good would ultimately triumph and villains would lose for the simple reason that they were villains. The fact that sometimes losing meant being thrown from a cliff and bursting into little pieces (Tremors) or getting struck by lightning and being completely destroyed (Willow) didn’t really concern me as a child and still doesn’t today because of course that’s what happens in stories.

And that was the clear line. What happens in movies and television was not reflective of reality. “It isn’t scary, it’s just TV.” “It’s a movie, so everything will be fine.” That was the message I got over and over again.

So when faced with the what is appropriate for kids to watch question, I kind of shrug. It entirely depends on the parent and how they frame the viewing experience and what the child has been exposed to previously.

My stance on censorship is entirely prosaic. All media should be clearly labelled with what it is and what it isn’t. Ratings aren’t overly helpful. Did that get a high rating because of foul language or because someone is going to get torn in half and blood is going to drip across the screen? There’s a real difference in which one I’ll sit through.

I have the DVD of Jormungand and it is restricted MA15+ in Australia with the helpful note that it contains strong animated violence. Yet I would argue that it is totally appropriate for teenagers because while it has strong violence the themes and questions it raises about arms dealers and child soldiers are an excellent discussion point. I’m certain others disagree with that view and that’s fine. That’s why labels are helpful.

I’ve mentioned before that my earliest anime included Astro Boy and Sailor Moon, both seen as reasonably acceptable kids viewing. However, looking back, Sailor Moon gets pretty dark. She kills her enemies. Reduces them to dust. The scouts and Sailor Moon are in constant peril. Serena’s boyfriend is kidnapped, brainwashed and set against her. Ultimately she is forced to all but kill him (which effectively wipes out any memories he has of her) in order to save him. That’s a harsh line up covered in pastel colours and pretty sparkly moon wands.

Then there are parents who protest their kids engaging with Harry Potter because of the magic theme. How many anime, particularly kid friendly anime, involves magic as a central plot point? Card Captor Sakura and Shugo Chara, both anime I would probably recommend for younger audiences, are heavily steeped in magic.

And Shonen anime is full of violence. Stylised and sanitized at times, but extreme violence nonetheless. Most of it makes Wile E Coyote’s antics in Road Runner look pretty tame and let’s be honest, anything involving dynamite is pretty dangerous.

For parents with kids watching anime, the best thing you can do is look the anime up yourself and view the online images. Is that appropriate for your child to be watching? And that is a decision only you can make because you know what you want your child to view and what you would prefer they didn’t.

Now, censorship is always a prickly issue so I’m certain there are some big opinions out there. Please have at it below but remember to respect the views of others.

Also, list the anime you think are appropriate for kids and why.

 

Friday’s Feature Life as an Anime

The discussion this week is not intended to be taken in any way seriously. That said, I want to use the post today to muse about what life would be like if you were the protagonist in a standard anime. I’m sure other people have thought about this so I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Stage One: You would begin life unremarkably. You might be the ordinary guy/gal next door or the ditz or the loner, but you aren’t interesting enough to really make any kind of impact on anyone. For example:

  • Look at Serena/Usagi from Sailor Moon. She was just an ordinary, blonde girl with below average test scores.
  • Ichigo Kurosaki in Bleach? Other than a crazed father and a penchant for violence, his life was as unremarkable as they came. Even his seeing ghosts didn’t really get a rise out of most bystanders.
  • Sakura from Cardcaptors? While she’s unfortunately cursed to forever be attached to the 90’s Rollerblade craze her day-to-day life held zero interest.
  • Shibuya Yuuri from Kyou Kara Maou. He’s an ex-baseball player with a conscience which leads to his head being flushed down a toilet but otherwise there’s nothing of note about him (something that even other characters in the show remark on at times).

Stage 2: Some person or event occurs that changes your life forever. Maybe it was a preordained act of destiny, or maybe it was just random chance, or it might be some weird combination, but once the change occurs there is no going back. Some examples from anime:

  • Serena meets Luna who awakens her as a Sailor Scout.
  • Ichigo meets Rukia, who after being injured by a hollow gives Ichigo her Shinigami powers so he can save his family.
  • Sakura releases the cards and is then recruited by the guardian to captured them.
  • Yuuri is flushed straight into another world where he meets Konrad who tells him he is going to be the next demon king.

Stage Three: You undergo a dramatic transformation while fighting to hold on to your own sense of identity. This transformation is sometimes quite literal as the magical girls of the world know all too well, but other times it is a transformation of purpose and drive. Our examples:

  • Serena becomes Sailor Moon, Champion of Love and Justice. Well she has a cute outfit at least. She does eventually evolve into a champion.
  • Sakura’s transformation is more subtle as it is more about the direction her life goes in and how she deals with things. The outfits are simply a ‘perk’.
  • Ichigo transforms into a shinigami (kind of). While this allows him to fight low level hollows, it’s going to be a very bumpy ride before he reaches his true potential.
  • Yuuri transforms literally and metaphorically. He is made the demon king but has to keep working to keep war from breaking out between demons and humans. However, make him mad enough and the maou really will appear and he definitely isn’t a push-over.

By the way, Sakura isn’t forced by magic to wear those outfits. No, she is the victim of an overly nice friend who really just wants to help her capture the cards, and video tape Sakura in cute outfits.

Stage Four: Now you have transformed you must face your destiny. It is nice how destiny always appears just when you are ready to face it. Whether it be an enemy, a politcal ideal, or the saving of a friend, you must rush onward to save the day. And just note, the consequences of failure are too horrendous to even discuss, so don’t fail.

  • Yuuri, just save the world for humans and demons and keep a war from breaking out, and while you’re at it, save all of your closest friends from having their various body parts snatched so that they can be used as magic keys to boxes that will somehow destroy the world. No pressure.
  • Serena, kill Beryl. She only destroyed the entire Moon Kingdom and your far more talented mother, but you can do it.
  • Ichigo, Rukia gave you her power and now they are going to kill her. Fight your way through every single one of the Shinigami until you can somehow save her.
  • Sakura, you let the cards escape and now you have to catch them so that the magic doesn’t run amok. Yeah, there is a greater story in here as well but really it’s a magical scavenger hunt.

Helpful Hints for your anime life:

You are the protagonist in an anime. You won’t die (and if you do it won’t be overly permanent) so feel free to wear your ideals on your sleeves and never back down.

Keep in mind, if you insist something for long enough, even when backed up with no actual evidence, somehow your passion and faith will make it a reality.

You are going to suffer pain. Amazingly enough, for every good thing that happens, you will probably have overcome at least three really awful ordeals, or had to save others from them. Let’s be honest, the more tragic your past or present, somehow the more power you are going to end up with and the cooler outfit you will get to wear once you find your power.

And, if all else fails, believe in the power of friendship and your own strength and somehow you will evolve once again into an even shinier version of you who can in fact save the day.

Some final random thoughts:

How many buckets of blood does Ichigo actually have anyway and why does he need to be near death before he manages to win any fight? Wouldn’t being that close to death actual hinder his success?

Why is Serena more powerful when she transforms into a really long, white dress? Surely that would hinder her combat abilities?

Your Thoughts:

So back to the original reason for the post, what if life were an anime? Share your thoughts.