In Case You Missed It 2019 #9

Another week and you will have noticed that I did slow down the posting this week to two a day. Given the current in real life situation I’m going to continue on this slower schedule for at least another week as it is giving me some time to regroup. That said, I’ve continued to have a great time finding some really cool posts out there and as always if you would like me to give a shout out to a post send me a link via my contact or DM me on Twitter and I’ll check it out.

Posts from the Community

Irina and Crow continue their coverage of The Promised Neverland with a discussion on Episode 7. It is a bit spoiler heavy if you haven’t watched the episode yet but for those watching the anime it is a fun post dissecting what we saw and speculating about where it might be going. Well worth reading for those watching the anime.

But in case that’s not enough of The Promised Neverland (and what is really enough), Lynn Sheridan has a great write up on Episode 8. Again, spoiler warning, but episode 8 was fantastic and there are some pretty solid review posts coming out about it.

Dominic over on Little Anime Blog has a review of Land of the Lustrous that is very nicely written. This one is light on spoilers and more describes the experience rather than specific events so if you are curious about whether Land of the Lustrous might be something you should watch this is a review for you to check out.

Anime Motivation (a site I’ve somehow never found before but am glad I stumbled upon last week) had a great post giving us 11 Educational Anime or at least 11 anime that can give you a new perspective even if they don’t necessarily teach something specifically. It was a really fun list to read and I found a few other articles on the site I’m going to have to go and read at some point. Anyway, if you missed this post, be sure to go and check it out as it is definitely fun reading.

Blogging Almost has an interesting discussion about the hook of Darker Than Black. This post does discuss the overall downturn of the series as season 2 gets underway but mostly it is about how the first episode draws you into the characters and the world. And by the way, if you haven’t watched Darker Than Black, you probably should.

Wooderon shares some thoughts on That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime and how Rimuru essentially being in easy mode makes for a less than compelling narrative. While some people will disagree, this is something that has been bothering me about the show for a fair while as there never does seem to be any tension or concern in any scenario making the anime feel a little lacking, despite being reasonable fun. Anyway, if you aren’t violently opposed to the idea of criticism of Slime this is an interesting post.

Xenodude has started covering School Live so if you’ve seen episode one and curious to see how someone who didn’t know what the twist was takes it, this post is a fun read. For those who’ve never seen it, unless you want to know the twist it is probably best to watch the episode first before checking out the post.

I kind of have to thank Irina for this one as she highlighted the blog in her blog discovery post, but I came across this post by Dirk about escapism in No Game No Life and it was such a fun read. It looks at the first episode and premise of No Game No Life and how it connects with an audience who may in fact be looking for an escape themselves. Really enjoyable read and well worth checking out.

One Punch Man Saitama Flying

Then because I was now following this blog, I had the pleasure of reading a comparison of the protagonists from One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 and while I haven’t finished even season one of Mob and One Punch Man was great for a once watch but I’m kind of done with it, I really enjoyed this post. It is nicely detailed, nicely written, and it is just interesting seeing how the author created characters who have superficial similarities but some fairly strong core differences.

Pick of the Week

Irina has to have it this week with her post of Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagann. Now Yoko is an awesome character and Irina’s post here does a great job of capturing the reasons why, describing particularly a scene toward the end of Gurren that really just showcases everything amazing about Yoko. Of course, if you haven’t seen the anime, there are spoilers here, but for everyone who has seen the anime, this is a post well worth reading so be sure to hop on over if you missed it last week.

And as much as I loved Irina’s post on Yoko, I do have to throw this one in as a pick of the week. The Nerdy Girl News shares some valuable tips on how to gain followers and get traffic for your anime blog. Be sure to read it as it is well worth the time and really helpful in explaining what they have done and how it has worked.

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My Pirate Crew

So Lyn Sheridan kicked off this tag and it seems like it could be great fun. You know, other than the fact that I get boat and every-other-mode-of-transport sick I think being a pirate could be great fun. Is there a job for pirates who walk? Anyway, huge thank-you for the tag and let’s see who I’m including in my crew.

The Rules

  1. Display the My Pirate Crew logo and add ‘My Pirate Crew’ as a tag.
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  3. Link back to the original post here (so I can compare your crews to mine).
  4. Select seven anime characters and give them a position on the crew. These are the positions you can to fill. Warrior, sniper, chef, doctor, scientist, navigator, strategist, mechanic, entertainer.
  5. Nominate 5-10 bloggers.
  6. Set sail and rule the seas!

The Crew

Let’s start out with a navigator because I’m going to get hopelessly lost. This may be a weird choice but I’m picking Homura from Madoka Magica. I’m not entirely certain about her map reading ability or even navigation but that’s kind of pointless. She can just go back and fix it if we make a mistake so I’m thinking this is the perfect choice for a navigator.

Homura Akemi Madoka Magica

Next, we’re going to need a chef because food is really important to maintaining morale, and you know, just because food is really good. I’m actually cheating here and I’m going to bring all four of the guys from Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori because food, dessert, tea and coffee are all super important.

The mechanic is perhaps the easiest position to fill. Winry from Full Metal Alchemist. Seriously, why wouldn’t you pick her? If Kaylee from Firefly were an anime character I’d have picked her but she’s about the only person I’d pick over Winry.

Winry Rockbell Full Metal Alchemist

Right, so warrior, because I probably need someone who can fight in this crew if I’m actually putting together a pirate crew. There are many incredibly strong fighters in anime but then I had to think about who I’d actually like to spend time with in close quarters and I ended up deciding Hei from Darker Than Black. He doesn’t talk all that much but he’s pretty proficient and I’m certain that electricity and water couldn’t possibly be a terrible mix.

Strategist is again and easy one to pick. Admittedly, she didn’t do so well out of her strategist in Katanagatari but things worked out for everyone else so I’m definitely picking the self-proclaimed strategist Togame. While I’m not entirely sure that her motives and mine will align, I’m certain that she’ll lead us to some interesting pursuits.

Katanagatari - Strategist Togame

For the doctor, much like my navigator, I’m not so worried about them getting it right. I’m picking Orihime from Bleach and she can just reject the damage and reverse it back to before it was. It’s a neat trick and works on all injuries. Not so sure whether its effective on things like catching a cold but I’m thinking given she’ll bring you back from being pretty much dead she’s definitely worth having around.

Bleach Orihime

Finally, entertainer, because everyone needs entertainment. I’m definitely hiring the duo of Yuri and Victor from Yuri on Ice (and please don’t point out the lack of reality of having an ice-skating rink on a pirate boat). You know what, we’re going there and if worst comes to worst they can just get drunk and have a dance off.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8

And that would be my highly dysfunctional crew. I’m sure we’d have fun. Or sink. Either way.

The Nominees

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Friday’s Feature: The Value Of Rewatches

I’m no stranger to rewatching shows. Even when I was a little kid, I would play VHS’s literally to death. I’d watch my favourite shows and movies time after time, getting to the end of the video and instantly hitting rewind and beginning all over again. Once DVD’s became a thing there were many titles banned from being played in the house usually when I could identify the film from the five seconds of sound. I will admit I’ve watched some films to death to the point where even I won’t watch them anymore and I’ve done the same with more than a handful of books where I start reading them and realise I can literally recall the entire story in vivid detail to the point where I’m not even paying attention to the words anymore.

Twilight7b

This is in stark contrast to some other people I know. A certain relative of mine used to be a great source of novels, mostly because he would read science fiction but he only ever read a book once. Then he would give the book away and knowing I loved to read I received quite a number of these books to add to my own collection. When I asked him if he would want the book back he asked me, “Whatever for?” He genuinely could not understand the point of reading something a second time, let alone a third, tenth or fiftieth time. Whereas for me, the point of trying something new is to see whether it belongs in the permanent collection or not and my greatest lament is that I don’t have enough time to bask in the books, movies and anime that comprise my ongoing collection and explore new media, and actually live a life that involves real human interactions and work.

That said, if you were to ask me what I get from a rewatch or reread my answer would vary depending on what I had recently returned to. It seems to come down to a few basic things.

01. The Rewatch To Understand

Darker Than Black

In the case of something like the original Steins;Gate, Darker than Black, or Evangelion, the rewatch is usually needed to try to get the plot clear in my mind. While I didn’t not get it the first time (way too many negatives there), it is more that a lot of the enjoyment isn’t there the first time because you are spending so much time reasoning and puzzling rather than actually absorbing. It also means you miss substantial amounts of character work, visuals, music, etc because the plot is all encompassing. Repeated rewatches, taking a break and coming back to it, watching in chunks or binge watching, all bring something new out of the experience. Even after the plot is clear, there’s so many other questions and aspects that you can turn your attention to that it never feels like the anime has gotten old.

02. The Rewatch To Relax

Akagami no Shirayuki

There’s a great feeling that comes from crashing into the couch cushions and hitting play on a DVD that I’ve seen a thousand times before. One that I know won’t tax my brain, isn’t going to ask more of me than I can give, and at the time has the exact tone I am looking for. You can’t get this from a series you’ve never seen as you never know what to fully expect and part of your brain stays on alert. Whereas, I know exactly what I’m in for when I press play on Snow White with the Red Hair, Ouran High School Host Club, or even Inu x Boku SS which are all some of my favourite binge and sleep anime that I put on when I just want to crash out.

03. The Rewatch To Share

Yuri on Ice Episode 4

Of course when you come across a great title you want to share. you want someone else to watch it with and to laugh and cry and discuss each moment with it. One of the best things that happened the first time I watched Yuri on Ice was that just after it finished airing I visited a friend and told her she needed to see it. Two days later we’d finished a binge watch of the series and the two of us were happily humming History Maker in her kitchen together. There’s something about watching a show with someone else that really elevates the enjoyment of it, plus you have someone to talk about it with once it is done so this is perhaps the most satisfying of all rewatches.

And then we have the new one.

04. The Rewatch to Analyse

Yuri on Ice Episode 6

I’ve never really done this before, but recently I started yet another Yuri on Ice rewatch with the express purpose of reviewing each episode in far more detail than I had before. It’s a new style of watching I’ve never tried and I’m loving it. Admittedly, a lot of the enjoyment is coming from the subject matter, but it is making me want to give other much loved shows a similar treatment. What I have noticed is that it is taking a very long time to get through a single episode and it isn’t a single watch of the episode I am doing. The other thing that makes this different from any other rewatch is I am only watching a single episode at a time. This viewing is not being binged. I’ll get back to my Yuri On Ice rewatch later this year once things settle a bit for me.

While I do get that some people are happy enough to watch something once and move on, I am as well for shows that are enjoyable enough but don’t grab me. However, the whole point for me is finding those shows and stories that I will never get tired of and want to watch and read again and again.

What is your stance on rewatching anime?

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Darker Than Black Season 1 Series Review

This is a re-post. All reviews from the 2nd of July until the 7th of July will be reruns. New episode and series reviews will resume on the 8th of July.

Overview:

Approximately 10 years ago a mysterious gate appeared in South America (Heaven’s Gate) and then another appeared in Tokyo (Hell’s Gate). At the same time the real stars disappeared from view and fake stars started appearing, as did people with special abilities known as contractors. After a war for control of Heaven’s Gate ended disastrously, the agency’s of the world now manoeuvre around each other for control of Hell’s Gate (so of course we are set in Tokyo).

Review:

If I was forced to ever write a list of my favourite anime of all time, Darker Than Black would be right up there. It wouldn’t be number 1, and probably would get bumped out of the top 5 all together because it is a flawed series (and that’s just season 1, eventually I will review season 2 and it will go about as well as my review for season 2 of Black Butler did). That said, this is an anime that I have watched at least once every year since I bought the DVD’s and if I’m honest it’s usually more than once in a given year that I pull it out to watch through again.

Darker2.png

So what is the appeal of this series and what are some of the flaws? Let’s tackle them one at a time and then I’d love to turn it over to you guys for your thoughts.

Darker Than Black is episodic in nature with each mini-story being mostly stand-alone within a greater narrative. Each of the stories lasts for two episodes and follows much the same pattern (at least for the majority of the season – toward the end we get a more continuous run of events). During these stories we see the various representatives of the various organisations interacting and maneuvering within Tokyo and we slowly get to know them as individuals. But each of these stories also contain clues about the overall narrative and a lot of these will be missed first time round so mostly just seem like random bits of information being thrown around. Second time through it all kind of clicks together but that makes it difficult to embrace the first time.

Darker3.png

Our first group of characters, and the one those of us who love Darker Than Black come to love, include Hei (a contractor who seems to control electricity and has way too many names), Mao (a contractor trapped in the body of a talking cat), Yin (a doll who can send her spectre through water to spy on others, and Huang (the human and supposed leader of this group). They work for a group known only as the Syndicate and they are clearly up to no good. While Huang passes along the orders and Yin and Mao act mostly as support, Hei tackles a range of missions including infiltration, recovery, assassination, and so on. The only problem is that Hei isn’t exactly a standard contractor.

Darker4.jpg

This is where Darker Than Black loses a lot of its audience. It clearly establishes that contractors are completely emotionless and rational. They will always make the logical decision. Then we have multiple contractors who don’t do that (or at least not consistently). While the ending explains this, and these inconsistencies are actually a major part of the plot and are intentional, early on it just feels like sloppy world building as a fairly concrete rule is ignored time and again. With Hei being the main contractor that we get to know early on it makes it hard for the rules to really ground themselves. That said, if you watch it through, it actually does make perfect sense and I’m going to leave that discussion there because it is impossible to say why Hei is the way he is without throwing in a major plot spoiler for the end of the series. While I’m not normally all that concerned, in this case, it is kind of the big reveal that you are waiting for so just watch it and find out.

Darker5.jpg

Another group we see a lot of are the police. Mostly this is through the eyes of Misaki Kirihara who also narrates the first and last episodes. She’s the audience’s way into this world (not high enough up to have all the government secrets, not a contractor, just a human doing her job) which allows her to give us the explanations we need and ask the questions we need asked in order to begin making sense of any of what is going on. Even then, she doesn’t get her answers until very near the end (and a lot of what she is told early on is misleading) and she doesn’t get everything wrapped up in a neat little package so don’t expect all the answers or you might just end up disappointed. That said, Kirihara is more than just a framing device. She’s a savvy and intelligent career driven woman who cares very much about the quality of her work. The loose ends bother her so even when advised to let things go she continues to dig. She also helps to humanize Hei who doesn’t have many real interactions with people (he usually has a mask on – sometimes literally but usually metaphorically). All and all, this group help push the plot along.

misaki-2

Mid-way through the season we are introduced to Evening Primrose, a terrorist group that is claiming they want human rights for Contractors. It’s clear from the beginning that this group are up to something else but again, we won’t know what that is until right at the end. That said, the fact that Hei has personal history with the group’s leader makes for some interesting encounters as Evening Primrose and the Syndicate face off numerous times over intelligence and various pieces of technology.

Darker6.jpg

We also have the British Secret Service snooping around, usually with November 11 at the lead though after he encounters Amber and Evening Primrose he decides his best interests lie elsewhere (with fairly predictable results). November 11 is hilarious. He is so dry and laid back and often comes out with the most unexpected insights (usually following it up by telling the listener that he was joking). His memorised litany of facts about the dangers of second hand smoke is also kind of amusing considering his contract price (this show is big on irony) and you can’t help but wonder if the writers were paid by an anti-smoking campaign given the number of negative statements about cigarettes that come up during the run time.

Darker7.png

There are also the Americans running around, though other than getting in the way a few times they aren’t overly significant. There’s other teams representing the same groups, there’s scientists, other dolls, gangsters for some reason in one of the stories, and all sorts of independent contractors all with their own set of values and agendas. There’s a lot going on in this world and you only ever feel like you are seeing the surface and that there is a greater story going on but because the characters we spend the most time with are in the dark so are we.

And that’s probably the greatest strength and flaw of the series. The story itself isn’t that deep. It’s a little weird and the gate phenomena is explained simply as being inexplicable, but Kirihara’s quest for answers around what the government are doing about the gate and with contractors and Hei’s quest for answers about what happened in South America and to his sister, both come to a reasonable and pretty obvious conclusion if you remove all the odd visual metaphors. And this could have been a really solid story by itself but there are a lot of other characters and plot threads that are just kind of hanging around and aren’t resolved and while at times those side stories support the main narrative, a lot of the time they are simply filling in time while we wait for the next bit of crucial information.

That said, I couldn’t really imagine this story any other way. It really wouldn’t be Darker Than Black anymore and while it suffers from trying to appear more clever than it is, that doesn’t actually stop it being enjoyable.

Darker8.JPG

Before I begin wrapping up though, I watched this anime the first time with a friend of mine who was a massive Evangelion fan. His conclusion about the end was that it was a failed attempt at ripping off the confused mess that was the end of Evangelion (I actually like the end of Evangelion so confused mess isn’t actually all that negative). In honesty, visually, Darker Than Black becomes quite similar for a part of the final episode and does focus on an individual character’s choice about their future, and thinking on it from that point of view you would have to wonder what they were actually trying to accomplish. But it is distinct enough that it doesn’t feel like a rip-off (at least I didn’t think so).

Okay, last point to address before we get to the end. The Contractors themselves. These are some of the coolest powers and the fact that they come with such heavy price tags (so definitely a think before you use scenario) just makes them more interesting. The interesting match between the price and some fundamental characteristic of the contractor is intriguing and it just makes you wonder about those characters where their price isn’t given an explanation. I also love the link to the stars and that the death of a contractor means ‘their’ star will fall. It’s all really well thought out and well presented (and as I said at the start, the inconsistencies in the system are there for a reason).

 I love this anime. I get that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it has some great music, great action, interesting characters, and it develops a reasonable story that is resolved, even as the surrounding questions about the nature of the world are left mostly unresolved. It’s also got a lot of rewatch potential as those individual stories early on all hold clues and hints about where the overall story is going and most of these aren’t obvious the first time through. The more I rewatch this series, the more I love the characters and the details in this world.  Yeah, it’s definitely violent at times (there’s plenty worse) and there are some themes dealt with that might not be to everyone’s taste (the episode that dealt with a ‘doll’ being sold was definitely touching on a few sensitive issues), but overall it is a reasonably solid piece of entertainment.

If you haven’t given Darker Than Black a go, you really should try it. If you have given it a go, what were your thoughts?


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Karandi James

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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Guys with Black Hair

Tuesday's Top 5

Last week we did the list of top 5 anime females with black hair focussing on the cool beauties of the anime world. This week my attention shifts to the male characters and I think my main focus here was focussed and dependable. That said, there are an enormous number of males with ebony hair that I just could not fit onto my list so I would love to know your thoughts and who would have been included on your list.

Please note there are some spoilers in the descriptions below.

Honourable Mentions: Jiroh (Black Blood Brothers), Kazuya Shibuya (Ghost Hunt) and Gilbert Nightray (Pandora Hearts), plus the dozens of others that were considered and ultimately left off the list.

Number 5: Hei (Darker Than Black)

Whether he’s on a mission, infiltrating an organisation, reporting in, apparently having a break, Hei is always focussed on his primary goal, find out what happened to his sister. He might be a crazy powerful contractor but even before he became a contractor he was feared for his skills. he is one guy you do not want to cross because once he sets his sights on something, one way or another he’s going to make it happen and he’s going to look really good while doing it.

Number 4: Kirito (Sword Art Online)

Another highly focussed character and one I very much enjoy watching in action, Kirito does not let anything stand between him and his current goal, not even death. Plus, once you get through his protective shell and anti-social exterior, he’s actually a genuinely caring person who looks after those he considers his friends. While his tunnel focus might work against him when he gets fixated on single points and sometimes misses the bigger picture, in terms of drive it is hard to argue against his actions.

Number 3: Kuroh Yatogami (K)

If you are looking for dedication and loyalty than you can’t go much further than Kuroh. Not to mention the guy can cook and rocks that pink apron. Admittedly, there’s a bit of a disconnect between his good looks and personality when fighting to his more laid back persona and he definitely has some personality traits that are a little questionable, such as listening to the recordings of his dead master for guidance on a daily basis. Still, he’s a strong fighter, wields a sword, has an absolute sense of duty, and ultimately does what he believes is right. He is one very cool character for this list.

Number 2: Shinya Kougami (Psycho Pass)

I’d like to let the pictures speak for me on this one. Kougami is tough, focussed, and relatively unstoppable once he puts his mind to things. He’s also really great to watch in action. However, he isn’t a muscle head who only relies on his fists, he’s got a good head on his shoulders and knows when to use it. A pure joy to watch as he unravels the mysteries in Psycho Pass and seeks out his revenge.

Number 1: Sebastian Michaelis (Black Butler)

Was there ever a moment of doubt that Sebastian would not be number one on this list? The guy can do anything and look amazing while doing it. Okay, he might be a demon so has an unfair advantage. In a fair world, Kougami would be the number 1, however fair or unfair, Sebastian is perfect, except for the whole eating people’s souls things. That’s a minor hiccup in an otherwise flawless persona.

Alright, I’m done so I’m handing it over to you for your top 5 guys with black hair.


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Females with Silver Hair

Tuesday's Top 5

Okay, I’ve already covered blonde, red and blue hair so today I am tackling silver hair (though I won’t argue if you want to tell me some of these characters have white or gray hair). Next week I’ll share me list of the guys with silver hair and I had a lot more fun with that list but there are still some great female anime characters with silver hair to be found. My final decision this week came down to characters that had silver hair that I found to be kind of adorable on a character I found to be interesting. As such it is entirely subjective and I’d love to know who you would have included on your list.

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Honourable mentions to Villetta Nu (Code Geass) and Eucliwood (Is This a Zombie).

Number 5: Anju from Karin, Chibi Vampire

Anju1.jpg

Anju is arguably the most interesting character from Karin despite how little she talks. A great deal of the plot is pushed forward by her small moments of interference or her suggestions to other characters. She sits in the background a lot but she is very motivated and driven. What I like the most about her is that despite the fact that she is very attached to her sister, she isn’t trying to hold her sister back but is really trying to push Karin into a life of her own. It is refreshing to see a sister complex that results in actually helping the object of your affection rather than trying to control them. All and all, I really liked Anju as a character and episodes that had more of an Anju focus were very enjoyable.

Number 4: Togame from Katanagatari

Togame is a fascinating character and her journey throughout Katanagatari with Shichika is adorable. Her hair plays a fairly critical role in the development of their relationship early on and later in the series gets cut, so not only is her hair beautiful but it also has a purpose in the plot (though I will admit it is probably more white than silver).

Number 3: Sylvette Suede from Letter Bee

I haven’t got around to a review of this show yet but it is adorable from start to finish and Sylvette is one of my favourite characters. She’s the sister of a missing letter carrier and has a strikingly similar appearance and colouring. Throughout the show she develops a close relationship with the main character as he goes on his journey. She’s wheelchair bound and her cooking is fairly toxic but she’s most definitely the most resilient character in the show and the one who regardless of circumstances knows that they have to keep moving forward in whatever way they can. Utterly adorable character and the heart of the show for a lot of the characters.

Number 2: Kanade from Angel Beats

Kanade is just adorable. Even when Angel Beats first started and she was set up as the antagonist, I loved her character from the opening as she played the piano. As the story developed, we found out she was just kind of dreadful at communicating and she was actually trying to help everyone move on. She’s just such a sweet character and I really wanted her to be happy at the end of the series, which is why I always end up in tears pre-final credits and then smiling like an idiot post-final credits.

Number 1: Yin from Darker Than Black

So what beats Kanade? An emotionless doll who actually has more agency than it first appears, apparently. Yin is undoubtably my favourite character on this list. While early in the series, she really is just a doll, as the story progresses you see more and more often the small things she does because she wishes to and the way she builds her relationship with Hei. She’s a crucial part of the team and the only reason Hei managed to succeed at anything, so really should get the title of most valuable player for Darker Than Black. Plus, she’s just beautiful.

Alright, that’s my list of silver hair female characters. Who would you have included on yours?


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime With A Colour in the Title

Tuesday's Top 5

This week’s list is a bit strange but I started wondering about how many anime actually used colours as part of their title and that took me down a meandering mental path that I won’t bore you with but the end result was this list. Essentially my favourite 5 anime that use any colour in the title. Now, to simplify things, I went with the English name of the anime (assuming they have one). Otherwise, my only other real consideration other than enjoyment was that the colour actually served some significant point in the story (symbolic or literal) and wasn’t just a random word thrown into the title. That, and I tried to avoid multiple titles with the same colour but that gave me a real headache trying to decide between Black Butler and Darker Than Black.

I’d love to know your favourite anime that uses a colour in the title so feel free to comment below.

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Honourable Mentions: Red Data Girl and Black Butler (sorry Sebastian, but I just couldn’t pass over Darker Than Black on the list).

Number 5: Blue Spring Ride

Blue.png

While I’m not a hopeless romantic I really did enjoy this story. The main character is kind of pitiful at the beginning as she endeavors to fit in by essentially denying her own character and then she kind of gets crushed when she reveals herself and is rejected, but the slow build-up from that low point is kind of sweet and the romantic element of the show is kind of adorable. Plus, when deciding between this or Blue Exorcist for the list (which were the two blue titles I narrowed it down to), Blue Exorcist just didn’t seem to have enough of a reason for the name other than the whole blue flame thing (though there might be some deeper reason I just overlooked).

Number 4: Golden Time

banri and koko

It might be hard to claim I’m not a hopeless romantic with some of the titles on this list, but I loved Golden Time. Banri was great as the lead and I liked that even though he was kind of the every guy he wasn’t a complete push over. He did break up with Koko when he realised she was using him, which actually slapped some sense into her (metaphorically) and allowed their relationship to progress more naturally after that point. Okay, he is a convenient amnesiac and the story doesn’t really work if you start applying too much logic to it (and what about Linda), but that doesn’t stop it being really kind of sweet.

Number 3: Snow White with the Red Hair

snow_white_red_hair_cast_characters_summer_2015_anime_bentobyte

Okay, I like romance and romance apparently is full of anime with coloured titles. Besides, you had to know this one was coming on the list and it takes out two colours simultaneously, so points for being an over-achiever. Zen and Shirayuki are quite possibly my favourite anime couple ever. Basically, this one is adorable from start to finish and I’m completely in love with this anime which means the two anime coming are ones I am even more insanely in love with for various reasons and despite their flaws.

Number 2: Darker Than Black

darker3

As might have been obvious from my choice of this anime for my 100th review, I really love Darker Than Black. It is one of those anime I never get enough of rewatching. There are some cool characters with awesome powers and a storyline that makes you think (just don’t over think it because it won’t hold up to the scrutiny) and it is fun. The other thing I love about this anime is that it appeals to non-anime fans and I’ve managed to convince quite a number of people to watch it with me over the years given there are minimal moments where you have to use the “it’s anime” excuse for something on the screen. Considering all the other anime out there with black in the title, this should have been a hard decision but Darker Than Black is not just one of my favourite anime with a colour in the title, it is one of my favourite anime of all time.

Number 1: D Gray Man

Allan

But what beats Darker Than Black? Allan Walker and one of the most misery inducing stories I’ve ever watched and loved every single minute of. D Gray Man ran for 103 episodes before leaving us mid-narrative, completely stranded. The story returned in D Gray Man Hallow with new character designs and a brighter colour scheme in general but it just continued on as if 8 years hadn’t passed. And then it was only 13 episodes and gone again barely progressing the plot. Despite all of that and everything this show has done to drive me away, I’m still in love with this story. Partially, it is because I watched it when I hadn’t seen such a huge amount of anime but mostly it is because of what the show puts Allan Walker through and how he responds to it. He isn’t the happy-go-lucky protagonist who occasionally snaps. He isn’t a shouter. He isn’t a calm and collected genius. Nor is he simply a crazy berserker. Allan is a person in every way and a person who has been through some of the worst experiences imaginable and somehow is still mostly nice but has an undeniable dark streak (just try playing cards with him to see that in action). Following Allan, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve stared in stunned shock at the screen, I’ve yelled at him, I’ve supported him, and to be honest he is a character that I will never get over. The show has its rough edges and doesn’t appeal to everyone, but it is most definitely one of my favourite anime ever.

So there’s my list. What would have included on yours?


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Karandi James.

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