This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution!
Now, this is a tough one as I have really enjoyed lots of anime I’ve been watching recently for my N00b Review posts but at the same time get really nostalgic about some anime series’ I watched as a kid. There was a lot of discussion in the Cosmic Anvil office with this one as it was really difficult to decide which one was our absolute favourite. However, I think I’m going to have to go with Attack On Titan for this one.
It was a series I went in with no expectations of, even though I know a lot of people who’d raved about it. I was really shocked even after watching just the first episode. It was also a series with very little filler and loads of action which I really enjoyed. I ended up binge watching all 25 episodes in the space of a couple of days on Netflix!
Honorable mentions: Psycho Pass, SAO (First Arc), Full Metal Alchemist and Digimon (1st and 2nd Season).
Oh this is a tough one! > . < Like Jess, I’m really torn between my head and heart – nostalgia and rationale. However, after a loooooong mental debate with myself, I’ve decided on Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke. Not only is it my favourite anime, but it’s also my current favourite film of all time, so how could I not pick it for this post? A favourite film to me doesn’t have to be the most perfect film ever made, it just has to be something you can literally watch forever and ever and never get bored of it, and something that you get something new out of every single time. Princess Mononoke is that film for me.
Hayao Miyazaki’s signature art style is beautifully animated as usual, and the story is punctuated with surreal magic, humour, melancholy, and filled with a diverse and likeable cast of characters with no easy answers to the story’s ‘man vs. nature’ quandary. San (the Princess) also follows the Miyazaki tradition of strong female action heroes steering the plot that I love to see – precocious, passionate, but not without her vulnerabilities. Both the subbed and dubbed versions are equal in quality too, which is something Studio Ghibli have consistently done well over the years of Americanising their films.
Anime gets a bad wrap sometimes – usually from people who have never watched any properly – for being too violent, too sexualised, and too hard to follow. To those people I would perscribe Princess Mononoke as a shining example of how magical, unique, and universally beautiful Japanese animation can be.
Honourable mentions: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Death Note, Cardcaptor Sakura, Howl’s Moving Castle, Akira, Ghost in The Shell, Black Butler, D-Gray Man, Full Metal Alchemist, Soul Eater.
One Piece is the best.
One Piece is also a strange show. It’s been running for so long that I both have nostalgia for it, and new experiences with it. “Ah, remember One Piece, oh wait, of course I do it’s still going!” Jokes aside, One Piece has been going on for a long time – eighteen years to be exact – but I’m still enjoying the cruise. Yes, there is a lot of filler but it’s still enjoyable, and Eiichiro Oda has created some amazing characters and watching them mess around, or crossing over with other Shonen shows like Dragon Ball and/or Toriko is fun to watch. Also, if we didn’t have filler, we wouldn’t have had this hilarious moment:
The characters of One Piece are vibrant and deep, and the world is huge and houses a rich history. In fact, if I had to describe Oda as a creator I would compare him to G.R.R. Martin – someone who has taken his medium and genre and launched it to the next level of fantasy storytelling in terms of the depths of family trees and complex and vibrant histories. Oda is the same, not only does he write about the generation that Luffy and Co are in but he maps out multiple generations of Pirates and Marines. When the Straw Hat Pirates are visiting an island or city, you truly learn everything about that place, it’s past, present, and watch how it’s future unfolds.
Oda’s character design is unlike anything I’ve seen as well. It’s truly his and his alone. He has admitted that he was inspired as a kid by the likes of Akira Toriyama (creator of Dragon Ball) – another artist with his own distinctive style. I love how he draws body shapes particularly – you get some really wacky body types in the world of One Piece: square torsos, long necks the same width of their heads, there is even a race of people with two sets of elbows. I don’t know why or how, but I like it.
One last thing: the super powers in One Piece are so cool. Someone could have an awful sounding super power, but still be one of the strongest people in the world. Take the character Donquixote Doflamingo, for example. He can create and manipulate string, which sounds like he pulled the short straw, but think again. With this he is able to control people, create replicas of himself, cut through anything, swing from clouds… the list endless and bizarre. It’s almost like Oda is saying: it doesn’t matter what you’ve got, as long as you know how to use it well, you’ll go far.
Honorable Mentions: Dragon Ball/DBZ, Toriko, Kinnikuman, Outlaw Star, Attack on Titan.
Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.
Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page!