30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 28: Favourite Quote From Any Anime Character

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.


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

I had to think to REALLY think about this one, but I think in the end it has to be this amazing quote from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood:

“Everything we see, everyone we meet, is caught up in a great unseen flow. But it’s bigger than that. It’s the entire world, the entire universe even. And compared to something as big as that, Al, you and I are tiny, not even the size of ants. Only one small part within a much greater flow. Nothing more than a fraction of the whole. But by putting all those “ones” together, you get one great “All”, just like Teacher said. The flow of this universe follows laws of such magnitude that you and I can’t even imagine them.” – Edward Elric


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

I could go with something beautiful, epic, or philosophical here, but instead I think I’m going to go with a line that always makes me chuckle, and that I frequently drop randomly into conversation or just say to myself and chuckle like a weirdo.

It’s a quote from a film that I know so well I could probably recite all the dialogue off the cuff like a 40s radio play – Howl’s Moving Castle from Studio Ghibli. Howl is a young, beautiful, powerful, and rebellious wizard, but he also wears his flaws very prominently on his fancy silken sleeves. His house-guest-come-cleaning-lady Sophie (a young woman aged by a witch scorned by Howl’s rejection) spends hours doing some much needed scrubbing and re-organising of the Castle, including the bathroom’s bewitched hair products – unbeknownst to Howl.

Howl's Moving Castle Dirty Bathroom

Bachelor Pad = GROSS.

The rest of the characters are in the castle’s kitchen and dining area, and Howl suddenly comes running downstairs screaming and dressed only in a towel around his waist, clutching his hair which is magically morphing from it’s usual blonde into a multitude of strange colours.

Howl's Moving Castle Hair dying Scene

Bad Hair Day?

He scolds Sophie for mixing his potions up, and when she tries to comfort him by putting his misery into perspective – you know, because there’s more to life than just great hair…

Howl's Moving Castle Sophie: 'You should look at it now, it's even better.'

… he comes out with this priceless reply:

Howl's Moving Castle:

It’s not a snappy retort or a sarcastic quip. It’s a genuine, melancholic whine from an absolute drama queen who really does think you can most definitely judge a book it’s well-conditioned and magically coloured cover – and that’s why I love it so much. Who doesn’t want to look beautiful every day of their life? I feel you, Howl. I feel you.

Does it also make it even funnier that it’s Christian Bale (the voice of Batman) who says this in the English dub? I think it does.

Honourable mentions: “YOU’VE. GOT. MAIL.” Izzy (Digimon: The Movie)


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

Dudes. My favourite anime quote comes from a source that most wouldn’t go to for epic/profound quotes, but it does have one of the most well-known and well-written quotes ever.

My favourite quote is from Mewtwo’s speech at the end of Pokemon: The First Movie. Don’t judge – just read it:

So wise.

So wise.

This quote can apply to so many people, as it resonates with all kinds of race, class, sexuality etc. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what family you were born into – it’s what you do with your life and your actions that are the things that define you. Something we can all relate too, no matter who we are. We all have the need to show that world who we are, and what it means to be us. Powerful stuff for a kids show, am I right?

Here is the quote, spoken by one of the best voice actors ever, Jay Goede who sadly passed away in 2001:

R.I.P Jay Goede.


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!

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 16: Anime With the Best Animation

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.


 

Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

For me this has to be something from the collection of Studio Ghibli films I’ve seen: Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, My Neighbour Toroto and Princess Mononoke. I think that renowned director Hayao Miyazaki‘s animated films have some of the best animation in the industry, and I also think the fact that the animation is largely hand-drawn makes me appreciate the art and skill that goes into the creation of his works. I admire that his films’ stories are beautiful and symbolic.

No Face, Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli, 30 Day Anime Challenge cosmic anvil

“Uh?” No-Face, Spirited Away

I think out of all the Ghibli films though, I’m going to pick Spirited Away as the best in terms of animation, just for the attention to detail that was given, how colourful it is, and how diverse the characters designs are.


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

Like Jess, and probably every other anime fan in the world, I am a huge admirer of Hayao Miyazaki’s signature style of animation, and the fact that Studio Ghibli is known as the ‘Disney of the East’ tells you just how well-respected they are in the industry. In fact, you can see Disney/Pixar’s John Lasseter pay homage to Miyazaki by including a Totoro plushie in Toy Story 3:

Totoro Toy Story 3

Totoro plushie in Toy Story 3

However, I’m actually going to give my favourite animation pick on this occasion to a completely different anime – Soul Eater. It’s not because I think that the quality of the animation itself is superior, but because Soul Eater was one of the first anime series’ I watched that had such a dramatically different visual style to most others. The opening title sequence remains one of the best I’ve ever seen:

Quite often, when a manga gets adapted from page to screen, it loses the artists’ distinctive style in favour of something more mainstream and easier to animate – i.e. Death Note, Tokyo Goul, Gangsta, etc. – but Studio Bones (one of the best animation studios in my opinion) who picked up Soul Eater, thankfully decided to try and replicate Atsushi Okubo’s fantastic Tim Burton-esque style:

Soul Eater Moon Manga

The Soul Eater Moon in the Manga

Soul Eater Moon Anime

The Soul Eater Moon in the Anime

As the world of Soul Eater is so nutty and surreal, the style of the art really does marry itself completely into the feel of the story and the character of that world. It serves as far more than just an aesthetic flair – it’s a vital tool in Okubo’s storytelling technique and one of the reasons why Soul Eater has remained so popular after the anime series ended all too quickly.

Honourable mentions: Any Studio Ghibli film, Neon Genesis Evangelion (reboot films), End of Evangelion, Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, Ghost in the Shell (film), One Piece, Final Fantasy XII, Metropolis (anime adaptation), Summer Wars, 5 Centimetres Per Second.


 

Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

You know what’s the hardest thing to animate? WATER!

7.8 too much water.

7.8 too much water.

Ponyo has a load of water, and it looks freaking beautiful:

I’ve never seen the Ocean like this.

Damn straight! The water in Ponyo crashes, splashes, flows, swells, sprinkles, spreads, bulges, and foams. And the water in Ponyo has different textures as well, as well as just looking wet as you’d expect, it also looks weirdly gelatinous, hard, heavy, light, sharp… It’s crazy.

This guy is a mad man.

This guy is a mad man.

Not only is it beautiful, but this film was hard graft: The whole thing – like most Studio Ghibli films – was HAND-DRAWN.

In a canon of filmmaking that has made Miyazaki’s name synonomous with great anime in the same way that the Beatles’ name is synonomous with great music, Ponyo is probably the most impressive example of his immense talents.

Hayao Miyazaki stories are told with the precision of a master filmmaker. As a director, his visual vocabulary and specialized storytelling are like fellow stylistic auteurs Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton or Quentin Tarantino — directors whose aesthetic sense is so strong and storytelling so unique that every film they make, even the small ones, are worth exploring.

Ron Barbagallo, Animation Art Conservation.


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!

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 14: Anime That Never Gets Old No Matter How Many Times You’ve Rewatched It

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.


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

For me this is a toss up between some of the anime series’ I watched when I was younger, including: Pokemon, Digimon and Cardcaptor Sakura. But I think my choice for this challenge is going to have to be Cardcaptor Sakura as it’s the one I’ve re-watched the most and always enjoy.

Some of the Pokemon episodes annoy me – especially when Ash can’t remember having a Butterfree – and with Digimon I never watched all of the series as I hated the one with the train… *Googles what series is called* Ah yes, Digimon Frontier. So Cardcaptor Sakura is a no-brainer!

Cardcaptor_Sakura_BD_volume_1_cover (1)

Carcaptor Sakura


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

My original choice was going to be Cardcaptor Sakura, as it’s the only series that I’ve re-watched 3 whole times, and I will almost definitely watch it again and again in the years to come. However, as I thought it would be better to pick something different to Jess, I’m going to with a Studio Ghibli favourite of mine: Howl’s Moving Castle.

Howl's Moving Castle Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Howl’s Moving Castle

This film is like a classic Disney movie to me – I know all the words, I know the story back to front, and yet I never get sick of revisiting it, and it never ceases to make me feel exactly the same feelings I did upon first watching it. Films like this feel as good as a hot drink on a cold day – nurturing and fulfilling every time.

The story is essentially a fairy tale in which each character must learn a valuable lesson: selfish but talented wizard Howl must learn self-sacrifice in order to find true love; and shop girl Sophie must conversely learn to love herself before she can love another; the villainous witch must learn to let go of unreturned affections; and the King must learn to abandon a self-serving and pointless war… I could go on through the entire cast, but I won’t. Howl and Sophie are the missing pieces in each other’s lives – but they must overcome societal and personal obstacles before they can prove it to the other.

Moreover, like all Studio Ghibli films, it’s filled with vibrant and interesting characters, humour, magic, brilliant world-building, anti-war rhetoric, and breathtakingly drawn scenes like this one:

Howl's Moving Castle Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Howl in his bedroom with Sophie by his side.

The little digs at Howl – the fabulously vain ladies man – are also really funny. One scene in particular that I quote constantly is when Howl dyes his hair with the wrong potion (due to Sophie rearranging everything in an effort to clean the Castle) and laments about how hideous he looks. Sophie – who has been cursed with an ageing spell – tries (and fails) to comfort him:

(Sorry for the poor quality – that was the only clip I could find!)

Honourable mentions: Cardcaptor Sakura, Death Note, Princess Mononoke, Ouran High School Host Club, D.Gray-Man, Black Butler, Neon Genesis Evangelion.


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

I don’t re-watch this anime often, but when I do, I love every episode all over again. The anime I that never gets old for me is Outlaw Star.

Outlaw Star

Outlaw Star

The series takes place in the “Toward Stars Era” universe in which spacecrafts are capable of traveling faster than the speed of light. The plot follows protagonist Gene Starwind and his motley crew of an inherited ship dubbed the “Outlaw Star”, as they search for a legendary, outer space treasure trove called the “Galactic Leyline”.

SPACESHIP!

SPACESHIP!

Most anime I can re-watch happily, but even in some of my favourite anime there are episodes that I either don’t like or are impartial to. But with Outlaw Star I love every episode. I love how ‘old timey’ it feels even though it’s set in space, and every member of the crew is interesting and are genuine, fully-rounded characters. Re-watching Outlaw Star to me is like reading your favourite childhood book, just like when a Harry Potter fan picks up The Philosopher’s Stone again and is reintroduced to Hogwarts.

The Crew

The Crew

Dragon Ball is always going to be my favourite anime ever, but when it comes to revisiting it, I prefer to read the manga than watch the anime. Whereas Outlaw Star is so fun to watch, and the cast are like old friends, even the narrator sounds like a parent is reading me the tale. It’s the best.


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!

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 12: Saddest Anime Scene

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.


[SPOILER ALERT! There will be death scenes discussed in this post.]

Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

I’m ashamed to say that there have been many moments in anime that have genuinely made me shed a tear, and so this is another hard choice for me. However, I think I’m going to have go with the Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood chimera scene as it truly ripped my heart out. How could a father do that to his daughter? Not only is it one of the saddest moments I can think of from any anime that I’ve seen, I don’t think I’ve ever cared so much for a minor character in the grand scale of the series!

Honorable mentions: Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Mami’s death), Steins Gate (Mayuri dying over and over), Death Note (L’s death) and Digimon (Leomon’s dies and his DNA gets absorbed).


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

Ooooooohhh… All the feels 😦

I cry pretty easily, but out of all the anime that’s made me tear up, there is one traumatising film that I pretty much cried the whole through watching (as I’m sure most people did) and that is Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies.

Studio Ghibli Grave of the Fireflies Anime Hayao Miyazaki cosmic anvil 30 day anime challenge

Grave of the Fireflies

Set during WWII in Japan, an American firebomb separates two siblings – teenage Seita – and his little sister – Setsuko – from their parents, leaving them to fend for themselves in this heart-wrenchingly anti-war story. Undoubtedly one of the most tragic parts of the film comes when Setsuko deliriously hallucinates that rocks are rice balls, and tries to persuade Seita to eat them. The animators spare us none of the horrific reality of their starvation either:

Studio Ghibli Grave of the Fireflies Anime Hayao Miyazaki cosmic anvil 30 day anime challenge

Seita and Setsuko.

Just when I thought I couldn’t weep anymore watching it, little Setsuko inevitably passes away. Following this, Seita wanders aimlessly into an underground station and slumps against a pillar to beg for money or food. People pass him by without a second glance – as though he is invisible – and eventually he begins to fade away until he is gone completely. And that’s it. That’s how it ends. No happy ending. No hope. Just the harsh reality of the human consequences of war.

Seriously – don’t watch this one if you’re in even a vaguely sensitive mood. It will destroy you!

Honourable mentions: Maes Hughes’ and Nina Tucker’s death (Full Metal Alchemist), L’s death (Death Note), Ash getting frozen by Mewtwo (Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back), Spike Speigel’s death, (Cowboy Bebop), Chiaki’s disappearance (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

I’m an emotional guy and get invested pretty easily in things, I get a tear in my eye when I watch John Lewis adverts for crying out loud. So when it comes to talking about the saddest moment in anime, I do have a good list, but there is one scene that always comes to mind first. The funeral of the ‘Going Merry’ ship from One Peice is my saddest scene in anime.

The Going Merry.

The Going Merry.

The Going Merry was the first ship that the Straw Hat Pirates sailed on in search of the fabled treasure:  the ‘One Piece’. It was given to the pirates by Usopp’s friend, Kaya, after they defeated Captain Kuro – a pirate who was posing as her butler to steal her wealth. The Going Merry was the ship that took the Straw Hats to the infamous ocean, ‘The Grand Line’, and they even took the ship into the skies in search of Sky Island. It was during this arc that The Going Merry started to fall apart. She was splitting at the seams, but Usopp made sure she stayed together. However, the inevitable happened, and eventually the Going Merry sank.

Going Merry's Funeral

The Going Merry’s Funeral

The funeral of the Going Merry was so upsetting for me. Bear in mind that this boat has been with the Straw Hats for over three hundred episodes, almost eight-years of viewing. The Going Merry is a special ship as well in that the care that the Straw Hats gave the ship imbued it with a soul so that the ship could  communicate with it’s crew and act on it’s own accord. So when it sank, it actually died. The saddest moment of the funeral is when the ship herself apologies that she can’t take them all the way, she then thanks them for being her friends and goes down in a blaze of glory. It may sound lame, but I remember sobbing when I watched it for the first time.

Here is the scene remastered in a special episode if you want to watch it:


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!

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