dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Anime you think had the best, or most intriguing art

Oh, this is an interesting question! I am mainly a manga reader (old shoujo manga is the best, really) but there's been plenty of well-animated stuff to enjoy through the years. But what is the best, how does one even measure that?

An aquiantance of mine who really knows amazing amounts of anime showed us Kamichu! which for him was an example of the overwhelmingly good animation. It's full of life, I agree, every lock of hair moves, every leaf rustles in the wind and every skirt flutters as if alive. But does that make it intriguing to my eyes? Not really; alas, this kind of well done but realistic animation doesn't interest me all that much. While I can definitely enjoy Satoshi Kon's movies from a story perspectiv, and I do find his Paprika a color-sparkling feast for the eyes, it's not the kind of anime that best captures my attention. But I don't really know what kind I like the best either...

Gankutsuou aka The Count of Monte Cristo (in spaaaace) had an interesting layering effect, but it was a bit too busy for me to really stick with it. Studio Ghibli has lovely old-fashioned hand animation and despite what Miyazaki feels, I think they use computer effects extremely well in most films too. A move like Princess Mononoke are just so beautiful it's eerie. Revolutionary Girl Utena still holds up, imo, as a great use of limited animation - but that is still only a trick to hide a lack of money and time, and there's just too many bloody repeated scenes in Utena for it to ever win any "pure animation" awards from me.

What Makoto Shinkai can do on a shoestring budget and a comp is damn impressive in itself, even though I don't really like his plotines (Voices of a Distant Star etc). The character design and glowing details in Umineko no naku koro ni was compelling and in several scenes hauntingly beautiful. Alas, the animation fails in key scenes to keep up with the ideas thrown out so that too falls a bit short.

When it comes to intriguing design, I think the short film Kakurenbo is one of the most remarkable. A short horror story about children playing in an abandoned city, where trolls hunt them, it has excellent lightning effects and a very convincing, mood-building design.

But for the overall prettiest, most gripping anime art? I think I'll have to go with Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi aka Spirited Away. It's not my favorite Ghibli movie, that honor goes to Porco Rosso, but it is definitely one of the most visually rich.
dancing_moon: To Victory! Daleks can win the war (victory!)
Wait, fav couple? Didn't I already do this one...? Oh, right. That wasn't specifically BL.

I guess I should pick something from an "official" BL source this time, then. Talked about Zetsuai yesterday so let's go with something slightly more light-hearted today:

FAKE is very funny. Police comedy and the guys are canonically each others love interests? Yes please! Lot's of silly humor, (really bad) mysteries, cute family scenes, snark and then some more snark as Dee Laytner of the NYPD tries to get his new partner Ryo to tumble into bed with him. And, somehow, on the way it's Dee who ends up tumbling into a life with Ryo

Btw - the english manga version? Has been censored, for shame! Read it in German instead ;)
dancing_moon: [APH] Austria getting his hair teased (Stress)

Koji Nanjo

Totally tired right now. But the TVTropes Yandere entry (The "I am c-r-a-z-y for you" stereotype) lists Koji Nanjo from Zetsuai as an example.

Or, well, to put it plainly most of the people who feel love/lust/obesssion in Zetsuai and Zetsuai Bronze fit this trope...

You won't understand what I like if you watch that old OAV, btw. The animation is rather horrid, though I liked the music. (Watch the music videos on youtube)

However, if you enjoy a tragic boy's love story with a plot of near operatic proportions (Especially in the sequel, Bronze. Put it like this, there are arms cut off - as an expression of devotion) the Zetsuai mangas are good. I like the art style too, very messy and just on the edge of scribbly but much more dynamic and, well, artistic than most of the bland drivel produced today. Alright, the first books are pretty choppy in style (especially the forehead of the women, holy beehive, Izumi's sis!!)

Koji Nanjo is a rock singer. Interesting tidbit: His visual performance borrows in part from the band BUCK-TICK, who were pretty big back then. Minami Ozaki and Kaori Yuki are among the few manga artists I know that have specifically mentioned visual kei (and related styles) artists as inspirations for their characters.

Anyway, Koji sees Takuto Izumi, a young football player traumatized by having witnessed his mother murdering his father in a fit of jealous passion, and falls into... obession? They do actually begin to love each other after a while, even share a rather cozy apartment for a while (then it all goes to hell - again) but it definitely doesn't start out in a healthy way.

Takuto Izumi

The problem with the love in Zetsuai is, I'd say, that both the protagonists are so horribly damaged by their families and that they can both be incredibly stubborn. Izumi cares for his little sister, Koji for nobody at all. They act self destructively (Koji smoking, drinking, fighting and driving with a death wish, Izumi not taking care of his body despite grueling football practice) and when they fall together it begins a spiral of obsession, violence, self-hatred and burning passion. That Koji has two plain crazy brothers and that their fans and the media aren't exactly welcoming the (after a while) prominent gay couple doesn't make things better.

Make no mistake, Zetsuai is melodromatic and tragic. But it's still very gripping and the art grows into something absolutely fascinating. Abstract, almost breaking free of the pages in violent b/w smudges to then fade away in rare, sunlit scenes of tenderness.

I (lazily) collect the Zetsuai artbooks and soundtracks. Own three so far, Zodiac, Puff and God as well as some doujinshi. Ozaki started out in the amateur scene and she kept doing (might still be for all I know?) doujinshi to her own work for quite a while.

Fyi, if you ever offer me one of Minami Ozaki's Sailor Moon doujinshi, I might just pay you with my soul.

oh, one more pic... )

Entire anime meme here
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Day 19 - Mandatory swimsuit post

Higurashi no naku koro ni has the best obligatory swimming pool episode evah.

In other news, I'm sitting at work waiting for the sloooooow software to finish repacking the registers and then I can go home to read the bloody Bible for school tomorrow. WOE IS ME.

ETA: And then the friggin software crashes. *sends deathglares at computer*
dancing_moon: [APH] Austria getting his hair teased (Stress)
Ohohohoho, moe? The budding/burning fan-service pandering that is either making or breaking the anime industry, depending on who you talk to....

First let me say, that with the exception of creepy-cute shows like Higurashi and Umineko no naku koro ni, I don't like moe-girls. They're small, speak in high-pitched voices and tend to be useless for the narrative except as objects to save, protect and drool over. If the drool potential isn't there, they're infinitely boring. Thus, me no likey.

But Japan is nothing if not gender-neutral when it comes to fan-service. Case in point, an article that ANN reported about a while ago from a mainstream woman's fashion magazine called An-an.

What is moe for women? )
And there we have it: Axis Powers Hetalia, a series about as moe for women as you can get.

Within the swarm of moe that makes out Hetalia as a whole, one can find each and every cliche, often in several variations.

Axis & Allies moe )

Appropriately enough, one of the most moe characters, Austria (glasses, young-lord-of-the-manor personality, frilly suits, emotional shyness, clumsiness, musical talent and funny hair-doink) is actually married to a full-blown fujoshi/slasher girl. Yay Hungary! She's also super strong and used to think she was a boy when she was a kid, and still is the one defending him with her military.

Then there's Prussia, a failed bad-boy (the mention the appeal of "rumpled suits" in the article too), soft-spoken and oft-forgotten Canada and a whole bunch of other characters.

While the Nordic countries haven't been in the series much, they easily form their own sentai-team.
Denmark is red, spiky-haired, wild and crazy. Finland, cute, kind, funny and easily embarrassed. He'd only need glasses and he'd almost be Miyuki. Sweden - big, strong, silent, wears glasses, cooks and fixes things, super-duper-shy. Norway, cool, blue (ok, they're almost all blue, so the color codes fail), converses with supernatural beings. Iceland, sarcastic, tsundere with a little-brother complex and slightly mysterious.

It all fits very well, because Hidekaz (the author) is excellent at picking out the historical stereotypes that supports his ideas and he's a very, very deft hand at recognizing moe-traits and combining them in appealing ways.

This, btw, is why I dislike those that sneer at Hetalia as a "show full of bishies" aka pretty boys. Part of the moe appeal, for both girls and boys, is that it's not just the perfect and beautiful that attracts. It's the imperfect that really makes one burn with passion, be it clumsiness and small breasts or stubborn stupidity and difficulty to connect with ones emotions. And one shouldn't sneer at things for the wrong reasion, dammit.

Entire anime meme here
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Today I should post about my Favorite tsundere. The problem is that I don't really like the tsundere stereotype. It's only pretty recently that I've got some kind of a handle on the term at all, in fact.

To quote TVtropes:
The Japanese term tsundere refers to a character (usually female) who "runs hot and cold", alternating between two distinct moods: tsuntsun (aloof or irritable) and deredere (lovestruck). Claws out, then cute like a kitten, a friend once described the character type. If anything, I prefer the yandere trope (I think it's called "ax-crazy for love" or something like that in Western fandom?), at least as expressed in Higurashi no naku koro ni. Because little girls and a boys going frightfully insane in a "Groundhog Day" style universum was just amazingly creepy.

But apparantly Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion qualifies, so let's go with her. She's severely messed up in the head, but then, who in NGE isn't?

So for her, have the best - and probably one of the oldest too - anime music videos ever made:

Neon Genesis Evangelion - Engel

You go, Asuka ^_^
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Why kigurumi? None of my fav characters can be cosplayed like that

But here, have a Totoro, I like him =)

And soon - pie!
dancing_moon: [APH] Austria getting his hair teased (Stress)
Day 14 - Current (or most recent) anime wallpaper

Hetare Hetaliaaa~ )

I like it, it's just so happy. On my computer at work, I also have a Totoro wallpaper, because it's cute and not as busy.
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (jadeite)
Errr.... Most of these questions I found pretty good. You can give a short answer, post a pic or write a little mini-essay about your thoughts.

And then there's questions like this, I mean, wot? I'm not married to anyone on the astral plane, thank you very much.

However... if we're going with the anime character whom I have stayed in touch with the longest? The one I spent some years maintaining a website for, the one that is still on my default icons on both LJ and Facebook, I guess it'd be Jadeite from Sailor Moon.

Cosplay pictures? Well, as it happens, after some looking I managed to dig up these pics... From ca the younger bronze age, I'd say ;) Or more specifically, the re-opening of Östasiatiska museet in Stockholm.

Yes, that is me.

Click for larger pic! )

The entire anime meme be here
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Bit late, but...

Hard to pick one, but here's a pretty nice japanese fanart of Prussia from Hetalia. Dunno the artist, it came in a bulk from 4chan. And it's not really ecchi either, but I like it. Stylishly hot
dancing_moon: To Victory! Daleks can win the war (victory!)
Day 11 - Favorite mecha series

My favorite mecha series is without a doubt Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. The other mecha series I like a lot (Code Geass and, back in the days, Gundam Wing) I liked despite the fact that they were mecha. Gurren Lagann is fantastic and it wouldn't be fantastic without the giant robots.

TVtropes describes it as: ...what happens when you ask Studio Gainax to create a Saturday Morning Cartoon. It's over the top, it's epic, it's funny, it's surprisingly touching and it's VERY entertaining. I also like most (all?) of the characters - Kamina, Simon, Yoko, Nia, Viral, Kittan.... Even Rossiu works great in the plot, though he's pretty darn stupid at times.

ETA: It also has equal-opportunity fanservice. Ok, so Yoko runs around in a bikini most of the time. But Simon, Kamina and Kittan also walk around shirtless in most scenes, so I guess it's just hot? Does look like a desert after all... Basically, thank god that the guys aren't wearing all-covering armor while the girls skimp around in nothing. "Studio Gainax: Bringing both-gendered skimp to the masses since 2008."

It also has an amazing soundtrack!

Tho the ending/opening themes are a bit meh. But. This is great fun, sci-fi world run on the rule of cool, epic battles, friendship that endures, super-catchy catchphrases and an endless amount of sheer hope. The only way you could have more coolness crammed into one 27-episode long series is if the mechas were run one pure awesome... Oh, wait. That's what they do!
dancing_moon: Kermit goes "YAY Ohmygod" (Yay)
Oh, this is easy! Lucky*Star!

I really don't like the (afaik) most popular slice-of-life anime, Azumanga Daioh. Lucky*Star however is mainly about four girls, one of them very nerdy, and their conversations which circle around nothing in particular. I know it has a tendency to merely be classed as "moe bait" by some, but I found Azumanga much more annoying. In Lucky*Star I (as a v. nerdy girl) can occasionally identify myself with the characters. In Azumanga, everyone is such a "screwball" or otherwise weird, that I can mostly laugh at the characters. And I don't like that kind of humor.

People tend to compare Lucky*Star to Seinfeld, which I guess is true in that both shows contain a lot of talk about absolutely nothing. However, I found the humor of Seinfeld much more mean-spirited (also, less jokes about collecting doujinshi and buying multiple copies of the same thing to get All The Fannish Extramaterial, which, heh, is something I can and do recognize myself in) so in another sense, they're not that similar at all.

Anyways. Lucky*Star is my favorite slice-of-life anime. My fav s-o-l manga is Flower of Life by Fumi Yoshinaga, btw.

It also has a very catchy intro!
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
The end of Grave of the Fireflies physically hurt. Just fyi

Still a very good movie.
dancing_moon: To Victory! Daleks can win the war (victory!)
Can't I just say all of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann? No?

(Actually, this belongs thematically together with another scene, a very touching death scene, but that would be a big spoiler so I won't post it. Also, can only find it dubbed on youtube)
dancing_moon: To Victory! Daleks can win the war (victory!)
Aha, caught up, did I. Good, very good

Day 7 - Favorite anime couple
Errr. Right, except then it's a day when I don't really know.

Does Germany/Italy count? He proposes in the Buon San Valentino-chapter of the manga, but I don't think the anime came that far...

Otherwise, I tend to fall for the Seriously Twisted Couples. I mean, dude, when I think of anime romance, the old tragic classics come to my mind: Zetsuai, Ai no Kusabi, Tokyo Babylon...

Which actually reminds me of this amazing vid for Tokyo Babylon, so I guess I might as well call Seishirou/Subaru my favorite canon couple.

Overall, CLAMP has a lot of couples I like. That must be because they enjoy torturing them so much, ehehe~

Entire meme here
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Ehehe. I have vacation this week, which has so far been spent doing... nothing much. Whatever happened to the days? 'neways, meme time!

Day 5 - Anime character you feel you are most like (or wish you were) )

Day 6 - Most annoying anime character )

This is also not quite meme-related, but I would like to point out that hating/loving certain voice actors (or even haircolors) isn't quite such an arbitrary point as hating/loving regular actors. Seiyuu (japanese voice actors) tend to be type-cast a lot more, just as anime tends to follow a dramatic color scheme, or the seme/uke lenght pattern or other things. They're animated characters, after all, so why not draw them in a way that is a short-hand for how they behave? Of course, if you invert it, you can easily play with the audience's expectations.

Thus, when a cute girl opens her mouth and has a high-pitched, slightly whiny voice, it sets my teeth on edge and I know I probably won't like her. The same way when one of the guys is voiced by Koyasu Takehito has a smooth, darker voice and a slightly creepy laugh? I know he's most likely to be a cool villain, an anti-hero or at least on the side of good, but still somewhat of a bastard and I'll probably like him...

And then of course we get characters like Gokudera, who has gray hair. Wtf? He's a hothead who fights with dynamite, how can he have gray hair -_-
dancing_moon: Farin Urlaub is shot by Lara Croft. No, really (Farin U)
The best thing about a laptop is that I am not computer less while there's a thunder storm going on \o/

Anime I'm ashamed I've enjoyed, hmmm, tricky... I mean, there are a couple of pretty hopeless yaoi manga I would only discuss loudly with other fangirls, but I'm pretty open with my fannishness. And the only anime I remember that is cringe-worthy is anime I tend to dislike, I think. And bad yaoi anime tends to be so horribly bad - like that crappy thing based on a game, where some guy is thrown in jail during the French revolution and then raped throughout the story. Whatever bad kinks it might have touched in me, were more than offset by the horrible animation quality, the godawful voice acting and the fact that they used the same "semen-splatter" still to show orgasm several times. Can't like it, can't be ashamed about it, ne?

In a way, I guess Hetalia comes closest? Because dayum, Hidekaz, but despite an overall good grip on WWII, you have some rather epic history fail in a few spots. Although, honestly, my real argh-shame-hide-under-rock reactions have come from other fans in this fandom, and I can't really blame the anime for that, now can I? I refuse to acknowledge the fail with the US release of Hetalia (now with added offensiveness!). Had my Ranty McRant-post, end of story.

So, all in all, not that ashamed over anime. Just a little bit, sometimes ;)
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Your anime crush

Right now?

Prussia, from Axis Powers Hetalia. Alias Gilbert Beilschmidt.

Former crushes have included Jadeite (Sailor Moon - see my icon), Sebastian (Black Butler), Nagako (Fushigi Yuugi), Ruoga (Ranma 1/2), Zechs (Gundam Wing), Saonji (Utena) and the list goes on.
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Day 2 - Favorite anime you’ve watched so far

Oh dear, that's a tough one... Hmmm. I really like the Nausicaä manga, but the anime is too short to do it properly justice. Utena is a strong contender too. My current favorite fannish series is Hetalia, but I'm not going to claim that it's the best thing evah omg!!1 because it's not. Also, manga tops anime in this case too. Maison Ikkoku is an anime series that I also remember as very well-done, but it's been so long since I saw it and I only ever finished the manga, so I guess it doesn't fit on any top list. I can think of a few other titles off the top of my head, but none that really feels like a sure winner - possibly Monoke Hime, but even that didn't quite catch me as Utena.

So let's go with Revolutionary Girl Utena, the most psyched-out, queer, wonderful, epic and kick-ass school girl/fairytale/fantasy deconstruction-anime in the world. Oh, it also has the most amazing soundtrack ever aaaaand - it'll be re-released in a remastered DVD box soon! Already out in Japan, coming to a anime store near you with subtitles sometime not too far off (I hope)

Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku.


dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Dancing Moon


Style Credit

May 2012

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