Tag Archive | Anime

In Defense of Anime: My Love Letter to One Piece

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes The Cantina Cast blogger Kat as a guest today to give us her love letter to Anime and One Piece.

Take it away Kat…

One Piece logo

One Piece logo

 

In Defense of Anime: My Love Letter to One Piece

Anime often gets a bad rap. Despite that certain nerd fandoms are now becoming accepted, mainstream, and even “cool” (Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel/DC Heroes), liking anime is still socially unacceptable. Take for example a conversation I overheard at this year’s Denver Comic Con: One attendee was admiring another’s anime cosplay, but basically told his friend he couldn’t publicly admit to liking anime for fear of being judged. How telling is it that at a convention designed to celebrate Nerd-dom, this person still felt he couldn’t openly admit to liking anime? I daresay many people who love anime (myself included) have felt the same way.

But why is that the case? I believe there are two main reasons there’s a stigma associated with anime. The first is the old belief that cartoons are for children. While that perception has been changing with the advent of many Adult Swim shows, most Western cartoons for adults are primarily comedies. Anime, in contrast, encompasses every genre: comedy, romance, action, horror/thriller, fantasy, sci-fi, and more. And, well, there simply aren’t many Western equivalents that are marketed for adults. So to the average Westerner, an adult claiming he/she loves anime can seem a bit juvenile.

The other reason I believe there’s a stigma attached to anime is the “weeaboo” stereotype. (A “weeaboo” is a semi-offensive term for a non-Japanese person who is obsessed with Japan and Japanese culture. Many people associate obnoxious behavior with weeaboos, hence the unflattering connotation.) I believe many people that don’t “get” anime tend to stereotype anime fans as being obsessed with Japanese culture. But this really isn’t the case. Think about it this way: I don’t really enjoy watching sports, but I also don’t see all sports fans as obnoxious roided-up gym rats. In the same way, not everyone will enjoy watching anime, but those folks should also understand that most anime fans are not obsessed weeaboos. (And even those who are still have a right to their opinions!)

So to summarize: When the “weeaboo” stereotype is combined with the view of cartoons being childish, the result is a negative association with liking anime. However, both these perceptions are, in fact, misperceptions. But even this is beside the point! What it really comes down to is that it’s OKAY for people to like what they like, even if you don’t get it. Not everyone will like anime – just as not everyone likes Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, comic books, etc. And most importantly, no one should be made to feel embarrassed for liking what they like! With that said, if you are skeptical about anime, or have never given it a chance, I invite you to keep reading while I tell you about one of my favorite anime series, One Piece.


One Piece is based on the manga One Piece by Eiichiro Oda that tells the story of a pirate named Monkey D. Luffy. He is on a quest to become the King of the Pirates by finding the “One Piece” treasure of the previous Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. As he begins his quest, colorful characters join his crew, and they have adventures sailing the treacherous seas known as The Grand Line.

One of the brilliant and captivating nuances of this show is that every story arc, long or short, takes place at a different island or exotic location. To give you an idea, they visit a floating restaurant, stop at islands of every climate, end up inside a whale, soar to an island in the sky, sail to an island at the bottom of the sea, and much more! They encounter friends and foes, many of whom have strange and deadly powers. They run headlong into each new adventure, dodging the Navy, defeating warlords, searching for treasure, saving innocents, exploring crazy locations, and become stronger with each new encounter.

Monkey D Luffy

Monkey D Luffy

For as much as I love this show now, I’ll admit it took a while for me to give it a chance. To the outsider, One Piece can seem weird and a bit nebulous. It does, after all, have over 750 episodes and counting (the manga is also still being published). There are many characters, which can seem confusing, and most ads fail to capture the real heart of the show. It wasn’t until a Japanese friend told me it was his favorite anime that I decided to give it a try. Fast forward a couple years and I can honestly say that no show has made me laugh, smile, and cheer as much as One Piece.

Luffy and his crew

Luffy and his crew

This anime is an ode to the spirit of adventure, exploration, and pursuing dreams. It has real story progression, genuine character development, and a world where anything seems possible. And the cherry on top is that it’s all woven together with a kind of ridiculous and innocent humor I can’t help but love. But what really strikes me about this anime is how happy I feel when watching it. Even when the characters endure heartbreaking trials and desperate struggles, the spirit of this show is heartfelt and inspiring.

In a way, I feel that One Piece captures the spirit of anime as a whole. It demonstrates one of the medium’s biggest advantages: its versatility. Show creators have the leeway to play with ideas, characters, and situations that might otherwise prove unfeasible for, say, a live-action production. The other wonderful thing about anime is the storytelling, and One Piece is no exception. One Piece, as do most anime, features a character-driven story that allows the viewers to develop a kind of personal relationship with the characters.

I daresay there aren’t many American cartoons that have that kind of depth or focus on character development. For instance, I love Superman, but let’s be honest, he’s pretty static as a character. I’d say one notable exception, though, would be Avatar: The Last Airbender. Yes, its target audience is younger, but over the course of the show we get to see all the characters growing in skill and maturity. Not only that, but it has some moments of real laugh-out-loud comedy. This is the experience I have when watching One Piece. The characters draw me in as they grow from the challenges they face, and I sympathize with them as I can see my own emotional struggles and dreams reflected in the characters’ struggles and dreams. This powerful effect of good storytelling is, perhaps, the key to why I love anime so much.

If I’ve managed to peak your interest and you’d like to give One Piece a try, I should warn you about the show’s one flaw. One Piece, like many classic and popular anime such as Dragonball Z, Bleach, and Naruto, follows a format that is intended to draw out the story as long as possible. While the lengthy and often slow storytelling sometimes adds a great deal of depth to the show, it can also drag it down. Because of this, the show is definitely better suited to binge-watching than single episodes at a time. However, if you can overlook this one flaw (my husband gets around it by multitasking while streaming the dubbed version) One Piece has a wonderful story to tell – full of loveable characters and grand adventures – all presented through a medium that is vibrant, versatile, and highly entertaining. And I dare you to give it a try 😉


Kat is a blogger for the Star Wars podcast The Cantina Cast. You can find her blogs at thecantinacast.net as well as their new site, thecantinacast.com. Have thoughts or comments you’d like to share? You can reach her by email at errantventurer@gmail.com and on Twitter @ErrantVenturer.

#WorldCatDay: Favorite Anime Cats

In honor of #WorldCatDay today, I am sharing my list of favorite cats from anime stories.

Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service

IMG_1904.JPG

The Cat Bus from My Neighbor Totoro

20140402-203701.jpg

Luna and Artemis from Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal

image

Kyo Sohma in his cat form, from Fruits Basket

image

And of course the most famous anime cat and celebrating a 40 year Anniversary this year Hello Kitty!

IMG_1906.PNG

So how are you celebrating World Cat Day?

What cats are on your list?

#AtoZBlogChallenge: Kenshin & Kaoru

#AtoZBlogChallenge Topic: Kenshin & Kaoru

20140413-065354.jpg

Kenshin & Kaoru are characters from the anime, manga and live action movie series, Rurouni Kenshin. They are also top my list of favorite romantic couples from anime.

Below are some of my favorite pics of this couple:

From the manga series

20140413-065639.jpg

20140413-065649.jpg

20140413-065702.jpg

 

From the anime series

20140413-065712.jpg

20140413-065719.jpg

20140413-065726.jpg

 

From the live action movie series

20140413-065745.jpg

20140413-065753.jpg

20140413-065735.jpg

 

20140413-070740.jpg

#AtoZBlogChallenge: Cats in Anime and Manga

A to Z Challenge Topic: Cats in Anime and Manga

There are many cats that appear in anime or manga stories. Below are a few examples:

Artemis, Diana & Luna in Sailor Moon

These three cats serve as mentors, confidantes, advisors to the Sailor Scouts.

20140402-192608.jpg

Kyo Sohma in Fruits Basket

A high school boy, who has a family curse, that turns him into a cat whenever he is hugged by a member of the opposite gender.

20140402-203640.jpg

Yoruichi Shihōin from Bleach

First introduced in the series in her black cat form, Yoriuichi acts as an adviser and guide to the main characters.

20140402-203651.jpg

The ‘Cat Bus‘ from the Miyazaki animated film ‘My Neighbor Totoro

A cat creature in the shape of a bus that helps Totoro find a lost girl in the forest.

20140402-203701.jpg

Happy from Fairy Tail

Happy is a blue cat looking creature who is a member of the Fairy Tail Guild and is the partner of Natsu and Lucy.

20140402-210728.jpg

20140402-211537.jpg

Anime Love: My 10 Favorite Romantic Couples

Since Valentine’s Day is only a couple of days away, I decided to share my 10 favorite romantic couples from Anime.

1) Kenshin & Karou from Rurouni Kenshin

20140212-222615.jpg

2) Inuyasha & Kagome from Inuyasha

20140212-223559.jpg

3) Rick & Lisa from Robotech: The Macross Saga

20140212-223814.jpg

4) Darien & Serena from Sailor Moon

20140212-223931.jpg

5) Sousuke & Kaname from Full Metal Panic!

20140212-224157.jpg

6) William & Emma from Emma: A Victorian Romance

20140212-225152.jpg

7) Kira & Lacus from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED

20140212-225533.jpg

8) Kyo & Tohru from Fruits Basket

20140212-230109.jpg

9) Tamaki & Haruhi Ouran High School Host Club

20140212-230504.jpg

10) Syaoran & Sakura from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle

20140212-231033.jpg

Cool Characters Who Wear Glasses

I was just reading a few articles on how wearing glasses can make you look cool. The first article, from an enewsletter I received in my inbox, mentioned there are young men in Japan, who wear glasses, but as a fashion statement, not because they have to. These men are known as ‘Megane Danshi. The other was a blog article entitled You Can Look Good In Glasses about cool men, like Johnny Depp, wearing glasses.

These two articles got me to think about all the different characters who wear glasses that I believe are cool.

Below are some of these cool eyeglass wearing characters, both male and female, from various fandoms:

Emma

20131021-234009.jpg
from the shojo manga and anime, Emma Victorian Romance

Harry Potter

20131021-234055.jpg
From the Harry Potter series of books and movies

Daria Morgandorfer

20131021-234149.jpg
From the animated series, Daria

Austin Powers

20131021-234231.jpg
From the Austin Powers movies

Yomiko Readman aka The Paper

20131021-235639.jpg
From the anime series, Read Or Die (R.O.D.)

Uryu Ishida

20131022-000506.jpg
From the manga and anime series, Bleach

Tahigi

20131022-000256.jpg
From the manga and anime series, One Piece

Highlights in Fandom History – September

Topic: Highlights in Fandom History – September

Today, I will highlight interesting events in “fandom” history during the month of September for the following fandoms:

Technology:

20131016-233234.jpg
Picture from Wired.com

September 2, 1969: The First ATM Machine opens for business. Where would any of us who attend cons be without the good old ATM machine, huh?

Television:

20131016-233404.jpg

September 13, 1990: Law & Order premieres. My Mom was a big fan of this series!

20131016-233653.jpg

September 26, 1969: The Brady Bunch premieres

Movies:

20131016-234111.jpg

September 9, 1939: A surprise preview of the movie adaptation of the novel Gone With The Wind is shown in Hollywood, CA.

Literature:

20131016-234253.jpg

September 30, 1868: The First Volume of Little Women is published.

Disney:

20131016-234516.jpg

September 18, 1928: Walt Disney’s patent application for Mickey Mouse is granted.

20131016-234810.jpg

September 19, 1989: The Library of Congress selects the animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to be placed on The National Film Registry.

Anime:

20131016-235018.jpg
September 20, 2002: The Oscar Winning Anime film, Spirited Away, by Miyazaki is released in the U.S.

Seeing Through Cowboy Bebop’s Style

I really love Cowboy Bebop and I watched this series on Toonami, back in the day. It was not only a great Sci-Fi series, but a great adventure story as well. It had the right combination of great storytelling and excellent voice work.

Geek Force Network

Cowboy Bebop is one of the most well-known anime series out there, and it’s the first anime series I watched in full. Initially, I was drawn to it just because it was science fiction. But I quickly fell for all the other elements that make it unique and memorable — things like the well-developed characters, sense of style, and incredible music.

cowboy-bebop_00393215

The show is about a group of bounty hunters who drift through space on a ship called the Bebop, usually without much food except ramen noodles, waiting for their next big target who can help them rake in some woolongs. It seems things never go quite right, and they certainly never get rich. But that’s okay, because the characters are still cool. Money isn’t everything; attitude is. Somehow, Cowboy Bebop manages to showcase characters who are kickass but flawed; they don’t lose their edge as you get to know…

View original post 379 more words

Star Wars References from Unexpected Sources

As I mentioned before, I am an everyday fangirl who either talks about or has fan adventures every day. One of the most interesting are references to Star Wars that I find in my everyday life from unexpected sources. Below are some examples of fandom references in unexpected places:

References At The Office

I encountered a few Star Wars references at the office…

One of these unexpected encounters I mentioned in my blog post, Expect The Unexpected!

Another Star Wars reference I encountered was written on a wipe board near my workstation.

20130804-182752.jpg

Star Wars references found while doing something else…

I was looking up on how to pronounce a word and I found this reference:

20130805-232946.jpg

A few Star Wars references in recently watched anime

I am not surprised that references to Star Wars can be found in anime and manga created in Japan because of the worldwide popularity of the franchise. However, the following are references that I did not expect to find…

20130805-231325.jpg20130805-231334.jpg

In the Honey & Clover anime, one of the main characters disappears for months at a time and later in the story, it is revealed that he is working in America as a successful CGI artist with Peter Lucas (pictured above), which is a parody of George Lucas!

20130805-231930.jpg20130805-231938.jpg

In the Tenchi Muyo! OVA & Tenchi Universe TV series the main character has a weapon, called a Tenchi-ken, that looks and acts like a light saber.

The Many Iterations of Sailor Moon in North America

The Many Iterations of Sailor Moon In North America

20130804-212531.jpg

Today, I found out that the newest Sailor Moon anime will start streaming worldwide, sometime during the 2013/2014 Winter Broadcast season! I am hoping that this will include an official North American version with either an English Dub or at the very least a professional English Subtitle track!

I am a huge fan of Sailor Moon in ALL iterations that I have encountered. Today, I am going to share with you all the different officially released North American Sailor Moon iterations that I have encountered, collected, re-watched or listened to over the years…

Sailor Moon Books

20130804-214644.jpg

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Manga, Unflipped version, currently published by Kodansha Comics

20130804-213153.jpg

Sailor Moon Comic/Manga, Flipped version, originally published by TokyoPop

20130804-213813.jpg

Sailor Moon the Novel paperback, originally published by TokyoPop

Sailor Moon Videos

20130804-215214.jpg

Sailor Moon Animated TV Series, edited dubbed version, originally produced by D.I.C and released on video by ADV

20130804-220707.jpg20130804-220605.jpg

Sailor Moon Anime Series: Seasons 1 & 2, unedited subtitled only version, originally produced and released on video by ADV

20130804-220928.jpg20130804-221150.jpg

Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon Super S Animated TV series, slightly edited Dual Language version, originally produced and released on video by Pioneer/Geneon

20130804-221911.jpg20130804-221919.jpg20130804-221934.jpg

Sailor Moon Animated Movies R, S & Super S, slightly edited Dual Language version, originally produced and published on video by Pioneer/Geneon

Sailor Moon Soundtracks

20130804-223704.jpg

Sailor Moon: Songs From The Hit TV Series Soundtrack, originally produced and released by Rhino

20130804-223712.jpg

Sailor Moon and The Scouts: Lunarock Soundtrack, originally produced and released by Kid Rhino

20130804-224930.jpg

Sailor Moon: Full Moon Collection Soundtrack, originally produced and published by Koch Records

Sailor Moon Collectibles & Toys

20130804-232229.jpg

Sailor Moon Chroma Cel, originally produced and released by AniMag

20130804-231216.jpg

Sailor Moon Adventure Dolls, originally produced and released by Irwin Toys

%d bloggers like this: