Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Anime StaleS?

Saturday night was stressful. So I popped on Cartoon Network. I was so tired that I was actually too damn lazy to grab a VHS or DVD. But I was in the mood for some anime, and CN was the only thing that had any of it on.

Lesson learned: Nothing good comes from laziness. Next time, get up and grab a DVD.

On purpose, I gave Durarara a second chance. I was pretty hard on it during it’s debut week, so I thought I’d sit through ALL 30 minutes this time. Then I watched Kekkaishi. Then I went to YouTube and watched about an hour’s worth of other anime titles that I hadn’t seen before, but already knew about.

Then I stepped outside, and breathed in the air, letting the oxygen hit my brain. I stared at the flowers and the trees, walked back inside, and had the sudden urge to dunk my head in a bucket of ice water while listening to Linkin Park from 2001.

GOOD GOD WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ANIME??

I remember in the mid 1990’s being enthralled in anime, because it was DIFFERENT. And each title was different! Tenchi Muyo was nothing like The SlayerS, which was nothing like Sailormoon, nothing like Dragonball Z, nothing like Pokemon, nothing like Ranma, and so forth. Every last title we got in the 90’s that wasn’t primarily gore, tits, mechs and gory mech tits was DIFFERENT.

And COLORFUL!! The Japanese used an amazing array of colors I hadn’t seen since my mother’s wardrobe in the 80’s! Beautiful colors, different character designs, GAWD I miss that.

The stories often involved plot twists, alternate universes and timelines. If you have a base knowledge of Science Fiction, by God anime was a paradise!

….. Right through 2004. That’s about when Inuyasha started on Cartoon Network in the states. It would be the LAST interesting anime I would see on regular television.
Maybe I had a warning with Big O. Sure I love Big O (though I usually stop the series replay before the last 6 episodes) but the designs were dark as hell.

And EMO!

The first season was dark yes, but along the lines of Batman. And by that, I mean the 1930’s comics or the 1990’s cartoon series. Not the little anorexic Emo shit we saw in ’04. The Dark Night, a man who acted as the ultimate vigilante, but acted like a MAN about it.

Second season onward, I was so sick of hearing about tomatoes and bar codes that I would just PRAY at night that there would be an episode where R. Dorothy would wallpaper Roger’s damn room in them.

Maybe I had warning with Trigun. Sure I love the anime (until they murder Wolfwood) but it’s so freaking suspenseful halfway through. And I can’t stand the amount of yellow.

After Inuyasha, anime took a crazed downfall. Suddenly, Cartoon Network had zero interest in anime titles that WORKED, were well written or even had a halfway decent merchandise line. The anime content has all but dried up in recent years.

But the saying goes that it takes two to tango, and the anime artists and companies in charge now, piss me off as a cartoonist. We have the following titles to choose from:

Magical ColorS ~ This is the title I am slapping onto every new-age magical girl Shojo. None of them have an original story, the costumes are blatant rip-offs of Sailormoon and although the show is pitched to girls ages 4-11, there is an awful lot of full frontal nudity and situations where one or more girls has to evade rape.

Douche X ~ Often pitched to boys and teens, it involves a really obnoxious young male, a gaggle of useless friends, and everybody has a collectable item. (Let’s say trading card.) BUT WAIT! There’s more ~ he and his friends end up having to deal with snotty, bratty adult-aged characters that impose more rules and regulations on them than military secrets. And God help you if you break one rule. The main character will end up dumped in the ranks, his rival will earn an extra blow-job every time he pisses on the main character, and then the main guy doesn’t win his competition until the very last episode. During which time, the adult-aged authority figures have already ruined his life and slandered his name on a fake Wiki that somehow has an assload of fans.

Screaming GO!! ~ This is the title I am slapping onto every anime that ends in people dressed like their in a British school, circa the 1880’s (though it’s 2011) who have snotty male figures that act like they want to be straight (Oh honey please…) women that make life miserable from their mansions, and a late-teen girl screaming and crying both in the opening intro and throughout the series. Why? Because nobody gets her. But they all want to control the girl’s life.

Gundam ~ You know what this is. Move along!

Not Gundam 9000x ~ Moody space series, based on the crap that got churned out in the 1970’s after everyone lost a nut to the Yamato series. Updated for today, so we now have a crying 14 year old girl, who’s dressed like she’s 5.

Spirit 10 ~ It starts out as a bad comedy, and ends with short teenagers, living on their own WELL past curfew, playing with dead things.. and then having the nerve to get pissed when they themselves get dead.

Drunken Gun FighterS ~ Don’t be fooled. It’s not as fun as you think. This is a title for all the anime that deal with ADULTS, drinking, smoking, bitching about life, being melancholy over lost loves and dead people, mutenegetic weapons, and inexplicable death. Here’s the kicker. They all look like they’re 50, but the eldest character is 27! WTF??

Sad DearS ~ This is for all the anime that involves children and teens losing a parent or best friend, and then having to cope with sudden adult responsibilities AND grade school at the same time.

It’s like every single anime I hit lately falls into these categories. What the hell is going on here?

Then there’s the characters themselves. Now most of the male leads can be described as the following:


Douche

Druggie

Crazy person with his eyelids clearly removed and his cheeks stapled into the shape of a grimace

Moody

Grown up Cartman

Stereotypical nerd in coke bottle glasses who is annoying to the point where actual nerds watching this want to kick him in the taint

Perpetually shocked boy who probably won’t figure out what girl he wants until he’s borderline married

Emo

Emotionless

Now the girls really are no better. But this screamed to be drawn out. Click to enlarge:




I even named them. Let’s just go down the list.

Honoka ~ This is the girl that I blame for every over-zealous, Wiki editing, Deviant Art bitching chick I have ever had the displeasure of seeing on screen or off. This is the girl that is known as a “mother hen” type. She acts like she’s all about rules and standards, but she’s usually making up these rules in her head, and then gets pissed when nobody wants to play by them. She disses every male that crosses her path, slaps around other girls, and yet somehow is usually one of the “good guys”.

Chou ~ The smart girl. She usually has the best rack in the series… and is somehow perpetually SINGLE?? She’s also the type that blushes easily, and can’t even allow a boy to hold her hand, without automatically thinking that sex is immediately involved. She’s quiet and comes in two flavors: Silent but bitchy or Silent and acts like a Martian. She has no idea about social life outside of her books, but has to be the kinkiest girl on the show.

Hitomi ~ Typically the youngest character. This girl is half dead. She wears crosses over her black shirt, black stockings and extra black skirt… yet she’s never seen a church! Probably because she’d burn up if she did. There’s almost always a supernatural and scientific force around her, she has no skin tone and she’s death prone. She’s probably the most misunderstood character, and likely wouldn’t have leveled Harajuku if her parents gave her a hug instead of an injection. Aww..

Haruna ~ This is the psycho bitch character that adorns more keychains than should be legal. Often seen with an animal-like counterpart or scroll, this is the psycho that absolutely WILL rape you in the face, then laugh like nothing happened. She’s uber aggressive, manic depressive, and can go from “I like you” to “I WILL KILL YOU IN THE EAR WITH MY PENCIL!!” in about 30 seconds. Unfortunately, this is the one with the biggest merchandise line.

Aiko ~ This is the character that sucks me in. On the cover of the DVD box, she seems adorable, maybe even courageous. Put the DVD in, and she is a crybaby. Now I don’t mean like Sailor Moon, who actually HAD a reason to cry. NO! I mean Aiko-chan will CRY like everytime ANYTHING happens. And you don’t know the trigger! She’ll cry if you say hi. Cry if you touch her hand. Cry if she has one less paper to do in school. Cry if the cat pees in the litter box. And this is not a happy cry either! This is a hold my boobs together with my arms, knock my knees, face turns red SOB. Her rack rivals that of Chou’s, and she blushes twice as much. She’s the second youngest, dresses like a 4 year old, has her hair done up like a doll… and is usually the most raped character on the show. (What is with anime and rape these days??)

Akane ~ Typically silent. Akane is usually the eldest of the bunch. She’s in her late teens, early to mid 20’s, but after episode 5 of her, the artists start making her look like a 40 year old. Hmm. I notice the anime artists don’t like to draw their women over the age of 15. She usually has a sad past, dead people, maybe even a lost lover who cheated on her with a co-worker before throwing himself off of Tokyo Tower.. on fire… in his underoos.. while screaming his undying love for her… and drinking. Akane usually settles the issues Honoka starts, and acts like a protectorate, mother figure… even if the other girls have moms. Akane is also twice as death prone as Hitomi.

Now this might sound like the start of a new series, or even a Hentai video game, but this is just me re-hashing the re-hashed characters already used in today’s anime!

Sure the 90’s weren’t perfect, but anime ruled back then and every character was different. You put into the Google search bar “Washu” and you’ll get 99 pages on the Tenchi character. Type in “Vegeta” and you know who the fuck you’re getting.

These anime characters? Even the names are rehashed! Hitomi, Akane, Aiko, I just plucked those names from 100 titles that have ‘em! We can’t even have an imaginative name?

Now I’m not saying that all old anime is good. The 70’s and 80’s had a hit-or-miss line of titles at best, and most of them spun off child fans that now draw the drivel I see, but in the 90’s we had some good ones, and I for one miss that happy renaissance. I miss the days when anime colors came in more shades than just grey, yellow, red and black. And I miss the days when I could talk about anime without having to hide my head in shame for fear of being labeled crazy.

I’d like to go to an anime convention where Emo and Military based series are absent, and there are no Honoka’s spoiling the fun by dumping Wiki rules onto people. One where there are no Haruna fans, racing up to ask me bizarre questions about the universe, and then stare at me without blinking. One where I am treated to different stories and different titles, devoid of tear jerking dramas and extra hyper romps. A convention in COLOR.

And I’d like to shop for anime at decent prices, and without a tube of Mace in my left hand.

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