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Journal of an Anime Newcomer

By: RogueSymbiote

The Road So Far

If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ll know that I’m fairly new to anime. I grew up on Dragon Ball Z and caught some episodes of other shows on Toonami back in the day. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I was offered the opportunity to write for Mithical Entertainment and expand my exposure to anime. So far I’ve been able to watch some fantastic shows… and some not so great. I feel like there are numerous commonalities throughout anime. I’ll be going over my experience with anime up to this point and hope to hear from you about what shows I should watch next.

As mentioned before, Dragon Ball Z was my main exposure to anime when I was younger. Other shows I would catch an episode every so often include Zoids, Ronin Warriors (Samurai Troopers), Yu Yu Hakusho and Sailor Moon. Tuxedo Mask was a beast, you know you liked this show too, don’t even lie. With my limited experience with anime in general, I’ve decided to jump in head first.

The Misses

Luck & Logic was the first complete series I was given to review for the Mythical Entertainment. Even though it’s not considered a popular series, it did have a lot going for it. It was visually impressive and did attempt to be more emotionally driven than other shows. The overly sexualized relationships between characters however felt unnecessary most of the time. I also realized that many of the shows I have watched so far focus on younger people who are normally attending school. This makes sense because education is so heavily influential in Japanese culture.

Next up was Divine Gate… oh boy… this series has so many things wrong with it I don’t know where to begin. Divine Gate showed me just how quickly a series can implode on itself. So many characters are underdeveloped to the point where they are half-hazardly written out for no apparent reason. At times the animation seemed rushed and the finale was lackluster.

Garo: Crimson Moon was the next series in my pile to review. The action and concept were very impressive. I loved Ronin Warriors so any show with mythical armor peaks my interest. The show however lacked a sense of finality. They defeat the main villain, but lack an epilogue to bring it all together. The best episode in that series is the final one that serves as a prequel. So much time and effort was put into the backstory, but was never fully realized on screen.

The Hits

One Punch Man was an absolute blast from start to finish. I love its over the top nature. It isn’t afraid to put anime stereotypes on blast which is very meta. I tend to watch the dubbed version of shows, but I couldn’t wait to finish the series. The humor, action and artistic style make One Punch Man a new classic.

Death Note is such a unique series. Light is just another young man going to school with ambitions of saving the world. He soon becomes corrupted by a newfound power and we witness his downward spiral into oblivion. This cat and mouse series keeps you on your toes while being conflicted in who to root for. Death Note is the embodiment of the old proverb, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. 

Outlaw Star is space anime at its best. I could not get enough of this show while I binged it over 2 days. Much like One Punch Man, the humor is on point and the grappler ship action sequences blew me away. It also succeeds in developing fully flushed out female protagonists that display talents and abilities far superior than the main character. I found myself in awe multiple times at the feats these heroines were able to accomplish.

This all leads to the show I am currently watching while I write this article. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an absolute masterpiece in my opinion. The series is a political thriller filled with magic, weaponry, emotion and redemption. There are so many plot twists while remaining clear and direct. The cast is absolutely massive, but they were introduced in such a way that I understand all of their motivations and backstories. This series draws you in and never lets you go. If other shows are half as good as this one, I can’t wait to continue down this anime rabbit hole.

Help Me Out!

I would love to hear from you about your opinions on the shows I have mentioned. There is so much anime to choose from, I would appreciate some suggestions on what I should watch next. What do you think of my breakdown of these shows? Was I too harsh on some and too lenient on others? Let me know down in the comments!

 

 

2 comments

  1. Thank you for this article! I have been watching anime for the past 4 or 5 years now, and my first exposure was Howl’s Moving Castle (though I’m not sure if Ghibli counts, as Miyazaki dislikes industry standard anime) and needless to say, I fell in love.

    You have mentioned some anime I have never heard of before, so I will be checking those out! I totally agree with your comments on One Punch Man and Brotherhood. Weren’t those fantastic?

    You give fair and reasonable estimations of a show’s worth in terms of story and character development, along with over all tone and art quality, so keep up the good work!

    I feel that anime does lack depth in certain areas, mainly because they DO over sexualize characters (many times female) simply with their basic designs. But we can’t have everything we want. I prefer to watch people as people, not as objects of fan service.

    Here are some recommendations of mine, some you may have heard of them already given that they are pretty famous. None of these stories are perfect, but you may find them worth watching:

    Fairy Tail – long, but the characters are so fun!
    Soul Eater – great story concept, mysterious, little creepy though.
    Attack On Titan – Talk about a conspiracy, will keep you on the edge of your seat with its action sequences, some of the best out there.
    Noragami – I prefer this style of anime art, given that I feel the human characters are drawn the most realistically.
    Fate/ series – Pretty dark, but the concept of Wizards summoning warriors from the past to fight in a war for the holy grail? Come on….
    Sword Art Online – Everyone likes this one, you might want to try it out.
    My Hero Academia – Spin on the notion of superheroes, and what it means to be a hero.
    Little Witch Academia – Probably the best anime I’ve ever seen. No weirdness, endlessly cute, great story. The two original shorts and recent season one by Trigger Studios are all on Netflix.

    • RogueSymbiote says:

      Thanks for the kind words Rachel! Studio Ghibli puts out fantastic content. Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke are my personal favorites. I just finished FMA: Brotherhood and it was unbelievably good. I have seen most of Attack on Titan and have read the My Hero Academia Manga but plan on watching the show very soon! Thank you for your suggestions! Keep an eye out for my other articles because I’ll be sure to take your advice.

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