Blog Club – Anime

The first rule of Blog Club is… Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

I started to write this post with an introduction to the whole ‘Blog Club’ idea, then when I was about three paragraphs in, Tammie beat me to the punch. Seeing as how this idea was her baby in the first place, and I don’t think I can explain it any better, I point you in the direction of the linked post for more information.

Basically it boils down to this: we have two weeks to discover a 9rules community and write something inspired/based on/about that given community. Simple. The aim of blog club is to discover the communities in 9rules and to highlight these communities. As a new comer to 9rules the sheer wealth of fellow blogs is a little overwhelming, so a little structured reading seems like a good idea.

So, without more ado or further gilding the lily, here’s my Blog Club submission:

The community for this round is Anime. After history, anime is the smallest community on 9rules with just three blogs. In one respect that makes it a good (and easy) place to start. At the same time my heart fell because the amount I know about anime could be poured into an egg cup and still leave room for a decent sized egg. So I apologize at the start of this post for any factual errors and confusions that are bound to rampage their way through my words.

Japanese movie and television animation, often having a science fiction theme and sometimes including violent or explicitly sexual material.

That’s the definition my dictionary widget provides me. A dig further using Wikipedia doesn’t exactly clarify matters in my brain.

In fact I could spend this entire post talking about what is and what isn’t anime, leaving both you and myself even more confused, and not talking about the pretty blogs I discovered, so I won’t. In my mind ‘anime’ is 1) animation, 2) Japanese. Let’s just leave it at that.

For someone who has held a life long love of science fiction and fantasy, has played one or two role playing games, and watched a fair few cartoons growing up, anime never really figured on my radar. You’d think I had geek credentials enough but clearly not. So when someone says “anime” to me I think straight away to the two Studio Ghibli films I’ve seen (and loved), Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. Then I remember that I got Appleseed out of the library on DVD on impulse and really rather enjoyed it. But that’s it. Three animes (is that an appropriate plural?) in near twenty four years. Ouch. My geek hat is clearly slipping.

As I pretty soon exhausted my own experiences of anime, my thoughts started to wander into territory that isn’t strictly anime: cartoons and graphic novels. In my brain anime, cartoons, and graphic novels all share something, and that is their artwork. It is the artwork that links them all together. I read V for Vendetta in the same spirit I watch anime – sometimes with the words, sometimes without. Each time I come away with a slightly different story because I’ve ‘read’ the pictures differently. For someone who is much more comfortable with words, this is slightly odd, but I can stare at this form of artwork (graphic/manga/anime) for stretches at a time and understand volumes.

With anime pictures really are worth a thousand words.

I love how meaning can be conveyed without speaking. I also love how drawn characters can be more believable and truthful than standard actors.

More than all that though, I’m left with the impression of how frelling pretty anime is. Even when portraying horrific war and destruction it’s… breathtaking.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to rush out and empty Forbidden Planet of their entire anime stock this weekend, but if anyone has some anime they’d like to lend me (burn to DVD and post me, whatever), I’ll be more than happy to watch it. Look on it as a way to fill in what I’ve just realised is a big gap in my education.

blog club, blog_club, 9rules, anime

17 thoughts on “Blog Club – Anime

  1. hehehe great minds πŸ™‚ Great blog club post too. If you ever fancy dipping into Anime, I would suggest Serial Experiments Lain, Blood the Last Vampire and Ghost in the Shell. I can sort some out for you at some point no problems if you want.

  2. Hello Cas! Hey thanks for taking a look into our anime community! Yeah I know we’re pretty small for now but Hung and Jeff are extremely strong members. With that said it’s extremely hard to find people who are willing to talk about anime in a sensible voice. For that I am grateful to have those two.

    Good luck on this blog club thing Tammie.

    Okay I’ll bite. I recommend watching Honey and Clover. It’s a great series about a bunch of college kids growing up and I’m a total sucker for a good story and nice characters. The series aired in Japan last year as part of a campaign to get “other people” to watch anime. (Apparently Honey and Clover is aimed towards college aged women.) The anime was a huge success and people who didn’t normally watch anime totally got into it. It’s quite the masterpiece.

  3. Wasn’t until I moved here (Japan) that I started to get into anime myself. I recommend Evangelion, (although its a 20 part series and 2 films) and I’d have to second karmatosed’s recommendation of Ghost In The Shell. You’d probably be able to get that out at the video store. Probably…

  4. Ghost in the Shell it is. I think I’ve seen it on the shelves of either the library or Blockbuster, so I think I’ve got the most chance of finding it. Why do I get the feeling that I am going to end up going on a DVD buying spree? *sigh*

    Welcome Michael πŸ™‚ After my initial “oh dear lord, what on earth am I going to write?!”, it was a joy to read the blogs in the community. So many beautiful pictures if nothing else! And well written. The problem now comes that once I’ve subscribed I don’t want to *un*subscribe. Bang go my plans of having a small, manageable number of sites in the feed reader.

    And on that note, it’s off to work. Hi-ho. At least I work in the same building as the library. Might find myself popping in at lunch…

  5. Ah… come rummage hun… the boyf has quite the collection.

    Hmm… I’d reccomend Cowboy Bebop – reminds me of Firefly somewhat.

  6. The essentials according to Joe:
    -Cowboy Bebop
    -Akira
    -Ghost in the Shell
    -The Patlabor movies (read up on Patlabor before watching so you know the premise. The show is a tad on the cutesy side, but the movies are very serious and very good)
    -Wings of Honneamaise. It’s a long movie, but absolutely amazing.
    -Macross Plus
    -Anything from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli
    -Full Metal Alchemist
    -Gunbuster (good luck finding this on DVD)
    -Gundam 08th MS Team
    -Steamboy
    -Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade – intense and not at all happy
    -Bubblegum Crisis

    Evangelion is one of those highly recommended, however it probably won’t ever find a place in my library due to how disturbing it is. Do not watch if you want to be happy. Seriously emo.

  7. Ok, so I’m adding Cowboy Bebop to the list (the library didn’t have Ghost in the Shell – gonna have to Blockbuster it πŸ˜› )

  8. I have all of Bubblegum Crisis here as well – both series πŸ™‚ (Although the original is on rubbishy VHS) And Serial Experiments Lain.

    I started investigating what I still had lurking on this PC – amazing what you can find!

    A (from work) and I should be watching The Cat Returns in the next week or so if you want in. It’s another Ghibli one.

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  12. You can watch a ton of anime on YouTube, although it’s a closely (ahem) guarded secret.

    Do a search for “full episode” or “episode #1” and you’ll find yourself some Naruto and some other random stuff. Including Full Metal Alchemist.

    As these are broadcast on telly in Japan, I don’t think you should feel guilty.

  13. (there I do ressurecting old threads again…)

    If you still want to read/watch some anime I have Ghost in the Shell on VHS, and the series they did recently too by way of a mate. I also have the Manga (paperback).

    I can lend you more studio Ghibli stuff as well if you want.

    I can also recommend Fruits Basket (it’s kinda girly/aimed at girls, but it’s way way cool imho)

    πŸ™‚

    Neko (kitten in Japanese, which might give you some clue as to my manga/anime-geekiness)

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