Sunday, June 24, 2012

When anime meets litterature

Just so you know, the idea from this post comes from the book Ikebukuro West Gate Park because, as normal it is that the first 2 volumes made me think about Durarara!! (I'm still convinced Narita read it), the last one made me think about Tiger&Bunny, which is a little less normal. Unless there really is an evil organization that tattoos its mark on their members called Ouroboros in Japan but I highly doubt it.

Then I started to be convinced that everyone involved in pop culture in Japan somehow has read IWGP (which actually you should do too) and wondered what other influence I could maybe spot.

Sadly, my knowledge in litterature is primarily focused on European authors, but it doesn't mean you can't find any influence from them. Actually, these have been adapted a lot or at least a lot of Japanese anime have been influenced by those books.
Also, not counting light novels.

#1 The actual adaptations

Actually, there are a lot of those, even more in manga than in anime (Hell, they even made a manga version of Marx's The Capital).
I actually haven't seen a lot of those for which I have seen both the anime and read the original version. The only anime I can think of right now is Genji Monogatari which was a pretty good though really shortenned, adaptation of the book.
There's Howl's Moving Castle too and a lot of Ghibli works. Howl is a pretty good adaptation with Ghibli's defining style added to it.
Some others : Aoi Bungaku (pretty good initiation to Japanese "classical" litterature), The Count of Monte Christo, The Three Musketeers, etc etc

Please by all means add to this list.

#2 The influences

Again, those are everywhere because authors are always somehow influenced by something they have read or seen or whatever.
The one that comes immediately to my mind at this is actually a manga called Tsumi to Batsu that's been loosely based on Fyodor Dostoyevski's Crimes and Punishment, but set in modern times.
Some of those include works like Le Portrait de Petit Cossette (excuse me while I cringe at the French), Kuroshitsuji (no matter how you look at it, it's Faust), RomeoxJuliet (which is self explanatory, though I have actually never seen it so I assume it's only loosely based on Shakespeare's original), the Fate series (because some of the heroes are from books), Code Geass (because to me it looks like the whole thing is, loosely, based on the Bible) and probably a lot of others.

#3 And everything else ...

Actually this shouldn't really exist, I just can't really consider names a legit influence on a story.
But if you think about it, character names are often based on already existing characters.
Like, in Katekyo Hitman Reborn you have a whole team of characters whose names are based on demons, in Ao no Exorcist you have Mephisto which is from Faust.

There must be some more but I forgot.

In the end I guess that post wanted to summarize once again how amazed I am at how fluid Japanese are with categories. I am not saying French don't do it, we too have our "anime" loosely based on the Three Musketeers, but it's such a rare occurence that I can't help but admire how Japanese do it.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Brain vs. Heart. Which is the one having the most impact on your enjoyment of anime?

I was thinking, letting my brain randomly wander through the maze of my imagination (which is pretty much always a bad thing), and it wandered toward anime. I started thinking about my two favorites (which are Durarara!! and Tiger&Bunny) and why I liked them and if I could only choose one which one would I choose.

Turns out I couldn't choose and I started to wonder why.
Leaving technicalities aside (everyone knows I generally have a thing for good voice acting and both of those anime made me start to fangirl over a lot of "new" voice actors) I quickly realized I liked them both equally because they each appeal to different things I like.

Durarara!! is a fest for my brain. Tiger&Bunny made me cry so many times I stopped counting.
Unfortunately things aren't that easy because if you think about it, I wouldn't have liked Durarara!! as much if I wasn't that invested in the characters and didn't want them to be happy, and it's not like it didn't emotionally affect me either. I can say the same for Tiger&Bunny, sure it made me cry but it's not all there is to it, I/we have easily spent countless hours talking about damn theories about this. We still do.

So now what? Is it all about a good balance? It should be about a good balance but on the other hand it isn't really.

Why? Because we each have different emotions and each react to different things. We don't always like to think while watching anime because after all it's entertainment.

If I take Tiger&Bunny as an example, I liked it that much and it is and will stay one of my favorite anime of all time because I could relate to the characters and their story to a point I didn't know was possible (too much if you want my opinion), it's pretty much the reason why I could get into it so much.
The characters in Durarara!!, well, it was much harder to relate but the story is what drew me in.

That being said, I can't possibly answer the question I titled my post with, because to be honest with you, most of the time, it's my brain who's enjoying anime the most, because, most of the time, the things that are supposed to get me emotionnal don't, for various reasons.
Not to mention it usually feels so artificial that it pisses me off more than anything else.

So I guess that for me enjoyment of the brain comes first, I'd much rather just have fun than being touched if it feels forced.
Probably why I don't usually like romance anime.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer 2012 : what will I watch?

Lately, I have been facing something I dreaded for as long as I can remember, mainly, anime disinterest. At least in my own case it's caused by social burnout which often happens after such long periods of time without the ability to enjoy my time all alone and undisturbed, last time I could, I ended up being sick in bed. Not really relaxing. 
Good news however, this is my last week of internship, after that I'm on vacation! 

For two weeks, one spent away from home and my computer. After that I'll be working for 3 months. As a receptionnist. I'll die.

Either way, it means I know where I'll be for the next 3 months, and it means I can plan what I will be watching. 

Definitely watching : 

- Kingdom. To be honest I am not really over-excited about the first episode but I do expect it to get better. It needs to. Because either way it has Morita Masakazu and I'm willing to go through hell to listen to him.

- Chouyaku Hyakunin. I'm going to quote Chitanda and says "I'm curious about it". To me, adaptating poems as a single anime entity is going to be hard. It's exactly why I am curious about it.
And also because it'll provide more insight on Chihayafuru ^^

- Joshiraku. Kumeta Koji. Every Kumeta Koji adaptation is a must see.

- Oda Nobunaga no Yabou. Well, more Sengoku generals transformed into girls? Who could be tired of such an original concept?
Too bad I'm a sucker for Sengoku anime.

- Hakuouki Reimeroku. I'll shamefully admit this is pretty much the only adaptation from an otome game that I have ever liked.

- La Storia della Arcana Famiglia. Dunno, seems fun?


- Natsuyuki Rendez vous. I'm not too much of a fan of romance, especially when there is yet another ghost involved. But Noitamina so I'll at least check.

- Sword Art Online. Seems similar to .hack// and I love .hack//. Which is exactly the problem, .hack// was pretty dark and this one seems to follow the moe route but one can't know before watching.

- Arve Rezzle. Seems like it could be interesting if well made. However I'm always wary whenever siblings are involved.

- Blood Lad. A friend told me she liked the manga so i'm going to watch, but I don't know, something doesn't feel right.

- Tari Tari. PA Works + music = win. Normally. But then a music anime can be a hit or a miss for me so I'll check but warily.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The rewatch value

Lately, it seems I have lost quite a bit of interest in anime (Sacrilege!) I had no idea having a life could be so time consuming. If only it was a life but it's just work. Granted, I don't mind, I want the job. But since on top of that I'm preparing exams and not getting the job I'm also having plans of moving countries, well, all of this to say that a lot of things have been going on in my head.

As a result, it's not that I have lost interest in anime, it's that my brain seems to want to see things I actually know the value of. It wants to re-watch things and have absolutely NO interest in trying to find anything new. At all.

So I've been wondering, what brings you to re-watch some anime?

Here are (some of) my answers.

#1 It's really good
That goes without saying, the anime I have seen the most are my favorite anime ever, mainly Durarara!! and Tiger&Bunny.

It's especially true for Durarara!! but these are the kind of anime you always manage to find something new in, no matter how many times you watch it. Steins;Gate is another anime that would fit in this category for me. 

#2 It makes you feel really good. Or it makes you feel something at all.
You may think it's tied with the previous one but not necessarily. As much as I love Durarara!! it never really made me feel anything, Tiger&Bunny did, too much. 
Steins;Gate too. 
A friend of mine told me she was constantly rewatching Mushishi because it was her favorite feel good anime. 

#3 It's just fun
I'm currently re watching Oreimo. For no particular reason, just that I knew it would make me have a great time without the need to think too much about what I'm watching. Just mindless entertainment, but mindless entertainment I knew I appreciated before.