Four years ago, I was into stuff like the South Park, Futurama, maybe some Friends and Seinfeld once in a while. Sure, I knew about anime – I grew up watching Ranma and Kimagure Orange Road – but if you told me that four years later I’d be speaking Japanese and saying stuff like “fight-o! da yo” or “sonna koto iu hito kirai desu!” I’d probably think you’re crazy and go back to watching Yu-Gi-Oh reruns on the WB.
Ara ara, how people change.
It’s a long and gradual process to go from watching DragonBall on Cartoon Network everyday to getting trapped by Mizuho and Jun – mind boggling, really, considering these days I didn’t even flinch when Viletta busted out, or when Lollie ran around having naked flat-chested tantrums at Werec imouto. It’s quite the opposite, really – much of anime has become so generic and predictable that we revel in these unexpected moments of indiscretion – as I mentioned before in the Code Geass article, these moments have come to define some shows entirely. But I digress…
I think many of you would agree with me when I say there’s a clear split in the anime-watching population: there’s the ones who get excited with every new Naruto and Bleach episode, and those who gave up the ninjas of the whatever leaf and the something-society years ago and moved on to other things. It’s not that shows like Naruto and Bleach are bad – they are rather good at establishing a long list of memorable characters and such, but as one is exposed to a more diverse range of anime, these types of shows tend to drop out of favor.
The thing is, I can’t really argue for one side or the other. When I look at my recent favs, like OtoBoku, Manabi, Tokimeki, and even Kanon, I wonder where I went wrong. At least when I was into Naruto, there was good action and some pretty memorable moments – but now, I’m just getting suckered in by cute girls (and boys) doing stuff that all falls under the category of “cute sh*t.” Needless to say, I was horrified to find myself intently enjoying this new “Getsumen To Heiki Miina” anime, the spin-off from Densha Otoko. Where has my sanity gone? My integrity? In the quest to chart my plummeting taste in anime, I came up with this graph (heavily pixilated for additional melancholic effect):
So, as you can see, when speaking of how much sanity one is allowed when watching, anime seems to have diversified to span from the very shamelessly worst (Happiness) to the award-winning best (Mai-Otome), especially in recent years. And well, somewhere in the middle of that continuum is a show about Lunar Bunny Weapon Miina with her rocket-propelled carrot hammers weapons that are shot down to earth from a huge facility on moon, psychokinetically requested by a floating kidney-shaped baby with bunny ears and a pacifier. Frankly, I find that less weird, or at least easier to enjoy than ogling a guy with purple hair that gets magically transformed into a pastel-aura pheromone-spewing girl. Not that it doesn’t get me all riled up when Miina transforms into her bunny gear for the first time, though. In the words of Densha’s friends Kawamoto-shi and Matsunaga-shi upon seeing Miina do battle against the evil legions: UUUOoohhhHwaaaahoooohhoohhaaaaaaooooo
I totally agree!