Well hello there fellow anime enthusiasts. My name is Gleam. Not like Shinji’s dad‘s glasses—that glare of unconstrained evil—but the twinkle that fills your eye when an anime takes you somewhere you could have never imagined, and you lose the ability to do anything but be carried away on the roller coaster of its enchanting story. Isn’t that why we’re all here?
I’ve been given a lovely opportunity to do some writing here on this beloved site, and I’m pretty jazzed about it. Just consider me your driver. We’re going to have fun. We’re going to watch romances blossom as Kaiju rage, explore the geopolitics of humanity split between the stars, and the philosophical ambiguity that appears when flesh and technology begin to crystallize and overlap. And on your left you’ll see a hero—once hated by his own people—grow to become their champion, defying the very limits of his body along the way. Beneath the eaves of that small house, you’ll notice an itinerant medic smoking absentmindedly, but don’t let his country stylings dissuade you, because his knowledge needs no adornment to be a Will-o’-the-wisp apparition of the Holy Grail.
That’s why I’m here, because I’ve got wanderlust and because I could go on; I could fill pages with concepts that are supernatural or sweet, outlandish or funny, beautiful or hair-raising, and for all of them there would be an anime that could take you on a journey to the human heart in conflict with itself, to man versus man, or man versus nature, or machine, or God, and every single template would have the power to reach inside you and let you know that the things you yearn for, the struggles you have, the love that pumps your heart, the fears and joys, the whole cornucopia of living that you so often feel as part of your internal and introspective existence—where no one else can actually hunker down inside with you—is actually understood by another so well, that they can take your feelings and make them into a mecha adventure, or a journey into the unknown, or into the small musings of a school boy or girl, and you’ll know them, and, with that great salve of story making, you’ll know that you’re not alone. With that in mind, I hope to do the same thing, to press the commonality of our shared experience into every review, and I’d love for you to take that journey with me.
I suppose a little about me is in order. I grew up in Virginia, but I’ve lived in Los Angeles for a number of years now. I spent most of my childhood wandering through the forest, reading, and biking around the suburbs with my friends. Despite loving a rollicking adventure, which anime is sure to offer, there’s something about nature, the peace of wind rustling trees, or the Milky Way swirling its way into your thirsty pupils, that puts me in an almost weightless trance, and I melt whenever I can get that feeling from a story; which, the absolute Mecca of the ethereal is, Mushishi. The mono no aware of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is right up there as well. But as my cataract of prose might have clued you in on, the variety of my interests are fairly unbound. I love novels, manga, and anime. Give me Faulkner or David Foster Wallace, Hunter X Hunter or Osomatsu-san, Bakuman or Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, and I’ll be happy. Just stir me; make me nostalgic; make me laugh, cry, swoon or die… well, maybe not die. The point is, anime is a deep and lasting joy for me, an infinity pool of transcendental bliss, even when all it’s trying to do is distract me with a laugh. A laugh is worth a lot in this world, and despite the rather pensive tone I’ve struck, I’ll be trying to share a few of those with you as well, because they never really get old, do they?
Thanks once again to Stilts, and to you dear reader, to the whole Random Curiosity family, and let’s march forward into the exciting wonder that is a new anime season.