Twenty-Four Anime I Liked and Why

Recently on Twitter a bingo chart was going around where people put their fave anime on and others marked off the ones they’d seen. For me, I realized that a lot of my picks were pretty unique and represented shows that are mostly overlooked. So I thought I’d elaborate on them a bit and what they’re about. This is a pretty informal rundown.

 

Hisone to Masotan

A recent show directed by Okada. Hisomaso is a quirky story about a goofball girl who often says what she thinks, and ends up joining the Japanese air force. There she gets eaten by a dragon that lives in a hidden warehouse, and ends up being recruited to pilot the strange animal. In Hisomaso’s world, dragons are bizarre, affectionate creatures that get attached to women in a very intimate manner. This strange-sounding idea isn’t a lewd one though (unless you’re into vore), but is used by the show to tell a surprisingly real story about women in the workforce and society. The relationship between women and their jobs and the scrutinizing gaze of the men who run the world is satirized here- the dragons literally go berserk if they detect their female pilots trying to have interests elsewhere. This is followed up with a plotline about tradition and dedication that ultimately questions and challenges notions of self-sacrifice in a very blunt way. Hisomaso is funny, cute, gross, but damn it hits the nail on the head when it comes to the shit women have to put up with.

 

Vifam

One of many during the 80s “golden age” of mecha, Vifam in promo material looks like of like the rest. But this isn’t so much a traditional war story as a story about a group of lost children sticking together during a war. They’re not fighting to defeat anyone, just to protect themselves and go home. Vifam’s key point, a story about kids lost, afraid, some taking charge, others changing themselves- and their little arcs as they adapt and harden up in their scary but also exciting journey back to Earth is endearing and warm. There aren’t many mecha cliches here besides the basics and the story of the war between the humans and the Astrogators serves as a backdrop, not a nexus. The action is good for its time, too, and the cast really sells the adventure. Also worth noting is that there’s a sequel OVA which is excellent because you get to see the cast growing up further. Also Sharon the bratty tomboy mechanic girl is amazing.

 

Rideback

This one is based on a manga that IIRC’s never been translated, but you’ve definitely seen the mechanical designs online somewhere. The anime is a complete story, and a nice one. Set in a world ruled by a united government that took power by force, a young Japanese woman who used to dance is kind of lost ever since her career hit a big snag. Encountering the bipedal bike mecha found worldwide, she ends up becoming a racer, then a reluctant rebel and eventually a hero. It’s not a big story with a large scope- the world isn’t changed by her actions, and everything is centered on her personal experiences. The heroine saves lives and affects others, but she’s very much just a part of a larger story, one lurking beyond the confines of the tale presented. I like that. It’s a show that can be tense, relaxing, and involving, even if it doesn’t lead to some bombastic revolution. It still has meaning. And a great OP too.

 

VOTOMS

A pretty famous one! Votoms, which stands for something stupid I’m sure, is one of the more real of the real robot shows from the 80s. Home turf of the beloved Scopedog mecha, Votoms is a brutal story about a quiet, emotionally-stunted soldier named Chirico, who suffers from PTSD. Part of an infamous military unit that committed several atrocities, Chirico is transferred into a new post at the wrong place and the wrong time. He’s caught up in a conspiracy to rob his own faction and ends up on the run, traveling through dystopian cities, jungle warzones, the depths of space, and finally to a very Dune-esque desert planet where everything comes to a head. Chirico is an endearing protagonist and the people he meets are wild, fun, tragic characters that each add to the war-torn flavour of this show. In its latter half Votoms gets quite strange, but in a good way! You’ll be kept guessing how it’ll end til the last scene, which is quite something. The show’s a great mix of hard military sci-fi and the more weird, trippy stuff. Also, the action is great for an 80s show. If you’ve seen any of the older gundam or Macross stuff this is definitely one to check out.

 

Giant Gorg

Another oldie! I like old mecha anime, sue me. Anyway, this one’s a bit different because while it is science fiction, it’s not a war story but a sci-fi super robot story set in our world, or at least a version of it. The premise is very hollywood movie-esque, a couple of kids and a professor set out on a journey to a mysterious island that emerged from the ocean recently. Standing in their way is a powerful and ruthless megacorporation that has set up a base there, and their only ally is a cryptic and dangerous mercenary. Upon arrival, it soon becomes apparent that the island is home to dangerous creatures and a wandering “giant”, revealed to be an intelligent robot named Gorg. Gorg is silent, imposing, and often terrifying, but he forms a bond with the protagonist and becomes a new friend to the heroes as they try to unravel the mystery of the island. Gorg is a very fun and imaginative adventure story that enjoys scaring the watcher with strange developments, but it’s also interesting in how it handles multiple facets to its characters. The antagonists have different sides, and the mercenary character I mentioned earlier is legit scary and unsettling and definitely not someone to trust, but without being cartoonish betrayal-y either. The show can get very intense and there’s one scene near the end I gotta warn you about. It’s in the radio room at the enemy base. Apart from that, great show, super adventure!

 

Majestic Prince

A modern mecha anime! This show is kind of a comedy, kind of a drama, kind of a war story. In the fuuuture, the solar system is invaded by violent aliens who have ritualized war and conflict to crazy extremes, and the only weapon against them are super-advanced mecha piloted by designer children….well, that’s the plan, anyway. The protagonists are Team Rabbits, who are absolutely terrible pilots and suck at teamwork. They’re a group of genetically-engineered kids who were conceived artificially, raised anonymously, then collected and mindwiped upon arrival at their academy. They’re treated fairly well by their creators but the nature of their lives hangs over them throughout the series, and the characters often struggle with how to identify themselves. The team is selected for a sink-or-swim operation and manages to somehow turn the tide of a losing battle, which leads to their deployment on the battlefield. What follows is the group of goofballs slowly figuring out how to be war heroes and not to screw up everything, set in the backdrop of an evolving war run through a corrupt, muddled, yet still-trying-to-win Earth. Majestic Prince has great action sequences and 3D space battles and the cast are excellent. If you’ve seen Nadesico I’ve known people to compare the show but I think MJP is better because it’s more earnest and warm and less erratic. Check this one out if possible! There’s also a sequel movie!

 

M3: The Dark Metal

Oof. So this is a show I love but I’m one of the very few that do, to the point that I’m actively against explaining why I like it because I don’t want anyone to watch it and then dislike it because it’d  make me sad….But okay, I’ll elaborate. Don’t watch it tho. Ahem.

M3 is a show with a troubled development and from what I know it’s changed quite a bit from original concepts. The writing was done by Okada and the director was Satojun so it’s very…interesting. To me, anyway. The story is mixture of sci-fi and occult stuff- A strange distortion of reality opens up in the middle of urban Japan, corrupting every building, plant, animal and person caught up into “necrometal” and causing anyone inside its domain to go made and-or turn into necrometal as well. The people fled and the dome of the distortion stopped, and for years after nobody was able to figure out how to go in or get rid of it. The protagonists are a group of teens who are gathered by a government research operation because they’ve got an unusual affinity that can breach the “lightless realm”, using large transforming mecha called MA-Vess. The protagonists are linked by a shared experience, but they’re not all highschool students. Some are graduates, some never went to high school and work day jobs. One of them’s been locked up in a mental institution. At any rate, the government and the head scientist, an utter madman who makes Doctor Ver from Symphogear look sane, push them into beginning a series of missions into the Lightless Realm, and things turn into a whirlwind of psychological horror and self-discovery. M3 is a pretty superficially edgy show, and the first few episodes are likely to make you roll your eyes. There’s creepy psycho guy obsessing over a girl in a really leery manner, bullying, all sorts. But the reason I like it is because it uses these tropes in a *stabs self* deconstructive manner. The protagonist, Akashi, is aloof and cold, very much a stereotype. However his attitude seriously hurts someone who reaches out to him. This affects him, and leads to him being protective of his main love interest. But that in itself is criticized by M3: Akashi fails to understand that love is about equal levels of respect. She wants to protect him. He fails to understand this and is punished for self-centered thinking and not giving her the agency she deserves. Additionally, the edgy crazy teammate is not redeemed or otherwise made “good”. He’s an unstable, tragic character who undoes himself, though he’s not punished for his innate madness. The female character who suffers because of men is rescued from her nightmare by another woman who confronts her own fears to do so- they’re implied to get together as a gay couple in the epilogue. Hell, let’s be clear- this is an ultimately uplifting and happy story. It starts out dark, edgy, mopey and hopeless, tinged between dry mecha-esque landscapes and Silent Hill-tier foggy nowhere. It ends with the protagonists uniting and managing to understand the mechanisms behind the Lightless Realm, saving everyone. None of the heroes die, nobody suffers except the true villains of the story, who get what they deserve.

Also, M3 is….frankly a really good take on Lovecraftian Eldritch horror themes. The supernatural occult stuff is very in fitting with the concepts he pioneered, but they’re repurposed for a complete different type of story and mood. The “creature” in the story, The Corpse, as it’s called, is a very strange and threatening foe that’ll definitely surprise you the more you learn….Well, maybe. Nobody liked this show when it aired, even the subgroup hated it. It may just be “that one show only I like”. And that’s okay. Don’t watch this one, it’s mine.

 

Arpeggio of Blue Steel

This one’s based on a manga that’s…still ongoing, as far as I know? However the anime’s a separate story and while I think both have their charms, Arpeggio the anime (Ars Nova) is a pretty interesting story about how writers handle AI as characters. In the future, a mysterious fleet of robot-controlled battleships wielding wild technology appears and cuts off the nations of the world. The Fleet of Fog, following directives from an unknown sources, then enters a holding pattern. Years pass, but then something happens- the artificial intelligences begin to develop humanoid interfaces in order to interpret information. These female bodies (because human nomenclature refers to ships as feminine, that’s the stated reason!) are the main characters of the show. Having attained self-awareness, they begin to act in unpredictable ways. The main one, a submarine named Iona, makes contact with a young man and his friends, and they join forces to figure out how to break the stalemate. Other characters include a Battleship who becomes enamoured with the young captain, as well as a pair of ships who are defeated and end up on land, taking in a small child after realizing there’s more to life than battle plans. It sounds a bit weird, and it is, but the way the show handles the increasing sense of self among its machine characters and the technical yet enjoyable ship battles creates a really nice mood. There’s a movie continuation, but I don’t find it to be as good as the show. The manga is similar, but different. Check this out if the subject interests you.

 

Alice and Zouroku

The first few episodes of this show might make you think it’s coming from a known quantity. Mysteriously powerful little girl escapes a research facilty run by shadowy individuals. She meets a normal guy, and battles her fellow superpowered kids as they come to hunt her down. And for those opening episodes you’d be right. The action gets intense, and there’s even a really shocking moment in the first four eps I kind of have to warn you about if you’re sensitive to seeing a child suffer. But. Alice and Zouroku does something very important. You know how when such a series is over and you see a little bit of the superpowered girl living a normal life? Alice and Zouroku is that but for the entire rest of the show. The intense drama is over within a mere handful of eps, and the evil organization shut down. The protagonist is allowed to live happily with her new family, and every other ep is about her discoveries, trials, lessons, and happiness she obtains in her free life. This show is wonderful and life-affirming, and I can’t recommend it enough. There’s none of the nasty pervy stuff that’d hold back other shows either, at least as far as I can recall. There is some mystery plot later but the context and safety is so different. This one’s great, really!

 

Zettai Bouei Leviathan

Have you ever played Dungeons and Dragons? Or any such pen and paper roleplaying thing? Sometimes, the DM runs an amazing campaign, the players get super invested, and everyone works together to create an awesome story. Other times the DM cries in the corner while the players force-feed a fairy cake to see how its digestive system works. This show is about the latter. Three cute dragon girls on the planet of Aquafall are called together to save the world! But they absolutely refuse to follow along, drawn instead by stupidity, curiosity, and stubbornness to try everything else except the plothooks. Macguffins get broken, the Inn gets destroyed, and the girls go to the beach instead. Eventually the characters are dragged, kicking and screaming, to the plot, but by that point you’ve kind of experienced a masterpiece of railroad avoidance and you just want it to end so they can go back to being stupid and useless. Additionally, this show goes for biological creativity in a unique way- when the girls take off their clothes, they actually have scales on their body, which both strategically allows full nudity on air with no problems and gives points to nerds like me. A neat timewaster!

 

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere

So there’s this guy, right? His name is Kawakami. I think he used to work in game design. Anyway, he really really likes writing nerdy settings. Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere is an adaptation of a small part of an absolutely massive continuity this guy made up, and it’s pretty insane and an example of what happens when creative types just go nuts with worldbuilding. This show is thiiiiick with detail and characters, so much so that the first episodes are actually simultaneous views of the same events from different perspectives- just so they could introduce everyone. The backstory is this insane techno-magic future story where humanity returns to Earth from godhood and ends up recreating and reenacting its own history by mashing up cultures into wacky superpowered groups of humans, witches, demons, dragons, and robots. The setting aside, the actual plot is comparatively simple- a perverted doofus and his weird friends set out to rescue his dead robot girlfriend from the Pope, who has captured her because she’s actually had her emotions stolen and turned into superweapons, and thus is able to control them all. As you’d expect this leads to the doofus and his followers (who live in a giant flying city) rebelling from the world order and resolving to find the weapons, conquer the world and fix the robot girlfriend. As you do. This show is really hard to recommend and often impenetrable to watch, but it’s flashy, exciting, has excellent music, fun characters, tons of crazy inventive fights and gimmicks, and is densely packed with the sort of deep, nerdy cheese that appeals to people who like reading wiki articles about Star Trek weapons systems or recognizing references in horror movies to obscure occult texts. Just make sure you watch it using the multi-page online guide. You’ll need it.

 

Sore Ga Seiyuu

You ever seen Shirobako? Imagine that but instead it having a sort of upward trend, it’s more of a plateau of hard knocks. Seiyuu is a show, appropriately, about a trio of voice actresses. The main girl is a bit of a dweeb who can’t break out of bit parts, the tsundere is a country girl who tries to maintain a fake character and be an idol-type but has to work a shitty day job, and the young popular girl is a school student who’s got the talent but is slowly realizing how much the industry is changing her life. Together, these three end up on a radio show and form a singing unit as a publicity stunt, leading to them bonding even when competing for roles. This show has a lot of cute stuff and even features popular VAs appearing as themselves, but it doesn’t pull any punches- the author is actually a VA herself. It’s all based on personal experience. This show is kinda brutal, and there’s a sense of instability to the careers of the protagonists, but it does reach a level of conviction by the end that’ll get your emotions going. Check it out if you want something tempered by life.

 

Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume

Ping pong! Sports anime are fun, especially with cute girls. Takkyuu Musume is all about active, lively, and spirited animation of battling girls on the ping pong table. There’s all the delicious shonen-y nonsense about special skills, complete with outlandish visualizations, and tons of silly gimmicks. There’s not a lot to say about this one except that it’s an utter joy to watch- the characters are cute and fun, but you really enjoy how sweaty they get while smacking insane fireballs across the table or dodging flashy whirlwinds in a desert or something. The music is also insanely good- if you just want some awesome animation and charming actors, head for this!

 

Dancouga Nova

A bit of an odd duck show from the time when digital production was in but not great. Dancouga is a pretty old mecha anime I’ve never seen, but I was interested in this newer version because it had a female protagonist. Aoi, while not being explicitly gay, was not explicitly straight either, and I was kinda looking for someone like that at the time. The show’s story is set in a future where a lot of wars are going on around the world, so a secret organization with a giant robot recruits a bunch of….random weirdos to pilot a combining robot together. The first one, Aoi, is a female race car driver. She’s also a model. She’s kind of incredibly cool and aloof. Then there’s a female cop with a strong sense of justice, a cheerful homeless man, and…an incredibly boring office worker. They have decent chemistry, and their non-standard for the genre backgrounds make their robot piloting fairly entertaining. Later on the show introduces another robot piloted by a pop idol, so that’s there too. The mood is…well it’s a weird show? There’s some quaint social commentary, a bit of a mystery plot, and a lot of bonding and friendship stuff. It’s not a terribly dramatic series but there’s a warmth to it behind the murky artificial colours. Also it’s directed by Obari. Yes, that Obari. Also has Wakamoto hamming it up like mad. Good fun, short and sharp. Different.

 

Punchline

Describing this show is spoiling it! Go watch it! Okay if you’re still here, I’m going to explain why I like this show full of panties. So Punchline is basically a comedy mystery thriller written by Kotaro Uchikoshi, the guy who wrote a ton of twist-loaded VNs and puzzle games. Punchline is definitely one of his more straightforward works, but that actually works in its favour and story format: the show unfolds at a great pace and you feel like you keep up with the events and figure things out alongside the characters. The actual plot is about Yuuta, a young person who presents as male, living in a sharehouse his sister used to stay at. It’s close to christmas, but suddenly Yuuta gets involved in a hijacking on a bus and suddenly finds himself ejected from his own body and now a ghost. Also there’s a cat telling him to do things to prevent the destruction of humankind, and he blacks out randomly and also if he looks at panties twice the world is blown up by an asteroid. This all sounds bizarre, and it is, but trust me. If you follow the story it all wraps up cohesively and amazingly. Additionally- great cast of girls who all are fun and relatable characters (and quite sexy too but in a sort of substantial, I’m erotic because I’m a human being not an object manner, if that makes sense). This is definitely a show loaded with fanservice and lewdness, and I absolutely wouldn’t recommend this show to everyone, but it’s got a strong heart and is greater than the sum of its parts. Also it has a woman fall on her boobs and go “ouch!” and that’s the most honest depiction of these sandbags in anime ever so it gets a point for that.

 

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

Haha! I already wrote a blog on this! Go read that! I’m saved!

 

Bubuki Buranki

CGI gets a bad rap, but it can really be wonky without good directing. Thankfully, Bubuki Buranki here is a very well-made show! So this one is basically a mixture of Kill La Kill without the fanservice and bad writing with giant robots, and it’s great. Five kids team up in a dystopian hellhole, using special living weapons that combine into a giant robot called Oubu. They battle against the “ruler” of this world, a crazed mad girl who controls her own giant robot, Entei, while traveling in search of a mysterious island in the sky where they’ll find answers to why the world is the way it is! Along the way other teams show up, seeking Oubu’s power, and there’s a ton of plot twists, betrayals, team-ups and exciting battles. The animation itself isn’t the most fluid but Bubuki Buranki’s style and direction and vibrancy are great and you end up with a show that’s just pure fun. There’s two seasons, season two is noticeably darker but comes around back to the excitement of S1…and it ends in a very interesting manner. I don’t want to spoil it but the final fight is an episode before the show ends, and instead you’re left with something a bit more complex than other shows of this type. This one’s just Kill La Kill but so much better, really.

 

Turn A Gundam

If you haven’t seen this one….wow. Its praises have been sung by many people much better than I have, but if I have to put it in terms I’d use it’s like a culture clash of pre-war mindset with classical hard sci-fi. If you’ve ever read the original War of the Worlds it’s very noticeable how much Wells as a writer underestimates the atrocity potential of technologically-advanced warfare, because he as a thinker simply couldn’t imagine the scale of that devastation. It hadn’t happened yet. Turn A is kinda like that but aware: you have a primitive industrial revolution society encountering technologically-advanced invaders from the moon and having to adapt to their level. Both sides are using technology they don’t understand and neither are aware of the horrifying nature of a real war, so you get a show which is full of everyone showing restraint. I think Turn A’s cast and writing is strong but understated, and a lot of characters are hard to peg as distinct “types”, but that is what makes it interesting. A beautiful show about complex people in a world with many colours, Turn A is definitely a masterpiece of the medium. Also requires no actual knowledge of Gundam so go nuts.

 

Mouretsu Pirates

It’s hard sci-fi! Only with cute girls. This one’s an LN adaptation and I like it because it’s another one with good worldbuilding and an interesting protagonist. Marika is the daughter of a famous space pirate, and when he passed away she’s suddenly drawn into his business. See, space pirates are actually running a big racket with the government of Marika’s system where they rob cruise starships full of rich tourists. The tourists pay for all their things to be insured before they go on trips to the government sponsored cruise companies, and the pirates basically serve as entertainment for the bored rich people. However, the space pirates aren’t just a tourist attraction- they’re a freelance armed military force protected by unique and very old laws, so they’re valuable and fearsome allies if you’ve got the cash. Because of this, Marika ends up faced with the prospect of actually becoming the captain of a space pirate ship…and she’s like, yeah, sure, why not? Marika is a pretty unusual girl- she’s incredibly cool headed, sarcastic, cheery and cunning. She rarely shows emotion in a traditional “girly” manner and comes across as a charming and dangerous individual, the sort of character you’d expect to be the dashing love interest in a pirate story. The show is basically about her getting used to the job, solving mysteries, battling the military, managing her school life, and developing the large supporting cast of both working adults and space-savvy highschool girls. Also special mention to the canonical kissing lesbian couple who are kind of awesome. It’s a good fun show with a lot of meat to it, and very little of the skeevy stuff you see from other things. Also has a movie which is awesome.

 

Brain Powerd

….Yeah okay, this one I like because it’s weird. Tomino is a crazy old bald bastard and his shows are full of people shouting things that are often assumed to represent what Tomino thinks. However it’s always ignored that a lot of his characters tend to shout different things from each other, and often times they’re wrong. That’s what Brain Powerd is. It’s a show which is about the protagonist being wrong and motivated by a fearful misconception that has evidence, but is ultimately proven to be untrue. The story is in our future, after it’s discovered an ancient alien starship/lifeform called Orphan is embedded in Earth’s crust, deep under the ocean. Orphan awakens and causes tidal waves and disasters, scattering seed-like discs everywhere. These seeds “hatch” into biomechanical living mecha, and they’re the focus of the story. Human characters split into two factions, one that wants to stop Orphan from awakening and destroying the planet, and one that wants to migrate onto Orphan and travel into space, each bond with their newborn mecha and start to influence them. This is, even by Tomino’s standards, a very strange show, but if you’ve ever been interested in like, alien life and learning and strange ideas about the nature of Earth and space, this is an interesting watch. It’s pretty dense, and Tomino is his usual hectic self. Pretty creepy music tho, and actually the first time ever the Masked Rival in a Tomino show was a genuine surprise when unmasked.

 

Mahou Shoujo Ore

When I was younger, some of the first anime I got into were Slayers and Excel Saga. Wacky, silly premises and straight-up comedy, they were fun, but I kinda needed an emotional core. Ore has this…somehow. The story is a comedic one about a dodgy yakuza magical girl recruiter who turns a cute girl into a musclebound man when she transforms, and the relationship between her and her best friend (who is explicitly outright gay for her as a person) and her love interest (who turns out to have a gay crush on her male form) is surprisingly endearing and heartwarming. This show’s gross, silly, crass, rude, sarcastic and acerbic, but honestly the heroine is great and cute and her friends and allies are good people. Even the main antagonist is sympathetic. It’s a nice show and very fluid in how it handles sexuality too. I’m not going to claim it’s some genius thing, but Ore is a great little romp.

 

Yuri Kuma Arashi

I’m not a big Ikuhara fan but I dunno. Either he’s really really good at understanding social dilemmas, or the dude is secretly friends with every jaded lesbian in Japan. YKA is a show about bears eating girls and people getting shot by guns, but it’s so unrepentant symbolism for real world toxic female social groups it’s shocking. Nobody really dies, and nobody’s really a bear- it’s code for the othering of people who don’t conform and for social death of an individual by a group. But the show is also fair, and shows how it’s not really any individual’s fault. The ones who do bad things are twisted by this oppressive, omnipresent set of rules looming over everything. AKA society, run by men who aren’t seen in this show because they have no place in the narrative. The way you think a girl is set up as a leader of an antagonist group only for her to be cut off and replaced by a faceless, shifting mob is so on-point. Everything about how the girls speak and act brought back memories, jeez. That’s why I like the ending so much- the protagonists accept their homosexuality, and ultimately nothing the clique does can harm that. It’s a truth of the world, carved out by the individual, and it can’t be killed or stopped. The show isn’t very long and it’s not very developed in terms of characters, but it hit all the right beats for me. Also bears are cute.

 

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

Uh. Okay. 110 episodes of fictional future history through a lens of European cultural conflicts, boiled down into two distinct elements- a philosophical debate on the values and flaws of democracy vs dictatorship, and the individual developments of characters in a galactic war and their clashes of personality. There’s a lot to this show, every episode is packed with stuff to chew on, watching it feels like a gargantuan undertaking but the end result is a sweet, sweet reward of total fulfillment. It’s dated, sure, but you’ll learn something from it. It can actually be reinterpreted and contextualized in an interesting way for modern audiences too. Check out this blog for a look at the show through a queer lens. Honestly I think of this thing as a triumph of visual media. It’s just amazing.

 

Overman King Gainer

As I said above with Brain Powerd, Tomino’s a nutjob. Buuuut, Gainer is probably the most accessible of his crazy stuff, because it’s built around the caveat of not knowing the craziness. The setting is the far future, in a frozen world. The protagonist is a shut-in gamer who serves as the audience surrogate. See, everyone around him is planning a big, complex exodus as a community to a warmer climate, against the wishes of the military order overseeing their homes. Our hero knows nothing of this, and nobody bothers to tell him, so he’s naturally bewildered when giant robots start battling and his city detaches itself and drives off into the snowfields on a madcap adventure. Naturally, our gamer hero ends up piloting a robot to defend the city on its journey, but he’s still clueless and frankly resentful of how nobody explains anything. The story that unfolds around this is a pretty interesting, if abruptly-ending quest, and you get the feeling they had too many ideas. However what is here brings to mind stuff like Nausicaa or older JRPGs, there’s a real sense of lively, detailed people living in a future would going on an adventure. The robots are strange and frightening, and the characters have shifting, developing personalities. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and actually makes Tomino’s “headfirst into another world” approach work. Amazing theme song too!

 


 

Well, there we go. Lots of crap you’ll never watch. Thanks for reading them all, at least!

2 thoughts on “Twenty-Four Anime I Liked and Why”

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