Casual Friday: How I got into Anime

In the time I’ve been an anime fan I often look back to the old days of anime in the west.  I want to say that my love affair with anime started  with shows like Yu-Yu Hakusho or Mobile Suit Gundam, but I would be  lying.  Honestly, I had no idea what anime was at first.  In my six year-old mind my first anime, Ronin Warriors, was nothing more than a very detailed cartoon. .  Believe it or not, it took me seven years to truly become part of the anime fandom.

My gateway into the fandom came in the form of a very dear friend who started my journey by educating me in the different types of anime as well as its history.  Of course, back then I was what you would call a culture nerd.  So after about a month of learning where anime came from and what exactly separated it from western works I discovered that som of my favorite cartoons as a kid were actually part of anime boom of the 90s.

I instantly dove headlong into the fandom rewatching  classics like Gudam Wing and Cardcapturors and watching new things like Samurai Champloo I was fortunate enough to have borne witness to a renaissance of sorts with a flood of new   and interesting anime coming stateside,  These new title brought out my fervor spawning fanfictictions and  leading to a brief stint as an AMV maker on the forthcoming frontier of Youtube. I look back on these time fondly and you can even take a look down below to see a few videos I made.

It may be a little cliche, but even in my dark times anime was there.  Sparing many details, it suffices to say that my physical disability has often kept me ill, in rehab or socially indisposed. but I’ve made many a friend community both at home and worldwide.  Even from my sickbed or in rehab anime like Witch Hunter Robin and Air Gear inspired me to keep moving forward.  In fact, it drove me to create many things from films to a soon to be published novel.  In Short anime saved my life a few times and gave me a path to fallow.

So there’s the long and short of it all.  That is my time among you wonderful people.  So, How did you get into anime? Leave a comment below and subscribe if you like my material.  I look forward to hearing from you

Rant: Fan Service

 

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Since the beginning of broadcast media one fact has stood the test of time. No matter how they twist it sex sells. Nowhere is this truer than it is in anime. While anime is one of the world’s most well crafted art forms it is not impervious to the constant use of innuendo and sexual content. As fans, we have come to know these under a single blanket term. It is called fan service and it can be a boon or the ban of a fan’s existence .

In all honesty, my opinion on fan service in general straddles the fence between the two camps while firmly planting a foot on either side. While I recognize the applications of it as a marketing tool and a viewer draw I find it appalling when used the wrong way. Shows like High-school of the Dead and, to a lesser extent, Freezing are well crafted in their own right therefore the overzealous use of nudity is unneeded. In the same token Shows like Tenchi Muyo and Lupin III play up the seductive nature of core female characters as a more subtle form of pandering to male demographics thus lessening the shows appeal for female audiences. The reverse is true for shows like Free, Black Butler and Gravitation which have become synonymous with “man service” using the same tropes as its male oriented counterpart to secure female viewership.

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Rather you like or dislike fan service one cannot deny that shows that use it sparingly are more respected in the fandom than those that abuse it. With that said, some show use fan service as the lynch pin of certain shows. To exemplify this, shows like Kill La Kill use semi-nudity and over-sexuallization to draw viewers in. Even one of my guilty pleasures Panty and Stocking and Garter-belt uses a strip-tease transformation in a completely different style of animation as a way to add more sex into an already raunchy show. Inversely, shows like Date A Live and Familiar of Zero may use it they rely on it a lot less than other shows in their genre.

Overall, fan service is not so bad as long as it is used sparingly. Personally I feel like fan-service one of the most trendy clichés in anime. But that is all it is and clichés are going to eventually fade. One day animators will tire of beach shows, boob falls and nudity leaving room for a new trend. Until then, we as viewers have to accept or denounce it. Only then will it fade or grow.

Now that I am done ranting I turn to the fandom. What do you think of fan service? Is it the bane of your existence or your guilty pleasure. Whatever your stance, feel free to comment because I love to hear from fans and new visitors. Otherwise Keep your browsers pointed here