The Secret Anime Lover

So something i haven’t spoken about a lot on my blog is my love of anime. And this is something that has grown in recent years, even more than i was when i was younger and it was maybe slightly more acceptable to watch cartoons. Compared to now when i am watching anime and someone walks in and all they can hear is Japanese coming out of the laptop and then¬†cast a questioning stare at me and all the decisions i have made so far in my life… ūüôā

However genuinely i have have renewed my love of anime in the last year as i have re-watched old favourites from university, caught out with follow up seasons and discovering some new favs!

Old Favourites

So as you will soon be able to tell my taste in anime as changed a little recently. However my original love was ALL about the romance, fantasy, non-fantasy, didn’t matter as long as it was all about the romance.

One of the first anime i found (after all the studio ghibli of course) is Kaichou-wa Maid Sama, a high school romance drama which is unique because kick ass heroine, Misaki, works at a maid cafe (a uniquely Japanese situation, these are a brand of cafes where the employees dress up as the stereotypical french maid and have a cosplay like attitude when serving customers). Sounds weird but its really funny in the situation and it works for enhancing the drama between the protagonist and her romance Usui, he enjoys teasing her about her employment way too much. But it is all very lighthearted and pg13, so its sweet to go back and watch.

Another fav that i genuinely have watched in a very long time but loved is¬†Inuyasha.¬†I’ll be honest this anime is probably the longest anime i have every watched all the way through and i doubt i ever be able to watch it again because of the length but it is great, and is an important mention as it inspired me to watch one of my new picks coming up. In comparison¬†Inuyasha¬†doesn’t have the same romance focus as¬†Maid-sama¬†but it is prevalent throughout. My only pet peeve was how long it took to conclude their romance, however the adventure fantasy element of this anime is what held my attention more than romance. Inuyasha, who is also our main character, is a feudal fairy tale where our female protagonist Kagome falls through a portal into the past and collides with Inuyasha who is a fox demon and goes on many adventures! (without getting into the nitty-gritty of the plot).¬†It is also a really funny which is another element which i find essential in any show i want to watch regularly.

New Content 

¬† Junjo Romantica¬†is a “storm of romance” (quote taken from myanimelist.com) and this really is the best way to describe it. As there are three couples/romances taken place during one season and while each episode is dedicated to one at a time, you can spot the links throughout. An important note is that this is a Yaoi or ‘boys love’ romance but i believe that love is love, therefore i don’t need my romances to hetero to enjoy them, but i realise not everyone is this way and that’s okay. Again this is another really funny anime in between all the romance content as all the characters are a little cookie.¬†There is also a spin off series called Sekaiichi Hatsukoi¬†which is all based around a manga publishing company and the publishing graduate in my adore this aspect of it. However there is book, publishing references throughout both series, yeah!

The first season of Junjou was release on 2008 and season two in 2012, with seasons one and two of Sekaiichi being released in 2011. I can remember binge watching all of these in 2012 and then scarring the internet looking for news or rumours of a follow up season and got diddly! Everything said there was no nope, and every now and then following a re-watch i would search again and still nothing…until this year! When i went searching for Junjou on youtube i also discover Joujou Romantica 3!! I had heard nothing about, somehow seen nothing online, and consequently lost a whole weekend with very little sleep watching the whole season which was thankfully out. Now i need season 3 of Sekaiichi.

New Series

I have three series i am in love with this year!

First is Kamisama Hajimemashita, it’s not brand new, being in ¬†its second season however i feel that it is slightly less well known and under appreciated. I mentioned that one of my new animes was discovered through a classic and its this one. This anime ties back to Inuyasha as they both¬†has a strong focus on Japanese Folklore and tradition, with gods, demons and adventure. However unlike Inuyasha,¬†KH¬†has much stronger romantic and humorous elements, and this is why i feel that this anime is really worth a watch.

Next is Ore Monogatari or in english, My Love Story is a high school romance but with a bit of a twist. Gouda our lead is a huge dude, great at sport and heroics but not so much with the ladies. Until he rescues the teeny tiny Rinko and its is love at first sight, following which humour ensues as Gouda tries to understand the world of romance. Now it did take a few episodes for this series to grow on me but it is a really light and fluffy watch.

The best has been saved until last: Haiykuu!! Sports anime has never been something i had really watched but i have learned to love it. However i had heard good things about Haiykuu!! so i decided to give it a shot and it is absolutely amazing!

Haiykuu is all about a high school Volleyball team and their battle to reach the championships – sounds like a basic plot right? – but it takes sports to another level. Our lead Hinata is shorter than average player who joins a team alongside his archenemy Kageyama, an incredibly skilled setter, and these two form a unusual duo as their skills combine and bring their school to success. They are able to combine sports and competition with a lot of humour and this is what keeps you coming back every week.

Another couple of great examples of sports anime are Kuroko No Basket, Free! and Yowamushi No Pedal (love them all).

End

I don’t want to get into every anime i have ever watched and liked but i hope this gives people who are new to anime a few ideas and possibly encourage people to give it a try! If you have any recommendations please leave them below, i love hearing from you guys.

Thank you,

Maebhe

 

 

Review: BBC Radio4 adaptation of Good Omens

I have mentioned in recent posts about my new found love of audiobooks. Their convenience has allowed me to diversify my reading as well as rediscover old literary loves, from the Harry Potter novels through to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

This has resulted in a new discovery- the radio adaptation! My best buddy & literary adviser Sio, knowing my long running love of Neil Gaiman & my recent investigation into Terry Pratchett’s books (specifically Mort), recommended I listen to BBC Radio4’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s & Terry Pratchett’s collaborative publication Good Omens.

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And as always she was correct! I can honestly say that I have listened to this series (all 6 episodes) three times now & I am devastated that I will no longer be able to listen to them on my iPad – as to date they’ve been available on the BBC radio iPlayer but have just recently been removed. I had heard via Neil Gaiman’s Facebook that the book was being adapted for the radio however I missed it on the radio & didn’t think to search for it online- therefore I only discovered the series a week before it is removed from the online app.

Back to the Review: The adaptation was wonderfully done and is simply hilarious. I also own the paperback book however previously I had struggled to invest any interest in the topic or genre of this book, despite the written quality naturally imbedded by the very nature of its authors. A book on the apocalypse of Earth, control of which is in the hands of an eleven year old boy is simply not something I am interested in reading – although I do love the Supernatural series. But I have been completely converted! In a brief summary – the anti Christ has been sent to earth & is destined to bring about Armageddon- however the Angels and Demons who inhabit the earth don’t particularly want to leave & are rather comfortable. Therefore two very unlikely friends, the demon Crowley & the Angel Aziraphale join together in an attempt to stop the apocalypse from happening – during which much hilarity ensues. There are also some deep lessons hidden behind sarcasm & innuendo- from devil worshiping nuns who coo & count the “toesie-woesies” of the anti Christ through to Pollution replacing Pestilence as one of the Horsemen (Sorry…Horse-people, as War is a woman! And a seriously kick ass b***h,) of the Apocalypse after the invention of antibiotics.

One of my favourite quotes, although it’s minuscule in the overall plot, however Crowleys tone at being handed the anti Christ has had me in stitches;

Eternal….. Tool

The quality of this adaptation is even better than the audiobooks I have listened to, to date. The actors are all amazing & I may have a small crush on Crowley for his voice alone. The music (which includes a lot of Queen) & sound affects are also perfect for example the torturous screams we can hear in the background anytime Crowley rings Hell. Another of my favourite aspects of the adaptation is the overlays from the BBC radio presenters to talking about apocalyptic events in completely average conversation. From Gardens question Time discussing the consequences of Fish falling from the sky….

Well, I’m a keen rose grower, but my prize-winning Molly McGuire lost a
couple of blossoms yesterday in a rain of what were apparently fish. What
does the team recommend for this, other than place netting over the garden?”
— R.P.Tyler on Gardeners’ Question Time, Good Omens

Or those pesky Tibetans digging tunnels all the way through the earth,

“…now as keen gardeners know, it goes without sayin’ that he’s a cunnin’
little devil, your Tibetan. Tunnelin’ straight through your begonias like
it was nobody’s business. A cup of tea’ll shift him, with rancid yak butter
for preference…” — Gardeners’ Question Time, Good Omens

And finally this adaptation was made extra special cameo appearance of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman in the first episode as policemen, who sadly come to a tragic end soon after (eaten but a hellish creature from the sound of things).

I honestly couldn’t recommend this book/audio adaptation any more – full 10 out of 10. So If you get a chance to listen to this adaptation, the cd of which is available on Amazon or you could possibly find it elsewhere online, It is totally worth the time invested to listen. It’s also a great opportunity to investigate a new author or genre if you’re new to Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman.

Have you ever listened to this or any other radio adaptation? I would love to hear what you think!

Maebhe