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A Trip Down Memory Lane: Anime

Soooooooo, who here hasn’t watched anime? Because it is one of the most beautiful forms of entertainment I have ever had the pleasure of getting to enjoy. Seriously. It is the thing of childhoods, but it is also perfectly acceptable to still be addicted 15 years later. I, like probably most of American children, got into anime by shows we had no idea were animes in the first place.

For me, that anime was Pokemon. Obviously this was heavily influenced by the fact I loved the games. Next, Yugioh. Warner Brothers Saturday cartoon lineup was the best. It is why I looked forward to the weekends(Of course no school was part of it too). But cartoons man, they were great!

I think it was late into elementary school when the heavy hitters came. Naruto, One Piece, Inuyashi, Case Closed. One piece was the one that stuck out to me, even to this day it is still my favorite anime. Now-a-days it’s hard to keep up with One Piece(I am only on around episode 300ish). Naruto was much much much much easier to catch up in large part to do with fillers. I try to watch several different old and semi-new animes, as well as 5 per season(I failed miserably with this summer season.). I also take request on what to watch.

One of the reasons  made this blog was for these exact post. I had a wonderful childhood, all things considered. I want to share what made my childhood special with everyone else. I want people of the world to give Pokemon and One Piece a chance(Even though they are popular, there are still plenty of people who have never even heard of them).

What Pokemon and One Piece do so well is they make you care about their characters(excluding Ash). The bond the characters form are unreal(I talked about this in my top five reasons to love Pokemon). The Straw Hat Crew are unforgettable, while the pokemons leave you wishing you could have them as pets. The worlds are massive and you cant help but to get absolutely captivated by exploring the worlds and wanting to know every little inch this new scenery has to offer.

In all honesty, while I consider these to be the top two shows(Pokemon more so up to Johto, the rest are fine, but Johto is the pinnacle of the franchise), its hard to recommend these to newcomers. Simply put, they require a ton of commitment to the show. With so many people living busy lives, its hard to say start here. Is it worth it? Yes, a million times yes. But you might not be able to commit to something like the epic of One Piece right away. That is okay. Work up to it.

There are plenty of amazing animes that are super short and easy to knock out. Here’s a few that’ll apply to the new coming watchers (In no order):

Sword Art Online: SAO is like a try before you buy deal. It has multiple seasons and such so you can try out SAO and see if you want to keep watching past it’s original 20 or so episodes. I have heard a lot of praise(Like the same praise Attack on Titan got) and then I heard a lot of hate as well. i am going to be honest, in a world where great anime is everywhere, I don’t care much for it. I only finished the first 8 episodes, so do not take a word as final. I tend to be more partial of Picking up Girls in a Dungeon, but, heck watch both for yourself.

Attack On Titan: This show exploded out of nowhere. It is all over Hot Topic, and got people who do not even care about anime to watch it. It is very solid, very gory(if you care about that stuff) oh, and Eren is the worst main character in an anime. Very good if your into fighting huge monsters and not into getting attached to main characters.

Parasyte: This is an anime after my own heart. Seriously, it is so good! It might be the best anime to only have 24 episodes. It’s gory, it action packed, but goodness if it isnt the most thought provoking anime I have ever seen. This show makes you think its all about big fights, but at it’s core it has an even bigger heart. Must watch for anyone who can handle violence. It is beautiful.

Yu Yu Hakusho-  At a 112 episodes, this is the longest I am putting on the list. I promise. This is a beloved favorite of mine. It has a great lesson about not taking life for granted, while at the same time being an awesome super natural action thriller. Definitely check it out if your looking for a solid 90’s anime, or your ready to start progressing to the heavy hitters.

Cowboy Bebop: So this is the only anime I have not seen at least one episode of, which I’ve heard is a sin on my behalf. It’s a cult classic and fan favorite of anime die hards and noobs alike and for that reason I have to put it on the list. It’s high on my “To Watch” list, and I will make sure to watch it, so do yourself a favor, and do the same.

I have also heard the Full Metal Alchemist series is really really good, but I more interested in collecting all 27 volumes of the manga before I bust out the anime. Also Deathnote gets a lot of love as well

If you’ve never watched anime before, just do it. Do not be alarmed when you cant quit watching, you cry your eyes out when a beloved character is just brutally murdered right in front of your eyes, you shout “finally” when the two characters you’ve been shipping for 20 episodes finally have that first kiss moment,  or desperately hoping your favorite show is going to get a second season even though the show is all wrapped up and the studio has expressed it is over. It just means you love anime, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Happy watching guys!

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Manga

Today on A Trip Down Memory Lane, I will be talking about the first manga I ever read and owned. That manga was Naruto Vol 4.

I loved comic books and I loved animes. Where do these two worlds meet? In mangas. Mangas might be my favorite form of entertainment and it all started while I was in middle school.

For those of you who might not know exactly where vol 4 is in the story, it takes place when Naruto and Haku fight. I had seen the anime up to this point so I knew what was going on. Though I haven’t read much of manga since than(Yet!), I am caught up entirely on the anime. I must say, this is one of the most important story lines in the entire series. This volume is a tone setter for sure. There is a chapter entitled “The Tools Called Shinobi”. The few chapters leading up to this painted that very picture. Ninjas were just tools the villages used to carry out missions of all sizes. When a ninja could no longer preform their duties, it was to the gallows for them. If a ninja died on duty, a new ninja would take their place and the world would keep on spinning. The relationship between Zabuza and Haku demonstrated this dynamic. Haku is a weapon of war for Zabuza. When Naruto and Kakashi defeat Haku, Zabuza shows no emotion. Haku even blames himself for not being good enough.

This is also a huge scene in showing how Naruto will impact the world. He shows compassion and mercy for his enemies, which is relatively unheard of. He even gets Zabuza to a shed a tear. This whole act may seem small considering how small of a role Haku and Zabazu play after this, but I think it is huge. It’s foreshadowing that the ninja world is tired of violence and heroes will be stepping up to challenge this mentality of shonobi as tools.

The fight scenes are also great. Naruto gets a small version of the nine tails cloak. His fight with Haku is awesome, as Haku is helpless to stop Naruto. The fight between Kakashi and Zabuza in the mist is also great. Kakashi’s Fanged Vengeance Technique is awesome but the lightening blade jutsu is still one of the sickest jutsu.

This manga opened my eyes to a brand new medium, a powerful medium. Mangas can be silly, humorous, sappy, romantic, but most importantly they can be powerful! Mangas are an adventure and you will have a hard time not bonding with all the characters. The characters, the life lessons, the atmosphere, make the pay-off completely worth it.

All in all, it is a very solid manga. If you’ve never read a manga or a Naruto manga before, of course I recommend starting at the beginning, but if you are just trying to jump into some awesome action scenes with characters expressing a moral lesson bigger than themselves, than this is the perfect manga. This was the first ever manga I owned and now, some odd years later, I am still collecting mangas.