athenejen: iAthena (athena)
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Events have conspired to get me on a bit of an anime and manga kick at the moment. The last time I watched anime with anything even close to approaching regularity was college -- which qualifies as long, long ago, at this point -- and even that was pretty sporadic and mostly based on what my friends felt like making me watch. It turns out, some pretty darn good anime and manga has been put out in the meantime.

Currently obsessed with:

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma. Unfairly charming anime and manga series about a culinary high school that decides all conflict through cooking battles. Features gloriously detailed food descriptions (the manga even includes some recipes!), gorgeous art, wonderfully equal-opportunity fan-service, family and friendship and school politics intrigue, and a large, endearing, and varied cast that I totally adore. They make me want to write an endless number of slice of life character studies.

Yowamushi Pedal. About high school bicycle racing. Features self-discovery and also the joy of discovering a fulfilling hobby, many types of friendships and rivalries and people, different approaches to competition and teamwork, philosophies about life as expressed through biking, and a full gamut of intensely satisfying emotional narratives. I have an embarrassingly elaborate meta percolating in my head about one of the characters that may not ever see the light of day, because it would require some in-depth research into Daoist and Buddhist philosophies and also the Journey to the West to write up properly. But, um. That probably says more about me than it does about the anime & manga, per se. /o\

Silver Spoon. About a guy from the city who decides to attend an agricultural high school, based on the writer’s experiences growing up on a dairy farm in Hokkaido. There is something really warm and human about this one, well-balanced and thoughtful. I really, really wish someone would put out a translated version of the manga.

Also enjoyed: Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless (high school slice of life; we had to pause in the middle of the first episode because I was laughing too hard to continue, but my sense of humor is a bit weird, so ymmv), ERASED (intense time-jump mystery; content note — ping me for details if needed), Amagi Brilliant Park (lighthearted, goofy, adorable), The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (quirky and fun), Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (which is more entertaining than its ridiculous name suggests), Sword Art Online (first season much more than second season, alas, but I liked first season a lot, though the episodes do vary quite a bit in tone).

Actively working on: Hikaru no Go (about a kid who accidentally gets a go-playing ghost attached to him; delightful!), Haikyu!! (about a high school volleyball team, promising so far), Saiyuki (loosely based on Journey to the West; I had read several volumes back in the early/mid 2000s and loved it, but never got around to finishing it or reading/watching the sequels), Flying Witch (gentle and odd and sweet; somewhat Miyazaki-like), Duarara! (I have no idea what’s going on as of yet, but I’m interested enough to keep going).

In queue: Initial D (about drift racing; I have a fondness for the live-action movie despite its flaws, and am finally getting around to trying out the anime), Azumanga Daioh (picked up the manga omnibus; I get the impression that it’s just a straightforward slice of life comedy about high school girls, but it comes highly recommended and looks charming), Revolutionary Girl Utena (I watched several episodes of this anime in the late 90s/early 2000s but it was difficult to acquire the later ones at that time, so I never finished it; I barely remember any of the plot anymore, so I plan to start from the beginning).

Please feel free to rec me stuff! I would love know of other anime and manga worth checking out.
There are 9 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
desireearmfeldt: (Ellen & Geoffrey with Feet)
posted by [personal profile] desireearmfeldt at 01:15pm on 18/08/2016
I watched Revolutionary Girl Utena back in the day -- I enjoyed it but it does get....weird towards the end. I think someone told me the manga makes more sense, maybe? (There's a movie; it pretty much dives off the cliff of surreal, sort of like 2001, from what I remember. :) )
athenejen: iAthena (Default)
posted by [personal profile] athenejen at 06:38pm on 18/08/2016
Good to know! I had been planning to check out the manga anyway -- they're putting out a new box set of it next February, and I often like reading the manga of something even more than watching the anime. It's nice to be able to go at my own pace, and there's usually little added details and scenes. But if the Utena manga and anime diverge more than most, then that should be especially interesting.
desireearmfeldt: (Ellen & Geoffrey with Feet)
posted by [personal profile] desireearmfeldt at 06:44pm on 18/08/2016
I think they might diverge a lot but I haven't actually read the manga -- going on a memory of a long-ago conversation with someone who had. :)
ext_17713: sun and clouds and the illusion of wings. (kanan)
posted by [identity profile] at 02:01am on 19/08/2016
WELL you just name checked the two manga series I actually love enough to buy, Hikaru no go and Saiyuki SO if you want to talk about them, please! I am here for discussion (...if very intermittently, I admit -- I don't think I have told you The Big News that is making me even more scatterbrained and overtasked than usual) Big caveat, though, I have extremely limited tolerance for the animated versions and I more or less only read the manga for these.

I have heard amazing things about Full Metal Alchemist too and one of these days I will actually read it!
athenejen: iAthena (Default)
posted by [personal profile] athenejen at 02:42am on 19/08/2016
The reason I picked up Hikaru no Go was remembering that you'd mentioned it! And I also remember you wanting to discuss Saiyuki Gaiden specifically, so hopefully I'll manage to keep this momentum long enough to get there. :)

I've heard good things about FMA as well. It's a bit daunting at 27 volumes of manga, though. Maybe someday!

So far I've just read the first three volumes of Hikaru no Go, but I'm planning on acquiring the rest as soon as I get the chance. I'm really enjoying it!

It's been interesting going back and re-reading the early volumes of Saiyuki. I'd forgotten so much about the actual plot, but the characters themselves are just as I'd remembered them. Pleasing.
posted by [identity profile] at 05:34am on 19/08/2016
Samurai Champloo! Hip-hop meets Japanese history. Hard to describe, funny and heartbreaking, wonderful characters, like nothing I've ever seen before or since. One of my very favorite animes, with an incredible soundtrack. Also, short (13 episodes.)

Mushishi. Absolutely beautiful in every way: visually, emotionally, musically. Incredibly atmospheric anime about a man who is basically a traveling naturalist of odd, magical creatures, sometimes intelligent, sometimes not. Ecological fantasy, also like nothing I've ever seen before or since. Somewhat standalone but best watched in order. 13 episodes in the first season. I haven't seen the second yet.

Princess Tutu. Revisionist, metafictional fairy-tale about a duck who becomes a girl, ballet, and the power of story. The first season is a marvelous, funny, weird fairy-tale; the second is about fairy-tales, and both deconstructs and continues the first. Two 13-episode series, I think.
athenejen: iAthena (Default)
posted by [personal profile] athenejen at 08:16pm on 19/08/2016
Okay, those all sound amazing. Thank you for the recs! :D
soul_cake_duck: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] soul_cake_duck at 04:51pm on 28/08/2016
Seconding the Samurai Champloo rec! A friend got me onto it ages ago and I still love it. The other classic I always heard about was Cowboy Beebop (jazz soundtrack!) but for some reason I never really got into it.
athenejen: iAthena (Default)
posted by [personal profile] athenejen at 06:45pm on 09/10/2016
You know, I gave Cowboy Beebop a shot back in the day because several of my friends liked it and it combines a number of things I like (noir, bounty hunters, music, spaceship crews, existentialism) but somehow it never hooked me. I think I only watched one or two episodes, though, so I always thought I'd give it another chance. But maybe I'll try Samurai Champloo first. :)