athenejen: iAthena (athena)
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.