It’s weird coming to terms with the ways you’ve changed over the years. It’s even weirder when you come to realise they’ve been enough years between the bench mark you’re currently thinking about to now that you start to think about how you’ve changed. Now I’m not considering myself old, so for all you Dr. Cox’s out there I’m not about to say “back in my day”as if that’s acceptable, just rather thinking outloud and hoping that you don’t all ruin my thoughts too easily.
I used to love anime. That’s a bit harsh. I used to consume anime with a level of dedication that some would say it was unhealthy. I would watch the internet for weekly posts of raws for Bleach, Naruto, One Piece and a slew of random one off series that would be running at any given point. I even still have a very nostalgic view on a lot of those animes I adored then — aside: when I say ‘then’ I’m referring to about seven years ago. When I say nostalgic I mean that I remember them in a light that I feel would not be so appreciated today.
Recently I’ve felt a bit odd about how with little reason I’ve distanced myself from this genre (if you’ll help me call it that) of entertainment. So perturbed that I actually started to try getting back into the swing of things again. I started watching (and am continuing to) HunterXHunter, which is a remake of a 90s anime I’ve seen before and liked a lot. This version features a much more kid friendly (in the most Japanese of thoughts) version of the show but with so many inappropriate things (including a ridiculous homo-erotic subplot of how a murderous psychotic man gets aroused by this young and talented fighter boy and the thought of eventually fighting the end product of his potential). This is a show that I feel if I ever had to admit in public (is this going on the internet?) I would deny ever knowing existed, but at the same time I find myself finding the latest episode every Sunday morning to watch.
HunterXHunter is not my first attempt to reintegrate with the world of anime. I tried a couple of years ago with a series entitled Highschool of the Dead. However, all I could see when I watched it was all the things that was wrong. Once again demographics are focused keenly as this was obviously a show meant for young teenage boys as every female character (regardless of age) had breast sizes that could never be successfully made possible in the real world (and attractive at the same time) and upskirt shots that seem as implausible as they are inexplicable. The opening to the show featured so many stills of women just being in those ridiculous ‘sexy’ poses (if you don’t know what I’m talking about please visit The Hawkeye Initiative to get an idea) that I just couldn’t understand or even think of for too long before recognizing that there are probably trash cans filled with tissue paper thanks to it.
In both cases of this experiment I notice that I walk away looking at all the things I find bad about this idea and I’m unsure as to whether those elements spoke that much louder to me while enduring this or if there was no good moments to remember.
I know like all media there’s something that’s made for me, so if I spend a bit of time looking for the series that actually tries to be smart and fun I’ll be here talking about the show I love and you need to see. This train of thought may lead someone of a more mature and serious nature to feel that I’m slighting all anime; I’m not. There’s still the entire catalogue of Hayoa Miyazaki, Akira, Perfect Blue, Grave of the Fireflies, Cowboy Bebop, and many other titles that deserve a true cinephile’s attention and full framed dissection.
This leads me to my question that brought me to these words: Is there any good anime now?