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yes, anime

Anime? Animation? Cartoons? Whatever you want to call it, I like it. Mostly it refers to the Japanese artistic style of anime/manga involving those big eyed, pink-haired girls in the sailor suits. That's just a stereotype and doesn't refer to all anime, thank ye gods, but it is a well-justified stereotype. Some of it, (here is where I blashpeme) is really crap. But the vast majority of it is enjoyable on at least some level. Some of it is exceptionally well done, with more plotline and better developed characters than 90% of the junk that's on tv or at the movies.

So what have we learned? You can't chose a book by it's cover, even if it has a big-eyed, pink-haired chick on it, and it's not book, it's a video. And if it is a book, it's called "manga" and you don't know how to read it anyways and if you try you'd probably read it the wrong way so why don't you just look at the pictures?

If you are new to anime, or if you want to introduce others to it, here's some good suggestions:

Newbie List
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • A near-future space adventure of whacky bounty hunters, a comedy and a drama. Recommended for almost anyone. Great dub (which means that the original Japanese is replaced by an English voice track; otherwise you either get them sub-titled, "subbed", or learn Japanese).
  • Tenchi Muyo
  • One guy with lots of girls chasing after him. Not very mentally taxing, suitable for people who like shows with mild violence and lots of gags and rabbit/cat hybrids. Good dub.
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
  • An animation people might be more familiar with if they like Disney movies, especially the new Atlantis movie which is quite like this show, some might say suspiciously so...
  • Trigun
  • A sci-fi western story about a klutz with $$60 billion on his head. A good choice for people who like comedies with plot. Good dub.
  • Akira
  • A darker anime for more mature audience who likes violence and bloodshed and interesting but not overly complicated plots.
These aren't necessarily the best anime, but they are very good and they don't get overly concerned with deeper sci-fi technical details or psychological introspection. Once you get your feet wet and discover what you like and don't like, you can move on to masterpieces such as Rurouni Kenshin (historical 19th century Japan torn apart by war), Neon Genesis Evangelion (a show outwardly about big robots that fight ugly monsters in our distant future but inwardly about the stresses faced by an extraordinary 14-year old boy), Vision of Escaflone (a show outwardly about big robots that fight other big robots in an alternative world but inwardly about the stresses faced by an extraordinary 14-year old girl), and Princess Mononoke (a dark drama questioning the morality of humans fighting against nature, featuring an extraordinary boy and girl).

Another thing about most anime: they are long. They are like "normal" shows in Japan, and they generally have at least one season which has approximately 26 episodes @ 25 minutes each. If you plan on buying anime, (and all of my recomendations are available on DVD) be prepared to shell out $15-30 per disc. You can also find places that rent anime, but if you are like me you will want to own your favorites and have them all to yourself.

why can't pudding be all skin?