I usually write longer posts than this. Essays on current ideas, films and events. Though, for a while, nothing has really presented itself for a column, so I decided to simply suggest some of my favorite animes in a short blog post. What you see is a picture from Haibane Renmei, an anime I love. In fact, when I was working on an unfinished fantasy novel I have on my shelf, I was thinking of Haibane Renmei alot. It's a mysterious anime and a very good one. I also am writing this for those new to anime. I think these are good places to start. One of the things I love about anime is often it's characters are just so lovable. You just want to climb into the world of that anime and live there.
1. Fooly Cooly- What can I say about FLCL? It’s like ‘Catcher in the Rye’ on drugs. The story of a kid named Naota, a lonely and angry kid with a guitar and a single father who would rather be a jerk than help his son whose mother is never mentioned and whose brother is over in the U.S. playing baseball. One day he is run over by a motorcycle with Haruko on it, who is a women who may or may not be a alien. What follows is a mixture of bizarre events coupled with a coming of age story. At the beginning of FLCL, Naota says nothing ever happens in his town. By the end, he is proven that sometimes things do happen in town, yet not even he can explain what those things were.
2. Haibane Renme- The story of a girl who wakes up as an angel creature. She has wings and a halo, yet, she isn’t quite sure what she is. She’s a haibane. And she lives in a castle with others like her. She can’t remember what she is. All she remembers is that she was falling through the sky at the beginning of the anime. And thus, the anime becomes something of a meditation on life and the mystery of it.
3. Genshiken- This might of been the Big Bang Theory before the Big Bang Theory. It’s the story of a group of nerds who run an anime club. It’s an anime about an anime club. A freshman, Kanji, who is just coming to terms with the fact that he is an otaku, the Japanese word for nerd, finds a place he belongs among these outcasts who start an anime club. Things get even weirder when they find that a girl wants to join their club. A fairly attractive girl. They are baffled, and thus start one of the funnier animes I’ve ever seen.
4. Eureka Seven- This anime is about a boy and an alien girl. Ok, that sounds cliché and boring. Though, try not to fall in love with the characters. The main character is a boy named Renton, who lives on a spaceship with its crew. One day there is a crash and Eureka emerges. She is a pale young girl with turquoise hair. She is also awkward and has trouble communicating with humans. And so does a young teenage boy. And thus, Renton falls in love with Eureka.