The Long-Expected Second Coming of the King – Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight

Originally, it was one of the shows that got me back into anime. About 6 months later, it was the anime that evoked the strongest emotional response from me ever – a complete mental breakdown (read about that on the lists page.) At first, it entered my list at number ten or so, remaining in the teen areas afterward. Though it had meaning to me, and I loved it, I never really plunged deeper into it at first. However, I would like to quote the post I’ve read and quoted the most of any on the internet – Omo’s favorites list. Manabi Straight was the only show added to that post between 2004 and 2007, but that’s not the entry I’m quoting. It’s his comment on his alltime favorite anime, Martian Successor Nadesico.

“To make a lofty and senseless analogy, Nadesico is like a man’s heart. Deep, subtle, but very real. On the surface it’s superficial and it can be really funny at times, but each passing wave is just a shadow of the profound inner workings that lies beneath. The uncovering of that is what made Nadesico my favorite ever since I watched it through the first time. It managed to be funny, easy to swallow, but my mind chews on it like tough jerky, releasing pleasant “flavors” each time I think back to it.”

When I first watched Manabi Straight, it was long before I had any kind of grip on my favorites list. However, like Nadesico, this ended up being the show that was constantly in my mind releasing new flavors into me. I continually had tiny revelations about it and found myself idolizing the subtleties and amazing undercurrents that kept the show’s spirit burning within me. Omo helped with this also with his awesome and frequent analyzations of the show’s inner workings.

As time passed, I forgot some of the show’s details, as I did for most of the things I had the bad sense to marathon when I was new to anime. However, the show’s image in my mind only became greater and greater. It didn’t take me long to realize that it was one of my favorite anime – however I refused to appoint it such until I rewatched it for confirmation. Hence, this is not a post in the Epic Journey. When I first started trying to perfect my favorites list this past summer, I came to the same conclusion every single time – Manabi Straight in my top 5. I absolutely knew I HAD to rewatch it.

However, I was sure not to watch it during the summer, because I was scared it would make me want to drop out of school (it would have.) Finally I got the chance today and rewatched it. To say the least, it was everything I expected and more. Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight is EASILY my second favorite anime of all time – a spot it’s long deserved and finally honored with. I feel great relief in knowing that my favorites list is that much closer to perfection, though I still need to do this show in the Epic Journey. That may happen soon, since this is a show I want to watch over and over and over again : D

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