I was attracted to this manga by my love of dark circles under the eyes of girls; but make no mistake: Kuroki Tomoko isn’t cute. If she were, this manga wouldn’t work. Sure, she’s probably attractive to some of us who read this, but that’s a statement about us in itself—that like her, we’re so desperate, we’d go for a girl like her. That’s the kind of person Tomoko is—she knows which boys are cute, but she’s so desperate that when she thinks someone might be interested in her, no matter what they look like, “it could probably work.”
This brand of relatable comedy makes the manga stand out in a world where, after the popularity of stuff like Welcome to the NHK and Genshiken, and then other things like Nogizaka Haruka and Ore no Imouto, stories about otaku and loners have become way too common and, for me, boring.
is that it’s a grown-up show. When I saw it on this season’s chart, I was all too ready to blow it off, having long grown tired of A1 Pictures’ constant stream of very pretty looking melodramatic shows. But this isn’t a show about lame crying teenagers, it’s about a grown-up pair of brothers going to space. There’s still a lot of crying, but it’s adult crying. Or something.
Unlike ghostlightning, I couldn’t care less about space, astronomy, or hard science, but I do love shows about brotherhood, because like him, I am the oldest (of three in my case). My first brother is only a year and a half younger than me, whereas Mutto’s is three years, but it’s just as well. When I was fifteen or so, my brother started to overtake me in height, and Mutto’s looks like he overtook him at twelve. Hibito is god damn monstrous.
I’m ten years too young to have a brother who’s way the fuck more successful than I am, but that doesn’t mean it seems unlikely. He may be fairly directionless, but at least he’s in a university, unlike some older brother who’s been bumming around the house for almost a solid year.
Mutto and Hibito seem to have been really close, which is good for me because I’m also extremely close to my brothers. Victor (nineteen) and I certainly ran around in a forest recording things for most of our teen years. Unlike Mutto, but like Hibito, my brother and I never forget anything that we do (though Victor is MUCH better at remembering every promise that I’ve ever made to him, apparently). We probably will never forget because the video evidence is everywhere, constantly reminding us.
Here’s a fact I didn’t remember: apparently, our still-running Project Awesomeness comedy series was originally something I thought would make us “famous.” According to Victor, every time I’ve ever talked about my plans, they’re about how I’m going to become rich and famous one day. Then I think back—to things I always remember, now re-contextualized into a straight line.
I remember being eight years old, Victor probably six, and we were jumping up and down on our beds. I was explaining to him that the video game I was “designing” was going to make me two million dollars. I literally thought that if I “designed” a game (this involved writing strategy-guide-esque descriptions of levels, drawing maps and enemies, etc.) and sold it to Nintendo, they would give me two million dollars. With that money, I explained, still jumping, I would purchase every video game console and every video game in existence.
Fast forward seven years; I’m fifteen, he’s fourteen. I’m dead-set on becoming a director. As a matter of fact, what I want to do is drop out of school like Ryuhei Kitamura did and make a breakout low-budget film, like he did with Versus, and become world famous. My breakout would make me a full-time director, and what did I want to do with the money? Buy every anime DVD in existence. I never change.
Hell, maybe the reason I’m not driven right now is that there’s no massive stock of collectible entertainment I want to purchase.
Anyways, here’s what my little brothers want to do in life:
My fourteen year-old brother, Shade, wants to be a game designer.
Victor isn’t sure exactly what he wants to do, but he knows he wants to do film, and he’s in a film curriculum.
Both of them are lazy and impassionate, yet both are far better at what they’re trying to do than I ever was (and more consistent). Shade modifies his PC games (i.e. making Minecraft skins, etc.) and has a load of modeling programs. Victor is good enough at editing videos and enjoys it enough that there’s no reason for me to ever do it (I am terrible).
Have I gotten off-track? Mutto is a reprisal of Hirata Hiroaki’s previous role as Kotetsu from Tiger and Bunny: another older guy who we love, who acts like a loser even though he really isn’t one. Both characters start by losing their jobs and work their way back to the top (one would expect).
This show could be great, or it could be good. Basking in the majesty of space doesn’t have any effect on me, but we’ll see how it goes.
This is all part of growing up, I guess.
Let’s leave aside how the setup of Rin and then Kouki’s mom getting sick in the last two episodes of Usagi Drop was an excellent showcase of how good a couple Daikichi and Kouki’s mom make. True as that may be, it has nothing to do with why they helped one-another. They did so because they’re both good-natured, kind people who know how to take care of others, and who seize opportunities to help.
I was childish for seeing myself this way, but I haven’t thought of myself as a nice person. I’ve always had a bitter, calculating attitude about what I say to others when they’re in trouble. I’ve been withholding my sympathy or simply denying it to myself.
I’ll take you back to a time when Gonzo was a well-respected studio whose shows all got licensed by virtue of simply being made by them—the mythical year 2002. That’s when Gatekeepers 21 came out, although it was about a year and a half later that the show became one of the oldest fixtures of my on-hold list. I’d caught the tail end of the OVA on TechTV’s anime slot back when that existed and liked what I saw enough that I’d always intended to buy it on DVD. Of course, there were a *lot* of things back then that I’d intended to buy on DVD.
Gatekeepers is an interesting franchise, being one of those from the late 90s/early 2000s that few people seem to remember or care about even though it must’ve done pretty well at the time. In what looks like an attempt to launch a franchise all at once (going by the data I have), it was released as a Playstation RPG, a short manga, and a 26-episode anime by GONZO all at nearly the same time. A couple of years later there was a sequel OVA and novel that I can’t help but feel weren’t the result of the franchise being a success, but of people that worked on it wanting to do more with it.
Pocket-diary, because this post is gonna be short. Part of the Diary of an Anime Lived series.
Being a show about otaku, it’s no surprise that Ore no Imouto is full of relatable moments to any fan. My favorite is the argument in episode 2 between Kirino and Kuroneko over whose favorite anime is better—been there plenty of times. My arguments have usually lead to burnt bridges and unfriendliness, but I also know how people that don’t agree on things can be friends (plenty of people I talk to on Twitter are willing to debate anime in a more friendly manner.) —That’s not what this post is about, though.
The moment from Oreimo that I related to most was when Kirino’s father told her to get rid of her hobby in episode 3 and she ran away, later telling Kyousuke that she’d never change.
NOTE: This post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie. It is also slightly NSFW. A post in the Diary of an Anime Lived series.
End of Utena resonated with me in many ways. It’s message, it’s art, the lives of it’s characters – it did what made the series great and kept it more concentrated, poignant, and blatant, which I appreciated. It is a masterpiece, pure and simple, and I was glad that I could find a way to pay tribute to it’s art and message without sacrificing either. End of Utena will go down as one of my favorite anime, because it fills me with such a feeling that I cannot deny it’s impact. I hope that those feelings come through in this video.
I also wanted to make a special note of it’s ending. Was that the most awesome ending of an anime or what!? Hot, naked lesbians making out while laying on the back of a raging motorcycle? What more could I possibly ask for?