When You See It, You’ll Shit Bricks – Look-Alike Roles

One of my most memorable moments as a fan came last October while watching Beyblade: Metal Fusion dubbed on Cartoon Network early one morning. The character whose image you see above, named Daidouji, was on the screen, and I joked that “he looks like he’d be played by Koyasu Takehito in the Japanese version.” Realizing that Koyasu is in everything and it might not be such a stretch, I then researched the matter and was stunned to find that he was, in fact, voiced by Koyasu.

The only thing I had to go on with this guess was the character’s appearance. Koyasu just happens to have an assload of characters that look exactly alike. Check out a few of these to see the image I had in my head when I pinned him as the voice of Daidouji.

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Digiboy’s Character Database of Love – 25. Rail Tracer & 26. Yunocchi

This is the thirteenth post in Digiboy’s Character Database of Love. I finally burned through all of the character submissions by ghostlightning and robert weizer—if you’d like to submit a character to the database as well, send me an email about it.

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The Step Between 'Favorites' and 'Obsessions'

I’m sure it happens to all of us – we watch an anime, and it completely bowls us over in it’s awesomeness. The show changes our perspective on how great anime can be and effects us on emotional and personal levels we may not have thought possible, etc. After watching a show like this, we might have to totally redo our favorites list just because this show rocked so hard, we have to wonder if the rest of our favorites deserve to compare, even if we can’t figure out if we can really put something above the shows that we’ve been obsessing over for years.

I’ve tried to beat this problem by constantly evolving and changing my favorites list to always reflect my current emotions, and the biggest way I did this was the creation of my ‘heart’ and ‘head’ scores. These scores were basically made to account for ‘obsession.’ When I watched Infinite Ryvius, I reacted in the way described above, but I instantly knew that I wouldn’t be ‘obsessed’ with it. I created the heart/head split so I could still express how amazed I was by Infinite Ryvius and give it a ’10’ without having to compromise the fact that the show didn’t hold the same standing in my heart that, say, Toradora did.

Now I’m looking at this on another new front, and I’m starting to think that maybe all of these favorites shouldn’t be on the same list at all. Now, I’m thinking of a divide not between ‘head’ and ‘heart’, but a divide between ‘favorite’ and ‘obsession.’

How come *I* must know where obsession needs to go?

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Finish or Fail 18 – Durararararararara!!

I knew exactly what I was gonna get from Durarara, and I got just that. Baccano is one of my top 5 anime and enough to have me riding Ryohgo Narita’s cock, so I was excited as hell about Durarara, and it delivered on what I wanted. It didn’t do it as well as Baccano did, but I can hardly blame it for that – Baccano is one of the most tightly written and superbly produced, directed, and acted series of all time. I didn’t expect that lightning to strike twice.

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Roberta's Blood Trail and The End of the World – God, I Love Violence

Black Lagoon is one of the few shows I marathoned in 2008 that I can still remember quite, well in spite of only rewatching half of it (and reading the first volume of the manga a couple times). I remember it because Black Lagoon was a turning point in the kind of stories that interested me, as well as in the kind of stories that I wanted to create.

The show had been recommended to me a number of times in the year before I watched it, but I was always scared to because it sounded ‘dark and gritty’. Back then, I couldn’t handle stories that featured extremely dark or violent situations and wanted to be taken seriously. Now mind you, I’ve always loved violence; but at the time, I was scared to get emotionally involved in it. In early ’08, two of my favorite anime were Mnemosyne and Baccano; both shows are ridiculously turbo-violent, but handle it in a lighthearted and fun way. (Not to mention half the cast of either show is immortal anyway.)


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14 Shows With Kickass Character Designs

In a visual storytelling medium such as animation, character design is incredibly important, especially in this modern era where character goods make up a huge part of the anime market. Viewers have to be able to connect with a character design on some level in order to be able to connect with the character on some level. Many people let characters design largely factor into their willingness to watch a series, and I can’t say that I’m different – only that I’m very open to a wide variety of designs that will not limit my viewing too much. That said, even I have things that I find hard to watch when the designs repulse me enough (mostly graphically violent 80s and 90s OVAs), and of course, if I adore the designs in a show, it can do a lot to enhance my viewing experience. This post is about the shows that do this for me.

It is not, however, a post about individual character designs that I like. Indeed, there are a lot of shows that produce a single object of my adoration, or perhaps even a handful, but who do not extend this visual pleasure to the rest of the cast. One thing about the anime being produced today in the name of selling character goods is that most shows try and appeal to a broad range of people. For instance, while I love the designs of Lynette, Sanya, and Hartmann from Strike Witches, I am not as much a fan of the other designs, as they don’t hit into my ‘strike [witches] zone’. Even in a case like Bakemonogatari where I love most of the designs, I am still turned off by enough characters that I cannot truly say that I ‘love the character designs in Bakemonogatari.’ Therefor, I present this as a list of my favorite shows wherein I loved the designs of the entire cast.

Shana is one of my favorite designs, but I don't care for most of the other characters in the series.

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Implications of a Like vs. Enjoy Conflict in Writing A Favorites List

No conflict here, 10s across the board!

This is a continuation of this post wherein I described how one can separately ‘like’ and ‘enjoy’ any given show. Some people pointed out that ‘like’ is a very horrible term to use here, however, the suggested term ‘respect’ does not fully convey what I’m getting at here, so bear with me. In the future, I will never use the word ‘like’ this way again, but for the purpose of this post, please assume that when I say ‘like’, I mean to say ‘something that meets one’s personal standards’, and that when I say ‘enjoy’ I mean ‘something that I was pleasured greatly by partaking in’ (think ‘sex’). That out of the way, I want to talk about what separately ‘liking’ and ‘enjoying’ something means for one’s (namely my) favorites list.

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I Love Pulp Characters

Many people who have shown disdain for movies made in the past decade or so have made the complaint that there are less memorable characters and especially less memorable villains in modern movies. While I’ve never been a particularly big fan of old movies, I will agree with the sentiment that there were better characters in the past, and it’s not just that they’ve been around long enough to acquire a greater status.

The problem lies with one of the biggest problems that I have with movies that were made in the past decade, which is one that I thankfully predict that we will be moving away from as we enter the next decade. The trend is that people started demanding a misguided ‘realism’ from their movies. To many people, ‘realism’ just seems to mean being excessively dark and edgy, which has lead to a flood of movies that are in no way realistic, but pretend that they are. The problem is that this has lead to movie characters excessively needing ‘humanizing’ qualities. Nowadays, characters have to have some kind of fault or weakness it seems, and I see this as a problem.

The bottom line is, you can only develop a character so much in the span of a movie. Some movies are more successful with it, but if you are making a blockbuster action flick, you’ve got no business trying to make a realistic character. The point is to make one who is unforgettable. In general, I think one way to put it is, it’s not about how many one-liners your character spits (as no doubt modern characters still spit them) but it’s about how badass the last thing the character did before saying the line was.

What I want to see is characters who are beyond reason, beyond weakness, and totally larger than life. I want the villain to be so unstoppably badass that if the hero actually takes them down, it’s only because the hero was even more unstoppably badass. You don’t even have to be making an action film for this to be possible. Quentin Tarantino has consistently made all of his films by filling them with way-larger-than-life characters. Take the recent Inglourious Basterds, wherein face-offs between The Jew Hunter and Aldo the Apache are so big and tense that when the former talks about having the entire war in his hands, you don’t even start to doubt him.

What stirred me to talk about this (and how it ties into anime) is that Ryougo Narita, creator of Baccano! and Durarara!!, is a veritable god of creating memorable characters. He fills his stories with people so otherworldly and amazing that you don’t even feel like normal life stands a chance against them. The clashes between Rail Tracer and Ladd Russo in Baccano! had an enormity about them that was incredible because you felt like this was a true clash of titans. Durarara! has already shown that it will have similar situations, as was felt in the second episode’s meeting between Orihara Izaya and the Dullahan rider. The show uses it’s insane cast and overpowering atmosphere to create a unique and interesting world for things to play out in.

Really, I could say that this is what the Faust-type light novels are all about. Writers like Kouhei Kadono (Boogiepop) and NISIOISIN (Bakemonogatari) are the forefront of modern pulp literature with their dark and overpowering stories about completely incomprehensible characters. I also think that the trend could come back in the US with the success of films like 300 and The Dark Knight, which had almost the ultimate pulp villain, the Joker. (And yes, there were a lot of other super hero films in this decade, but once again, they all tried to humanize the heroes and villains – those are the problems I’m talking about.) I love that movies and anime like these are being made, and I can’t tell you how happy I’d be if the trend came back in full force in the coming decade (which I can see happening.)

200 (+) Anime Worth Taking With Us Into the Next Decade

100 Characters For 100 Otaku (Part Twenty: 5-1) FINAL

The twentieth and final post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”

oh. my. god.

oh. my. god.

Well, folks, here we are! “The final post in 100 Characters For 100 Otaku!” It’s been a long and crazy ride, exciting every step of the way, but it’s finally time for the whole thing to end. I hope you’ve enjoyed what I sincerely hope will be remembered as my most epic and experimental post series to date (don’t worry, I’ll top this one day!) That being said, let’s cap it all off, baby! It’s time for the top five!!!

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