I’m amazed that I’ve seen FLCL so many times that it now feels like the most clear-cut, easily-understood thing in the world. I couldn’t write about it now the way I did three years ago even if I wanted to, because back then I was just realizing and rationalizing everything; whereas now, it all feels obvious. Back then, I felt like I was explaining something in dense detail. Now, I fear I’d take too much of what I already know for granted.
It’s like I’m watching a stripped-down version of the series. I still see it as an incredibly dense show with meaning in every moment; but without the mystery to untangle, I can look at each moment and think about what they mean to me directly, instead of what meaning I need to find in them.
One of the great things about seeing this in FLCL is that I’ve watched it more times than any other show. Besides Cowboy Bebop, there’s no show which I’ve loved for a longer time (meaning from a younger age). When I was thirteen, Ninamori made about as much sense to me as real girls my age did. Now, I see the meaning behind every piece of dialog and facial expression that she makes like it’s written in text on the screen. Even three years ago, I don’t think I completely understood Mamimi—whereas now, I just get it.
I watched the K-On movie today, which is good timing, because I’m making an effort to rewatch some of my favorite anime. What’s interesting is that I now watch K-On much in the same way that I watch FLCL. Both of them are dense shows in wholly different ways. Whereas I couldn’t always see to the full depths of FLCL’s mass, I can now see it as well as I can the depths in K-On (which are far more transparent and, if I’m being completely honest, less deep. But I don’t want that to sound as obvious as it probably does.)
A couple of years ago I posted my “top 10 unskippable EDs”—titled that way because I used to skip EDs a lot of the time. Now I don’t do that unless it’s really bad. Anyway, all the embedded videos are broken in the old post and I watched a *lot* of anime in the past two years, so here’s a new list of memorable EDs.
TO BE ON THIS LIST I had to like the ED as a whole, meaning song and video both. There are some ED songs that I liked where the video is unmemorable (think Mawaru Penguindrum’s “Dear Future”—amazing song, boring vid). Some also might be awesomely bad.
These videos are alphabetized by the shows they came from. And no, I have absolutely nothing better to do, and yes, I’m very tired right now.
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.
It’s part seven of “100 Character For 100 Otaku!” Have any of your favorite characters appeared yet? If so, did you like their pictures? If you did, make sure you click them to see the full sized versions! Today I look at number 70 through 66 of my favorite characters as I determine why I like them, how they reflect the true nature of otaku, how the parallel my own otakudom, and how they are like the first episode of Crest of the Stars. Let’s rock n’ roll!
Have you been following “100 Characters For 100 Otaku?” It’s the post series where I go through my top 100 characters and tell you what I like about them, how they mirror the nature of otaku, how they reflect my own otakudom, and how they parallel the first episode of Crest of the Stars! Make sure you keep up, so that you may see how YOUR favorite characters could fall into all this mess! Today’s piece is 75 through 71, so let’s see what we’ve got!
I’ve been asked to create one of the most difficult but epic posts imaginable – I have to take the list of my top 100 favorite anime characters (completely revamped for this post) and get into the bones of how each of them is a mirror of the nature of otaku, then draw a parallel between them and my own otakudom as well as… the first episode of Crest of the Stars?! Because there is so much detail on so many characters, I’ve split the post into twenty parts which I will be posting over the next nineteen days. I certainly hope you enjoy reading this most insane of posts!
Rewatching and posting on FLCL has been a really crazy experience. Aside from it now being the anime I’ve watched the most times total, it’s also the first that I’ve watched so many times in such close proximity. When I think of the long road I’ve trekked from hating rewatching to obsessing over it (see: Epic Journey) I really feel I’ve come a long way. Ever since the journey started, each show I watched made me want to watch it again, but I could never bring myself to until FLCL simply forced my hand and drove me to watch it 3 times over. It’s greatly opened my mind on rewatches and introduced me to just how powerful they can be, as now I can safely say that with this post, I have achieved a full understanding and love for this show after half a decade of watching it. So let’s get this show on the road! IT’S THE CLIMAX!!!
Episode 5 of FLCL has pretty much always been my favorite. It’s where all the plot setup finally starts moving (late as that sounds) and the whole episode is zany and awesome. What’s especially great is that it’s the most hyper-active, action-packed episode of the show but still has as much depth and subtlety as the rest of the show. And since it’s where things come to a head, it’s also probably the easiest episode to misinterpret. See, up to this point, most of the important stuff that no one gets pretty much goes right over their heads and it’s less that they misunderstand as it is that they just don’t realize something else is going on. In this episode, all of that stuff going on in the background comes rushing to the forefront, so when you see it, it’s some new thing that you try to make sense out of but really can’t without the information you missed. So this is the part where all of our earlier impressions were wrong and it becomes really important that you’ve been reading along! (not to sound pretentious, lol.)
Like episode 3, episode 4 is fairly straightforward, and this one in particular is very plot-focused so I won’t be saying quite as much about it, seeing as the plot questions raised in the episode are answered in the proceeding ones. This episode’s individual director was Masahiko Ohtsuka, who brings his own style to the table for the episode. The character designs look very different throughout, and the visual style is more dark, mysterious, and mindfuck than is usual for this show. According to Tsurumaki, Ohtsuka takes his style a lot from trippy 60s movies that have lots of strange imagery.