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.┬áNow 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.)

THIS PARTY'S GETTIN' CRAZY!

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

100 Characters For 100 Otaku (Part Eighteen: 15-11)

The eighteenth post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”

It’s truly down to the wire as we enter the final three posts in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku!” Has your favorite character shown up yet? If not, don’t fret – while it’s true I may have left them out on purpose, there’s a high chance I have never heard of your favorite character or not seen enough of their work. If there is someone you think I should know about, by all means, recommend them to me as convincingly as you can! Meanwhile, let’s see 15 through 11!

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100 Characters For 100 Otaku (Part Seventeen: 20-16)

The seventeenth post in “100 characters For 100 Otaku.”

I feel like we’ve reached the final stretch of “100 Characters For 100 Otaku” as we enter the top 20! From this point on, the characters gain a very real importance to me. We’ve been on a steady incline of character importance, but now there’s a very steep jump into characters that I truly love. So let’s see what they have to offer! We’re rolling 20 down through 16!

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100 Characters For 100 Otaku (Part Four: 85-81)

The fourth post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”

We’re already on part four of “100 Characters For 100 Otaku!” The post series in which I list my 100 favorite characters and go into detail on why I like them, how they are a mirror for the nature of otaku, how they reflect my own otakudom, and how they parallel the first episode of Crest of the Stars! Today I have an added pointer – if you haven’t noticed yet, you can click the names of characters and shows for more details on them! Okay, let’s go on with 85-81!

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100 Characters For 100 Otaku (Part Three: 90-86)

The third post in “100 Characters For 100 Otaku.”

Alrighty! We’re blasting into the third part of “100 Character For 100 Otaku!” A post series in which I follow through on the insane request to take the list of my top one-hundred characters and not only state what I like about them, but also how they are mirrors of the true nature of otaku, how they parallel my own otakudom, and for some reason, how they parallel the first episode of Crest of the Stars! It’s a wacky ride, and today we have numbers 90 through 86!

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Gunslinger Girl Chapter-by-Chapter – ch. 4&5 – The Death of Elsa de Sica 1&2

A post in the Epic Journey.

Chapter #: 4 & 5 (vol. 1) 67 pgs.
Chapter Title: The Death of Elsa de Sica
Focus Characters: Henrietta, Giuseppe, Rico, Jean, Pietro Fermi, Elenora Gabrielli
Short Summary: The Elsa-Lauro fratello is found death with no evidence as to who might have killed them. Section 1 sends a pair of investigators to learn more about the cyborgs to see if they can put some pressure on Section 2. When section 2 learns what happens, they bury the evidence and blame it on Padania then send Henrietta and Giuseppe on vacation. Fermi doesn’t buy the explanation so he and Gabrielli decide to visit Giuseppe and Henrietta on their vacation. Henrietta concludes that Elsa, who was in like with Lauro but always ignored, probably shot him and then shot herself.

NOTE: I put these chapters together because there’s not as much to say about them that the chapters don’t say themselves.

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Gunslinger Girl Chapter-by-Chapter – Ch. 3 – The Snow White

A post in the Epic Journey.

Chapter Number: 3 (vol. 1) 34 pgs.
Chapter Title: The Snow White
Focus Characters: Triela, Hillshire, Marco
Short Summary: Triela accidentally kills a guy who Hillshire is trying to question. When Hillshire says she should not shoot without his permission, she comments that if he wants her under control, he should pump her full of the medication. Hillshire and Giuseppe discuss the trouble of training the girls on minimum dosage. Meanwhile, Triela is suffering from major cramps as she is on her period.

The Triela-Hillshire team does a mission as a favor for Section 1 to take Mario Possi into protective custody so he can testify against the mob. Hillshire knows Marco from his time as a police officer and tracks him down. Marco escapes while under Triela’s watch and immediately runs into gang thugs. Triela dispatches them and then discusses things with Marco. Marco realizes that he may be the cause of Triela’s cyborgism since his story of exporting babies with the mob matches up with hers of being found in Amsterdam, but he doesn’t say anything. He tells Triela that he is avoiding custody so that he can see his daughter and Triela lets him go.

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Gunslinger Girl Chapter-by-Chapter – ch. 2 – Love Thy Neighboor

A post in the Epic Journey.

Chapter Number: 2 (vol. 1) 34 pgs.
Chapter Title: Love Thy Neighbor
Focus Characters: Rico
Short Summary: Rico talks about how she loves having a working body and her life at the social welfare agency. She gives more background info on the agency. When she is sent to scout out a hotel for an assassination, she meets a boy named Emilio who works there. He seems to like her and rattles off his life’s story to her before she has to leave. Rico isn’t really sure what to make of him. Later, when she performs the hit at the hotel, Emilio sees her and she kills him without remorse, explaining once more how much she loves her life at the agency.

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