Edited by The Davoo
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.
…all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large.
Upon completing To Aru Majutsu no Index (post forthcoming) I noticed that this series contained one of my favorite plot elements, seen also in Bakemonogatari, Boogiepop, and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – a trait no doubt attributed the certain style of light novel which all of these series are based on. In each of these stories, there lurks a power far beyond human comprehension – a force that can and will destroy you.
Yumeka asks ‘How many favorite anime have you gone through?‘ I reply, ‘a lot.’ It’s funny, you’d actually think that I would have written about this before, and I talked about some very similar things when I wrote the Roadmap to My Anime Fandom and the explanation of Why I Love Magical Girl Shows, but I’ve never outright chronicled the progression of my favorite shows. So, naturally, I have to. I also think it’s interesting how mine and Yumeka’s cross paths a lot.
The Early Era – This was when I was first finding out about anime (though I didn’t know Pokemon was anime until years of watching). During this time, I became an anime fan to the extreme, but I only knew about the shows that were on Cartoon Network, and a few movies that Funeral owned on VHS.
As many have pointed out in the past, anime has a bad habit when it comes to starting shows off. An opening episode of anime tends to start off almost grindingly slow, reserving the hook until after the commercial break. Why this has become such common practice is beyond me – when I went to go look for anime with good opening scenes, I was surprised to find a nice little handful, but infinitely more surprised at just what a small percentage that handful was.
When a normal person sees a high-power-level collection, they will invariably remark on how you have ‘wasted a lot of money on this crap’, and a proper fan will usually reply that it ‘isn’t a waste.’ I wish I could say that, but the truth is that I own a few things that I truly regret buying. Organized, here, in order of how much I spent on this shit. Needless to say, they are all figures, and therefor I will depict each of them being raped by Funeral’s Krauser II Revoltech, a 25-dollar toy with more value than all the shit I’m carting out combined. Ugh. These are the mistakes of my youth.