Sunday, October 09, 2005

The History of Anime, dupa Chiller.

WARNING: this post is mainly about me. But that's okay, because I'm so cool.

Primul meu contact cu forma de entertainment/addiction cunoscuta sub numele de "anime" a avut loc pe la inceputul anilor '90, in scoala primara. Vinovata era o mica si fascinanta serie numita "Pasarea de foc spatiala" (nu cunosc titlul original). Dupa cum bine a spus Gabi, habar n-aveam noi la ce ne uitam pe vremea aia... oricum nu imi amintesc mare lucru, mainly inceputul si sfarsitul. Btw, de curand am realizat ca factorul decisiv in a decide daca imi place sau nu un anime este finalul... si "Pasarea de foc" avea final marfa :D

Fast-forward pana intr-un moment nedeterminat, desi tot cam in aceeasi perioada: Saber Rider. Surprinzator cat de mult imi pot aminti din acest serial, cu precadere faptul ca pana la urma nu am aflat cum se termina... deci nu va pot spune exact cat de bun este. Of course, it must be great, because of nostalgia.

Somewhere in the same timeframe I vaguely remember watching a few episodes of Voltron (desi mi-am amintit cum se cheama doar de curand, citind un articol de MtG care facea referire la "efectul Voltron" - construirea unei chestii puternice din bucati mici). Nu va pot spune mare lucru despre el deoarece am vazut foarte putin din acest anime clasic.

And then came cable...

The first notable thing about cable TV was Cartoon Network, and with it the opportunity to learn English quickly and efficiently just by watching your favourite cartoon channel (ahh... the good old days... there was no such thing as "Curaj, catelul las". Sigh.) The second was a little gem called Italia Uno (I don't think it survived to this day), which constantly bombarded us with quality anime (pe atunci eram inca in faza in care nu stiam cu ce ne drogam). Bineinteles ca nu ne putem gandi la acea perioada fara sa ne sara in minte in primul rand Testoasele Ninja. Leonardo, Donatello, Rafaello si Michelangelo, impreuna cu maestrul lor, sobolanul (don't really remember his name), provided me with hours upon hours of pizza-eating and butt-kicking fun, while opposing the robotic forces of the dreaded ninja master Shredder. Acesta este al doilea anime al carui final nu l-am vazut si imi pare rau.

Desigur, Testoasele Ninja au fost difuzate practic pe orice canal existent, dar dintre multele animeuri pe care le-am vazut doar pe Italia Uno imi vin in minte in primul rand Lupin (inca astept sa il iau de la Gabi), si apoi Nadia.

Pe numele complet Nadia: The Secret Of Blue Water (am aflat titlul de curand... in italiana era tradus complet altfel), acest anime a fost realizat de aceeasi producatori care vor scoate mai tarziu genialul Neon Genesis Evangelion. Culmea este ca de fiecare data cand a fost difuzat la TV, nu l-am considerat suficient de interesant pentru a ma uita in mod consistent (desi acum mi-ar placea sa fac rost de el). In schimb, ceea ce mi s-a parut absolut mind-blowing este finalul. Practic, la fiecare rerun al serialului, am facut cumva sa vad de fiecare data ultimele episoade (with a current count of at least three times). Nu stiu daca l-a vazut cineva din cei care vor citi acest post; in orice caz, desi poate nu este cel mai bun final facut vreodata, va ocupa intotdeauna un loc aparte in inima mea.

Undeva tot in aceasta perioada (poate chiar mai inainte) a fost si... do you remember ?... Sandy Belle ! Nu imi amintesc mai nimic din acest serial (cu exceptia unei scene neimportante de prin ultimele episoade), desi stiu cu siguranta ca m-am uitat de la inceput pana la sfarsit. Probabil nu a avut final marfa si de-aia :D

Cumva aici intervine o oarecare pauza, anume primii ani de gimnaziu, pe care nu ii pot asocia cu exactitate cu un anumit anime, desi este posibil (ba chiar probabil) ca in perioada aia sa ma fi uitat la oricare din cele prezentate pana acum.
(Update: after reviewing the old and dusty logs, it has become apparent that this was actually the time when I was abducted by aliens, and after escaping I completed my training in the evil arts at the Temple of Bad Monks somewhere in the Himalayas. This should clear things up.)

Ajungem astfel la un foarte important si clasic serial. Nu ati ghicit inca ? Este vorba desigur de Sailor Moon. I can see eyebrows starting to raise. Thus, I shall answer the unspoken question: yes, Sailor Moon is for girls. Funny how that didn't seem to stop me from watching each and every episode with a religiosity that would make the Pope cower in shame. Din punctul meu de vedere, Sailor Moon avea un mare avantaj: lots and lots of endings :D. No, I am not kidding. You see, the show was actually split into seasons, and each season had its own bad guys (with their own agendas, may I add), introduced new powers, new characters and had, of course, a nice dramatic ending. While the regular episodes were typically very very veeeeeery repetitive, the endings were almost always really good. In the later seasons, there was also an element of sexual ambiguity about some characters, which I found utterly fascinating, but that's just me. Funny thing is that I actually missed the very last five or so episodes (you may breathe now, mr. Pope). But eventually, I did get a pretty good idea of how the show ended. All in all, Sailor Moon is the anime I have the most fond memories of.

Nu pot incadra exact Sailor Moon intr-o perioada, adica nu stiu sigur daca eram deja la liceu cand s-a terminat. In orice caz, in liceu am facut cunostinta cu cealalata megaserie, Dragonball. Dragonball is probably the most popular anime series of all time, so you should be familiar with it. There is nothing I can really say except that it's great, and you should watch it, for its educational value at least. Dragonball a fost continuat cu Dragonball Z si apoi cu Dragonball GT. Din DBZ am vazut mai putin de 40%, desi cunosc povestea aproape pe dinafara thanks to my DBZ research, iar DBGT nu l-am vazut inca pe tot. Overall, as spune ca prima serie este favorita mea, iar GT este cea mai putin originala dintre ele (desi este scuzabil... I mean, there were only so many ways the series could go after a point).

Cam in acest moment am facut cunostinta cu termenul de "anime" in mod oficial ("manga" fusese definit ceva mai inainte). Nu i-am dat prea multa importanta :D

...Iarasi pauza. Stiu ca m-am uitat MULT la Dragonball in liceu, dar la nimic altceva ?... Apoi a venit prima experienta (traumatizanta) cu Politehnica, then one year (2002) when I didn't really do anything much. Then the Army. Funny how while I was in the army they actually started showing Dragonball Z on TVR so I had to use my whole arsenal of trickery to be able to watch it every day at one of the TVs around. Then my masochism took control of my brain, and here I was in the Politehnica again, this time to stay (to this day, at least).

Ultimii ani sunt mult mai bine ancorati in memorie, but that is to be expected. In acesti ani am vazut un numar mare de animeuri, de obicei bune sau foarte bune (because I'm so picky... :p). The first standout is probably Ninja Scroll (the movie... I still haven't finished watching the TV series yet). With solid graphics, story and... erm... coolness :D, the adventures of Kibagami Jubei are a good place to start your anime experience.

Nu mai stiu exact unde am vazut Spirited Away (someone refresh my memory please), dar a fost inainte de Princess Mononoke. I didn't really mind the weirdness of Princess M., but I found it overall boring; besides, I didn't like the ending much. Spirited Away, however, was pretty much okay, and I suppose I wouldn't mind watching it again some day, although it will probably be many years from now. (Note that there are people out there -they know who they are :p- who think these two anime are great or even the best stuff ever made, so don't be put off by my lack of excitement - they are just not for everyone).

At some point, am remarcat cu stupoare ca eu am si niste colegi la noua mea facultate. Ce chestie... Soon I started tapping into the anime resources of the Gabi and the Danutsu, and results would show up right away.

Prima chestie gasita: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. OMG !!! Sunt un mare fan al oricarei chestii cu vampiri, atata vreme cat e cool (a se citi: swords & L337 skillz) si nu boring-introspective (a se citi: Anne Rice :p). Movies (perhaps I might make you watch "John Carpenter's VAMPIRES" ?...), books, anime, games... Anyway, Vampire Hunter D pretty much had it all, although you have to give due credit to the amazing team of "ordinary" humans (the spirit dude being my favourite by far). The ending was nice too :))

Daca tot e vorba de vampiri, desigur ca trebuie sa mentionez si Hellsing. Acesta de fapt a ajuns la mine pe filiera Ahriman. Hellsing had it all and more (if you've seen it to the end you know what I mean). Anyway, suficient spus ca IMO the review doesn't really do it justice. Hellsing este de asemenea unul din animeurile cu muzica foarte buna, imi amintesc cel putin trei melodii care mi-au placut.

Next came Chrno Crusade (thanks to Danutz for this one). This time it's all about demons. Complete with wings, sword-arms and most importantly, horns. The fascinating story of the hero Chrno and his nemesis Aion is easily one of the best ever written. The music was also awesome. More on this anime later.

Another anime I've seen courtesy of Danutsu-san is Shadow Skill. This is a more classic, martial arts anime in a fantasy setting. It's okay overall, but nothing to write home about. Oh, there is that one little thing about the coolest battle scene in recent memory (episode 21), and it's pretty much worth watching, even on its own.

"Like an angel without a sense of mercy", along came Evangelion and blew me away. If you're in a dire need to say "wow" every two minutes or so, I strongly recommend you watch Neon Genesis Evangelion. Okay, I might be exagerating, but there was probably no anime that had a greater impact on me, even if it was because my expectations were initially not that high... I was not considering myself a mecha person. But it turned out that Evangelion had much more important (and deep) parts than simple mecha action. Speaking of which, there was also...

RahXephon. De parca un super mecha-anime nu era suficient pentru un an. Pe Wikipedia(!) scrie: "Many fans compare RahXephon to Neon Genesis Evangelion (NGE), usually favorably". Mie personal mi-e greu sa aleg intre cele doua. In orice caz, voi scrie despre ambele in detaliu, pe...

Anime Reviews. That's right, I got clearance to start posting my reviews on that great blog ! You may expect the RahXephon review to pop up in the next few days, with NGE soon following; my next project will probably be Chrno Crusade. So now you know why I've written so little about these three anime, which btw, in case you didn't realise it yet, I consider to be absolutely fabulous. So go on and see them ! You'll probably enjoy the reviews more afterwards (that's how it works for me anyway).

So, here we are - at the end. Sper ca v-a facut placere aceasta mica plimbare prin memoria unui old-time (not to mention EVIL :D) anime-watcher. So until next time, may you watch many, many great anime !

-Chiller

2 Comments:

Blogger Danut Enachioiu said...

Omg, you actually write more than me in the good days. But hey, you're evil so there's that.

Anyway, I couldn't begin to comment this so there's probably gonna be a big post about History of Anime, Danutsu persepective and I'm gonna reply to this in that. Or smth.

Enjoy.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Gabriel Sandu said...

The History of Anime is a very exciting subject. Especially because we (presumably normal people at that age) were exposed to only ~2% of the anime around :P

I know about Sandy Bell (how could I deny her... name... she was like my sister) but weirdly enough, I don't even remeber how she looked like, or the story and all...

Ninja Turtles rocked, maaan! I dunno about the ending, but I imagined that Shredder got his ass kicked from Master Splinter, after he reversed back to beeing human. And somehow, April got married to one of the turtles after beeing mysteriously mutated into a human. Or smth.

Well, I could go on and on about those stories, but maybe I should post on my blog...

6:58 PM  

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