Anime Appreciation

I recently heard someone say, “I hate anime.” Since I was in one of our venerable library branches I stifled my indignant gasp. As a neophyte* anime otaku, my body shook with a barely suppressed pontification. My opening salvo likely would have been to highlight the debate over whether anime is a genre or a medium. To me, that’s like the difference between saying you hate all books or you hate romance books. I’ll grudgingly let the latter slide, but the former will get you an end list of questions about the books you’ve read and endless parade of, “but…have you read this book?” Which would likely last until I’m blue in the face. To save us all from that awkwardness, I’ll try the time honored, ‘If You Like _____, you might like _____.’

If you liked Minority Report and Hannibal you might like Psycho-Pass. The dystopian world of Psycho-Pass is more Orwellian than the world of Nineteen Eighty-four. The Public Safety Bureau has gone beyond thoughtcrime to a system where the omnipresent Sybil System evaluates the citizen’s emotional states, personality, and probability that an individual will commit a crime and assign a ‘crime coefficient’ score. If the resulting score is too high they are pursed, arrested — or killed.

If you liked The Sandlot and Major League you might like Big Windup!, a sports comedy that features a skilled baseball pitcher with a paradoxical, nearly complete lack of confidence. Leaving middle school, the protagonist plans to leave baseball behind — until he’s drawn into the newly-formed team at his new high school. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a big fan of sports, but I found myself drawn into the world by compelling characters and their interactions.

If you liked Lord of War you might like Jormungand. Jormungand features an arms dealer-hating child soldier working as a bodyguard for… an international arms dealer. It is an unorthodox mixture of action, adventure, comedy and drama. Full disclaimer: Jormungand loses a few points from me with its ambitious and ambiguous ending, but that’s not enough to detract from the joy of the journey.


~posted by Garrett D. 

* My anime viewing experience only goes back one year- but in that year I’ve regarded 126,796 minutes of anime. Fun fact: 126,796 minutes is two hours longer the orbital period Mercury.

† Otaku, a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, commonly the anime and manga fandoms.

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One Response to Anime Appreciation

  1. Pingback: Anime Appreciation: Giants of Anime | Shelf Talk

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