It’s almost Christmas, and what better way to celebrate the holidays than with an anime movie about girlish looking boys piloting giant mecha! What? You don’t do that?
Well anyway. This is one of my favorite movies of all time and it takes place during Christmas, so fuck it, it works. After the cut let’s take a dive into the anime film: NewMobile Report Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz.
2018s Darling in the Franxx is one of the series that, while not the best of the year, was absolutely one of the most talked about and discussed. Ambitious, Derivative, Flawed, Touching and Infuriating. Franxx is the sort of anime that can only come for creators who truly believed in their work. Its legacy past this year is still to be determined, but out of all the shows this year that I’ve watched, Franxx remains one that still has me coming back to think about.
Today I want to take a look at the two main leads of the story, their relationship and how it represents in my view, a pure example of naive teenage romance. So after the cut let’s take a character dive into Darling in the Franxx’s Hiro and Zero-Two.
When you think of harem series, you probably think of shows like To Love-Ru, High School DxD, Shinmai Maou no Testament(ugh) and even this seasons How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord. Despite these heavy-hitters of varying quality, there are also several other harem shows that often fly under the radar.
Today we are going to look at one of those shows, one that is actually far better than anyone expected, tells an interesting story and has one of the best dubs all around. After the cut let’s take a dive into Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls.
(This is a reblog and edit of a previous Character Dive, because hey..this is a bit more relevant now!)
Some series are known for only one or two things. Breakout characters or jaw-dropping moments are often what immortalize a show in the minds of many. I don’t know how many conversations I’ve heard where people have said: “You just gotta watch this show for this character or this one amazing moment. Sometimes these characters become so popular and well beloved that overtake the series they are in, for good or ill. Fonze from Happy Days grew well beyond the show he was in. The character of Fraiser from Cheers found success beyond his first show. In anime, we have seen it in characters like Levi from Attack on Titanor the Gotei 13 from Bleach. Even characters who don’t overtake the show such as Dragon Ball’s Vegeta, or Naruto’s Sasuke Uchiha often find themselves elevated to a higher status because of their breakout.
Today we’ll be talking about just such a character, a character that not only completely dominates the entire show, but almost single handily can be credited for its success. I am course talking about Shimoneta’s Anna Nishikinomiya. Let’s get into it after the cut.
MASSIVE SPOILER ALERTS FOR THE PLOT AND TWISTS OF SHIMONETA, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
Now that I’ve managed to pull myself away from my Super Smash Bros coma, it’s time to jump into the well of character dives again!
I love being able, to sum up, things in a few words. For some reasons the idea of taking an anime or character and just breaking it down into a sentence and a few words that encapsulate it just works for me. We live in a time where video and written essays can go on for ages (I’m guilty of this too!) and I have always been a ‘cut to the chase’ sort of guy. Skip the bullshit, get to the point.
Which is why for our next character I love that I can sum her up in one perfect word. So after the cut let’s take a dive into Date A Live’s leading lady: Tohka Yatogami.
One of the reasons think many people tend to love anime, is that unlike in the West, the authors are given far more freedom in the creation of female characters and have a chance to give them a variety of personality traits and quirks. Today in the west, it can often feel that female characters are shoehorned into always being a representative of the “strong female character” and are unable to be anything less. In anime, however, females can and have been almost anything. They’ve been strong, funny, comedic, evil, cruel, loving, kind, horny, asexual, bisexual, ditzy, clumsy, stoic, passive, aggressive, smart, dumb, and well… pretty much anything. Another reason I would propose is that anime doesn’t run away from sex, sexiness, and sexuality. Despite having many, MANYseries that do it “wrong” (and I must stress here that I am not giving anime a pass for some of the bullshit it’s pulled) anime has loads of females who are both attractive and take-charge women who aren’t always regulated to being “the girl”. Simply put, females in anime aren’t a zero-sum game and it makes the genre better because of it.
As stated before, a harem anime doesn’t need a strong and developed male character for it to succeed. Does it help? It absolutely does and High School DxD is better because it goes above and beyond in regards to its male lead Issei Hyoudou. The show could have not done that and still have been successful, but the fact that it DID only helps strengthen the appeal of the show. You don’t get to have 4 seasons of anime and 25 light novels if you don’t have compelling leads. However, none of that matters if your show does not have the most important thing a harem needs. More than good music, more than good fanservice, more than anything; a harem anime needs: Good well-developed female leads. Without that, you show sinks into nothing, without that you’ll find that tits and ass can only carry you so far. Thankfully High School DxD has some of the absolute best the genre can offer, and after the cut let’s take a character dive into High School DxD’s main female lead: Rias Gremory.
(ONCE AGAIN, SOME OF THESE CLIPS ARE VERY MUCH NOT SAFE FOR WORK, PLEASE USE DISCRETION WHEN VIEWING THEM)
I am a firm believer in the Harem Genre and its potential to have good characters and good storytelling. The genre hasn’t yet produced a ‘great work’, but it has several excellent examples of characters with believable motivations and personalities and enough effort put in by their creators aside from just having a hot body and a collection of tropes to service the lowest common denominator.
Now let’s be real here, Harem animes are male power fantasies. That is an undeniable fact and it must be acknowledged up front, but they can be that AND have well developed, well rounded and interesting male and female leads that can discuss worthwhile themes such as love, dedication, devotion, and commitment. While many dismiss the genre as trash, and to be fair, it has had more than it’s share of crap work, you do yourself a disservice if you write off an entire genre of work simply because of its overall premise.
For our first Character Dive on this blog. I want to take a look at a harem female lead who in my mind, shows off the great potential that can be found in the Harem anime genre. After the cut let’s take a character dive into the main female lead of Majikoi ~ Oh! Samurai Girls!’s Momoyo Kawakami
This show is something else, and before this season of anime ended, I was going to chalk it up as probably one of the worst of the Isekai harem shows, and I actually quite enjoyed watching this as a guilty pleasure. However, with Master of Ragnarok now proudly taking its crown, I feel like this show deserved both an apology and a look at what it does right. With all that said, let’s dive into Patora Fuyuhara’s In Another World With My Smartphone after the cut.