Japanese anime (*another one of my fetishes) in my mind deserved to have its own article here with all of the others that I have done so far. Most people do not get into it as much as others, simply because those that do not understand it see it as 'too weird' or 'too outside-of-the-box' for some. For me, anime is one of those genres that takes a lot for what may have already been introduced and look at it in new ways. To me, not only does this make for enjoyable viewing, but also for enjoyable film making as well.
The pics that I have chosen for me are based upon these criteria: originality, longevity, style, plot, and enjoy-ability. Most of you may not agree with me, and some of these you may not have even heard of, but trust me, if this is the case, I can assure you that if you are looking for choice anime, these really stuck out in my mind as some of the best. They also stand out to me as ones that are not the norm:
1) "Darker Than Black"
This was probably my first anime that had actually caught my attention for more than five minutes. In the past, I was severely disappointed with the offerings that were currently available (* definitely a step up from the days of 'Voltron' and 'Robotech'.) The story is set in both Tokyo as well as England, as we enter a world of contract killers who work in an elaborate web of cat-and-mouse for power as well as money. But, what makes them special is an event that the scientists are calling 'Hellsgate', a paranormal phenomenon that has enveloped the earth in a false sky where when stars fall, assassins called 'contractors' are created. When this happens, they are given special psychic abilities that make them even more lethal than before, but at a price: they are only allowed one vice that was once part of their lives and allowed to keep it as payment for their work. Whether it be smoking, being able to eat as much as you want, drink beer and not get intoxicated, even writing. This series, however, revolves around Roy (*dubbed 'The Black Reaper' by the legal community), who is going against his masters to learn the truth behind his identity as well as how the whole mess happened to begin with, as he is the only contractor that has managed to keep his humanity intact.
Working with a ragtag group of assassins whose abilities range from body jumping all the way to precognition. Imaginative storytelling with an edge!
'Ghost Rider' meets modern technology in this series, as three champion motorcycle racers are brought into the fold of a plot that could very well mean the end of the world. As the world is overrun by what are called 'Demoniacs', corpses that have to ability to merge with vehicles such as cars and motorcycles and attack the population at will. It is now up to racers, Gerd, Malek, Joseph, and German police officer Amanda to quell the uprising before the world becomes overrun. But, in order to do so, the riders will become Blassreiters, or 'Pale Riders', half-human, half-Demoniac warriors with special abilities and make them appear to be the Horsemen of the Apocalypse in battle. Awesome battles, a great spiritual core.....awesome film making at its best!
3) 'Trinity Blood'
The Japanese anime take on vampires has always been numerous and varied. This series, however, is one of the two that I will be including in this list that really caught my eye as well as my attention.
'Trinity Blood' is set in the future shortly after World War III. The human race that has remained turns now to Vatican City and a young and inexperienced Pope to rule them in these uncertain times. Now, the Church runs the world, and at a time when darkness is falling all about them when vampire beings whom they have called the Methuselah, is planning on turning the world into their own hunting grounds. With defensive forces being at a minimum, the Church must then turn to other methods of maintaining order and protecting the remaining population. It is with this that they turn to Father Abel, a meek priest who looks more like a bumbling idiot than an actual representative of the Church. But, Abel carries a secret within him, as he is the Church's newest and ultimate weapon against the Methuselah onslaught. For you see, Father Abel is a Chrasnik, a powerful vampire that feeds not only on human blood, but the blood of his own kind and gains ultimate power from his feedings. Though his curse is known by the Church and kept from the eyes of an unknowing society, Abel remains devout to his duty despite the fact of who and what he is. Attempting to gain redemption from a past that he cannot escape and a Church that does not trust him or his methods, Abel walks a fine line between his faith and the darkness before him.
Awesome plot and for vampire lovers, a must!
4) 'Soul Eater'
Okay, I had to admit, this one took me aback at first, but after I had watched it, it began to grow on me. Simply put, a group of teens who are placed in the employ of the Grim Reaper in order to track down and destroy wayward demons that have escaped Death and made their way into the real world. Well worth the time, and it is hilarious!
5) 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'
Yes, yes, yes, a kiddie one that got its start on Nickelodeon made my list. SUE ME! I actually began watching this after the network stopped airing the shows and Netflix had it free to stream. I don't know of anyone that doesn't know about this, and if you haven't seen the M. Night Shylaman film, SHAME ON YOU! Enough said.
6) 'Cowboy Bebop'
You have to love bounty hunters! I actually got into this after seeing the movie that was released to DVD. This is sci-fi action at its best! So, Keanu and Vin, GET ON THE BALL!
Yet another great vampire epic set in England that has an almost deliciously wicked feel. With that face, it's one only a mother could love.
Set in fictional England in the present day, the country becomes overrun with a zombie invasion that is being controlled by an unknown evil. However, when Lady Hellsing and the Hellsing Organization take matters into their own hands, the results are not at all what the public would expect. Dressed in a red trench coat and hat, white gloves, and a wicked smile, Hellsing's ultimate weapon, the vampire, Alucard, has come out to play. But, Alucard is not one of Lady Hellsing's pets as she would like to believe. The vampire does good to remind her that while she may control him, he still makes his own rules and runs his own game plan. In truth, the only reason he has even agreed to join this war is to make sure that the vampire bloodlines remain pure. In other words, that he remains the only pure-blooded vampire in existence.
Edgy, taut, and at times, darkly comedic. 'Hellsing' offers a truly unique flavor in vampire lore.
8) 'Phantom: Requiem For The Phantom'
In this dark and often-times frightening anime, we enter the world of the Hellfire Group, a criminal organization with plans of world conquest. Bring in one young man and woman, whose call signs in the German are 'Seven' and Eight', are the dogs that they call upon when they want to get the job done. Living in a constant state of indifference, the two in truth are doing this only as a way of saving their own lives, as they are consistently brainwashed daily into submission where they will carry out their orders without question or without emotion.
This, to me, was where the scary part comes in. Chilling!
9) 'Yu Gi Oh !'
Okay, this one is still going strong with 'Yu-Gi-Oh: Zaxstral', but the original ten-year run on CW will always be my favorite! 'Nuff said.
WHAT? NO Ten?
Sorry guys I promise if I find anymore... I'll get back with you.
What are your faves? Let me know!