We have shojo for girls, shonen for boys, seinen for adults, kodomo for little kids, bishonen and bishojo (pretty boys and pretty girls), spokon is sports, gahuen for high school based stories, jidaimono for history, sentai for magical warriors, joho is educational. And there are the sub-genres like mahokka with magical girls, cyberpunk, and lady comics. And then we get nasty with the sexual stuff.
The stories are limitless.
As a westerner who has grown up with mostly fairy tales from the Grimm brothers and Disney, the selection of stories is amazing and engaging. I love this stuff. And I love the fact I can blend the two story telling styles of west and east to come up with something new and slightly original.
Oh, and I like the art. It can be basic or over the top, either way, they have the right style to suit the story. And nothing is as it seems.
Yes, the Japanese do have some fucked up stories and genres (I am NOT going to talk about the porn industry but it is there), fan-service is rampant (this includes nudity and panty shots to keep the viewer happy… just who is their target market?), and they censor the use of pubes (that makes no sense at all when they have paedophilia in Sailor Moon. Hello? She’s 14 and Tuxedo Mask is 20-something).
But they will bring up the most disturbed social issues and talk about them. They will encourage people to be their own person and follow their dreams. They will make us reconsider our lives and what it means to be human.
There is something so very different and fascinating about anime, how can I stop? Why would I stop watching an entire industry that knows how to tell every type of story and keeps revealing new ones that we never knew that we were missing in our lives?
My Top Five Anime
Kamisama Hajimimashita (or Kamisama Kiss in English)
The Boy and The Beast
Ao Haru Ride
Oh and the music featured in each show is amazing! I love it. I also love the reimagining of the music (look below for a very fine example). Keep it coming.