Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh The Shame!

Alright. It's confession time.

I like anime.

I know, I know. Gasp. Shock. Horror.

All that aside, allow me to defend myself briefly.

What I really, truly, love about anime is that it allows for amazingly epic characters that you can't quite get away with in serious novel writing these days. (Please, no cracks about Fantasy and 'serious novel writing') Even with the resurgence of the fantastic into mainstream television (Fringe, V, Lost ect.) there are still some things you just can't get away with as a 'western' writer.

For example, take a character with violet eyes, a penchant for poetry, that speaks in a pleasing monotone and carries a freaking huge sword. Written by John Smith of Middleton it's self-indulgent nonsense. But if you meet the same character in an anime (or manga, let's not forget manga) he's flipping bad ass.

Because it's anime.

You can have super powers, cute girls, pretty men, swords, guns, giant robots, and gravity defying hair without anyone batting an eye.  And the guy who reads poetry and has a refined enjoyment of tea and flowers is just gonna be that much harder to beat. The clothes are great and you know the kid who just picked up the sword/gun/giant robot is still gonna be able to beat the crap out of the bad guy.

Granted you also get misogyny and (oddly) a fair bit of snobbery but it's all so much fun. And some of it's even good.

I'm not going to go so far as to say that there isn't a fair amount of it that's pure silliness, but I like silliness. And I've always been of the opinion that the fantastic is necessary to the understanding of the human experience. Some things, some ideas, are just too big to get across without it.

So, yeah, I like anime.


  1. All right for admitting your love of pop cultural art (which anime is)! That really rocks!

  2. Of course, there is plenty of anime out there that STILL can't get away with that shit and we hate it for trying. And then you also have those brilliant western writers that seem to be able to make the craziest ideas work, like the author of Howl's Moving Castle. I do, for the most part, agree with you, of course. But there is an emerging expansion of acceptance for the unusual in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. In all honesty, I think that GOOD movies being made like within these genres have helped. Books and stories like lord of the rings have long been accepted but still looked on with a childish eye, but the movies brought them into a more seriously taken light. And of course, there is the recent uber success of Avatar. Long blue people with bright yellow eyes that worship floating land jellyfish? I don't think that would have gone over so well just a couple of years ago, and... anime may have helped with that. But, there is yet hope for us westerners when it comes to writing the strange and unusual.