Friday, April 22, 2011

:: My Anime Addiction ::

They say there's no such place... as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, there's nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it's always the same road. It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that... Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls to me... It says, "Search for Paradise."  - Kiba (Wolf’s Rain)

As a young girl, I was never much into movies. Television for me, consisted of just one thing – Animes aired on a lone channel called Animax. Well, before I delve any further into this post, let me explain what Animes exactly are.
As the name suggests, it is obviously a form of animation, in this case, Japanese animations. Both hand-drawn and Computer –animated anime exist and represents most, if not all, Genres of Fiction. Most of the human figures depicted in these Animes are not correctly proportioned, but still, those large expressive eyes, slender figures and long limbs make the characters so endearing that you cannot help but fall in love with them.
My rendezvous with Anime started with a fantasy how ‘Card captor Sakura’- the story of a young school girl who fights her fears and weaknesses to capture certain destructive cards and master them, saving the human population in the process. Sakura fascinated me. I got hooked. Soon, Hungry Heart (story of a soccer player), Captain Tsubasa, Astro Boy and Detective Academy Q followed. While the other people in my class were busy watching Tom and Jerry and Richie Rich, I had found my treasure trove in Animes. The very fact that they were so real yet so very unreal, made me fall in love with them. And I was not the only one in class. A few other guys were hooked into these Japanimations too, and this made our whole group kind of outcasts (not that it mattered to me anyway).

All these days, I had just watched the Prime time shows, never bothering to tune in later. I realized what big a mistake this was when, one day, the insomniac that I am, switched on the television at 1 a.m. at night and watched the repeat telecast of a show named WOLF’S RAIN. I soon worked out the actual timing of the show and devoted myself to it. And the Wolves never disappointed me. Other niche shows like GET BACKERS and //.HACK SIGN: LEGEND OF TWILIGHT soon became my staple. They captured my imagination like nothing before. What I did not realize then was that what I was watching was shows on Dystopia, Cyberpunk and Post-apocalyptic earth – stuff that excite me even today.

Wolf’s Rain was set hundreds of years from now, when most of the Earth is a mere ruined wasteland and people live in few domed and widely dispersed cities. Legend speaks that at the end of this world, which is almost near, Paradise will open, and it will only be known by the wolves. But wolves, along with most wild animals have been extinct for 200 years… or so everyone believes. In fact, a few still survive, using their mental strength to cloak themselves as human beings, living off the gutters. All changes when a young white wolf named Kiba arrives, drawn by the scent of the Flower Daughter, a mysterious girl held captive by a group of researchers.
Wolf’s Rain deals with very delicate human-animal relationships and the very pressing issue of environmental destruction. The message is not shouted out. The subtle reality of the world in which the wolves live – the options of scavenging from the city of leaving it for freedom into the vast empty wasteland, makes one stop and take notice. The monochromatic barren landscapes, sweeping melancholy and gloomy vistas add a chilling sense of dread. Added to these is Yoko Kanno’s haunting music which does not leave you for a long time to come. Maya Sakamoto’s ‘GRAVITY (youtube link)’ and Steve Conte’s ‘STRAY (youtube link)’ are masterpieces. No show has portrayed a dystopic society better before, just like Kiba says – “Dying or getting killed isn't something unnatural. Living aimlessly without a purpose is.” (Wolf's Rain).

Get Backer on the other hand is apparently an action comedy of two guys who call themselves "The GetBackers" and their claim to fame is a 100% case success rate. Ginji Amano and Ban Mido make up the spiky-haired retrieval agency that will get back any lost or stolen item, for the right price. On the surface, the GetBackers look like an ordinary male duo; however, Ginji and Ban both possess unique capabilities. Ginji is able to produce thousands of volts of electricity from his body while Ban has what's called 'The Evil Eye'—for one minute he can hypnotize someone by trapping them in their worst nightmare for what seems an eternity, and that’s not intimidating what is? What I actually liked about it was the portrayal of a certain place called Maze City, which Ban says is “ a place where reality and virtual reality collides”. As soon as you enter it, you get automatically plugged into the virtual reality system through microwaves. What happens in it is both real and unreal. Like, you could be actually walking in the city, but your mind can be made to think that you are doing something else. In the same way, you could be really sitting in the 2nd floor of maze city, but if the VR(virtual Reality) system wants you to think you are standing in the hallway of the 3rd floor, you are. The VR actually sends signals to our brains directly. So we end up in seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting and feeling unreal objects. The fact that the makers use such convoluted concepts and yet manage a perfect coherent ending never fails to amaze me.


If you want a break from your regular Television channels, Anime is a must watch. And if Animax isn’t airing, there good ol’ Youtube for the rest. Go, search up the tube and get ready to be spellbound. Animes  (good ones that is) will hold your attention longer than you imagine. Borrowing from the Bard, There are more things in Animes, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

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