As I did over at TDF, I wanted to start an anime thread here where members might want to share their knowledge, favorites, and thoughts about this artform that is relatively little-known in the West (aside from the typically juvenile stuff that gets marketed over here on TV). There is such diversity with regard to not only genres but stories and characters as well. There really is something for everyone as long as they have any sort of interest in animation, graphic novels, comic books, stories of depth, fantasy, being moved and/or awestruck, and... dolls!
When I joined TDF late in 2003 I knew nothing of anime except the assumption that it was "kid stuff", as most Westerners do. Then, over the years, I kept seeing references in various posts about two "doll-related" anime in particular: Rozen Maiden and Chobits. RM deals more with living, magical ball-jointed dolls and their "raison d'etre", while Chobits spoke of a deeper, more overtly human-related story with regard to relationships with life-sized humanoid computers, named "Persocoms". Both of these shows are wonderful introductions into anime, if you're not so inclined to start delving into the medium willy-nilly. Careful picking and choosing is necessary in order to find a show that is to your liking since there is so much out there.
And, so this post (and thread)! Before I turn it over to you, I thought I'd highlight these two series, and then an update to the modern day to see where these subjects have led: a recent show called "Time of Eve" (Eve no Jikan).
Rozen Maiden tells of a group of dolls that were created and imbued with life and magical powers by their creator, known to them only as "Father." The world knows him as Rozen, a legendary and gifted dollmaker, long-since disappeared. Their purpose: To play a deadly centuries-old war called "The Alice Game", so-called because its purpose is to ween out and declare the victor as transcendent, becoming "the perfect girl, Alice", and the only doll suitable to be the one to meet "Father" after all opponents are defeated and the Game is finally over. By snatching each defeated doll's Rosa Mystica (something akin to a Soul, and source of each doll's powers), the victor will finally ascend to Father's loving embrace.
The exact question of WHY a loving creator would want his beloved creations to fight each other to death solely in order to be reunited with him remains a mystery throughout the series. And in re-reading the previous sentence it might strike the reader that there IS a similarity between humans and THEIR Creator, along with the "God is on our side" mentality that warring nations of humans proclaim. Thought-provoking, a bit?
Anyway, this is just a brief summary, and a lead-in to this YouTube video that will serve as a sampling of Rozen Maiden's delights. To be sure, there is a lot of comedy and doll-hijinx that lighten the heaviness (and in Season Two, "Traumend," it is needed as it gets pretty serious), but this series has many moving, provocative, and dreadful moments as well. The video is taken from the "Ouverture" 2-part special, that explained the enmity between Shinku (the blonde red-garbed doll) and Suigintou (the white-haired black-clothed winged doll) that was depicted in the show's first season. This AMV (Anime Music Video) features Evanescence doing "Even in Death" as its backdrop, and most-suitable, as all AMV song choices should be:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GCoph0pCb8
Dammit, I couldn't embed the video and that kinda killed my enthusiasm, along with the difficulty of making long posts using this Simple Machines "engine" which is a PITA
So, I'll continue this post on my Blog later tonight! Of course, you can leave comments there if so inclined; I welcome those from old friends especially
I just wanted to get the ball rolling here, and hope that members of ODC can share their thoughts, opinions, and recommendations with each other in this thread
PBS (& Lily, who also loves anime)