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Japanese Anime

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    Japanese manga is known for the way in which different frames are drawn from different visual perspectives.  So one moment, a girl can be shown in what the viewer would feel is a 'real aspect' and in the next frame the artist might switch to a cartoon rendition, and then in the next frame, draw the same girl in an 'ideal' rendition, i.e. more beautiful.  This makes the art work of manga and anime seem much more mature than their American counterparts.  Inuyasha, Bleach, and Naruto are all popular manga/anime.  But you may not have heard of these.


Genshiken

    Maybe, my all time favorite.  A wonderful gem that follows the lives of a group of college kids who immerse themselves in the world of manga, anime and games.  They linger in their childhood, yet they experience all of the problems of adulthood including the difficulty of sexual relationships, of interactions with members of the campus student government, and job hunting.  The manga and anime are honest and frank, and filled with moments of decency and humanity.

Honey and Clover  Hachimitsu to Kurōbā

    This group of college friends are into the world of art.  They experience the ecstasy and agony of borderline adulthood.  They discover that maturity is about understanding the relationship between love, hope, and dreams, and the reality of daily life.  Friendship is precious and memorable, yet life moves forward.

School Rumble Sukūru Ramburu

    Here is a manga and anime that will leave you in stitches.  It is the usual teenage triangle story, but the weirdness and the refusal of the artist to take anything seriously is absolutely hilarious.  In places, it becomes tedious, but something different is always just around the corner.


We Were There   Bokura ga Ita

    This manga and anime gives new definition to the word 'bittersweet.'  It is the story of a teenage girl who falls in love with a troubled boy.  The writing is aimed at older teens and young adults, and has honest representations of teenage sexuality and relationships.  The art work is particularly striking for the way that the artist draws the eyes of his characters.  They are very expressive.


by Ai Yazawa 
    A young adult story of two girls who are both named 'Nana.'  Both have difficulties with the men they choose.  The artistic style is very old school.  The art and story are aimed at young adults.


directed by Mitsuo Iso
    A very interesting anime that focuses on augmented reality that is achieved by using special glasses.  The director of this anime has created an unusual world, and yet it is one that seems to be just around the corner from the present.  Some light romance, but the main thrust is the attempt by two girls to solve a mystery that involves a third girl.


by Karuho Shiina
    There's no T and A to see here, only incredibly good writing.  Start with a classic tale of a very shy girl and a rather shy boy.  Throw in some very interesting friends with stories of their own.  Scare the viewer by threatening to fall into the trite.  And then twist the story so that the viewer sees something that they did not expect.  A tenderly fun story to watch.

Maid Latte Kaichō wa Maid-sama!

    Great characters and a kind heart were the ingredients that were used to make this anime.  A little too much silliness was stirred in, but it's still a lot of fun to watch.  Will the girl ever admit that she likes the boy?

Princess Jellyfish  Kuragehime

    Too short, but a great story about a group of girls who find themselves out of place in the modern world, a young male crossdresser who befriends them, and his family.  Interesting, but so short (11 episodes) that after character development takes place the show ends.

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