By Sean Kelly
This not only marks my last article of the year, but also my last article as a staff writer for The Vector. And I could not think of anything more appropriate than doing a segment on some of my personal favorite TV anime series. Reading this article may give you some insight into me such as my tastes, standards, and what I personally enjoy about anime as a hobby. Iâ€™ve been watching anime for about nine years and these are the series that helped turn me into the fanatic that I still am today.
FLCL is a title that fills me with nostalgia just hearing the name. Itâ€™s one of those series that everybody has seen multiple times due to its short length and how much of a blast it is to sit through each time. Itâ€™s also one of those shows that will take you multiple sittings to understand the plot, or anything at all for that matter. But thatâ€™s the fun of FLCL. You may not understand whatâ€™s happening on-screen 70 percent of the time, but youâ€™ll know youâ€™re having a good damn time watching it. Accompanied by stunning visuals and a fantastic soundtrack, FLCL is a memorable watch that has aged very well to this date, and the number of years itâ€™s been re-airing on Adult Swim despite being only six episodes long is a testament to that.
Probably the biggest aspect of Gintama that intimidates potential viewers is its very high episode count: 250. As a long-running Shounen Jump series, one would assume that filler has plagued the anime like certain other shows, but thatâ€™s not the case with Gintama. The show has an excellent production team from Sunrise that knows what theyâ€™re doing when it comes to the pacing and nature of the show. And after sticking around for over 250 episodes, I know very well how great a show Gintama is. The series has a slow and lackluster start, but keep sticking with it and youâ€™ll be treated to something that will constantly get a laugh out of you with its slap-stick comedy and antics.
Honey and Clover
I mentioned in my â€œcollege-setâ€ article that Honey and Clover ranks among my favorite anime, and here it is. Sorry for the laziness, but Iâ€™m just going to quote myself here: The series involves the youth, drama, and romance of five art college students and their journeys to find themselves. Sounds a bit typical and even a little corny, but the characters and their relationships are crafted exceptionally well. I view Honey and Clover not just as a superb anime, but also as a superb character drama.
Major is an anime that comprises six seasons of 26 episodes each. Thatâ€™s 156 episodes, if my Calculator app is working properly. I mentioned Major in my sports article in a previous issue, and while I love sports anime and manga, Iâ€™m not exactly what youâ€™d call a â€œsports fan.â€ Itâ€™s clear I didnâ€™t watch Major because I love baseball, even though I love baseball while watching Major. Itâ€™s quite the paradox. The series is a story of a young boy growing up with his love for baseball and the trials and tribulations he faces. â€œUniqueâ€ is a word you wonâ€™t see anybody using to describe the series, but one watches a long-running series like Major for the journey. That journey is the classic, familiar story of youth and dreams, and that itself is the selling point of the series.
Suspense is a surprisingly uncommon genre in anime. There are very few titles out there that can truly call themselves a suspense or horror anime, and seasonal watchers would be lucky to even see one pop up every now and then. Monster is a series written by Naoki Urusawa, a highly recognized manga author in Japan known not just for Monster, but for other hits such as Master Keaton, 20th Century Boys, and Pluto. Heâ€™s well-known for his intricate narratives and suspenseful storytelling, and he has definitely made a mark in the manga industry with his works. Monster is a long watch of 74 episodes, but it is 74 episodes of anime that has been masterfully crafted like no other.
This may be my last Vector article, but as always you can catch me writing more anime, manga, and otaku-related articles on all-fiction.net. Thanks for reading!