So on a fateful day in 2017 I made a decision that would really influence my life in the long run. I decided to give anime a shot.
Anybody reading this is probably aware that I am currently the CEO and majority shareholder in a venture to become a major player in the anime & manga merchandising market. What most people don't really know is that prior to 2017 I had an aversion to anime.
An aversion that was not to be taken lightly, any Reddit post containing anime was closed as soon as it opened and it was back then in my eyes something reserved for your run of the mill otaku. Boy was I in for a ride.
The fateful day
So on a fateful day in 2017 I was really done with Netflix, there was nothing that interesting to watch and I had already finished most major show. I was still watching House of Cards but the quality of that show seemed to be declining so I was looking for something new.
Then as if a sign from above, I was met with an ad for a free month of Crunchyroll Premium. So Netflix-exhausted me decided to roll the dice and give it a shot. After creating an account the amount of anime seemed overwhelming and I was really headstrung on how to start out.
After refering to Reddit, I decided upon a show that would also spearhead my tastes in anime for better or worse.
The anime GATE is set in modern Tokyo, where once upon a peaceful day a Roman-like structure appears in the middle of a busy street. People on the street stop to marvel at the newly appeared structure, before it suddenly opens spilling out an absolute motherlode of otherwordly creatures in a full blown invasion.
The excellent JSDF of course, manages to surpress this invasion with the help of the show's main protagonist: Itami Youji. After surpressing the invasion the Japanese government decides to invade the other world that lies beyond the now known portal in the structure that appeared earlier.
During the anime we are met with social, economic and moral conflicts which the show explores on a surface level. Other than that the anime would appear to be a JSDF self-jerk-off session, which in my opinion is just fine seen the animation quality and the good amount of laughs I got from the show.
This anime did really kickstart my fascination for the "Isekai" genre of anime, which explores the idea of a character being transferred into another world.
I decided to delve further into this genre, stumbling upon a whole other facade of this genre set in a more realistic setting.
Now you're probably seeing the thumbnail of the video above, and think to yourself: realistic my ass, that guy is holding a damn medieval weapon! But hear me out here, it gets interesting.
In Angel Beats, the protagonists are "suddenly" transferred to another world in which they, for some reason, go to high school.
This high school has a twist however, as they are tending to their club activities (as one apparently does in Japanese high schools) they are hindered by a hostile - later to become protagonist - antagonist called Tenshi, which translates to Angel.
This antagonist attempts to kill the protagonists on multiple ocassions, causing them to devote their club to killing the antagonist. As it later turns out however this antagonist is in the same boat as them, unaware of why they are in this weird world.
Later in the anime, it is found out that the reason of them being in this other world is that they are in fact dead. The souls of the protagonists were unable to find closure after their demise in the real world, and are transported to this high school world to find their purpose and perhaps companion.
I will not spoil the end of this anime, but this was the first piece of media that actually left a bit of a tear in my eye at the end. The anime does a great job of connecting the watcher to the characters and leaves parts of the end up to the imagination.
This anime still sits on my Plex server to this day, awaiting the time when I decide to torture my emotions again with this - in my eyes - masterpiece.
Re:Zero is in my eyes an anime that everybody that even dares to mention that they are into anime must have watched. It's truly a modern classic that has also made it's way into the relative mainstream for as far as that is possible with anime.
This anime is similar to the last two mentioned anime series in that it takes place in another world. However the key difference being that the protagonist is transported to this world by a witch for still unknown reasons. This is made clear when the protagonist dies for the first time, in this scene they are suddenly transported back to a certain event in the timeline of the show - a checkpoint/quick save of sorts.
This is also the only show in this blog post that will be getting a second season (as far as I am aware). This new season was set to air next season, however I am affraid that due to COVID-19 this will be delayed. Oh well. time for a rewatch!
The credits song of this anime was also brilliantly done by Myth & Roid, and is one of my all time favorites next to the ending of Boogiepop wa Warawanai.
Would I have gotten into anime if I had known what effects it would have on my personal and professional life? Hell yes.
Anime has opened the door to many connections for me, and has given me a near infinite supply of over-the-top comedy, great horror stories and sometimes emotionally moving shows.
I think I'll stick with it.
You know, just because.