Monday, August 25, 2008

Of Demons and Fairies

When one watches anime, you don't expect stellar plots or character development. You expect to be entertained either via slapstick jokes or flashy totally out of this world maneuvers or tricks that preferably lead to multiple explosions and entire buildings being levelled. And the respective characters always emerging relatively unscathed other than a few scrapes and superficial cuts who then proceed to level the rest of the city, base, etc. Either that or they're horribly wounded but still find the strength to pull off a spectacular KO move that usually destroys everything in sight.

Anyone who has watched a decent amount of anime, at least of the shounen variety, will be able to confirm the aforesaid. Sure you get the usual 'I'm strong cause I fight for my nakama (friend)' theme and the occasional relationship between different characters where love inevitably blossoms. But nothing more substantial and often nothing very realistic. Though then again many of the activities we do, anime watching included, is often a welcome escape from reality.

You don't expect anti-heroes, a gripping plot and characters who while strong remain vulnerable in that they remain plagued by their inner demons. Or a believable plot where characters are killed or obliterated on an wholly unexpected basis. Code Geass and the sequel, Code Geass R2 - Lelouch of the Rebellion has all that.

In a way, Code Geass is probably in terms of suspense, plot and character development, hands down the best anime I've watched so far. Death note coming in a close second. The characters are not your typical heroes, everyone has their inner demon or motives which drives and torments them. The interaction of the main character, Lelouch, his persona as Zero and his interaction with the characters sets the groundwork for this series which is as captivating as it is unpredictable.

Code Geass is a mecha type of anime, I've never been the mecha sort of anime fan, preferring by far the flashier abilities/magic/jutsu kind of anime which tends towards fantasy. But I never regretted trying out Geass, I'm still not a mecha fan but Geass is just on a whole different level.

I shall be sad after it ends in 5 episodes.

On the manga front, I've demolished Ubel Blatt and started on Fairy Tail which looked very promising and hasn't disappointed so far. Style wise, it's rather similar to One Piece, it even has the occasional over the top slap stick moment but it's flashier and revolves around magic.

Pity it hasn't been adapted into an anime series yet. I like the drawing style which again reminds me of One Piece, cute guys (with the kind of killer abs you'd only find in manga) and hot girls who are highly expressive. A couple of whom (the girls) are dominatrix who make She-Ra look like little Miss Muffet.

Which is probably how most hen pecked husbands view their wives. Though I suspect there's an inner Valkyrie in everyone of us.

On an wholly unrelated note before I run off to catch this week's Geass, I realised to my mild consternation that my dad has taken to watching weepy Korean love dramas with startling alacrity. Which might possibly explain his entirely off the cuff remark when the mother was proclaiming how one could spot young couples a mile off from their 'lovey-dovey ways'; "but old couples can also be lovey dovey what". Dead silence.

Oh that poor man.

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