>> Thursday, July 19, 2012
Okay, I've still been trolling around the adult swim world of yaoi (up to the h's going alphabetically at Mangafox), but that's really not what's kept me from doing anything else on my blogs.
What's completely captured my interest and sucked me in is an anime of a genre I have never found interesting in the past: shonen. Most of the shonen I've seen to date has been full of gratuitous violence and overly muscled men or bratty children both acting incredibly stupid. Lots of shouting. Since I'm a character girl, I've been left, well, underwhelmed.
Admittedly, I hadn't seen much from this genre, though. Dragonball Z, some science fiction/roboty ones my ex liked, a few more. I occasionally liked one (Vandread, Sorcerer Hunters, another one I can't remember the name of), though I never really read the manga so much as watched the animes.
My daughter, for reasons unknown, decided she wanted to get me hooked on some more. She tried Naruto. I found the English-voiced stuff unbelievably obnoxious, particularly the title character. The Japanese stuff was marginally less irksome. Even if I felt sorry for him (and I didn't, particularly), he was so insufferably stupid and/or arrogant, I hated to spend time with him. I have an eight year old; spending untold episodes and volumes with a bratty kid who can talk (but probably shouldn't) didn't appeal in the slightest. None of the characters compelled me. The fights seemed to go on forever and there was this annoying habit of telling us what they were going to do, doing it, and then explaining what happened again in case you missed it. Too irksome for me.
Now, you might be a Naruto fan and that's fine. As successful as it obviously is, there are clearly many many fans out there. My absence is unlikely to be a big deal; I shan't be missed. I'm not saying it's horrible. I'm saying it's not for me.
My daughter tried me on Inuyasha. Interesting and imaginative story and not a bad show. I don't mind spending a few hours watching it. But, again, I'm not compelled. It's about on the same level as the ones I liked before. Cute, with a certain appeal, but I don't have to see every episode. Or even another episode.
And then she showed me Bleach (by Kubo).
If you're wondering what in heckfire I've been doing since like April, I've been completely seduced by the illogical but charming universe of the Bleach shinigami (and Bounts and Visors and Arrancars, and Fullbrings and whatever else you want to throw out there), mostly just the anime, though I've started in on the manga.
I LOVE it. Is it full to brim with overly muscled men and youths shouting and acting stupid and fighting with little or no cause? Yes. And I love it. Somehow, usually within the course of a single episode, character after character gets introduced, different fleshed out characters with depth and quirks and strengths and weakness, and I fall in love with them. Meet and fall in love, one fell swoop. And the main character, Ichigo Kurosaki is no exception. He has more incarnations, has stumbled back from the edge of death (and even the depths of hell) more times than any character I've ever known ever and I just love him to pieces. But I also love Sado and Uryu and Inoe and Renji and Kiske and Ururu and, well maybe not Jinta. I like Rukia (though I wish she was a little bit more of a badass) and like Ishigo's sisters and Ishigo's friends. I like the Soul Reapers that started out enemies and later became protagonists, almost all of them (except that painted sadist), and yes, I loved them when they were bad guys (Kuchiki Byakuya, for instance, and Kempachi Zuraki) . I loved many of the bad guys that "stayed" bad guys (depending on your point of view) like Grimmjow and Ulquierra.
I've seen all but the Zampakuto rebellion season in Japanese on Hulu. I've bought every episode I've been able to find in English (through 229) on Amazon insta-play. And I've seen them all. More than once. I have the first four seasons on DVD so I can loan them to friends. I have the first three movies in English and the fourth in Japanese (yikes, they keep getting better and better, too!).
Well, I'm not really ready to write a review. I should read more. And, though I've seen all but one season in Japanese, I want to see them again, first. I need to better understand why I like it so I can pass it along, make the review mean something more than: what fun!
So, folks, that's where I've been. And likely where I'll be a bit longer.
At least I'm having a good summer.