Hopefully by now I’ve been able to accurately describe my strange love affair with anime. It was a staple of my childhood, where I constantly searched for more to consume. But as I’ve gotten old fewer and fewer series grab my attention. I’ve wondered if it’s because my tastes have changed, or the material. I’m inclined to think it’s that latter. Still, occasionally I reminisce of the hours I spent watching Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Berserk, Slayers and I start to lament. You can never go home, and I’ll never be at that age or mindset again where I really enjoyed these shows. This doesn’t mean I should leave it all behind. If I had that mindset, I never would have experience Fullmetal Alchemist, which I highly recommend.
Every now and then I try to scout out a new series or movie to try out. Occasionally I check in on animenewsnetwork.com to explore their incomparable anime/manga encyclopedia, specifically the top 10. The categories for the top 10 vary from Best Rated and Most Popular to Worst Rated and Most Diverging Opinions, with the option to view the top 50 for each. All the numbers are compiled from user ratings. Considering many of my opinions for different shows were consistant with their best/worst categories, I accepted it as a valid source.
Listed at number 7 in the most popular category was Elfen Lied. I’ve taken two semesters of Japanese and I have no idea how it’s supposed to be pronounced. Regardless, a quick amazon search showed all 13 episodes were available on DVD for about $20. As I watched the first episode, I questioned my purchase. The opening credits were okay. No idea what was supposed to be going on there. For me, this is usually a bad sign. As I write this, I can’t think of an anime I enjoyed were I rated the opening as mediocre or bad. First impressions are everything I suppose.
The show was only 13 episodes, meaning it required a smaller budget. Still, the first episode was full of tropes I’ve come to disdain in anime. Panning scenery images while characters go on about nonsense, frozen character expressions while an off screen voice is speaking, and of course nudity. Nudity doesn’t bother me, but like anything else, it needs to serve a purpose other than fan service.
The show opens with a girl escape some sort of maximum security prison (you can see the escape here). Apparently she can do anything with her mind, like remove limbs, turn guns on people, and explode heads. As she escapes, she’s only wearing a strange helmet and nothing else. After 7 painful minutes she stand over a climb were a long range sniper clips her helmet, giving her brain damage and she falls into the ocean. Some teenagers find her and take care of her because she’s now apparently mental. She can’t communicate, only mumbling and at one point pees on the floor… I’m going back and watching Outlaw Star.
Anyone interested in a DVD collection? $10.
Watched anything you regretted lately? Let me know. Comment or tweet!