my anime watchlist

AICN has a synopsis of the plot of the anime “Death Note” that makes it sound really quite intriguing:

The titular Death Note is a note pad of a shinigami (death god, comparable to the notion of a grim reaper), which allows its owner to dictate the time and cause of death for the victim whose name is inscribed on one of its pages. This is a very rule based process, starting with the clause that if no cause is specified within 40 seconds, the victim will die of a heart attack, and getting more complex from there.

Bored by the listlessness of his people, the shinigami Ryuk decides to amuse himself by dropping a Death Note into the human world. There, it is picked up by ace student Light Yagami. To Ryuk’s amusement, Light proves unphased by the power to kill, the revelation that shinigami exist, or that using the Death Note ensures that a human will neither travel to heaven or hell upon death. After using the book to kill, the only repercussion incurred is that the user’s name will be written in the book by its original shinigami owner upon the user’s death.

When it comes to shock, Light is revealed to have iron fortitude. After the ability to kill on a whim is dropped into his lap, he proves able to compose himself and push forward with his agenda.

The certainty with which he embraces that power makes Light an intriguing character.

The description of Light as a character both arrogant and idealistic make for a very righteous archetype, like a paladin convincing himself of the greater good and a ends-justify-means crusade. I am reminded of the Kingpriest from Dragonlance Chronicles as well. At any rate, I’ll see if I can find the torrents for this one.

I am also determined to watch Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei – though from what I read at Astro’s, its unclear if the fansubbers will finish subbing season 1. I’m also fascinated by the premise of Moyashimon, which has the visual appeal of a science lab on LSD. My friend Jon also dropped by Marshfield on his way home to Appleton from the Twin Cities, and brought Read or Die (the pilot as well as the full season), Ranma, Ergo Proxy, FateStayNight, Gankutsuou, Noir, and Samurai7. That’s a feast of anime that should keep me and my baby daughter fed through the holiday season (I typically watch anime while bottle-feeding her; we both just zone out and do our respective thing). Suggestions as to which I should tackle first are welcome (and requested).

I also have to get off my arse and write something about The Girl who Leapt, Twelve Kingdoms, and (waaaay overdue) Someday’s Dreamers. However, of late I’ve been distracted by something decidedly non-anime: Heroes. More on that later 🙂

11 thoughts on “my anime watchlist”

  1. I think the term you’re looking for isn’t paladin, but rather Knight Templar. In fact, Light is cited in the linked article as an example of Knight Templar as protagonist. Personally, I think it’s not quite spot-on. There needs to be some daylight between the Knight Templar and a God Complex, doesn’t there?

  2. An interesting smorgasbord you have there. Hope my comments don’t ruin any watching…

    I just picked up the first release of Deathnote this week. I must say it is intriguing. I can’t really think of anything to compare it to. From the first disk it looks like the story will follow closely with the anti-here. (I must resist the urge to go pick up the manga to get ahead of the story…)

    Read or Die – I haven’t gotten the season yet (problems finding the complete set and having money at the same instance). If by pilot, you mean the first “movie”, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The heroin is amazingly unique and makes for much entertainment.

    Ergo Proxy – had its moments. I haven’t made a strong decision about it yet. I think Astro’s blog has a good synopsis of it… though I probably would be less harsh toward the series, I can’t deny what he has to say about it.

    Fate Stay Night – hard to say much without interlacing spoilers. Unfortunately there are a few story bits that seem to purposely left out of the show since they happen in the FSN games. So, best to stay away from the FSN wikipedia page until you finish… to many of the spoilers could ruin the watchability of the show.

    Noir – a wild ride of a show… though I liked Madlax better (close to the same premise and made by the same people… can you say “formula,” I new you could…) But Madlax isn’t without fault either since it has a pretty scrambled and obtuse story line. But, both are very enjoyable.

    Samurai 7 – very well done adaptation. I don’t think I’ve ever seen original Seven Samurai, but I have seen the Magnificent Seven (a long time ago). The Samurai 7 is definitely a unique twist on the story. It is entertaining and engrossing.

    That’s my take anyway… enjoy your bottle time!

  3. READ OR DIE is really two different shows. The OVA takes place some years before the TV series, and follows “The Paper”. The TV show has three sisters (with similar powers to “The Paper”‘s). The OVA is very much like a James Bond movie, silly but fun action. The TV show is deeper, and ultimately more successful.

    I’m quite fond of NOIR, and (with all due respect to Bear) found Madlax to be much, MUCH inferior. One warning: if you can manage it, don’t rush Noir. One or two episodes a night is about right… that way, you won’t get sick of the music. *chuckle*

    DEATH NOTE is surprisingly good; my friend The Librarian wanted to see the anime, so when it was first coming out I d/l’d it for her… and got hooked pretty quickly. The two live-action movies are pretty stunning, too. Light as paladin… actually, that’s not a bad description, come to think of it.

    RANMA 1/2 was the first anime I ever watched, so I’ve got a soft spot for it. Because of that, I won’t comment on it.

    I dropped SZS after about six or seven episodes. I just stopped caring after the hot-springs episode… shark-jumping abounded. At least it became an entry in my running feature: Ducks In Anime.

    I kinda hated SAMURAI 7. Sorry ’bout that. Haven’t seen any of the others.

    I guess, when it comes down to it, it all depends on your mood. I can always watch ROD the OVA, because it’s nicely mindless. If I’m serious, NOIR would come out… but I’ve not watched it in two years.

  4. ah, you’re right Mitch -Knight Templar is what I was looking for.

    From what you guys Bear/Duck are saying, I think my best bet is to start with Read or Die. The premise is appealing and unique – but do I watch the OVA first or watch it after the rest of the series?

    And regarding Samurai 7, am I missing out if I haven’t seen the originals at all? I’ll be going in cold.

  5. The Seven Samurai story has been told and re-told almost as often as the Yojimbo story, in various gangster, western, SF, and chambara genre shows. As these things go, I’d say that Samurai 7 was a pretty good schizo-tech SF version of the basic plot. I haven’t watched the Kurosawa movie in about a decade, so my memory of that movie wasn’t exactly fresh when I bought & watched the DVD set of the anime this fall. It was pretty nifty. Much less gloomy and misanthropic than the Kurosawa movie, which groaned under a pretty heavy load of Marxist cant. It’s probably the best Gonzo anime I’ve seen. I wouldn’t show it to children, though. Lots of death, taken fairly seriously.

    Personally, I liked the Read or Die OAVs more than the TV series. There’s a *lot* of filler in the TV series, the villain/heroine dynamics are a real downer, and I didn’t think much of the ending of the TV series. To get into much more detail requires a lot of spoilers, though.

  6. Fledge, watch the OVA first. It’s not absolutely required, but it does give some… well, not ‘essential’ information, but stuff that’s nice to know, for the tv series.

    The series IS standalone, but… *shrug*

  7. Wonderduck: no disrespect taken… to me, the Noir/Madlax debate is the same as debating iced tea over sweet tea… they are the same but different and both can be religiously defended as one being better than the other. My affinity toward Madlax is probably based on two factors. a) I saw Madlax first as it was being released on DVD. and b) I got Noir as an entire set which probably led to me overdosing on it as you described. But, even still, I can find no fault with Noir… I did indeed enjoy the series.

    Mitch: Yojimbo! I was trying to remember that title last night. Yojimbo/For a Few Dollars More/Last Man Standing. Has there been an anime version of Yojimbo? It almost seems like something Cowboy Bebob should have done.

    Fledgling otako: If I remember correctly, the RoD OVA was done before the series, so even though the main characters don’t follow into the series, the OVA should set up the series nicely.

    As for Samurai 7, no you haven’t missed anything by not seeing the other movies. They all are independent and just follow the same general story. I was just expelling some of the miscellaneous knowledge I have accumulated.

  8. Steven: mea culpa, I even had read a breakdown of the three movies on imdb before submitting my comments and still got the name wrong. blah!

  9. Bear: Kaze no Yojimbo came out about the same time as Samurai 7. I watched most of it on fansubs, and then Bandai licensed it, and I’ve never seen the ending. I’m going to have to get around to buying the brick one of these days. It’s a contemporary provincial-Northern yakuza retelling of the basic Yojimbo story, along the same lines as Samurai 7 without the mecha and SFnal touches. I liked what I saw of it, but the animation is very… rudimentary. Almost crude, although the art itself is sharp. Character designs in the modern no-nose style. Looks a bit like Witch Hunter Robin, without the money or gothic aesthetic. They’ve also grafted a massive mcguffin hunt for a train full of stolen Army gold onto the basic drifter-blows-into-town-and-sets-the-local-gangs-at-each-others’-throat story.

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