Girls in Capes

Women, men & minorities in geek culture and pop culture

Our Favorite Things: Anime

Samurai-XI came into contact with Japanese animation, better know as anime, when I was seven years old. Back then, I didn’t know what Samurai X, as it was called in Spanish, was; I thought it was a very unusual looking cartoon, but nothing beyond that. I did, however, like it enough to wake up at 7 in the morning every Saturday to watch it in local television.

As I grew older, though, I stopped waking up early and forgot about it. But I still continued watching anime, without knowing, in the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. local cartoon program on weekdays. Every afternoon after school, I would sit in front of the television and watch a show called Dragon Ball Z. I remember thinking that it reminded me of Samurai X, but I didn’t look into it. And then, one night, I discovered Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and saw a program called Inuyasha. I liked it as much as the other two and tried to watch it as often as I could. But I never made the connection that they were all a different kind of animation.

And then, when I was 12 years old, I discovered Yu-Gi-Oh! I was hooked like I had never been before. I put my alarm clock every Saturday to wake up in time to watch it WB’s morning cartoon block.

I liked it enough to do research on it, and it was then that I discovered anime. I learned that it was of Japanese origin, and that many of them are based on graphic novels as well as video games. I learned that there were many types of anime such as for boys, called Shounen, for girls, called Shoujo, and many more. I seemed to be more inclined toward Shounen anime, as they tend to feature action as their basis rather than a romance, which is usually featured in Shoujo anime.

I remembered those anime I had watched early on and decided to look them up. It turned out that Dragon Ball Z was perhaps the most well-known anime of all time, and had a series preceding it, and several series after it. Samurai X, the first anime I’d watched, was actually called Rurouni Kenshin and was based on a graphic novel. Since then, I decided to delve into anime and started picking other series to watch.

Now that I’m older (about ten years older, in fact), I still love anime as much as I did when Yu-Gi-Oh! made me more interested in it. However, I have to admit I have grown so much into that realm that I need to watch anime in Japanese with English subtitles. The translations just aren’t the same; to me, many of the characters in some series lose part of their personality with voices that don’t fit them and some of the jokes, expressions and words are lost in translation. Going back and forth between the subtitles and the action can be hard, but I enjoy it. And it also allows me to watch more series, since there aren’t so many that are translated into English. I am fascinated by how imaginative the Japanese are with the ideas, characters, stories and worlds they create.

As of the past five years, my latest addiction, and arguably perhaps my favorite anime and graphic novel of all time, has been Naruto; I’ve enjoyed watching these characters grow and change, and cannot wait to find out what happens to them at the end of the series. Despite my love, there will always be a spot in my heart for those four anime that introduced to their world, unknowingly, when I was a little girl.

Mara is the Young Adult Book Reviewer for Girls in Capes. She is working on an MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction.

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About little_mswriter

Originally from Puerto Rico, I'm a writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College and a freelance editor. I love YA and romance books, visiting museums and learning about other cultures. My freelance business is currently under construction.

4 comments on “Our Favorite Things: Anime

  1. Keisuke Neko
    January 25, 2013

    Samurai X or Rurouni Kenshin is 1 legend anime that you can’t find the same in now days anime no more. The story line is quite epic plus with the martial arts! Learn history of Japan never been bored (laugh).

    Now Warner Bros Japan already show the live action movie nationwide, but not all cinema show this move (like my damn country lol).
    Feel free to visit my page to download samurai X live action moviewith english sub.
    Cheers!

  2. P-Girl
    January 29, 2013

    Loved checking out your blog! So interesting to read about your love of these charaters over time. If you’re ever looking for a travel escape I wrote on on Catalina Island in California that you might like! http://photogirltravels.com/2012/11/27/let-those-stresses-float-away-its-time-for-your-catalina-island-adventure/ I look forward to reading more of your blogs! ;)

  3. Fiona Fire
    January 29, 2013

    There is something so soothing about the flat, 2D nature of anime. It’s so easy on the eyes.

    I typically prefer more romance oriented anime, because I love the over the top hijinks and farce.

    Death Note is the one anime I’m OBSESSED with. I always wonder, how would this show be different if it were made in America? I feel like we are so much more accepting of vigilante justice in the US. I imagine a much more black and white version of the series where Kira is more of a hero and less of a menace. But I may be crazy. The US and Japan are two of the only developed countries still using the death penalty.

    • little_mswriter
      February 18, 2013

      Thank you for your interest in the post and the blog! I apologize for the late reply!

      I think that’s an interesting question you pose there; just how different would Death Note be if it had been made in the United States? I agree with you; I think the focus would be much more different, all things considered. I remember when I started watching it and learned that he was considered a menace and I stopped to wonder about that. The anime and manga does pose controversial questions about justice and power, and it is very intriguing to look at how two cultures would consider Kira. That being said, I think the reason why Kira was sort of accepted was because he was doing some sort of justice. But this leads me to the following question: why was he a menace? Was it because he had too much power that he should not have had and could have used it for other purposes? Death Note, for me, is probably one of the best anime and manga series of this era not only because of its complexity, but because of the questions it poses. Thank you so much for your comment! :)

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2013 by in TV & Film and tagged , , , , .

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