Monday, June 13, 2016

Robots, Pastels, and the Sea: Three Good Vibes Anime to Brighten Your Day

I like dark and gritty morality dramas as much as the next guy, but sometimes that's not what you want. Sometimes you just want some nice, fun adventures or colorful and exotic worlds. Nothing wrong with that. Things have been heavy recently. Some might say things have always been heavy. That's where these come in. These are some of my favorite shows that feature some degree of optimism, light-hearted fun, or just general warm fuzzy feelings.

1) Gatchaman Crowds
A reboot of the classic 70s anime Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, this anime is a bright and cheery story about a group of teens who protect the world from aliens, especially the sadistic Berg-Katze. It features a very stylish aesthetic and an absolutely stellar soundtrack. On top of that, the tone is just generally hopeful. The way it views things like the internet and human nature are unusually optimistic for a show like this. It also features a smattering of nonbinary gendered characters, if you appreciate that sort of thing (and I do). Also of note is the finale--the final confrontation with the villain isn't even shown on screen, because their philosophical defeat is the focus of the climax, not the physical struggle. It's definitely a little weird, but if you like quirky and happy stories, this one's for you.

2) Voltron: Legendary Defender
Another reboot of a classic anime, Voltron: Legendary Defender just premiered on Netflix last week. From the animation studio behind Legend of Korra, and featuring a couple of other names with the Avatar/Korra pedigree, this reimagining of the old school Voltron is a snappy, modern take. Five teens reunite the five Voltron lions and become Paladins of Voltron to fight back against a galaxy-spanning empire. The characters, especially the space princess keeping the team together, are fun and likable, and the alien designsare great--almost no generic sexy space lady aliens. The music is a cool, synthy affair that adds to the cozy space anime vibe. There are some flaws--the villains are barely explored, with a few very interesting implications about their place in the world sneaking in at the last second in the final episode. The pilot is also the weakest part, but if you can endure a little bit of kids' show exposition, it's fine. At only ten 22 minute episodes (plus the hour long pilot), this show is perfect for binging.

3) Squid Girl
Squid Girl is a conqueror of the deep come to punish the wicked surface dwellers for polluting the ocean. Unfortunately, she's woefully and adorably incompetent, and gets roped into working at a beachside restaurant instead of exacting vengeance on mankind. This show is cute and funny, and depending on which dub you watch, full of squid puns. It's kind of a slice of life style show that follows our hero as she learns about human culture. This is the one I have the least to say on, because I never got around to finishing it. But it's good!

Hopefully you find these to be as cathartic as I did. If not, there are plenty of other happy shows out there, and some of them aren't even anime. These are just the ones that I'd curl up and get cozy to, and I encourage you to do the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment