This has been one of the best times for anime and the sheer evolution of the industry over these 10 years is crazy to consider. Just looking back on the number of anime that came out in one season in 2010 compared to a season now shows an explosion of growth. And sure, there’s been plenty of sequels, reboots, and rehashes of old tropes. However, there also have been stand out hits that did something unique and were immediate loves of mine at first watch.
So for this list, I didn’t restrict myself to one per year, nor any limitation of trying to number one anime above another. Instead, I just wanted to share anime that had a big impact on me and, I think, also the industry. So given when this list is coming out, let’s celebrate the holidays in alphabetical order with something morbid: Death!
I don’t know if anyone else does this but every now and then, I go back and reread my articles I’ve written. It’s not for any narcissistic reason. (Though, that’s exactly what a narcissist would say.) I’m not sure if it could be a smaller side effect of my anxiety disorder, but it’s more for fear. I get so nervous that something I’ve said before will come back and haunt me. Other times, I worry that I’ve written something I completely disagree with now or, just as bad, that I’ve written it so poorly, that my ideas could be misconstrued or actually are terrible in some way. To be fair, thanks to Facebook constantly bombarding me with “Your posts from 9 years ago!” reminders, I feel I have my reasons to get nervous about what I’ve said in the past. Hot damn, high school me was a dumb shit.
Me gesturing to my dumb-ass past self.
The article I constantly go back to more than any other, though, is my Kill la Kill article, my very first one I ever wrote for this blog and the one that started the whole dang project of The Backloggers. I think this one, more than anything, I get so nervous about. For one, it’s been one of the single most trafficked articles for our blog, and has been referenced not only in the blogosphere but also on Reddit as well as on a Chinese forum discussing Western and Eastern ideas about sexism. Which… HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT?! The Internet is amazing!
However, that’s what scares me. Even after I wrote it, I didn’t feel as hot about it compared to how I wanted it to be. And as time has gone on, I constantly think back to what I said, particularly when it comes to the themes of objectification and sexism versus equal treatment and empowerment. And I’m still not sold. Kill la Kill, to me, has been really complicated in that I feel it does so many genuinely cool and amazing things, particularly when it comes to multiple badass female characters that are so different from each other and fun to see be the leads in a fighting genre anime. However, while at the time of writing it, I tried to have a good answer for various scenes in the show, looking back, it’s a problematic piece on the whole. And after recently reading a discussion about these very same feelings from someone else, I finally caved in and decided I needed to review my earlier ideas.
Hey everyone! Hope you guys are having a pretty good start to 2017 after the train wreck of 2016. We kicked it up near the end of 2016, but if you think that’s the end of our surge of posting, well, you were wrong.
So here’s one I’ve been thinking about doing for a little while now as a follow up to a previous post I did ages ago called My Favorite Hilarious Troll Moves I’ve Seen in Anime. In keeping with the theme of favorites, this is My Five Favorite BAMF Female Characters from Anime! With so much anime that’s written specifically for a male audience, I think it’s good to take some time and showcase those characters that show a little girl power or at least some damn good writing with respect to women. Hopefully we’ll see more badass ladies as time goes forward but for the time being, this is my list of awesome girls who are great characters that shine in their series.
Now, I will say right away that there are some stipulations. The first is this is only from television shows and not movies because this list would very quickly turn into my favorite girls from Studio Ghibli and the directorial works of Mamoru Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, etc). Second, I’m obviously only picking from stuff I’ve seen so this list won’t be comprehensive and may not have choices that others may have. This list is also unordered because I’d rather not compare great characters when they all have amazing reasons to be number one on any list. Lastly, and this goes along with the second point, this is only my list of favorite characters. I’m not saying this is “The Top Five of All Time” or anything like that because this is entirely subjective and biased to me. However, I do think these wonderful ladies have a chance to warm your heart as much as they did mine with how much ass they kick, both figuratively and literally.
On a last note, I’ll try to keep spoilers to an absolute minimum, but consider this a small warning for minor plot points being talked about. So without further ado, here are our characters who carry wallets like this…
All right, so Madoka was a serious and depressing topic last time, so I thought I’d go with a pick-me-up for this next discussion. So! Let’s talk about my favorite hilarious troll moves I’ve seen from anime. Now these are just my five favorite trolls that I wanted to point out, and I’m limited by what I’ve seen, so I won’t make this a list of “The Top Five of All Anime” or anything that conceited. Also, another limitation on this list is that I’m only including what I consider as funny trolling in anime, i.e. playing a joke on the audience for a bit of fun, rather than for a sudden plot twist in the story that changes everything, or a scene that is a big middle finger to the fans such as Sword Art Online S1 and its main antagonist’s final spiel. (Also, I’m looking at you, OreImo. The lesson here is if you wanna write a story, but your publisher doesn’t want it written the way you want, get a new publisher.) As such, I’m also excluding any major plot twists from anime that greatly influence the story, such as Madoka: The Rebellion Story or other twist endings that change everything in general. These are all great, but they deserve their own discussion since the anime industry really loves to take a left turn towards the end of their series, whether they need to or not. Since this isn’t including any major plot twists that dramatically change a series, this discussion will actually be relatively major spoiler free, but we will be going over material that’s in the middle to end of some anime so SPOILER ALERT if you care about minor spoilers for a series. Now, let’s get this crazy hootenanny, shindig started!
Important note from author: This is a much older piece and no longer really depicts my true feelings on Kill la Kill. I will keep this up as I do think I had some good points but if you’d like to see how I feel several years later, please read this linked article after reading through this one where I critique this article in-depth and come at it with a more mature understanding, disagreeing with myself on particular points.
Let’s talk about feminism and sexuality. For those that inwardly groan at the mention of these sometimes over-discussed topics, I can promise you that there will be massive fan-service and tons of ridiculous action. Fair? But a warning up front: Given the show we’re discussing, this isn’t exactly going to be safe-for-work at all times. I’ll also try to be vague about many particular instances in the show, but this will be a spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t seen, or cares to see, the show. Now that we have our NSFW tag and SPOILER ALERT included, let’s begin.