Awesome Series: 14. Detective Conan (Boys into Men! – Shonen Week!)

(I had to use the English opening because I could not find a T.V. sized vershon of the Japanese. Oh well it is the very same song and video just in English.)

Detective Conan is something that much like One Piece it is super, mega popular in Japan. Though over here in the U.S. and Canada not too many people care about it, but I think people at least know about One Piece here even if they have not seen any of it. This is pretty sad because Detective Conan or “Case Closed” as it is know here is actually a pretty good show. When it would show on YTV here (a Canadian broadcast station that used to show anime on Fridays) I would always tune in to check out the new episode. Weather or not the mystery in the show is actually very good never really mattered to me it was just fun to watch.

I think some of the problems people have with Detective Conan that are not into it are things like: Its very sit-com-ie in how it is run and American anime fans don’t normally take well to things that are not one solid story. I think this could stend for a bit of “Japanophila” in the way that Detective Conan is kind of like an american animated sitcom that resets at the end of every episode and the view especially among younger fans is that they don’t want their cartoons to be anything like American ones. Honestly to me is pretty funny because the shows that are  most popular in Japan would have no chance here at all. Things like Dorimon, Sazae-San, Chibi Maruko Chan and of course Detective Conan. I understand that American fan culture  is very, very different from what normal Japanese people are watching on T.V and by extension are still very different from the way Japanese Otaku work. But that is a topic for another day.

There is also another problem with this in the way that  Detective Conan is a show meant for families and kids in Japan. Here there is no way a show like Conan could fly on T.V. with the kind of air play it gets in Japan the show is just to violent for kids T.V. standards here. Half of the market is cut off right there and put on top of that what we just talked about that most anime fans wont give it a chance. That is another fairly large market cut off. The only people you have left watching your show are people who already know about it and already like it. I think this is the toughest part of trying to sell Conan to en American audience, who is the audience? 

Detective Conan runs in Weekly Shonen Sunday and has been that way for almost 20 years now. Also at the time of me writing this has just passed its 666th episode which is a ludicrous amount of episodes. I am not sure what the show with the most amount of episodes in Japan is but Conan has to be up there. Right now here in North America we have about 130 episodes and a hand full of movies of the series to watch. I understand 100% why Funimation has not licensed any more Conan, I mean why would they? No one probably buys it (I my self am guilty of this but those Viridian collections look pretttttty good). The Japanese probably want an insane amount of money per episode because it is so popular there. It is a sad thing, but this can be changed! everyone, Detective Conan is awesome and also super cheep! There is no reason for anyone to at least not give a couple episodes of Detective Conan a chance. Who knows, you may just think that it is awesome.

Remember everyone, One truth prevails!

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Awesome Series: 12. Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger (Boys into Men! – Shonen Week!)

First off, why New Challenger? Just because I like the song a tiny tiny bit more then the original Ippo themes. That is it.  Also I know Ippo did not run in Weekly Shonen Jump but in Weekly Shonen Magazine, that still counts in the rules of Shonen Week. The main reason I am doing Hajime no Ippo, or Fighting Spirt now is becasue it shares something with YuYu Hakusho. They both started in the same year, that same year also happens to be the year I was born; 1990. Why am I bringing this up at all? ! Why does it matter what year a sereis started? Well for Ippo in particular, is because the series started one day after I was born (It started on February 17th.) The series started in Japan, and the time difference bettween Japan and here is 13 hours and I was born at night. Which means Hajime no Ippo and I were born in the same 24 hour span. I think that is kind of cool.

I honestaly have not seen a great deal of Hajime no Ippo, maybe ten or so episodes of the original seires. I did really like what I have seen and heard about it (I have a friend who was really into it for a while). I will get around to it one day because I do really love a lot of sports anime. Heck, Eyeshield 21 may be my favourite manga. On a side note, I wish the manga or New Challenger would get licensed here but I 100% understand why it does not. It makes me sad that fans here in North America wont give sports shows a try just because they are “sports shows”. Let me tell you something kids! Sports anime and manga are as “shonen” as it gets. Most of the time they are much more well written and have better characters then things like Naruto, Bleach or D. Gray Man. Now I am not slamming those things. I am saying that if you like those kinds of things there is NO reason you would not like stuff like Ippo or Eyeshied. Because just like in things like Naruto, the story is not about being a ninja it is about the characters with a ninja theme. Hajime no Ippo is the same it is about characters with a boxing theme. Instead of throwing fire balls they throw punches in a ring.

MADHouse really looks like the put their best efforts into Ippo be it the older series or New Challenger. I like that they did not change the character designs to try and make it more “Shonen-ie” as it were. Though as far as I know stuff like Ippo is very popular in Japan, I just wish it was here too  I really want to see more stuff like Ippo come out of Japan in the future. Yes we did just get Cross Game (though not shonen it is very, very good) but I want to see the next sports show that is over the top like Eyeshield and has awesome animation like Ippo. I know I will love that series when it comes. I’ll be waiting Japan! I will be waiting! Everyone start spreading the word about how awesome sports anime can be! People will listen one day, if they want to see true shonen, true boys turning into men material they will watch stuff like Hajime no Ippo!

Awesome Series:11. YuYu Hakusho (Boys Into Men! – Shonen Week!)

If someone were to ask me what the best shonen series for someone to start with I would say YuYu Hakusho. I belive that YuYu hakusho hits every single one of the neo-shonen beats that a shonen series is expected to hit and hits them very well.  As far as tournament themed power escalation shows go YuYu hakuosho is told very well. I did not see YuYu until long after I should have , not till i was about 17 and I still really liked it, a lot actually. I still kind of feal that it is a little hard to get into it because the first of the four arcs of the show is pretty slow. But once it moves into the second, the arc that everyone knows about even if they have not seen the show “The Dark Tournament” arc. I think that while the second arc is awesome, the third arc or “Chapter Black” is where the show really shines in my opinion.

The series follows a very typical shonen formula for this kind of show but does it very well. All the the character stereotypes are turned up to 11 but it really works for YuYu hakusho because I think it is using those things very well. A great deal of shonen series now a days  use the character tropes a lot as well and it can really come off as forced, such as “This character is the guy who is kind of antaganistic towards the main character but really he just wants a friend” or “This is the happy-go-lucky guy but he is actually really dark”. While I do really like a lot of the shonen tropes, sometimes it can come off as really cynical. Though in YuYu Hakusho I think it is probably the best use of those tropes I can think of. I mean what kid does not think Hiei is awesome? or doesn’t want to be like Yusuke? No kid that’s who! even the girls!

I think like shaman king this is a very good shonen seires to show people when they are pretty young. I think YuYu maybe for kids a little bit older then that.10-12 maybe? I think this and Shaman King both make excellent first shonen seires for kids. I think YuYu works on more levels for people that are older too. It is a little deeper then shaman king and the things it can deal with at times, especially in the “Chapter Black” arc can be kind of disturbing. That said, I do think it is one of the most fun shows to just pop in when you just want a cool fight or something going on in the background. I think out of all the things that have been animated out of the things that have come from Weekly Shonen Jump, YuYu Hakusho is probably my favourite adaptation. I do love the manga, but I think the anime has something very special all its own. I think it may have something to do with the full ‘IM A MAN!’ yell of “SPIRIT GUN!” that Justin Cook puts into his performance of Yusuke that makes me prefer both the anime and the English dub of the series.

Awesome Theme: 3. Berserk

This song will never get old and no matter how silly it is when someone says “Berserk” the first thing I think in my head is “Tell me why!? Tell me why!? Tell me what you are!?”. Its just so awesome how kind of out of place it is yet it still fits. The biggest disappointment about the new berserk movies for me is that this song is not included. Yeah, Sure, Forces is good and epic and all that. But this song is just so awesome. I also think its really funny that the opening is mostly just Guts posing and doesn’t tell you anything about the story except Guts has a big sword, but really I guess that is all you need to know about how awesome Berserk is. The manga is on a diffident level but I will always love this anime and this song.

Daily Awesome Robot Theme 27: Neon Geneis Evangelion

Wow that sure is “Anime”. I have never watched though all of  Neon Geneis Evangelion TV. I have seen some of it, I liked it all right. As it is one of the classics of the medium I will have to go back and watch it all some day. Neon Geneis Evangelion was always kind of just beyond my rader as a starting anime fan I liked my robots gundam and mobile fighting. Though I do know the Eva units are not really “Robots” as it were. They are more like Ultramen. But still they are kinda a staple of robot anime histroy at this point.

Ps: I have at least seen Evangelion 2.22. I really liked that, thought it was great.

PSS: SOOOOO 90’s

Daily Awesome Robot Theme 20: Mobile Suit Victory Gundam

Ah~ Mobile Suit Victory Gundam- My favourite opening theme for a gundam series and one of the only that I have not seen and also the one I want to see most. I’m very interested in everything about this show and its interesting to think that this is the “darkest” so to speak gundam show. Absolutely love the design of the Victory Gundam (specificity V2 Gundam) and I think it has some of the best chracter designs in all of gundam.

Daily Awesome Robot Theme 16: The King of Braves: GaoGaiGar

Watch this one in HD if you can, its worth it.

100% the best giant robot opening theme ever (well maybe Gaogaigar final is a little better but its the same song) This opening can not be beat. It embodies everything cool and fist clenching-awesomeness that comes with super robots. what else can I say? Its GAOGAIGAR!! Live and breath this opening song and you will feel good always.(probably)

Daily Awesome Robot Theme 13: Macross 7

Macross 7 I think is kind of like the Mobile Fighter G Gundam of Macross. Its very polarizing with people and is a drastic style change. They also both followed very serious entities in the franchise’s (Mobile Suit Victory Gundam and Macross Plus). I love G Gundam, and though I have not seed Macross 7. I really do want to see it. It looks tragically 90’s though, but that just makes it more awesome. I love that its just a dude with a guitar in a giant transforming robot with a guitar. Besides all of that the 3D shot at the start of this opening is awesome.

 

Daily Awesome Robot Theme 12: Gekisou Sentai Carranger

Carranger is one of my favourite sentai teams in terms of design. I know a lot of people don’t really like the chrome on the face plates but I really dig it. I used to really like Power Rangers Turbo as a kid mostly for that really bad movie. But like Jetman, Carranger is one of the top sentai series that I do wanna see because I really like when sentai is being all goofy and stuff. I really like this song and I cant wait to one day check this series out!

 

Daily Awesome Robot Theme 11: Patlabor the Mobile Police (TV)

I have never seen Patlabor one or two (shame I know) but I really do want to see them one day. I am also really intrested in the TV series too though. I love the character and mecha designs in Patlabor. I also really like the idea of  the Labors (the big robots) being glorified police cars, that they don’t have any powers or anything. I think that is really neat.