Awesome Series: 16. FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood -again- (Boys into Men! – Shonen Week)

In the end it was kinda getting hard to come up with tittles that i knew enough to talk about but that also were not the “Big Three”. Though I think its kind of funny that we call them the big Three yet only one of them is MEGA SUPER POPULAR in japan and the other two are super popular but probably just because they run in weekly shonen jump. Would be funny to see what happened if Naruto or Bleach ran in Shonen GanGan. Which we are covering a series out of for the final day of shonen week. If you know the name Shonen GanGan you probably already know what it is. and or also looked at the title for this.

FullMetal Alchmist, Brotherhood specifically, is the best shonen series I have seen in my life. It has everything you want in that kind of story, Awesome characters, a strong world to build ideas off of, great art some of my favourite art in any anime but hey that’s Studio Bones for you. it also has lots of drama and good action, and also kind of contrary to the beliefs of this website but is still a good thing about it, not everything can be solved by punching and kicking Sometimes you just can’t fix a problem with force.

I am of the opinion that FullMetal Alchmist brotherhood has possibly the best climax in any shonen series, maybe any anime series ever. I want to go into that more at a later date. but for now I will just say that I think it is super awesome. Some people seem to think the ending takes too long to build up or that there is no breaks in the climax to take a breather. I don’t share this opinion at all. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole last section of the show and I have not been on the edge of my seat since if found the GaoGaiGar opening theme. I can’t wait to re-watch it again.

Normally here I would say “well if you are into this kind of thing” you should check this out if you want. But I am saying right now. If you like anime at all. if you like action and drama at all. there is a 99% that you too will love this series.

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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!

Awesome Series: 13. Get Backers (Boys into Men! – Shonen Week!)

Get Backers is super gay. I am not using ‘gay’ in the way that dumb teenagers use gay to mean ‘something I don’t like or is stupid’. Get Backers is awesome gay. Awesome gay in the way that the show is almost 90% dudes and all of those dudes are wayyy more into each other then anyone else.  I was super into Get Backers in high school, it was probably in my top 10 for a long time. I don’t think it is any more but I still think it has a lot of really cool parts to it, also some really silly parts; cloths that repair them self anyone?

I think the best thing about Get Backers like most things is its characters. Are they really stand out characters? Or genera defining characters? No, not really but they work very, very well in the way the are implement and work well in the crazy world. The powers that the characters have can be kinda cool especially when it gets into the one-up mans ship that shonen series go into a lot of the times. The powers range from things like electircty to things like sliding scalpels out of skin to the ability to control animals. Get Backers ran in the same magazine as Hajime no Ippo, Weekly Shonen Magazine (not to be confused with Weekly Shonen Jump).

I think someone looking for something different then the average shonen adventure series would enjoy this a breath of fresh air. Maybe you would not like the whole thing but I think you could get something out of at least the first season. Get Backers is a lot like a bottle of Cream Soda. Its pretty sweet, it feels silly drinking the whole thing but it was fun to drink when you were drinking it. So yeah, it is indeed a good time just don’t expect the world just expect the awesome gay!

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 theme: 9. Darker than Black.

Last night I saw The Dark Knight Rises. When I was thinking of what theme I was going to use for today I wanted to get something with an american comic book-ie type feel to it. As I am sure for a lot of people when you think “Batman, Anime” I thought; Darker than Black. Why is that thought? I got to thinking about it and the two properties really have very, very little in common. I mean they are both pretty dark properties with cool heroes that where mostly black and act diffident when they are in costume and not. . That is where the similarities really end. Hie, In terms of powers, well Hie actually has powers while Batman has none. Hie works for an organization while Batman just does it for Gotham. Biggest difference between them is that Hie kills (also sometimes uses guns) and Batman does not, will not kill. Am I saying that Darker than Black is bad because of this?  Of course not! I am just saying that the comparison between Hie and Batman is very very silly.

I really do love Darker than Black, I think it is one of the best looking shows of the past decade. I think it is one of the coolest show you can watch. Does that mean it is a good show? Um that is tough, I am of the came where Darker than Black is totally awesome if you don’t but energy into caring about the overall plot. Just watch all the awesome two praters and don’t worry, it will be okay. I don’t think it is Studio Bones’ best work (My personal favouirte anime studio) I mean the best things they have probably made are things like FullMetal Alchemist (and Brotherhood), Wolfs Rain, and Cowboy Beeboo: the movie. That said, I personally still think Darker than Black is one of their best and one of their most assailable to new fans. I mean you could show this show to someone who has never watched anime before in their life, maybe they are a comics fan or like action movies, they would probably get a kick out of this show.

I think this is kind of breaking the rules of “Awesome Themes” by way of not really having the best theme in the world. Sure, It is kind of cool but I would not really say it is totally awesome. But I think this is an anime that more people need to see, more and more people are getting into anime and just watching the very samey kind of harem/shonen romance type shows. If you like those kinds of things, that’s fine they just are so not for me, at all. I think Darker than Black represents how cool and sleek anime can be and it is important for people to try something new in their viewing every now and again. Remember kids, anime is a medium, the medium of animation, not a single genera. And Darker than Back is a very cool part of that medium so go check it out, it’s awesome!

Awesome Theme: 8. Cheeky Angel

If someone were to ask me what I thought was an underrated anime. I would not say something like “Cross Game” or “Wolfs Rain” shows that clearly have a lot of  fans and people know about them. When I think underrated I think; Cheeky Angel. I  have almost never met anyone that has seen the anime for Cheeky Angel. Honestly it was only by chance that I even saw it. You see back in the early days of high school when I was just getting into anime with shows like “InuYasha” (What was I thinking?) and Gundam SEED. My friend, who had a friend that burned a lot of subtitled anime onto disc and would lend it to him. (I don’t even want to go into the crazy ways we used to trade shows. I hurts my mind to even think about it now.) One day he lent me two shows, Black Cat (which is pretty bad aside from some pretty cool looking parts, some of GONZO’s best work art wise) and Cheeky Angel or “Tenshi na Konamiki”. I blew through Black Cat in less then two days and loved it.(I had bad taste back in high school) After a bit of pushing for my friend saying the show was indeed awesome I decided to watch it, and oh my, it was Awesome!

Honestaly the first hand full of episodes are pretty boring with some stand out parts that do make you want to keep watching. But I would say the show does not hit its stride until about 11-13 episodes in so if you do check it out just think of it as a Sunrise robot show. I think this was the first anime that ever introduced the whole “manly man have to do manly things!” type of a spirit, and now I can’t get enough of that kinda story telling. This show is all about the characters and how they interact with each other. They can be kind of one note such as “nerdy pervert guy” or “Straight edge, honor bound guy” but they are still awesome. The humor is much like the style School Rumble has. You do not really need to care about the over all plot. Just go with the flow and enjoy the crazy things that happen. This series has one of my favourite climax’s in all of anime  the ending is perfect for the series.

Everyone that reads this and does not know about this series please, please go check it out! It needs more fans!

Awesome Theme: 4. Baki the Grappler

I love Baki, but it is the first anime that ever made me feel sick to my stomach. I don’t know why but every time they start talking about  different muscle related things and how to tear nerves and stuff just makes me go pail and feel faint. Its totally awesome but I cant watch it for long.  This song is awesome and basically the reason I watched the series after a friend lent it to me. I was going to skip over it because back in the day I was kind of a snob about “anime” art and thought Baki was ugly, well it is, but in an awesome way! Baki is the perfect “shonen power creep” show in that if you wanna show how strong someone is just show them beating up the guy that used to be the strongest. It’s a no fail system! I think I am one of a few people that is still waiting to see what happens next in the anime! I know there is tons of manga for it but I really want to see Baki animated again. Though I don’t think that day will ever come.

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.

Awesome Theme: 2. FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Disclaimer: This is not the first opening theme of FMA:B, but as this is now just “Awesome Themes” I think it is safe to say it does not have to be the first opening.

FullMetal Alchemist is probably my favourite shonen series of all time, topped only by its self FullMetal Alchemist brotherhood. I don’t like it better because it follows the manga, that’s not a reason to like something more. The reason I like Brotherhood better I will get into in a future post, but basically the series presses all of my buttons that a shonen series can.The only other anime that has even come close to FMA:B for me is maybe Yu Yu Hakusho.(mostly just for its third arc)

This song, much like the series is probably my favourtie FMA opening. That used to be Rewrite from forth opening from the first series. As much as I do love Asian Kung-Fu Generation I think that period is a little bit better for me personally at least. I can listen to rewrite maybe one or two times before I don’t want to hear it for a while but, man, Period I can listen to it over and over and not get sick of it. This opening does a very good job getting you excited for what you are about to watch. Normally with anime openings after you hear them once (or depending on the show, zero times) you tend to skip them, I did not skip period once.

What is your favourite song from FMA or FMA:B? I would like to hear some other opinions.