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: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.