Getting Back Into Anime

What shows have helped me get back into the weeb world?

If you have read the first homepage post, you will have seen that I’m fully back to being engrossed in Japanese animation. The feeling came back after talking to my friends again about anime, doing quizzes and just generally listening to some banging J-pop songs.

The question was, what was I going to pick up and start watching? Should I binge a series, or get lost in a feature length adventure? With an endless amount out there to choose from, I let a bit of my music taste take lead here.

I am a huge fan of Susuma Hirasawa, the man who has provided soundtracks for two of my favourite films, Paprika and Millenium Actress. When I came across his song Forces, it was on just a plain slideshow Youtube video, so when I saw it was from Berserk, I knew I had to give it a watch.

I watched the Berserk original series in April 2019, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. After that, I splurged lots of cash buying merchandise on my Japan trip, getting lots of exciting things from my favourite shows. When I returned, my anime watching kind of just.. stopped.

Berserk sees the Black Swordsman, Guts, fight alongside the Band of the Hawk against deadly enemies and demonic creatures.

That second half of 2019 saw no anime watched whatsoever. I spent most of that time just playing whatever games I enjoyed, be that Call of Duty or anything else.

When lockdown hit because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot more time came back into my life. Staying home meant I had to fill in some social time which I had lost.

Five weeks ago as of writing this, I suggested to my friends who I had been to Japan with if we should do a weekly quiz on all things anime, with a rotating host each week. Quizzes used to be a staple of the social calendar when we were all in the university Anime society.

I hosted the first installment and researching the questions up genuinely felt so exciting, because all this love and hype for anime was coming back and I would get to share it with my friends again. It went down a success and we looked forward every week to see what the next person would bring.

After these quizzes, we’d have games on the popular site animemusicquiz listening to all our favourite openings and endings.

Going back to what anime I’ve watched since lockdown happened, I have seen quite a few series which I have thoroughly enjoyed. As seen from the featured image of this article, The Big O was a fantastic watch, and I cannot fault the dub for it. The pacing was spot on and has a really good ‘Boss of the Week’ format, with a really interesting end that definitely leaves you thinking.

The next two shows I want to mention were both made by the studio P.A Works, Charlotte and Angel Beats had brilliant stories and just reminded me how great getting into a series can be. To those that have watched Charlotte, the final episode is perfectly fine and I thought fit rather well in the story.

Angel Beats explores an afterlife for dead high school students, and Charlotte is set in a world where teenagers can develop superpowers.

In addition to this, I wanted to do a challenge of sorts. I had already seen a few Studio Ghibli films beforehand, such as Kiki’s Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky. They’re amazing films and I’m incredibly fond of them, which made our visit to the Ghibli Museum all the more special.

Making friends with the Robot from Castle in the Sky at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo

I can confirm as of writing this, I have watched every Ghibli film there is, and I definitely have some new favourites now. Whisper of the Heart, alongside The Cat Returns, and The Wind Rises have joined the club of my favourite films.

I’m excited to get stuck into some more shows, see new worlds, and have a fantastic time spreading the joy here!

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