“MILPOM★” is a Japanese stop-motion web-animation available on Crunchyroll and YouTube. It follows the titular Milpom and three of her friends, who are described by the official website as “filled with the essence of Kawaii and a little bit cynical girls”, as they live their everyday life in a version of Tokyo in which it is the social norm to wear a mask of an animal head. The series (at the time of writing) consists of six episodes, each being around five to ten minutes long.
As I’m sure anyone who has gone through it can tell you, puberty is not fun. It’s a confusing transitional period. If you’ve never experienced the joys of puberty then you’re either too old or too young and this post likely won’t appeal to you. If you are on the cusp of puberty or suffering through it as we speak then this is for you. I intend to plot a course through this period in your life, year by year with the use of TV, Movies and Books all from my own experiences starting at the age of 13. That means that this isn’t a comprehensive list, nor do I claim to be an expert on this topic.
In recent years, a stigma around Shonen anime and manga has arisen. The idea is that they are bloated with horrible filler content, poor animation, and stories designed to appeal to little boys. One of the shows that has contributed to this stigma almost more than any other is Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto. As part of “The Big 3“ Naruto surged in popularity in the early 2000s and along with One Piece and Bleach, did much to ignite the western anime boom of that era and while One Piece went on to be the best-selling manga of all time I feel it is safe to say that Naruto was the best at crossing the barrier to the rest of the world. For examples of this, you need not look farther than many American television shows. There have been almost countless amounts of winks and nods to the series, especially in cartoons. In a brief survey I conducted for this topic I found that 30% of people in my immediate surroundings were at least passingly aware of what Naruto where as One Piece and Bleach both ranked bellow 15 and 10% respectively.
As the year draws to a close, so too does another year of anime. If you, like me, have been unable to keep up with most of the most popular anime of the year then you’ve likely missed a few of the truly great ones. Today I have compiled a non-exhaustive, personalised list of my 5 favourite anime of this year.
Akira Toriyama’s manga Dragon Ball is one of the most widely known and adored manga or anime series of all time. Even if you don’t watch anime you’ve probably heard of Dragon Ball or at least would recognise if you were shown one of the main characters. After one of the major arcs in Dragon Ball, Toei Animation, the company in charge of the anime decided to carry on with their adaptation under a new name. This is where Dragon Ball became Dragon Ball Z. It wouldn’t be hard to go online and find an analysis of Dragon Ball Z but that’s not what I’m here for. Today I intend to dive into the things that distinguish Dragon Ball from Dragon Ball Z. It is all part of the same series but it is clear from looking at the two that they are vastly different types of shows.
NOTE: This article contains no future anime spoilers
In a vacuum, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a game with almost no merit whatsoever. The 2014 fighting game by CyberConnect2 (developer of the great Asura’s Wrath and not much else good) was released in Japan to fervent hype, receiving a 40/40 from Famitsu (Putting it alongside such greats as Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Nintendogs) and going on to become the best selling game of the year. However I feel this was a mistake on their part, as the game is a steaming pile of horseshit, no matter how much a fan of Hirohiko Araki’s 30 year spanning saga you are.
My beef with the Anime Fairy Tail runs deeps. I want to love this series. More than you know. If you take a look at my favourite anime 7/10 of them are Shonen action. So it’s not like I was predisposed to hate the series and I don’t actually hate the series. I’m almost 100 episodes in and I’m still going. I just dislike it. I get why people like it but whenever I here someone recommend it I just feel the need to watch something better. The main reason I dislike it so much is the characters. With the exception of maybe Erza all the characters are just boring or over used tropes. They each only have a few stand out moments, the rest of the time they feel like these characters are in the wrong setting. At the start of most arcs my hope for the series is revitalised with the hope that it’ll finally get good, because Fairy Tail does have some great stories and ideas but it doesn’t properly execute on most of them and I feel there’s not better place to start than with the main character himself, Natsu.