The Balanced Diet – Sorely Lacking In Kisses

No, this has nothing to do with the blog by a similar name.

Chairwoman Mao Yoshino

But the idea behind this rant is the same: there are different stories out there; as a genre or a medium, anime offers some variety of themes and stories. Even more importantly, anime offers a wide varieties of storytelling.

Moyashimon is an inspiration of sorts for this post: The Eskimos cuisine, kiviak, was the center of a joke when Dr. Moleman came out and sucked the juices of dead birds, straight from a dead seal. The show went on and explained that as Eskimo cuisine started to use cooked meat instead of raw meat, the Eskimo then used fermented seabird juices to supplement their vitamin-lacking diet as heating the meat broke down some of the essential vitamins within the food. Indeed, it was not like taking a multivitamin pill in the morning as you rush off to school or work.

Point: all people enjoy a wide variety of stories, but delivered in a format that works for them.

A fine example of this is Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. To be honest the story behind it is pretty uninteresting once you know what it is, but because it’s packaged in a fairly fresh, layered and intriguing way, with a lot of superimposed and juxtaposing moe and gore, it works. Indeed, compared to shows like Shigurui, Higurashi is almost like an episode of Dragon Ball Z.

But I am not saying DBZ is bad. It is good, at times. It’s like while delicious steak is delicious, you probably don’t want to have that for breakfast everyday. It’s okay to learn about life through a kid’s dialog with a ghost while playing go. It just won’t have the same effect of learning about life through a kid’s dialog with her friends while planning a school festival. Or a kid’s dialog with his friends while riding on a giant robot. Or a kid’s dialog with her friends while riding on a dog. We need all of them, at different times in our lives, for different people.

The bigger framework here is simple: there are stories, and there are different ways to tell it. A character-driven monologue-heavy narrative will have different effects than a crew-gathering boss-fighting mecha show. Both kind of shows will draw different crowds even if the underlying story and theme is pretty much the same, with characters running on the same set of outlook and perspective, in drastically different situations

Problem: Perhaps you are like myself and watch a lot of new anime. If you follow what’s new and fresh from Japan’s airwaves then you are prone to not having a balanced anime diet. We are at the mercy of whatever delicious morsel of cartoons fansubbers, anime studios, and your preferred means of obtaining these shows, to deliver what captures your attention. Instead, we should also seek to watch some other shows to balance out of what you have seen the near past. Variety is a cure in of itself, let alone enabling a more balanced view of anime both as a hobby and as a medium. If all you watch is tentacle porn, I guess that’s fine too but that might be a bit Eskimo-esque, and you might want to look into something odd to keep your perspective fresh. Same can be said of people who watch mostly action anime, or mecha anime, or shoujo, or romance, or generally not getting a good grip of what it is like out there, what anime generally can offer to its viewers. A balanced diet is recommended, even if it’s in the form of a weird alternative. What’s key is with the right delivery. For example, Touka Gettan on DVD… or Colorful?

I jest.

Actually, I think I just wrote this up because I just can’t quite fathom my obsession with Mao and Kimikiss anime. After giving the weird impulse I had some thought, I think, besides the “hot for <insert chara name here>” factor, I have this deep craving for a good shounen/seinen pure romance story. I know there was a “Shizuka” thing a year ago, but that was no where near as … moe. The delivery didn’t work for me. I suppose the Ah My Goddess TV series counted too, but those are more like “old” stories rehashed. Shows like H&C and Nodame were great, but they’re incomplete substitutes as josei manga adopted. In other words, there’s just a lack in this category of anime in recent years. A bishoujo game adaptation just doesn’t work like that unless it’s rewritten alike to Kimikiss Pure Rouge.

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