Everyone has an opinion on what makes an anime great. Some people love storytelling. Others enjoy aesthetics and art direction.
I love storytelling and music personally. I love direction synergy between art and music tones.
We all bring in our own personal bias and taste when viewing anime, considering what will make or break an anime.
Anime is a visual medium. I like anime series that can play off the aesthetics of the series. Visuals are narrative. It gives aids the story’s tone.
Directors can use visual tones to emote viewers’ emotional reaction.
Example: The conclusion of Yusuke and Suzuki’s fight (Yu Yu Hakusho).
Series animation director AkiyukiShinbo uses vibrant surrounding white light transiting into black and. dark shading on Yusuke. It sets a depressing feeling; that Yusuke died putting his life energy to defeat Suzaku.
Along with visual tone, a great anime needs a convincing story. The story needs interesting written characters with motivation. I like characters that are written in a way that can relate to naturally.
Most of my favorite anime characters are written like this. If I relate to a character, I care for them. I root for them to overcome their issues and improve overtime. This factor makes the character seem more human.
Mob from the 2016 anime series “Mob Psycho 100” is a character that fits this.
Despite blessed with everlasting psychic power, Mob wants to improve in other accepts in his school life. Rather than joining his school’s supernatural club, he joins the athletic Body Improvement club.
He aims to nurture his weak psychical strength and body.
He wants to improve his weak body by strengthen it. He could have easily joined a club suited to natural skills. However, Mob wants something more in life than just relying on his natural gifts.
This makes him feel human. This makes me relate to him because I want to improve in life. We all do.
Finally, a great anime needs a prominent music. Similar to visual, music sets tone. Music is narrative. Music is expressive. Music should reflect the mood of the scene.
I want to experience the same shock and amazement of Kyon, a normal teenager, as he was spectating reality wrapping aliens Yuki and Ryoko fighting inside a data field. Hell, I want the music to make me believe that I am Kyon.
I believe music can do this to my emotions. The right usage of a background song can impact and trigger the emotional accepts of my core. This enhances the anime for me.
As diverse individuals, we have our ideas on what make a great anime. We bring in our own taste and ideas that reflects what we want in an anime. Visual, sound, character story and tone. We use those factors to build standard of quality.
Ryoko vs. Yuki Fight Theme .
Love the song’s usage of of techno-like percussion, violins, cellos, and synths to create an alien sound.
Question: Have you ever wonder why a certain character is your favorite? The answer can be as simple as you think they’re cool and awesome or deep such as you have a relatable personal connection to that character.
I believe everyone has that one (or more) character that they can relate to. You probably relate to the character because of similar personality traits.
We like to see ourselves in characters we favor most. We appreciate these characters because they remind us of ourselves. This is how I am with my favorites. I love my favorites because I see myself in them.
Kanji Tatsumi from the 2008 video game Persona 4 is somebody I love. I can relate to his issues.
Kanji has a complex with his identity as a man. He enjoys sewing, knitting, and cute things.
Generally speaking, those hobbies are stereotyped as feminine and thus, he has a complex about his masculinity and sexuality.
Years prior to Persona 4, Kanji was bullied for his hobbies. He was taunted with homophobic slurs and other forms of name calling by his classmates. This fucked him up mentality.
Kanji develops a tough guy facade to combat (and mask) his insecuirties. He bleaches his hair blonde, starts weight lifting, pierces his ears, and wear attire to reflect his “manliness”.
It’s a bullshit front to hide his unresolved issues.
Kanji would eventually accept himself. He gains confidence embracing his “feminine” hobbies and learn to be open with his passion (it’s a story best saved for a more in-depth analysis post in the future).
Kanji’s struggle with his identity and self-acceptance was a reminder of my teen years. My enjoyment of nerdy hobbies such as video games and anime resulted in being bullied and called an “oreo” (black on the outside, white on the inside) and being accused of “acting white”.
Shit was goofy and baseless but it impacted me mentality growing up.
I knew I was black. I knew I wasn’t trying to be white. However, being fuck with and bullied for my hobbies by my black peers fucked my head up.
I developed a fear of expressing my nerdiness openly. I was afraid that people would judge me for being black and nerdy. Didn’t help that I had low self esteem pile on as well.
It took going to college to get over this fear. In college, I found other black peers who openly enjoy nerdy things and being conformable with both their racial and nerd identity.
I was inspired to do the same. To say fuck the judgement niggas and do me. To embrace myself. I became my true self and felt accepted.
Today, I am not only just confident in myself but also I am happy. Happy that I finally could be me and be understood without fear. Happy that I was able to accept who I am.
Kanji’s issues with his identity and accepting who he was reminded me of my younger days: A young kid dealing with his own issues with it and coming to terms with loving myself.
It was a struggle of self-conscious issues and fear of rejection but I learned to overcome those fears.
When it comes to relating to an anime character I would say Hotaru Tomoe from Pretty Solider Sailor Moon is one of my top choice.
I’m a huge fanboy of the Hotaru/Saturn character. While it is dope that she can blow up a planet or even a galaxy with her powers, my love for the character comes from finding parallels in her core personality in Sailor Moon Super (SMS) and me growing up.
Hotaru in SMS is introduced as a shy, quiet, socially awkward, bullied and weird girl who doesn’t have any friends (prior to meeting Chibi-Usa and the Inner Sailor Scouts). She keeps to herself and doesn’t interact with othrrs due to her fears of being shun, bullied and teased by others.
Hotaru’s fears resulted from being mocked and rejected by her peers because of her general weirdness (her healing powers and random, but violent, mood swings from being possessed by Mistress 9) so it’s understanding why she did not open up to anyone before befriending Chibi-Usa.
Hotaru first encountered Chibi-Usa,who had hurt herself chasing her hat. Seeing her hurt, Hotaru offer to heal Chibi-Usa’s wound.
Chibi-Usa was amazed by her power. Hotaru was surprised that Chibi-Usa didn’t freak out or thought of her as weird or creepy as others thought of her powers in the past.
(Granted Chibi-Usa IS a superpowered time traveling princess like Future Trunks from Dragon Ball Z. Healing factor ain’t shit to her but I am getting off topic).
The two became best friends from that day forth. Hotaru didn’t dwell on how different she was from her new friend because she was just happy to be accepted for who she was. She was able to open up to somebody.
Growing up, I was bullied a lot for my weirdness and awkward nature. I’m also rather shy and quiet (expect when I am drunk. I am not quiet nor shy when drunk).
It takes a while for me to open up to people due to my own fears from the past (the fear isn’t as bad as it used to be in my youth). If I do open up to somebody its because I vavule that person deeply and I feel like they will accept me.
I get overwhelm with joy each time I can connect with somebody despite how different I feel about myself. It is a great feeling to be accept despite what fears may hold me back.
To conclude, I believe everyone has at least one character they love because of one or many similar triat. Being able to connect with a character is a wonderful feeling because you see yourself in him or her.
I was able to see myself in Kanji from Persona 4 and Hotaru from Sailor Moon S because I shared similar traits those characters had. They became some of my favorite characters in their respected medium because of the parallels I had with their personality.
(I am never fucking editing on a phone ever again)
As an artist, musician, or writer, you often hear people tell you that you should always promote your craft. Always work on skills. Always improve on your work because you never know who may be checking you out.
Having the right person enjoying your craft could lead your passion and hobby into a career or even working along side with your idol.
Dragon Ball Super manga artist Toyotaro is a prime example of this. Toyotaro started out as a Dragon Ball manga artist. As a doujin artist he is best known for his Dragon Ball AF doujin manga; a fan project that landed him a job with JUMP Magazine working along side with series creator Akira Toriyama.
A fan working with a series creator man. That’s perhaps one of the greatest honor you can have that nobody can ever take away from you.
Think about it: Toyotaro had a hobby of making Dragon Ball manga. He probably never imagined in his life that his passion and love would lead him to working with famed manga artist Akira Toriyama. He gets paid to create art of his favorite series with the creator.
If you’re a producer keep making beats. A musician? Keep playing. A writer? Keep writing. An artist? Keep drawing. Keep promoting yourself and putting you works out for the world.
You really never know who may be enjoying your work.
Imagine this: Your homeboy gets you caught up in his bullshit. You had no involvement to his actions prior but this doesn’t mean anything. Your careless ass friend managed to drag you into their mess. If you do not get involved, the dire consequences will impact not only him but you as well. And it ain’t gonna be pretty.
In the recent episode 78 of Dragon Ball Super, Goku is that careless friend. Goku manged to drag his associates, friends, and family into his bullshit. Goku defiantly went against Beerus’ prior warning to not to remind Lord Zeno (Zen-Oh-Sama) of the Tournament of Power.
The Tournament of Power (a.k.a the Omni King All Universe Survival Tournament) the all universe tournament hosted by Lord Zeno, king of all. There are no rewards in this tournament sans your universe not being wiped out of existence if you’re declared victor in addition to using the Super Dragon Balls. There’s at least that. Yay!
So, because Goku wants to fight so badly he endangered not only endanger his friends, family, and planet, this man put the existence of his universe at risk of being wiped out.
Goku, for the very first time in his life, has to take responsibility for his actions. Beerus had to threaten him to do it of course. Thank god for you Beerus. Thank god for you.
Goku enlists his son Gohan and friend, Majin Buu to fight in this tournament and explains If they lose, goodbye to their universe existence. Mr. Satan tags along but he ain’t doing shit. They ain’t too please about Goku getting them all caught up.
They ain’t the only ones you know. You already know word got spread quick about this tournament. You already know you got niggas from all 12 universes who want to come after Goku. They have to fight not just for surivivial, but for their existence because Goku needed a good challenge.
Prior to Sailor Moon S, a laboratory explosion would claim the lives of Souichi Tomoe’s family. Lamenting his daughter Hotaru’s death, Souichi is approached Geramatoid of the Tau Nebula. Geramatoid presents him an offer: Restoration of Hotaru’s life in exchanged for Souichi’s freewill and servitude.
Souichi accepts, not caring about his own life. Upon Souichi’s agreement Germtoid takes him as a vessell; controlling his body, will, and life. Unknown to Souichi , Hotaru would become a vessel to Mistress 9; the Messiah of Silence.
After the incident Hotaru and Souichi continued their lives “normally” and grew close, despite acting as pawns for the aliens. With Hotaru’s character arc introduction, we are given a solid example of their bond. In episode 112, Hotaru and Chibi-Usa are warmly greeted by Souichi at Hotaru’s house. Hotaru cheerfully introduce her Chibi-Usa to her father, who is glad to see Hotaru made a friend (for once in her pitiful life). Hotaru is affectionate towards her father, expressed in tone and body language.
Later, the relationship cemented at the arc’s climax. Souichi (liberated from Germtoid’s control) confronts Mistress 9 (fully controlling Hotaru’s body). He falls to his knees, clutching the unrecognizable woman and begins begging for forgiveness, guilt ridden for allowing her to become possessed and indirectly ruining her life.
Irritated, she responds with calling Tomoe a “useless filthy shell of Geramtoid” and strangling him with her hair. Enraged, Hotaru (whom was inside Mistress 9) overpower the Daimon, forcing her to release her father.
Mistress 9 would struggle with Hotaru to regain control of the child’s body but to no avail. Hotaru’s drive to save her father would lead to the awakening the spirit of Sailor Saturn residing in her. Mistress 9 was instantly killed as the power of Saturn’s awakening was too much for her.
Soon after awakening, Hotaru, as Sailor Saturn, proceeds to destroy Pharaoh 90 (leader of the Daimons, summoned earlier by Mistress 9) saving the world at the cost of her life. However, with her powers of rebirth, Hotaru was reincarnated as a baby. Souichi (recovering from his injuries and amnesia) reunited with Hotaru, beginning a new life free from the Daimons.
At the end, it’s funny to think about the roundabout results Souichi noble act of sacrifice. The man gave up his own will and body to save his daughter’s life. Hotaru saved her father and “sacrificed” herself to save the world.
To quote a certain rapper: ‘Have you ever loved someone so much, you’d give an arm for? Not the expression, no, literally give an arm for?’
(If we were to dig deeper into their relationship there’s actually a second side of Hotaru and Souichi’s, relationship although not as direct. After Hotaru’s introduction in the series, there are a few scenes of Hotaru and Souichi [under the influences of Mistress 9 and Germatoid] interacting with one another and discussing plans for Mistress 9’s awakening and the destruction of Earth.)
While the anime portrayed Souichi as a caring, warm, and selfish father, his original manga counterpart was a deranged monster. (Okay, maybe monster is a bit too strong of a word. Bastard seems right).
Professor Tomoe was a self-centered madman whom perceived his daughter’s near fatal injuries and the invasion of the Daimons as gifts from the heavens. His grand ambitions and selfish drive would lead to Hotaru living a horrible life.
An infamous figure in the science community, Professor Tomoe was blacklisted due to his unethical research and experiments. After being blacklisted Tomoe sold his findings, using the money he earned to buy property for a research lab and founded the Infinity Academy to continued his work. Flip and hustle my dude. Flip and hustle.
Similar to the original anime, his wife was killed and Hotaru was severely injured in a lab fire. Tomoe saved Hotaru’s, using a combination of genetic technology and replacing her damaged limbs with cybernetics implants.
During a follow-up operation, lighting struck his lab, opening a dimension gateway (it’s a comic book, roll with it). Master Pharaoh 90 emerged from the gateway with an offer: he would give Souichi everlasting power and knowledge in exchanged for his allegiance. Although bewilder and hesitate at first Souichi accepts, seeing this chance encounter as a breakthrough for his research.
Pleased, Pharaoh 90 gives Tomoe Daimon eggs for implantation of human hosts. The professor receives one for himself and another containing Mistress 9. The Mistress 9 egg needed a suitable host for her powers to grow. Souichi knew the “right’ person.
Tomoe implants the egg inside Hotaru who was still recovery. Her body degrades to a frail state resulting from the unnatural combination of cybernetics implants, genetic technology, and finally, becoming the unwilling vessel of Mistress 9. Culminating from the selfish ambition of her father, her health plummeted ranging from seizures, shortness of breath, and blackouts.
While Souichi and Hotaru were close in the anime, their manga counterpart was distant and cold. In chapter 2 of the arc Kaori (Tomoe’s assistant) notices Hotaru having a health fit.
Kaori offers to help Hotaru until she recovers.
Despite being offered help, Hotaru pretty much tells the woman to fuck off, stating that she can take care of herself. Tomoe intervenes, asking Hotaru not to be rude to his assistant as Kaori helped the family ever since the death of her mother.
Hotaru proceeds to go off on her dad. She doesn’t hold back in telling him that he’s only infatuated with the woman, who just happens to be his private tutor. As Hotaru storms to her room she tells Kaori that “she ought to learn her place”.
Souichi checks up on Hotaru once things cooled. As she is being comfort by her dad she remarks on how inhumanly cold his hands are.
I believe this is the best to describe their relationship: Cold. The two were distance and cold. Souichi was invested in his research, always in his lab. This left Hotaru lonely with little interaction with her father. Souichi only saw Hotaru as a project, more concerned Mistress 9’s growth than his own daughter.
Later in the future, Mistress 9 awoken (transformed after consuming Chibi-Usa’s Silver Crystal). Souichi was excited to see her in full. He expressed concerns that initial fusion attempts with Hotaru’s body failed, nearly prevented her awakening. Hotaru (observing the discussion in her spirit form) wasn’t pleased that her father did this to her.
Her suffering and ostracized life was caused by her own father. Her father whom only saw her as a science experiment.
Souichi would meet his demise in Act 35 of the manga. Soon after transforming into Daimon Germatoid, Tomoe was instantly killed by Super Sailor Moon’s “Rainbow Moon Heart Attack”. (Dude was talking all that good shit but he didn’t even last three pages.)
As she watched her father die, Hotaru reflects how he did everything for her ever since her mother’s death. However, she states that her father died on the day he sold himself to Pharaoh 90. The man who died was not her father.
It’s strange how opposite their relationship were comparing the anime to the original manga. Souichi wanted to do anything to save Hotaru even if it meant becoming a servant to Germatoid and the Pharaoh 90. While he was noble for doing so it did spite him as Hotaru would also become a servant to Mistress 9. Souichi had enormous remorse for allowing Hotaru to be possessed despite he knew it wasn’t his fault.
Unfortunately his manga counterpart did not share that guilt. He felt prideful about his actions, thinking of Hotaru as just a project and not his daughter. Yea, he did saved her life (how he did at may not been totally legal, performing surgery his kid in his secret lab) but what good was that if he took advantage of her suffering?
Goddammit manga Souichi. Just…goddammit.
While most (hardcore) fans are aware that Hotaru and her father’s interactions are vastly different in the manga/Crystal and original 90s anime, there are some who may had only grew up watching or experienced the original anime. It is because of watching the original anime alone that they were unaware that Souichi was a horrible person in original manga thus his cruel nature in Sailor Moon Crystal.
Their surprise is understanding as Souichi was a good person who was thrown into a horrible situation in Toei Animation’s portrayal of his character in the original series compared to Naoko Takeuchi’s Professor Tomoe in Crystal and the manga. Their shock pretty much inspired me to write about both versions lol (YouTube comments can do that to you)
I hope you enjoy this post and if you took the time to read it and enjoy what I wrote I hope you follow me on WordPress for more content like this. I am currently working on a piece for Son Goku from the popular Dragon Ball series so stick around for that in the future!