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Winter Break: Time for Fun, Sleep and ANIME

Anime 9

The holiday season has brought about a new wave of anime for all types of fans, ranging from comedy to horror.

And with the holiday breaks coming around, there is a lot of time to catch up on what’s new or binge watch the entire series.

Tokyo Ghoul revolves around modern-day Tokyo where the city is filled with humans, ghouls, and ghoul hunters. Ghouls are humanistic monsters who are cannibalistic and unable to eat human food. The ghoul hunters – known as CCG/Dove members – exterminate any-and-all ghouls, with the help of wanted posters and in-depth databases.

Kaneki Ken, a shy male character, is the protagonist who encounters a ghoul first-hand after being tricked into a date. When he fails to die, scientists experiment on him and replace his organs, making him become a half-ghoul/half-human. Reality shifts for Kaneki and he must figure out his new self-identity before getting lost in the chaos of ghouls and ghoul hunters.

This anime is an emotional train wreck that is filled with horror, blood, and tragedy. There are a lot of psychological struggles with trying to define humanity and who the real monsters are. The first season has made its debut, and there seems to be another season coming out in Jan. 2015. The corresponding manga is already on the sequel, so those who can’t wait for the next season can go and read the comics online.

Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji takes place in a Japanese school where the main female, Erika, lies about having a boyfriend. Instead of fessing up to her lie, she tells all of her friends that she is dating a guy who she quickly took a picture of. The day after, “picture guy” becomes a student at her school, and she must strike a deal with him to keep her façade up. Unfortunately, Kyouya is a “black prince” with a two-faced personality.

As a romantic-comedy, this anime is very upbeat most of the time with Erika being a wholehearted believer of romance and true love, and Kyouya believing that love is a farce. Anime watchers who don’t like star-struck heroines have nothing to worry about because Erika is a character who gets aggressive and fights back. Just like with the corresponding name for Kyouya, Erika is a “wolf girl” – a puppy most of the time, but when irritated, gets her retribution.

The anime has just started while the manga is pretty far in the series. Both are great to read or watch, and the anime stays consistent with its counterpart. For the dedicated anime watchers, “Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji” follows the basic guidelines of Japanese romantic-comedy. Such polar opposite characters make this anime a good start for the fall season mashup.

Barakamon begins with the main character, Seishuu, punching an important figurehead because of the judgment placed on him for his calligraphy. As a punishment, Seishuu is sent to live on a small island, where he must repent and try to find his own unique form of calligraphy. The island is old fashioned – compared to the cities of Japan that Seishuu is accustomed too – and a lot of misadventures happen with him and the locals throughout the show.

Two words sum up this entire anime: ridiculously hilarious. Every episode is filled with hilarious situations for even the most mundane tasks around the island. All of the characters are quirky and a bit insane. Seishuu goes slightly crazy when he gets inspiration for calligraphy and becomes insanely depressed when his work fails to impress. Naru is an eccentric island child who always brings other children or villagers over to Seishuu’s house, no matter the time or other people’s convenience.

The plot is very comedic in nature, but it also brings out a lot of character development. The lighthearted tone of the show can be a way to bring to light the reality of the world. People must grow up to progress, but also stay young and joyful to have a full and refreshing life. Each character sees that the city embodies adulthood and a career as the island embodies the simplistic and happy lifestyle. Balancing both brings out Seishuu’s own talents for calligraphy.

To have an anime to laugh at as well as hold onto the characters, “Barakamon” is the perfect story to watch unfold. One unfortunate factor about the show is that it only has one season and doesn’t seem to have another planned.

Magic Kaito starts off with a fun protagonist, Kuroba Kaito, a high school magician who is a master of pranks, illusions, and disguises. He has two personas he goes by: Kuroba Kaito during the day and Kaito Kid during the night. After the mysterious murder of his father – the original Kid – Kaito follows his father’s footsteps in trying to find Pandora, a jewel said to bring immortality.

Kid is a gentlemanly thief, stealing jewels in the most elaborate and magical ways possible, and always returning them when he sees that they are not Pandora. He has a large fan-base that watches his performances. To keep his identity secret, Kaito always has multiple back-up plans to make sure his father’s legacy stays alive, especially when dealing with the high school detective in his class, Hakuba.

This anime is a blast from the past since it debuted as a manga in 1987. Its popularity wasn’t that great and was dwarfed considerably from the creator’s other work, “Case Closed.” While “Case Closed” may have stunted “Magic Kaito,” it also brought it back from obscurity with multiple appearances and movie cameos. With a brand new anime premiere, it may be right up with the creator’s other works.

Sailor Moon Crystal is the remake of the 90’s anime, “Sailor Moon”. With magical girls, talking cats, a mysterious masked man, and the forces of evil, “Sailor Moon” was one of the first popular animes featuring magical transformation.

The story follows Usagi, a cute girl who loves to eat and has a romantic soul. She meets a talking black cat, Luna, and finds out that she is destined to be a Sailor Scout. As Sailor Moon, she must also find Sailor Scouts: Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus to help defend Earth from evil and find the “Legendary Silver Crystal.”

While the art and drawing style is beautiful, old time watchers will find that there are a lot of changes with the remake. One of the pluses to the remake is that the series isn’t filled with filler episodes, and instead goes straight to the point with the plot. The downsides to the remake are that the characters, though ascetically pleasing, do not have the funny and exaggerated faces that give characters like Usagi a rounded personality.

Those who have or haven’t watched the original “Sailor Moon” should still give the remake a try and see what the pros and the cons are for future remakes of anime shows.

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