Friday, April 16, 2010

Best Anime Opening/Ending Themes

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head?  Like a broken record playing over and over and over even while you're sleeping?  And you suddenly start humming, or even worse - singing, the song at random moments during the day involuntarily like muscle twitches?  That's what anime has done to me, but in a good way.  That's why I think all anime shows should be required to splash this message in big bold letters before the start of the opening theme:

Watching too much anime can cause JPop/Rock/Hiphop addiction.

It all starts out quite innocently.  You hear the anime's opening theme and don't think much about it because you don't understand Japanese.  Then you start noticing how awesome the video sequence that goes with the opening theme is.  Then you realize that the music is a perfect fit for the anime you're watching.  Pretty soon you hear the darn song in your head every time you see the anime's main character.  Then you just have to look it up in YouTube because you're curious to see the artists behind it.  And then you find the video to the full version of the song and that's when you're hooked.

Well, that's how I got hooked anyway. :D  You know... why don't you try it?  You might like it. ;P  I'll even point you in the right direction.  Here are a few of my favorite anime opening/ending themes right now:  (By the way, don't mind the incomprehensible English lyrics, a lot of them are incorrect. Hehe.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Funny Anime English Dub Outtakes (Official Anime Bloopers)

You know how the things we take for granted sometimes sneak up on us and give us a good whacking on the behind?  That's sort of what happened to me this evening as I was browsing through YouTube.  I came across these videos that gave my laughing muscles a lot of exercise.  They were outtakes of the Ouran High School Host Club and Rurouni Kenshin English dub.  I hadn't really given much thought to the anime dubbing process until a couple of days ago.  If I had taken the time I would have realized that just like on-screen actors, voice actors also have bloopers.  And bloopers are good entertainment.  So I thought I would share the laughs with you tonight.  (Now I want to watch all the episodes of Ouran High School Host Club and Rurouni Kenshin again.) :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Older Anime Characters

Just what is it with anime and high school students?  I mean, why is it that almost all non-samurai anime are about high school kids?  Why don't they make more anime about adults like veteran war journalist Tatsumi Saiga in Speed Grapher for instance?  But even in Speed Grapher they had to put a high school girl right up there with Saiga.  Do anime fans really like the high school setting that much, or is it that most anime fans are high school students themselves?  What about us adults?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  In fact, I've enjoyed quite a few high school themed anime such as Ouran High School Host Club and Great Teacher Onizuka (Junior high is still high school even though their teacher Eikichi Onizuka is 22 years old).  College might be a bit better, but it would still be about students and teenagers.

I would like to see more anime with adult, not teenage, characters.  Basically I guess I want the main characters to be and look older than 30.  And I want the main character to be male.  And he's got to be handsome, smart and confident.  And there has to be a generous amount of sexual tension between him and another girl a couple of years younger who is preferably not a whiny little brat.  And the story must inspire feelings of suspense, "kilig" and excitement.  It may be set in modern or ancient or fictional Japan, just as long as the above-mentioned elements are present.  Hmm... maybe I should create my own anime.  Hehe.

Sigh... now I'm missing Byakuya Kuchiki and Gin Ichimaru.  Why did Bleach have to get so bad after the first couple of seasons?

From left to right: Toshiro Hitsugaya, Gin Ichimaru, Ichigo Kurosaki, Byakuya Kuchiki, Renji Abarai

Monday, April 12, 2010

Top 10 Hottest Anime Guys

Okayyy... I admit it!  I choose which anime to watch primarily based on how gorgeous the guys are in it.  So shoot me with a modified 454 Casull calibre handgun made from melting Lancaster Cathedral's silver cross, used with blessed, exploding bullets!  (Can you tell that I'm a Hellsing fan?!)  Whatever genre of anime I watch, I always look for at least one guy in it that I would be attracted to if he were real.  Seriously, I'm not joking.  I guess you could say I'm going through a late teenage-hood phase because I never got to truly experience it then.  Anyway, here is a list of my Top 10 Hottest Anime Guys as of April 2010:


Age: 567 years old
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Red
Race: Vampire

Alucard is one of the original vampires, believed to be Dracula, the one Van Hellsing thought he killed in Bram Stoker's masterpiece.  (Alucard is Dracula spelled backwards.)  He is very powerful and virtually indestructible.  He has a habit of getting himself shot full of holes whether by bullets or blessed blades, - really, he doesn't even try to dodge them - and even got his head cut off once in the anime, but he regenerates after a while.  He wears a stylish black suit with a blood-red Victorian coat and a pair of dark sunglasses.  Add to that a hypnotic gaze, deep resonating voice, and two large guns too heavy and powerful for a human to wield and you've got yourself one hell of a hot vampire. Undeniably the hottest anime guy alive... or undead.  Hehe.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lessons From The Great Teacher Onizuka

I recently finished watching all 43 episodes of the anime Great Teacher Onizuka or GTO for short, and I have to say that it was quite entertaining.  It follows the adventures (or more accurately, misadventures) of an ex-gang leader turned school teacher named Eikichi Onizuka.  His unconventional and often over-the-top methods of teaching were a riot, but they proved to be effective in the end.

Thinking about GTO made me remember our recent workshop on The Teacher as a Life Coach.  (Yes, I am a teacher as well.)  While it's true that Onizuka wasn't a model TEACHER, - he didn't present the academic lessons well, reading books made him fall asleep, he smoked like a chimney, he was a hopeless horndog - he was an excellent LIFE COACH having been able to give his very problematic junior high school students the emotional guidance that they needed.  It reminded me that facts and knowledge aren't the only things students should be learning.  More importantly, they have to be taught life skills that will help them cope as they journey through life.

English Dubbed vs. English Subbed Anime

Anime lovers from around the world have been fighting over this matter since the beginning of time.  I'm exaggerating of course, but it is true that wherever anime forum you go to there is always this argument of which one is better: watching anime English dubbed or in its original language (which is Japanese) with English subtitles.  Many would argue that watching anime in its original language with English subtitles is the best way to go citing various reasons for believing so, but I personally prefer watching English dubbed anime.

Now before all of you English subbed fanatics stone me to death, hear me out.  I'm sure watching subbed anime has its advantages, but my reasons for preferring dubbed over subbed are quite simple:
  1. I like gazing into the eyes of the characters as they speak instead of reading subtitles.
  2. I am an auditory person.  Hearing words that I actually understand adds to the experience.
  3. I have a small monitor, so I would have to sit close to the computer to be able to read the small subtitles instead of lying down on the bed which I usually do.
  4. I fall in love with people voices.  And I have to say those English dub voice actors sound so sexy!  (Most of them anyway.  There are particular voice actors whose way of speaking I don't like.)
  5. I can concentrate on the action going on rather than on the words on the screen.
Having said all this, I also personally feel that however way you like watching your anime doesn't matter.  It's like arguing whether you prefer to drink milk hot or cold.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mystery Anime Characters

Does anybody know who those anime characters in my blog banner are?  I downloaded this blogger template from somewhere and I liked how it looked, but I have no idea if the characters in the banner photo are real anime characters or original drawings from the maker of the template.

I would love to be able to draw like that.  I bought a drawing book and some art materials some time ago and so far have only gotten to drawing that hot-tempered cat from Fruits Basket.  I think I'll stick to simple drawings and animals for now.  Drawing people seems like another skill altogether.

How I Came To Love Anime

I love anime. I have spent countless hours of my life watching anime. Just how did I come to love anime so much anyway? It was back in college when I first entered animeland. My first anime: Samurai X (a.k.a. Rurouni Kenshin). I just happened to catch the pilot episode when it first aired on Studio 23, and I never missed a single episode after that. Before I knew it, I had fallen in love with Kenshin Himura, Aoshi Shinomori, and Saito Hajime. I had never in my whole life known men as strong and principled and handsome. And their voices were so sexy! The way they pronounced the words so clearly with perfect diction made them sound even sexier.

I started daydreaming about being part of their world. I imagined myself being "protected" by Kenshin, Aoshi, or Saito, and it felt so good. I guess that's how I coped with loneliness back then. I was never alone when I had those three by my side. I know it sounds silly and even weird, but Samurai X was one of the things that kept me from going insane. And I am very thankful. :)

I've included videos of the pilot episode of Samurai X for those who want to see it. This wasn't the version I watched many years ago, but I've seen it as well. Enjoy.
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