12 Days Of Anime Day 8: Modern Anime Classics

This is the 3rd draft of this article, because it initially started as a guide for what shows and movies would be good for people new to anime. I decided to change my approach because A: there are many other places you can get that information and B: the titles on that list are not as varied as I would like. A more interesting approach I gathered, would be to discuss and bring up the shows that I consider are destined to be modern classics.Why? because I believe it will be an interesting thought experiment, what opinions will the veteran anime fans have on the topic and what do they consider classics and why, also are the shows that I bring up accessible to newer viewers? will people who are not necessarily eclectic in taste have a go at these shows and what do they consider classics? I find it all so very intriguing.

So, what is my definition of a ‘classic show?’ This is a show that I believe is first and foremost exceptional in its quality i.e if I were to rate it on my review scale (check my scale to understand how I rate) it would most likely be a 9 or 10. A ‘classic’ is a show that has a cascading effect on the anime industry, take for example Neon Genesis Evangelion and all the mimics it had. A ‘classic’ is a show that the community will remember and continue to remember in high regard constantly calling back to it for numerous reasons.

SHIROBAKO

Shirobako is a workplace drama about a young group of females who are just entering the workforce and have a dream to work in the anime industry and eventually create their very own anime. Its portrayal of the struggle that millennials go through to find work and be satisfied in it is biting with accuracy, almost as much as its representation of the modern anime industry. The show features cameos by famous anime industry veterans with names altered ofcourse but the keen eye and ear will easily spot them out.

The reason this show gets to be a modern classic is because of how near perfect its pacing and characterisation are. Even side characters and sub-stories get their full arcs and conclusions that they deserve. Its ensemble cast is all likable and  you would be hard pressed not to find atleast one storyline that touches you on a deep emotional level. I was certainly left in tears by the end and it is for those reasons that the show ended up being my 2015 anime of the year.

Director Tsutomu Mizushima worked on Shirobako and his other notable works would be Girls und Panzer, a show that also features an ensemble cast of girls that all get to have a spot to shine in the limelight and Genshiken, an older under-rated show about members of an anime club that also features an ensemble cast of very realistically depicted otaku.

FATE/ZERO

 

The origin story and the starting point of the popular Fate franchise, this shows concept is simple but is executed in the most complex way possible. The story is set in Japan and features seven Masters who each summon a legendary hero from the past to battle it out in an epic battle royale for the Holy Grail. A magical bauble that has the ability to grant the winner any wish they desire.

Fate/Zero has a colorful cast of characters with varying ideals and goals. Its animation at the time was quite revolutionary and way above par for even the most mundane of scenes. As a starting point for an epic tale spanning a few decades and over 15 main characters it does a good job of fleshing all of them out and explaining why they are doing what they doing. The closest parallel I can come up with is Game of Thrones, there really isn’t a traditional ‘good guy’ in this story you as the viewer get to pick one based on your own ideals and wishes. The general presentation is grande and epic and so are all the characters with their air of self importance and bombast.

Famed screen/script writer Gen Urobuchi worked on both the novel and the anime and this was just another one of the shows that cemented him as a true legend and master of the craft. His other notable works include Madoka Magica, Aldnoah Zero and Psycho Pass, all shows that have a fair shake at being considered modern classics in their own rights.

MADE IN ABYSS

Made in Abyss is a fantasy show about a great abyss bout 1000 metres in diameter and an unknown depth surrounded by a small town. The townsfolk venture into the depths of this abyss to procure relics that they sell to tourists and each other, this trade is the basis of their economy. This abyss has mystical and strange creatures and is said to possess a magical ability that draws people towards it and to venture deeper into its pit. However, the deeper you go the more strain the abyss has on the body ranging from nausea to death, only the bravest and the strongest can survive the plunge and return to the surface alive and well.

Made in Abyss is the most recent entry on my list and while it may seem premature to state that it has the potential to be a modern classic I can not deny its apparent quality. The mystery of this show is what drives its plot, it provides information in bits and pieces over its run-time and just like the magical power of the abyss it draws us the viewers in as well. Its presentation works on multiple levels, 1st as a ‘gotcha’ for viewers expecting it to be as it presents itself and secondly as a palette cleanser or contrast for the dark and heavy themes and imagery we have to endure. Speaking in detail about the show would only serve to spoil it so the premise is all that I will provide.

PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA

Madoka Magica is about an ordinary high school aged girl named Madoka Kaname whose dream is to one day become a magical girl. She gets visited by a cute looking familiar called Kyubey who tells her she can make any wish she desires (for no apparent cost) However, a sinister looking new student tries her darnedest to stop Kyubey and Madoka from making this wish.

Madoka Magica is a post modern take on the popular magical girl anime that you may have come across as Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor Sakura. Its deconstruction and subversion of the tropes found in the genre are the main reason that this show had a dramatic impact on the community at the time (many regard it as the best show in its year) and quite honestly still does. It is a grim take on what sacrifices have to be made in order to achieve the deepest desires of our hearts.

The show got Gen Urobuchi his first Tokyo Anime Award for script writing and propelled his career into super stardom going on to write numerous works such as the aforementioned Fate/Zero and others like Psycho Pass and the feature length Expelled From Paradise.

 

STEINS;GATE

Rintaro Okabe a man who refers to himself as a ‘mad scientist’ and runs a ‘future gadget laboratory’ as a hobby finds himself in a world altering predicament the day that he finds the dead body of a foreign researcher Kurisu Makise in a building after attending a time travel seminar. He sends a text message to his club member Daru about the incident but lo and behold discovers that Kurisu is still alive and that the text he sent may have come from the future. The entire gang then seek to investigate how this happened and what it might mean.

If you like Sci-Fi and time travel this is definitely the show for you. I once wrote saying Steins;Gate is the epitome of what modern anime is; it’s a visual novel adaptation, it has light comedy scenes, it panders to the otaku demographic by setting itself in Akihabara and having constant call backs to otaku culture. It even has a good dose of moe to go along with its dark thriller storyline, a true amalgamation of the modern anime.

Its very rare for TV shows or movies to get time travel correctly, they are usually filled with plot holes and unanswered questions. Steins;Gate as far as I can remember is pretty good at explaining its fake science and takes great care in ensuring that there are no plot holes due to the constant time travel.

MONOGATARI (Franchise)

 

The story follows Koyomi Araragi, a half vampire half human boy as he meets various ‘oddities’ i.e beings possesd with supernatural entities or supernatural entities themselves and tries his best to rid them of these entities. He finds himself entangled in their lives and drama, action, comedy and even some fanservice ensues.

Ive been a fan of the Monogatari franchise since it first aired in 2010. Its presentation and off kilter dialogue and characters are so unique they just grab you. It’s a dialogue heavy show often cutting to screens with nothing but text to try and provide context for what is going on. A dialogue heavy show may sound boring to watch which is why I believe it was a stroke of pure genius that the producers decided to go with Akiyuki Shinbo as the chief Director for the project.

Shinbo’s style is in full effect here, its like he tries his best to keep the screen filled with interesting visuals constantly almost like he’s bored at the idea of two or more talking heads just blankly staring at each other. He even spices it up with some tasteful sleazy shots here and there which always seem to hit the right tone and that’s nothing compared to the brilliant fight sequences that reach immaculate standards in the Kizumonogatari films.

This franchise may seem daunting to get into because of how vast it is, my personal advice would be to either watch its current starting point films Kizumonogatari or the Tv show Bakemonogatari which is the direct sequel but the one that aired 1st, and got most of us into the show in the first place.

So, that’s my short list of the shows that I believe are modern classics, I could throw a handful more in there but I’m really curious to know what you guys think would make the cut.

 

~ by kiddtic on December 20, 2017.

5 Responses to “12 Days Of Anime Day 8: Modern Anime Classics”

  1. […] 12 Days Of Anime Day 8: Modern Anime Classics By Kidd’s Anime Blog […]

  2. Of the series I have seen here, I definitely agree. Glad I found you through Lita’s blog 🙂

  3. […] have previously shortlisted this franchise as a modern anime classic and I still firmly hold that belief to this day. There is simply nothing like it out there and it […]

Well said but my Opinion Is...

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