If you follow me, which you totally should, you’ll notice two posts in a row decrying some show or another. Both successful, and I’m grateful for that, but I also noticed a trend in the comments I got off of them both. Each time I got comments by people who both liked the post but also the show in question, a few even offering reasons why.
And you know what? That’s perfectly okay.
The internet seems to be on a high horse when it comes to taste. If someone you like dislikes something, should you dislike it too? Absolutely not because there’s no accounting for taste. Even Doug Walker, one of the web’s biggest critics, hosts a panel at anime conventions where people talk about films everyone disagrees with them on, and inevitably someone loves a film he’s thrown in the trash. But it’s okay, and it’s okay here too.
To prove it, I’ve decided it’s finally time to put my own tastes into the line of fire. These are my anime guilty pleasures, shows that I don’t bother defending when they come under fire.
Of course, I’ll still try to rationalize it. Because I have a problem.
*slightly sad laughter*
We got ourselves some succulent cheddar here, Grade A cheese all around.
Of all the entries into the well, prestigious Gundam series, this is the last series anyone would suspect of fan-favoritism. And yet, in the sea of drama, giant mechs, and complex story-telling, the campiest entry of them all is still one of the most well-loved stories in the entire franchise.
Set in distant dystopia space, as these over-the-top features often are, everyone on earth now lives in space colonies and fight each other every four years in big Gundam Tournaments. Our Broody-McEmopants-protagonist, Domon Kasshu, is entering the 13th Gundam tournament to represent Neo-Japan kill his evil brother, Kyoji (“KYOOOOjII!”). Along the way, he’ll fight a host of exaggerated cultural stereotypes, evil robots, and, worst yet, his emotions.
The fast-paced action, overdone drama, and succulent 90’s schmaltz make this one of my favorite shows to watch. While I’m now laughing hysterically at things I used to think were so cool and edgy, I’m also reminded of the times I spent watching Toonami with my brothers when I see an episode of this show. This and a love of all things camp keep me coming back for more.
Keep a straight face. I dare you.
- Tokyo Mew Mew
But now for something that isn’t rose-tinted by my childhood. Oh no, this one’s rose-tinted by pure sugar.
Tokyo Mew Mew is a Magical Girl anime that’s so similar to Sailor Moon I’d swear it stalked it and stole its clothes when it went to sleep. The show follows a clumsy, shy teenage girl (sounds familiar) who gets magical powers from a mysterious source (getting warmer) all while being saved by a mysterious figure that looks an awful lot like a guy she knows in real life (ding ding ding). This time, however, we get our powers from endangered animal species, and the aim is to save more animals from evil alien critters.
Oh, and occasionally get Bad Touched by the villain.
Bad Kish, BAD!
For all this show borrows from Sailor Moon, I enjoy the sugar rush of it all. It’s a short, sweet anime that’s loaded with all the delicious candy cliches of Magical Girl that I like, and one of the first of the genre I ever saw. As campy and predictable as the show is, and as weird as the names tend to be, I find it hard not to smile when the show’s opening plays.
- Hellsing Ultimate
And now for a U-turn of ghastly proportions.
Horror is a fun genre to explore in anime, what with the medium’s ability to go anywhere the imagination wants. I have my collection of favorites, but one title in that pack gets me the odd looks and shaken heads. Yes, I’m a fan of the gore-tastic power-fantasy anime to end all of them, and I am anything but sorry.
So, to you folk who are scratching your heads, Hellsing is a horror/action anime about The Hellsing Organization, London’s defense unit against the supernatural. Their ace in the hole is none other than Lord Dracula (or Alucard, as he’s called) whom they have enslaved to do their dirty work. Alucard, the red-coated monstrosity of anime, is infamous at this point for his overpowered, horrific abilities that create more Nightmare Fuel than a Chucky-Cheese Puppet Show.
Make it Stop
Ultimate was the show’s OVA that followed the Manga story instead. It’s twice the gore, twice the crazy, twice the Unkillable Hero, and I adore it so much. When I watch Hellsing Ultimate, I’m not here for deep story; I’m here to see blood gush in unrealistic ways and watch limbs go flying a la evil dead. This isn’t expert storytelling; this is appeasing the horror nerds, and I’ve got my popcorn all cued up.
What’s your anime guilty pleasure? Feel free to comment below. And don’t forget to like and follow for more content just like this.