Friday, August 13, 2010

Otaku-san : Part 2

It wasn't with a heavy heart that Nanga Fakir left the cosy confines of NIT S'kal, armed with the dubious distinction of being the worst Chemical Engineer the institute had managed to manufacture till then; having barely graduated thanks to jaded, world-weary and sick-to-death-of-NF's-shadow professors who let NF get the passing grade in all courses and a certain someone called AK whose lightning speed of effortlessly solving problems in exams would cause the answer sheets to burst in flames.

And so it was that NF's second stage of anime viewing began. Cowboy Bebop was watched next - another Watanabe masterpiece that featured his trademark use of soundtracks (in this case, Jazz) as a main, series-defining construct, featuring an assortment of characters - wild, unruly, laidback, quietly proficient lone wolfish men and women with mysterious pasts. Serial Experiments Lain - the short, cyberpunkish, a little surreal and very, very artsy anime series followed next, a blurbish introduction of which should be that it's the story of a little, lonely girl whose receipt of an email from a recently dead classmate turns her to investigate, the quicksands of which aforementioned investigation pull her deeper and deeper into the recesses of the Wired - an internet like communication system.

NF had also seen Ra sing praises of the series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya whose hilarious, wonderful theme song featuring the famous Mikuru Asahina and her Mikuru beam and an entreaty to 'c'mon let's dance baby' compelled NF to follow the non linear, bizarre, juvenile-yet-very-funny series. In fact, since he thinks the theme song is so incredibly funny, he has decided to embed it here itself. Watch it!

The last series that NF followed in his second wave of anime viewing was the killer, somewhat absurdist, somewhat blackish comedy Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei (which translates to "Goodbye Mr Despair/Goodbye Teacher Despair"). It features a school teacher Nozomu Itoshiki - a person so extremely negative and pessimistic that it's uproariously funny; his plans, attempts and eventual failures at committing suicide and his class of equally crazy-in-their-own-way girls most of whom end up falling in love with their teacher which leaves their object of affection totally baffled and aghast. A model for the protagonist is the legendary Japanese writer Osamu Dazai whose multiple, failed suicide attempts are the inspirations for the highly stylized, very funny antics of the school teacher. Anyone planning to start off on anime, this series is a very good place to begin things from.

Highly recommended!

It was after these two waves that NF sunk deep into anime anhedonia, a phase that lasted for more than a year. He tried to pick up an interest in the popular franchises Bleach and Naruto but after a long period of sometimes-interested-but-mostly-disaffected viewing, he stopped following the same and does not see himself following the never ending series anytime in the future ever.

However, all of a sudden, totally unanticipatedly, the last month saw NF take a plunge into what he now terms as the third wave of anime watch.


End of Part 2. To be continued in Part 3.

No comments: