Now that Anime A to Z is over, I can share one of my favorite pieces of Yukari Akiyama fanart. (She began that list, of course, so I wanted to avoid repeating while that feature was still running.)
This scene is completely in character, and the added touch of one of her reconnaissance videos playing in the background gives it that extra bit of realism. Yukari probably spends most of her free time building tank kits. Or reading about tanks. Or watching historical films with tanks in them. You get the idea.
On a side note, posting frequency won’t be quite as often now that this series has ended, so while there won’t be something every weekday for the time being, there will still be a few posts each week related to my various fandoms.
Bringing Anime A to Z to a close this time is the dangerous ZERO System from Gundam Wing. As if the Gundam pilots didn’t have tunnel vision already, this Gundam interface brings it to the extreme.
The ZERO System removes all human components from the battle strategy, directly connecting to the pilot’s brain and feeding all of the information needed to attain complete and total victory, even showing them all future outcomes of the battle in order to choose the best one. When even Heero Yuy initially declares that it is too dangerous to use in actual battle, you know that it must be dangerous technology. If the pilot does not have the mental strength to handle the information overload, the ZERO System can even be fatal to the pilot.
In the vast Ghibli catalogue, the small-scale slice-of-life tale Whisper of the Heart is one of my favorites. Well, I pretty much like every Ghibli film, but this one enjoys a spot closer to the top of my list.
As such, Shizuku earns a spot near the top of my favorite Ghibli leads list. Sure, she’s not saving the world from Ohmu or angry forest sprits, but is rather just a normal middle-school girl trying to sort out her life and dreams while growing up. Still, she is charming and the whole range of her emotions are explored in the film. In fact, on my most recent rewatch during my Ghibli chronology, her struggles reminded me a lot of a certain witch-in-training. It’s little wonder that Whisper of the Heart moves me in much the same way that Kiki’s Delivery Service does.
“Cute things are justice!” That’s Momoka’s philosophy. Momoka joins the Build Divers team early on, bringing her enthusiasm, cheer, and lots of pink to the GBN.
In fact, one of the main reasons I got into Gundam Build Divers was because a good friend of mine told me there was a character in it that I could have had created, that character being Momoka. Momoka certainly fits when it comes to her style and personality for the kind of things I like in a character; it’s like Bandai was reading my thoughts when they came up with her for the series. She even likes penguins!
So while Momoka may be my spirit Build Diver, the series she’s from is also great fun, so it was win-win. Even a Gundam series can benefit from some cute vibes, and Momoka has no shortage of them to bring to the table.
If I’m being completely honest, the only reason Xenosaga The Animation makes the list is because I needed something that started with the letter “X”, and I’ve already used the best ones I could think of for the letter (from what I’ve seen so far) the previous times I did this list.
Xenosaga The Animation is a decent adaptation of the first game in the series, with a few plot points from the second and third installments mixed in for good measure. The major downfall of the series is that it’s only twelve episodes, which is not even close to enough time to tell the story from the original video game properly, so the narrative is rushed and has no explanations. This animated adaptation is also disappointingly generic sci-fi when compared to the source. It lacks any of the memorable music from the game, as a completely new (and sadly, also generic) score by a different composer was done for the series.
Yet somehow, despite how generic most of Xenosaga The Animation is, it did get a really pretty ending theme song, and in North America anyway, it’s a way to hear the original Japanese character voices from the game. (The English dub didn’t get that continuity, unfortunately, as the anime dub cast is completely different from the game dub cast.)
So while I unfortunately can’t really recommend this series at all, I include it in my anime list only because the video game series it is derived from is one of the best I’ve ever played, and I recommend that as the best way to experience Xenosaga.
The Clow Card which began one ten-year-old’s journey from normal girl to a keeper of legendary magical cards. The Windy is the one card which stays behind and scatters all the others when released from the Clow Book in Sakura’s basement.