seawasp (seawasp) wrote,

Thirty Days of Anime -- Day 23: Anime you think had the best, or most intriguing, art


This one takes some more thinking about. While plenty of anime cuts corners in various areas, there are always some that USE their ability to animate things and go beyond storytelling to beauty, or at least awesomeness in imagery. I have a lot of things come to mind when I think of art I liked from Anime; the top-notch animation of Akira, the designs and moods of  Giant Robo, much of  The Vision of Escaflowne, a lot of the work in Miyazaki's movies (Totoro, Laputa, Mononoke, etc.), some of the work in the Gainax productions Nadia: Secret of Blue Water and Wings of Honneamise (especially the takeoff scene)...

But when I think of anime which kept me watching just because I thought it was *beautiful*, only one keeps coming to the fore:

The Five Star Stories.

An adaptation of the manga by Nagano Mamoru , Five Star Stories tells a complex tale of intrigue set in a distant future world in which wars between star systems of the "Joker Cluster" are fought using giant mecha called Mortar Hedds; these mecha can only be operated well by a combination of an artificial humanoid called a Fatima bonded to a particular human. The Fatimas, their treatment, their genesis, and their ultimate fate, are at the center of the events of Five Star Stories.

Five Star Stories featured some of the most gorgeous animation -- with an instantly recognizable style -- I have had the pleasure of watching, plus a touching story and some wonderful music. It was however many years before most people could own a copy, because apart from a very limited LD release in 1989-1990, there were no commercially available versions of it here or in Japan for the next 15 years. (Why is unclear to me; for a while it was assumed/said that Nagano didn't like the movie and fought its release, but there are interviews in which he says it's a pretty good adaptation.) For a while, the FSS laserdisc was one of, if not the, most expensive LDs to get, especially since quite a number of the copies of the original printing succumbed to "laser rot"; I seem to recall seeing single discs going for as much as $5,000. Now it's available in DVD -- for better than two orders of magnitude less.

The List:
Day 1 - Very first anime:Saint Seiya
Day 2 - Favourite TV series: : The Vision of Escaflowne
Day 3 - Your anime crush: Belldandy, from Ah! Megamisama/Ah/Oh My Goddess! and Shun from Saint Seiya
Day 4 - Favourite Film: Tonari no Totoro/ My Neighbor Totoro
Day 5 - Anime character you feel you are most like (or wish you were): Shikamaru from Naruto Shippuden
Day 6 - Most annoying anime character: Mihoshi, Tenchi Muyo!
Day 7 - Character you’d most like to slap: Sasuke, Naruto Shippuden
Day 8 - Most epic scene ever: End battle of YuuYuu Hakusho: The Poltergeist Report Movie
Day 9 - Saddest anime scene: Belldandy erasing herself from Keiichi's life in Ah! Megamisama/Ah/Oh My Goddess!
Day 10 - Favorite slice of life anime: Koko wa Greenwood
Day 11 - Favorite mech series: Giant Robo: The Day The Earth Stood Still
Day 12 - Best instalment of a franchise you don’t like: Nihao My Concubine
Day 13 - Worst instalment of a franchise you do like. Dragonball GT
Day 14 - Current (or most recent) anime wallpaper: Picture of Son Goku with Shen-Long done by my wife Kathleen
Day 15 - A reality check for a genre you like : Power-warrior anime and internal sanity/consistency!
Day 16 - An anime classic that simply doesn’t work for you: Neon Genesis Evanjellydonut... er,, Evangelion
Day 17 - Best Background Music: Giant Robo: The Day The Earth Stood Still
Day 18 - Best Five-team: Yoroiden Samurai Troopers/Ronin Warriors (no link, too expensive)
Day 19 - Change you’d like to make to any one anime: Specific Change: Eliminate one nasty action from the history of Juraia-sama in Naruto/Naruto Shippuden. General Change: Eliminate the Saiyajin focus and expand capabilities and screen time for all major characters in Dragonball Z.  
Day 20 - Most ambiguous anime character: Selected Maraich and Patalliro, from Patalliro!
Day 21 – Favourite OAV Series : Except for two I've already mentioned, Bastard!!
Day 22 - Animation studio you'd most like to slap: Gainax, for Neon Genesis Evangelion
Day 23 - Anime you think had the best, or most intriguing art: The Five Star Stories
Day 24 - Favorite anime hero or heroine
Day 25 - Best anime villain
Day 26 - Your favorite harem anime
Day 27 - Favorite anime opening theme song
Day 28 - Favorite anime companion/summoned creature
Day 29 - Best Anime Music Video
Day 30 - Favorite anime ending theme

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