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La Mangafique: Anime species: Part I

20 Jul

Anime species: Part I

Yep. This Kind of species.
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So last time was a tentative toe dip into the anime world, and today I’m going to keep myself from shoving you right in. I’ll allow you to test the waters. In a different spot though. Today I will point you newcomers to this fascinating land in the direction of the different genres found within anime.

In addition to the traditional categories found in media: Romance, Historical, Sci-fi, Adventure, comedy etc. there are genres that are unique to anime. Detailing on those genres, I will be educating you all on a few anime that fall into those categories. Hopefully you will learn something. Keep in mind, anime always fall into more than one category. For instance, an anime may fall into the romance, historical, and comedy genres simultaneously.

Without further ado, here’s the list:

Sports: As the name suggests, anime where the main focus is some or the other sport fall into this category. Moral(s) of the story are generally depicted through a certain player/team struggling against obstacles, overcoming them and rising to become the best. Watching may be accompanied by hysteria, excitement, and the kind of whooping usually reserved for rabid sports fans. The author will deign to point out that anime like Hungry Heart: Wild Striker excited her far enough so as to make her forget her lady like behaviour and display symptoms belonging generally to the audience in a sports stadium.

Soccer – Japanese Style
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Gender Bender: Anime that fall into this species are one’s where males dress as/pose as/become females, OR females dress as/pose as/become males. No make sense? The protagonist is forced into a situation where his or her own gender comes in the way of solving a problem. In some cases there is a case of a misunderstanding, which may develop into a full-blown mistake that compels him/her to dress up a person of the opposite gender. Contrary to all the lurid thoughts that are probably running wild in your head right now, such anime is packed with comic scenario’s and topsy-turvy (pun intended) situations that will have you forgetting any cross dressing phobia’s you may have had. Haruhi, from Ouran High School Host Club, is an example of a girl forced to dress up as a boy to help repay her debt.

That dark haired boy up front? Isn’t a boy. You’ll get used to it.
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School Life: Again, as the name depicts, anime in this category is centered on school life. There may be multiple protagonists, or at the very least characters on the side are given more attention. Typically depicted are the ups and downs of school life: grades, first love teenage crushes, best friends, school festivals and parents as obstacles. More often than not, these anime are in the feel good category that transport you back in time to your own school days (for all you doddering ancient people out there) or even makes you look forward to high school yourself! (For all those pipsqueaks yet to enter the realm). Perks include cute school uniforms, lots of leg show (short skirts FTW!), teenage hotties and the occasional school bully getting beaten up.School Rumble is one of the more popular anime in this category with 2 seasons and 2 OVA’s all of its own!

Ahem. Cute girls in short skirts, anyone?
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Mecha: is a science fiction term for a large piloted walking vehicle, including ones on treads and animal shapes. (Courtesy Wikipedia) Need I say more? With robots right out of your shiniest fantasies, the core of mecha anime consists of gigantic machines controlled by humans directly or indirectly that engage in battles. Goals include world domination, prevention of the same, saving some sort of maiden/princess (the mecha becomes the knight’s horse and armour all rolled into one) or even PROTECTING THE UNIVERSE. With some really old anime in its kitty (The whole Gundam series and Ninja Robots to name a few), this species is often gory, but may include fights with futuristic laser guns or good old-fashioned swords. The Vision of Escaflowne is one such popular anime with the hero’s personal robot boasting the ability to evolve into a dragon shaped one!

So who doesn’t want their own personal robot dragon?
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Slice of Life: This is one category that in a sense defies what anime is essentially about. Slice of life anime depict realistic characters and scenarios, with the trials and tribulations of the protagonist(s) matching incidents that may be seen in one’s own daily life. Additionally, the backdrop is identical to or is modern day earth. Typical plot devices may include unemployment, romantic dilemma’s, inability to overcome obstacles and even unhappy endings. At times depressing, but also at times refreshing, this kind of anime typically caters to a more mature audience. Emma is a fantastic example of series in this genre, where the protagonist is a maid in the Victorian era who constantly faces upheavals, and isn’t always able to conquer them.

Not all of us are born with Cinderella’s luck.
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Part 2 of this list will be lying in wait for you next week. Till then check out the anime already recommended!

The resident drama queen,