Some recent anime episodes led me to discuss flashbacks in a bit more length; I think this topic is interesting enough to devote more time to. The discussion and examples used will follow anime, western television, films and books. It is not an anime-only topic, but anime might get a bit more space and examples because I have examples on hand and it’s what made me revisit the topic conceptually.
Flashbacks obviously can come in the form of showing us content from earlier episodes, say, so we’ll remember what happened. An anime infamous for flashbacks in this way, which had episodes where up to a third of the content was recycled was Naruto – this was done because the anime was catching up to the source material and they wanted to use as little content per episode as they could. We’ve even had some examples of a flashback within an episode to something that happened the very same episode.
Note, however, that sometimes such “remembrance” sequences aren’t only required, but drive a point home – you can see it where someone is surprised by a new development and the flashback serves to have them narrate to us what actually happened, or show it again now that we’re armed with new knowledge and can put in the proper context – it’s very common in thrillers – think of the resolution of The Usual Suspects, The Sixth Sense, Fight Club, or recently in anime the case of Akatsuki in Log Horizon thinking of how Shiro and Nyanta had defeated Demiklas – we’ve seen the content we’ve just seen, in slow motion, accompanied with her trying to work out what happened which we’ve missed.
The cover of the first volume of Fairy Tail(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bleach, Naruto, Gintama, One Piece, Fairy Tail – long-running shonen shows that have drawn many thousands of viewers, they are based on long-running manga that is still running, we’re talking over a decade. There’s a lot of money in these shows, and as such they keep them running though often there is no real content to show – so things get paced poorly (see my post on Naruto), and they add a lot of original content that’s usually a lot poorer than the original content (called “Filler”). But it keeps going on, because we enjoy watching those shows.
A month ago I’ve began watching Fairy Tail, and over two and a half weeks I’ve watched all of it (minus the filler episodes), aside from how silly the first episode was – which actually filled me with concern that I won’t like the show, it was just too silly and random – I’ve really enjoyed this show. I am sure that it might not be the favourite show of anyone, but I still think that out of the shows above, it’s the most well rounded one, and might be the best as well.
(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. I expect no spoilers in this post.)
I usually prefer watching or reading a show in the original form it was released, book, manga, anime, whatever. The new creation can be valid and good on its own, but for the definitive take on the story, one should look at the original.
In anime and manga, this is quite important. We all know how some shows begin serialization before the original story is finished, and thus have to not only change things, but make up a lot of it as they go along (Fullmetal Alchemist), or that they descend into more and more “Filler episodes” of original and usually subpar material (such as Naruto and Bleach). But sometimes they go beyond.
The infamous "Shadow Clone Technique" in action. Overkill!
Zabuza, whose last name is apparently Momochi, which no one but Narutards knows, was the first real antagonist in Naruto. And he was AWESOME! And so, this post is dedicated to Zabuza, who traveled with Haku, the super-trap (Naruto picked flowers with him, thinking it was a girl).
Here I will cover this ultra-rare figure of him, and the rare dust, dust as you’ve never seen in a figure review before!
Zabuza, looking badass
This post is intended in humor, read it as such (including the “Narutards” reference), also, I got the links page up and mostly running, it’s only 70% populated, I’ll get the rest done between now and the weekend, thank you.
Gurren Lagann, which is actually called “Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann”, is an embodiment of the shonen genre, in anime form.
Shonen series are series aimed at boys, many of them are combat/adventure heavy, series such as Bleach and Naruto. The protagonists are usually teens, who overcome their enemies, and like in Poke’Mon‘s 5th episode (I have one heck of a memory, I know), the protagonist often loses, and then through sheer guts and determination (bloody-cussedness) trains or just comes back and wins.
In Naruto Shippuuden, there’s a bit of a ridiculous moment where Team Guy faces their clones, they get kicked, and then win just because they decide to be stronger than they were yesterday… rather than just switch who they’re fighting or try new techniques. It was a serious “WTF?!” moment to me.
In Gurren Lagann, there are actually three phases to the series. It begins with the Kamina and Simon’s home community underground, and then quickly goes on war. They wage a war on the beast-men and their mecha who keep them down (both underground and stopping them from reproducing). They fight and fight and fight, and after episode 8 there’s a slight change in the atmosphere, though the fights continue.