By Nomadotto and Ottonomad
Nomadotto: A very happy singles’ appriciation/awareness day to all of you folks out there in lesser animeblogistan. You know, singles’ appriciation/awareness day (SAD, for short) is usually an excuse for all kinds for stupid behavior. Generally, SAD is somehow used as an excuse for indulging in all kinds of sentimentalist, emo behavior, something guarenteed to hurt personal growth down the path of GAR. Becuase you really can’t escape from the bombardment of sentimentality, there’s only way way to keep going strong, a massive dose of burning hotblood. To that end, I’d like to look at a couple of example cases, and suggest the proper, manly show to help the poor unfortunates. But wait, what’s this?
Ottonomad: Stop right there (in the name of love) before you cause (more) harm, cretin!
Nomadotto: Why, it’s my alternate universe counterpart, the Iowan Cyborg, and mad parathenthisist, Ottonomad. I thought you were destroyed by Seifer* back during the robot uprising?
Ottonomad: Nevermind that. I can’t sit by and let you give a lopsided perspective on Valentine’s day! Not everyone is a miserable, gar-crazed misanthrope, you know. So, (by the power of love), I challenge you to an advice battle to the “death.”
Nomadotto: Hokey relgions are do match for a good dose of gar show. Have at you!
Case 1. Johnny is realtively new to the fan subculture and, what’s worse, he ‘s too broke to even consider going out for SAD and enjoying himself at a local establishment. He’s in the mood for something funny, and he’s been given access to his friend’s library of shaz, and has selected a copy of some random harem show (let’s say, Love Hina).
Nomadotto bursts through the wall: Oh no! Watching a show like that won’t help your financial situation or your mood. In fact, studies have shown that harem shows like Love Hina are gateways to all kinds of vices, including, but not limited to, a non-ironic appriciation for dashboard confessional and bright eyes. Instead, watch a show that features both comedy and hotblood, like Nadesico!
Ottonomad bursts through the window: Get Douuuwn (said in an Arnold-like accent)! It is true that harem shows seem to be corrallated with poor taste, but that’s no excuse for suggesting a show that’ll bring poor Johnny down. Remember that he’s new to the subculture so most of the gekigangar humor won’t fly, while what happens in episode 4 will kill whatever residual joy he had. There’s only one solution: A happy romance show that doesn’t feature s single, spineless protagonist, like Kare Kano!
Nomadotto: Foolish Cyborg, Kare Kano might be a romance show, but happy designation is questionable, espeically since large chunks of various episodes are made up with Sochiro and Miyazawa being emo. I’ll admit that Nadesico might be a bit much, but at least GTO should be approachable.
Ottonomad: Not quite what I was thinking, but it’ll do. However, Johnny might also want to consider something on the lines of Kodomo no Omocha, a lighthearted school comedy delivered at 200 Bpm (more or less). What’s important, of course, is not to mistake this for Kodomo no Jikan, which is a show about a grade schooler trying to bang her teacher.
Case 2: Albert and Betty are a bright, happy young couple, the sort you frequently feel the desire to hit with the “happy couple whoopin’ stick.” However, there is trouble in paradise, Albert and Betty have wildly different views of anime, one finds it, quote, “weird” while the other is something of a closet case. By some level of dark magic, they’ve decided to watch one show together for valentines day. Is there something that will keep them both enjoying life?
Ottonomad: But of course! Err… maybe. I would normally suggest Honey and Clover, but the fact that it’s not licensed makes it a little difficult to aquire. It has the benefit of being both a romantic-type story for the Betty, while Albert can get a kick out of Morita’s antics. It doesn’t hurt that the characters are pretty easy on the eyes.
Nomadotto: What kind of crazy alternate universe do you come from, anyway? If you’re going to suggest something like Honey and Clover, at least pick something that doesn’t feature Emo McFailurepants. Anyway, I think you’ve done wrong by suggesting that poor Betty is the one who isn’t as hip and with it. If the case is that Albert hasn’t become “one of us” while Betty is a stalwart, something simple, like Cowboy Beebop or Black Lagoon is likely to make for awesome viewing. Cromartie might not be a bad choice if Albert is a fan of the bizzare and/or Freddy Mercury and, hey, it’s got Wakamoto in it.
Ottonomad: I assumed nothing, I was only trying to tackle the harder case before the easier one. Anyway, as much as it pains me, I agree with your choices, as they feature both hard-boiled romance and enough action to keep things interesting. As for Honey and Clover, I’ll agree that Takumi Mayama (or, as you call him, Emo McFailpants) isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, something interesting occurred to me, Saikano might also work, provided that both Albert and Betty are happy with people basically stabbing each other in the back over and over, along with lots of meaningless death. Maybe that fails at the enjoying life catagory, but they’ll probably both cry equally.
Case 3: Paul’s been a fan for years, but this year, life seems to have decided to punch him full in the face. He currently sits in front of his computer, contemplating the purchace of a Hug Pillow to take his mind off of the horror of his retail job. What show can save this young otaku from a this grisly fate?
Nomdaotto: When life kicks you in the teeth, it’s your job to kick back! Only a true story of manly heroism can work now! Tengen Toppa Gurren Laggan might work, provided that he hasn’t been jaded by endless repetitions of the “Don’t believe in yourself… etc.” meme and/or too many previous viewings. If that’s the case, we’ll pull out the trump card, either Captain H(G)arlock or the original Gundam movies. No funk can stand up to epic space battles and/or the Bright slap!
Ottonomad: You know, not everything can be solved with violence. How about a show that will encourage him to take a look at life’s problems and realize that they aren’t so bad. Something like Genshiken or Azumanga, combined with reading Yotsuba, will allow Paul to get back on his feet and away from the hug pillows.
Nomadotto: Well that’s the last of the cases and I’m still standing, I guess your little challenge failed.
Ottonomad: The way I see it, “You’re already dead”
Nomadotto: What, no! That’s stealing a quote from my side of the moe/moe divide.
Ottonomad: That’s just too bad, but, I can’t afford to waste any more time with you, I’ve got a post to write back in universe A for TheBigM’s blog. Also, chapters of cloth road won’t read themselves. Toodles!
Nomadotto: I have the feeling that we haven’t seen the last of him…
* See “Tales of Robotic Derring-do” volume 5, chp 2