With things like Genshiken 2, Kujibiki Unbalance, Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino, Death Note: Re Light and *cough* Shippuden *cough*, it seems that anime producers have run into the same rut as Hollywood in the way of rehashing things that have already been done. And while many of you are waiting for the new Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, or the new Neon Genesis movies (which as neat as they may be are essentially going to sum up the series), they just seem to further my point. Where is the bizarre creativity and fresh concepts and conceptions that endeared anime culture to us Westerners in the first place? Let’s face it, it’s getting a little boring out there.
Now I’m not here to rag on it, in fact there is light in the tunnel. There are a few seriously underrated series coming out, both here and fresh in Japan. Let me tell you about Ghost Hound. A new series from Masamune Shirow (of Ghost In The Shell and Appleseed fame), Ghost Hound is a dark and psychological show taking a teenager named Taro and his friends who because of traumatic childhoods can “soul travel” by slipping out of their bodies and into a parallel dimension called the Unseen. Then enter malevolent ghosts, a seedy cult that’s collecting more and more high ranking politicians, and scientific experiments at Dai Nippon Bio, and you’ve got a whole mess of crazy going on. Definitely worth watching.
Also a series of note, coming at us from the studio that brought us .Hack//, Noir, and Madlax is El Cazador De La Bruja (“Hunter of the Witch” for those of you who didn’t take high school Spanish). Basically, Ellis is an amnesiac with a bounty on her head and Nadie is a hunter whose trigger finger is the only thing keeping Ellis from falling into the wrong hands. They trek out on the open highways in search of pieces of Ellis’ memory. As the hunter and the with head south they get ever closer to answers in the crossroads where ancient spirits and modern science meet. Not to mention conspiracy abound and tons of fun as well.
Lastly on my list is a series that actually hasn’t made it to the States yet, but is worth checking out, maybe you can watch it online, called Eden of the East from Production I.G. In November 2010, 10 missiles strike Japan, leaving craters all over the place, but only striking uninhabited areas. Since no one was killed by any of the missiles, the incident becomes known as “Careless Monday”. A few months later, a Japanese girl is visiting the White House, and is trying to throw pennies into the pool from outside the gates, when she accidentally attracts the attention of the police who see her throwing something at the White House. Then out of nowhere a Japanese boy appears completely naked, holding a gun and a cell phone and waving at her. Wackyness and conspiracy ensue.
Before I sign off, let me just mention that there are a lot of good manga coming in this week including the newest Blade Of The Immortal volume. See you next week!