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Anime to Watch in Honor of 4/20

Anime that makes you go "were they high?" And remember, kids: winners don't do drugs.

Look, I don't partake in pot and I certainly don't endorse doing so. But that doesn't mean I can't wonder what anime productions might have been the product of such...enhanced consciousnesses, so to speak. So without further ado, a few anime to watch on 4/20-- whether you're "celebrating" or not! 

Dead Leaves

Often compared to FLCL-- perhaps due to the directorial style of Gainax's Hiroyuki Imaishi, who worked in FLCL but helmed Dead Leaves for Production I.G...or maybe because one of the characters has a TV head like Canti's --Dead Leaves is a short anime film (about an hour long) in which a be-mulleted woman named Pandy and her lover/partner-in-crime Retro wake up as amnesiacs on Earth in the future. They have remarkable physical prowess but are almost immediately sent to the prison Dead Leaves, which exists on a horribly disfigured moon.


Director Satoshi Kon's story (based on a novel of the same name) is completely coherent-- a no-nonsense female psychologist moonlights as an impish dream therapist named Paprika thanks to the invention of a device that allows doctors to participate in their patients' dreams, but when one device is stolen it threatens all of reality. But the visuals are so bright, colorful, and whimsical that Kon feels almost more like a painter than a director per se. In terms of tone and storytelling this piece is practically flawless, especially with Megumi Hayashibara herself voicing the title role.


I know, I know-- "but Durarara!! takes place more or less in the real world and makes total sense!" Yeah, but come on, one of the main characters is a headless motorcyle-rider who lives with an obsessive surgeon who took part in an experimental surgery on her and who's in love with her. Not to mention the whole love triangle between an obsessive stalker, her target, and the disembodied and lifeless head he falls in love with. Admit it: it's awesomely fucked up. 



From the master of the mindfuck himself, Masaaki Yuasa, Kaiba's visual style could be aptly described as Osamu Tezuka goes to a seedy, neon-lit alleyway. The story is set in a future where people can upload their memories onto chips to be placed in new bodies or even to make copies of themselves. The first episodes are primarily shorts set in this universe, and feature such things as a young girl whose body gets sold to a wealthy man who wants to possess it (literally), and a woman who clones her memories into a male body so she can have sex with herself. I would die for this anime to become licensed, and apologize for teasing you with an unavailable show. 

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

I couldn't tell you if Haruhi author Nagaru Tanigawa smoked any pot, but I can totally picture him taking a puff and saying "hey man, what if, like, you were god? Like...and you didn't know it? Wouldn't that be weeeeird?" And the friend goes, "man, that'd be cool, I'd surround myself with hot chicks all the time...without even knowing it!" And Tanigawa responds that maybe he'll write it as a book...but put the chapters all out of order. Yeah. Definitely some drugs there.

This is merely five entries, and anime has been around for many decades-- I'm sure there are plenty more series out there that make you go "man, were they high when they made this?" So go ahead and share 'em in the comments.    
Netstrykeon April 22, 2010 at 9:03 p.m.
Dead Leaves?....Nice!
I'm thinking of a certain episode of Samurai Shamploo or Afro Samurai.

Dig Deeper into Dead Leaves

A sci-fi film by Hiroyuki Imaishi.

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