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Anime You Should Be Watching

AV member sickVisionz reviews two animes you should be watching, Shigurui: Death Frenzy and White Album.

Last week I focused on a samurai anime by the name of House of Fives Leaves and this week the samurai love fest continues. From samurai and librarians to samurai and lovers. 

Shigurui: Death Frenzy (Hulu Link)

The Basics 

Shigurui is samurai anime that details two warriors training under the same master that grow to hate and despise each other. 
 

Described in Anime  

This one breaks the rules some but I'd describe it as what would happen if Darren Aronofsky, the director of The Fountain, made Berserk
 

Why I Like It

The story and the characters are well executed, but I really love the graphic nature of the series.  I've seen it described as gratuitous but I would strongly argue against that. Gore and nudity in this series always serves a purpose that's far more than just having a cool fight or putting boobs on the screen.  

Another thing I enjoy about the series, and the reason that I mentioned The Fountain, is the cinematography and overall presentation. The regular use of visual metaphors rather than direct action and stylistic editing of scenes gives the show a layer of complexity and depth that wouldn't necessarily be there if it was "filmed" in a more standard fashion, yet it never creates confusion. The tone and style of the series reminds me more of independent art films than your typical samurai anime. 
 
Shigurui is an intriguing take on your typical samurai anime that's keeps the standards of the genre in tact so that it's familiar to its fans, but experiments enough in it's presentation to attract a totally different audience as well. 

White Album (Crunchyroll Link)

The Basics 

White Album is a harem anime about the relationship between a young man named Touya and his girlfriend, Yuki, who's on her way to becoming a pop idol. 
 

Described in Anime

The jerk from School Days enters the world of Nana
 

Why I Like It 

Touya's relationship with Yuki is an interesting one. The two are officially a couple from the very first episode, but numerous factors are working to keep the two of them apart. One of those is her increasing responsibilities as an artist which takes up more and more of her free time and the other is a manager who actively wants the two of them to break up so that Yuki can pursue her music career completely. Everything in the series is working to keep the two of them apart, which leads to another thing that I love about the series. 

Touya is sleeping around...a lot. Most harems are pretty light hearted but White Album quickly moves toward a darker, more serious, and in my opinion more realistic tone when it introduces cheating into the series. It's not that I love the the act of cheating, but the 
emotional and dramatic weight that it adds to a romance is always something that I welcome.  There's a complex web of guilt, heartbreak and betrayal that I found very appealing. 
 
White Album provides a nice break from the standard happy-go-lucky romances that are the norm.  If you like a little heartbreak in your harem, you can't go wrong with this one.     
 
*sickVisionz is a frequent contributor to Anime Vice with his Anime You Should Be Watching segment*
Lotuson July 15, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
"Sorry, due to licensing limitations, videos are unavailable in your region."  Kinda wanna see the White Album, i won't quit!
Dethfishon July 15, 2010 at 3:50 p.m.
I watched the first episode of Shigurui a while ago and if I remember correctly some guy pulled out his own guts, which kind of led to me not watching anymore of it.
Nerxon July 15, 2010 at 7:46 p.m.
Shigurui is awesome , I have watched and read about it
vedicardion July 15, 2010 at 7:53 p.m.
White album is a classic.
Bigheart711on July 15, 2010 at 8:31 p.m.

Already saw Shigurui, which was bloody goregeous. White Album sounds awesomely dark. I'd get to it, but I'm in the middle of two series.

Dig Deeper into WHITE ALBUM

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