#28 - Venture Bros.
This gritty, fun anime series about bounty hunters in the 22nd century probably helped inspire Firefly, and it definitely gave us one of the most memorable characters in science fiction — the super-fighter with a dark past, Spike Spiegel.
#46 - Invader Zim
The show that helped introduced space opera to a whole new generation (along with Starblazers), Robotech gave us humans struggling against not one, but three alien invasions, using bootstrapped alien technology. And more importantly — super robot armor.
#61 - The Jetsons
A plucky crew of humans takes to space in the sunken battleship Yamato, repurposed as a spacecraft, in this melodramatic, thrilling animated space opera. The crew of the Yamato are never anything less than awesome, and the show really gives a feeling of space travel being slow and dangerous — but the show's real standouts are the villains, especially the sly Desslok and the chilling Comet Empire.
#93 - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
The Big Bang, an industrial accident in the city of Dakota, turns many of the city's residents into powerful metahumans. Though many "Bang Babies" use their newfound powers for evil, quick-witted teenager Virgil Hawkins uses his electromagnetic powers to fight crime, aided by the gadgets built by his genius best friend, Richie. But it's trickier hiding his identity as Static Shock from his widowed father Robert and strong-willed sister Sharon. Even amidst a glut of superhero cartoons, this is one of the most memorable.
#96 - Aeon Flux
Shy junior-high school girl Lain is living a quiet life — until she gets an email from her dead classmate Chisa Yomoda, who claims she's not dead, but has just transcended the flesh world and moved to cyberspace. Lain gets drawn into a journey of cyber-discovery, hallucination and weirdness, as she's encouraged to ditch her flesh body and help bring down the walls between our world and the cyber-world. Trippy and bizarre, Serial Experiments may be the best cyberspace-as-drugs show ever.
#97 - Thundercats
Aeon Flux originally debuted on MTV's Liquid Television as a series of shorts about Aeon Flux, the bondage-clad agent of an anarchist nation battling the forces of the restrictive Bregna government, only to be repeatedly thwarted by her own death. But Aeon eventually got her own half-hour show, where she locked horns (and occasionally naughty bits) with her nemesis Trevor Goodchild in a surreal, disturbing, and yet sexy dystopian future.
Cybernetic police officer Motoko Kusanagi keeps New Port City safe from cybercriminals, maniacs and terrorists, using an array of surveillance toys that includes optical camouflage and mini-tanks called tachikomas, while she tries to get to the bottom of the mysterious "Laughing Man" incident. It's been praised as one of the most fully realized cyberpunk futures, and for having the best depiction of cyberspace environments, ever created. Plus, cyborgs with tanks versus mysterious cybercriminals FTW!
In our opinion, Trinity from The Matrix owes more than a little bit to Major Kusanagi. They both wear tight clothes and they both are willing to jump through the windows of office towers.
27 MAJOR MOTOKO KUSANAGI
From her oversize breasts to her long legs, this deeply intelligent beauty in Ghost in the Shell has the best cybernetic body we’ve seen. She’s also very well-armed.
29 FAYE VALENTINE
Hot pants have gone out of style, sadly, but this curvy bounty hunter in Cowboy Bebop sports bright yellow ones most of the time, and oozes sex—and sarcasm. That ain’t no crime.
A few days ago, I read something from ANN’s The Gallery series for the first time. In that series, they profile fan artists that could use a bit more exposure and this time it was about Stephanie Kao. I’d never heard of her before but she said some things I’d like to comment on, particularly since I’m going to a con this weekend and will take at least one cursory walk through Artists’ Alley.
Kao mentioned having to deal with negative reactions to her art style - a mix of traditional, anthro, and anime influences - from both the anime and the anthro (aka “furry”) fan communities. The first time it came up, she admitted it wasn’t easy to stick with the style she likes to draw in; the second time concerned putting together a recent sketchbook and deciding to push away some of the anthro-stuff from the front of it so more readers might be drawn in. I personally don’t mind anthro and I think it’s gotten a bit of a bad rap based on skewed perceptions about that broader community, such as a certain episode of CSI from 2003.
I don’t participate much in artists’ communities, fan art or otherwise, mainly because I’m not much of one myself. I can appreciate art on aesthetics (what it makes me feel) and mechanics (e.g. use of lines, empty spaces, etc.) and support a level of artistic freedom that lets artists work with as few restrictions as possible so that less diluted expressions of their intentions might be produced.
Kao also said “it makes [her] sad when artists feel like they must do fanart that they have no passion for”. I’m more inclined toward original works since their reception is not potentially hampered like prior conceptions about characters held by a collective audience, like fan art is, and because I get more pleasure in seeking out and experiencing new things than settling for what’s familiar. A potential risk for original stuff, though, is its lack of instant familiarity/recognition of their subjects that could be achieved through fan art. Determining at what place on that continuum an artist is most comfortable seems like it might help him/her in producing better work and enjoying it as well.