constanzadellarosa (Level 15)

la prueba fue eteeerna...
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I am not a person that cries easily; that does not mean I am insensitive, I just don't cry for everything. For instance, I don't cry with films, with few exceptions.
 
Certain animes have made me cry like a baby, like Honey and Clover. That series touched my heart because some episodes reminded me of a friend that died some years ago (she was a stange mix of Hagu-chan and Morita) and had this nostalgic (actually, japanese call this mono no aware) feel of good old College days that I loved. I also cried with the  OVA's of Rurouni Kenshin's Tsuioku (Memories) arc, mostly because it is a story of star-crossed lovers. 
 
Most recently, two series have awaken my inner sap: Bakemonogatari and Fate/Stay Night. The former because of  the more or less resident tsundere Hitagi Senjougahara in episode 12, because of how her character unravels from the start of the series until that episode. The scene when she shows Koyomi her 'treasure' is priceless. My reaction to the latter was sudden because I saw the whole series in a day, and my reaction was like 'OMG after all they've been through!!! SABER, NOOO!!!'. 
 
On the opposite, an anime that hasn't made me cry despite the level of suffering is The Grave of the Fireflies. It does not make me cry, it leaves me emotionally numb for days. That's worse than crying.
 
So, to close the story, which animes or manga have made you cry a river or leave you sobbing?
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I tend to avoid writing about in-the-moment reactions about what I'm watching, because it can be misleading. But in this case all I can say is:
 
Dear Gainax Staff: 
Are you on crack or what?
 
Yes, I watched the first episode of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. 
 
First and foremost. This is not an average 'girls being cute' anime. The style is more American cartoon/late 90's Cartoon Network-Nickelodeon than 'classic anime'. It is certainly colorful, dynamic and bold; thus reaching its goal: being different from anything you have seen before. And that is GOOD. The main characters, Panty and Stocking, are not typical heroines. Both are angels sent to Earth to save humanity from evil ghosts of people with pending issues. Even more, they are more 'fallen' than 'heavenly', because Panty turns out to be a loud, foul-mouthed nympho that wants to get laid with any man available, and Stocking is a sugar addict (she is way less crazy than Panty). They live in a church with Reverend Garterbelt and an Invader Zim-inspired pet. 
 
But I have a problem. It's not the style, it's not that the girls have a magical girl-style transformation dancing on stripper poles (that is classic Gainax fanservice).
 
 It's the following: in the first segment (each episode has 2 segments, like American cartoons; in fact, the opening lasts 30 seconds, unlike a typical anime opening), Panty and Stocking fight against a poop monster that has the soul of a plumber that died sucked by a toilet. Panty ends up covered in poop. After defeating the monster, the whole city ends up like...covered in poop. The second segment - about a speed-addicted ghost- isn't as crappy as this one. 
 
Gainax is known for pushing the envelope in anime, but they could have come up with something better than that. I really hope the following episodes will be better storywise.
 
The question is now:
 
Dear Gainax Staff: 
Are you doing this on purpose or not? (because if it is on purpose it would make sense)

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I have mentioned in earlier posts that I suffer from insomnia. It has been hard to fight against it, specially because of a huge obstacle: my work. 
 
I work in a Las Vegas-style Hotel and Casino, so I have shifts from hell. So, when I get back from work is almost dawn, and it is really hard to get some sleep when everyone is getting up to go to their 9 to 5 jobs. So, I spend part of those early hours like a real-life zombie.
 
Despite I might look like a zombie, I have seen REAL ones. If you have observed how people behave in a Casino, you will understand. I feel like Bill Murray in Zombieland.
 
Keeping in subject, I have been watching High School of the Dead, and so far it has been one hell of a killing spree. The story follows the basic rules of the zombie apocalypse genre: a group of strangers, alone, fighting against the odds with whatever weapon they find; and, of course uses some common anime stereotypes. Among them we find a twin-tailed, meganekko tsundere (a combo!), a sempai (which happens to be a kendo expert), a blonde, busty bimbo, an otaku (a military one, to be exact) and, of course, the hero and his love interest. As the story progresses, a loli character is introduced.
 
But what makes it so interesting if it has so many common places? First and foremost, it has a level of violence and bloody gore you do not find in your average anime. You don't get to see highscoolers beating/stabbing/shooting hordes of zombies every day. Second, every character has a twist, which gives them depth (for instance, Kohta, the otaku, proves being a killng machine). Third, if you like your zombie fix with some ecchi fanservice, you will enjoy this. And last but not least, the animation is by MADHOUSE, which is known for its good quality productions.
 
A good news is that this series has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks, so probably you will enjoy it on DVD soon. Or, you can get it from your favorite fansub (like I had to do, since I live in South America).
 
So, have you seen this series? Do you like the idea of a zombie-themed anime? Share your thoughts!
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On the opposite side of my Inferno-like High School years was College. I had a bunch of friends that accepted my quirks and  more or less enjoyed what I was studying (I wanted to go to Art School, but I ended having a degree in English, which lead to my Linguistics/Translation University Degree). One of my friends, Paula, was in a relationship with Phil, and we had some friends in common. He was a huge mecha fan and a Gundam lover. Besides, he owned a little store that sold anime merchandise, manga, comic books and lots of cool stuff. (How awesome is that?)

One day he and Paula invited me to meet Phil's friends at the store. As I crossed the door I felt their eyes on me. Those were not the 'we are checking if you're hot' looks, certainly.

After a brief talk about our favorite series (and several attempts from them to sell me an overpriced 40 cm-tall Mazinger), I asked them if they liked Japanese literature (a couple of them were studying literature). I was not a good idea. They gave me a strange look, as if they were saying 'we're talking about anime in here, not books!' (as if Manga weren't books!). I changed the subject, and after a while I left for a class.

Some days later, I ran into one of Phil's friends in the Faculty. He was with other guy. As I walked away, I heard the following.

'Isn't she the girl you told me about the other day?' he asked.

'Yeah, the one that isn't otaku enough'.

First and foremost: otaku enough? What the hell was that?! Are there requisites to be an anime/manga fan? At first, of course, I was outraged. How was possible that saying that you like Haruki Murakami, for instance, makes you less otaku? Then I realized something very sad.

Those so-called otaku didn't know what the hell was a Haiku poem, or why Japanese take off their shoes at home. And I was not fanatic enough of Japan.

I guess they were a case of something call 'beingaposerism'. Another hazard of being an anime fan.

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If there is one thing I could erase from my memory a la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind it would be High School. I had an extremely awful experience at an Uber-conservative Catholic school. The place was not as worse as my classmates, which tagged me as a 'weirdo' as soon as I told them about my interests. As much as I tried to convince them I was as normal as them, they just did not seem to get it. I was the girl that no one spoke to. I was almost invisible.
 
I had to a) Turn into a different person to fit there; b) Beg my parents to change to another school or c) Keep moving forward despite them.
 
Salvation came from above in the last year. One of the Sisters, Martha, understood my situation.'They may not not understand now, perhaps they never will; but you will learn something they won't.' 
 
'What it would be?' I asked.
 
'To give a fuck about what people think about you. You are a nice girl, and they will never get to know you'. 
 
'Nuns don't swear, Sister', I told her.
 
'They don't read comic books either'. 
 
I was not alone. Sister Martha, which came from Argentina, was a fan of Mafalda, a very famous comic strip in Argentina and South America. It's translated in English too, by the way. 
 
Luckily for me, High School was not eternal. But Sister Martha's advice certainly was. 
 
I really understood Roleplayer21's feelings when she was rejected by a guy when she told him she liked anime. I had been through similar situations (and it sucks big time), but if a guy/girl can't accept something as simple as a hobby, he/she is certainly not worth of your time.
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