In Which I Reveal My Secret Obsession – Anime & Manga!

Well, I had originally planned to make this post a review of the manga Fullmetal Alchemist (which believe me will still be coming, just some other things to do first).

Well, then I figured that I should tell a little bit about how I became interested in these things in the first place.

I remember hearing the terms “anime” and “manga” before when I was a teenager (remember, I was home-schooled. In the Bible Belt of the USA. Hearing the terms is as far as any of that got.) but had no comprehension of what any of that meant beyond “oh, different art style”.

And then I met the man who would one day be my husband. Yes, you can blame it all on him.

Because he told me about this show called the Fullmetal Alchemist.  And I was hooked. And he explained to me that anime is pretty much Japanese cartoons.

(Rebekah side-note: There is a HUGE difference between the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and the FIRST anime that was released in 2003.  If you want to watch an anime adaptation that is much more accurate to Hiromu Arakawa’s original story, watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.  It is infinitely better.)

And a manga is essentially a Japanese comic book.

But let me tell you something – the Japanese can tell some DANG good stories.

So, Netflix definitely helped fuel my obsession, and so I’ve got a few recommendations for you! Reviews of all of these will be coming in the next several months.

Fullmetal Alchemist – the manga, or the “Brotherhood” anime adaptation (I believe it was originally aired in Japan starting in 2009, English dubs have only made it over here in the past couple years, the final episode having aired in English in the US this past spring) are both excellent. I also had a twitchy moment a few weeks ago when I realized that this series could technically be called “steam punk”.

D. Gray-man – I’ve watched the anime (which was sadly canceled after its second season), and have read the first 2 volumes of the manga.  The manga is still ongoing, it’s sitting at 217 chapters currently, I believe.  I believe this is categorized as horror/fantasy, and so far the plot has me on the edge of my seat!  I’m also quietly rooting for Kanda/Lenalee, but we’ll see if that ever happens . . .

Darker Than Black – I just . . . don’t even know how to describe this anime.  There is manga to go with it, but I believe it was an anime first and they created manga when it became evident that they had fans to buy it :P.  It’s spies with a slightly paranormal twist, and while the 1st season was definitely the best, the 2nd season gives you the “more!” that you crave at the end, and I’m hoping that maybe, just MAYBE, there will be a 3rd season one day . . .

Moribito – this anime is slightly different from any of the others because it’s not a manga.  At all.  Rather, this is an adaptation of a Japanese FANTASY NOVEL.  Yes, that’s right – a full-blown novel.  It’s on my to-read list now.  You know, an English translation.  Because I know very little Japanese, and most certainly cannot read it.

Kuroshitsuji/Black Butler – All I can say is “mmm . . . Sebastian . . .”  He makes brewing tea . . . well . . . something that shouldn’t be done around small children.  I do, however, pretend the second season of the anime doesn’t exist.  The first season is perfect how it ends.  The manga (thank goodness!) is still ongoing.

And in all honesty, I’ll watch just about any anime that has Travis Willingham dubbing a voice.  Because his voice is just . . . yeah.  Not quite as nice as Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice, but a very close second.