“Unconventional found family featuring parents with shady jobs” is a genre that seems to have taken the anime world by storm in the past couple of years. The most popular example of this is Spy X Family, featuring a spy father, assassin mother, and telepath daughter, who don’t know each other’s secret identities and end up a family out of convenience. But this 2023 spring season has given us another top-notch anime that fits into the genre: Buddy Daddies. The show tells the story of Kazuki Kurusu and Rei Suwa, two hitmen who are partners and best friends, and how they ended up the fathers of a young girl named Miri. Though none of them are related, the three swiftly become a family.
This surprise at anime fandom’s diverse demographics is expected, given the decades of exclusion people of color have faced, the “nerdy white guy” archetype being the only image projected into pop culture. This preconceived model puzzles individuals asking where all these audiences of color “came from” - but according to FSU filmmaker Ryan Joiner; they were always there.
With the SLC Content Committee’s newest zine being themed “Anime,” the Stargazer blog is highlighting a more recent anime you might not have heard of. Though horrifically translated as The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague, this romance anime is charming and worth overlooking some awkward English phrasing. Fuyutsuki and Himuro overcome both magical and workplace problems while trying to control their crushes on one another.
This December, the blockbuster film from Japan, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time, will be receiving a limited theatrical release in the United States. The film title is long and complicated, as is the Evangelion franchise. It originally was a beloved (if controversial) anime whose first episode aired in 1995. Later, Evangelion would include a movie continuation, a manga series, and a “Rebuild” theatrical series. Thrice Upon a Time is the final film of the “Rebuilds,” acting as a permanent conclusion for a franchise that has had many indefinite endings. Though it all seems overwhelming, Evangelion is genuinely one of the best pieces of media I’ve ever experienced, and every minute spent watching or reading it is worth it.
For the anime community, Mob Psycho 100 season 3 was one of the most anticipated drops of the 2022 fall season. The show is a modern anime classic, quickly moving up the ranks to be rated one of the best animes of all time. Created by manga author One, who also created One-Punch Man, the series focuses on a middle-schooler with psychic powers trying to navigate life and his emotions. It is a mix of genres, with some episodes having a slice-of-life feel while others are more action-based. The show has a hilarious cast of characters (including a con artist mentor, an evil spirit best friend, and an enemy-turned-friend with a ridiculously large wig) while still having a mature narrative. And on top of that, the animation done by Studio Bones is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Every frame is hand-drawn (it is the only show currently on air able to claim that), and different mediums and styles are used interchangeably to create something so visually unique.
Warning: Spoilers for the film’s conclusion ahead!
Commonly misconstrued as a genre, the fast-growing animation style of anime has affected both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Its vast viewer demographics, ranging from youth to adults, have allowed both anime and its manga origins to flourish in recent decades. One film deemed an anime staple, the renowned cult classic, Akira, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, has continued to captivate the population since its debut in 1988. The film’s appraisal clings to its hyperfixation on futuristic perceptions of existentialism and the excessive presence of violence. To some, the bloody action, which serves as a factor for the R rating, may be a put off, but its presence is what helped determine Akira as the “it” anime movie for decades to come.