The One Thing Missing in My Anime Life
As a connoisseur of anime and films, I always look forward to the period when seasons change; they mark the time when old ones lie down in history and new ones pop up. Publications handled by the advertisers and public relations show new faces smiling at us from a small distance, charming us with that simple affectionate gesture.
Yet, I always felt something was missing in my life. I started looking at anime differently a few weeks ago with this new outlook — an existentialist perspective. It distracted me from finishing the exciting conclusions of Ichigo Mashimaro, Ichigo Mashimaro OVA, and Ichigo Mashimaro Encore. Frustrated, I meditated for an answer. What’s wrong with me? Why was this bothering me? Was this aspect crucial in a good anime? No, I was going too far ahead with my questions: did this “thing” even exist? My meditation was deep enough that I visualized I was inside some sort of black box. I could see those questions, written in white text, bouncing off the walls; the darkness engulfed my body and I cannot feel my hands. I knew I’m breathing and alive, but nothing else. Did I perform some occult magic, transporting me to the netherworlds to seek for this answer? That, I cannot know even now; I bet I would never will.
All of a sudden, an unknown but high-powered energy invaded my body through my left toe, pulsating from my feet to my brain. That sudden jolt made me tremble a bit. An ocean blue hue developed in this blackness like splotches from a calligraphic pen smudged with blue ink falling from its tip. I could now move my body and swung my arms as if it’s my first time; I felt my arm muscles were loose and flexible: the strong, harsh motion of swinging had turned into a graceful ballet dance move. The bouncing words stopped and arranged itself, sometimes morphing and splitting the letters, to form one simple sentence (which later, will be narrated by Morgan Freeman):
“Dude, you just want to watch an anime about the daily lives of middle school girls singing enka.”
This new revelation stomped my thoughts down, crushing my inner repressions and suppressions. It created a new ego and now, it is I who write — the man who wants a slice-of-life show of middle school girls singing enka. And I believe everyone must be suffering from the same disease; but fear no longer as I shall grant you my enlightened wisdom.
Imagine an ordinary girl — let’s call her, “Yui” — struggling against society to show her enka singing skills to the whole world. However, she must keep her identity from her parents and friends because she is only a middle schooler. As we all know, middle schoolers have complex problems worth talking about: issues such as “he loves me” and “he loves me not.” Her manager should be a tough middle-aged female wearing a daring red lipstick, always looking down on men. She has short red hair and wears glasses and a business suit. Her left hand is always grabbing something: a coffee cup or a clipboard with papers detailing the venues and other administrative logistics. In her leather purse, she also has a whip and cane, in case she needs to get her message through the men.
With this set of characters, this show must, of course, not be moe. Don’t get me wrong: I love moe. But I want this show to be special. Instead, it must be something like Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: a work with substance.
How does SDF Macross do it? It invokes the themes of human potential, celebrity life, love triangles, and the never-ending debate of the importance of culture in a warring period. I can envision this enka singing work with similar yet fresh themes: a coming-of-age story of a girl who fights against society to be an individual; or a coming-of-age story of an urbanite moving to the countryside, where she learned to respect and later, defend traditional values against the encroachment of modernity. None of the works I know have shown that wittiness, especially the latter: if such a work blooms in front of my face, I promise to my readers that I will not only starve myself but imprison myself in a hot spring for ten years trying to write an erotica novel in total despair.
I ask readers to take this suggestion seriously because I plan to go on Google Translate and put these words into Japanese; later, I will be sending this to all the big animation studios like KyoAni and AIC. I will also add that the middle school girl should be voiced by Mizuki Nana because she used to be an enka singer; the manager, on the other hand, should be voiced by Sayaka Ohara. Everyone else: meh, I don’t give a damn. Really, we — I mean “I” — should be looking out for the enka singer and her manager as characters. Everyone else is cardboard and obstacles for them, providing the needed conflict in this work.
This variety change will spice up the dying anime industry and I know it will — I have wide and varied tastes!