24 CommentsEditorials, Ye Olde Days / By Scamp /

Those moments that remind you exactly why you love anime

In my last post I talked about the rather depressing side of anime with not being afraid to drop series. So now I’m going to talk about the greatest moments I’ve experienced while watching anime. Sometimes it’s just a single scene combined with your own over-the-top reaction to it. Sometimes it’s because you’ve just watched an episode so perfect you couldn’t imagine that you’d ever watch anything as good as that ever again. Or sometimes it’s something on a more personal level. I’m sure you have those moments and I dare say you can probably already pick a few off the top of your own head. So for now, I’m going to list out my top 10 moments that reminded me exactly why I love anime so much.

Sundance Kid pose

Since I cut it down to 10, theres a few I left out. The delight while re-watching Cromartie to realise that’s it’s exactly as funny as a remembered it to be. Those weird dreams I would have after watching Haibane Remnei. The ‘Alleujah Beam’ in Evangelion episode 22ish that resulted in one of the most surreal sequences I’ve ever seen. But I had to cut it down to 10. This post has almost 2000 words as it is.

10: Last Exile: OMG, IT’S EXILE

LastExile1

Sometimes you don’t realise how much you’ve gotten into a series until you’ve started acting like you’re taking part in it. Like when you get really into a first-person shooter game and you try to arch your neck to look over a wall without moving your character on the screen at all. Well, the most obvious and slightly embarrassing time I did this was while watching Last Exile, around episode 22 when it was acting out its own version of a submarine face-off in the sky. The entire ship was told to be as quiet as possible while one of the crew listened through her magic trumpet to see if she could hear the rhythmic thumping that signalled that they had found the enemy ship, Exile. So the entire ship went quiet with only the constant buffeting wind the ship. Then I could just about hear something in the background. Leaning closer to the speaker (it never occurred to me to turn it up) I could hear it. That sound that sounded slightly like a slow heartbeat. And so I, not wanting to speak too loudly, said in an excited whisper ‘it’s Exile!’. It was only then did I realise what a fool must have looked like but for that moment, I was completely absorbed by the anime. I know it’s a corny trick Last Exile pulled but I fell for it like the big gullible fool I am.

9: Death Note: Penultimate cliffhanger

dnote3709

It may shock and even offend some of you, but the first time I watched Death Note was in English dub on Adult Swim. In fact it wasn’t even on Adult Swim, not living in America. I was watching it from some guy who posted them totally illegally on the internet. Anywho, it had reached the penultimate episode after what has to be said to be a rather poor run of episodes by Death Note standards. I was really hoping Death Note would pull off an ending to save itself, even though I knew what was going to happen in the end (blasted spoilers). I don’t think I was quite prepared for what happened in the last 5 minutes of that episode. The explanation of the plan on both sides, the painful countdown that started. I was curved up, L style, in a nervous wreck watching those last few seconds until…’looks like I win Near’ and BOOM, the episode ended. Never have I screamed so much at a monitor in crazed frustration, even more than that time in football manager when my team inexplicably threw away a 3 goal lead. The craziest thing of all? I managed to wait til next week to watch the last episode and didn’t cave in and watch the subbed. I was quite proud of myself for that.

8: Pale Cocoon: Just…Pale Cocoon

Sometimes when you finish a series, you have that series so fixed in your mind that you can’t actually bring yourself to dedicate time to watch something new. Certainly not something that has 26 or even 13 episodes. So instead I decided I would watch something short as a cleanser between series. You know, something to wash away the taste of the last dish so you can properly enjoy the next one. That didn’t go to plan when I decided to watch Pale Cocoon. While it did totally succeed in blowing the other anime out of my mind completely, it also left no space whatsoever for anything else to enter my mind for the rest of the day. In fact I did eventually watch something else new that week. I watched everything else ever made by Studio Rikka (this didn’t take long) and to top it all off, I watched Pale Cocoon again…and again…and again.

7: Hetalia: The remarkable popularity of Hetalia blog posts

I've seen this picture, made by me in an attempt to include something funny in a noticeably unfunny post, used as a signiture by someone in a forum

This time I’m taking a little step away from the episodes themselves and taking a look at what’s become a large part of my anime viewing experience: blogging. There are painful times when blogging when you spend ages typing something up and it gets about 20 views, no comments and quickly disappears into obscurity. What’s a bit remarkable is that some of my Hetalia posts started out like that. In fact, it wasn’t until about episode 26 that commenters started to appear more regularly. The hitcounter for these posts continues to rise, the amount of regular commenters also continues to rise, and that’s not even half of it. As a blogger you can see where people have linked back to your post on forums and I’ve seen myself quoted on Hetalia forums. I’ll write a post and when I return 12 hours later it’s generated 20 comments. While it’s far from being my favourite anime, I’ve never had more fun in blogging than I have writing my Hetalia posts. So readers, comment moar! It makes us feel loved :)

6: Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood: I sealed it with Fire!

Fullmetal%20Alchemist%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2028

To prove that anime still has the capability to wow me, let’s take the greatest example from this year. Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood was eagerly anticipated before it ran but when it did, many people complained about it. It basically rehashed the first half of the series except with far less attention to detail and far more short jokes. Now a certain amount of this is down to selective memory (yes, there really was that amount of short jokes in the first season) but a lot of the criticism shot at it was perfectly accurate. That is what made episode 19 extra special. Not only was it one of the greatest episodes you will ever see, but it finally marked the moment when Brotherhood could stop living in the shadow of its predecessor and be considered a great anime in its own right. What makes it even better is that this episode wasn’t just a once off, practically every episode since then has been amazing.

5: Ghost in the Shell: That wasn’t the Laughing Man?

gits-sac-laughing-man-logo-1-by-nek0art

The Laughing Man story. If Ghost in the Shell was simply one large story about the Laughing Man, it would sit firmly in my top 5. Those episodes were filled to the brim of plot-twists, speculation, mystery, uber-hacking skills and solidified that famous logo of the Laughing Man in everyone’s minds (Even if you haven’t seen the series, you probably seen that logo before haven’t you). However there’s one scene in particular that I’d like to pick out *SPOILERS FOR GHOST IN THE SHELL*. It was at the end of episode 24. The Laughing Man had just had his long conversation again with that man he had threatened all those years ago. However just before the end, we saw the Laughing Man walk off, take off a mask to reveal the Major. That simple 5 second scene left me with a reaction that sounded something like “wait, what but who was, then she was, but then and he wasn’t, but she took and now…wow”. How one simple act could reveal so much, Ghost in the Shell sealed itself in my heart with that one scene.

4: Cowboy Bebop: Episode 12 and 13

YouTube Preview Image

It’s a classic. A timeless great that will be considered a staple for any anime fan for decades later. It arguably the greatest anime ever, with so many people around the animesphere agreeing to its awesomeness. And yet it takes an awful long time to actually become that good. The first 7 or so episode are not actually very good, the Heavy Metal Queen episode in particular sticks out in my mind as a rather poor episode indeed. Around episode 8, the anime started to improve drastically, especially with the inclusion of Ed. However it wasn’t until the double episodes of 12 and 13 (oddly enough, these were practically Ed free) that it finally hit me why Cowboy Bebop is considered a classic. Culminating in that song at the end, these two episodes are one of the best pieces of anime I have ever seen. Maybe it’s the 12/13 episode charm. If I remember correctly, the best double episode in Darker than Black was the Yin episodes around that point.

3: Mushishi: The One-Eyed Fish

[AnimePaper]wallpapers_Mushishi_nighr(1_33)_1024x768_67796

Taking things to a more personal level this time. Because I played a lot of sports at school, I never hung out with the nerdy kids. Hence, I never had any nerdy friends to share my anime viewing experiences with. Luckily, around the same that I started to get into anime, so did my sister. In order that we didn’t fight over who’s turn it was on the computer, we watched a lot of anime together, starting off with the original FMA. She also has her own MAL account and while we have fairly similar tastes, there’s only one anime we both have rated a 10: Mushishi. We started watching it together until around episode 10 when she went off on a summer camp and I went off on holiday. Both of us continued to watch Mushishi while away and after 2 weeks of not seeing each other, guess what the first thing we said to each other was. Not a stupid brother sister argument, not an awkward hello. The conversation went something like this

Me: Did you watch Mushishi?

Her: Yeah

Together: ONE EYED FISH!!!

2: Code Geass: Season One episode 22

vlcsnap-142063

What actually inspired me to write this post was a comment (left on a Hetalia post obviously) by ExecutiveOtaku discussing this very scene. It’s one that anyone and everyone will remember their reaction to it. Did you clutch the screen, yelling at it? Did you curl up in the fetal position, whimpering ‘it was all going so well’? Did you scream, sitting bolt upright in your chair and start throwing stuff in random directions? The greatest plot twist ever. Bar none.

1: Death Note: The Rush

The first image you used to get when you typed anime into google images. I wouldn't have it any other way

There are plenty of flaws with Death Note. I know that and anyone who says otherwise is a fool. And yet Death Note still sits at the top of my list as my favourite anime of all time because of The Rush. The Rush is hard to explain. It’s like a feeling of pure euphoria that bursts and flows throughout your body in reaction to the awesomeness that’s happening on-screen. It makes you feel elated, like you’ve just taken off a heavy bag after a 4 mile walk and you feel like flying. Some other anime have managed to replicate this feeling, such as Code Geass, Baccano, Eden of the East and Ghost in the Shell, but it’s Death Note that this feeling was the most prevalent during. I call it The Rush. It’s a drug known as Anime.

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23 Comments

  1. Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    What a great idea. I’ve go two.

    First is the scene near the end of ep3 (I think) of Iriya no Sora. It’s during the school festival, and Iriya has to be away training in her jet, so she and Asaba can’t do the dance together at the end of the festival. But Asaba goes out to a hillside and Iriya screams over in her jet, and Asaba on the hillside and Iriya in the sky dance together to powerful music. Chills down my spine.

    Second is a scene in ep8 of Simoun. The top pilot, Neviril, has been depressed since her partner died and keeps refusing to take a new partner. When the deck is burning after an attack and explosions, Neviril comes over to Aaeru, who has been trying to get her to partner with her, stands over her and says: “Get up, Aaeru. I am your partner.” More chills.

  2. Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Oh man, I’ve only seen some of these shows but the Cowboy Bebop, Last Exile, and GiTS ones bring back good memories. As well as the opening Eden of the East screencap. Makes me want to blatantly steal your idea make a favorite moments post of my own some time.

    Hehe, glad I provided some inspiration. As more and more bloggers connect and share ideas the ground will be laid for the Aniblogger Instrumentality Project. Our minds will merge as one and no one will ever have trouble understanding each other again! At least until a angsty kid decides to stop it and wakes up in a classroom being congratulated by everyone. Oh Eva…

  3. Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    Well, there’s a bit of a recency bias in the two examples that come to mind. The first would have to be the 12th episode of Bakemonogatari that was really well-executed in the way it revealed the thought process of its two principal characters that ended in a wonderfully sweet conclusion.

    The second would have to be Alice’s promotion in ARIA the Origination. As you watch the series, there’s a sort of understanding as to the amount of effort the girls has put into their work, so to see one off in such a manner was just fantastic. Execution was pitch-perfect during every step of the way and that led to a beautiful send-off.

  4. Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Yes! Yes! CG ep 22 was the BIGGEST plot twist ever. None can come close to that thus far. And I do agree, the Rush is the reason why people are hooked to anime. Take TTGL. Many claim it’s one of the best anime ever but it’s the sheer rush that makes TTGL fans gave that over-reaction. It’s good, no doubt, but the rush made it better.

  5. TOZ
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Any scene in Bleach involving Kenpachi Zaraki. Even if he’s just standing there laughing maniacally.

  6. Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    It’s great to see everyone listing their favourite moments in anime as well, that was what I , but what hoped would happen, but you’re missing the human element to each of these scenes. It’s not the scene itself that’s important. It’s your reaction and how it hit you and what you did afterwards that matters. This isn’t about the anime, this is about you watching it. This isn’t a post about anime – it’s a post about people reacting to anime.

    Anywho on to replying to comments.

    @hashi

    While I haven’t seen either of those two anime (been meaning to watch Simoun for bloody ages) I know the shiver-up-the-spine feeling. I’m trying to think of a time that happened to me…eh…Ah I know, during Kaiba! Episode 10, the flashback episode where they explained the plot and you realised exactly what was going through everyones mind. That was a real shiver-up-spine episode.

    @ExecutiveOtaku

    Steal, by all means! You don’t know how many pictures I shifted through before I decided to use that Eden one. Trying to signify the greatest moments in anime with one picture is insanely difficult so in the end I decided to just pick an epic pose that would signify general awesomness. I’m quite pleased with my pic now.

    @zzeroparticle

    Ah, that was such a fantastic episode of Bakemonogatari. What I loved about that episode most of all was that it was the first time we’d seen Senjogahara in ages and I was wondering whether my initial reaction to her being one of the best characters ever in the first few episodes was just me over-reacting. Then she pops in and produces one of the best performances ever. Loved that episode to bits.

    @Brian

    The Rush. Ever since I experienced that in Death Note I’ve been searching for it in any and every anime. And yes, I got that in TTGL as well. The thing is, I’d watched that before I watched Death Note so I didn’t recognise that feeling straight away.

    @TOZ

    I’m not a fan of Bleach but yeah, Kenpachi is awesome no matter what happens

  7. kadian1364
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    I think I can relate to you in how you watched anime with your sister. My sister got me into the stuff, and we’d always watch those Japtoons after school.

    Listening to the final credits of Cowboy Bebop, watching the alternate universe Eva in the namesake’s last TV episode, seeing the minor miracle that was Voices of a Distant Star, discovering the first episode of this little talked about show called The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, manically searching across new blogs for impressions after completing Gurren Lagann, reflecting on the words of a whole generation of fans after finishing Do Your Remember Love. Those are the moments of pure magic, where what you see and hear and what you think a feel come together in perfect harmony. It wasn’t just the content of the anime, I remember where I was, who I was watching with, who was the subbing group, and what I was thinking at that very instant. Those experiences made enormous impressions on me, perhaps the purest expressions of who I am as an anime fan, and are forever burned into my memory.

  8. Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    I think that’s why I keep watching, for those times when I can feel something touch the edge of the vast emptiness inside. For all the rehash we’ve all seen, something hits me and I understand why I keep watching.

  9. luffyluffy
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Ahh, The Euphieminater Incident..

    I…

    I was laughing my ass off XD

    As for Cowboy Bebop… fgiagfihgfia, Spike <3 [/fangirl]

  10. Posted October 30, 2009 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    @kadian1364

    You’ve got it! You’ve got the idea of the post down perfectly. All these scenes I listed I remember exactly what I was doing at the time. I must admit, I’m rather jealous that you were around when Haruhi wasn’t popular yet. The only anime craze I’ve been around for is the Geass R2 trainwrecking. Wait, I take that back. I was around for Endless Eight. Mind you, neither of them were everybody agreeing in it’s amazingness.

    @super rats

    I don’t watch anime for these moments, otherwise I’d e left wanting 99% of the time. Great series is why I keep watching. These types of moments remind me why I love it so much. There’s an important difference there

  11. Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Eureka 7 ending: carve your own personal love message on the moon. Unforgettable. The movie blows though.

  12. Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, the Euphemia moment in Code Geass – my jaw dropped to the floor. I don’t think anyone can honestly say they saw that one coming.

    I was also extraordinarily tense during the final showdown in Death Note – I had had it with Light by then and really wanted to see him get caught. The idea that the series might end with Light getting away with everything made me hang onto every moment in that scene, holding my breath.

    Have seen up to and including FMA: Brotherhood ep 19 (which I agree was a great episode). Had to catch up with eps of other series first, but I will watch the recent eps of Brotherhood soon.

  13. Posted October 30, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    @Jan Suzukawa: I hope you’re following the manga. More awesome stuff in store for FMA. Too bad, FMA is not an anime original, like DTB. Otherwise, it would make an amazing anime to watch. The manga gave away too much of the thrill watching the anime. Speaking of DTB, the story is getting better. Jaw dropped, period.

  14. Posted October 31, 2009 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    @Brian

    I haven’t been reading the manga – and now I can’t, because I’m afraid it would ruin my Brotherhood watching experience going forward.(!) I was disappointed in the initial eps of Brotherhood (I wrote a semi-rant in my blog on this issue in July – being a great fan of the original FMA anime), but all I hear about the later eps of Brotherhood is that it’s fantastic.

    Have not seen any of Darker Than Black – may give it a try.

  15. Chez
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Euphie incident was totaly shocking…i don’t expect that happend in the first place.That incident had significant effect both Lelouch & Suzaku respectively. Ah yes, FMA ep 19 is for me the great achievement of FMA Brotherhood in adapting the manga storyline. In truth, keep faithful on manga storyline also can make that shows kick-ass or not depend on the creativity of animation production team.

  16. Posted October 31, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    @Jan: FMA Brotherhood is better than the previous FMA, simply because it follows the manga religiously. The manga has a better storyline compared to the original FMA anime. DTB is good because it’s an anime original, so we won’t know what will happen next, unlike manga adaptations. Not wanting to spoil much but the coming episodes will reveal a bigger secret about the Homonculi.

  17. vucubcaquix
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    FLCL. Almost all of it. The hook that dragged me in was Mamimi and Naota laying in the grass in the beginning of the first episode, with him complaining that “nothing exciting ever happens here,” and with an absolutely amazing song whose lyrics I didn’t quite understand playing in the background. My 15 year old self was absolutely enthralled by that moment, but the singular scene that has stayed with me for all these years hence happened in episode 4.

    When Naota “swung the bat”.

    Crazy Sunshine was blasting out of the TV, crazy trippy visuals flashing everywhere (like the moment the satellite bomb hit the atmosphere and the sky turned pink and purple), Amarao and Kitsurubami and everyone else at the Immigration Bureau completely losing their collective freaking minds at the thought of Mabase being destroyed, Naota losing his shit at the idea of having to make an assertive action and Haruko casually running away because of her underestimation of him, all this occurring near simultaneously with dizzying effect announced to me with no subtlety that I was watching something special and the moment should be cherished. Then he swung. I tensed up, let out a “FUCK YEAH”, then “OH NO”, as the bomb began to explode only to let an even louder “FUCK YEAAAAAAAAAH” as Haruko COMES OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE to help him hit the ball out of the park! AGH! I’m getting so pumped up just typing out a memory of this scene and I need to go to sleep!

    Naota’s ending monologue felt so poignant afterward as the adrenaline began to ease from my system, with him wondering whether Haruko felt like this all of the time. My own reaction may feel juvenile to me now, but that level of introspection from a character felt so profound to me. I felt so moved, in a way that no other animated work made me feel prior.

    Never in my life had I seen something like that and all of my previous exposure to anime had been shows like the dubs of DBZ, sailor moon, and Pokemon. FLCL opened the floodgates, and had shown me what the animated medium was capable of doing. Haven’t looked back since.

    • opio
      Posted February 20, 2011 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      this is exactly the truth, that anime is the best. if you want to feel excitement, confusion, love, hate, fear, elation or any other awesome emotion i recommend that anime

  18. vucubcaquix
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

    Oh yeah, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0.

    When Mirai and Mari were reunited in the final episode with the returning of Yuuki’s bookbag interspersed with cuts to his shrine, the tears shed were probably some of the most cathartic I had ever felt. The air in my room felt so heavy after that episode that I ended up riding my bike to the park to sit at a bench for a little while to read Yotsuba&! under a tree. I felt a little silly afterward for feeling like that for fictional characters, but also grateful to be privy to an entire world unto itself and knowing that even if it were just 20 minutes at a time, for eleven weeks I journeyed across Tokyo with them.

    Sometimes I wish I lived in more exceptional times, or at least that I lived a more exceptional life. I feel that may be one of the dangers of being reminded of why you love anime.

  19. blindability
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    at vucubcaquix: it’s not silly that you invested in the characters emotionally; I think it’s really amazing when you FEEL something for the characters – fictional though they may be. It’s probably because you can relate on the plane of imagination: What if this had happened to me? How would I react in a similar situation? It’s probably one of the greatest achievements for any author/mangaka to have people experience their work on such a personal level.

    The concept of “exceptional” is also relative, and it’s also based on what you consider “reality”. Of course there are some events that happen that really just blow your mind no matter who you are or how many times you’ve experienced it.

  20. Posted October 31, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    @vucubcaquix

    Reading these comments has just made me jealous that I didn’t experience these feelings while watching the anime in question. I loved FLCL, it’s one of the wackiest and most original anime I’ve ever seen, but I certainly didn’t have that reaction to it. And yeah, when writing this post out, especially as I got to the second half of the list, I started to get a bit carried away with myself. Thank god I did a re-read of it before I posted it, some of the babble I came out with…

  21. Marvin
    Posted October 31, 2009 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Aaah, too many moments there, but as for Last Exile:

    *SPOILER*

    When Dio died, I almost stopped watching the series. I was crushed :(

    Oh and the most evil anime I ever watched was “Here and there, now and then”. I don’t think I could handle watching it a second time.

    One of the most emotional experiences watching anime I had at the end of the first Gunbuster OVA…

  22. Posted November 1, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Dio didn’t die. His voice as heard during a later scene in the Silvana’s engine room cheering “Ascending!”

    It is also stated in an interview placed in the Last Exile art book Aerial Log that Dio Eraclea was picked up by a passing Guild ship after he fell from his vanship in the final episodes of the show.

    I got the first part from watching the show(though I copied the text from wiki) and the latter totally from wikipedia.

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  • By Editorial: Defining Moments in Being a Fan on November 14, 2009 at 8:56 am

    […] idea for this article originated from Scamp over at Bokutachi no Blog. He wrote a similar list of his own favorite moments after an off-topic comments exchange in one of his posts that we had concerning Code Geass episode […]

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