It’s no stranger to Skip Beat! manga readers that the series’ most consistent theme throughout its 219 chapters thus far is dedication. Even in the anime aired in 2008, the characters’ dedication to things around them is very apparent. They’re committed to the tasks given to them, no matter how tough they are, and they’re doing so with single-mindedness to deliver sheer quality. Given that Skip Beat! is set on the entertainment world, I suppose their very careers’ success is dependent of their level of commitment.
Since I started reading Skip Beat! some time back in 2009, I was never shy about my amazement at the main characters Mogami Kyoko and Tsuruga Ren‘s dedication to their acting. In many occasions, both characters overcame adversities to deliver quality work. But it doesn’t just stop there. If I reflect back the chapters I read all these years, it’s clear that the series’ many characters remain dedicated in many aspects of their lives.
I’m primarily an anime watcher. For the lack of a proper word, let’s use the word “watcher” for now. To further elaborate, I’m more inclined to watch the anime of any titles as long as there’s an anime version of it. I’ll be more than happy to skip reading the manga, playing the visual novel or reading the light novel. In that respect, yes, I’m more of an anime person. For readers who have been following this blog for a long time would come to realize this. After all, I mentioned it several times.
So, for me to transition from the anime to actually reading manga takes a lot of work. At least, the anime must do the original work justice. This means what was translated into an anime isn’t too far off the original work. Majority of the characteristics are still there and whatever emotions are properly conveyed through animated work.
Looking back to 2014, I realized a lot of crazy cool stuff had happened. I mean, a much beloved Hunter X Hunter (2011) series had ended and it ended well. Naruto manga is now officially wrapped up. Kuroko no Basuke manga too. Of course, I’ve read news about sequels and stuff, but hey, things aren’t going to be same. Characters lineup will probably be a little different, etc. So just have a moment and take it all in.
Anyway, as per tradition, I cannot NOT write this post. It’s like a quick post to remind myself and hopefully recommend others good anime series in 2014. The criteria is that the anime series must end in 2014, regardless of when it started airing. I mean, it wouldn’t be fair to rate a series that is still airing right?
So here’s goes. The annual Hoshiko’s Best Anime list has returned.
Personally, I enjoy watching Amagi Brilliant Park. It’s funny, it’s rowdy, and it’s magical. Because the theme park belongs to a magical world of Maple Land, it gives a legitimate excuse to include all sorts of crazy ideas in a normal slice of life. And to my own surprise, I actually love the wild ideas!
Usually, when an anime series includes too many way-beyond-logic scenes, I get turned off. I suppose having properly introduced the notion of Maple Land sets me off on the right track and I was able to enjoy the series for what it is.
Akame Ga Kill! is one anime that doesn’t shy away from head on violence. Its common deaths involve decapitation, disfiguring and severing of limbs. Blood is a common sight. I still vividly remember the emotions that went through my entire being when Sheele was brutally murdered by Night Raid’s enemy. Experts say that we tend to remember emotions better than the scenes. And yes, they’re right. I don’t remember exactly how Sheele went down but I remember being utterly shocked.
Shock, because I never expected anyone to die. In a way, maybe it’s a good thing? At the very least, there’s an element of surprise. I supposed I was shocked because normally action-oriented anime have characters that are unintentionally immortal. Or at least, the anime titles that I saw have very little deaths. Sure, they’re seriously injured and covered in blood. Like I said, they’re “immortals”. So no matter how badly they’re hurt, I always expect to see them get up and fight again.
Before I delve any deeper into this topic, I’ll begin first on how I started to self-study Japanese a few years ago. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started. But it was one boring night, I decided to want to be able to read the Hiragana & Katakana I see in some of the anime so I signed up at iKnow.jp. The service was free back then and it used a flash card system to help me remember the letters. It’ll keep flashing letters that I’ve studied or just studied until I complete the whole course.
After learning Hiragana & Katakana, I moved on to learn basic vocabularies like family, numbers, etc. Then, I stopped. I think it’s because they just announced that they’re going to start collecting subscription fee and whatnot. Being a student back then, money was pretty tight so I didn’t want to spend it unless it’s absolutely necessary. I didn’t have smartphone too so I don’t have access to apps like Duolingo, etc.