Anime set in a high school can be exhaustingly unimaginitive – there are so many ecchi harems and romantic comedies that reuse the same formula every season, and it gets incredibly tiring. So I tend to avoid school anime unless it has some kind of unique element, and Fastest Finger First is a show that I can’t really compare to anything else.
Years of watching them with my grandmother has caused me to enjoy TV quiz shows such as The Chase, Eggheads, and Tipping Point, so I was really excited to find out there’s an anime about competitive quiz teams – but did it live up to the hype?
Anime, manga and otaku culture are increasing in popularity in the west at rapid speed, and next year is going to be massive for manga fans in the UK.
The British Museum has announced a manga exhibition that will take place at Room 30 between 23rd May and 26th August 2019. It is set to be the largest manga exhibition ever held outside of Japan and will feature all kinds of titles, providing something for everyone.
The most common starting points that longtime Gundam fans recommend to newbies are the original Mobile Suit Gundam series from 1979, the resulting movie trilogy, or 2007’s spectacular hit Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
All of those are great, but if you’re not entirely sold on the franchise and want a quick taste of what it has to offer, you might prefer Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky, which is a film released in 2016 with a fairly short running length of 1 hour and 10 minutes.
The film does not require any prior knowledge of the Gundam franchise so new viewers should have very little difficulty following the story and understanding what’s going on.
I ordered the UK Blu-Ray release last week and received it today, and have been taking a look at the extras that Anime Limited / All The Anime have included.
Between 1969 and 1973, a series of three adult anime films conceived by Osamu Tezuka (best known for Astro Boy) were released. These were known as the Animerama triology and consisted of 1001 Nights, Cleopatra and Belladonna of Sadness.
All three films are considered hentai, but I don’t think anyone watches them for arousement. In fact, the first two only received a ’15’ rating from the British Board of Film Classification and the pornographic scenes would be very difficult for most people to enjoy.
Belladonna of Sadness is the only one of the three Animerama films that Tezuka was not directly involved in, so we have director Eeichi Yamamoto to thank for this, and I have to say its the most extreme, weirdest and best of the lot.
Anime that revolves around otaku culture is nothing new – in fact, the earliest instance was a very unique OVA from 1991 titled Otaku no Video, which combines an anime story with live action interviews featuring real otaku in order to create a rather loose retelling of how critically acclaimed anime studio Gainax was founded.
More than thirteen years later we saw Genshiken, Welcome to the NHK, OreImo and a wide variety of other series dealing with the anime, manga and visual novel fandoms. And somewhere inbetween, we had Comic Party – a visual novel derived anime from 2001 that essentially spawned a genre but has been seen by fewer than 15,000 MyAnimeList users.
I first came across Comic Party about three years ago when I was searching for more otaku-focused anime, although I only got around to watching it last week. I came out of the series with mixed feelings, but I certainly don’t regret sitting through it.