AMV of the Day: Otaku Paradise


It’s the 4th of July Weekend and one of the things I’ve gotten used to these past couple years is that it means Anime Expo has come around once more. While I don’t have the anime convention experience as pantsukudasai56 it is still a event that I’ve gotten used to attending once a year when possible.

The latest “AMV of the Day” arrives just in time for the largest North American anime convention held every 4th of July weekend in Los Angeles. Not to say that the other anime conventions around the country are nothing to sneeze at, but Anime Expo is a whole different animal that every otaku in North America needs to experience at least once in their life. It’s a video that comes courtesy by the very talented video editor who goes by the handle of BecauseImBored1.

A video that combines scenes from anime and real-life footage of cosplayers and anime con-goers into one timely video that celebrates the positive nature of the word “otaku”. It’s a word that has a negative reputation in Japan, but one that’s seen as a celebration of anime and Japanese pop-culture fandom worldwide. It’s a label taken on proudly.

“Otaku Paradise” has such a huge number of anime referenced yet barely scratches the surface of what “otaku” watches and follows year in and year out. I love the fact that the video intersperses these anime scenes with real-life people in cosplay of those very same anime characters. Not everyone cosplays, but every otaku appreciates and admires those who do. Yet, cosplayers and non-cosplayer otaku both have one thing in common and that is their acceptance of the label of “otaku”.

One thing this video made me do while I watched it for the first time and the many times since was put such a huge, happy smile on my face. It’s small consolation for having to miss this weekend’s Anime Expo 2014.

Anime: Another, Attack On Titan, Baccano!, Baka And Test – Summon The Beasts, Bakuman, Black Lagoon, CANAAN, Clannad, Code Geass – Lelouch Of The Rebellion, D.Gray-Man, DragonBall Z, Durarara!!, Fate/Stay Night, Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club, Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Genshiken, Genshiken Nidaime, Haikyuu, Hellsing Ultimate, Howl’s Moving Castle, Idolmaster, K, K-ON!, Kampfer, Kanon, Kara No Kyoukai – The Garden Of Sinners, Kill La Kill, Kuroko’s Basketball, Kyoukai No Kanata, Kyousougiga, Little Witch Academia, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, Lucky Star, Macross Frontier MUSIC CLIP Collection – Nyankuri, Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya, MM!, Munto, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, My Neighbor Totoro, Naruto, Ookami-San To Shichinin No Nakama-Tachi, Ore No Kanojo To Osananajimi Ga Shuraba Sugiru, Ouran High School Host Club, Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt, Persona 4: The Animation, Pokemon : White, Pokémon: Movie 2, Pokemon 2000, The Power Of One, Princess Jellyfish, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Romeo × Juliet, Sailor Moon, Sakura Trick, School Rumble, School Rumble 2, Shugo Chara!, Soul Eater, Soul Eater Not, Summer Wars, Super Smash Bros, Sword Art Online, Tales Of Xillia, Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, Toradora!, Trigun, Uta No Prince Sama, Welcome To The NHK, Yu Yu Hakusho

Song: “Raging Fire” by Phillip Phillips

Creator: BecauseImBored1

Past AMVs of the Day

Anime You Should Be Watching: Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight


Anime has been a particular form of entertainment that I have been watching and enjoying for over twenty years, but my exposure to them were kept at older series and OVA’s (Original Video Animation) that were licensed by American companies for U.S. public consumption. I’m talking about series like Voltron and Robotech plus even older ones like Starblazers, Captain Harlock and G-Force. It wasn’t until four-five years ago that I really got into anime that wasn’t made age-appropriate for U.S. public viewing.

I was literally hoarding as much anime series both new and old on dvd and adding them to my collection. It didn’t matter if the series or OVAs were mecha, horror, action, romance, comedy and-or slice-of-life, if someone recommended it to me then I would go out, find it, buy it and then watch it. With my past experiences on mecha, space opera and action anime I thought I would pick up where I left off and gravitate towards similar kinds of anime. To my surprise I actually didn’t like them as much as I thought I would. The sort of anime that I began to really enjoy and want more of were the slice-of-life dramas and comedies like Azumanga Daioh, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star and Kanon. While they didn’t have the non-stop kinetic action of series like Code Geass and the umpteenth version of Gundam and Macross, they more than made up for it with some witty and hilarious writing.

My favorite anime falls in the slice-of-life genre. I am talking about Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight! from animation studio Ufotable. The series takes place in a future Tokyo where the birth-rate has slowed and there’s less and less children attending schools. Within this basic premise we have the character of Manami Amamiya who transfers into the all-girl Seioh Private High School where her vibrant and infectious personality quickly makes her one of the popular girls. She gains a small close-knit of friends from the shy and clumsy Mika Inamori, the athletic tomboy in Mutsuki Uehara, the smart, but emotionally withdrawn Mei Etoh and the eccentric Momoha Odori. Manami (or Manabi as she likes to be called) becomes the impetus for all the adventures these girls go through together as they forge a lasting friendship through good times and bad times.

One doesn’t have to be a girl to enjoy this series. Guys who like it do so because of how it reminds them of their own time in high school with their own buddies and how those bonds of friendships seems to last forever. While some have not the memories of those times will always be fond ones for both men and women who reminisce about them while watching this series. It also has some of the cutest animation with a catchy intro song. The girls’ school anthem is one that just has to be listened to.

And one of the funniest scenes from the series…