CONTROVERSIAL OPINIONS (PART 1)
It’s Friday-Friday-Friday, and is there any better way to spend it than arguing on the Internet? Yeah, probably.
Below are three sincere opinions about why one cartoon is better some other cartoon people like. You can disagree (AND BE TERRIBLY WRONG) in the comments below. If you do, you are required to write in ALL CAPS and HAVE FUN. Please avoid spoilers for any delicate readers out there, including myself.
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross > SDFM: Do You Remember Love?
Here’s the dirty secret about one of mecha anime’s sacred cows: Do You Remember Love? is a bog-standard franchise movie. It’s just a much prettier take on the same story, and the story suffers for it. Macross plays with some interesting ideas about the power of culture that are worth taking seriously, and in Do You Remember Love?, those ideas become watered-down into something laughable because of time constraints. The emotional core of the series also suffers, since the love triangle doesn’t get the development the TV series gave it. The movie makes it look like Hikaru will just flick from one woman to the next, while the TV series not only gives the triangle a more nuanced development, but also makes it clear that Hikaru’s choice was part of him entering adulthood. On top of that, the first eleven episodes of Macross makes for one of the most majestic, tense serials ever written, as everything that can go wrong for our heroes does and then gets even worse. The only real advantage the movie offers is a shorter time commitment, but honestly, any fan worth their salt should be willing to make the time investment to experience one of the greatest anime ever.
The Tower of Druaga > The Vision of Escaflowne
Folks who know me know I’m a bit sore that The Vision of Escaflowne is still, somehow, a sacred and beloved series for much of anime fandom. I don’t think Escaflowne is bad, per se, as just mediocre. It was the series that did a Gonzo ending before Gonzo made Gonzo endings. Pretty great for the first half, and then it all devolves into a poorly animated mess because the series wouldn’t last as long as Sunrise planned. So they unleashed the Kawamori. You know how lovably crazy EVOL is? That’s kind of what the second half of Escaflowne is like, except it takes itself seriously and is meshed with a much better paced first half. It makes for a series that seemed promising, but comes out feeling half-baked. If you want a well paced fantasy story, consider The Tower of Druaga, one of the few exceptions to the Gonzo ending. Sure, it’s a video game adaptation based on an old school game and a then-current MMORPG, but it does two things really well- develop a simple fantasy story and its characters, and be really funny about it. Druaga also has a brutal mid-point twist guaranteed to kick your heart into the gutter, putting many of the forced, boring cliffhangers in Escaflowne to shame.
Plus, no gold-blooded cat girls. Who the hell is going to defend that?
Lupin III: The Secret of Mamo > Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro
You can also read this as: The Secret of Mamo is the best Lupin movie. Castle of Cagliostro is a fantastic movie, sure, but The Secret of Mamo is weirder and more ambitious. And while everyone who has helmed a Lupin movie, series or special has put their own twist on the characters, Miyazaki’s take feels the least Lupin of them, meaning it’s basically just a Miyazaki movie and not another Lupin movie. Plus, it underutilized a lot of the Lupin crew, especially Goemon, who is simply a third act dues ex machina. The Secret of Mamo does a better job with the characters, even Fujiko, and on top of that, has a trippy story with a crazed, memorable villain. I enjoyed Cagliostro, but Mamo was an experience, and I had to watch it twice to make sure I didn’t dream up some of its odder bits.