About Me

I'm Phil! American living in Japan. Teacher. Ex-independent professional wrestler. Student of Japanese. Traveler. Article writer for Mythic Scribes. Also written four manga, novels, and various short stories and poems. For my fantasy-related blog, check out http://www.philipoverbyfantasy.blogspot.jp/.


Drill Bits: random thoughts, bloggy stuff
Japan Hammer: topics about Japan
Story Time: stories I felt like posting

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Japan Hammer: My Top 5 Anime

Japan Hammer will be my new sub-section of my blog where I discuss Japanese stuff. If there is something Japanese that interests you that you want me to talk about, comment and tell me. I'll scrounge up something.

5. Berserk: I watched this many moons ago and it still sticks with me. I mean the hero's name is Guts. I wish I could be named Guts. One day I want to write something as beautifully brutal as Berserk. Most of the series is Guts mutilating people in a glorious fashion. He has a frenemy in Griffith, who wears armor that looks like a bird. Get it? Like a griffon. Because it's like a bird.

I remember seeing the DVD cover for this. Even the DVD was bloody. I highly recommend it, even though the original series didn't finish apparently. So there is a really bizarre ending. I mean ape shit nutter-butter crazy.

4. Record of Lodoss War: Insanely epic and wickedly generic, it is a Dungeon and Dragon fanboy's wet dream. Sexy elves. Grumpy dwarves. Sexy sorceresses. Crafty thieves. Blood. Magic. Dragons. A generic looking swordsman hero. But for some reason the combination of Japanese aesthetic with Tolkien rip-off material worked. It takes forever to watch the whole thing, but it is worth it. Generic never felt this good.

3. Princess Mononoke: Miyazaki's a bad ass. No one can dispute that. This is my favorite of his movies I've seen though. However, please don't watch the English dubbed version. It is annoying to me for some reason.

The story is pretty original as far as I can tell. A warrior tries to heal his curse after fighting a demon possessed god. There are gods represented by each animal. Wolf god, deer god, boar god, etc. Classic combination of nature=good, technology=evil. But not done in an annoying hippie way. If Al Gore could make an anime, this would be it.

Guns are bad, mmmkay?

2. Fist of the North Star: I guess you are noticing a trend here. I like fantasy stuff. Fist of the North Star is a bit of fantasy but mostly inspired by dystopian futures and Road Warrior style characters. A stark landscape. A lone hero. He must save the wastelands from evil warlords who have used their power to enslave the masses. A man destined for greatness. A man driven by honor. A man who can punch people and their heads explode. Yes.

Here's a montage of people dying in gruesome ways. Mostly with their heads exploding.

1. Akira: "Neo-Tokyo is about to explode." No question. Akira is number one. It is awesome. Weird storyline involving weird crap I can't really explain. A psychotic telekinetic who can blow up tanks and make peoples heads explode (again with the head exploding...geez). Lots of cool motorcycle chases that are cooler than Tron. Cool epic sounding music. A laser bazooka. A big ass teddy bear that has milk leaking out of it. Wow, makes me want to watch it again.

I love Akira's style. Its crazed violence. Its political intrigue. Its bat shit story. Its moments of genuine emotion. To me it's the ultimate anime.

Well those are my top 5 anime in my opinion. If you have suggestions or other thoughts, let me know!


  1. Dude you totally left out high school of the dead and heroman.

  2. These are the best ones that I've seen. There are lots of great anime that I haven't seen. Lots of crap out there too.

    I'll have to check those two out! Especially if there are heads exploding.

  3. There are so many anime things to cover its redorkulas , but good job on doing some of the best ones!(don't forget vampire hunter d and flcl)

  4. First episode of High School of the Dead the guy slaps his girlfriend for talking back. How much better can anime get. It's totally bowman approved! Let me know if you want me to send you any games over. Next time we go there I need to pick up a Japanese Xbox. I'm missing out on some of the greatest games. Atalus claims theres no plans to bring Catherine out to US now even though the sales topped the charts.

  5. That would be totally awesome! Xbox is totally dead over here, by the way.