Whoa! Long time, no post! I’ve been slacking in the anime-watching department – in fact, I don’t think I’ve actually finished an anime series or even watched an anime movie in MONTHS. It makes it pretty hard to upkeep an anime blog when you’re either watching a million anime at once or abstaining from it completely. I’ve been reading about anime, sure – I haven’t logged on here in a bit, but I’ve been lurking what you all have been sharing on Twitter and popping on to check out your opinions on the seasonals and whatnot. But I just haven’t been in the mood to actually watch or talk about any anime stuff myself.
But you know what I have been in the mood for, apparently? Watching animated short films about dicks and vaginas!!! I started using Letterboxd recently, and I keep stumbling upon movies that I had never even heard of before. I’ve fallen down a hole full of obscure animated features and shorts, and somehow stumbled upon a glorious grouping of experimental animated shorts featuring singing, purring, sprouting, and dancing private parts. Please, let me regale you with my finds!
There was something badass going on in the world of late 90’s/early 2000’s anime soundtracks. A decent amount of anime had these anthemic, sweeping rock songs in their soundtracks. Often, these songs were sung in English and performed by non-Japanese singers. I don’t know if this was because Yoko Kanno was out in full-force during this time period and giving us Steve Conte-fronted goodness, or if more anime studios were going for crossover appeal with Western audiences.
Whatever the case, these songs are all awesome, and the story of how some of these English language songs and collaborations came to be are actually very interesting. Originally, I was just going to do a quick listicle, but I got carried away reading about these various performers. It seemed like a disservice not to share all the fruits of my research, so here is part one of my surprisingly long list of favorite English language anime rock performances.
YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS, FOLKS! That’s right, it’s about a week after the end of the last anime season, which means it’s time for my to put on my Eyebrow Assessment Monocle and distribute the coveted award of Best Anime Eyebrow.
Believe it or not, I actually followed a lot of series through this season. I was BIG into Boogiepopand The Promised Neverland in particular, and of course Mob Psycho 100. If I were a better blogger, I would write a review of those series, but alas. I only review eyebrows here, not entire anime series.
Now, infamously, I write these Top 10 lists without having actually seen any of the season’s offerings. This time, I actually watched, but somehow that made this list HARDER to write. I was busy paying attention to insignificant things like a character’s pErSoNaLiTy and bEhAvIoR. But no worries, I have now adjusted the monocle and am ready to list.
If I had more free time (and maybe a bigger brain), I would write multiple giant essays about women in anime. Female characters in anime can be such a mixed bag – compared to other media, anime has more female main characters, but those characters are also more likely to be ridiculously titty-licious. Of course, showing female sexuality onscreen isn’t always a bad thing, but it is problematic if she only exists to be gawked at, lacks any real personality, or gets trapped in a harem plotline where they’re reduced to nothing more than “potential girlfriend #3.”
At the same time, there are also some insanely great female characters who subvert those aforementioned expectations. I could write a whole series of blog posts on that but…well, like I said – no time, small brain.
LUCKILY THOUGH! Moyatori tagged me in this 9 underrated female characters tag many moons ago, thus giving me the perfect chance to attempt to gather my thoughts on anime ladies. She brings up some really excellent characters in her post – I was super excited to see she had Ilena from Claymore listed – so make sure you check it out.
Well, well, well. Another season has ended, which means I’m contractually obligated to post another eyebrow countdown. Just like with every other anime season, I’ve completely neglected to cover anything as it aired…BUT, I did take note of some sexy, sexy eyebrows. And by sexy, I mean “delightful and attractive in a non-sexual and lawful way,” because I’m realizing now that most of these brows are attached to underage characters. Boy, this one’s off to a great start, huh!
If you’ve missed the othereyebrow posts, let me give a brief synopsis: I love a good anime eyebrow. The meatier, the better. Though it doesn’t all come down to thickness…sometimes, a particularly expressive eyebrow is enough to warm the cockles of my heart.
Also, the best brows forever belong to Tsumugi Kotobuki, and she will never EVER be topped. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the list.
Today’s the big day, folks! It’s Welcome To Hell Zone’s birthday! I’m really proud that I’ve maintained my little slice of the web for a year. I might not have maintained it consistently…but I’m still proud!
I should be doing something mega-special, right? Well, honestly, me resurrecting my blog from the depths of depression hell is probably the biggest tribute I can give. I’ve been slacking lately, but I’m back, baybeeeeeeeeeeee!
Have I mentioned how much I love Cowboy Bebop? I really love Cowboy Bebop. It was one of the first anime series I ever watched, and it was definitely the first one I really fell in love with. The characters are all fantastic, the animation is stunning, and that soundtrack…
Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts crafted such a magnificent OST. It’s one that critics and anime fans still gush over twenty years later. And for good reason! “Tank!” is a certified classic at this point, after all.
When it comes to the Bebop soundtrack, jazz is probably what comes to your mind first. It makes sense: songs like “Bad Dog No Biscuits,” “Space Lion,” and, obviously, “Tank!” definitely stand out. But it’s a disservice to the sheer diversity of this soundtrack to only focus on those jazz tracks. The entiresoundtrack is filled with an eclectic assortment of genre-hopping jams. There ARE three soundtrack albums for the entire series, after all, plus one full soundtrack for the movie and multiple mini-albums.
Which is why I present to you – 13 of my favorite songs from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack that showcase just how expansive the soundtrack really is. Come, bask in the variety and worship Yoko Kanno’s majesty!