Oddly enough, being a `mech head` and lover of all armours based on Constellations, one of the animes I enjoyed the most this year so far has nothing to do with all of the above.
It does however, has a lot to do with your average gamer, and it was even in some parts highly confrontational... and we`re talking a cartoon here.
The story centers around a twenty-two-year-old hikikomori who gets aid
from a strange girl who seems to know a lot about him, despite never
meeting him before. A common theme throughout the story deals with the
hardships of life and how people must deal with them in their own way.
The thing is, in japanese a hikikomori is kind of an extreme form of an asocial person, who locks himself away almost every day to play (video) games or similar geeky hobby thingies, while a geek in japanese translates as otaku.
And admit it, an Otaku Hikokomori sounds a lot `cooler` then a Geeky Asocial Type.
It`s even a recognised disease in the land of the Rising Sun...
I particularly enjoyed the humour in the series and tongue in cheek references, like when the main protagonist, Tatsuhiro, `loses` himself for days in a Final fantasy / World of Warcraft MMORPG (been there, done that) without washing, barely eating and falling in love with a female persona in the game (haven`t been there!!!!) who turns out to be his neighbour wanting to prove a point.
When he decides to help create galge games (kind of like soft erotic video games) with said neighbour as an unreachable dream, or when he manages not to see love staring him in the face (been there).
It`s a great series, not some slapstick comedy, that tackles a lot of problems current day youths / young adults cope with, and even though it is set in the typical japanese hobby viewpoint (anime figures, odd freaky stuffsies only collectors appreciate, cosplay cafes) you will find a lot of touching points in our western life as well.
Funny, well animated, grimm at times, and confrontational... and not a Gundam or Saint in sight!
German Flakschiff: Niobe
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