It has happened a few times. My mum calls on my cellphone, the GF picks it up and I hear her saying "I`ll pass him on, he`s watching his cartoons again". I feel a bit like doing this every time I hear such thing...
And then I was watching Schwarzesmarken a while back. Based on eastern Germany in the Cold War era where Mecha fights BETA alien invaders.
In this series, a young girl (she must have been around 14 - 15 in the series) has been indoctrinated by the Stasi to find and betray her brother. She has used her body to get up in the ranks. She betrays her brother and his co-pilots for the country. And she meets her end when her brother shoots her through the head at point blank range after battling it out with their mecha`s.
Yeah, that really sounds like your average episode of Pokemon or Transformers... NOT.
See, this has everything to do with the way the japanese love to tell stories. For them, anime aren`t cartoons, they are artworks. Or their regular serials like we get on the one hand soaps like The Bold and the Beautiful and on the other hand "epic" series like Game of Thrones or House of Cards. They just don`t really have a history of that kind of productions, their television channels rather have animated shows, or really really craze (borderlining on the insane) game shows.
Now historically, this usually where actual movies, but during the late 60s, early 70s anime took of as a serial sequence format to what we know this day. It really took flight in the 80s when the shows also slowly started dribbling into the west, like Macross, Robotech, Sailor Moon, Fist of the North Star and other such masterpieces of the day.
And more and more we got hooked to the anime style of cartoons, and more and more it has become part of the european geek culture. But it still aren`t cartoons!
Sure, series like their equivalent of soaps, like Pokemon, Naruto, Bleach etc which are weekly airing and going into the hundreds of episodes nowadays aren`t the blood, gore and sex variety`s, but there are series out there just waiting to crossover in the Hentai subrange if you ask me.
But so far this little opinion piece, if you`ll excuse me, I am off now to watch the newest Macross Delta episode.