Tag Archives: anime

Anime Classics available to Stream from Hoopla!

27 Jul

One Piece
Some Anime’s are only a few episodes and then they are gone, leaving you wanting more. Then there is One Piece, which has over 100 volumes of the Manga that inspired it and there are over 1000 episodes to watch; the series started back in 1999. It is the favorite of one of my friends and now that I know there finally might be a recently announced end in sight, I’m thinking of checking the series out. One Piece chronicles the quirky adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate crew, the Straw Hat Pirates. The One Piece in the title refers to a great treasure that Luffy is searching for in order to become Pirate King. Adding to the fun, Luffy’s body becomes like rubber after accidentally eating Gomu Gomu no Mi, a type of Devil Fruit. The first five dubbed seasons are available for Hoboken Library Patrons to check out from Hoopla.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures
The most recently released of my recommendations, JoJo’s started in 2012. Based on author Hirohiko Araki’s groundbreaking Shonen Jump manga series, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure follows the multigenerational tale of the heroic Joestar family and their never-ending battle against evil using their powers called stands. The art style is distinctive with exaggeratedly muscular heroes in evenly more over the top outfits. Over the top also covers the dialog and storyline, but if you are looking for a fun, crazy adventure then JoJo’s is sure to delight. This is currently my husband’s favorite Anime and he has cosplayed some of the characters along with my son. You can borrow the first four seasons subbed or dubbed from Hoopla.

Death Note
For those a bit daunted by the volume of One Piece, this 2007 series is only 37 episodes long. The Death Note Manga has been a popular one with our library’s teen department for years. Death Note follows Light Yagami a top student who finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any person, whose name Light writes in the notebook, will die. I’ve watched the series as well as the Japanese and American live action movies and enjoyed the animated version the most. You can borrow the subbed or dubbed episodes from Hoopla.

Ranma ½
Like many Gen X Americans, Ranma ½ is one of the first Anime’s I can remember watching; it debuted in 1989 and I can remember renting Ranma ½ videos or DVDs at my local Blockbuster Video. Ranma Saotome might at first seem to be a typical teenage martial-artist, but only a splash of cold water turns him into a red-haired, female version of himself (hot water turns him back). His father is also cursed, but in his case, he turns into a Panda. The series follows Ranma’s quest to break the curse. Seasons 1-7 are available subbed or dubbed from Hoopla.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

Defying Gravity: Upside Down, Patema Inverted, and The Light Princess

2 Dec

Upside Down

upside-down
Upside Down
is a 2012 film starring Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess that although having an intriguing science fiction premise will appeal to those who might not typically be science fiction fans.  Adam and Eden are from two different twin planets.  The upper planet is prosperous and wealthy while the lower planet lives under poor conditions.  Matter and people from each planet are affected by the planet that they come from.  Adam and Eden meet on a mountaintop between their two worlds and despite being literally drawn in two different directions find a connection.  Their sweet romance and gentle humor carries Upside Down.  Some reviews I read felt the story stayed too small with such a large concept, but I found it a refreshing change from stories about superheroes and I liked seeing how a large concept can effect two individuals.  Upside Down reminded me of the British film Ex Machina, which was released this past year and dealt with the topic of Artificial Intelligence in a way that hinted at a larger impact on the outer world, but dealt with it on a smaller psychological scale.  I loved the visually unique look of the film.  Upside Down is available from Hoopla and on DVD from BCCLS libraries.

Patema Inverted

patema-inverted
Patema Inverted is a 2013 anime (Japanese animated film) that also features two characters, Age and Patema who are affected by two gravities.  In this case though they are both from a future version of Earth where an experiment has caused an alteration of gravity where some people and matter are pulled in the opposite direction.  Now the totalitarian nation of Aiga, where Age is from feels that the “Invert” group is being punished for their past sins and seeks out to destroy Patema and the others living in hiding who they believe will destroy their current way of life.  It was interesting to see how a similar concept could be handled in a very different way; while Upside Down dealt more with the idea of social issues and ideas of economics that could be applied to the industrialized world’s relationship with developing world countries, Patema Inverted takes the idea of gravity and uses it as a metaphor for intolerance and shows how things can appear completely different from another’s perspective and the need for open-mindedness towards others. Patema Inverted is available to Hoboken and other BCCLS cardholders through Hoopla and on DVD.

The Light Princess

light-princess
The Light Princess is a Scottish fairytale by George MacDonald.  The story is similar to Sleeping Beauty with a cursed princess, but instead of falling asleep for a hundred years, the Light Princess gets her name from the fact that she is cursed with not being effected by gravity so she floats and risks being carried away by a breeze. She can only regain her gravity when she can cry, something she also has lost the ability to do.   It was adapted recently as a musical with book and lyrics by Samuel Adamson and lyrics and music by Tori Amos.  Tori Amos’s Little Earthquakes is one of my favorite albums so I would have loved to see it, but since I couldn’t fly to London (antigravity powers would be an advantage sometimes) I had to be satisfied with the excellent cast recording instead.  Although you miss out on seeing the clever staging of the floating Princess, the beautiful buoyant music and dramatic story are conveyed through the recording.  Amos and Adamson gave the story a strong feminist viewpoint with a heroine whose fairytale ends with more than simply finding her Prince.  You can listen to The Light Princess and other music by Tori Amos on Hoopla or borrow the CDs and the original MacDonald fairytale from BCCLS Libraries.

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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