The Witch of Mercury is the talk of the town right now, but before the Witch of Mercury, there was Turn A.
Here is the story on how I discovered this 1999 anime in 2022:
I was listening to Yoko Kanno on Spotify. Specifically, I was listening to her Ghost in the Shell SAC soundtrack albums. I was just listening to Hiroyuki Sawano the other day, so my Spotify recommendations were full of anime/mecha stuff. And then this popped up:
I was like: wow, this looks like a cover art for some futuristic fantasy anime like Last Exile or maybe Suisei no Gargantia! Then I read the album title: Turn a Gundam Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
I was like: Ok it’s a Gundam series, but WTF does that even mean, turning a Gundam? What?
pangaea/ezel is the sequel to pangaea by Rin Asano.
I got all seven volumes from a second hand bookstore, and they didn’t have the first installment of the series, so while reading the first volume, I was trying to piece together what happened in pangaea from character dialogues. The story is simple enough, so I could guess what happened in the prequel.
In this world, there exists a sacred tree called the Kalpataru, which can make any wish come true. Lyzel/Raizel is an amnesiac boy in possession of one of its branches in the form of a long stick, which gives him amazing combat abilities.
At the beginning of the story, he was with his band of friends trying to get to the sacred city to find out some truths. They were attacked by another guy who got superpowers from the fragment of the Kalpataru in his body, and got separated.
Since pangaea/ezel picks up from the middle of the story, the plot is really complicated so I’ll try my best. I may not be 100% accurate since I got really confused myself.
Primas: A Plot of Nightmare is a 2008 manga by Okazaki Tsuguo, and takes place in the HXL universe. Taking place in 1989, it follows the story of 10-year-old Hiroki, who unwittingly made a contract with Blue Flame Primas, a four-inch-tall fairy thingy with the capacity to destroy the entire universe.
This is an action/fantasy/sci-fi/comedy manga with old school art style, but what made it funny wasn’t the comedy aspect, it was that it was cringy in general lol.
A great many people wrote about Evangelion, so I guess I’ll throw mine in too.
From its fame, I went into Evangelion expecting it to be this super entertaining, super intense, mind blowing philosophical emotional rollercoaster mecha anime about a boy nobody likes. Real Evangelion was different from what I was expecting, though. It’s a lot more… quiet and reflective, I think.
There are many ways you can start a story. You could start by showing the scene that kickstarted the plot. You could start by showing the climax or the ending, then go back and show how the story got there. Or, you could be like Touka Gettan and start by showing the end, and then go in reverse.
Reverse how? Imagine watching the last episode of an anime you essentially know nothing about. After than last episode, you watch the next to last episode just to get some more context, then the episode before that… and that’s basically Touka Gettan’s storytelling mode of choice.
It feels like another volume of Screaming Lessons. That’s my overall opinion of this manga.
Mijika de Okita Kowai Hanashi is a short story collection of horror tales geared towards young girls. Many stories have almost the same plot as some of the stories from Screaming Lessons, but there are some other goods ones.
Six years have passed since grade schooler Shokai Manato disappeared during a school trip. One day, Manatos’ sister, Mari, returned to the city where her brother disappeared and reunited with Azuma, their childhood friend. However, Mari’s return triggered a series of horrifying events. Manato, or whatever is left of him, is back and crying for the truth to be revealed…
I went in expecting a Higurashi kind of manga, and that’s pretty much what I got (although it’s nowhere as complex and compelling). Hakoniwa Yuugi is a supernatural revenge tale with some plot twists that made me go ‘huh’.