Saturday, February 14, 2015

Frozen Assessment

Elsie, Steven, Hurricane Frank, Eddie and Tracey from Frozen
"Please don't hate Frozen, it's my favorite movie!" a hypothetical person once never said to me.
I don't hate Frozen. It's fine. I'm surprised Disney was able to release something that felt modern without offending all their more traditionally-inclined fans. It's a good movie to watch in the summer when you wish it was cold, or in the winter when you can relate to the characters as they shiver and freeze to death.

This review is a bit late, definitely, but I still need to talk about this film because I haven't heard any professional reviewers say what I feel about it, and that's my only condition for writing a review. I won't go over things others have covered more than enough – things like Olaf's ugly design or how layered the plot is for a children's film.

I'm not sure if I really need to say SPOILERS here, as everyone and their dog's seen Frozen. But I will.

~ S C R I P T ~

The film, for me, feels hastily written. Something about the pacing seems off and I have this overwhelming feeling that the world in the movie is a tiny, tiny place. This is called "small world syndrome". It's when a story doesn't allude to anything beyond what's happening onscreen. Yes, they mention a few kingdoms during the party scene, but do those kingdoms end up mattering in any way? Is anyone, besides the denizens of Arendelle, going to be affected by this "harsh winter", (going by the movie's logic that a harsh winter would be a bad thing to these people)? Small world syndrome can be played to a movie's advantage. Groundhog Day, for instance, uses it to make Phil seem even more entrapped by his situation. But Frozen wants me to think it's an epic. Giant snow-covered mountains, power ballads, Nordic chanting. In the end, they all seem so small to me. It's just a castle and a mountain, for the whole movie.

The characters in the movie are... fine. They aren't relatable to me, but not many are. Olaf is a tolerable comic relief sidekick character who I don't want to say anything more about. Anna is a ditz who never really stops being a ditz. Yes, she has a few revelatory moments, like when she realizes marrying someone you met two minutes ago isn't as great an idea as it might appear to be, but she isn't portrayed as being smart or strong. When Hans locks her away, does she try her hardest to escape? That room wasn't a dungeon. There were ways to get out. All of this makes her very unrelatable to me. But maybe that's the point. Maybe the movie is supposed to be all about Elsa's journey, and Anna is just another comic relief character. It's what the movie treats her like, anyway. And so, this movie's cast ends up being almost entirely comic relief characters, save for Hans and Elsa. Unsurprisingly, Hans and Elsa were my favorite characters. I wish they'd fleshed out Hans a bit more. After the big reveal, he flattened out into a straight-up villain with basically no redeeming qualities. Elsa also could've been contrasted a bit better than Anna. Someone who hadn't socially interacted for the majority of her life would've had a tougher time at that party, which also could have been a better source for her powers going haywire. Missed opportunity.

You may have noticed that I left some very important characters out of my roster. Let me now correct that error. By the way, for your personal health, you may not want to look at the image below.

Meanwhile, down at Fraggle Rock...
Yes, apparently rocks can talk, and unfortunately they can also sing. I don't know why these abominations are in the movie. They don't fit in the world at all. Moss shouldn't be able to grow in such a cold environment. Are we to understand that these rock trolls are just a natural occurrence, or were they created magically, which makes me wonder if there was some sort of Rock Witch with rock powers that came before Elsa and animated all of these rocks. As you can see, they raise more questions than they answer, and the fact that "Grand Pabbie" can only speak in the language of Cryptic Old Man doesn't help. All of that could be forgiven if they were funny, because comedy negates logic. Sadly, these characters are too stupid to be funny. Moving on.

Dialogue-wise, the movie is like someone giving a college tour. It's sometimes funny, mostly awkward, and it doesn't add much to the experience.

"Look at that campus! Isn't it just the most amazing thing ever? I mean, I like to think so. But yeah!"
Maybe someone out there thinks it's an absolute riot, I thought it was padded and unwieldy. The best lines in the movie are sung. I have a whole section for the songs, so I'll cover that later.

As far as problems with the plot go, Hans's villain reveal moment was annoyingly cliché. I also don't think it was as big of a deal as everyone made it out to be. Betrayal is a common theme in Disney movies, (The Incredibles, Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Lion King, The Aristocats), and this betrayal wasn't especially devastating, considering how Anna had already met Kristoff. This feeds back into the movie not having enough character development for Anna. Imagine how much worse it would've been for her if she didn't have a comic relief snowman to turn to. I'm not saying I wanted a mopey, depressing story, but I don't think that what we would've gotten. Anna is an upbeat character, and we'd have seen her face these challenges on her own, with nothing but optimism for her to lean on. That sounds much more interesting than the "everything's immediately okay" that we got. I have a few other problems with the plot, but I'm saving them for a special section later on.

~ S O N G S ~

The songs in Frozen are a mixed bag, meaning both that they all sound different from each other, and that some are really good and some are really not good. I'll give little reviews for each of them because the film's soundtrack is such a big part of why people like it.

"Frozen Heart"
Though a misleading song to lead with, Frozen Heart is good at getting you excited about cutting some ice, I'll give it that. The lyrics are poetic in structure, and thoughtfully constructed to parallel elements of the plot. The melody IS a bit repetitive, but the song's short so it doesn't really matter. 

"Do You Want to Build A Snowman?"
A very lonely, sad song that builds satisfyingly. To be honest it made me cry. 
"For the First Time In Forever"
I don't really like this one. Though the melody is good, some of the lyrics are seriously cringe-worthy, ("I don't know if I'm elated or gassy" being a particular zenith of wince).

"Love Is an Open Door"
This song is bouncy and pretty funny lyrically, and has an ironic flavor to it because of the twist later. I'm not sure what the phrase "love is an open door" is supposed to mean. It's probably best that I don't read too much into it. 
"Let It Go"
Brought a smile to my face the first time I heard it. It does bring to mind Defying Gravity from Wicked, though, which is similarly empowering. The melodies could be more interesting, but that's stretching for a nitpick.
"Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People"
Could've also been called "This Song is Funny, But Filler". I heard that they were going to make it the final song in the movie. That would've been awesome. As it is, it's one to skip.
"In Summer"
A vaudevillian number, brought to you by Olaf. It has a few funny lines, but again, it's basically filler because it doesn't reveal much beyond "Olaf wishes it were summer", and doesn't further the plot.
"Fixer Upper"
Atrocious. This is the worst song I've ever heard in a movie. Here's why: The joke is that the trolls are trying to pair up Anna and Kristoff, even though they keep protesting. That's already really awkward, but what makes it worse is that the joke gets dragged out to the point of being extremely uncomfortable. The trolls almost go through an entire wedding ceremony without realizing their mistake! Not to mention all the embarrassing things the trolls were saying about Kristoff. It felt invasive and wrong in general. It might've been saved by an interesting melody or a few clever lyrics, but there are none to be found here.

~ M I X E D  M E S S A G E S ~

True love, everybody.

There are a number of problems relating to the true love twist in this movie. I thought I'd go into more detail about it than I normally would because I'm writing this on Valentine's Day.

Frozen sets up a simple plot mechanic: people who get their hearts frozen need an act of true love to break the curse. I don't have a problem with that, despite Frozen's failure to explain anything about how magic works in its world or why these conditions would apply to the magic.

Here's a rule of thumb for the future: If your movie's magic behaves unconditionally, than you don't need to explain it. Take the Force, for instance. You don't need an explanation for it because there are no rules. You can push things both literally and figuratively, by moving objects and manipulating minds. If, say, a condition was placed where Jedi couldn't use the Force if there was no light present, then you would have to explain why.

Frozen sets up conditions, but doesn't explain them. It doesn't tell us why Elsa has powers or what the source of the magic is or why it can give life to a pile of snow or why it only controls ice and not water or why her ice dress looks like cloth, just to name a few.

But, as I said, I'll let it slide, for now, because it's based on a fairy tale that I'm sure explained about as much. Besides, poor magic system aside, I think they took a real risk on this one by not making Anna kiss Kristoff at the end of the story, like it would've played out in every other fairy tale. Oh, wait.

I thought this movie was supposed to surprise us, to usher in a new era of modern Disney films that break free of the traditions of the past. I was almost willing to overlook the technicalities of breaking the curse with sisterly love instead of platonic love, because it's important to me that modern children's movies don't always tie knots around everyone's fingers. This movie made so many interesting decisions – Elsa as a good guy, Hans betraying Anna, tying Olaf into the back story – that having it all wind up with one of my least favorite tropes was like knocking the nose off the Sphinx.

And speaking of those technicalities, why DID sisterly love work? How does the magic measure love? For all they knew, they could've broken the curse by patting Anna's shoulder. And why use the modifier "true"? If they'd said "an act of love", Hans still wouldn't have been able to break the curse, and I could stop thinking about this and put the matter to rest. But they said "true" love, and sisterly love is basically like friendship love, just with the fact that you're related in the mix. It doesn't have anything on "true" love. So does Anna "truly" love Elsa? Fine, but I don't see a reason why she should. Elsa went out of her way to avoid Anna throughout most of Anna's life. It probably wasn't easy to feed herself or go to the bathroom without emerging from her room. I know Anna's an optimist, but it's kind of pushing it to assume she'd be okay with being ignored by her sister for that long. Maybe love I'd buy, since Anna's pretty forgiving, but seeing how Elsa kept pushing her away even after she was out of her room, "true" love just doesn't make sense.

In the end, it all boils down to how much this sort of thing bothers you, and for me, it brought the movie down to a "eh..." level.

~ F I N A L  T H O U G H T S ~

I'm not sure why this movie was such a big success. I think that if somebody made an animated version of Wicked with attractively designed characters that teenagers would want to ornament their notebooks with, it would be met with a similar response.

A small side note: since the Academy Awards is upon us I want to mention something else. This film won the Best Animated Feature Award in 2013. For the reasons stated above in my review, I don't think it should've won. Most of the strength lies in the songs, and not in the movie sections, which is what the Academy is supposed to be about. It was a pretty lame decision, especially since The Wind Rises came out that year. I'll admit that I didn't find The Wind Rises particularly interesting, but that's because I'm young and I can't relate to older characters and perspectives. That doesn't mean it was a bad film, and it definitely earned an Oscar, unlike Frozen, which, like the Academy, chose safer choices.

As usual, I won't give a rating, because assigning a number to an experience is utterly pointless, (unless you use a point system! Ba-dum-tish!). Whether you agree or disagree with my opinion, I hope what I said helped affirm it.

I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day. My valentine this year was my computer, as always. Until next time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

You Should Be Watching: All About Anime

There you go Astro Turf! (sorry if you don't get this joke... And sorry if you do.)

If there's one thing the youth of today is known for, it's probably their self-entitlement issues and texting and ignorance. But I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about their overnight outbreak of the Otaku Virus in 2013 thanks to the success of Attack On Titan, a moderately clever show. Its success was probably due to the fact that it explores themes relating to relevant American issues, like the tragedies of war and Spider-Man-esque webslinging devices. Of course we loved it! I say "we" in the general sense, the show is a bit too one-note for me. Than again, the same could be said about a certain other show with one Note, (well, to start out with. I'm not even sure how many Notes were bopping around by the third season). I'm referring to Death Note, okay? Sorry, I'll stop trying to be cryptic.

Anyway, even though Attack on Titan didn't personally click with me, it took over the world and clicked with teenagers in particular, because the show stars a teenager, and that's something any teenager can identify with, right guys?

Still looks ten to me, though.
It was not long until the more adventurous teenagers discovered that about 90% of all anime is about them and now Otaku culture is booming.

But where was I when this all hit? I was already watching lots of anime. Mostly high-school romance comedies, because I tend to enjoy comedy more than anything else. That might explain why I get so nitpick-y about it. But you don't care about my detailed back story that will eventually get rebooted so many times it'll lose all it's flavor! I'm here to discuss a few key points about anime and help you find the right anime to watch. If you're here because you already like anime, well great, I'm not just going to pander to the uninitiated, these opinions are practically exposition-less! If you're here because you're clueless about anime, well great, I've got some handy tips for you! So let's jump into it!

~ W H Y  W E   L I K E  A N I M E ~

There's one for everyone, and if you haven't found the one for you yet... you just haven't found it. Because it's out there, believe me. To satisfy your afterlife-stuck-in-high-school-forever-sorta-religious-but-not-really-comedy-tragedy-featuring-random-rock-band-concert needs.

Yeah, about that... what genre was this supposed to be again?
The community surrounding anime is incredibly accepting and friendly*. As an illustration of this, the ongoing eternal conflict is dubs or subs. Whether to watch an anime with the original Japanese dialog but subtitled, or to watch it dubbed over with English without subtitles, but also without the original, and sometimes better, Japanese cast. Both subs and dubs are filled with hilarious typos and translation mistakes, awkward or stilted acting, and/or famous voice actors that you can recognize and appreciate. In other words, they are more or less THE SAME EXPERIENCE, (unless you can't read). If you want a flawless experience, go watch the raws. Everyone else just adapts to the limits of the era we live in. In the future, we'll all be speaking an international auxiliary language, I'm sure.

I like how it's this easily resolvable non-argument, which is ultimately a matter of preference, that is the biggest point of contention in the anime community. Who wouldn't want to join a community like that? Now of course, there are other debates to be had, but most of them are similarly up to personal taste, and as such can be easily dismissed if things get out of hand.

*DISCLAIMER: Not always, but mostly.

~  A N  E X T E N S I V E  G U I D E ~

So, it's up to you now to find your niche of anime. I've helpfully compiled a Spent-To-Much-Time-On-This Guide just for you, (it literally took three full days to write), based on the classic Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment.

For each personality type I've provided several anime television shows and movies, as well as more specific information about why I think it's right for you. The Rating is kind of like a parent's guide to the anime. I've developed my own system for the ratings. Don't worry, it's easy.

CHAN = Anyone could watch this.
KUN =  Contains slightly disturbing or suggestive material.
KOUHAI = Contains some strong language and disturbing and/or suggestive material.
SENPAI = Contains moderate amounts of strong language and disturbing and/or suggestive material.
HAKASE + Any of the below = This anime isn't a good entry anime and should be watched after some familiarity with the occasional weirdness found in anime so that you don't screw up your first time watching anime.

By the way, the reason no adult shows are included on the list, (like Hellsing or Elfen Lied), is because that's not what this list is for. Look up a different list for that.

There are two main examples for each personality type, a Drama and a Comedy. This isn't to diminish the endless subcategories of anime, but it can be argued that most shows are either one or the other, and people usually tend to lean towards one or the other, despite personality type. Oh, and, before I begin, if you want to find out what your personality type is, here. It's not completely accurate, and I wish they had more choices, but it'll do.

One final note: This list will be continually updated as I learn more about anime.

INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving):

The anime listed here star mostly introverted or creatively out there characters, and the shows they star in offer many points of view and are focused on the emotional journeys of the characters, rather than the plot.

Name: xxxHolic
Rating: KUN
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Psychedelic
Why: You'll relate to the introverted main character, the unique and creative atmosphere of the show, and how most of the show's energy is spent on character-focused drama.

Other Drama Recommendations for INFPs: Shinigami no Ballad (Rated KUN), The Mysterious Disappearance of Haruhi Suzamiya (Rated KUN)

Name: Azumanga Daioh
Rating: KUN
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: School
Why: You'll relate to the intuitive main character, the creative comedy of the show, and how most of the show's energy is spent on character-focused comedy.

Other Comedy Recommendations for INFPs: Tonari No Seki-kun (Rated CHAN), Bakuman (Rated HAKASE-KUN), Ouran High School Host Club (Rated KUN)

INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging):

The anime listed here star mostly introverted or just plain nice characters, who try to help others achieve their dreams instead of stealing all the glory for themselves. The anime they star in are complex, and tend to focus on the emotions of the characters.

Name: Robotics;Notes
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Mecha
Why: You'll be along for an admittedly long but worth-the-wait ride with a robotics club that's passionate about creating a giant robot. It's a show that can be light and fun one minute, and dark and intriguing the next.

Other Drama Recommendations for INFJs: Dusk Maiden of Amnesia (Rated KOUHAI),  Samurai Champloo (Rated SENPAI), The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Rated KUN), Mysterious Girlfriend X (Rated SENPAI), Gosick (Rated KOUHAI)

Name: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Rating: KUN
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Supernatural/Slice of Life
Why: You'll relate to the intuitive main character, the creative comedy of the show, and how most of the show's energy is spent on character-focused comedy.

Other Comedy Recommendations for INFJs: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (Rated KUN), Fooly Cooly (Rated HAKASE-KOUHAI), Soul Eater (Rated KOUHAI), A Certain Magical Index (Rated KUN)

INTJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging):

The anime listed here star mostly introverted characters. The plot of the anime is the focus, and it's usually complex and full of twists and turns.

Name: Death Note
Rating: SENPAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Supernatural/Mystery/Psychological
Why: The show is a wild roller coaster with an intelligent cast of characters, what more is there to say?

Other Drama Recommendations for INTJs: Code Geass (Rated SENPAI),  Neuro: Supernatural Detective (Rated SENPAI), Fate/Zero (Rated SENPAI), Detective Conan (Rated KUN), A Certain Scientific Railgun (Rated KOUHAI), Black Butler (Rated SENPAI), Ghost Hunt (Rated KOUHAI), Psycho-Pass (Rated SENPAI), Un-Go (Rated SENPAI), Steins;Gates (Rated SENPAI)

Name: The World God Only Knows
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Romance
Why: A dissection of the romantic comedy genre, it stars an intelligent protagonist and offers a unique, engaging plot, as well as some genuinely hilarious comedy.

Other Comedy Recommendations for INTJs: No Game No Life (Rated KOUHAI), Log Horizon (Rated KUN), Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (Rated SENPAI)

INTP (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving):

The anime listed here star mostly introverted characters, who overcome must overcome complex psychological and/or philosophical dilemmas. The world of the anime is as important as its plot and characters.

Name: Hunter x Hunter
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Action/Psychological
Why: This show offers a realized world with interesting characters. There are numerous fight scenes, but unlike other action shows they rely on logic and psychological tricks to win the day.

Other Drama Recommendations for INTPs: Neon Genesis Evangelion (Rated SENPAI), Time of Eve (Rated KUN), Black Butler (Rated SENPAI), Danganronpa (Rated KOUHAI), Ergo Proxy (Rated SENPAI)

Name: WataMote
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Slice of Life
Why: It's basically a long character study into the twisted psychology of an extremely anti-social girl. The way she perceives the world around her plays into the style of the entire show.

Other Comedy Recommendations for INTPs: Soul Eater (Rated KOUHAI), Blood Lad (Rated KOUHAI), Ouran High School Host Club (Rated KUN), Baka and Test (Rated KOUHAI), Hells (Rated KOUHAI)

ISFJ (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging):

The anime listed here star mostly introverted characters, with an emphasis on an ensemble cast. The anime puts focus on the relationships between the characters.

Name: Summer Wars
Rating: CHAN
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Science Fiction/Adventure
Why: It's a movie with family and traditionalism at its core, and the concept is unique and fun.

Other Drama Recommendations for ISFJs: Silver Spoon (Rated KOUHAI), Steins;Gate (Rated SENPAI)

Name: The Eccentric Family
Rating: KUN
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Slice of Life
Why: A show steeped in tradition and lore, with family as its number one focus.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ISFJs: Fairy Tail (Rated KOUHAI), Haganai (Rated HAKASE-KOUHAI), Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou (Rated KOUHAI), Silver Spoon (Rated KOUHAI)

ISFP (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving):

The anime listed here star mostly introverted, varied and artistic characters, with more focus on them than the plot.

Name: Mysterious Girlfriend X
Rating: SENPAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Romance/Mystery
Why: The quirky characters and the unusual nature of the romance is sure to intrigue.

Other Drama Recommendations for ISFPs: Michiko to Hatchin (Rated SENPAI), Cowboy Bebop (Rated SENPAI), Mushishi (Rated KOUHAI), Accel World (Rated KOUHAI)

Name: Daily Lives of Highschool Boys
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Slice of Life
Why: It's a show full of imagination, fully realized characters, and it varies between subtle and outlandish humor.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ISFPs: Fooly Cooly (Rated HAKASE-KOUHAI), Kaichou wa Maid-sama! (Rated KUN)

ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging):

The anime listed here star mostly introverted, grounded and practical characters, where plot places an emphasis on clarity.

Name: From Up On Poppy Hill
Rating: CHAN
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Romance
Why: This Studio Ghibli film is full of hardworking, dedicated characters and displays a high attention to detail.

Other Drama Recommendations for ISTJs: Steins;Gate (Rated KOUHAI), Full Metal Panic (Rated KOUHAI)

Name: Bakuman
Rating: KUN
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Romance
Why: The earnest, hardworking characters and the straight-ahead plot are key elements to this anime.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ISTJs: Shirobako (Rated KUN), Servant x Service (Rated KUN), Golden Time (Rated KUN), Comic Party (Rated KUN)

ISTP (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving):

The anime listed here star mostly introverted, practical characters, and focus more on action than sitting around talking.

Name: Michiko to Hatchin
Rating: SENPAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Action
Why: An introverted, practical character meets a volitional extrovert. Action and chaos follow.

Other Drama Recommendations for ISTPs: Yozakura Quartet (Rated KUN), Cowboy Bebop (Rated SENPAI), Black Lagoon (Rated SENPAI), Code Geass (Rated SENPAI), Attack on Titan (Rated SENPAI)

Name: Soul Eater
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Fantasy/Supernatural
Why: It stars a practical main character who is joined by a large cast of diverse and quirky people and spiced up through many creative action sequences.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ISTPs: Medaka Box (Rated KOUHAI), Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (Rated SENPAI), Samurai Champloo (Rated KOUHAI)

ENFJ (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging):

The anime listed here star mostly extroverted, imaginative characters, a with a focus on optimism and the value of friendship, (in other words, 90% of shonen appeal to you).

Name: Fate/Zero
Rating: SENPAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Action/Fantasy
Why: The ensemble cast offers variety and imagination, with various arcs relating to friendship, and it has at least one really extroverted character, who is worth watching the whole show for. Whether or not it's optimistic is contestable.

Other Drama Recommendations for ENFJs: Yozakura Quartet (Rated KUN), Cowboy Bebop (Rated SENPAI), Black Lagoon (Rated SENPAI), Code Geass (Rated SENPAI), Hunter x Hunter (Rated KOUHAI)

Name: The Devil is a Part-Timer!
Rating: KUN
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Fantasy
Why: It stars extroverted, imaginative, and hardworking characters, and there's plenty of optimism to be found here.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ENFJs: Baka and Test (Rated KOUHAI), Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Rated KOUHAI), Yu Yu Hakusho (Rated KUN), Yowamushi Pedal (Rated KUN), One Piece (Rated KOUHAI), Blue Exorcist (Rated KUN), Agami Brilliant Park (Rated HAKASE-KUN)

ENFP (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving):

The anime listed here star mostly extroverted, imaginative characters who are full of creativity, and underneath it all is a layer of philosophy and deeper meaning.

Name: Baccano!
Rating: SENPAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Action/Noir
Why: There are plenty of extroverted characters to be found here, and the creativity and philosophy of the show is very engaging.

Other Drama Recommendations for ENFPs: The Wind Rises (Rated KUN), The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Rated CHAN), Hells (Rated KOUHAI), Hunter x Hunter (Rated KOUHAI), Death Parade (Rated SENPAI)

Name: Fooly Cooly
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Fantasy
Why: It features many outlandish techniques and characters, who are enhanced by a deeper mystery throughout.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ENFPs: Skip Beat (Rated KUN), Lucky Star (Rated HAKASE-KUN), Kill la Kill (Rated SENPAI), D-Frag (Rated KOUHAI), The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Rated KUN)

ENTJ (Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging):

The anime listed here star mostly extroverted characters with powerful leadership qualities. The plots are full of twists and turns and the stakes are usually high.

Name: Code Geass
Rating: SENPAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Military/Supernatural
Why: Who doesn't want to conquer the world? That's what the protagonist of this mend-bending show sets out to achieve.

Other Drama Recommendations for ENTJs: Full Metal Panic (Rated KOUHAI), Cowboy Bebop (Rated SENPAI), Attack on Titan (Rated SENPAI), Death Note (Rated Senpai), Durarara! (Rated SENPAI)

Name: Agami Brilliant Park
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Fantasy
Why: Equal emphasis is placed on leadership and comedy in this show filled with extroverted characters.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ENTJs: Full Metal Panic Fumoffu! (Rated KUN), Daily Lives of Highschool Boys (Rated HAKASE-KUN), Comic Party (Rated CHAN)

ENTP (Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving):

The anime listed here star mostly extroverted, clever and imaginative characters, with plot taking a backseat to the world and ideas of the show or movie.

Name: Angel Beats!
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Comedy/Supernatural/School/Military/Concert/Sports
Why: An ensemble cast with multiple personalities and tragic back stories is wrapped in a show full of ideas that isn't always sure where to put those ideas. But it's a wild ride nonetheless!

Other Drama Recommendations for ENTPs: Neuro: Supernatural Detective (Rated KOUHAI), Darker Than Black (Rated SENPAI)

Name: Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: School/Slice-Of-Life/Romance
Why: A cast full of extroverted and varied characters and some of the most hilarious, bizarre scenarios you will ever see.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ENTPs: No Game No Life (Rated KOUHAI), My Neighbor Totoro (Rated CHAN), One Piece (Rated KOUHAI), Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou (Rated KOUHAI), Assassination Classroom (Rated KUN), Lucky Star (Rated HAKASE-KUN). Fooly Cooly (Rated KOUHAI)

ESFJ (Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging):

The anime listed here star mostly extroverted, traditional characters, with an emphasis on family.

Name: Spirited Away
Rating: CHAN
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Supernatural
Why: A whimsical, yet dark movie with it's own established mythology, and themes about family.

 Other Drama Recommendations for ESFJs: Whisper of the Heart (Rated CHAN)

Name: Toradora!
Rating: KUN
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: School/Romance
Why: An extroverted ensemble with a romance at its core.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ESFJs: Noragami (Rated KUN), Fairy Tail (Rated KOUHAI), Log Horizon (Rated KUN), Toriko (Rated KUN), Minami-ke (Rated KUN)

ESFP (Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving):

The anime listed here star mostly extroverted, enthusiastic characters who strive to help or find out about others. The premise is usually fun or sensational, but the focus is mostly on the characters throughout. The style of the show tends to be unique and interesting, with a wide range of colors.

Name: Samurai Champloo
Rating: SENPAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Comedy/Fantasy
Why: Most of the characters are trying to help one character accomplish her goal. The style is also very unique, and the show's outlook is ultimately optimistic.

Other Drama Recommendations for ESFPs: Cowboy Bebop (Rated SENPAI), Attack on Titan (Rated SENPAI), Medaka Box (Rated KOUHAI)

Name: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Action/Mecha
Why: Full of action with a unique style and extroverted characters. Common themes are friendship and helping others.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ESFPs: Toriko (Rated KUN), Space Dandy (Rated SENPAI), One Piece (Rated KOUHAI)

ESTJ (Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging):

The anime listed here star mostly extroverted, practical, organized characters to are trying to establish order in a chaotic world. Plot is the focus.

Name: Witch Hunter Robin
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Supernatural
Why: The setting is grim and grounded, and it stars a conservative character. The plot focuses on the characters dealing with multiple chaotic incidents in an efficient manner, (when they can).

Other Drama Recommendations for ESTJs: Death Note (Rated SENPAI), A Certain Magical Index (Rated KUN), Full Metal Alchemist (Rated KOUHAI)

Name: No Game No Life
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Fantasy
Why: In a fantastical world full of rules, the two main characters decide to play by them in order to conquer it.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ESTJs: Agami Brilliant Park (Rated KOUHAI), Noragami (Rated KOUHAI)

ESTP (Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving):

The anime listed here star mostly extroverted, energetic characters. The shows tend to focus on action rather than dialogue, and moves fairly quickly.

Name: Cowboy Bebop
Rating: SENPAI
Genre: Drama
Sub-genre: Western/Science Fiction
Why: A lot of time is spent on characters and action, and the plot clips along with only 26 episodes.

Other Drama Recommendations for ESTPs: Angel Beats! (Rated KOUHAI), Daughter of Twenty Faces (Rated KOUHAI)

Name: Trigun
Rating: KOUHAI
Genre: Comedy
Sub-genre: Action/Western
Why: The show has a fast-paced style and lively characters. Most of the humor is physical.

Other Comedy Recommendations for ESTPs: Baka and Test (Rated KOUHAI), Yowamushi Pedal (Rated KUN)

In case you're curious, I've watched all of the main recommendations listed above except Azumanga Daioh, and enjoyed all of them, (at least enough to put them on the list), so take these personality types with a grain of salt. In case you were wondering, my score was "INTJ", which is probably right, as that was the easiest category for me to come up with examples for.

I'm aware that there aren't too many shoujo (anime aimed at girls) on the list. That's because I've only seen two, Maid-sama and Yuru Yuri, and my knowledge extends only to Skip Beat, Love Live, Kamisama Kiss and Fruits Basket beyond that. However, I intend to try those shows in the future, and expand my palate as well as this guide.

~  T H E  B I G  T H R E E ~

One of the most important things to know going into anime is that there are three shows that have dominated the industry for the past several years. They are:

Hori-san to Miyamura-kun



The Tatami Galaxy

Ha ha, just kidding. It's One Piece, Naturo and Bleach.

The shows that everybody in the anime world has tried at least once!
These series are all shonen, which means they're full of action and friendship, and they also all have seemingly endless filler arcs and episodes that don't serve any purpose. Basically, if you want to watch one, it'd better be for the characters because the plot gets stretched so thin there's no point in caring about it. The Big Three is the anime community's other big discussion. The general attitude is that these shows are about quantity rather than quality. I've only seen two, Bleach and One Piece. Of those two, One Piece held my attention longer. It has both comedy and characters going for it, which Bleach has little to none of.

Bleach mostly seems to be concerned with being cool, but its definition of "cool" is getting sliced across the forehead with a sword and standing and talking to your opponents for half an episode before attacking them. Each fight kind of had a same-y feel, with the "run past each other and double over" cliché appearing again and again. I've heard people complain that the first season isn't very good, and that the season afterwords, commonly referred to as the "Rescue Rukia" arc or the "Soul Society" arc, is the "best arc in shonen". I have to disagree on that point. The first season explored character and plot mechanics, with themes about death and loss. It moved fast and established the rules of the universe in a pretty fun way. The arcs afterwords are drawn out too long to be enjoyable to me, and I hate battles where there seems to be no thought behind the action. On the plus side, the animation is better than the other two, and it has a cool atmosphere to it.

~ W R A P - U P ~

This blog isn't going to turn into an anime blog from here on out. Most of my thoughts on the subject were in this post. The blog's main focus is still animated films and action films and the problems I had with them.

Anime is a huge world, and it's a world worth spending time in. Hopefully my guide helped point you in the right direction. In case you were wondering, these are my favorite anime, (so you can watch out for favoritism in the list):

1. Daily Lives of Highschool Boys
2. WataMote
3. The World God Only Knows
4. Baka and Test
5. Death Note

Now if somebody would only make a Slice of Life/Mystery/Comedy. That would be something I'd definitely enjoy.