Fanart Friday returns, unable to sit still for a group photo. Last week, we unloaded a truckload of coal with our annual Christmas installment, but this week we're celebrating those people you were stuck spending the last couple holidays with: your FAMILY!
"Family" doesn't necessarily mean blood relations, either--strong bonds of friendship can make people who aren't related to you feel exactly like the real thing (we got to go more in-depth about that in We Ride Together, We Die Together Edition). Whether you love your family or even kinda hate 'em, it's hard not to get hit with a bad case of the feels whenever heartwarming family moments show up in the stuff you're watching. Let's get started!
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Let's just get this gut punch dealt with right away: Fullmetal Alchemist is all about family, from the unbreakable bond of brotherly love between the Elrics, to feelings of romantic love that spring up (and have honestly always been there) between Ed and Winry, to Maes Hughes' unshakeable, overflowing love for his wife and daughter.
On a far lighter note, we got to see the bonds of the Mankanshoku family get tested in Kill la Kill. Kinda nice to see that the glue that keeps them together is the mother's terrifying thrown-together cooking, which even a human garbage disposal like me probably wouldn't touch.
See, if they'd grown up together, that might actually make their animosity worse. In SKET Dance, the twin brothers don't know they're related (at least early on), so it makes their reunion really heartwarming.
I've still only seen episode 0, but I can already tell that Kyousougiga hits all the right family-related notes. Such a damn gorgeous first (zero...th?) episode, too... this is on the "catch up on 2014" list.
...is that Adachi hanging around the Dojima family? Persona 4, like the rest of the series, is about the bonds you form, although I notice that P4 let you really focus on family, with your uncle and cousin Nanako, and how he's always out working and hardly ever with Nanako.
While Fruits Basket's actual Sohma clan itself is massive, it's easy enough to get a few of the cursed Zodiac family members together in one group shot. Do you have a "villain" in your family, someone who everybody kinda dreads dealing with at family get-togethers?
by War is Over
How does Mamoru Hosoda keep doing it, time and time again? With The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, he was able to combine raucous comedy with some pretty heavy-yet-heartfelt moments, and he did it again with Summer Wars. We'll get to Wolf Children later on, but there's always a great, uplifting feeling about his movies.
Speaking of raucous comedies with quiet dramatic moments, Gintama always pulls the focus back to the people who make life worth living for Gintoki. They always act like a bickering, annoyed family, but you know their love for each other's not that far under the surface.
It's right there in the title! The Eccentric Family is another one I've only watched the first episode for, absolutely loved, and then immediately put on the back burner so I can marathon it in one go. What's that, you say? It's done? brb
See, I'm spacing out these artistic low blows, because if I did too many of them in a row you'd be too busy crying your eyes out to actually read Fanart Friday. If you haven't finished Puella Magi Madoka Magica, you won't get this, but if you have, well... sorry.
So yeah, Fairy Tail is coming back! The anime, anyways--the manga never went anywhere, and I mean that in a good way. Most of the Fairy Tail guild may not be related, but they'll fight tooth and nail for any of their adopted "family."
I'm usually pretty accepting of most art styles, but I will gladly take this more-basic design approach for Clannad, as opposed to GotoP's dopey, wide-eyed designs. Still, in the huge early-2000s burst of non-H anime based on dating sims, Clannad had a lot of heart!
Readers also requested Frozen (which I finally saw! It was f**king awesome!) for this week, but I went with Lilo & Stitch, which 1- hasn't shown up in two of the last three Fanart Fridays and 2- really goes out of its way to be all about ohana.
Here are two where I'll just have to take you guys' word for it on the "family" thing--I haven't had a chance to see Mawaru Penguindrum yet!
And I've only seen a little of Fate/Zero, so you'll have to come up with your own family-related commentary! Honestly though, while I can't see the Servants being this buddy-buddy with each other, the series is really about bonds between people, and I can see "family" being a huge part of the deal.
Of course, when you have a series about family, it only makes sense that you'll eventually find one about the family--specifically, the mob. While Reborn! takes that concept and goes absolutely nuts with it, it shows that every generation of the Vongola Family pretty much is family, and are with each other through thick and thin.
Then on an only slightly-less-insane note, you have La storia della Arcana Famiglia, which does more of "the family as family" with some reverse harem hijinx.
Those first few episodes of Blue Exorcist are, to me, perfect. Never mind all the demons and Satanic possession--they're about a "good son," a son who has trouble fitting in and meeting people's expectations, and a father who loves them both, regardless of whether they're actually his kids or not.
Space Brothers is another series where one brother stands on top of the world, while the other gets to admire him from afar and support him in the background. This is a touching and honest series that makes me appreciate the "family" in my life, blood-related or not.
While I have my own personal issues with the true ending of Usagi Drop, it's hard not to be overwhelmed with the amount of emotion that powers the series. I know I'm not ready to be a father--we don't even have to imagine how difficult it is for Daikichi, we see it happen!
Mamoru Hosoda strikes again, this time with Wolf Children! Right as I was about to talk about how I hadn't seen this yet but really wanted to, lo and behold! It's available on Blu-ray! brb again, gonna cry my frickin' eyes out
We've already talked at length about how One Piece's Straw Hat Pirates are family, but you knew that Luffy always held his actual family--his brother Ace (and other brother Sabo)--to a different standard.
Same goes for Naruto--you knew he had a father figure in Iruka, a brother in Sasuke, and a weird uncle/cousin who dress alike in Guy and Lee, but it meant so much more when he got to find out about his actual family.
Evangelion's Gendou Ikari is such a gigantic asshole to his son Shinji that it's kind of refreshing to see something like this, no matter how weird it is. I think it's a good stopping point--whether you're actually family or not, whether you love them or hate them, they're always there. And when they tell you to get in a giant robot, you have every right to tell them to eff off.
And that's everything for this week! There's no way I could have included everything (and I had to PM a couple people whose requests I left out)--who are your favorite families? Sound off in the comments!
Your work is always welcome on Fanart Friday, so don't be shy! PM me a link to your art, and I'll make sure to include it in a future installment! For those of you prepping some art, here are the next three installments of Fanart Friday:
-Next week, on JANUARY 3rd, we ring in the New Year with HOME LIBRARY EDITION's third go-around! I can't wait for somebody to yell at me again about my opinions on anime in Crunchyroll's library almost two months after the article publishes (dude actually got an upvote from me)! THIS IS THE ONLY THEME I'M TAKING REQUESTS FOR THIS WEEK!
-Then, on JANUARY 10th, in celebration of Space Dandy rocking out in the final frontier, we're taking a trip out into SPACE! This is gonna cover way more than just anime and manga!
-On JANUARY 17th, we follow up the recent Wide World of Sports Edition with a look at GAMES--everything from mahjong to karuta to Triple Triad to Yu-Gi-Oh!
Thanks again for coming by to check out Fanart Friday! I hope you had an awesome Christmas, and drop by next week! Have a safe and Happy New Year, everybody!