In the world of anime the “ordinary high school student” is anything but. In the world of Japanese animation, that quiet, unimposing kid who keeps to themselves yields the biggest potential of being some sort of destined hero that’s going to save the universe at least five times over before they even graduate from college.
In the world of Omamori Himari that super lucky student goes by the name of Yuto Amakawa. When compared to other “normal” anime protagonist teens that have graced other shows Yuto’s life isn’t really going to be turning heads. Like most anime leads, Yuto has been forced to learn how to take care of himself after his parents have died while being greeted every morning by his childhood friend named Rinko who harbors a huge crush on him. Again, typical high school life in anime.
Of course you the viewer are not here to watch a tale of a kid just being normal, you want a tale that blends action, comedy, drama with some cute babes to ogle at as an extra bonus. All of these Omamori Himari contains (especially the later).
You see Yuto is the latest descendent of a demon slaying family who have fought to protect humanity and as a result have done an excellent job in ticking off some very powerful individuals who want nothing more than to extract their revenge on their latest descendent. Luckily our hero has a bodyguard just for the occasion by the name of Himari, and yes she too also harbors a huge crush toward Yuto but is a lot more vocal about her feelings of affection.
I should take a brief moment to talk about Himari. On screen she’s presented as the ideal type of woman for Yuto. She’s athletic, has a pretty face, cares for his safety and is a cat demon so she can sprout cat ears and a tail by will. While the last trait seems to be a major plus in most people’s books, one interesting thing about Yuto is that he’s deathly allergic to cats. I just thought it was worth mentioning.
What makes Omamori Himari an interesting series is that it mainly focuses on the relationship dynamic of the three main characters along with their high school life instead of the demon hunting. Don’t get me wrong, there are fights in the anime, good fights with a bit of fanservice sprinkled about if you’re into that stuff but they’re not the main crux of the show. In all actuality Yuto is more concerned with staying alive then being a big hero. He wishes to keep both Himari and Rink safe not because it’s the “right thing to do” but more so because they’re special people in his life. His somewhat self-serving motivations shown in the early episodes do a good job in grounding his reasoning and making him seem like a believable character.
In the end Omamori Himari is a lighthearted action series with enough emotional depth to make you care enough to see what happens to them in the end.
Alright, this is the big one! The #1 internet anime meme of all time! Before we get to it, let’s review the past four memes:
#5: Mudkipz. I herd u liek em, ya?
#4: “It’s over 9000!!!!” What 9000?! Of course!
#3: Leekspin (aka Loituma Girl). Now if only Orihime can cook the thing instead of spinning it.
#2: Hare Hare Yukai. Spreading Haruhiism all over the world!
And the #1 internet anime meme of all time is….
Are you really surprised by this? I’m sure all of you saw this coming, since its presence is felt all over the internet. To the very few who have missed this phenomenon, you are unbelievably lucky. Unfortunately, allow me to break your streak and explain.
This meme is very similar to Loituma Girl in its concept: take a short looping frame from an anime and use an obscure European looping song to go with it. In this case, the song was the Speedycake Remix of Caramelldansen, and the clip was of Mai and Mii doing a dance from the opening of Popotan. Like the original Loituma Girl meme, it was also initially posted as a looping flash that can be played for hours on end! It was even as easy to parody as the Loituma Girl, so as expected a combination of all of these factors allowed the Caramelldansen to catch on extremely quickly.
So why is this one much more popular and well known? First off, it’s a much younger meme than the Leekspin so it’s more prevalent with many more fans. It was also fortunate enough to have a more mature YouTube to spread its catchiness more readily than ever before! And finally, the Caramelldansen requires no prop and is just plain more fun for anyone to perform!
And when I say anyone, I mean anyone. Because of its ridiculously simple movements, little to no skill is required to perform this dance. The infectious, syrupy sweet nature of the song makes it instantly recognizable throughout any anime convention while attracting an entire army of dancers. Try bringing a boom box or an IPod speaker with you whenever you go to a convention and put this song on. I guarantee that random people with swarm the area like flies and do the Caramelldansen for the duration of the song. It certainly is a curious sight.
It’s not only the fans who notice though; it’s also the music companies. The official music video (also available in English) not only uses anime styled characters but fully embraces and adopts the dance from the Popotan clip! In Asia, Japanese music distributor Quake Inc. managed to release entire albums of meme melodies, with Caramelldansen as the major inspiration. Though it has never gained the public notoriety as Rickrolling has, there’s no doubt that Caramelldansen has struck a chord within the anime community and the world at large. And guess what? For as long as the song exists, the Caramelldansen will never go away.
So there you have it. The top five anime internet memes as chosen by yours truly. However, one must keep in mind that this list may be completely different from another list out there. And to be completely fair, all of this list assumes that there is a sort of logic that determines what memes are more notable than others and why. I will be the first to tell you that to try and find logic within a meme is, in of itself, highly illogical. To analyze what makes a meme tick defeats the purpose and misses the point by miles on end. It’s the spontaneous and unpredictable nature of internet memes that make them all so appealing in the first place, so in truth there really is no need to take apart these bits of pop culture to find its deeper meaning. All you’ll end up doing is giving yourself a massive headache, so sit back and just go with the flow. Besides, if there was a scientific formula for memes, then that would suck all the fun out of them now wouldn’t it?
Have anything to share? Be sure to message me at Crunchyroll. I’m dying to know what you think.
On February 18th a 24 second preview for the movie version of Time of Eve was released on Ace Entertainment’s official streaming site. The movie, set to be released on March 6, will be a compilation of the entire first season of the series and will include new footage unique to the theatrical release. Time of Eve is a six episode OVA which originally streamed online in August 2008 and describes a café in which humans and lifelike androids are free to interact with each other without fear of discrimination. All six episodes of the OVA are currently available right here on CR.
Battle Angel Atila Movie Still in the Works
On MTV’s Splash Page, producer Jon Landau has stated that James Cameron has plans for directing the movie adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Atila after he finishes the sequel to his pet project movie Avatar. According to Landau, staff writer Laeta Kalogridis was responsible for introducing them to the other nine books that were in the series since initially all Cameron was familiar with were the anime series and the first book. Although no start date for production on Battle Angel has been confirmed, Landau assures that it is a movie that Cameron is passionate about making.
On February 22nd, Bandai Entertainment had announced their acquisition of two new manga anthology series: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion KNIGHTS and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion QUEENS. The KNIGHTS series will feature short, humorous stories which involve the male characters of Code Geass while the QUEENS series will feature the female characters. Both anthologies will feature work from various manga-ka and will each consist of five volumes. KNIGHTS vol. 1 is set for release in May while QUEENS vol. 1 will be released in June. These new anthologies are Bandai’s most recent additions to their growing collection of Code Geass manga, which include Lelouch of the Rebellion, Suzaku of the Counterattack, and Nightmare of Nunally.
Did you know - Osamu Tezuka pioneered the large anime eyes everyone is familiar with today. His inspiration for his distinctive drawing style? Walt Disney's Bambi and Mickey Mouse, with just a touch of Betty Boop.
Hotaru is brought back to the fort in Mount Katsuragi. Naruto, outraged to learn the forbidden jutsu was embedded inside Hotaru, demands an explanation from Tonbei. But it was none other than Hotaru herself who wished for this.
On On a summer day when the crickets chirped, the rest of the squad is worried over a depressed Filicia. Filicia was thinking back to a battle she was once in, where she wandered through a ruined city alone and met the ghost of an ancient soldier. "Is there any meaning to surviving in this world?" he asked her. At the same time, Sieze is approaching the Fiesta des Lumieres, when paper lamps are sent down the river to appease the spirits of the dead.
Mom takes Bunji to a karate dojo. At first he is excited, saying he want "to be strong, like Hopperman!" But, he ends up dearly frightened of the energy emitted by the instructor...Meanwhile, Fumi becomes obsessed with a white dress on display at a department store, saying she wants it so bad pestering Mom to get it for her...But then something happens...!
Word of the Day
国営マンガ喫茶 (pronounced: koku-eeh manga key-sah): This is a term to mock former Prime Minister Taro Aso's proposal to establish a government run media center focusing on manga, anime and other like media outlets.
Hanasakeru Seishonen Episode 38
The series is coming to a close, with only one more episode left. Kajika receives words of encouragement from Machaty and comes up with a clever plan all of a sudden and asks Harry to cut ties with her. Kajika explains to him that there is something worth giving up everything for, but suddenly Eugene appears before Kajika...