At CJAS we get to see some of the tamer, more mainstream, less out-there anime. A lot of anime in Japan is actually VERY weird. It is sort of equivalent to the difference between the top money-making movies to hit theatres and all of the amateur, semi-amateur, and just plain odd ones out there in the movie world in the U.S. I thought I'd write this article to give you a brief look at some of the weirder anime I have come across.
Hoshii no wa Hitotsu Dake (All I Want is This One
Zenmai Jikake no Tina (Tina of the Wellspring of Incomplete Devices): Tina is a very cute young girl with a little fluff-ball of a pet called FuwaFuwa (literally "fluff") that can't seem to make sounds other than "fuwa fuwa". Now Tina is very unusual in that she runs on clockwork and needs to have her key turned every day, a task that Fuwa Fuwa does for her. Now, the story is unusual because it turns out that Tina isn't all that unusual after all. She lives on a clockwork island floating in the middle of nowhere, eats clockwork fish, wears clockwork slippers, has clockwork friends (one of them called Princess Frog/Toad), and goes to school where she has a crazy clockwork teacher. In fact, part of her everyday routine is to jump out of bed, assuming she is well-wound, and wind the keys on every little last thing in her house. A common greeting for her on the way to school is "Tina! Good morning! Will you wind my key for me today?"
The story takes off when Tina's crazy clockwork teacher goes out without breakfast and is feeling so hungry after a few hours that he invents a huge flying (of course, clockwork) vacuum cleaner and flies it over the village to suck all the food up to eat. Tina and her friends unfortunately get sucked into it along with the clockwork bananas and fish, and are deposited in some unknown place where Tina finds herself separated from everyone else. She sees a glowing pillar of light with an unconscious boy floating in it. When she gets close, he falls out and she takes him home to look after him. While he is asleep, she realizes something terrible -- he doesn't have a clockwork key! Oh Horrors! How can something be alive if it doesn't have a wind-me-up engine?! While wondering this, she falls asleep, and she awakes the next morning to the sound of a flute. She steps outside to see that the mystery boy has awakened. After some pointless fluffy dialogue, he swirls his cloak, adjusts his hat (complete with long feather) and says, "I am the Wanderer" before disappearing over the hill. End of part 1. Weird, ain't it?
Kinniku Man (Muscle Man):
Anyway, these are but a teeny tiny sample of the endless number of truly odd anime out there. For a full sampling, occasionally try going to Anime Turnpike (www.anipike.com) and read about an anime you haven't heard of before. It leads to endless hours of mindless entertainment. Perfect for a study break.