Top 5 Anime of all time

This post will most likely cause arguments rather than settle them. I’ve been watching anime for as long as I can remember, so it has definitely played a role in shaping my views of science fiction and writing. I will list MY top 5 anime series or movies, and what I love about them. Which will in turn reveal what I draw from them for writing. If I leave out something that is definitely influential, it’s probably because there wasn’t room in this top 5. It doesn’t mean I don’t like it, it just means there’s no room on this list. I would love to do a top 50 or top 100 influences one day if anyone has suggestions…

Without further adieu, here’s the list…

5. Howl’s Moving Castle

The Top 5 Reasons Steampunk is Awesome

A fairy tale with steampunk elements, ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ is a wonderful movie. From the mysterious Howl to the naive Sophie, and even the wacky Calficer, it’s full of memorab;e characters who all play a vital role in the story. The real world is left behind, and you find yourself right in the middle of the action.

4. Inuyasha

Inuyasha is more fantasy than sci fi (a magical well is really just a stable interdimensional time portal…) but it has strong story elements. It boils down to a love story that spans the eons, intertwining two souls forever. There is swordplay and magic and stuff blowing up and all kinds of weird bad guys. Definitely worth checking out.

3. Outlaw Star

I know that Outlaw Star isn’t the BEST space anime, but it’s good and short and full of action. It has existensial crises and the search for treasure, as well as many other reasons to like it. There is FTL space travel as well as integrated biomechanical beings used to pilot ships. Go check it out.

2. Dragon Ball Z

The Dragonball universe is full of family, friends, and moral conundrums. The sanctity of life is threatened by villains, and the heroes are forced to weigh the worth of the villains’ lives. They usually end up killling the threat rather than deal with it later down the road, but not always. And the themes of redemption and transcendentalism are rampant throughout all three of the dragonball series. Plus they beat the living tar out of each other all the time.

1. Gundam Wing

You knew it was gonna be something with robots…

I like Gundam Wing because of its political turmoil, revolution, and action. Most Gundam series contain these themes, but Wing takes it to a whole new level. Not to mention it has some of the coolest Gundams ever thought up. It’s long enough to develop the themes and allow for a couple of complicated love stories, but it’s short enough to watch in about a week (maybe two) if you watch a few episodes a day. The ending movie “Endless Waltz” is also recommended.

There’s my top 5 anime list. I hope these will help you expand into other series and movies. As I said in the beginning, I hope this list causes arguments rather than settles them. Go watch these wonderful stories, and use them to write your own.

The Zen of World Building part II

Part 2 of our world building adventure will center around attention to detail. In the previous post we covered a broad spectrum of characteristics, but now let’s focus on some nit picky things. This won’t be long, but will definitely give you something to think about.

 

Characters

Some author’s worlds are completely reliant on their characters. If you haven’t read “The Steam Dancer (1896)” by  Caitlin R. Kiernan, it’s a great example of this. It’s steampunk, but you wouldn’t know that without the characters. They drive the story into that subgenre. The dancer has a steam powered leg, and her husband is a mechanic. No, it isn’t as romantic as it sounds.

Anyway, characters can sometimes drive your world. Think of Dragon Ball Z. If the Z fighters don’t have super powers, it’s just another kung fu manga/anime. The characters drive it to another level.

Setting

Mountains or Urban? Desert or Utopia?

A lot of world building depends on the setting. And just like i said last time, you have to take into effect the scope of your work. Is there a single setting? Are there multiple settings? Are there multiple planets? Universes?

Whatever the scope or setting is, it can make or break your world. A foreign planet without weird creatures, climates, and plant life is not going to be foreign to anyone. It could easily be Earth in the far future well past humans…

GASP…another setting…

Technology

Much of science fiction involves advanced technology. Much of it does not.

This is vastly important for world building. In a post apocalyptic future, is there still tech, or is a 12 gauge the top of the line weapon? Do the bad guys have some super weapon that trumps your hero’s EMP device?

Are we in the Matrix?

All of these are important questions when building a world.

 

Practice

What I am about to tell you may reveal my nerdiness in ways you would never possibly imagine.

Oh well.

Go find a group of people to play a tabletop RPG with, and be the Game Manager.

This will allow you to create a world, build a story, and have fun during the process. You will have to integrate your party’s characters, baddies, weapons, and all sorts of cool stuff. There are plenty of games out there, and not all of them are fantasy. Fantasy is fun, but there are other options. Go play a game!

 

I hope these posts are helping with our world building. Let me know if there is anything you want more fleshed out!