St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
Today is the day where the minds of all young men and women drift towards one universal concept:
Anyone that’s read my posts should have realized this by now: I enjoy violence in anime. I like action scenes. I like blood and gore. I like seeing stuff blow up. My tastes obviously cover more ground that this basic, primal bloodlust, but violence is at the core of my anime fandom.
I’m one of those “old” fans that got into this hobby back in the mid-90’s. My awareness of anime came from two sources: comic book magazines and video game magazines. I would read articles about stuff like Akira, Robot Carnival, and other similar Japanese movies and TV shows in comic magazine and I learned about Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, and other shows by reading import game reviews in Electronic Gaming Monthy. I was fascinated by this stuff due to the fact that these series were described as being considerably more violent and action-packed than the cartoons we got in the US. I was already a fan of Aeon Flux (still my all-time favorite piece of animation, anime or otherwise) due to seeing it on Liquid Television, so I was eager to get my hands on more cartoons with a similar style.
Anime was hard to find at the time. I knew a few comic stores sold tapes, but I was a jobless high school student who didn’t get much in the way of allowance and I wasn’t willing to shell out a month’s worth of comic money to get a cassette tape with two episodes on it. I probably knew about anime for a year or so before local video stores started carrying a small selection of anime tapes. Once I realized this, I managed to get my hands on my first anime tape: Project A-Ko.
At the time I had no idea tha A-Ko was meant to be a parody. I knew it was supposed to be a comedy, but I soaked it all in as if it was presenting everything “straight-faced.” I didn’t quite grasp that Mari’s “yatatatata!” flying fists of fury were a Fist of the North Star rift. I’d heard of FotNS, but wasn’t the least bit versed in it to catch the reference. The other references flew right over my head as well, but I still loved it. For a teenaged kid who had only seen Aeon Flux and Heavy Metal, it was like being in heaven. “Finally! There’s more cartoons out there that aren’t just cute animals doing funny stuff!”
Since A-Ko fed my lust for shit blowing up good and people beating each other over the head (while also satiating other desires, like laughing at funny stuff), it was pretty much a matter of love at first sight between me and anime. At that point in time, as far as I knew, this was the true nature of anime. Anime was about people fighting other people, shooting lasers at robots, and aliens fighting humans. That love for Project A-Ko led me to watching many of the classics from that era: Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Vampire Hunter D, Wicked City, Ninja Scroll, and so on. And with each passing fling my love for anime grew exponentially.
And that’s why I dedicate this valentine to my love of anime. On this day when a Catholic saint was brutally murdered, and when Al Capone mercilessly massacred a group of rival gangsters, I wish to celebrate my ever-living lust for anime violence. May I see many more decapatations, blood spurts, mass slaughters, and main character deaths.
Be Mine, Anime Violence