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Mumbling Kitsune: Obligatory Summer Anime

A look at this summer's anime agenda.

By Nadia Oxford     June 08, 2008

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The arrival of summer is worth a big fat “hooray,” especially if you live in a climate that's entrenched in winter for nine months out of the year. Now that the outdoors is calling to us and last year's schoolbooks have been thrown down a sewer grate, what's our duty as living human beings? That's right; to sit in our air-conditioned rooms and get caught up on our anime queue.

All right, that's a joke, sort of. The Mumbling Kitsune will not be held responsible for any immobility-related obesity problems readers may develop during the summer months. Really though, it's very possible to get plenty of exercise and still have time for anime. Some days are just too danged hot to go tearing around, and playing outside during afternoon lightning storms is not advised.

If you don't have some anime queued up already, never fear. Here are just a few great recommendations.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: This might seem like an obvious pick, but the world is full of people who have yet to experience this epic bit of work. There's no time like a long stretch of hot, hazy days to just buckle down and watch heavenly monsters tear each other up, either. Tip: The trippy effect this series invariably impresses upon its viewer is magnified by sunstroke, a fever brought on by a summer cold, or lots of beers.

 FLCL: See above for tips on an enhanced viewing experience. Incidentally, the anime world is divided in two: those who wholly understand and revere FLCL and those who don't understand a second of it. I'm afraid I'm firmly in the latter category.

Death Note: Seems like the last thing you'd want to do this summer is sit in a stuffy house and watch people deliver internal monologues, right? Death Note is actually a great watch on those airy summer nights that leave you feeling grand, like you own the world. It's a good time to philosophise with your friends about the ethics behind Kira's actions. More beer consumption might come into play here.

Mushishi: If you're a poor sap without any air conditioning, the best thing to do is to watch Ginko travel through cool, lush forests full of chilled rivers and sprawling lakes. Be careful how thoroughly you immerse yourself, however. A dormant mushi can wake up and start chewing on your head within five seconds. This is recorded scientific fact.

Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: This is a great series to watch if you've spent a few too many hours on the couch, stuffing your gob with Doritos. Haruhi is such an active bundle of energy that just watching her will guilt you off the chesterfield and onto your bike. 

Cowboy Bebop: With the appalling state of gas prices, you're probably not going to be doing much travelling this summer. Spike's fond of flitting across the universe at the drop of a hat, so you may as well stow away and see some sights.

Samurai Champloo: If great big swaths of airless space makes you feel a little agoraphobic, consider spending some time in Japan's Edo period.

Vampire Hunter D: Blood, violence, the living dead and fantastic fashion fun. If you're awake because the sticky summer heat won't allow you rest, you could do worse than hang out with some vampires.

Phoenix: You could also do worse than watch the anime based on Osamu Tezuka's masterpiece manga series. There's myth, magic, religion and the meaning of life: the stuff summer camp promised to deliver, but stuck you with a leaky canoe and an asthmatic rowing partner instead.

Enjoy the summer!


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