FLCL isn’t a show that can be easily summarised. In fact it would be fairly reasonable for you to get to the end of the first episode and not really know what the hell is going on. It’s certainly one of the most insane anime I’ve ever seen, but it’s combination of style, humour and nonsensical narrative completely flawed me, and even when I didn’t know what was going on there was never a second I wasn’t enjoying it.
Are you looking for a game that’s like Dragon’s Crown but makes no sense because it’s entirely in Japanese? If this is the case then Arcadias no Ikusahime might actually appeal to you, but otherwise the language barrier could be a problem. So is it worth trawling through incomprehensible menus and tutorials to reach the action underneath? Arcadias no Ikusahime isn’t a terrible game, but the short answer is probably not.
For a show that largely revolves around the magic powers of a penguin shaped hat, Mawaru Penguindrum actually leaves you with a lot to think about. It has a strange mix of fantasy and reality, wrapped up in a visually stunning package that is thematically complex and full of symbolism. Whilst not without some pretty major flaws, this is an ambitious show that for the most part is great fun to watch.
Phantom Breaker Extra is a 2D fighter by Japanese developer 5pb. Whilst at a glance similar to the likes of BlazBlue and Guilty Gear, it doesn’t take long to realise that this game fails to match the quality I’d almost began to expect as a standard for the genre. In fact, 5pb’s latest title reminds us that Arc System Works have been spoiling us with fighting games these last few years, and Phantom Breaker Extra is both underwhelming and unenjoyable.
I think people love videogames without even knowing why. They’re just great. What I love is how they manage to make things we wouldn’t do/have fun doing in real life enjoyable. Of course someone will try and tell you that Grand Theft Auto makes people want to kill each other, but if that’s the case does Super Mario make you want to take mushrooms and jump on turtles? What you’re actually doing in a videogame usually has very little to do with the enjoyment you are experiencing, and to try and demonstrate this here’s five games with different examples of the fun you can have in a videogame sewer.
In Dangan Ronpa a group of highschool students are forced to compete in an evil game where the only escape is murder. Sound familiar? Dangan Ronpa isn’t even the only ‘Battle Royale’ esque story I’ve reviewed this week, but it certainly has more than enough originality underneath it’s familiar surface. In fact, it’s borrowed elements are all executed perfectly, and Dangan Ronpa is so good that it largely exceeds that which it takes influence from.
When it comes to anime shows about large robots fighting, you won’t be looking around the genre long before you come across Code Geass. In fact, if you’re looking for recommendations in general then this is a name you’re likely to hear even before someone tells you to watch Death Note or Fullmetal Alchemist. Code Geass is already a classic, and it’s one you probably won’t want to miss.
Tatsuhiro Satou isn’t your ordinary protagonist. In fact, Welcome to the N.H.K isn’t your ordinary anime. It’s firmly based in reality, a crushing reality where things don’t work out and people are unhappy. It’s still a fun, charming and likeable show, but its characters have some serious problems and when they try and overcome them it isn’t easy. I’m not sure if there’s an opposite to Deus Ex Machina, but if there was then this would be it. Welcome to the N.H.K.