Posts Tagged Serious
One of the most fundamental and essential concepts present throughout all of Magi is the romance of adventure. The romance of adventure is not an idea that unifies the romance between two characters with the genre of adventure (although one could argue that a powerful bond existed between Aladdin and Alibaba), but one that quantifies the stylization and presentation of adventure that is largely romantic and idealistic. Whether it was questing through treacherous dungeons, relying on the help of mystic, majestic djinns and their phantasmal magic, fending off monsters and assassins alike or hunting for treasures of unimaginable wealth, the image and feeling of adventure in Magi was portrayed as glamorous, glorious, rewarding and extremely passionate. Magi wanted to show these elements of adventures through this distinctive perspective which then helped enthuse and entertain the audience. As you can imagine, this concept had a significant and permanent impression in Magi.
Earlier this year, the 100th chapter of Needless debuted, a remarkable milestone for any manga, especially for one that is published monthly. Not only did the chapter serve as a landmark for the manga itself, but it corresponded with the crowning achievement of the series protagonist, Cruz Schild, commonly known as Yamada. As Needless has progressed through these past nine years, the story has evolved into one that emphasizes the growth and maturity of its central, most-dynamic character. It has literally become the story of a boy becoming a man (while dressed as a girl), and the events and adventures over the entire manga easily demonstrate the greatest exhibition of character development that I have ever witnessed in my limited history of anime/manga and is a viable candidate for the greatest of all-time.
Despite the constant presence of humor throughout the series, Jormungand is an anime founded in a serious nature. Without this essential backbone providing structure to the entire series, the whole setting about an arms dealer and her band of bodyguards would feasibly collapse. And due to this relationship linking the setting, story, and characters together, the main cast can partake in only limited amounts of comedy before it starts to undermine what the anime originally stands for. But Scarecrow and Schokolade are immune from this restriction and are able to flourish where others cannot. What is it about this duo that allows them to contrast with the rest of the characters in Jormungand so greatly?
Anytime a manga, anime, or other series does something you don’t anticipate, weren’t prepared for, or goes in a direction you don’t want, it quickly becomes a shocking or sensitive subject. What suddenly becomes more important than the actual developments is how this delicate topic is handled and what satisfaction or salvation can be gained by those in disagreement to what’s happening. The events of Needless Chapter 102 were able to solve most of these issues but not all of them. **Warning: spoilers below**
Consider the setting of Sakamichi no Apollon. Even on its surface, it is distinctive compared to most of the other anime airing, residing in an unusual time period and in an uncommon location (Kyushu, rather than say Tokyo or its suburbs). But that alone has a trivial effect on what makes this anime exceptional; the story and characters could feasibly be transplanted to any number of eras or localities in Japan and retain most, if not all, of its qualities. No, the paramount characteristic of the setting that elevates Sakamichi no Apllon above the rest is not its unique time or place but rather how realistic the setting is portrayed and utilized. This authenticity and accuracy of the real world bleeds throughout Sakamichi no Apollon and is responsible for how remarkable the setting of this anime is.
Though not always the focus of scenes or dialogue or necessarily even apparent at times, Jormungand incorporates a diverse assortment of heavy, serious themes. Throughout the episode, various subjects arose and articulated thoughts and ideas on weapons dealing, assassinations, victims of war and death, among others, from the perspective of the characters. And in the face of all this, Jormungand displays a lighter mood than its story would indicate. Just how does Jormungand pull off that feat?