Discussing and sharing my anime collection
Here's what's in my collection:
Alright, you scrolled through? Good. Let's unpack this.
My collection only takes up two shelves of an Ikea Billy Bookcase.
My collection is a time capsule. I have really slowed down on collecting anime since streaming took over, limiting my purchases to two or three times a year. I have accepted Streaming as my Lord & Savior. Unlike my manga collection, a lot of my anime collection remains unwatched, and in my defense, some of them remain unwatched because I streamed or watched the series prior to buying and just hadn't gotten around to a second viewing yet. I'm not as strict as watching anime asap as I am with reading manga. Similarly, I'm not in a big hurry to spring clean my anime collection. In short, I'm very lax and lazy when it comes to my anime collection.
On an interesting note, my anime collection, sadly, isn't as diverse as my manga collection. There's a lot of action-oriented series. Additionally, I have some comedies, a few mystery and fantasy series, and a smidge of romance. Much like my manga collection, my anime collection contains series and movies that I really enjoy. My faves include: Case Closed/Detective Conan, Inuyasha, the OG Full Metal Panic series, Baccano!, and Yuri!!! On Ice. My guilty pleasures include: Mao-Chan, Riding Bean, and Knight Hunters. Unlike manga, I have two "white whales," stuff that's severely out-of-print that I'd like to either finish collecting or pray that they get a new lease on life, and those two are Mao-Chan and Mermaid's Saga. I'm only a dvd away from finishing Mao-Chan, and I'm two away from finishing Mermaid's Saga. I'm in no hurry. I've been after those for years. 🤣 Maybe Discotek will bless us with a Mermaid Saga release?? 🙏
Finally, let's talk format. I'm not a very "snooty" physical collector. I collect any way I can get it, especially if it's on sale. I'll only upgrade my dvds to blu-rays when the dvds stop working. Most of the collector's editions and boxsets came way of a sale or trade. The main exceptions are Promare and Stein's Gate. Promare is the most expensive item in my collection, and I bought the boxset soon after its release, and my decision is entirely because the CD was included. The extras—especially the booklets—are nice but the CD is where it's at. I played the entire soundtrack for like a week straight when I first got it. Stein's Gate, which I still have to finish watching, was a Christmas present from my otaku minded siblings. Lastly, I'm happy to note that I got some of my collection autographed by the voice actors. It's like the third reason why Mao-Chan stays in the collection. 🤣
Recommending Anime from My Collection
I'm warning you that many series from my collection are mature-rated for language, violence, sex, and other content so please watch responsibly. The series that I highly recommend watching are: 91 Days, Baccano!, Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, Black Lagoon, Full Metal Panic (especially Fumofuu), Michiko & Hatchin, Nerima Daikon Brothers, Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens, and Yuri!!! On Ice.
Breaking down my recs even further, I implore you to check out these underrated anime:
91 Days (2016, dir. Hiro Kaburagi; Funimation)
A man returns to his hometown to enact revenge on the mafia family that killed his parents and younger brother. The story takes place over the course of 91 days in prohibition era Chicago. The anime is based on an original story by Taku Kishimoto, who's notable work includes Haikyu!!, Erased, and Fruits Basket (2019 remake). Hiro Kaburagi directed the show. The 12-episode anime aired in Summer 2016 and was licensed by Funimation for home video. You can watch the anime on Crunchyroll. Overall, there's nothing "wow" worthy about this show. It's just a simple straight-forward but well-executed mafia story. If you enjoy Baccano!, check this out. If you've watched 91 Days and want some pizazz and rip roaring action, then check out Baccano!. If you're looking for hitmen, baseball, and queer stuff, check out Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens. All of these series were licensed for home video by Funimation (RIP).
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad (2004-2005, dir. Osamu Kobayashi and Mitsuyuki Masuhara; Funimation)
The anime Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is based on the manga of the same name by Harold Sakuishi. Beck is Harold Sakuishi's most well-known work. His other work Seven Shakespeares presently runs in Weekly Young magazine, and it has been licensed in English by Kodansha. I'm not familiar with the manga so I can't really do a comparison between the anime and manga. However, I will say that I enjoyed the anime so much that I have no strong desire to read the manga, and that's a good thing. You'll note that physical copies are being sold for stupid money on the internet right now, and I will warn you not to buy those as the print run is incomplete. Beck has 34 volumes, and the original license holder Tokyopop stopped at 12 volumes. Kodansha has released all 34 volumes digital-only.
Setting all of that baggage aside, what is Beck about? Beck is simply the rise and fall of a high school rock band. Our protagonist Yukio is 14 and in late middle school when he learns about rock music from a pretty school mate. He likes it and starts to learn guitar. Soon he and a school mate are drafted into an underground garage rock band. Coming-of-age drama and rock & roll shenanigans ensue. Much like 91 Days, Beck is simple and straight-forward. If you've seen a rise-and-fall-of-a-band movie or TV show before, then you've seen Beck. It's just that that Beck does this premise well.
The music is great, and the rock references are even cooler. I prefer watching it in Japanese with subtitles, Engrish and all, but the English VAs do a good job singing the songs. Veteran VA Greg Ayers plays Yukio in English and the G.O.A.T Daisuke Namikawa plays Yukio in Japanese. It's 2022, you can watch anime any way ya want. I mainly watch my anime in English, if available. Sometimes, I switch to Japanese, either out of curiosity or because I didn't like the English VAs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ More often than not, it's just because I'm a nerd when it comes to VAs, and I enjoy hearing my favorite VAs and comparing performances. You can't really go wrong with anime post 2003. We are way beyond the old anime of yore.
Michiko & Hatchin (2008-2009, dir. Sayo Yamamoto; Funimation)
Before she directed Yuri!!! On Ice and Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, Sayo Yamamoto directed Michiko & Hatchin. Michiko & Hatchin is a 22-episode bombastic action/adventure that takes place in a Brazilian-inspired country. The story follows Michiko Malandro, an escaped convict, who collects her daughter Hana "Hatchin" Morenos with the goal to find deadbeat dad Hiroshi Morenos. A cop Atsuko Jackson and a criminal kingpin Satoshi Batsista are hot on their heels. This is an original story brought to life by the creators of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. The music is phenomenal, and the opening is great. I love the characters, the story, and action. This is an anime that focuses on women and sisterhood. If you're looking for an original anime with Afro-brazilian and Japanese fused characters, a good story, and lots of action, then check this out.
Nerima Daikon Brothers (2006, dir. Shinichi "Nabeshin" Watanabe; ADV/defunct and OOP; Funimation/OOP)
Last, but not least, let's talk about this goofy-ass anime. The anime Nerima Daikon Brothers is based on a 5-volume manga by Takamitsu Kondō. The manga ran in shonen magazine Comic Rush between 2004 and 2005. The manga hasn't been licensed in English. I didn't know that the anime was based on a manga until now. I'm a little curious if the anime is just as wacky as the manga or if Nabeshin had something to do with the wackiness.
Nabeshin is a cult of personality. He's that guy with the afro, and he dresses like Lupin the 3rd, but he's a damn good anime director. He's mostly known for comedy, and his most notable works include Excel Saga, The Wallflower, and Lupin III: Da Capo of Love: Fujiko's Unlucky Days. My favorite, thus far, of Nabeshin's works has to go to Nerima Daikon Brothers.
Nerima Daikon Brothers is simply The Blues Brothers (1980, dir. John Landis) with an extra character and location change from Chi-Town to Japan. The Nerima Daikon Brothers is a musical about brothers Hideki and Ichiro and their cousin Mako. By day, they work the farm and other jobs to make a living. At night, they turn into the musical group the Nerima Daikon Brothers. They have a dream of building a superdome on their daikon radish to rock out full time, but they have no money and are in constant need of it. Raunchy comedy, copyright friendly references, musical numbers, and randomness ensue. I can't stress this enough. If you're not a fan of raunchy comedies, bail now.
This anime is simply hysterical from beginning to end. The English VAs are Greg Ayers (Hideki), Chris Patton (Ichiro), and Luci Christian (Mako), and these roles and characters are easily in my top 10 favorites. Yes, they sing everything, and the best song ever sung is "Fluffy, Fluffy Pandy Pandy." The Japanese VAs are phenomenal too. In fact, the English VAs are voice matched to their Japanese counterparts very well. If you're looking for a raunchy musical comedy and you enjoy The Blues Brothers, then check this anime out.
Wrapping up my recs— If you're a budding fan of BL, Gravitation, Junjo Romantica, and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi: The World's Greatest First Love are good starter BL anime. Movie wise, I recommend Ride Your Wave, The Night is Short, Walk On Girl, and Promare. If you're a fan of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya TV series, then definitely check out the movie. Also, if you're a fan of Urusei Yatsura or you at least watched, read, or heard about UY, check out Beautiful Dreamer, which is directed by Mamoru Oshii. Yes, that Mamoru Oshii, and it's wacky and way out-of-left-field in a good way.
Where I Buy My Anime
There are more places than ever to buy anime, and I shop around. My go to stores are Amazon and RightStuf Anime. I don't live near Disc Replay and Half Price Bookstore anymore, but when I did, I loved walking in there and shopping around. I'll find treasure every once in a while. Finally, there's a few local haunts that I like to visit. Out here in L.A., I go to Anime Jungle and Ameoba Music.
What's Next for My Collection?
As I mentioned above, I don't have a long list of anime to purchase. I have been focusing on just enjoying what I have and streaming the stuff I have access to, but here's what I'm thinking of adding to my collection:
Bartender (already watched)
Case Closed/Detective Conan movies
Kyo Kara Maoh! (seen all of s1 and most of s2; never seen s3)
Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan (read the manga; haven't watched the anime as of this post)
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya S1 & 2 (already seen)
The rest of the Saiyuki series, probably (seen all of the OG series)
Twittering Birds Never Fly sequels (seen only the first movie; haven't read the manga)
Anime Home Video Wishlist
I'd like to see these never-been-released series and severely out-of-print series be licensed and distributed for home video:
Banana Fish (2018, dir. Hiroko Utsumi; available on Amazon Prime Video)
Case Closed (pipe dream for sure, but I'd like to see seasons 6+ licensed and put on dvd; I'll have to settle for the movies and what Crunchyroll has available.)
Mermaid Saga (2003, dir. Masaharu Okuwaki; would be great if it were re-licensed so I can finally watch all of it; currently not available via streaming afaik)
Paradise Kiss (2005, dir. Osamu Kobayashi; would be great if it were re-licensed like Nana; currently not available via streaming afaik)
The Case Files of Jeweler Richard (2020, dir. Tarou Iwasaki; Crunchyroll)
The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window (2021, dir. Daiji Iwanaga & Yoshitaka Yasuda; Crunchyroll)
My Collecting Philosophy
I think this space is as good as any to impart a bit of my anime collecting philosophy. In short, I have none. I just do what I want here. I avoid buying anime films outside of my absolute faves and Case Closed/Detective Conan as I would just rather stream those or borrow from the public library. I have been striving to buy more collector's editions and boxsets when I can find them on sale. Like my manga collection, I strive to keep anime that "sparks joy" or at least has been signed in the case of Mao-Chan and some of my other guilty pleasures. 🙈
Alright, that's it about me for one post. I won't be posting collection updates on here very often. For collection updates and showcases, you can follow me on Instagram @ThatMangaHunter.
So, what do you think about my collection? (Not that I care, baka!) See anything you'd like to watch or own yourself? What's in your collection, and what's your anime journey?