Besides watching Speed Racer and Battle of the Planets when I was a little kid, I haven’t watched many anime series until recently. Movies, sure. Akira, Metropolis, and a lot of Studio Ghibli, but when anime was shown on TV in the States, I never seemed to catch it. Thanks to Netflix streaming a number of series, I’ve finally been able to start swimming in the anime pool. I haven’t watched a lot, but I’ve watched enough now that I’m figuring out what I like and want to see more of.
The anime I’ve enjoyed the most are Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which is amazing, and Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic and its sequel series (really part of the same series), Magi: The Kingdom of Magic. I watched the last few episodes of Kingdom of Magic last night and it hit me that I liked it for a lot of the same reasons I like Fullmetal Alchemist, which are a lot of the same reasons I like superhero comics.
I love emotional characters making dramatic declarations (bonus points if they start crying, like Alibaba Saluja frequently does in Magi). I love characters in elaborate outfits standing in awkward but cool poses just before or after they unleash their unusual, flashy superpowers. And I particularly love epic conflicts and cosmic mysticism. (Is there an anime adaptation of the Mahabharata? I’ll be first in line to see that!)
Which isn’t to say I don’t also like smaller, quieter stories, because I do. But I really loves me some epic, cosmic melodrama!