The Anime Pulse #31 – That Magic Moment

A wild anime column appears!

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of The Anime Pulse. It has been quite a while since I’ve written one of these and that is mainly due to me being distracted with many different facets of life. One being my primary job as a Graphic Designer, another being a Managing Editor here at The Outerhaven and me just succumbing to my gamer side when Blizzard released Hearthstone: Whispers of the Old Gods, Season 6 of Diablo III and Overwatch back to back to back.

On top of that, with the Spring Anime Season being so uninteresting (for me, at least), I wanted to take the opportunity to watch a couple of shows that I should have watched, but never did. I was able to scratch Neon Genesis Evangelion and Welcome to the NHK off my list. The list is still pretty lengthy and I will, eventually, get to them all. If you’re interested in what this “list” is, then afford me the opportunity to share it with you!

  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Trigun
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (the original, I’ve seen Brotherhood)
  • Baccano
  • Code Geass
  • Soul Eater
  • Bokurano: Ours
  • Guerren Lagann
  • The Boy and the Beast

Some of these I’ve been interested in seeing, others are just anime that every fan should watch before they die. The Spring season is winding down soon and the HUGE summer season will be starting around July 3rd. My hands will be EXTREMELY full so chances are, I’ll have to try and knock a few of the above titles out during the Fall season which, so far, looks to be about as interesting as the Spring season.

So what am I going to be watching this summer? I heard you like lists so, here’s another!

  • 91Days
  • Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu
  • Berserk
  • D.Gray-man Hallow
  • Danganronpa 3
  • Mob Psycho 100
  • Orange
  • ReLIFE
  • Rewrite

This will be in addition to the second half of ReZero. Wow.. that’s actually three shows that start with “Re.” Oddly enough I just realized that as I typed this column.

So now that the lengthy intro and status update are out of the way, what the hell is this column about outside of me just saying “hello and yes, I’m alive?” Well, there have been moments in anime that really have made an impact on me. Moments where you feel a bit of sadness, a bit of joy, or were just moved in ways you wouldn’t think a show could move you. I had one of those moments when watching Neon Genesis Evangelion and it made me reflect back on other shows I’ve watched and all of a sudden I had an excuse to show my virtual mug here on the internet once again.

This isn’t really a Top 10 list. I just want to be clear on that. In fact, this isn’t even in any particular order. Just a little bit of discussion about moments that have moved me in some way shape or form. So with that being said, let’s get into it.

Dr. Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion
So I’m going to start this off with the reason why I was inspired to do this column. Now, I labeled this as a “moment” so you must be wondering how a single person can be a moment? I think it classifies because the very moment (see what I did there?) I got to know Dr. Ikari, I wanted to punch him dead in the face. I don’t think that I’ve hated a father figure in anime so much since Shou Tucker. Dr. Ikari was a man who would stop at nothing to re-unite with his wife who was taken from him. Even if it meant using Adam to create an Eva with the embodiment of her “soul” in it and then use his son as a guinea pig to pilot it. Even if it meant sacrificing the entire human race and turning it into orange Tang (Thanks go out to my colleague Mark Sullivan of Sony Centric for that little nugget) just so he could be with her again. While he did get his in the End of Evangelion movie, it still wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to see him suffer. Also, check out the Extra Credit episode of the A-01 Podcast where Mark and I looked at Evangelion.

The End of Episode 9 of Steins;Gate
Honestly, this entire column could be FILLED with Steins;Gate moments. Mayushi’s death, Okarin’s message to himself from the future, Okarin’s broken English… there are just so many great moments that I’ve experienced, but the biggest one was the end of Episode 9 when Okrain realized that the D-Mails they were sending into the past were starting to have MAJOR effects. Up until this episode, the show was pretty light-hearted. There was comedy afoot at every turn, but when you realized the whole landscape changed, it really hit home that the jokes were over and it got really serious, really fast. I remember gasping when I realized just what had happened and I had a huge “OH SHIT” moment just like Okarin. It was one of the best cliffhanger endings in that show and it was the one I’ve replayed over and over again and I still get chills to this day from seeing it.

Ushio Dies in Clannad: After Story
I am a man and I am not afraid to admit that I have shed tears over an anime… on more than one occasion, actually, but this is the first time that I’ve done it. I’m sure I’m not alone on this one, either. When Nagisa passed away, I wasn’t sad because we saw it coming. We knew Nagisa was sick already and that it was an eventuality that something would happen to her. We were braced for that impact, but when Ushio suddenly came down with the same symptoms, it had a different feeling. Yes, like Nagisa, we could see it coming, but because of the way it was set up, it had a much grander impact. When Nagisa passed, Tomoya distanced himself. He went through a transformation and did everything he could to be a father to Ushio and then fate took his daughter away from him after he had spent all of that effort to better himself. Ushio’s chilling last words were just the icing on the cake. That’s when every heart of every person who watched that scene just broke and it’s still a moving moment for me as well as others to this day.

Graduation in Angel Beats!
Since we’re on the subject of shedding tears, the graduation ceremony at the end of Angel Beats! was emotional by itself, but when Kanade disappears, that’s when it hits you with full force. Knowing that Otonashi’s heart is what initially saved Kanade in real life, but still ended up failing in the long run and seeing her thanking him right before disappearing was sad, but the heartbreaking moment was when Otonashi was reaching out, clawing at her after image, clinging to all hope that she would still be there and then just breaking down when he realized she was gone. Then all of that gets erased with the implied ending where they are somehow alive again.  I really didn’t like that ending.

Kaneki vs Jason in Tokyo Ghoul
Let’s get off of the sob stories and go to something that energizes you and fills you with positive emotion. Jason tortured Kaneki like no other. Severing off fingers and toes knowing they would just grow back only to sever them again. He put a Chinese centipede in Kaneki’s ear for it to wreak havoc on his body from the inside. It caused Kaneki to become dead to pain and realize that he is a ghoul. Hell, it even turned his hair white! When Kaneki had had enough and broke free from his chains and kicked the ever-living hell out of Jason, it was a feel good moment because that asshole deserved every bit of punishment he got. The clincher at the end was when Kaneki asked Jason “What’s one thousand minus seven?” Using Jason’s own question against him was just the perfect ending to a well-hated villain.

Goodnight Yuki from Mirai Nikki
While the anime world has Taiga, Asuka and Shana as their poster girls for the Tsundere category, Yuno Gasai is the poster girl for Yandere. Her obsession over Yuki eventually gets explained, but until it does, Yuno just comes off as one of the creepiest stalkers I’ve seen. Hell, even after her persona was explained and justified, she was still creepy as hell! When Yuki discovered the bodies in Yuno’s home and bolted, you thought that maybe he was safe, but then you hear the subtle squeak of the mail slot in his front door opening and then you see Yuno’s wide eyes and in that highly creepy voice say “Oyasumi, Yuki.” I even showed that to people who don’t even watch anime and they all agreed that was one of the creepiest things they’ve seen.

Chihiro’s Relapse in ef-A Tale of Memories
For me, this wasn’t a sad moment. I didn’t shed any tears, but instead, I felt a profound sense of sympathy for Renji. Chihiro was in an accident and it causes her memory to fade every night around a certain time. Chihiro wanted to be a writer and Renji befriends her and spends a monumental amount of time helping her remember things. Renji begins to make a lot of progress until one day, Chihiro has a complete and total relapse and all of Renji’s efforts were erased. The fact that Renji cared so much for Chihiro and for that to have to happen to him, it really made you feel sympathy for him. A heartbreaking moment for sure, but one that makes you stand beside a character rather than making you shed tears over one.

Okay, one more to wrap this up because I could spend an eternity on this (and hey, I need to save material for a Part II down the line!)

The Dream Comes True in Bakuman
Bakuman is one of my favorite series. I’ve not only read the manga, but I own all 20 volumes of it. I’ve seen all 75 episodes of the anime and it is what you call a “meta” series in the fact that it’s a manga about two mangaka making manga. It’s art imitating life and in Bakuman, Mashiro proposes to the girl he loves, Miho; however, the stipulation is that they will not get married until both of their dreams come true. Their dream is for Mashiro to make a manga and have it adapted into an anime and then Miho will voice the main heroine in the anime. You get to see the two of them struggle throughout the whole series. They receive praise and just when you think they are going to make it, they fail. Then Mashiro and his writer/best friend Takagi succeed, but the manga can’t get an anime so in the end, they still fail. Meanwhile, Miho keeps getting roles and is becoming more popular and you see the sense of urgency in Mashiro growing more and more. They take another shot and shoot for the stars and everything FINALLY aligns and when it does, it fills you with a sense of satisfaction. It’s just a great “feel good” ending to an amazing series and I felt it was worth saving here to the end of this column!

So those are just some of my favorite moments in anime. I do have a lot more, but I would like to turn the tables now and ask you what some of your favorite moments were? If you send in a response, I’ll be sure to include them in a future column! You can reply using the comments section below or you can send a message to joshpiedra@theouterhaven.net.

Also, if you’re into social media, consider giving me a follow on Twitter @TheAnimePulse.

Thank you for reading and as always, until next time..

Ja ne!

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.