Friday, 15 November 2013

Film School Friday Lesson #12 - How To Become An Anime Hero


Last week, Film School Friday taught readers how to make their very own version of a Hitchcock movie. If you did take my advice, then quite frankly, I'm surprised you're still reading this feature. Shouldn't you be promoting your film for the upcoming Razzies? I hear McG has a new film out so there's stiff competition ahead! Oh, and if you've been sued by Hitchcock's estate, we never spoke.

Now where was I? Ah yes. Mistaken identity has always been a strong theme in Hitchcock's work so bizarrely, this got me thinking about anime. I've never seen more confused looking characters than I have in Japanese animation. Am I a boy? Am I a girl? Am I a about to be sexually assaulted by an octopus? I thought it might be best to try and clear the air with today's lesson so grab some hair gel, sharpen your sword and brush up on your Japanese as you read on. This one's for the fan boys.

Lesson #12 - How To Become An Anime Hero

If you're hoping this article is going to help you get laid at a cosplay convention, now is the time to move on. However, if you're here to relive some geeky childhood fantasy about starring in your own anime or Japanese computer game, then you're in the right place. And may God help us all.

anime KanedaChildhood Trauma

Most anime heroes are plagued by memories of their tragic pasts. Government brainwashing. Dead family members. Not getting that tamagotchi they always wanted for Christmas. However, if your childhood was all sweetness and light, what do you do then? It's not like you can just go back in time and wreck  your life growing up. My recommendation? Mess up your life now and then wait five years or so before you venture out on your hero adventures. Then you'll have plenty of pain to flash back to and that haunted look on your face will be the real deal. Making yourself an orphan should do the trick. Sorry Mum, sorry Dad, but Kaneda and his bike gang from Akira were orphans and they were pretty cool.

Heart Of Gold

This tragic past that you shoulder from day to day will inevitably make you unfriendly and distant to those around you, but that's fine. After you perform a heroic deed or two, people will quickly realise that underneath your cold exterior lies a heart of gold. However, if you're not in the mood to rescue the village from those damn demon samurai, then you could always win people over by travelling around with a little companion. No, that's not a euphemism. We're talking ridiculously cute animals here people.

animeedenoftheeastAll the best anime heroes have an animal friend. Take Nausicaa for example. Her companion Teto is a gorgeous little fox squirrel thing that would defend her to the death. Unfortunately, Teto comes from the Valley of the Wind and trust me, you really don't want to go there.

Fart jokes aside, you could just capture one of the millions of pokemon that live in the Japanese countryside, but then what do you do if you've ran out of pokeballs? Take a regular household animal and dress them up to look more special, that's what. In Eden Of The East, Takizawa has a dog called Angelika who has paper wings attached to his back. How easy would that be to sort out?

It's A Boy/Girl Thing
So you've got your Pikachu wannabe by your side. Now it's time to perfect your look. Androgyny is all the rage in anime so whether you're male or female, you're going to have to open your mind a bit if you want to become an anime hero.

animemononokeGirls; You'll need to become more tomboyish so remove your make-up, cut your hair short and wear masculine clothes. Boys; Remember a time when you used to raid your mothers wardrobe to wear her shoes and make-up? ... Just me? Awkward. Anyway, the Bishonen look is all the rage in anime so you're going to have to lose some weight, shave off your facial hair and just make yourself as pretty as you can if you want to be a real anime hero. The more feminine you look, the better. But there's one thing you can do that will really seal the deal.

Go To The Salon

Hair. More than anything else, how you style your hair will be key to your success as an anime hero. While girls will have to cut theirs short into an unattractive bob, the world is your oyster boys. Grow it out, make it spiky, messy, whatever you desire. You've just got to go extreme with it. Vampire Hunter D has long hair and he's still a badass. Just pity the poor bastard for having a gaping toothed mouth on the palm of his hand. His teenage years must have been rough.

Oh and by the way, it's mandatory to dye your hair so you might as well go crazy with it. Blond, red, pink, green, teal... anything goes. Except for white. Whatever you do, don't dye your hair white. That will instantly turn you into an anime villain. Take Sephiroth for example. Did you know that before he dyed his hair and joined the Shinra corporation, Sephiroth was just an accountant? It takes all sorts.

animebrockGet Your Sweat On

Regardless of your appearance though, it's important that you work out at least fifty times a day. Sure, anime heroes have zero fat on their bodies but more importantly, if you don't train, how else will you be able to leap thirty feet in the air? Jubei from Ninja Scroll didn't learn to jump like a kangaroo on crack just by lounging around watching octopus porn. It's also worth mentioning that during your workouts and battles, all the sweat from your entire body may appear concentrated as just one single bead on your forehead, just like Brock from Pokemon. If this happens, then don't panic. You may just be feeling confused, surprised or embarrassed. There is however a small chance that something is seriously wrong with your body and you may require immediate medical attention. Brock only has a few months to live, so let that be a warning to you all.

Fight Club

Finally, it's impossible to give advice on how to become an anime hero without discussing the most important aspect of their day to day lives. Of course, I'm talking about coming up with an awesome battle cry. This will depend on your name and whatever abilities you possess, but may I suggest something along the lines of "Kanedaaaaaaaaaaaaa" or "Pikachu, I choose you!"

But there's more to anime fighting than just inanely shouting out random sentences and hoping they make some kind of sense. Every anime battle must be accompanied by a light show that would give even the most hardened Pokemon fans an epileptic seizure. However, if the world around you doesn't naturally fill up with multi-coloured lights and flashing lines every time you step into battle, then you may want to consider investing in some fireworks. Nothing says 'anime legend' like a pack of sparklers from the pound shop.

animebleachSize Is Everything

As if that wasn't intimidating enough, purchasing a giant sword is a must. Bigger swords are trickier to get through customs but you know what they say about size. The bigger the sword... the heavier it is. Kurosaki from Bleach should have a license for his, bloody hell! Just watch where you're swinging that thing. Even the slightest nick will produce gallons of blood spurting in a never ending fountain. Who knew that the human body could hold so much liquid?

I've now taught you everything you need to know my young apprentices. Go forth and show the world what you're made of. Just watch out for octopuses or squids or really anything with tentacles. I cannot stress this enough. Next week is Thanksgiving and I hear that's kind of a thing in America so I thought I better give you some tips on the holiday season. The next lesson will teach you loyal readers how to survive a family gathering and yes, giant swords may feature so see you next week! I'm off to watch Pokemon on youtube and relive my youth. That enough Pokemon references for ya?

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