Anime 1/2: Benma 1/2's Spring Splash II
Benma 1/2's Spring Splash II

Have visited Benma 1/2's Spring Splash II since April 21, 2000.

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Benma's Spring Splash II

This page is not going to provide you with links or summaries or information you probably want concerning anime.

This is more of an opinion section and story-time.

The place: UC Riverside. The date: 8-3-1994.

A long time ago, in a university far, far away, a teenage man was working a summer job for the Student Life and Leadership Center (previously known as the Campus Activities Office).

This young man knew nothing of anime, that Voltron, Tranzor Z, and Transformers the Movie even fell into that category. In fact, over the years, he became forced to satiate his cartoon appetite with only Disney cartoons. While these weren't bad, they certainly weren't the best out there.

His job was to clean off the bulletin boards around campus, to make them look presentable for the Bear Facts Orientation about to occur in following weeks.

Going about his business, he happens upon a flyer for a club called VIDEOBURN, the club of Japanese Animation. It says on it that they will be showing Detonator Orgun on August 3rd, 1994.

He still has no clue what Anime is, all he knows is that there is a cool looking robot in this cartoon, and that he is going to watch it and see if it is any good. Of course, he had to go because it has been YEARS, literally, since American TV stopped airing any sort of mech action.

This fateful day, he walks into the room, and watches RG Veda. Thinking that this was OK, but not the best thing out there, he patiently waits for Detonator Orgun to be shown.

THEN a strange little cartoon was aired by the name of Ranma 1/2. Episode 4. The one where Kuno Tatewaki is in love with the pig-tailed goddess (osage no onna) and is purchasing pictures of her from Nabiki.

Unfortunately, they didn't show any more of those, but they didn't have to either. No longer was Detonator Orgun the focus of the day. Ranma was, with his/her aqua-transsexual ability.

WHAT THIS MAN WOULD LATER FIND OUT, is that he had already purchased issue 3-8 of the Manga (still a comic, mind you) Ranma 1/2. Interesting, hmmm?

That was the day Benma was created.
NOW that you know my telling story, I will recount my favorite Anime (and often favortite Manga, too), both series and movies/OAV, which I will lump together. I must let you know, that I am biased towards subtitled Anime (much to the chagrin of my friends) because most dub jobs are poorly done, a movie should be performed in its original language, I need all the help I can get learning Japanese, and because if you can't read fast enough you can buy a dub copy anyway in most cases.


10. MAISON IKKOKU. A good question to ask is: Why? It's just a simple love story that may or may not go on too long. The misunderstandings are so frustrating. It's an animated soap opera. But at least it's fun. The first end theme is a shock--how often do you hear a piano in an Anime theme song? The pun of naming everyone after their room number is another genius Takahashi tactic--ICHInose (one), YOTSUya (form of four), GOdai (five), ROPpongi (form of six). And they DO finally get married in the end.

9. POKEMON. Yes, I admit to being a Pokemon addict. As if you couldn't tell already. I hate that whiny brat Ash, and always cheer for Team Rocket and when Ash gets beaten, but he does have some cool Pokemon once in a while (Charizard; Heracross...) If only he would evolve some of them! ...But not Pikachu.

8. CARDCAPTOR SAKURA. Because of Kero, I like the dubbed more than the Japanese original. But it would be nice if WB didn't show the SAME DAMN SHOW EVERY TIME I try and watch it! Even with the new season. But the animation on the cards is what makes the show. And there's no whiny brat named Ash.

7. RECORD OF LODOSS WAR. One of the original anime (from Videoburn, see above). I was fortunate enough to aquire 5 of the 6 tapes for $6 a tape at CCI:SD 2001. If you've seen it, you know why it's on the list. If you haven't, get your but out and watch it already!!!

6. GOLION (Voltron). Because it's a classic. And as you know, I love robots.

5. NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. More robot action. As with my other favorite Anime, it has a story on the side, too. But why would anyone purchase them on tape when there's DVD? $30 for 2 episodes on VHS or $30 (or $25 if you're lucky) for 3 or 4 episodes on's not rocket science.

4. ESCAFLOWNE. And the trend continues. Gigantic knight armored suits from a parallel planet. Dragons. I've never seen a better blend of Sci-Fi and Fantasy (And probably never will again.) Awesome. ESPECIALLY when the suit transforms into the dragon!!!

3. DRAGONBALLs. Super Saiya-Jin Goku is just too cool; but did you know there are FOUR SS stages?? If only stupid Cartoon Network would put more shows on the air instead of waiting until "next season." The videos are out--are they trying to sell those first? How long do they expect us to wait? The International Channel aired the Cell series. With Super Saiya-Jin Gohan and Vegeta. Before I even read that Cell was a combination of Freeza, Saiya-Jin, and Namekian genes, when his arm blew off I said "He'll probably pull-a-Piccolo and grow it back." And he did. But anyway, Anime is known for its puns (although you have to be truly Japanese to catch a lot of them without major explanation) but Kakarotto (Goku's Saiya-Jin name and a pun on the word CARROT), Raditz (Radish), Gohan (Rice/lunch), Piccolo (Pickle), and Freeza (Freezer) is almost as funny as you get, yet is topped by the puns of my favorite series...

2. LOVE HINA. Thank you Kelly, for informing me about Love Hina. I purchased the bilingual manga, then didn't get a chance to read it before CCI. Then my friend and fellow DDR freak Chris copies all of the Love Hina eps for me and I'm instantly hooked. The relationship situation is almost exactly a combination of Ranma and Maison Ikkoku. That'll give you a basis for the insanity. But this is definitely cracked out anime. AND I WANT A TAMA-CHAN!!!!!

1. RANMA 1/2. As if you didn't know that from the title of my website. Something bizarre clicked between me and Takahashi-san's masterpiece. The concept is just so amazing--a guy who changes into a girl when splashed with cold water and changes back with hot water (NOT BOILING!! :). The puns are incredible--Ranma Nibun no Ichi--"Two parts of the one." In an early episode: "Ah...Pan da-Kochi mo Panda!"--"It's bread--and you're the bread winner!!" Genma (in PANDA form) is working for Dr. Tofu, and Ranma gives him bread to hold. Priceless. Or when Ranma's clothes are dirty and he has to try on some of his fiancees clothes--of course a guy can't be seen in woman's clothing, so he changes into a girl. But the chest area of Akane's clothing is too small, and the waist and hip area is just as bad..."I'm swimming in it." This is the best Anime series I've ever seen, hands down.


10. GRAVEYARD OF THE FIREFLIES. Poignant and thought-provoking. Now if only I could understood everything, as I only saw the raw Japanese version.

9. GHOST IN THE SHELL. I couldn't leave it out, because it is stunning animation. The effects are incredible. This was the first Anime I saw in a theatre since Tranformers, thanks to my friends who were also big into anime. All I could remember thinking was how badly I wanted this to come out on video, and eventually, it did.

8. LUPIN III: CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO. I have seen this all three ways, unsubbed, subbed, and dubbed. A comedic James Bond. Lupin is who everybody in Japan wants to grow up to emulate. How he can get out of the situations he gets into we may never know.

7. AKIRA. Otomo Katsuhiro's masterpiece. Rarely have I found a movie to be too cerebral, and this was about as close as you can get, with this and Total Recall being the only two movies ever to give me a headache from having to think too much. I consider myself a fairly smart guy, and was one of four valedictorians at my high school (technically I was co-salutatorian, but they said anybody with a 4.0 or higher was a co-valedictoran). I don't know if I was tired while watching both of them the first time or what, but the same thing didn't happen on subsequent viewings. But that's why I like Akira-- because it makes you think.

6. STREET FIGHTER II. This is an example to all of the posers out there of how to do a fighting Anime right. Seeing Sagat get scarred by the Dragon Punch and Ryu having a battle rating of 3620 is one of the best opening sequences ever. Chun Li is excellent, especially in the fight scene with Balrog (Vega) as are Guile and Ken. The Zangief/Blanka scene is pretty cheesy and I only see it as a way to get more characters into the story, unlike the Fei Long/Ryu fight where Fei Long Dragon Kicks despite the broken arm. The double fireball to put away Vega (M. Bison to U.S. SF acolytes) is simply exhilarating.

5. FURI KURI. This is truly animated crack. There are only 6 installments to be found. Sounds suspiciously like the AH! Megami-Sama conspiracy. But this is just so RAD!!! There are at least 5 different animation styles used throughout, including normal, deformed, super deformed, manga-print, and yes, even SOUTH PARK style. You will be rolling on the floor for days. Just don't combine it with Love Hina and/or Ranma; you won't be able to breathe again. Don't say I didn't warn you.

4. DETONATOR ORGUN. I wanted to have this up here because A) it's good and B) It was what brought me to Anime. The action is supreme, especially when they go off-planet. The lead character is saved from a boring life on earth because of the Orgun suit. But the story is the best part, because the Cygnulight Plan, a group of humans sent out for exploration many years before the story takes place, is caught on the outskirts of a black hole, thus speeding up their evolution compared to the rest of the world, and they are returning home. As such humans are forced to fight themselves. Very cool.

3. RANMA 1/2: NIHAO MY CONCUBINE. Well, you had to figure that a Ranma would be up here. This has slightly more drama than the first, because not only is this a quest to retrieve his fiancee, Ranma faces the possibility of becoming a male permanently with the spring that is on this island. Alas, he must destroy it to save Akane from being transformed as they are falling towards it. And contrary to what Trunks thinks I should do, I am NOT going to cosplay that dress!!

2. PRINCESS MONONOKE. This is simply the most spectacular thing to come along in ages. A movie that puts message over substance, but of course it has plenty of both to boot. Ashitaka proves to be a very dynamic hero, as are all of the characters; there is no true line between good and evil. Except the message is clear, that man must learn to live in harmony with nature instead of abusing it. I wish my first time hadn't been with a 4th or 5th generation copy which had almost scrambled subtitles and that I wasn't so tired. Then I would have put it up here immediately. But no, it took seeing it in dubbed (which is very good, considering) at Anime Expo 2000 for me to truly appreciate it. It was also worthy enough to be my first DVD. In a word: Awesome.

1. TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE. YES, this IS Anime, and YES, this IS the GREATEST ANIMATED MOVIE OF ALL-TIME. Even though I got to the theatre late way back in 1986 and walked in on Hot Rod and Daniel fishing, it was the best movie I'd ever seen back then and in my top ten today. I cried when Optimus Prime died. Galvatron was just so bad-a$$. And Rodimus Prime, while no one could ever replace the original, made a good effort in the attempt to fill his shoes. The annoying Starscream was finally destroyed. A Transformer BIGGER than a planet?!!? That was unbelievable. I am still miffed that the line "Me Grimlock got bigger teeth than you!" is not to be found on ANY version of the tape. Why would he just sit there and growl for 15 seconds at the Sharkticons? Think about it. I know I heard it. My mother even says she heard it. So I know I'm not hallucinating. But I have always loved this movie and always will, and it is my favorite Anime movie.

Benma 1/2's Spring Splash II (BSSII) (c).
Anything Goes School of Masquerade Arts (AGSMA) (c).
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