The Shoat Statements

Random musings by the multiple voices inside my head.

Loved everything about Japan. The sushi and the kamaboko. The paperdolls and the parks and the fireworks. But most of all, I loved the cartoons and the tv shows that made my childhood special. In the mangas and the animes, I found the friends that I never had at school (or anywhere ele). Plenty of losers I could relate to, who still managed to have cartoons revolve around them. And with all that magic, mystery, mayhem, aliens and saving the world every evening, I found hope, dreams and a goal. Worlds in which I wanted to live. worlds I thought would actually materialise if I wished for them hard enough. They taught me to dream and imagine as nothing else could. Maybe that's why I still go there. To keep the hopes and the dreams still alive.

In honour of that, in random order, here are the anime, movies and shows that defined me, added colour to my childhood...and are simply the best ever!

1. Lupin : A trio of thieves, a dedicated cop and the sexiest woman in anime. The storyline was simple enough I suppose: three thieves out to get anything they could lay their hands on, the cop who's ultimate mission is to catch them, and the woman who played everyone against each other. But the comedy, the action, the antics were all to die for! Completely over the tope, you just can't get enough of it! Of course, the content was meant for a teenage to adult audience, so I have no clue why a 5 year old me was watching this (perhaps it explains why I'm the way I am!). Anyways, still love Lupin, still watch it, and definitely a must see.

2. Doraemon: Every kid's dream. A big blue robotic cat from the 22nd Century lands in '80s Tokyo to help a 10 year old loser better his prospects in life, in hopes that his descendants will then have better lives. His tools? A magical pocket with torches that helps you change size, a door that takes you anywhere, caps that make you invisible, a phonebox that grants your wishes...the ensuing mayhem includes (but not limited to) aliens, robots, demons, dragons, time haven't lived till you watch a Doraemon.

3. Asarichan: Definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but one of my favourites, for obvious reasons. A rather unlucky, not-so-bright girl, always bullied by her perfect elder sister, forever berated by her parents and not a friend in the world. No wonder I loved it! Pathetic in every sense, Asari still managed to be the heroine, and lived to fight another day. She was my hero!

4. Urusei Yatsura: More unusually sexual cartoons for 5 - 8 year old to be watching A story about how an ultra sexy alien girl gets engaged by accident to the most lecherous loser on the planet. The whole town is touched by craziness from that point onwards, with walking, talking ghosts, aliens dropping into earth on almost a weekly basis, teenagers with their own personal armies...very light-hearted, very bizarre, it put a smile on my face every time.

5. Sukeban Deka: More signs that my parents were on some strange type of drug to have let their kids watch this. This one was a TV series (again, quite bizarre), about a delinquent teenage girl who is then roped into doing undercover work for the cops. '80s melodrama notwithstanding, I was addicted to all 3 seasons (and the movie). Perhaps here is where all the kick-ass attitude came from.

6. Touch: Baseball and a love triangle. With my hero dropping dead in the first season, I cannot fathom what compelled me to keep watching Touch (and the ensuing movies a good 3000 times). But it was addictive in its own way...and so true to life. Right guy dies, which sort of turned out well for him because the girl fell for the wrong guy, who then had to emerge from the right guy's shadow. Sounds convoluted? It has to be watched to be believed!

7. Dirty Pair: Sukeban Deka meets Urusei Yatsura. More aliens, more girl power (two girls), more disaster. And lots of fun. Again, lots of skin show and I must wonder where my parents were when I watched all this. At least this serves to explain the length of my skirts nowadays. One more show that proved to me that girls can do anything a guy can.

8. Creamy Mami: Quite unlike everything else here, this was a really girlie series. Still, it caught my fancy - alien pets (those Japs sure loved their aliens!) and a magic wand that transformed an ordinary girl into a 16 year old singing sensation. With the guy of your dreams running circles around you to boot! It was the stuff dreams were made of.

9. Laputa: Not a anime series, but a Hayao Miyazaki movie, I fell in love with it the moment I watched it. I still watch it at least once a month. There is just so much magic and hope in it. Flying airships, pirates, castles floating in the air, mysterious crystals...and how any ordinary person can become special. Everytime I watch it, I find something new in it.

10. Ginga Tetsudo 999: Rather morbid this story was, so clearly, I was a disturbed child from a rather young age. Like almost all the stories here, this one too has a fair share of aliens; in fact, this takes place almost exclusively out of earth, in a futuristic space train that makes stops in various planets. A street kid wants a robotic body, he finds a mysterious woman who'll take him to the planet where he can find it, and till the series ends, I travelled with them from planet to planet, where they usually managed to escape horrific monsters or evil rulers by the skin of their teeth.

How old do you need to be to know the difference between right and wrong? 8? 18? 28? How can anyone take all the wrong turns and then hide behind the label of being 'too young'; of being a 'kid'? 16 year old boys used to go to war. 16 year old girls used to raise families. Lots of them still do. So don't come and tell me that 22 is young, or that at 22 you're still a kid.

You play adult games and make adult choices. That makes you a goddamn adult. You can't suddenly do a U-turn and say 'oops, sorry 'bout that, I'm going to go back to being a kid, so you'll just have to deal with the whole sorry mess on your own'. If you play with fire, you're going to get burnt (and the way you played with it, it's a wonder that the house didn't burn down with everyone still inside). High time you dealt with the mess.

All this crap about being 'too young' and being 'just a kid' is just that - crap. Bullshit. It's just a New Age way of not dealing with the mess you yourself created. A guilt-free way to be supremely selfish.

Grow up, the whole lot of you. And kindly deal with the mess you created.

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Be true to your heart, and true to your conscience.

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