Harry Potter Moe

by Belle Waring on August 17, 2015

What if the people who made super-popular, insanely adorbs anime K-On made an anime of Harry Potter? In which they skip around from era to era so that everyone can be a student (and this is very much what they would do, if you think about it)? Then, it would look like the following video, which you must promise me you will watch to when you burst out laughing at the face of Severus Snape—himself as astonished as you are—after which you will find it mere child’s play to continue to the end to get a glimpse of Helga Hufflepuff in a miniature top hat. The Weasley twins are perfect. They could be like the twins in Ouran High Host Club! (The girls and I, hearing the premise of that anime—HS students run gigolo-type host club as one of the school clubs, and blackmail an androgynous girl into participating, in drag—thought it would be awful. But last summer we were bored at my mom’s and succumbed to the magic of Netflix, only to find it’s hilarious. It sends up shojo manga tropes a lot.)


K-on itself may induce peak “moe” with its hyper-cuteness. Could they be any cuter? No. Relatedly, can noses possibly get any smaller than a single dot, with partial shadowing when viewed at angles? I fail to see how. This was the clear end-state even back when I spent all my time drawing manga characters as a young teenager. My dad teased me about the nasal peculiarities. I mean, maybe something that’s no dot, with partial shadows?

Maybe you don’t watch anime at all. You should, though! They are free, and vary wildly in subject (with an unfortunate emphasis on the lives of young teenagers, granted.) I like kissanime.com. I watch relatively cheerful ones with my daughters (um, children striving to hone the perfect blade for death, by being little shinagami—not-so-grim reapers, I guess—with sentient weapons, with which they must gather 99 human souls and that of one witch (Soul Eater), qualifies as cheerful here. But, as Death is charming and humorous here as in Pratchett it is not such a stretch as one might imagine. Soul Eater’s Death is sillier, and more like the well-done, terrifying voodoo masks from which the villain derives power in Disney’s “The Princess and The Frog,” aka “we’re going to have a black princess but then she’s going to be a frog for 98% of the run time, for real her white friend is onscreen more, please watch this.” Having said which it’s a good movie!) Then I watch scary ones like Tokyo Ghoul by myself, because John won’t watch them with me. He has too many really bad Silver Age comics to read/prefers to watch TV in his office alone because he can simultaneously practice guitar or drums[???]/likes to listen to podcasts and draw. He’s sickeningly productive, really.

{ 22 comments }

1

Collin Street 08.17.15 at 8:15 am

Helga Hufflepuff -> ‘particularly famous for her dexterity at food-related charms.’ -> Kotobuki Tsumugi. Of course.

Have you seen Hyouka? High-school detectives dealing with actual plausible high-school cases while discussing the nature of detective fiction seems like it’d be kinda your thing. Looks nice, too.

For something beyond teenagers — they’re ancient here, early-twenties! — the recent Shirobako — workplace comedy [mostly] at anime studio — is worth a look.

2

Belle Waring 08.17.15 at 8:30 am

Helga Hufflepuff is totally Tsumugi!! She’s clearly meant to be adorkably clumsy.

3

bob mcmanus 08.17.15 at 8:45 am

The HP thing was hilarious.

I usually don’t give recommendations. The usual dens of iniquity just love to make lists, like five times every day, and love to recommend their favorites. I have been hanging on reddit/anime recently, and “top 31 anime for last 31 years” (really top 3 for each year) was good if a little seinen and grimdark.

Yeah, Ouran was great, Hyouka and Shirobako are highly regarded. I hear, I haven’t watched everything. Yet.

Kissanime is freeking amazing, has about everything. Shojoesque: Simoun, Princess Tutu, Rose of Versailles, Nana, Paradise Kiss, Madoka. I just finished TV Utena, but that is a little more adult.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is good shojo/josei this season. Hibike Euphonium was last season, K-on with tubas, but much more class and craft.

4

bob mcmanus 08.17.15 at 9:08 am

I can just go kinda nuts, I only lurk at the forums, cause enthusiasm blushes.

And ya know, you don’t want to hear “that tots sucked, bob” about sumpin you love.

Kissanime has Bokura ga ita. Classy romance.

Kamisama Hajimemashita is a well-regarded kinda reverse harem fantasy, a little closer to Fruit Basket.

(Tried Norwegian Wood last night. Great author, great director, top cinematographer, landscapes + acoustic guitar + suicides…bored, back to toons.)

5

Z 08.17.15 at 10:29 am

So, is Hyouka any good? I liked both Norway no Mori (the book, which I aptly read in a Tokyo/Frankfurt flight) and Norwegian Wood (the movie), by the way.

6

Belle Waring 08.17.15 at 10:43 am

I read Kamisama Kiss religiously but don’t always watch the anime for what amounts to no clear reason.

7

Barry Freed 08.17.15 at 12:37 pm

That’s pitch perfect, Belle. In a similar spirit have you seen these right on the (Ice King’s/Immortan Joe’s) nose Mad Max: Fury Road/Adventure Time mash-ups? They’re totally math:

8

Netbrian 08.17.15 at 1:13 pm

Hyouka is wonderful! So is Non Non Biyori, airing right now. (I can and do go on about this all day, but I’ll stop here.)

Quick note — kissanime.com isn’t actually legal. Licensed options include funimation.com and crunchyroll.com , along with normal streaming sites like Hulu and Netflix. These sites all have free options, so you should still be good to go.)

My official Harry Potter house is House Jigglypuff.

PS: http://animeyume.com/blog/2009/09/05/koge-donbos-harry-potter-fan-art/

9

hidflect 08.17.15 at 1:14 pm

The music is very Cowboy Bebop.

10

bob mcmanus 08.17.15 at 1:37 pm

So, is Hyouka any good? I don’t know, is the only stuff you watch like JoJo?

Googling Hyouka Anime Review gets THEM Anime Reviews as the 3rd link, which is probably my most trusted site. There are many others.

As for Norwegian Wood the movie, well, this month I really did enjoy Mein langsames Leben dir Angela Schanelec, which is a very slow quiet movie. My guess is that one movie had absurd sensationalism and cheap sentimentality. NW is moe.

The HP parody does point directly at an interesting problem, that anime character designers may be running into a wall. Besides cost and craft, they have at least two problems that get worse every year 1) the technical demands of anime, simple figures moving across complex backgrounds, limit the amount of detail they can add to a character design and still have it stand out, yet 2) the anime community, the fandom that finances production with dvd and figurine purchases, has a strong sense of anime history and will not let a production get away with a character design 80% similar to one used in 1992. I actually don’t know if character designs have long lasting copyrights.

11

bob mcmanus 08.17.15 at 1:39 pm

8: I was wondering at the lack of ads.

12

Belle Waring 08.17.15 at 1:51 pm

I sort of figured about kiss anime, but I signed up for crunchyroll, and paid, only to be told that each given anime in turn was not available in my region. To wit, Asia?!

13

Belle Waring 08.17.15 at 1:52 pm

Barry: OH M GEE THAT IS TOTALLY MATH FOR REAL!

14

gagantous 08.17.15 at 4:56 pm

My favorite bit in Soul Eater is the observation that Kid’s obsession with symmetry is just an immature, intermediate form of the preoccupation with cosmic balance he will eventually grow into. They know how to work their music cues too. And I cannot get enough of that moon mugging for the camera in every shot.

Commenting mainly to plug Soul Eater Not! which is totally worth a watch. It has much less action (and even less of an action budget) but it’s a great exploration of the setting. All the main Soul Eater cast cameos, though they are mostly outshone by the best characterization of Liz and Patty to date (this time, existent!) and bishounen-BlackStar. Kim and Jackie (those two forgettable girls in Ox’s squad) really steal the show. The villain is a throwaway but the plot moves well. Also, there are custom tarot cards, which as I recall is blog-relevant.

15

Russell Arben Fox 08.17.15 at 5:45 pm

BUT WHERE WAS HESTIA JONES?!? I call bullshit on this.

16

Barry Freed 08.17.15 at 8:28 pm

That’s too bad about crunchyroll, Belle and makes no sense for where you’re located. I was going to sign up for it but now I’m not sure I will if I won’t be able to see anything (I’m in a GCC country). Is there anyway to tell before?

I always appreciate your anime and film recommendations, Bob. Keep ’em coming.

17

Collin Street 08.17.15 at 8:33 pm

> The music is very Cowboy Bebop.

It/s the opening theme from another anime called Baccano: alchemists and gangsters in prohibition-era new york. It’s a comedy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Msg8ypnLqaw

Also quite good.

18

bob mcmanus 08.17.15 at 9:19 pm

15: You don’t need me.

Here is Them’s 5 Star list, enough here to keep you occupied for a lifetime. If you love anime, you will make a little effort to find what’s valuable in the more challenging material, like Creamy Mami (primordial magical girl) or The World Only God Knows: Goddess Arc (harem). I haven’t watched everything, but I have read enough to know all by reputation, and this is a most excellent and varied list, meeting the informed consensus. These are the treasures.

They are still active and adding new material. If you limit yourself or have a mood for a genre, reviews are a click away. If access or availability is a problem, there are plenty of choices, and the 4 stars aren’t painful, but maybe limited to more specialized tastes and audiences (Berserk; Boys Over Flowers). I at this point go alphabetically, precisely so I can be pleasantly surprised.

Still in the afterglow of Revolutionary Girl Utena tv series, thinking about re-watching it raw, without subs, or close watching it for symbols and details. Himemiya Anthy goes on my list of most interesting characters ever. Looked at the movie, but not ready for the change in character design.

19

yastreblyansky 08.17.15 at 10:59 pm

@14: Not to mention McGonagall and Hagrid, for Pete’s sake, or did they slip by me?

20

Belle Waring 08.18.15 at 1:50 am

What could they do with Hagrid, it’s interesting…go in the direction of Crabb and Goyle slightly I guess. For the McGonagall generation they put young people who know each other? Barry, kotaku often promotes month-long free trials of crunchyroll, you could experiment that way.

21

Brett 08.18.15 at 6:17 am

Now I’m totally thinking of Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasely as “odd couple” friends before Society and Bad Blood tore them apart. OH THE FANFICTION POSSIBILITIES!

22

Z 08.22.15 at 2:29 pm

Meanwhile, after having watched a couple of episodes, I must say that I find Hyouka very enjoyable. It is superbly drawn and animated, the characters are endearing and the plot is genuinely original: ordinary high school mysteries whose solutions involve the different possible readings of kanjis and landmark events in the social history of Japan. What’s not to love? (Well, there is the soft core porn ending clip with the two teenage girl protagonists, but this is Japan after all.)

Thanks Collin Street!

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