Me and American Cartoons

I’ve been watching cartoons since before I can remember. (I also enjoyed watching older shows such as Bewitched on syndication since my youth.) The earliest cartoons I remember were Smurfs and He-Man played back-to-back nights. Eventually She-Ra replaced one of them, and I remember the ending where they revealed where this character hidden in every episode was hiding in that episode.

I’m one of those people who can sit back and watch a cartoon simply to enjoy the cartoon. However, most American cartoons are designed for kids, and there’s no plot or character development to them. Also, they tend to go on and on and on forever.

There are a few series out there which actually have plot and character developments. Things have gotten better, really they have. However, I happen to have found a lot of animation with what I sought coming from another country…

Me and Japanese Anime

I think the first anime I saw was an episode of Ranma 1/2, back in 1996. This was followed immediately by seeing part of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. I borrowed Nausicaa from a teacher, and watched it at home. It seemed to go on forever, but maybe that’s because it was my first time watching such a long animation, and it was in Japanese with no English subtitles. That was during my last year of middle school.

The sound of the Japanese language interested me so much that I decided I would take Japanese language in high school. Taking two years of a foreign language is required in public in the good ol’ US of A, as far as I know, and nothing had interested me previously. I don’t know what languages were offered, but French doesn’t appeal to me, nor Spanish. Japanese had this “something” about it, however.

My first year of high school put me in Hasegawa-sensei’s Japanese class. I loved the language. I loved the look of the written letters. At one point, we watched My Neighbor Totoro (in Japanese). I borrowed the tape, and it also had Laputa on it.

Around the same time, the English dub of Sailormoon was appearing on television. The use of a story throughout the series (compare with Top Cat and The Flintstones), as well as nicely designed characters (compare with Fred Flintstone and Homer Simpson) with wonderful detail in their hair and eyes (compare again with Fred Flintstone and Homer Simpson) simply captivated me. I was now hooked on anime.

Over time, I went through the expected stages. There was watching all and any anime. Then as I saw more, I became more critical. I wanted to see anime that had better characters in it. I wanted to see anime with more story to it. After nearly a decade, I’m finding myself focusing on a smaller amount of anime, and wanting more masterpieces. Anything less would be just a step above the American cartoons which I found to be so lacking in this department.

Onward to the Present

This brings me to today. I’m buying various Japanese series on DVD which sound like I might like them. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised by how good something is. Sometimes I hit on a wonderful comedy, or a lovely story. And once, I even came across the greatest story with the greatest characters by taking a chance at a series which sounded to be something childish in nature. I hope to introduce series to others who may not have seen them before, as well as provide commentary on series one may have seen. Will I convince you to try something new? Will I recommend a series you’ll fall in love with? Will I take part in spreading the series’ I love to uncertain viewers? Only time will tell.

Feel free to view my current anime watched and to-watch. I haven’t added everything I’ve seen yet.

Aside from anime, there are plenty of American cartoon (and live action) series I would love to see released on DVD, so I could post about them as well.

About The Pink Sylphide

Originally, this site was intended to be anime reviews, reviewing series that a lot of anime fans might have passed up based on title and concept alone, leaving them missing a really good series. The concept changed a bit, and became a commentary site, with the intention to add reviews for series which I’ve posted full commentary for. The commentary contains spoilers, and is intended as reading material for someone watching a series. The reviews will be spoiler-free, for someone looking to read about a potential series to watch. An additional hope is pages on cultural material seen in animation.

A couple of animation series I’ve enjoyed are Code Lyoko and Avatar: The Last Airbender. These both have a Japanese anime style about them, but are not Japanese cartoons. Likewise, a lot of Japanese cartoons are animated outside of Japan, such as in Korea. Why limit myself to commentary and reviews on series with storylines from Japan? Why limit it to a Japanese animation style? Why limit it to animation? If I know of a good series that others might like but haven’t heard of, then I want others to learn about it.

The goal of this site will be, once there are reviews added, and more commentary, for people with similar tastes as my own to discover new shows they will enjoy. If someone whose tastes differ from mine reads my reviews, they might not find shows suited to their tastes.

The Site Name

A lot of work went into deciding upon a name for the site. I didn’t want to call it “Chris’s Anime Reviews”. I decided to put “pink”, my favorite color, into the title. Additionally, I wanted to add “fairy” in some way. “The Pink Fairy” sounded a bit plain, so I worked my way from fairy to sylph. “The Pink Sylph” was still lacking something, so I looked at translations for sylph into various European languages. “The Pink Sylphide” sounded perfect. The combination of words from different languages ensures no one’s already using this title for a web site.