It’s been a difficult year for me and my family, for many reasons I won’t say here. But there is much to be thankful for, especially the health of our precious daughter. Today my wife and I have been married for four years. We’re past our long honeymoon and are now at the time when living well means hard work. There are things about us that probably won’t change – but are revealed to each other as if they were surprises, traps even. Our love is stronger than ever though waves of melancholy wash over me, and I’ll explain why.
We don’t get to watch anime together as much, by far. We never really do now. We used to be able to follow shows as they air, but these things aren’t as important or interesting to her. There’s nothing wrong about this at all. I just miss her company. I dearly wish we watched K-ON!! together. If I could undergo the procedure in The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for all of K-ON! to be new again, I just might – so my wife and I can watch together.
Here I share with you my favorite shows we watched together. Most of them are marathons, which is cool in that I love it when she’s the one telling me to play the next episode, and the episode after that: a spark of validation and mutual interest in shared culture.
Yack, Deculture! Here are the shows:
The Vision of Escaflowne
“Wow, you like anime too?” It sounds silly, but I truly truly felt I hit the jackpot with this lovely lady. I mean, come on, I knew she was a rarest of rare finds. I knew I wasn’t going to find a lovelier, smarter, more successful, ojou-sama (complete with laugh) who also liked anime. I knew from our common friends that she played RPGs (Mechwarrior LOL) back in uni, but I didn’t expect anime.
And now she’s the one actually introducing me to stuff. Aaaand, I was duly impressed to learn after the important (to me) names involved in the production: Kawamori Shoji, Sakamoto Maaya, Kanno Yoko. Flying Dragon eventually made it to our wedding reception.
We also watched this when we were dating. In early 2005 I worked the night shift and I’d sneak into this house we live now at dawn during weekends (with her help) carefully avoiding waking up her folks. I’d catch a snooze in the unoccupied servants’ quarters and wake up when her folks have left for their various projects.
After breakfast we’d watch anime before leaving in the afternoon to wherever we wanted. She introduced me to Kare Kano which we played on bootlegged VCDs in her living room. I was floored, and I didn’t know anime love stories set in high school can be so freaking intelligent. Too bad it ended the way it infamously did. Nonetheless, it was the show we watched when we were falling in love. Yukino I (concerto) also made it to our wedding reception.
This was the time we were watching all sorts of silliness (School Rumble, Yakitate! Japan), and in the spirit of that silliness, less than half a year into our marriage we marathoned ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY EIGHT (178) episodes of this show. I haven’t learned to play tennis yet, and I took this show SERIOUSLY. I mean I took the sports action as serious as fuck, despite the absurd shonen power levels going ridiculously out of hand.
But you don’t need me to tell you that you don’t get to burn through ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY EIGHT EPISODES (and a movie, and a bunch of OVAs) without seriously enjoying yourselves. We certainly did, though it’s all so incredibly stupid now. She however, continued reading all of the manga and follow The New Prince of Tennis. I love my wife. I didn’t say she’s absolutely perfect.
We raged. We d’awwed. We laughed. WE RAGED AGAIN. We chuckled. WE RAGED SOME MORE. And before we knew it we’ve fallen for these characters – often despicable for either being retarded or for being complete assholes. But just as Naoki found himself eroded into a heart open enough to love an idiot like Kotoko, we found ourselves in-love with both of them and their family, and this incredibly irritating and heart-warming show.
I’m not sure about this one, given the proliferation of gay-looking Lelouch figurines in our room as a result of her watching this show with me. Well, I suppose I have pretty nice Kallen ones thanks to her. But man, marathoning the first season, then watching R2 every week with her was probably the most fun we had following a show as it aired. That and Toradora!
EVERYTHING IS BRIGHT
But sorry honey, XXXXXX is DEAD. Deal with it.
The only Macross show she actually really enjoyed. My wife is a total Minmay hater, but for whatever damn reason she actually liked Sivil . Yeah, her (but she adored Mylene and especially Millya Fallnya Jenius). In any case, part of my indestructible love for Macross 7 is due to how much fun we had watching, even when she’d make fun of me when I fall apart in tears when Gigil sings Power to the Dream.
For all the reasons (that seem strange to Macross fans) I love Macross 7, how we watched it together she and I shines brightly among them.
This is pretty damn special. This is the show we marathoned that I had to play catch-up. Sometimes I’d be so tired from work that I’d pass out while watching and my wife would watch the next 10 episodes while I was out cold. Well, there was a lot of episodes (110) so I could catch up (had to do so many times LOL).
Seriously though, this was an incredible experience for me… because she ate it all up. I loved how we’d discuss the principles of politics and governance that occur in the show, because her perspective is amazing, being a public servant all her career (I am for stretches), and a member of the military as well.
Also, it’s absolutely brilliant to have someone to hold me after the Battle of Mar-Ardetta.
Aria, all of it
My wife’s nickname starts with an “A,” our daughter’s name starts with an “A,” not entirely devoid of coincidence with this show we’ve come to love so much. We leisurely watched Aria the Animation, finding Neo Venezia quite interesting and rather wonderful. Aria the Natural didn’t make us any more fascinated with Aqua though it explored so much of it. Rather, we really fell in love with the girls.
It’s like we wanted to be their friends too, but kind of wanting to just watch because we like their chemistry the way it is. In a perfect fantasy, we’d have tours with each of them in their own gondolas in another honeymoon.
Aria the Origination rushed at us with unexpected power. Gone was the quiet reflection afforded by an illusory perpetuity in Natural. I mean, it’s still quiet, but there were inevitable changes, big changes, and what was at stake the whole time is now in play. Then it ends.
But not really, we’ve gone on to collect the manga when we can, and find our things, our desktops, colored by the blues and whites of what used to be but a harsh red planet in our imaginations.
Thank you, dear reader, for remembering love with me and my wife here. May you find someone you can enjoy these and other shows in a way that’s special to both of you. I you have that person in your life, fill your time with wonderful shows to watch, and find these shows made more wonderful by each other’s company.