Random anecdote that has nothing to do with the rest of this post: Today I got a haircut. My stylist was lightly misting my hair with something in a spray bottle, so I asked, “Just out of curiosity, is that water or something else?” She said, “It’s Miracle Grow, so that you’ll have to come back sooner!”
Anime is the home of many odd things. A world in which wars are solved with “Rock Paper Scissors”? No one bats an eye. People sucked into an alternate world or video game? That’s so common it has its own name, isekai. An alternate history in which high school students swap between partying together at school and shooting at each other on the battlefield on a daily basis? Not even the weirdest part of the story!
What about an alternate history in which girls shoot each other in tanks to become more feminine? We’ve got you covered! Reimaginings of historical Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga? At least ten,* not counting the manga and light novels that haven’t made it to the screen yet. A cute story of friendship among anthropomorphic animal girls set in a disturbing post-apocalyptic world where floating rock creatures devour your personality? That was pretty much the biggest anime phenomenon in Japan this year, sparking a boom in visits to the zoo and online penguin memes. A ‘documentary’ of cats that live inside banana peels? Seriously, who needs crack?
It was around the time I discovered Bananya that I began to suspect: There’s an anime for just about everything. To satisfy my curiosity on this point, I tried a little experiment.
With an online random word generator, I created a set of random pairs of words. Then I googled “anime <word pair>” and scrolled through the results…
hand + kite — A 1999 anime OVA called Kite has a main character get shot in the hand. (And groin. Ouch.)
shoehorn + stage — No actual anime popped up, but a company called Shoehorn Productions advertises itself to anime and manga cosplayers with the line, “We want to celebrate Cosplay and show it on the stage it deserves”! Ok, that’s probably a bit of a stretch.
creature + publicity — I found the manga/anime Monster (presumably understood by Google as a synonym for “creature”), about a surgeon whose boss “exploits his surgical skills for media publicity”. (Courtesy of TV Tropes, which in my professional opinion is one of the finest homes of literary theory on the Internet.)
guilt + winner — Came up empty this time. 🙁
So we’re only batting .500 here. At this point I called it a day because, honestly, it’s easier to find bizarre anime just by scrolling through the catalog on Funimation or Crunchyroll!
Anyway, time for me to go watch a story about an English magician with a steer’s skull for a head who buys a girlfriend at a Japanese auction for 5 million pounds…
* Nobunaga: Including a couple of gender-flips, and at least two that have him alongside St. Joan of Arc, of all people. Note that not all of these series feature Nobunaga as a main character.