Bunch Of Fives: Worry Party | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Worry Party are an ambient indie four-piece whose music blends the subtle and the bold to create texture and movement. The band have recently released SOUVENIRS, a four-track EP looking at how they see themselves and how they are reflected in others, in addition to bonus instrumentals and remixes from local producers.

Here, the band give us their top five Anime shows…

Neon Genesis Evangelion 
Written by Hideaki Anno in 1996. Anno is mainly known for his extensive work on the Evangelion name, a series he began after coming through a deep depression. 

A classic 90’s anime. From the outside it looks like a giant robots fighting giant monsters scenario, and if that’s your bag this is going to blow your mind, but the series’ main appeal comes when it begins to dive considerably deeper. It has been lauded for its mature themes, ranging from mental illness and psychological trauma, through to traditionalism and deicide, the majority of which are explored through the experiences of a child forced to live a life they don’t want by a parent.

Fun fact – the studio wouldn’t give writer Hideaki Anno further funding for the last couple of episodes so they were patched together with old footage/recordings that weren’t originally used. See the film “End of Evangelion” for what should’ve been. 

Cowboy Bebop
Written by Shinichirō Watanabe (Samurai Champloo, Space Dandy) in 1998.

Another of those ‘must-see’ 90s anime series, released at what many believe to be the pinnacle of Japanese animation. Think cowboy bounty hunters in space. The series became a huge success in the West, and you might even recognise Yoko Kanno’s soundtrack without having ever seen an episode, it has become that iconic. It’s got action, comedy and even a bit ‘slice of life’ in there. Tackling themes of loneliness, escaping ones past, and existentialism, it goes deeper than you think, and the great humour of the show belies it’s more intense moments. 

Fun fact – it was cancelled half way through its original run in Japan for being too mature. 

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
Written by Hiromu Arakawa in 2001, based on the manga of the same name. 

The series focuses heavily around the scientific techniques of Alchemy; the idea that matter can be decomposed and reconstructed, and that something new can be created from materials of the same mass. It begins with two young brothers trying to resurrect their deceased mother through the art. Things go terribly wrong, and with no equivalent exchange to offer, one brother loses his right arm, while the other loses their entire physical body in the failed experiment. The series follows the brothers as they try to find a way to restore their bodies, uncovering how Alchemy influences the political landscape. 

The series was originally released in 2003, before being remade in 2009 with a more coherent storyline that more closely followed the original manga. The animation is beautiful in both, and the characters have become some of the most recognised in the genre. It’s fast-paced, with a good blend of action, humour, and emotional resonance.

Fun fact – Hiromu Arakawa bought prop guns to draw an accurate representation in her original manga run. 

One-Punch Man
Written by ONE as web manga in 2009, and later remade as a digital manga illustrated by Yusuke Murata in 2012. The anime series first aired in 2012 

It’s a comedic story about exactly what you think – a superhero that has become so powerful he can defeat every enemy with a single punch. It’s an ideal watch for anyone that doesn’t want use too much brainpower; a fun homage to heroes, whilst at the same time being a commentary about those among us who find it hard to fit in with the way the majority of people live their lives. They’re still great people, and this is a great subversion of the superhero story that isn’t ever too heavy.

Fun fact – The creator ONE gave the main protagonist a boring appearance because he thought that a characters’ coolness should come from their actions and not their look. 

Attack on Titan 
Written by Hajime Isayama in 2009 (still ongoing). 

This is quite a modern anime, with the final series still yet to be finished. It’s about the last of humanity battling for their lives against giants named “Titans”. It’s by far the most grim of the list, and no character has plot armour. The series has two main captivating qualities. The first is that our heroes are always on the back foot; humanity is losing. The second is that we don’t really have any tropes to rely on in order to understand the world, and the series lets us know it doesn’t want us to take anything for granted either. Discussing themes on this one can quickly lead to spoilers, but this series is heavy. It’s excellent though, and is as much about friendship, hope, and overcoming overwhelming adversity as it is about being eaten.

Fun fact – There’s a horrifying car advert in Japan where the driver is being chased by Titans. Luckily, it’s a great SUV.

 

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