What’s the Caw of Fame?
What’s it mean to be in the Caw of Fame? The name is a take-off on Hall of Fame, and since crows make the sound “caw…”
Well, I think it’s funny.
A Call of Fame award is my attempt to call your attention to anime series that I think are worth celebrating. For a series to earn this “honor,” it has to meet these two criteria:
- The last episode has to have debuted at least a year ago.
- I have to like the series. A lot. As in re-watching it over and over. And as in badgering my wife to watch them with me.
Here are the anime series that are my favorites in alphabetical. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!
Caw of Fame Inductees
Human emotions create spiritual creatures named youmu. Negative emotions create youmu that might be dangerous to humans, so a long time ago, certain families (clans) of humans with magical abilities created the Spirit World Warriors. Spirit World Warriors have different kinds of magical abilities, some of which can be used as weapons. If a youmu attacks humans, these Spirit World Warriors will respond and kill the offending youmu. When a youmu dies, it leaves behind a youmu stone. The more powerful the youmu, the more valuable the stone. Merchants, some of them youmu, appraise and pay for the stones.
Chrome Shelled Regios takes place in desolate and destroyed world. Humans cannot survive for long in the wild, so most of them congregate in gigantic mobile cities called Regios. Not only is the world inhospitable, but it’s full of savage creatures called Contaminoids. They come in all shapes and sizes. The smallest can kill a human; the largest can destroy a Regios. Despite the odds, humanity struggles onward in part through diversity. Some cities excel at combat and authority, like Glendan, whose Queen rules over the Heavens Blades. They are gifted warriors who wield weapons far beyond what a normal human could handle. Other cities, like Zuellni, are mobile universities. Each Regios is managed and controlled by its own Electronic Spirit. Zuellni takes the shape of a small and mischievous girl when she appears to her people.
Strong regrets bring some people back from the dead. If a monk from the Kōgon Sect doesn’t quickly make a contract with them, the person will become a shikabane, a powerful undead monster that kills humans. If a monk can reach them in time, and if that person is a young woman, the monk may become her Contract Monk. She then becomes a Shikabane Hime, a Corpse Princess, who exists to destroy shikabane.
It’s an old fantasy (and sometimes science fiction) trope: a portal opens between Earth and another world. In this case, it opened to a world whose technology was about on par with Earth around the fourteenth century CE. Except this time, no one stumbled through a wardrobe to find it. Instead, an army of humans and beast people stormed through and attacked modern day Japan. Specifically, Ginza, Tokyo’s up-scale shopping district.
The attack overwhelmed the police. They had panicked. After all, how often does a beat involved using your pistol to repel warriors that resembled Roman centurions? Only the actions of one man, Youji Itami, stopped their panic. He helped the police regroup and defend the citizens until the JSDF could bring their helicopters, tanks, and troops into the fray.
Gate is about what happens when the JSDF pushes through the Gate, in force, to protect their country. It’s about a civilized nation trying to protect itself without just massacring the invading soldiers of the empire. Though they certainly did not shy away from using their overpowering force when necessary.
Gate is also about a wildly varied group of people coming together to prevent all out war – because they all knew that if the empire pressed matters, the empire would be obliterated. Gate was realistic enough to portray that as a serious problem for that world, and that was one of the things I really liked about it.
Gate had a ton of fun and interesting characters. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.
This series is all about Kimihito Kurusu, a conscientious young man living on his own, and his constant struggle against a lazy, irresponsible federal cultural exchange agent named Kuroko Smith. See, Japan (lucky country that it is!) has discovered that it has access to a supernatural world where liminals live. Those liminals want to visit and sometimes migrate to Japan, and it’s Smith’s job to make vet potential cultural exchange opportunities. That means she has to find places for these liminals to live while they experience the culture of Japan.
How’s this affect Kimihito? Well, Smith placed Miia, a Lamia, with Kimihito. But that’s all Smith did. She didn’t explain to Kimihito how he had government funds available for things like expanding his home for the larger bodies of the liminals. Smith didn’t explain how he could have applied for reimbursement for food while he hosted a cultural exchange visitor.
The affection Miia feels for Kimihito is part of what makes the series so enjoyable. Capture from Hulu stream.
Re:CREATORS is about the terror of creating. It’s about the the chickens coming home to roost. It’s about responsibility. But that really doesn’t tell you much, does it?
Let me try a different tact.
Re:CREATORS is about what it means to create something in this world. You have to have certain personality traits to be a success in any creative field, especially writing (and I say that only because it’s the field I’m most experienced with), because otherwise, the industry and fans will crush you.
The characters in Re:CREATORS were amazing — but they were only part of the package! Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.
Though Re:ZERO starts briefly in our world, most of the series happens in a place that at first looks like a typical fantasy world. The level of technology seems to be medieval, and the only major difference that’s immediately visible is that demi-humans are common. As the series progresses, we learn that in this world’s ancient times, Satella the Witch of Envy destroyed the other six witches (whose titles came from the deadly sins). Her power was so great that only a contract between the kingdom’s monarchy and a powerful dragon kept her at bay. Despite those efforts, while her power’s greatly curtailed, the Witch of Envy remains corporeal and plots to destroy the world even to the “present.”