Care For An Angry Introduction?

Why hello there!  I figure that best way to introduce myself is to simply introduce myself.

I’m one of the official Animu (and possibly Mango) Correspondents for Sofaking News, and will probably go out of my way to physically assault anyone who tries to take that position from me.

I have GOT to take more pictures, people might think I have anger issues....

Not anime.

The name’s Thomas Duder, Author of the Things.

How do you do?

My geek repetoire is vast and deep, and I’m armed with a pretty heavy pen.  Reviewin’ and judgin’ comes natural to me, and my interests and projects keep me quite busy.  With that stated, when Bonafide Jones approached me with the idea of writing reviews about anime (I’m tacking on manga ‘cuz I’m a selfish, greedy asshole) I figured it’d be a fun, consistent, weekly thing.

My geek life began with watching movies with my parents back in the day.  Born in 1980, I was raised amongst some of the awesomest, most manliest movies in the world (Undeniable fact.  If your opinion is different, your opinion is wrong) as well as that glorious era where animu began to be ported over to das Americanas.

My introduction to anime came from a certain geeky uncle whose previous favorites included computer games (I’m talking about The Elder Scrolls: Arena here, and Wolfenstein as well as the very first Fallout) and comic book collecting.  From him and my father did I learn of Robotech – WOAH, WOAH, DOWN THERE YOU FANTARD!  Stop foaming at the mouth and let me explain.

I know, you know, and EVERYONE who spends even five minutes watching anime knows, that Robotech was a bastardized amalgmation of three different Macross arcs.  Hell, there’s even fans who RIGHT THE FUCK NOW just corrected me, but hey – that’s not what we’re here for.

And for what it’s worth, I was A) just a kid and B) really fucking liked it, so shaddup.  Seriously though, the naming schemes (Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, OH GOD BIG BRO ROY FOKKER, the Skull Squadron, the Zentradi, etcetera and et. al.) always stuck with me and even if I did learn of the REAL Macross later on, Robotech will always have a special spot in my heart just ‘cuz it was my first, y’know?

Dat Skull Squadron

Hey, I DREAMED of piloting this thing…

Shortly thereafter came all the greats from the 80’s, from Gunsmith Cats and Riding Bean to Devil Hunter Yohko.  Going into the nineties I indulged greatly in more rentals from Blockbuster and local rental shops, titles like Hentai Kamen, Genocyber, Dragonball and Dragonball Z, Mermaid Forest (naturally, Rumiko Takahashi could do no wrong… but that’s before I learned of InuYasha) and Devilman and the 80’s dubbed movie of Fist of the North Star.  This was back when the SciFi Channel was still SciFi (not SyFy, ughherkderp) and they were also showin’ those great (read: mistranslated dubs) titles like Angel E.Y.E.S, Iria: The Animation, Green Legend Ran, and more.  Later on I would also get into such titles as Angel Cop, YuYu Hakusho and… well, kinda went from there.  Naturally, like quite a few fans today, I also got into the first runs of Toonami and Adult Swim, which brought me even more series to watch.

In b4 Toonami...

In b4 Toonami…

When it comes to mango, though, I’ve always thought the slick violence and cool scenes (the oldest I remember is being 10 and readin’ a copy of Mazinger, or whichever one it was when it was set in a fantasy world) were always front and center, y’know?  I still got into American comics and cartoons though, as well as video games…so for me, the late 80’s and 90’s was pretty much a montage of geekdom.

Since then, as technology gives us all greater options and a range of variety, I’ve found myself watching and reading even in genres that I normally don’t imbibe simply because it was suggested to me by a friend or a fan.

With that stated, I shall state my bias right here and now: anything with the Rule of Cool and the Rule of Badassed.  This includes Super Robo, some sentai shows, and pretty much anything where there’s even remotely a scene or two of just awesome badassery.

Today I’m noticing a trend in anime that is pretty sad, where they’re falling back on to “traditional tropes”…and I present the same argument here as I do with video games.

There is NO such thing as “tradition” in a industry that is less than fifty years old.  As a company finds their audience begins to broaden in both location, age, and even preference, one must go with how they A) first acquired those fans and B) where they, as artists, are to go from there.

Appeasing to your fanbase is, by all means, an option… but falling back on “traditional” tropes and such?

Now, I’m NOT going to just point-blank say “Naw man,” since y’know what?  If you can make it work, make it WORK godammit!  Much like with video games, if you’re going to be a copy then at least be a GOOD copy!

So.  I’ve had quite a say this first post, and from here on end is all op-ed and good B-roll copy from me.  I hope you guys come to like my articles here at Sofaking News, where I’ll be writing up reviews for all sorts of shit Animu- and Mango-based, brought to you from Crunchyroll, Netflix, and spots online.

Here’s to a good run, youse guys!


Thomas Duder, Author of the Things


Time to whip it ouuuuut… top 5 go-to uberviolent anime list!



1. Devilman



Devilman (the 1980’s version) first taught me the true art of megaviolence.  Not just a bunch of dudes fighting, but the kind of battles that can usually only be viewed in the lowest depths of Hell.


2. Genocyber

Genocyber about to make it rain blood up in hurrr


Naturally, I got my hands on Genocyber shortly after Devilman.  Hoooolyyyyy shiiiiiit.  You can count on one hand how many actually tame sequences there are.  Then random decapitations, headshots, cultists tearing a dude apart… y’know, people nowadays talk about Elfen Lied.

Yeah, real cute there, friendo.  Come sit on my knee and let Uncle Duder tell you ’bout the halcyon days where blood piñatas didn’t exist and REAL bloody carnage went down.


3. Mazinkaiser SKL

Dat Mazinkaiser SKL...

Everything good in the world of heavy metal and Hell resides in this trilogy of everlasting war!

This show is perfect.  Don’t fuck with it.


4. Fatal fury 1-3

Terry Bogard is apparently never allowed to have a girlfriend....


I know I mentioned earlier that I don’t just watch shows where people beat the crap out of each other… but this was a defining thing for me as a video gamer and an anime fan.  Seriously, Terry Bogard can do no wrong.  He also can never have a girlfriend, apparently. At least so sayeth Masami Obari, the director of the animated movie and designer for the other two.


5. Fist of the North Star

ATATATATATATA  is an approved martial art y'know

The series in its manliest nutshell.

The freakin’ trope namer, genre-defining,  Bruce Lee cloning show itself.  But ya gotta take it as a whole – the old 1980’s movie, the original series, the gaiden works, all that good mess.

And ohhhhhhh boy, what a glorious mess it is!  The manliest anime and manga, guaranteed!

So that’s the list. Think I left something off? Think you could do better? Then let let me know in the comments below.