Style! Sci-Fi! Buddies.
Level E is one of this year's thankfully plentiful examples of good anime. Based on an obscure manga from the '90s by the author of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter (that will hopefully be translated), Level E isa buddy comedy with shades of serious science fiction, and vise versa. After moving into a new apartment located near a UFO crash landing, high school student Yukitaka Tsutsui enters his new home to find... a man with long, blonde hair and bishonen looks by the name of Prince sitting in his apartment room wearing Yukitaka's clothes and claiming to be an alien. An incredibly fresh sci-fi romp ensues, with perhaps the most stylish opening credits since Cowboy Bebop's "Tank!". Prince is a remarkably ridiculous character who plays off straight man Yukitaka in a remakable fasion, and yet, as casually hinted several times, there is an elaborate alien plot behind it all. Studio Pierrot's cg animation is also quite remarkable and (mostly) meshes with its 2d surroundings, which should be commended too. And really, how could I hate a show with this promo? Now, here's what the commenters on Crunchyroll had to say:
And now I present to you, the best anime of winter '11
Cross-dressers have been the subject of manga and anime before, but never before has it been handled so tenderly. Based on the manga of the same name being released in english later this year by Fantagraphics, Wandering Son airs on Noitamina (try spelling it backwards) the excellent animation block that gave us last year's Princess Jellyfish and this year's Fractale. Wandering Son is about two first year middle schoolers, Shuichi Nitori and Yoshino Takatsuki. Last year, Nitori confessed his love of Takatsuki, but what keeps them close friends is not romance, but a shared secret that no-one can ever know. Takatsuki likes wearing boy's clothes, while Nitori likes wearing wigs and dresses. This initial description, sadly, would not be enough to inspire confidance in Wandering Son, as many jaded otaku will think, "Great, another forgettable fanservice show with gender confusion," but the content of this show is dead serious. Nitori and Takatsuki must confide in eachother in a world that does not understand them. It is not funny at all when Nitori is caught by his sister while trying her new dress, and runs off wailing still wearing the skirt. This is an upsetting and delicate moment when a side of himself he had never shown to anyone but himself and his most trusted friend is shown to the last person he wanted to know. In short, this show is amazing. Now, here's what the commenters on Crunchyroll had to say: