Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Top 5 Anime Vacation Spots

I love going on vacation.

I love getting away from my normal, everyday life and experiencing something sensational, something unique and so very far from what is normal. The feeling of having sun on bare skin, and soft, warm sand squeezing through your toes. Or maybe watching snow fall gently over the land with breathtaking, snowcapped mountains in the background. Anywhere from here is an adventure. The world is waiting. 

But as I sit here in my bedroom, there's only room for the imagination. Anime supplies many magnificent settings that only the mind could conjure. In anime, anything is possible. It makes you wonder where you would go if you could take a vacation in anime. That's what I'm currently wondering. Where would I go? Why?

I do have some specific parameters for a potential anime vacation spot, though:
  • It can't be dangerous. I want a place where I can just relax. I don't have superpowers or a black belt, so going to a treacherous destination like the fictional city of Roanapur (Black Lagoon) would probably result in my ass being thoroughly kicked. 
  • I have to distinguish between somewhere I want to visit and somewhere I want to live. There's a HUGE difference. There's many anime worlds that I'd love to live in, but that love is driven more by living by/near the characters of that world than the setting itself. For a vacation spot to make this list, I have to love the setting and feel that it's suitable for a relaxing vacation.
  • Any and all characters will be removed from said vacation spot. If I wanted to go to Roanapur, there'd be no Revy or Rock, but it'd still be dangerous as fuck. 
So without further ado, here's my top 5 anime vacation spots! :)

5. The Dome - Macross Frontier
The scenic views inside these domes are  incredible. Although these domes are floating in space, they still have a shimmering blue sea and rolling, majestic mountains. In the Macross Frontier movie, Itsuwari no Utahime, Sheryl and Alto ride these segway type things, except more flexible and faster, through a lush, green forest. After falling off a cliff (kind of), they find themselves in a large field which has a little pond resting in the grasses. In this pond, there's these really strange (presumably alien) creatures that look like a cross between cows and hippos with dark green grass growing on their backs.

After an excursion through nature, one may return to the bustling city. I really love this city. The creators of Macross Frontier did a great job portraying a clean, slick, modern city. It seems like one of those huge cities where entertainment possibilities are endless. Speaking of entertainment, one of the staples of Frontier is the awesome musical concerts. They're a feast of colors and sights that are almost unimaginable. People fly through the air while the singer makes drastic costume changes with only a puff of smoke.

4. Bathhouse - Spirited Away
I know it's technically dangerous for a human to go there, but let's just say for a moment that I'm not human. 
If you've seen Spirited Away, you know that this isn't exactly a vacation destination for Chihiro, instead it's more like hell. Without the crazy big-headed grandma, though, this becomes a glowing bath house straight from fantasy. A strange luminance seems to be embedded in the walls. Clouds of steam lazily drift through the gardens. The aura itself is one of relaxation. Once inside, you're greeted by several strange creatures, all there to wind back. The baths are soothing and refreshing; you can even order up some special herbs or scents for your water. When it comes to spas or public baths, this is the place to go.

3. Traditional Japan - Mushishi
Mushishi has some of the most stunningly beautiful scenery I have ever seen in anime. It focuses on nature and it's simple, unwavering majesty. But more than the forests taken straight from fairy tales and the charming sea side villages, it's the era that I'm in love with. Small thatch huts are covered with mosses. Children play in the streets, wearing comfortable yukatas.

These comfortable little things ^

Everyone is much closer to nature, and life is less complicated. Mushishi is a very relaxing watch and a vacation there would likely be the same (assuming you aren't possessed by some ferocious mushi!).

2. Laputa - Castle in the Sky
This castle is an endless adventure. It's size is staggeringly HUGE. Journeying through its many twists and turns while unraveling its long, winded story would make an exciting vacation spot. PLUS, IT'S IN THE FUCKING SKY.

You can't really top that.

Oh, wait. Yes, you can.

1. Skypiea - One Piece
 I've always wanted to visit this place. Well, I usually want to visit most of the places that Oda creates, but this divine island among the clouds always takes the cake. I'm just going to bullet the reasons here because I don't feel like using transitions between the topics there's a lot of reasons, so writing them all down normally would take too much time.  

  • The food there is incredibly unique and intriguing. Are those blue pumpkins growing from those palm trees? Point thoroughly made. 
  • The people there are generally nice and hospitable. 
  • You can ride these cool scooter type things on the clouds. That's right. Just jump in the scooter-boat (pretty sure that should be called a jet ski *herp derp*) and ride across the clouds in the bay. Actually, just checked the One Piece wiki, and they're called wavers.
  • Clouds here = water. That means that you can go swimming in the clouds and make sandcastles on the beach as clouds lap at your toes. 
  • You can shop in the marketplace found on Lovely Street in town. 
  • There are several different kinds of dials which can perform many different tasks and are shaped like normal seashells. For example, in the common tone dial, one can record their voice and play it back whenever they see fit. The possibilities with these dials are endless. 

For me, this island seems to be the ideal vacation destination, and that's why it reached number one on this list. Everything about it seems to fit the definition of paradise exactly.

So what's your top 5 anime vacation spots and why? What'd you think of my choices?