I’ve been an avid anime fan for years.  I love anime of all genres.  There’s something about the fantasy beings with their exaggerated features and huge emotion-filled eyes that I can’t resist.  And the often senseless plots are equally as addicting, to me at least.

Choosing the best of the best anime movies and comics ever is quite a ques.  It’s kind of like asking a rock and roll guru to pick their favourite song or an artist to say which colour is tops on the pallet.  It’s for sure difficult for a devout animate fan like myself but I’m going to take a stab at it.

“Akira” is for sure on my list.  It’s full of fantastic visual content and was one of the first films to woo me in.  Set in the future with Tetsuo Shima trying to free Akira, it was a classic like Cinderella is to Disney.

“Ninja Scroll” is another favorite on mine.  Some of my friends thought it was too gross and violent but I happened to like it.  Not so sure if that is a good or bad thing on my behalf but the movie makes the cut in my book.  Kawaiiri did a great job writing it and of course, the characters were amazing.

Coming in at number two is “Princess Momonoke”.  For personal reasons, this one I found touchng.  Ashitaka gained a spot in my heart in this full length film.  If you haven’t seen this film, it’s a must see, for sure.

My all-time favourite is “Spirited Away”.   This movie was first released in 2001 but wasn’t translated to English until Disney won the right to dub it.  Knowing some history behind this story made me absolutely fall in love with it.  The writer, Hayao Miyazaki, had never dedicated a movie until this one but he did so on this one to five girls he and his family spent summers at a lake cabin with while he was growing up.  That touched me for some reason.

The anime production is about a girl named Chihiro who traveled with her family from their new home to a nearby town where they partook of some delicious and mysterious food which opened Chihiro’s eyes to the spiritual world in the town and turned her parents into pigs because they had eaten like pigs.

Chihiro then set about to save her parents from becoming food for the spirits with the help of a boy named Haku.  The two had met just before her parents had been turned into swine and he had tried to warn her to get out of the town and back home before sundown.  She had not done so which caused the misfortune in the first place.  Rather than to say, “I told you so”, Haku acted as a true friend and helped do what he could to help.

“Spirited Away” was first a box office hit.  It then sold more videos than any other anime films in America.  It also won an Academy Award.  The music is phenomenal as well.  There are a trillion reasons why this anime production is my pick of the best of the best and is tops on my list.

I suppose every culture has something to say about body parts. God knows we all talk about appearance endlessly. Some, however, should go unnamed. Feet, on the other hand, are often discussed in different countries where they require extra attention and shoeing. People may be trained in their care. In Japan, they are as important in terms of hygiene as anywhere else. Pedicures are popular. Furthermore, the size of one’s feet is a subject of distain if they happened to be large.

Footwear fashions are as important in Japan as in France or Italy. The US goes either way: sneakers and old tennis or stilettos and T-straps. It says a lot about you what surrounds your feet and remember that size matters. American women, for example, are known to sport size nine or ten—or larger. This would probably not even be available in a Tokyo department store. Men have it a little better, but not much.

So take a look at your precious tootsies and see if they are diminutive or lengthy. Are they pretty or sad? Do you have bunions or toe fungus? Are your feet presentable in public? If you are buying new shoes, you better beware of baring the evidence outright. People are known to stare at misshapen or deformed appendages. They don’t like to see corns and blisters. It says you are not high class and may be working in old moldy shoes. Your socks may be gracing the trash as I write. It might mean bad genes or worse.

The mention of someone having a case of toenail fungus brings to mind a perplexing problem. You can be clean as a whistle, bathe often, smell divine, and still get it. It comes from the gym shower or dirty socks. Some people don’t dry their feet enough causing the growth of a blackish yellow nuisance. It’s hard to get rid of and looks much worse than it is.

If this is your plague, try laser treatments, prescriptions pills, and various tonics and potions you can buy online. There are lots of web sites like this one offering reviews and information to help you overcome this ailment. Whatever you do, don’t show it! If you are at the beach or in a public shower, you will be noticed for sure. People do look at others’ feet. They assess the size, shape, and skin condition. They look at people in manicure salons, comparing their own. You think they’re just liking your polish color! They notice telltale hairs sprouting in odd places. It makes them shudder at the mere sight.

Take a tip from me, if you live in Japan or not, your feet are the hallmark of your being—not your eyes. They hold you up and carry you forward through life. They age with you, suffer with you, but also experience joy with you. They are, in a sense, sacred. While long toes are aristocratic like noses in the west, protruding feet below your skirt or pants are not. The Japanese did not bind feet in medieval times, but perhaps there was something right about that old Chinese custom.