Dear P.A. Works,
Aishiteru. Yes, I love you more than you will probably ever comprehend. My love for you stemmed from the moment I was utterly and completely captivated by Nagi no Asukara. The nuance, the unparalleled story-line, the drama, the romance, the tension, the teen angst, and everything in-between. Nagi no Asukara helped me fall in love with anime all over again.
You see, there was a brief time in my life where I thought being in love with anime was shameful and uncool. For the latter part of my teenage years into my early twenties I felt guilty for enjoying the things that I liked. I was worried that I would be looked down upon by my fellow peers or that someone would laugh at me for liking “cartoons” so to speak. That watching anime wasn’t “the adult thing to do.” So I fell out of love with the thing that brought me the most joy. I stopped watching cartoons, tucked away all of my feelings for anime, and tried to grow up. As I got older I soon came to the realization that I didn’t need grow up in the same way everyone else was. I started to embrace who I was, what I liked and didn’t like, and knew that anime would always be apart of my being. Anime had been rooted in me every since I first laid eyes on shows like Sailor Moon, CardCaptor Sakura, Pokemon, and Digimon. Anime was there for me when most everyone wasn’t. Anime you can say was my saving grace.
I guess I really never came to the conclusion that you created so many influential shows. From True Tears, Canaan, Angel Beats!, Another, Red Data Girl, Shirobako, Charlotte, Sakura Quest, Uma Musume: Pretty Derby, Sirius the Jaeger, all the way to Iroduku: The World in Colors which is your most current work. There a countless others, but we would be here all day if I decided to write them all down. Many of these shows I haven’t seen yet, but one day I am hoping that I can. There are also other TV series you partially produced but again, that isn’t why I am here today. I am here today to tell you how much you shaped my anime viewing.
I don’t think I could fathom up enough words to tell you how much you mean to me, especially after this year. Uma Musume: Pretty Derby exceeded my expectations as a show, Sirius the Jaeger brought about some of the most thrilling fight scenes I have seen in anime in a long time, Iroduku: The World in Colors blends fantasy surrealism and the human condition perfectly, and Maquia: When the Promised Flower blooms has to be my favorite anime film of all time. And that is saying a lot! I am a sucker for bittersweet anime.
P.A. Works…you don’t just world build, you transport the audience to that very space and time. You make me feel as if I am that specific character, living their life, making their decisions, wishing for the very best possible outcome in the end. Being immersed into an anime’s story-line is one of the biggest achievements any production company can acquire. That should be the end goal when creating any anime. While not all of your shows are completely perfect, they are genuinely special. Each one on its own has special something that everyone can take away from it. Nagi no Asukara with its fortitude of growing up and learning about first love, Uma Musume: Pretty Derby’s theme of endearing encouragement, to Maquia’s obsession with perfect love, finding one’s self, and the erudition that not everyone can live forever.
That is one thing you do spectacularly; you capture human emotion down to its very essence. The two core fundamental emotions for all humans is love and fear. For the body, this is true. Fear causes stimuli to increase stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, while love causes soothing or reassuring stimuli that increase oxytocin (also known as the “feel good” emotion). Oxytocin has also been nicknamed the “bonding hormone” and or the “cuddle hormone. This hormone naturally occurs when we love, are loved, nurture one another, give to each other selflessly, or engage in affectionate touch. In the same way that light removes darkness, love can remove fear. P.A. Works when you display love, you do so in the most beautiful ways. It is so flawless, so easy, so forthcoming that I believe everyone can relate to it in some way, shape or form. I really dove into this aspect after watching Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms because I felt like my thoughts need to be translated into something everyone could read. (If you want to read that post you can do so here: https://kawaiipaperpandas.com/2018/07/22/maquia-when-the-promised-flower-blooms-an-emotional-film-that-explores-the-emotions-of-love-obsession/).
Not only are you unmatched in your story-telling capabilities, but your anime visuals are beyond comprehension. I still don’t know how you guys do it. The colors, the flow, the realistic nature of specific objects, and the background scenery. THE BACKGROUNDS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. They are out of this world! I really have to thank everyone on the production team, but your art coordinator and designer are impeccable. If I could describe the artwork for each of the anime you have created in a few words they would be dazzling, bewitching, resplendent, and divine. It’s like a little piece of heaven was sliced off and brought down to Earth for us to relish in. I love love love the use of texture in Irodoku: The World in Colors. The different concepts and styles of animation thrown into story have made it all the more enjoyable for me. I think The Canipa Effect did a wonderful job explaining the art of P.A. Works in his video. This was published in 2016, so P.A. Works has come out with a variety of other animations since then but the video summarizes how (pretty much everyone) feels about P.A. Works art studio as a whole. You can check that video out down below:
I want to close this letter with a simple ‘thank you.’ Thank you for showing me that loving anime is not foolish or uncool. Thank you for giving me stories that I continue to think about to this very day. Thank you for allowing me to share your work with countless others in hopes of them loving your work as much as I do. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to us anime fans. Without you, and all of the other anime production studios out there we wouldn’t have this community to share our love and passion for anime. You will forever have my gratitude and appreciation.
This post was inspired by JuJu @SoulChainJuJu on Twitter and Jon Spencer Reviews @JS_Reviews when he came out with his Violet Evergarden-A Letter from the Heart blog post. Thank you both for creating such sweet and personal content for all of us to enjoy! Hopefully I was able to do the same for you all. My two year blogiversary was yesterday. As I stated in my Twitter post last night I can’t believe we have made it this far. Thank you all for joining me on this journey together. Annnd if you aren’t following me (which you should be if you are reading this) then come join the
#pandagang ASAP…like NOW. Yes, now XD That is going to do it for me! I’ll see you guys back here on Tuesday. Sending all of you lots of love wherever you guys are in the world! 🙂
Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them. If I find any links I will always post them (this usually entails fan art or any other work affiliated with an artist).