This is the second part of my favorite 25 stories. You can read part 1 here. The list goes more or less in chronological order.
- 9. The End of Eternity – Isaac Asimov (Book)
I’m not as big a fan of Asimov as I am of Clarke, but I enjoy a lot of his writings. The End of Eternity is on the top of the pile for eliciting the complete opposite reaction from Childhood’s End. While the latter left me sober, I mentally ran screaming at the ending of Eternity. Asimov is a genius of plot as Clarke is of details. He twisted the plot around approximately 7 times in that small volume. No one else could have done it like that.
- 10. Lord of the Flies – William Golding (Book)
I didn’t have to read this in grade school, fortunately, but I came across it and loved it anyhow. (In the former context, I would have hated it. I’m sure of that.) I happened to have some help interpreting the story, so it was enjoyable rather than what I heard to be a torture. It was then that I know I am drawn to the darker and more sardonic reflection of man especially one as bold as Golding’s.
- 11. The War – Jon Avnet (Film)
This is the most sobering movie about war I’ve ever watched, and it doesn’t contain a single scene of war – no bomb, no bloodbath, no casualties, and even a happy-ending. But within the story is a reflection, a stunning analogy of what war and hate is about and what it has done. It is sort of sad that no one pays much attention to it in this time and age when it could serve as a reminder of why no war is worth initiating.
- 12. Princess Mononoke – Hayao Miyasaki (Animated Film)
Some people compare Studio Ghibli to Disney; I totally disagree on the notion and this movie is the strongest case of why. While it is an animation, children-friendly, and about a princess, the story addresses the issues that are matured and worth contemplating. Miyasaki has always been an environmentally conscious man and he dives into the topic with a cautious setting. No one is the bad guy in the Disney kind of badness, and there is no happily ever after only precious lessons learned by all. If you don’t get a goosebumps watching this, I don’t know what else would give you one.
- 13. Spirited Away – Hayao Miyasaki (Animated Film)
Another Miyasaki’s film because this man is awesome like that. This story is a cross between Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz with a very Asian sentiment that makes it too unique to be compared to either. Miyazaki exercises a lot of subtlety in this movie as compared to Princess Mononoke and makes it a rather humble film. It is not a teaching, no lesson, yet there is something there nonetheless.
- 14. Ghost in the Shell – Mamoru Oshii, Masamune Shirow (Animated Film)
Ghost in the Shell marries two things I love: science fiction and philosophy. It spawned from a comic book by Masamune Shirow in two feature films, two OVAs, two TV series and other supplementary. The first movie is a startling piece of animation even for today when we have computers to help reduce the stress of cell animation. The action is beautiful, the plot intriguing, and the existential question looms large and almost tangible the entire time. The only thing close to it is the Matrix which, not surprisingly, had drawn inspiration from Ghost in the Shell as well.
- 15. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (Book)
The first Coelho book I read was The Devil and Miss Prym which is a very fascinating view into human psyche. However, I was most affected by The Alchemist, a story about a boy embarking on an adventure for hidden treasure. The plot is more or less a cliché but there is a strange power of in this story that leads you to believe that nothing is impossible. It is a story aimed to inspire and it does the job exceptionally well.
- 16. Daemon Hunter – Seiuchiroh Todono (Manga)
I’ve reviewed this story in details, so I’ll keep this short and simple. I love this story because it makes me think of what knowledge and power could do without the guidance of love and compassion. While the presentation is not fantastic, the core of it is fascinating. Todono also manages to create what I think is a perfect villain who is driven by the hunger to know one last secret he could not see in the universe. I found him to be more disturbing than any power-hunger, hell-bended villain because he doesn’t care AT ALL what might come to past. Beating a guy who has nothing might just as well be the hardest thing if you have everything to lose.
On to 17-25 !