Definition of anime: Japanese animation. With that definition and the above screenshot, I posit that Courage the Cowardly Dog is an anime. The point of this post isn’t to argue this further, but if you want to argue against what I’ve just established as fact, I’ll go ahead and draw you a syntax tree or something. That’ll show you.
What I’m going to argue today is that Courage the Cowardly Dog is better than a lot of anime that a lot of people actually liked. And by a lot I mean actually just a handful because I thought and wrote this entire post up only four hours ago. Have fun.
Suisei no Gargantia/Gargantia of the verdant something or other
Courage the Cowardly Dog is the better space squid anime. Its space squids were better than Gargantia’s pointless shock value squids. Courage’s were awesome, majestic, and so important that they make the stars. The emotional endgame was much better handled and more mature by its very nature in Courage, too. In Gargantia the last time they matter is a poor attempt to make the audience and Ledo reconsider the fact that the squids are being killed. And to be honest I never got how I was supposed to take it seriously or how Ledo was supposed to care, given what we knew about him. In Courage, we get a lovely, bittersweet story centered on these squids that spans a mere ten minutes instead of Gargantia’s audacity to think it deserves 5 hours.
In Kuragehime, the main character has friends who get her and a place to stay and generally seems content. Some guy dresses her up against her will and she sort of likes it but is sort of uncomfortable too. Courage has a house who gets really jealous and violent whenever the guy who lives in her goes into other, nicer houses. They paint her and make her pretty and then everyone is happy. Unlike in Kuragehime, this house actually needed that to be happy. Maybe it’s bad to give the message that some people need to be pretty to be happy, but I think it’s worse to force people into things they were reluctant to go through with and almost portray it as a good thing even though it’s also clear that it’s not necessarily right for that person.
I even think myself a tad heretical for this and I like Tutu more, but maybe they are comparable objectively. Princess Tutu’s a bit out there at times, and pulled everything together in a pretty original way… but Courage has an entire episode about these two rats in the middle of a junkyard just ballet dancing all over the place. That’s way more original and bizarre. The ballet dancing is totally fabulous in this episode of Courage and with better coordination with the music than most of Princess Tutu, too. And if I may bring up another magical girl show here, these rats have like Precure-level powers of synchronization and junk when they hold hands.
Sakamichi no Apollon/Kids on the Slope
You know that episode, the one with the beaver? Yeah, A Beaver’s Tale. That. Like in Sakamichi no Apollon, you just can’t resist that jazz and jazz is used to solve problems. But the drama and dilemmas the characters face in this episode of Courage seem way more important. Trying to save your house from being flooded, dealing with the pressure of being a construction worker instead of following your dream to be a musician. That’s great. I think most people are in agreement that the drama was the worst part of Slopebros so Courage wins easily.
There’s an episode of Courage that’s centered around a scarecrow that can’t scare crows. He’s basically Yomi. He got his stuff wrecked and then was taken in by a very nice person. After staying with that person a bit, he longed to become useful and strong enough to protect the person he loved. But he gets sorta influenced by something and ends up taking things too far. So far that you’re suddenly pretty sure he’s not too worried about the possibility of accidentally killing the person he wanted to protect. Main difference is that I’m pretty sure Yomi never got attacked by crows and Ga-Rei Zero never referenced The Birds. Although I guess my definition of referencing The Birds is pretty broad…
… but I guess I can’t really think of any reason why this episode could be better than Ga-Rei Zero. Oh well.
Courage, like Koyomi, solves a bunch of supernatural issues. Except Courage isn’t obsessed with little girls and actually figures everything out on his own about 90% of the time. Koyomi’s always relying on random people like Oshino and Shinobu to help him, but then takes all the credit. Kind of a jerk if you ask me. I’ll take a coward who manages to do the right thing over some guy who can’t do anything himself and then spends all his time fantasizing about girls other than his girlfriend when he knows that would bug her.
Any idol anime worth its weight in episodes
Courage is still better! The episode featuring the Great Fusilli showcases better dancing skills than any idol anime, and is more true to the realities of the industry. You know, how the industry literally steals your soul and makes you a puppet to their every whim. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. This episode of Courage is more honest and doesn’t glorify it as much as most idol anime do.
That’s all I managed to think of for comparisons, so this is the end of this post.
It’s the gerbil’s world
It’s the gerbil’s world