By Turambar 2 Comments
After the first two episodes of this season's Muv-Luv Alternate: Full Eclispe, it was hard to avoid noticing the similar thematic elements it had going with the classic Gunbuster. There is the idyllic school setting prelude to a blood bath of a war, the masses of faceless space monstrosities, and the rather hilarious acronym names given to them. Most importantly though, there is the abundant usage of of Imperial Japanese imagery and verbiage in both shows. That last bit reminded me of the following.
This is a series of essays written about a year ago dissecting Gunbuster and viewing it through a Japanese Imperialism lens. Knowledge of Gunbuster is not a prerequisite to understanding the content of the essays, but previous viewings of it as well as historical knowledge of Japan during the World War II period will help. (Note: I did not write any of these, nor contributed to any of them.)
Episode 2 (NSFW)
If you enjoy this form of analysis of any form of media, not just anime, the above pieces are definitely worth your time.
I had a wall of text written speaking to my reactions to this Kids on the Slope, but in hindsight, it really was just an excuse to get people to watch and listen to the following. So I'll save that for a later time and keep this brief. Kids on the Slope sets up musical pieces as important points in its story: music that symbolizes the wishes and motivations of the characters. In this scene, we see Kaoru and Sentaro, two friends and musical partners, coming back together to reclaim both their personal connections as well as musical connections they had lost. Moving through My Favorite Things, Some Day My Prince Will Come, and Moanin', all pieces that set up major points in the story told so far, they remind each other as well as the viewers of just what they are reclaiming.
More, than anything else though, it just sounds so good. So listen, and smile.
This post might be better titled "How Cross Textual Knowledge Bites me In The Fucking Ass"
I finally decided in a bout of grad school workload caused insomnia and depression to jump the shark and watch this movie. I always knew it was bad, but man. Mannnnnnnnn. The story and character portrayals are bullshit. Building the ultimate Gundam for the ultimate Innovator so it can go fly off and take a psychic history lesson about some pieces of living liquid metal? Seriously? I don't need to go into that. But what makes me angrier is all the ways it so clumsily tries to ape the better moments of superior shows and present loose ends of actual merit and discard them completely.
Descartes Shaman, one of the first innovators to appear after Setsuna, proved to be a xenophobic racist, calling non-innovators the inferior species. One would think when a wave of innovation(TM) is spreading across the human population, the movie would do well to touch further upon this racial tension right? Nope. Lets just kill him off. Further, lets completely abandon any notion of that sentiment and by the end of the movie, let a population with 40% innovators live in complete peace and harmony because apparently he was the only racist in the history of the species except for all the innovades that came before him.
And then there are the referential moments. Andrei Smirnov and four of his GNX buddies using transam to push a giant ELS capitol ship as it falls on earth, and exploding just as they succeed. Well doesn't that sound familiar? The movie was literally shoving a shitty tasting poopsicle in the shape of Char's Counterattack into my mouth and I was literally giving my computer screen the finger. You're going to replace Amuro with Andrei? Seriously? You couldn't at least do it was a character that was memorable in anyway and give Graham the heroic death he so dearly deserved despite his antics as Mister Mushido (His first Name Is Mister)? (For the record, SolBraves is a pretty awesome name for a MS team.)
And then of course there is the whole Jupiter Express of enemies. The fact that something in here reminds me of the glorious Diebuster is an absolute affront to the latter. But it doesn't take a seasoned film critic to know that this show can ONLY end with humans and aliens finding peace. So what better way to present an alien enemy than ones completely devoid of any character at all. In shows such Diebuster or Gunbuster where the mass of characterless aliens are titled the Space Terrible Monster Crowd, that is excusable. In fact, that is what you should be doing. In a show where our man protagonist is suppose to be having a dialogue with them at the climax of the movie, this does not effing work god damnit. The fact that it made all combat between the armada of GaGa Squadrion in GN Lance costumes and the Feddies a snore fest is not lost on me either.
Though for the sake of being fair and balanced, I will say one thing. At least the Zabanya was entertaining to watch. Lockon actually used its bits (fins, funnels, fangs, DRAGOONs, WHATEVER) dare I say, intelligently. Rifle bits are fucking RIFLES and shoot from far away. They don't go charging into melee range. Shield bits are shields and they not only defend the MS itself, but also the rifle bits from incoming shots, prolonging its combat capability. Totally nominating the Zabanya for Saimecha 2013 because it made me enjoy this movie for just a few moments, and that is a fucking momentous achievement.
The nomination phase for the second annual Sai Mecha has started once again. This is a time for bloody battle, vitriol filled hate, and the drinking of the tears of anyone who thinks Shin Getter Robo has a chance of being nominated. Head over to the the main site for all the information on how the brackets will break down, but I'll leave the rules for submissions here.
1. Choose up to 10 mecha, and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. One entry per person. Please put the series the mecha is from after each.
2. The 32 mecha with the most nominations will be put into a randomized bracket and split into the Earth Side and Colonies Side.
3. The following 4 mecha cannot be nominated as they are the final four of the previous year and are already seeded: Zaku II, Eva Unit 01, VF-1 Valkyrie, YF-19 Excalibur
For all of you guys going "Fuck you and your animu robots. I'd rather nominate something out of Mechwarrior", go watch Flag, and then nominate the HAVWC. That's about as real world practical but remain sci-fi fancy as you can get.
Here are my own submissions in no particular order. The VF-1 is my first love and YF-19 my true love, so it's a good thing I don't need wax emotionally about those two and have two more slots in my list. I have a general lean towards reals over supers, so anyone wondering why Gurren Lagann is not on there, there you go. (Also I'm trying to have as few renomination as possible and Gurren Lagann made the list last year.)
1. YF-29 Durandal (Wings of Goodbye). It's the latest variable fighter entry in the Macross franchise and oh god what a beauty this thing is. While the VF-25's Tornado pack might let it roll like no tomorrow, the Durandal has a slimmer, far snazzier frame while still inheriting the VF-25's ridiculously good looking battleroid mode.
It's probably with some depressing irony and self-hatred that the situation surrounding this game has turned into a rather fitting topic for a paper in one of my communications courses. I won't bore anyone with the preliminary outlines of the paper. What I'm asking for is links to any articles or reviews published in reaction to either the game itself or the community reactions towards the game.
Yes, I realize I'm asking you guys to help do some of the research leg work for me. But taking advantage of the sprawling network here is probably going to be a lot more effective than trawling on Lexus Nexus. Feel free to either leave the link in the comment section, or sent to me as an PM. Thanks all for your help.
Jeff's Chie FanFic:
When I started my attempts at internet blogging about two years ago, one of my first entries was on Persona 3. What drew me to that game was the nature of the enemy, and the futility of the conflict. The ultimate evil in that game was Nyx. It was a being of death manifested by and attracted to the negativity of mankind. It knew no malice and did not seak power. It was instead manipulated by mankind's unconcious negativity. Our heroes fought against it, and even with the "Power of the Universe", the strength to perform miracles, all the main character could do was use his own life force to create a seal, blocking Nyx off from man kind's thoughts.
Social Links are the non-linear story threads of the game. It allows for the player to delve and discover the depths of the many side characters the game throws at you. They are not required for progression, and yet are essential for fully experiencing the game. However, they are again, non-linear. Persona 4's attempt at translating this into the linear anime format leads to success and failure, both conveniently placed in the same episode.
Use your keyboard!
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