Random


Has it really been over 15 years since Macross Plus? The science fiction of the ’90s depicted in places like William Gibson’s Idoru is fast becoming today’s fact…

There are plenty of other videos covering the concert – Megurine Luka (whom I prefer immensely; Miku’s “voice” is a tad sugary for my taste), and the Kagamine twins also make an appearance. Particularly fascinating too is the Miku medley, incorporating a number of on-the-spot costume changes.

What’s even more interesting is the sold out crowd of 2,500 attendees. The energy of the crowd is almost surreal in a way – the throaty roar of a hungry audience as a collection of photons coalesce into the familiar face of their goddess… “man-made idols” indeed. Science fiction hasn’t disappeared, we’re just living it. Small wonder that we have a goodly number of series now that definitely break from the old mold of science fiction – look at Haruhi, or Index – science fiction that simply exists in the everyday. There has been a shift away from the traditional space-borne interplanetary narratives for something a little more immediate.

For reference, the Macross Plus clip from 1994, featuring the artificial idol Sharon Apple. It is eerie how very prescient the whole thing is, but then again, we’re long overdue for Zentraedi contact – I suppose you can’t have it all:

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A follow-up post, of sorts.

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Just a collection of random musings on Tatami so far, while I get down to a post for the next episode…

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New theme and a new look to go with the changes as well. It’s been a long time since our team has posted anything remotely resembling a team-post, so after some talk with the other authors on the site, and with their blessing, I’ve just gone ahead and made this blog primarily my own. The About page has been edited to reflect this as well.

On a tangentially unrelated note, the most searched Google term that leads to my blog seems to be “Battletech” – the 4th result on Google Image Search is an image I posted for Building a Realer Robot.

One thing about anime that never ceases to impress me is how very global the allusions and references are, given the status of the medium as primarily Japanese. It’s often very easy to miss these though due to slightly garbled transliteration, however, but a couple of recent shows this season show a lot of care in their titling.
Durarara!‘s title is an oddity in English, until one realizes the L and R sounds in Japanese are identical.  As “Dulalala!” the title makes some more sense as an illusion to the Irish faerie Dullahan – a headless horseman, modernized in this anime as a headless motorcyclist.

Dance in the Vampire Bund – what is a “bund-o”, anyway? Followers of the manga likely already know that “The Bund” refers to the special vampire district that is set up by Mina to promote human-vampire relations. Outside of anime conversation, however, “The Bund” refers more likely to the real-world Shanghai Bund, the main foreign district for the city of Shanghai during the early modern period – where traders from the West would do business and stay while in the city. The Bund was (and perhaps still is) one of the biggest symbols of the Chinese humiliation (both perceived at actual) at the hands of the West: a splendid empire in isolation suddenly wrenched into a new world order filled with alien beings from a completely different cultural background – a situation perhaps not very different from the emergence of vampires into modern human civilization in Dance in the Vampire Bund.

Out of the other bloggers here I am decidedly grognardly when it comes to certain sorts of anime – I have a soft spot for a particular aesthetic style that I find is exceedingly rare in the medium – anime that seems to want to pass itself off as a live-action show. One particular irony i derive from this categorization is that I really don’t prefer to watch live action, being more an animation buff than anything.

What do I mean by this “live-action paradigm”? Well, “live-action” anime exhibit a few characteristics:

-slow pacing; generally brief bursts of action, if any at all

-no special attack fetishism (a shounen trope)

-traditional live action pacing (discrete unrelated episodes connected by a meta-narrative, often climaxing in some sort of finale)

-heavy emphasis on dialogue and character interaction regardless of the genre

-some element of moral ambiguity (at the very least, more than a typical “good guy vs. bad guy” scenario)

-particular style of character design with emphasis on realism, often utilizing a 1:7 head ratio, sometimes with pronounced differences in character race and ethnicity

The essential conceit behind this grouping is that these shows would work equally if made in a live action format: there’s no sort of moe appeal completely based on the design of the characters (that could not be reproduced to the same degree with a live actor), or reliance on special effects that would look campy in a live action format. As an animation fan, the fact that these shows are done with animation (and with good animation, to boot) tickles me immensely. Almost all of shows that slot into this paradigm end up as favourites in my book.

Here’s the catch – as a category, I’m not really sure if this is all that distinctive. I mean, you could easily conflate this group as “good anime”, yet I am hesistant to do so. I’ll offer the following selections (that I have watched beginning to end) that I believe exemplify this particular “type”.

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So, for those of you who, for one reason or another, are suddenly hit by a pang of guilt for watching ‘illegal’ subs, you can, if you want to, consult this regularly updated legal streaming list. Now admittedly, I’m not the ‘legal anime watcher saint’, as I watched R2, After Story and a few others, but maybe this list is good for those who are just starting anime, there are really a few good ones listed there, such as:

  • Code Geass (Season 1)
  • Death Note (Entire Season)
  • Eureka Seven (Subbed, the entire thing may be uploaded soon)
  • Gankutsuou (I just started–amazing!)
  • Shangri-La 

And much more (probably), can anyone else pick out good animé from that list. This list really is regularly updated, as Gankutsuou was just added maybe 2 weeks ago, while the list has existed since maybe January.

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