Rivet-Counting

July 24, 2014 § 2 Comments

I suppose that I’ve felt some trepidation about this post. It’s the trepidation that anyone feels, spelling out their mixed feelings about a media work that enjoys a good reputation everywhere else. And really, it’s not that I didn’t like Paranoia Agent. It might be my favorite thing that Kon Satoshi did, after Millennium Actress maybe. It’s just… complicated. Bear with me.

Shounen Bat from Paranoia Agent

The thing is, I enjoyed the first four episodes of Paranoia Agent about as much as I’d think possible. I clearly remember sitting on my couch, watching with Katie, and feeling that swelling of excitement. That’s one of the big reasons I got into anime in the first place, because unlike most other kinds of serial media, you never know what really to expect from anime. It could be a completely bog-standard slog without anything in the way of visuals (Legend of Legendary Heroes, I’m looking at you) or it could be the most insane rollercoaster you’ve ever ridden (I’m going to go with X/1999 as the most divisive example of this). « Read the rest of this entry »

Did you see that Gawker article on the endless appetizer deal at TGIFridays?

July 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

TGIF!! It’s 10:00 PM and I should have been asleep an hour ago because I have to be clocking in to work in seven and a half hours for my last opening shi(f)t.

I’m still at a loss for some real content (sorry, Crabflowers – I’m taking my time with Haibane so I can have some hopefully meaningful things to say about it soon), so to hold you over until I do, I’ll direct you to Texts from Eva on your #1 source for privilege-checking this side of the blogosphere, Tumblr! Maybe my schtick can be “connoisseur of Tumblr humor”…

My home area code, making me proud. But when does St. Louis not make me proud?

My Best Girl the Yamada

July 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

I had planned to write something about Paranoia Agent this week, but I’m leaving that for later because of reasons. Instead, talking with Katie about the meme of “best girl” in anime fandom had me thinking, as often it does.

Have you ever seen Working!!? Don’t worry, I’m not frantic, it’s just the kind of title that has an exclamation point or two. The thing is, Working!! is not a very good anime. The best part about it is its opening, which has the kind of high-energy presentation that’s reached its apotheosis in recent years with shows like Servant x Service, another anime adaptation from the same mangaka. When I finally watched Working!!, as opposed to just watching its OP and ED on YouTube, I immediately wrote it off. Why shouldn’t I? The jokes aren’t funny, the characters aren’t likable, and the plot doesn’t go anywhere. I watch dozens of shows just like it every year, so I never expected to think about it again.

The cast of Working!!

And yet… « Read the rest of this entry »

My thoughts are about to short-circuit…

July 9, 2014 § 2 Comments

 

You can't unsee this.

I’m sorry, Crab-Flower Club. I’m sorry, everybody. These things happen.

I had this amazing realization watching a TNG episode. Starfleet… Sailor Senshi… eh? Eh? « Read the rest of this entry »

A Coming-of-Moe Story

July 3, 2014 § 2 Comments

In my mission to join the conversation about last year’s anime a bit too late to be heard, I just finished Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu, the latest from the once-storied studio of GAINAX. In brief, I enjoyed myself enough watching it for what it was, but more for what it made me think about my own tastes.

Karila, Honoka, Sonora, Yachiyo, and Rento from Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu

The best way to put it is that I have a thing for what I’m going to call the “moe bildungsroman.” It’s everywhere, once you know how to look for it, probably because it’s the easiest way to feminize the stock shounen format. A girl comes to a new place and, after a few episodes of self-discovery, finds that she really loves something, some kind of ideology or activity, and makes close friends doing it, becoming a better person in the end. It takes the theme of fellowship through excellence that we see in NarutoBleach, and their ilk and inverts it into excellence through fellowship, something no doubt viewed as more appropriate to a cast of female characters. « Read the rest of this entry »

Absolute Destiny: Apocalypse

July 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

Since it’s “my introduction to anime” week at The Crab-Flower Club (fittingly so, since a shared enthusiasm for anime is how this group came about), I thought I’d contribute my own installment.

When it comes to anime, I was never a real omnivore. Some years back, in college, I would watch an animated film here or there as an effort to extend my love of comics and movies outward— two great tastes!— but my attempts were scattershot and halfhearted. Then one day I happened to see a certain book on the manga shelf at the comics store— this was before the Tokyopop boom, so it was indeed just the one shelf, occupied chiefly by a seemingly endless march of Lone Wolf and Cub.

The book that held my attention was Revolutionary Girl Utena Vol. 1: To Till; the cover, a girl in a tailored uniform holding a sword surrounded by rose petals. The title and image promised something: revolution? I was mainlining radical feminist texts in those days, so I thought I knew something about what that meant.

utena-cover-photo « Read the rest of this entry »

Just imagine a chunky 13-year-old in a terrible wig that looked like a coonskin hat.

July 2, 2014 § 1 Comment

I first started watching anime in middle school simply because it was on TV around the time I got home from school each afternoon. If it was featured on Cartoon Network’s Toonami circa 1999-2003, chances are I dug it: standouts included Gundam Wing, Ronin Warriors, Cardcaptors, and Tenchi Muyo!, but my one true love was (and remains) Sailor Moon. I had the manga, DVDs, keychains, plushes, art books, a sweet alarm clock, decks of playing cards, sheets of stickers, calenders,… and a huge binder of my favorite fanfics, printed out for my convenience. I saved up for months to buy the second season on box set – money came slow in those babysitting days, after all. « Read the rest of this entry »

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