All posts by moritheil

One might be forgiven for thinking that Moritheil is a postmodern literary critic who started reviewing video games in 2001, and spent the early 2000s learning at the right hand of con staff and fansubbers. However, those rumors are spurious: Moritheil is actually a distant relative of Genghis Khan who stands poised to conquer the world via the Internet. Follow along at http://twitter.com/moritheil.

Arthur Kirkland hates lolis

Images that depict underage girls and boys are about to be banned in the UK.

Pic related

First, some context (quotes from experiencefestival.com:)

“The United States Supreme Court decided in 2002, and affirmed in 2004, that previous American prohibition of simulated child pornography under the Child Pornography Prevention Act was unconstitutional.”  The main issue was that there was no harm to any actual children, and the court found that viewing of this material had no causative link to harming children.  True, someone sexually attracted to children would enjoy this kind of pornography, but the converse was not true: someone who enjoyed it would not necessarily harm, or have any feelings for, real children.

“UK law has dealt with simulated images quite differently since 1994, when the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act introduced the legal definition of an ‘indecent pseudo-photograph of a child,’ which is prohibited as if it were a true photograph.”  This act was originally interpreted to apply only to photorealistic images; drawings that were clearly not based on any real children were permitted.

Now, however, things may be changing.
Continue reading Arthur Kirkland hates lolis

Dragonball Evolution: Over 9000

A note from the author: This was the 2009 April Fools’ column for Anime Diet.  While many of the facts mentioned in here are true, mixed in with them are many wildly erroneous citations.  The concept was that as a positive review of Dragonball Evolution, it would be naturally viewed with disbelief by the international otaku community. However, this was not the case for many readers.

Anime Diet first brought you news of the Dragonball live-action adaptation months ago. Thanks to the liberal application of sake, reporter moritheil was able to sneak an early look at the film, not due to open in American theaters until April 10.

Dragonball Evolution.

Dragonball Evolution is the story of the young warrior Son Goku, who races against time and the vengeful King Piccolo to collect a set of seven magical orbs that will grant their wielder a power level in excess of nine thousands.  Side-effects of this ultimate power include the ability to induce repetitive dialogue and spontaneous destruction of sensitive scientific equipment – a seemingly random quirk which becomes surprisingly relevant in the movie’s original plot.

The very name of Dragonball Evolution has become a hissing and a byword.  Critics all over the globe and within this very publication have decried the affair as a stain on the careers of James Marsters, who plays Piccolo, and Chow-Yun Fat, who plays the turtle sage sans shell. But contrary to all expectations, the film thrilled this reporter with its nuanced approach to characterization and unexpected hints of social awareness.

Continue reading Dragonball Evolution: Over 9000

International Saimoe 2009 – Round 5

So, like all otaku, I did my duty.  I climbed Mount Kunlun to pay homage to Haruhi and vote in the International Saimoe League 2009 Aquamarine Period — Round 5 elections. I am a blogger of Anime Diet, moritheil, making an obvious reference.

International Saimoe League 2009: Draw upon the power of your moe to breathe in space!

While this isn’t the original Saimoe we all love to gripe about, ISML is vastly simplified.  This directly benefits the participants in that it does not feel like working a second job.  The staff have also gone to extra lengths to be inclusive of international crowds and their submissions – some might argue too inclusive.  See this for Touhou-related drama.

Continue reading International Saimoe 2009 – Round 5

Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai 01 – Decompressed review

This work relies on stereotypes, but it uses them with a deft touch.  The villains and heroes are easily identifiable as such, magic is obvious, and there is an alternate dimension locked in desperate struggle, in stark opposition to the daily lives of the teenaged protagonists.

Continue reading Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai 01 – Decompressed review

O Pocky! My Pocky!

O Pocky! My Pocky! our shopping trip is done;
The pack has weather’d every press, the space we sought is won;
The chair is near, the squeals I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the slender line, the package red and daring:
But O mouth! mouth! mouth!
O the tell-tale drops of phlegm,
Where on the bench my pocky lies,
Fallen prey to them.

O Pocky! My Pocky! Rise up and hear the crunch!
Rise up! For you the flag is flung; for you the panties bunch!
For you cold plates and milk in cups; for you the mouths a-gaping;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their joweled cheeks a-draping;
Here pocky! Dear snack!
This arm beneath your stem;
It is some dream that from the pack
You’ve fallen prey to them.

My Pocky does not answer, its base is pale and still;
My chocolate does not feel my arm, it has no pulse nor will;
The groceries are safe and sound, their voyage closed and done;
From fearful tack, the promised snack, comes in with Pocky won;
Exult, O fans, and ring, O cells!
But I, with morunful hymn,
Walk the ground my Pocky lies,
Fallen prey to them.

Perhaps if pocky had been around in his time, Mr. Whitman would understand.

With apologies to Walt Whitman, who originally composed O Captain! My Captain! about the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Alien Nine: Utter Alienation

To steal a line from Spike Spiegel, there are three things I hate: crying kids, incompetence, and strange, unidentifiable fluids. So tell me, why has Alien Nine gathered them all in one place?

Don't kill him! We need him to pay the dry cleaner's bill!

The show begins well. The character designs are cute. The utter mismatch between the main character and the job she is selected for is comical. It’s also nice to see a refreshing change from the usual paradigm of “magical girl revels in it;” the reasons behind Yuri’s ambivalence are very clear and plausible. She’s a middle school student and simply not cut out for any sort of conflict, even when equipped with a deus ex machina.

Continue reading Alien Nine: Utter Alienation

Aversion and hikikomori

Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei makes the argument that the hikikomori complex is an elaborate form of aversion. In fact, all the people portrayed in the show are slightly dysfunctional and avoid facing reality in certain ways, and it is this backdrop which forms an excellent basis for equating the two. The title character continually reacts to life by fantasizing about suicide, relentlessly genki girl Kakufa Fuura reacts to everything negative by reimagining it as something bizarrely and improbably “positive,” the counselor hates helping people and does not willingly give of herself despite her job as school counselor, and so on.

The show deals directly with hikikomori in episode two, wherein they visit the house of Komori Kiri, the shut-in. Like all names in Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, this is a play on words: Hikikomori is the Japanese term used to designate people who shut themselves in their rooms and avoid social contact. True to form, Komori is shown in her room watching anime, with tankobon and DVDs piled up all around her.

Continue reading Aversion and hikikomori

Meta, Meta, Meta

A lot has been said about the art of anime reviewing lately, and as a writer new to the scene it behooves me to comment on this.

I’ll confess my bias right off the bat: I don’t think that it’s possible for someone to be too analytical, but I do think it’s possible for one to be too analytical for a given reader.

Continue reading Meta, Meta, Meta

Mortality in anime and manga

Two things have me thinking about death: Ray’s commentary on  the unappealing nature of sentient, disposable objects, and Kabitzin’s review of Kishimoto’s latest round of killings. (SPOILER ALERT for both that article and this one.)

Ray’s already put Akikan in a coffin, but bear with me while I drive the nails in.  You know, I can’t help but think of an old Garfield strip whenever I look at this show.

Jon: What if our appliances could talk?  That would be great!

Garfield: No it wouldn’t.  Every time a lightbulb burned out it would be like a death in the family.

This is largely what is wrong with the idea of sentient disposable objects – to wit, if they really are sentient, your characters have exactly two options: either love them and care for them and be heartbroken all the time, or be callous bastards.  (Or, you know, psychotic satsujin angels. I was assuming they weren’t doing the killing themselves, but the world of anime is large.)

Dokuro-chan: more terrifying than a yandere.

Continue reading Mortality in anime and manga

Moritheil まいり (Moritheil respectfully serves notice of arrival)

Fellow otaku!  I’m excited to be joining Anime Diet.  So, how should I introduce myself?  Blood type?  Astrological signs?  Measurements?

Well, to begin with, I’ve posted a list of the anime I’ve seen, and I’ll be updating it over the next few days.  The inquiring mind will find all sorts of juicy and unfortunate statistics there.  More importantly, I can tell you that I intend to review anime, manga, and games, as well as talk about cultural developments along the lines of Densha Otoko (Train Man) or the Lucky Star shrine invasion.

Look forward to it!

Mairi is what we say when arriving at a shrine.  This is an anime shrine!