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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alteil is a web-based CCG whose claim to fame is that many famous mangaka were commissioned to draw the images. It bills itself as “Japan’s #1 online card game” and is designed for the grown-up gamer who has a life and doesn’t want to spend more than 10 minutes per game on average.
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.
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?
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.
Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei makes the argument that the hikikomoricomplex 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.
Koihime†Musou is an even more vapid excuse for fanservice than Ikkitousen, with essentially the same premise – recastRomance of the Three Kingdoms heroes as teenage girls. But Cao Cao is a pretty, pretty princess, and that alone redeems the 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.)
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.