We were at the panel that premiereed the Iron Man Anime, the colloration effort between Marvel and Madhouse. Having not seen the Iron Man movie nor having not read the comic, I have limited interest in the franchise. That said, I’ll begin with the plot and the review. Those who want to be surprised, don’t read the plot part. Also see Anime News Network’s review, written by Todd Ciolek.
Okay, so its time to spend a few moments out of my usual musings about anime’s past, and take a peek at some of this new season’s bigger television offerings. Based upon word-of-mouth, as well as the occasional read-up, these choices only nail a few that I’ve been picking out of the running. Again, most of these are based upon what I hoped would stand out among this season’s heap. So if I missed anything, it is either because it didn’t really give me reason to be curious, or it’s just those pesky time constraints again.
So let’s have at it, shall we?
There’s something about Akiyuki Shinbo anime that just doesn’t connect with me. I have tried to absorb the works of whom many consider to be the savior of anime hipsters everywhere, only to give up in disappointment. This is unusual for me, as I’ve often been a large defender for directors who break a sweat, and do something new with the medium. And yet, there’s something to Shinbo’s arsenal of wild takes, cultural references, and constant monologuing that just neutralizes any molecule of enjoyment for me. Oh sure, Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei was a riot at times, but that was merely due to the source material’s razor sharp wit.
So when I think of Arakawa Under The Bridge, I can’t help but feel relieved that it isn’t nearly as obtuse as Bakemonogatari, but remains as distant as ever.
A continuing feature, giving the podium to one of the anime medium’s truly unsung heroes, the character designers.
Been picking the brain pan heavily lately on what it is that is truly missing in today’s anime sweepstakes. An oversimplified question to a much more complex issue to be true. And while I can also handpick a number of factors that have led us to a near barren wasteland of proto-moe cyborgs, and recycled plotlines(most of which are economic, I can assure you), I can also point to a massive singularity that’s been staring us in the face for years. Something that few have considered, but I have felt imperative to share with all of you now.
A lingering shame that has kept me wondering for years, even as I failed to grasp it at the forefront of my mind.
No Kenichi Sonoda,….anywhere.
For my short prediction of this season, see here.
Back in post #440, you wrote about what you thought was the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of this season. Well, the summer season has pretty much ended or is drawing to an end, and I must say that you were wrong. Wrong, sir, wrong!
Take the Ugly – Moetan – for example, not only it’s not dull and bland, but the staff actually packed enough drama, action, and humor in each 22-minute episode! There was enough drama that it spilled over into real life production difficulties and episode switches! As for action, what’s better than 3 moe-moe-moe girls transforming into magical girls but don’t have to fight cliched yoma? Looking through each episode closely, you should’ve realized that each episode is a perfect self-mockery of the whole situation of the genre of magical girl and the things that loli-con enjoy so much. Moetan does all that and yet still delivers enough mouth watering action for the loli-con in you. Admit, you’re loving it and that’s why you download every episode as soon as it came out on Chinese fansubs.
Clearing away the mouth-water fall, let’s talk about your choice of the Bad – Zombie Loan. Now, anime is made in Japan, and the Japanese don’t use English as their national language, do they? So it’s expected that their use of English is different. I’m saying different because linguists have in recent years, qualified a lot of different ways of expressing English as “dialects, accents, and all that”. I’m not saying Japanglish is perfect or even good English, but it sure makes strong impression on people. In the case of “Zombie Loan”, well, that actually expresses perfectly essentially what the main plot in the show is about – borrowing time but live as zombies. “Zombie Loan”, like “car loan” or other names for loans, is a great name for what it represents. You don’t make fun of “car loans” do you? Do you actually give a bad joke like: “I lost my car, can you lend me yours?” But you did joke: “I lost my zombie, can you lend me yours?” Har, har, har.
Zombie loan discusses the interesting aspect about living, namely, what counts as living for me? Do I feel alive? Sure it’s only 11 episodes and it doesn’t explore the concept completely, but that’s what the manga is for. Anime is entertainment, so no, it doesn’t have to be deep all the time. This show certainly isn’t your standard fare, I mean magical shonen that send souls into heaven with swords and guns? That’s not done that often.
Last, I’m seriously going to disagree with you on Zetsubo Sensei. It’s not “siiiick”; it’s a cynical person’s morbid humor on acid trip. That’s why you can laugh out aloud watching this show. It fits your American-style destructive cynicism. To whet the appetite of men like you, it’s even got strong fan service in the OP sequence and it serves up a harem! Admit it, Mr. Raymond, you have been longing for the blond girl to show her lush and lovely strawberry panties, her innocence pure white panties and her provocative dreamy lacey panties every time you…Ah hem. Anyway, to quote Lord of the Ring: “…there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.” This show as a whole, denies that there’s some good in this world despite the fact it tries so hard to present that good can be done. But every episode always ends up without the light at the end of the tunnel. It always ends up with a even more cynical look of the world through darkened lenses. Yes, anime is entertainment, but it should be positive entertainment that gets people off depression/permanent cynicism/whatever (to use your way to summarizing terms).
And don’t be drinking when watching anime, jeez. That makes all your reviews cynical, critical, sarcastic, and downright negative.
Anyway, thanks for reading this letter and I hope to see more positive reviews from you next.
The darkest recesses of your Dark Side.