Tag Archives: action

Kurenai – an odd show that I cannot put my finger on.

Is it supernatural? Is it Jidai (period) style drama? Is it “kid messing up a young man’s life”? Is it “secret organization and assassination”? What is it?

I don’t know. But I do know that the OP looked like South Park X Zetsubo Sensei. X CG (in whatever order you think is appropriate).

The story involves some teenager – Kurenai Shinkuro (played Sawashiro Miyuki – Shinku) seeming with some super powers and can someone to some distance place…

A 7 year old girl – Kyuhoin Murasaki escapes her “prison” inside her rich home with Beneko (what, another Beneko), and being placed under the protection of Shinku..ro (right, not Rozen Maiden).

I didn’t know they have uber traditional rules for women at this day and age in Japan, but somehow, seeing the Japanese Imperial family, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

All the ultra rich people in Japan has kanji-filled names, like Sanzenen. (Nagi) or maybe that’s just for anime’s sake, because I’ve never met or heard a Tokugawa…except for some chain restaurant owner (?) in Japan. One of my student was Oda (with the right kanji, too, but she knew nothing about Daimyo, or Big Name, referring to famous feudal lords in the warring era). I’ve never met a Toyotomi, Takeda (Shingen), Uesukin (Kenshin), or Sanada (Yukimura).

Ahem. In any case, this is a quite interesting drama (I don’t think it’s action) about a certain girl meeting a certain teenager…I think.

Macross Frontier 1–Now that’s what I call a big bang!

Don’t ya feel so manly watching them fast fighter planes?

Don’t ya feel so manly watching them fast fighter planes?

I’ve seen most of the original Macross TV series, the movie Do You Remember Love?, and Macross Plus. This new series, Macross Frontier, was exciting to me for simply one reason–it marks the return of Yoko Kanno to the helm of the music department (she also wrote the music to Macross Plus). Who knew it would have some of the most exciting aerial battles I’ve seen in a while, too?

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Gundam 00 ep 07 – It’s boring watching these gods fighting normal soldiers

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I wish I could like these 4 more. I really do.

If it weren’t for Sumeragi’s nice cleverage, I’d skip forward all the fighting sequences and just watch the politics (and I normally hate politics!)

GW’s fighting sequence were really cool, even though the GW Gundams were also slaughtering, but the impact and the sounds are simply awesome. The CB fighting sequences are sometimes so short and almost like place holders. And the worse part is –

Continue reading Gundam 00 ep 07 – It’s boring watching these gods fighting normal soldiers

Night Wizard 1–Offers You Can’t Refuse

 Yes, ma’am. You can order me around all you want.

I conduct yet another experiment with a show I knew nothing about. And this time, I was surprised, even delighted, at this peppy, funny, and well-animated show that bears such a serious-sounding title. To the degree that I may end up following this one long term.

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Rental Magica 1–All That Background Info For…

Look out, it’s Yuki Nagato! Oh wait, wrong show

…something that looks like a combination of Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist. This looks like the shounen action show with more style than substance, much like Black Cat. At least it’s easy on the eyes with some of the better character design in all the new season’s offerings.

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Black Lagoon 23-24 (END)

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Impressions (SPOILERS)

And so the most intelligent and exciting action anime to come along in a while closes its most extensive arc yet, with plenty of room for more seasons to come. (Though my hopes that Yukio, the schoolgirl Yakuza boss, might become a recurring character were, alas, not to be.) The reflective dialogue in this and the previous episodes lifts Black Lagoon into the ranks of the more intelligent action genre films like Michael Mann’s Heat or Collateral. This is also a show that isn’t afraid to develop characters very well, only to kill them off –arguably, Yukio is better sketched than mainstays Rock and Revy, though here we get to see a very, very vulnerable (for her) side of Revy. She’s back in character by the very last scene but we get the impression that when she says “If it were anyone but you, I’d have put two or three holes in you” it is as close to a love confession as she will ever come to.

Some of the broader issues Black Lagoon brings up are very interesting. Rock throughout the show, though more at the beginning, represents “civilian” values or perhaps more precisely the point of view of someone accustomed to comfort and unused to the brutally utilitarian underworld. The show, usually through the voices of Revy and Balalaika, works hard to undermine that viewpoint as being naive and arbitrary (though I wonder: Revy, ostensibly a nonbeliever, blurts out in episode 23 that the only thing that saved Rock’s skin was “God’s grace” and Balalaika’s surprising mercy). Eventually Rock adopts many of the values of the underworld, though never without completely losing any sense of compassion. It’s as if he has come to some sort of balance, of a sort, able to act decisively and coldly when necessary, but without becoming a war addict like Balalaika.

If one wants to push it a bit one can see a little of the realization that the pacifistic attitude among many modern Japanese is based less on principle and more on denial. I certainly agree, if the naive pacifism of many an anime is any indicator of general attitudes in Japan. Now I’m not sure the violent cynicism that passes for cool in this show–a very American attitude, I might add, and one which will make this show very easy to swallow for fans of films like Pulp Fiction and The Boondock Saints–is any better, but it certainly has a better claim on reality, I think. (The characters, Yakuza schoolgirl and Revy included, are also self-aware enough to admit that part of them longs for the flabby tranquility that Rock’s Japan stands for.) I also find it interesting that the prevailing attitude of most of the characters in the show is that they are beyond help, beyond any point where they can change their paths. This fatalistic attitude, laden with notions of “destiny,” is what seems more “Japanese” about it; Americans are more inclined to think that “it’s never too late to start again!” But everyone in this show already considers themselves as living in the twilight, as living dead. The Sartre quotations are oddly appropriate; the existentialist despair that pervades this show demands nothing less. There’s nothing left except to make one’s own meaning and go all the way, guns blazing.

More excellent analysis of this final episode is here.

So: Black Lagoon ends fittingly, with a gun shot, with the characters returning to their posts and ready for more adventures. May they go on many more than we otaku fanboys can see. Preferably with her:

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Continue reading Black Lagoon 23-24 (END)