atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#554: Anime Junk

I watched the first episodes of Sky Girls and School Days Sunday evening.

The first ep of SD left me smiling; it was really a feel-good story. I have no idea what happens in the second episode, if it's a serial or an episodic series--I know nothing about it at all, and grabbed the torrent based solely on the title. Cute girls, a bit of fan service, and it was enjoyable.

The way ep 1 ended, it could even be an anthology series: ep 1 is about this group of characters, ep 2 is about that group of characters, etc. But it could just as easily be a serial; I'm going to have to watch another episode to find out. (The "preview" for the next ep was worthless. It was an animation of someone entering a text message on a cell phone, and all we could see was the screen of the phone itself.)

SG...I'm not so sure about. It's clearly a serial and it looks like "Evangelion Lite" in that it's set in a post-apocalyptic world which has survived a recent alien invasion. (And I clearly saw "GAINAX" in the end credits.) Fortunately it's not nearly as dark or angsty as "Evangelion" was--not even remotely so--and it looks like it might be pretty entertaining. I will keep an eye on it.

* * *

In the same session I watched another episode of Mary Bell and the penultimate episode of Mamotte Shugogetten. And I found myself picking up the tankoban of I"s and flipping through them. Ep 21 is the first time there's a serial plot arc in Mamotte, but it's such an overused device in the "unearthly girlfriend" genre--the unearthly girlfriend is being forced to go back to where she came from!--that it's hard to retain any interest in it. It's just not all that good a series, I'm sorry to say.

Mary Bell is aimed at children and it doesn't have enough appeal to hold my interest. It lacks the charm that would keep me watching such a series, and the artwork is run-of-the-mill; I don't know if I'm even going to make it out of the first season.

* * *

But Potemayo! I laughed and laughed at ep 8. I feel sorry for the people who don't get Potemayo. I understand it, and I enjoy it.

...and then I discovered that I lack the next episodes of Umisho and Moetan, that episodes 8 and 5 (respectively) aren't even subbed yet. Argh etc. It's the same feeling I get when I consider that Love GetChu has been dropped by the only circle which was subbing it. Waah etc. ;_;

Still waiting for KissSub to get through with ep 21 of Lovely Complex, too, damn it. WTF? Ep 20 was released on August 23, and it's a few days shy of three weeks since then.

And I learned today (via) that Banner of the Stars III has been fansubbed, so I have that one downloading right-the-F-now. It looks like it's only two episodes, but I'm there nonetheless.

* * *

Over the weekend I finished making the Lovely Complex DVDs for my niece. Of course I made a set for myself, as well. You can fit five 24-minute episodes of anything onto a 2-hour medium, so the 20 extant episodes fit nicely on 4 DVD+R's. (DVD+R's in SP mode actually hold a bit more than 2 hours--something like an extra six minutes--and in EP mode they hold about four and a quarter hours.)

I've sent her anime before. I couldn't resist sending her El Hazard, but I don't know if she's watched it yet or not. And the entire reason she's into anime at all--I take full credit (or blame) for this--is that I hooked her on Sailor Moon when she was a little girl. And after that, I sent her Magic Knight Rayearth.

I am evil! Bwaaa ha ha ha ha ha! But that is the function of otaku; we spread the disease. "Once you stay here, you can never go back," goes the warning from Otaku No Video, which is a version of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society's "death shall not release ye" meme.

Once you're in, you're stuck. It doesn't matter if it's a goddamned hobby or a way of life; you're screwed, either way, because if you have any intelligence and imagination whatsoever you won't be able to give it up forever.

I tried to warn Steven about this, back when he was still doing USS Clueless, but I didn't try very hard. First off, he was already a science fiction fan, so he should have known better. Second, it's the duty of otaku everywhere to spread the disease.

I think Darth Vader said it best: "It is too late for me, son."

...and if you think about it, that one line is written better than the entire crop of new "episodes"--eps 1-3, that is. There's more implication, emotion, and drama in that one line than there is in the entirety of "Revenge of the Sith", for crying out loud. In fact, I've always thought it was the most awesome line in the entire series.


I'm giving thought to ordering the rest of the I"s manga from Amazon, and there are a few other things I want to pick up. (A complete copy of Lord of the Rings, since I can't find most of my copy, and I want the Hobbit too since it's been an approximate eternity since I last read it.)

I've even given thought to wading into The Simarillion, even though people have advised me that it's so boring it can cause brain damage. But I'm really not into Tolkien that much.

Tolkien is responsible for about 90% of the fantasy that exists now; his works were so pivotal that they completely remapped what counted as "fantasy fiction". Before Tolkien, dwarves, elves, etc, didn't exist as they are now thought of. Elves were small people who made things for Santa Claus (who was himself, it was thought by some, an elf). Dwarves came from Norse mythology. I have no idea WTF hobbits came from. Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain are pretty close to the "classical" (pre-Tolkien) definitions of elves, dwarves, fairies, etc, collectively labeled "the Fair Folk" in his stories.

In fact, if you look at the folklore, fairies are not something you want to have any dealings with. Read Jim Butcher's Dresden Files; Harry Dresden has dealings with fairies (including his fairy godmother) and it's pretty nerve-wracking. (As an aside, when I heard Tambourine declare himself a "Seelie Court" fairy in Mary Bell, I just about lost it. I mean, damn, that's actually right.) Fairies--even good ones--will gleefully screw you up permanently, without so much as a second thought...and when I say "permanently" I mean forever, as in "until the end of time" forever. (EG "Congratulations, now you're a statue. You're going to erode, and it's going to hurt. You might die, eventually. Have fun!")

(I like how I cleverly kept this on-topic by slipping the anime reference in there....)

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