December 6th, 2006

#202: Gravion, Initial Thoughts

This morning I watched the first two episodes of Gravion, and it's not very good.

I really didn't expect much from it. I bought it mainly because I got it cheap; I paid something like $8 for the series of 13 episodes. "Cheap" is not my only criterion when buying anime but I figured that at $0.62 per episode, why not?

Gravion is a transforming-and-combining mech show. The genre goes rather far back; the first iteration of the type I ever saw was Gatchaman, edited, dubbed, and re-named Battle of the Planets for the American market.

My biggest complaint with the story, so far, is that none of the characters are very sympathetic; I'm just not interested in any of them. They have spent very little time--out of two episodes--introducing them to us.

Well, the Gravion--the big combined mech--is the real star of the show, anyway. The animation "bank" for the formation of the Gravion from its disparate parts is longer than most magical girl transformation sequences; in fact I think that Wedding Peach and her two friends could transform, then do their "oiro naoshi" into Fighter Angels, and have time for tea afterwards, while the Gravion was assembling itself.

The bad guys are a race of aliens named the Zeravire, and they are biomechanical evolving aliens. They attack Earth for unknown reasons with machines that Earth technology cannot touch. No one saw them coming except for Klein Sandman, the super-rich recluse who financed the construction of the Gravion and the recruitment and training of the people who can pilot it.

...the people who can pilot it have some special quality, without which the Gravion won't work--shades of Evangelion. And, come to think of it, the aliens are rather like the "Angels" from that series, too.

Partway through the second episode I started to get into it, at least a little; there is some entertainment value in the show as long as you don't expect much from it. Mech shows are not my favorite genre of anime, and the only one that ever really caught my attention was Gundam W.

This evening I got to thinking about Mizuki Tachibana, one of the characters in the series. Here is a picture of a faithfully-executed model of the character:

Yes, her breasts are individually larger than her head. That's what the character looks like in the actual anime, too. I got to thinking, what do those things weigh?

The specific gravity of fat is 0.93--water is 1.0, of course--so it should be relatively simple to calculate their actual weight. Of course, it seems to be virtually impossible to find a sample head volume on the internet; doing a search for a sample number--I just want to do a first-order approximation, damn it!--instead I get all kinds of useless junk. (Well, useless to me.)

Wikipedia says that a pair of D-cup breasts can weigh up to 23 pounds, and that's for a reasonable and realistic pair of breasts, not for Mizuki's. In fact her breasts are bigger than her head. So I can say with some reasonable confidence that Mizuki has at least a good forty pounds of BOOBS hanging off her chest.

Dolly Parton is a 40DD and she has back problems; she probably had 25 pounds of breasts before she had them surgically reduced. Mizuki--again, a first-order approximation puts her bust measurement somewhere around 72 inches, and I don't even know how to figure what cup size she would be.

According to this, she's well beyond a "G" cup. In fact, Mizuki would probably fall somewhere in multiple "Z" territory.

Good thing she's not real. Those things are just too fucking big.

#203: Fear This Line

Although I know what's going to happen next, this line still fills me with trepidation:

...especially when the character says it so positively.

Megumi's Diary is not the kind of series where such a statement presages disaster, explosions, fire, alien invasion, or what-have-you.

Megumi's plan is pretty simple: she and Jun will go to school early the next morning in order to apologize to their teacher; there is no opportunity for a spectacular failure. All that happens is that they learn that their teacher came in even earlier, left a note for the Principal, and left; and now doesn't answer her home phone.

For a teacher--especially one with Matsuda's reputation--to be so thoroughly hurt by a student's offhand remark, there must be something else going on...and I suppose I'll mention it here as soon as I've figured out what the hell it is.

I have rejected any notion of Matsuda being in love with Jun, though. That's just a non-starter; it doesn't fit the kind of story I'm trying to tell--and besides, I've already got a (former) transvestite in the story. A cross-generational lesbian romance is beyond the scope of this project.

Matsuda, I think, is at a crossroads in her career as a teacher. She's in her late 20s and unmarried, which is a bad place for a Japanese woman to be, even now. Although fewer women than ever are getting married in Japanese society, the women still have biological clocks, and their society still tells them that a woman over 25 who is unmarried will probably never get married. Her instincts are clamoring for attention and she can do little about them.

Jun's comment cuts to the quick because Matsuda is already unhappy with her life; perhaps feeling that she has sacrificed much in order to teach, the lack of respect she perceives from some of her students has finally gotten through whatever emotional armor she once had.

This makes sense to me; and I think Jun's reaction to this is pretty realistic: "I was just blowing off steam, damn it!" Despite her guilt at making her teacher cry, she's going to continue to be defensive about the situation; but it'll be Jun who--learning that their teacher seems to have just left her life--worries that Matsuda-sensei is planning suicide. She will convince Megumi to cut school with her, and they'll go first to Matsuda-sensei's apartment....


Well, I'll say this: Matsuda-sensei is not planning suicide. I'm not sure what she is doing--drinking, or playing video games, or something else--but it's not suicide. I've given some thought to it being something she might find embarassing, but I have no idea what that might be. I would like it to be relatively innocuous; the series is supposed to be lighthearted.

--I say "lighthearted" even though there is an approximate bucket of tears expended in chapter two's 26 (so far) pages--

But in the spirit of "school life" stories, all I can say is, "THIS IS YOUTH! LET'S ALL RUN TOWARDS THE SUNSET!", that doesn't make any sense to me, either. But it's what happens in these kinds of stories, sometimes.