Archive for July, 2011

No. 6 4 – My Dog-Fu Is Better than Your Dog-Fu

Posted in No. 6 with tags on 07/29/2011 by Shinmaru

Shion and Nezumi sitting in a tree . . . K-I-S-S-I-N-G (and not more because this isn’t a Y-A-O-I).

People really take slights personally on the outside. If someone insulted my mom, I’d probably just brush off, because, you know, fuck people and their opinions, but then again, I don’t live in a place where you need to constantly defend your honor and look like a badass, or else people will murder the shit out of you. (Although my hometown is arguably as big a dump as this place.) I guess Shion is a reason for fighting, too, but mostly, it’s because Nezumi called the Dogkeeper’s mom a bitch. (Which, to be fair, is accurate. I mean, damn, that lady was a huge bitch.)

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God’s Dolls 4 – Aki’s Credibility as a Villain Is Waning

Posted in God's Dolls on 07/26/2011 by Shinmaru

Aside from the different hairstyles, different hair colors, chest that is roughly half the size of Hibino’s . . . ignoring all that, then yeah, they’re basically the same.

This is a very jarring episode, starting off with the drama, then leaping into comedy and then dropping a couple of drama bombs at the end. I enjoyed all the stuff with Kuuko being an utter nutjob, but it’s tough to take Aki seriously as a villain after all that, even though he escaped without much trouble. But he’s also getting his ass kicked by other villains and whatnot, as well . . . I was kind of leaning this way before this episode, but I doubt Aki ends up being the big bad villain in this series. There’s gotta be someone higher up who’s the real bastard in the village, and Aki and Kyohei will both be against him or her, except of course Aki is doing his thing through dickhead means. White-haired man can’t go about his business like a decent fellow, right?

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Oh, that Melodramatic Shuffle!

Posted in Random Shit, Shuffle! with tags on 07/23/2011 by Shinmaru

This was basically me after 24 episodes of Shuffle!

Originally, I was going to use this post solely to mindlessly bash Shuffle!, but when I woke up the day after finishing this putrid pile of piss (yes, you can’t pile piss; I was just going for the alliteration, you nitpicky bastard!), I thought to myself, “No, that would be far too easy!” Plus, I spent all my time watching Shuffle! bashing it on Twitter, so I figured why waste any more time beating that dead, retarded horse. (Note: I actually do waste more time beating that dead, retarded horse, but not as much as originally planned.)

No, instead, I’d rather use the show to springboard into a topic that is of slightly more interest to me and others: Melodrama in anime. Just as a warning, I will spoil the shit out of some of Shuffle‘s more melodramatic plot twists, so if you’re concerned about being spoiled for that shitpile, then, uh, don’t read this post, I guess.

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No. 6 3 – Impromptu Surgery

Posted in No. 6 with tags on 07/22/2011 by Shinmaru

Any image of surgery is certain to get a cringe out of me. Not quite as bad as that episode of Shiki, but still fairly squicky to watch. I hope Nezumi didn’t have to cut too deep, or else that would have been really painful for Shion . . .

I found many of Nezumi’s thoughts on No. 6 to be interesting, particularly when he talks about how No. 6 only takes in those who pledge total obedience and shows no tolerance for deviants. His tone struck me as viewing No. 6 as a unique city in the world — perhaps that No. 6 is the only totalitarian state among the remaining six, and that the five remaining nonetheless deal with it because they can’t afford not to? Or maybe it’s just that Nezumi has experience solely with No. 6; I doubt he’s had the opportunity to venture to any of the other cities on the map.

Don’t really think we’ll find out too much about this (unless there’s some streamlined way to introduce this information); just something interesting to think about. Curiosity about whether No. 6 is the only dystopian game in town, or if everyone else has joined the party. I also wonder if there is any significance to No. 6 being the newest of the six cities created in the aftermath of whatever disaster befell the world . . . (Or, perhaps, BEEfell the world? Yuk yuk yuk.)

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God’s Dolls 3 – Cake and Feuds

Posted in God's Dolls with tags , on 07/19/2011 by Shinmaru

I think Blood-C sensed that I dropped it after its latest episode, so its vengeful spirit possessed this show during the first half of the episode. It is the only explanation I am willing to accept regarding all the boring waitressing and cake eating I had to sit through. Anyway, let’s just pretend the first half of this episode never happened even though I just wasted a screenshot and two sentences on it.

So in the 10-11 minutes this episode actually runs, a couple of new characters show up, and the two guys transporting Aki are killed in a flashback, but not before dropping some juicy exposition. Good of them to do that before being killed! But, yes, the plot thickens in the village area, because a couple of the families — the Hyugas and the Kugas — are not getting along so well. Who knows if this spat always existed or not, but it seems pretty clear that the mass slaughter in Kyohei and Aki’s past exasperated it. They likely grudgingly get along, but with different ideas on how to run the village, and that sort of thing that always pops up in these situations. You know how it is. Give them an opportunity to bring in a violent Kuga, and they are all smiles, though.

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No. 6 – The Fastest Rat in the Universe

Posted in No. 6 with tags on 07/17/2011 by Shinmaru

God damn does that little bastard ever get around! Either this rat truly is the fastest creature in existence, or it knows some killer, Mario Kart-style shortcuts. This thing probably owns on Rainbow Road.

(Digiboy suggested to me that there are probably multiple rats. That seems like the most obvious, logical conclusion to make. I prefer the idea that there is one, super badass rat, though.)

Anyway, this episode gets things moving some more and introduces more of the world in which No. 6 resides. Lots of standard dystopia stuff here — the over-the-top loyalty pledges wherever the government can cram them in (you get the feeling these people require a loyalty oath before citizens can use the restroom), the dystopian world being different from the “real” world (which is, of course, totally fucked), and a deadly virus thrown in for good measure. Dystopian governments can never leave well enough alone. They always have to be working on some deadly shit or another in their spare time.

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God’s Dolls 2 – Intrigue with a Dash of Anime

Posted in God's Dolls with tags , on 07/15/2011 by Shinmaru

This series is somewhat intriguing and somewhat frustrating for me after two episodes.

There are definitely bits that interesting me — like everything to do with the dolls. As an example, during the rescue scene in the middle of the episode, I couldn’t help but think about how the physical interaction between doll and controller plays out. The layout of the scene suggests that Kyohei, Hibino and Utao are too far away from the scene of the explosion to properly see everything that goes on (I’d think that the thicket would get in the way, too, but Kyohei doesn’t seem to have a problem viewing the scene through binoculars, so maybe it’s not that thick, or perhaps simply an overlooked detail); however, Utao is able to at least see the scene well enough to manipulate Kukuri and free Kuuko and her “slave” from the car. It’s only her relative inexperience that provides a few bumps along the way.

Anyway, that little bit had me thinking: What exactly is the connection between doll and controller? Can Utao literally see through Kukuri’s eyes? Or does their psychic connection allow for some other form of “seeing”? Now, I don’t think this detail really needs to be addressed during the series; in fact, I think I’d prefer if it were to remain unanswered, because I don’t think there’s any way for it to come up in a way that is not clumsy and awkward. But it’s just something interesting to think about.

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No. 6 1 – Dangerous Thrill

Posted in No. 6 with tags on 07/13/2011 by Shinmaru

I’ve never been much of a thrillseeker, but I find thrillseekers to be kind of interesting. The feeling of toying with danger right on the edge of no return is fascinating to me; it goes against every instinct we have, but the rush from escaping a dangerous situation with one’s life intact is enough to supersede that. There’s a sense of power that comes from it that humans don’t usually get, because in the grand scheme of things, we are quite powerless.

I always thought that sterile dystopias would cultivate thrillseekers. Many folks would just fall in line, because that’s what people do, but given such a flat existence, wouldn’t there be many others who seek something different? Something that would add an edge to everyday existence? Except, of course, would there be any actual danger to seek in the sterile dystopia? Sure, there’s a storm a’brewin’, and Shion throws himself into it when the wind is at its strongest, but is his life ever in any real risk? I never really get the sense that the storm is meant to do any damage in the context of the story. In his mind, there is danger, but in reality, there are tons of safeguards all around him — as a member of the elites, he’s fully protected, so the danger really only exists in his mind.

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God’s Dolls 1 – This Series Will Proceed to Go to Crap Now

Posted in God's Dolls with tags , , on 07/11/2011 by Shinmaru

Is it just me or does Kukuri look like Kyubey from certain angles?

Anyway, it was brought to my attention recently that many of the series I blog end up turning to shit. Obviously, it’s not due to poor taste in anime, because I have the best taste in the blogosphere. No, I think it’s more that I have turned into a magnet for terribad, and my subconscious drives me toward awful shows by tricking me into thinking they have potential in the beginning. So if this show turns out terrible, I’m sorry. Just kidding. I’m not sorry, because it’s not my fault.

P.S. I’m calling it God’s Dolls even though there is no possessive in the title, because God’s Dolls sounds like a burlesque act, and it makes me laugh.

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Anime Expo 2011 Made My Legs Explode Part the First

Posted in Anime Expo with tags on 07/08/2011 by Shinmaru

The story of Anime Expo: A bunch of Asians and a random Mexican.

So, I got back from yet another great Anime Expo on Monday, but I have been so damn busy since then contributing to Behind the Nihon Review’s convention coverage that I haven’t had time to sit down and write any personal thoughts about the whole event! (Also, I’ve watched exactly two episodes of anime in the past week.) But now most of my contributions are in the can and waiting to be published, so it’s time for . . . more writing about Anime Expo! Hooray!

This was the year of a few of firsts for me: My first time attending all four days of the convention (been going for seven years prior, and I’d always attended for one or two days at most), my first time attending as press (thanks to The Nihon Review being a much bigger, more established site than this rinky dink operation), and my first time staying at a hotel for the convention (usually I’d just bum a ride from someone). The latter two especially made this convention experience vastly different than any other time I have gone to Anime Expo, which is a good thing. You need to switch things up every so often so that you don’t get burned out on things (which almost happened to me after a couple of years of going to AX).

So anyway, I’ll be going through the day-by-day skinny of the event, which means that this will be a horribly bloated nightmare of a post, but fuck it, I’ve waited too long to write to justify making separate posts for separate groups of days except I totally did it, anyway, because Jesus Christ this took forever to write.

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