Archive for November, 2010

Bakuman 7 – A Romance in Three Images

Posted in Bakuman with tags on 11/16/2010 by Shinmaru


Shiki 15 – Vampire Cougar

Posted in Shiki with tags on 11/15/2010 by Shinmaru

It was only a matter of time before a vampire cougar showed up to run amok in a horror story, but I’m shocked Japan got to it before America. Isn’t that the perfect set-up to a trashy horror flick? Like people wouldn’t watch it, even if only out of morbid curiosity.

(That said, it probably has been done — given how sexual many vampire stories are, I can’t imagine that someone didn’t think of this idea at some time. It’s an impossibility, I say!)

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Kuragehime 4 – V-V-V-Virgins?!

Posted in Kuragehime with tags on 11/14/2010 by Shinmaru

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m absolutely shocked — shocked! — that Shuu is a virgin. Almost as shocked as Louie was to find gambling at Rick’s in Casablanca.

Maybe he did realize that was Tsukimi in the last episode, though. He didn’t seem particularly shocked to see her with her glasses on (the Clark Kent Effect is not a go here), and there was of course his run-in with Tsukimi later in the episode. The guy’s come to terms with the fact that his crush is a big ol’ geek rather than a Yamato Nadeshiko extraordinaire . . . or, at least, that she lives with a bunch of geeks. Maybe he’s still holding out hope for her.

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Star Driver 6 – Crazy Sucka

Posted in Star Driver with tags on 11/11/2010 by Shinmaru

And Sugata is down for the count! I don’t think anyone expected the episode to end without him busting out the King’s Pillar, considering how much it (and the curse of people who have out of control first phases) was harped on throughout the episode. It’s a force to be reckoned with but comes with an unfortunate amount of recoil. I found Takuto’s narration afterward to be kind of interesting — he seemed to be speaking in an after the fact kind of tone, like he’s looking upon this event as a huge turning point in the story . . . and maybe implying that Sugata never wakes up? Hm.

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Bakuman 6 – My Story Is Just Way Too Deep, Man

Posted in Bakuman with tags on 11/08/2010 by Shinmaru

lol Takagi

No such thing as “too deep” as long as the story around those themes holds up and supports those themes. Audiences can of course be dumb (but what audience member isn’t dumb at some point?), but they can also be quite accepting of stories with complex themes if the story and/or characters are good enough. Monster is fairly popular not just because it asks difficult questions and deals with a cadre of complex themes of morality, but also because it tells a good thriller-type story and has lots of memorable, well-written characters. You can enjoy it on multiple levels: If you just want the story, you’ve got that, but if you also want to put more thought into everything, the story gives you plenty to play around with.

Same with Black Lagoon, Kaiji, Berserk or whatever else. The story gives you plenty of meat, and their ideas are dessert for the mind. Those are the types of stories I respect most — ones with lots of interesting ideas, but that aren’t also so full of themselves that they are above being interesting, thrilling stories on a visceral level along with an intellectual level.

So there you go, Takagi. Tell solid stories, and the depth will follow from there.

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Super Mario Bros.: Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach – Seriously, WTF

Posted in Random Shit, Super Mario Bros., WTF with tags on 11/07/2010 by Shinmaru

The Super Mario Bros. video games have not — and never will be — known for their stories. (With the exception, of course, of the various Mario RPGs, and even those are better comedies than they are fulfilling narratives.) They’re basic stuff: Bowser has come to fuck shit up (and has probably kidnapped Princess Peach somewhere along the way), and it’s up to Mario to set things right. Not exactly an intricate tale right there.

But that, however, did not stop an hour-long Super Mario Bros. anime feature from being made in 1986, when the game was exploding in popularity. That alone should probably clue you in to the quality of this movie, but if we ended things there, then what the hell would be the point of this post? So follow me in this way back journey to a shameless (and possibly drug-fueled) cash grab of a movie!

(And if you’re somehow curious enough to watch this — along with another bizarre trio of Super Mario Bros. stories — the fansub group m.3.3.w released them all in one convenient pack.)

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Kuragehime 3 – She’s All That

Posted in Kuragehime with tags on 11/06/2010 by Shinmaru

Anyone else hear the loud “SYMBOLISM” alarm go off in your head when the building redevelopment storyline was introduced side by side with Tsukimi rejecting her makeover? :p

So this is an episode full of makeovers and rejection makeovers and normalcy clashing against the weird. Kuranosuke wants to beautify Tsukimi because he believes every woman wants to be pretty; Tsukimi freaks out about the makeover because she wants no part of that shit, and because she thinks the Nuns would burn her at the stake if she showed up back home looking all dolled up. I guess only witches are good looking! Seriously, though, I am sort of skeptical at the moment, because this is the set up of like five billion teenage comedies where the nerdy girl is SECRETLY BEAUTIFUL and totally nabs the hunky guy who finally sees her inner beauty when he is turned on by her outer beauty.

But at the same time, I’m only sort of skeptical because Kuragehime has been smart and fun so far, and it is pretty darn early for condemnation. I am fully in the benefit of the doubt corner right now.

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