I’m in Seattle for a conference but just had to finagle web access to see what the other otaku are up to.
Steven, Pixy and Don discuss how often anime characters are orphaned. They speculate it may be to save costs for hiring seiyuu, though Pixy suggests it may also be a plot device. I haven’t seen most of the series they mention but the trend is certainly evident even in the small sample of anime that I have seen.
In Sugar: A Little Snow Fairy, not just Saga but also Sugar appear to be fatherless. Also, Studio Ghibli films seem to be particularly taken with orphans – Kiki’s Delivery Service and the ultra-downer Grave of the Fireflies come to mind (and they came close in Totoro!). Of course, all the haibane in Haibane Renmei are orphaned in sense.
I can’t comment on the anime I haven’t seen, but of the ones I have that do follow the trend, it seems that the orphan status is more oriented towards making the characters seem more vulnerable and thus sympathetic. Watching, I tend to give the orphaned characters more benefit of the doubt.
Also, Shamus is watching Someday’s Dreamers (which I finished too, but have yet to post my review. slacker!) and notes that Yume’s rural accent is portrayed in the dub as a deep south dixie drawl. I remember being a bit bemused at this but it grew on me. Also, Runa’s urban accent is portrayed as a New York street accent, which I think is rather appropriate. My own observation of Tokyo certainly brought New York to mind – in terms of attitude and energy.
Quorlox emails with a very cogent observation about the Day of Flight. Since it’s all spoilers, I’ll put it below the fold.
Continue reading “The day of flight”
Is Baltar hallucinating his vision of Six after his escape from Caprica, or is she real, somehow? Watching the season 2 finale and now catching up on the mini-series has given me insights that I don’t know I’d have had, had I seen it in broadcast order. I will, however, approach the issue from within the standard chronology.
Continue reading “A beautiful mind”
A long time ago, on a blog far away, I called for a boycott of Episode III.
And how the Empire trembled!
However, though convinced of the righteousness of my cause, my resolve began to waver.
Well, to make a long story short, I’m not Mahatma Gandhi, ok?
But it seems that the mere existence of my boycott threat – however short-lived – ultimately attained the desired goal. For behold, I claim total victory:
In response to overwhelming demand, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release attractively priced individual two-disc releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Each release includes the 2004 digitally remastered version of the movie and, as bonus material, the theatrical edition of the film. That means you’ll be able to enjoy Star Wars as it first appeared in 1977, Empire in 1980, and Jedi in 1983.
This release will only be available for a limited time: from September 12th to December 31st. International release will follow on or about the same day. Each original theatrical version will feature Dolby 2.0 Surround sound, close-captioning, and subtitles in English, French and Spanish for their U.S. release.
All has occurred exactly as I have forseen.
I grabbed a torrent of the series pilot and have finished about half. Even though some aspects of the plot are thoroughly spoiled for me, having been watching regularly since Pegasus in episode 2, it was gripping and fresh. I haven’t been this excited about television sci-fi since Deep Space Nine and Babylon-5 – and Galactica has already surpassed both.
The best thing about watching the pilot was how it underscored many of the relationships whose dynamics I’d inferred by the end of season 2. For example, father-son tension between Bill Adama and Lee Adama was always a subcurrent which I’d really only glimpsed – Bill mentions that trust was something of an “issue” between them in an offhand comment, or Apollo is genuinely gobsmacked at his promotion. You could read the love in Apollo’s eyes and hear the pride in Bill’s voice and you wonder, as I did coming in mid-season, what deep emotions are being tapped here? What events were they whose powerful closure I am witnessing here? It’s as if I stumbled onto something private and intimate, and regular viewers of the series were part of that intimacy.
Continue reading “Battlestar Galactica: The Mini Series”
The official website for Gedo Senki has been launched by Studio Ghibli. Appears to be Japanese only, and all-Flash so the Babelfish isn’t going to be much help. Nice visuals, though.
UPDATE: Sam found this page by randomly clicking around the Flash site. It’s much more babelfish friendly.
Steven mentions how the series Azumanga Daioh was utterly ruined by the presence of Kimura, a middle-aged male characer whose sole function is to be the resident lecher. I haven’t seen the series and given the negative reaction Steven had to it (and the negative comments by others), probably won’t bother.
But what is interesting is a comment that a Korean friend of mine made when watching Haibane Renmei. Anime is popular in Korea and my friend spoke enough Japanese to be able to follow the sub. Her reaction to seeing the character of The Master (Kana’s boss) was immediate and visceral – “that guy is a pervert!” Surprised by this, I asked why, and the answer was simply “perverts in anime are always drawn like that.” Apparently it’s the small eyes, the semi-baldness, and the cylindrical head silhouette.
Looking at screen caps, the Master does resemble Kimura, and also resembles Councillor Furusaki from Someday’s Dreamers. What to make of this I don’t know. Haibane Renmei is as sexless a series as you can find, and Someday’s Dreamers was every bit as warm and serene as others have noted. Yet, the character archetype in question is indeed always associated with young girls (Kana and Jessica for The Master and Furusaki, respectively). Is there some cultural subtext here?