June 09, 2014

Ahhh Vocabulary....

Tonight, due to a certain series of events, I found myself looking up the word "Therian".  After some initial confusion I found that which I was looking for...and yet did not need to know. 


This in turn caused me to ponder the additional befuddlement that might result if any of them find themselves 'connected' to a platypus. 


Pondering such ponderables is not particularly productivel. Thus, we'll try to atone by posting this bit of art for Ubu, who has pointed out some information that looks to be worthwhile indeed

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So...What's On ?

I'm suffering from acute fogeyism. 

Most of the best anime shows I've watched recently have been recommendations. Now, I sit and look at the current and approaching line-up and see a vast wasteland, but there must be something that doesn't suck. 

So what's good in the world of anime?

As "Good" is highly subjective, here are the shows that I've most enjoyed over the years. 


more...

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 12:23 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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June 01, 2014

Desensitization

I had never thought of A Certain Scientific Railgun as a particularly cheesecake heavy series. Even the "beach" episode seemed pretty demur to me and the lead heroine's habit of wearing shorts under her skirt appeared to be a nice mockery of the squalid trend of gratuitous panty shots. 

It turns out that I must just be desensitized to this sort of thing.  Someone named "John" has summarized the entire series in two minutes and forty three seconds and t turns out that the series is nothing but cheesecake and violence (not necessarily in that order). 

Also dudes in wolf masks, which my desensitization caused me to miss on the first viewing. 
Seriously though...

Just over a month and a half after watching the first half of the series I finally got around to finishing it. 
My verdict: This show is pretty darn good. 
A lot of full length series fall apart towards the end. This one did not, and provides the audience with very satisfying conclusion.

Furthermore, Mikoto Misaka is one of the more likable female leads in recent years, being decent and well grounded as well as very smart. She's also believably written, as are three of the four leads. As for Kuroko...well she's quite entertaining, though she is....well....she's flawed*. 


 Don't whine Kuroko, you know it's true.

The series writer, Seishi Minakami was a protege of the late Satoshi Kon (and did the screenplays for both Paprika and Paranoia Agent) and he throws in little non-explicit bits that develop the characters with some subtlety. For instance, there is, occasionally, a mention of Mikoto collecting merchandise from some Sgt. Frog inspired children's show. In most shows this would be a bit of perfunctory 'cute' ticket punching. In this show, the little frog fobs actually come off as poignant. They speak of a girl who because of her power, had to grow up a lot faster than most and as she approaches college longs for the childhood she skipped. Saten is well intentioned, hard working and quite brave, but she's occasionally quite obnoxious to Uiharu. She's a teenager and the stress and anxiety of not having any powers (in a world where they often define one's worth) is causing her to act out a bit.  

Even the episodes that at first glance appear to be filler, (with one exception) manage, in retrospect, to develop the characters and/ or advance the plot. 

Note that if you clicked on the video above, it includes about EVERY bit of fan service in the 720 minutes of the series and removes some context in the process. 'Railgun is surprisingly light on the cheesecake. While it's not entirely kid friendly in that regard, Mikoto is an unusually admirable heroine, the show pretty much renounces nihilism and it extols the virtues of decency.

This series was a thoroughly enjoyable ride. 

Amongst all the teenage-superhero-highschool-cop-shows this is one of the best. Even without that significant caveat A Certain Scientific Railgun is well above average.  
 



(*She tries (and fails spectacularly) to drug and presumably molest Mikoto at least twice...I mean good Lord, she's pretty much horrible. The only reason she's a "good guy" is because she feels personally invested in her identity as a Judgement officer, likes the power she gets from the job and is the vector for getting Mikoto and the others involved in the larger story. Yes she's comic relief, but.... )

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 12:32 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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