feuervogel: (wtf?)
Why does anyone think they can still get away with selling one 13-episode season of anime for $70?

I thought it was Funimation who was trying to sell Mouretsu Pirates for that price ($140 for the full series! What is this, 2003?), but, no, it's Sentai, which is one of the things ADV exploded into. Though Funi's trying to sell a single season of Black Butler or Fam for $70. I liked Fam, but not $140 worth, maybe not the $80 RightStuf is selling it for. $60, I think.
feuervogel: (crowley eternity)
We've watched more Psycho-pass and From the New World, and these two shows have a lot more in common than you'd think from reading the descriptions I wrote last time.

In Psycho-pass, the Sibyl System (a computer) is judge, jury, and executioner if people's psychological profiles get too cloudy. People who could maybe exhibit criminal tendencies in the future are summarily executed (or thrown into jail, if their number isn't too high). Latent criminals, they're called.

In the New World, where all people have telekinetic powers, the Board of Ethics quietly eliminates all the people who might become Fiends or Karma Demons. (Fiends are basically sociopathic monsters; karma demons are people whose powers escape subconsciously and mutate the world around them.) They give kids all these psychological tests to see if they've got latent criminal tendencies.

What does it say about society today that two shows, by two different studios, are discussing the same essential theme?
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
1. From the New World (Shin Sekai Yori). In a distant post-apocalyptic Japan, everyone has psychic powers. Kids/teens have to face a trial in order to make it into high school (or they die/are killed). Anyone who exhibits any tendency toward bad behavior, cheating, or malevolence is killed.

The protagonists go on an unsupervised camping trip for school (because obviously it's a great idea to send 12-year-olds off into the woods by themselves) and learn some things about their history that they're really not supposed to. They're imprisoned by one of the Buddhist priests, have their powers sealed, and are on their way to a temple when they're attacked by monster rats.

We're 10 episodes in, and I'm really curious to see where this is going.

2. Psycho-pass. In a not-too-distant future, society is controlled by sensors that detect people's auras, essentially, and if their number is too high, they're considered criminals and imprisoned, or killed outright if the number is high enough.

The protagonists are a group of detectives and enforcers, who are basically people with a criminal mindset who work for the cops. The show is suitably creepy for the premise, treating it like the 1984-esque thoughtcrime thing it is. (Which is a neat trick to pull off, because the protagonists are cops who enforce the sensor system's rulings and shoot people with criminal tendencies.)

I'm very curious how this will play out.

3. Robotics Notes. This is a show about a high school girl who's a mecha-anime fan, her friend, and the poor classmate they rope in to help keep the robotics club her sister founded from dying. There's some still-unexplained Something in the background about the sister that they need to stop being fucking coy about.

I haven't been sucked in by this yet, but it makes decent crocheting background noise.

4. K! Ben described this as the urban fantasy blender show, and he's right. It's trope upon trope: magic, clans/gangs that fight under a king, one of which basically controls Japan, bishounen, a cat-girl with massive tits who apparently prefers to be naked.

I honestly can't say I recommend this show to anyone, and I'm not even sure why I watched it past episode 2. It's dumb. There's a thread of a plot (the lead male character is accused of murdering a guy, and he claims he doesn't remember it; the foil character was ordered to kill him but the lead keeps bluffing him out of it). There's just enough thread of plot to make me want to know what actually happened, but I don't know why I'm bothering.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Though I haven't really done much else lately...

I'm still liking the Legend of Korra and Mouretsu Pirates (there are actualfacts canon lesbians in the latest episode!).

Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope) is another new series that I'm enjoying. It's about a few high school kids in the jazz age, and one of them is a complete nerd boy who doesn't get jazz initially (he's a classical pianist), then he transfers to a new school and meets this rough and tumble guy who's a jazz drummer. They hit it off, and nerd boy learns the art of not giving a fuck. There's a love triangle+misunderstanding plot in episode 3, and I spent half the episode saying "you people need to have a conversation" or "TELL HER YOU LIKE HER DAMMIT" then he did, and I was happy. (We don't know her response, though I'm assuming that's episode 4.) I'm not a fan of love triangle plots, and the misunderstanding that would be resolved if they took 5 seconds and TALKED "plot" drives me up a tree. So I was pleased to see a quick resolution there. The music is by Yoko Kanno, and it's directed by the guy who did Michiko to Hatchin.

That last sentence is how Ben explained this show to me, and I said, so, what's it about, then? And he was like "iunno." I don't particularly find "it's by the guy who directed X" a helpful description. All that gives me is an idea of what it'll look like.

Gundam Age has serious pacing issues, and I'm not a person who notices pacing issues, so that's saying something. Also, its underlying premise is extremely stupid, and Gundam series aren't really known for their brilliant plots.

Space Brothers is still kind of interesting I guess, though sad sack guy is starting to annoy me.

Lupin III: A woman called Fujiko Mine would be a much better show if it weren't all about Fujiko's tits or Fujiko being a sex object. (Though it seems to be portraying her sexcapades as a tool she's using to manipulate men, which is kind of like agency and less like being an object, but it's still a pretty sketchy depiction.) Fujiko's tits are also very perky for being as big as they are. I have friends with her proportions, and I can assure you their boobs don't look like that unless the woman's in a corset.

I read Glamour in Glass, the sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey. I enjoyed it a great deal. I'm currently reading TOR! The story of German football by Uli Hesse. I'm enjoying it, but it's kind of a special interest book, and I suspect most of you would be pretty bored with it. It's the definitive English-language book about the history of German football. (It's also the only one that isn't academic.) I also have a book on Eastern European football since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

My TBR pile isn't really getting smaller, but my to be reviewed pile is getting bigger.

[personal profile] anthimeria, I found the notebook where I made notes on Skywatch, and I'll email you soon.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Yesterday it was 78, sunny, and humid. Today it's 60 and raining.

I went to the Festival of Legends, a first-year sort of Renaissance festival a couple friends were running. We helped run the table for ConTemporal and get the word out. I tried some archery, which is when I burned myself. It was a lot harder than middle school, because the woman who owned the bow is kind of a badass and has a 45# longbow. Aside from being really heavy pull, it's a right-handed bow, but I shoot left-handed (I think?) I could pull it easier with my left hand than my right, and I'm right-handed.

I've discovered a new thing I can't really do anymore: be outside in hot, humid weather, unless I hydrate a LOT first. After lunch, I felt really sick, but after I sipped enough gatorade and put some ice on my head, I felt well enough to chug the gatorade.

Stupid body.

So we came home and watched Legend of Korra (free on nick.com), crashed the playstation trying to watch Mouretsu Pirates on crunchyroll and pirated it instead, ditto Space Brothers. I have Thoughts on these shows:

Korra is awesome and I can't wait to see what happens (also awkward firebender with Jin Kazama's eyebrows).

Mouretsu Pirates is about grrl power and young women supporting each other rather than being catty bitches and saying shit like "I don't get along with girls, so I only have male friends." (I've heard that from multiple women I'm (apparently not? since I'm a girl who they don't get along with, remember?) friends with. Or maybe I don't count as a girl, whatever.) Also, it's a high school show with NO panty shots, no faceplants into titties, no massively overdeveloped breasts on 13-year-old girls, and, really, nary a boy in sight (except the crew of the pirate ship, who hardly count). And they had a perfect opportunity for a panty shot in 0g and they DIDN'T USE IT. It gets my love just for that.

Sakamichi no Apollon/Kids on the Slope looks interesting, even if it seems like it's just about some high school kids and jazz.

Space Brothers could really do without all the male horndog shit. If you wanted to know what you have to do to become an astronaut at JAXA, watch this show.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
For those of you who don't follow my other blog, I've just posted a recommendation for Princess Tutu.

I avoided spoilers beyond about the first 5 episodes, so I couldn't get into much detail about just *how* the tropes are deconstructed. (And [personal profile] leora, you still need to watch this. The dub is painful, but I know you can't do subtitles.)
feuervogel: (do not want)
Pursuant to a discussion on another, locked journal, I was reminded how violently I hated "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya." At the time I watched it, I couldn't really put into words why I hated it, other than I wanted to stab Haruhi in the eye, kick her in the teeth, rip her head off, and shit down her throat. I also thought the bullshit pretentious wankery of "we're gonna show the episodes out of order!" was a bunch of bullshit pretentious wankery for the sake of being Experimental and Pretentious Wankers.

There was also an extreme discomfort at the way they treated Mikuru (aka tits-girl). Yay, reducing a woman to a sexual object (and never a subject, Mikuru... she was literally incapable of saying no or even giving consent. Seriously fucking gross.)

But [personal profile] eisen, who writes amazingly thinky things about cartoons and society and culture and whose brain I fangirl mightily, put into words her own loathing of TMHS, and in her words, I found the expression of what I found so disgusting.

It is intellectually and emotionally dishonest, its characters never rise above cardboard cutouts in temperament, personality, or character designs - and it chooses the most tawdry and tautological justifications why - its most popular and beloved running gag involves the nonconsensual molestation and sexual abuse of a girl who's repeatedly demonstrated to be psychologically incapable of saying "no" and even if she were THE SURVIVAL OF THE UNIVERSE HINGES ON HER ALLOWING HARUHI TO DENY HER RIGHT TO CONTROL HER OWN BODY because otherwise Haruhi might get fucking bored, the number of "funny molestation" gags don't end with just Mikuru, Kyon is supposed to come off like a beleaguered Everyman but instead he comes off as an insufferable, cynical, selfish, egotistical boor (and a bore!) who's deluded himself into thinking he and he alone really understands the situations they're all stuck in - and the series wants you to believe he's right, not to mention that for all Haruhi's vaunted control over the fucking cosmos DID YOU PERHAPS NOTICE THAT HARUHI WASN'T IN CONTROL OF THE FIRST TIME SHE USED HER ABILITIES? No, that was Kyon, aka "I am John Smith", thanks for playing "I might be impotent and a loser but I bet if I just knew a reality warper she'd listen to me and it would be my will that shaped the world after all, haha".


The entire premise of the show is that the main characters can and will have their own identities, their bodies, nonconsensually violated at any time, without permission, and that they should just shut the fuck up and deal because Haruhi's just too awesome to be denied, and really, it's okay, because Haruhi just wants to have fun! And Kyon can control her, don't you know? Don't you trust Kyon? You should! Because he's a jackass, but he's a jackass Haruhi will listen to!

In summary: Consent? Who needs that?

If you like the show, I'm not judging you. Just recognize and acknowledge the vile misogynist shit that TMHS (and a lot of anime full of fanservice, moe-blobs, and otherwise directed at the male gaze) are perpetuating. Be aware. There's some sketchy shit out there that I like, but I still acknowledge it's sketchy.

[personal profile] eisen again: The most execrable part of HARUHI and its fandom is not that the show itself contains cynically misogynistic elements - but that the show itself, and its fandom by extension, often sees nothing wrong with the way these elements are presented, and in fact considers them exemplary of their worldview, glorifies them as wish fulfillment.... I just can't accept a show that treats learned sociopathy as a desirable characteristic in everyday life.

If you think I'm overreacting, being too sensitive, and ought to just let it go or ignore it? Kindly go fuck yourself. I don't need to enjoy yet another piece of popular culture that perpetuates vile, heteronormative, patriarchal crap while reducing me to a sexual object.


20 May 2010 09:59 am
feuervogel: (anavel gato)
I unscreened all the comments to yesterday's post, but just in case anyone still wants to play along at home, I'll put the answers behind a cut.
answers )
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Via several people: Pick 20 movies/anime/video games/TV shows and put their summaries from Better than it sounds and WITHOUT CHEATING have your friends guess.

1. Three Funny Animals of indeterminate species live in a refurbished water storage device and spend their time driving people insane, making fun of their writers, and breaking the Fourth Wall at every given opportunity. Also features shorts of mobster pigeons, a jack-of-all-trades giant chicken, and a Genre Savvy retired actor.

2. A pizza delivery boy goes on a one-way trip to the future, where he meets and befriends a physically deformed orphan and an alcohol-fueled criminal. They all quit their jobs to work for the delivery boy's senile nephew.

3. Amnesiac with shitload of money tries to figure out exactly who was phone. Johnnies ensue.

4. A heavily tattooed kung-fu Dalai Lama, his Eskimo pals, a blind Chinese loli of mass destruction and some animals that don't exist (but should) take on an army of arsonists who wear giant shoulderpads.

5. In A World where not-terribly-nice people can kill you with their minds, a fat guy, a talking cat, an emotionless girl and a man with a bulletproof jacket take on odd jobs every two episodes.

6. Good-natured college kid wishes that he could find a girl, finds God instead.

7. A salaryman quits his job to run errands for and with unstable foreigners who frequently try to kill him. He still dresses like a salaryman, though.

8. A bunch of nerds sit around in a room writing pornography and talking about formulaic harem anime.

9. A poor girl is forced to pretend she's a boy and hang out with obnoxiously rich Bishonen as punishment for destroying private property.

10. An effeminate boy sells his soul for a highly skilled butler.

11. Humanity battles aliens with Transforming Mecha, The Power Of Love and/or The Power Of Rock and Lots and Lots of Missiles.

12. Two bishounen wage war against each other for 110 episodes.

13. A math teacher convinces her class she's a fan of yakuza films.

14. Kids play while wearing glasses. This often causes major problems across the city and has the potential to be life-threatening.

15. A big guy with an unfortunate tattoo tries to get therapy for the girlfriend who hates him after his pretty-haired, ex-best friend sells out the world for a makeover and a spiffy new Batman outfit

16. A girl falls in love with a man who once bought her a book.

17. A pair of fast-flying couriers get dragged into a war against their will.

18. Scientist makes his dead son the best robot in the world.

19. An immature computer geek gains possession of a giant steel samurai, and uses it to fight off Space Nazis.

20. What if Lupin the Third kidnapped adopted an 11-year-old rich girl?

21. A boy who can talk to microbes attends an elite agricultural university.

22. On her first day of school, a girl falls in love with a drug addict who grabs her on the bus.

23. Moving is Serious Business. A one night stand nearly dooms the world. Giant robots dance the monkey.

24. Garbage collectors IN SPACE!.

25. A Japanese company can't build a rocket capable of lifting a full grown man into space, so they use a teenage girl instead.

26. Jesus and Buddha celebrate their divine bromance by moving to Japan and renting an apartment together.

27. A cold war between a sentai hero and his nemesis takes place in a small town. The town takes the nemesis' side.

28. A drone Dragon and a fiery Tiger neurotically fight to understand their purpose relying on breast enhancement, fine dining, life between vending machines and crystal chards as their map. Oh and Santa is a dejected teddy bear. Awesome!

29. A guy who eats vampires acts like a complete idiot while occasionally eating vampires and making a scythe out of his blood. Nanomachines started it.

30. A World War II-era battleship is equipped with a really powerful gun and sent off into space to fight alien invaders.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
- I want to make an author website, but my design skills are non-existent. I have a couple 'shops of what I'm looking for, and my hosting renews in 24 days (so I'll buy my domain then, but I don't expect it would go live for a bit.) I know [personal profile] tammylee is a leet web design maven, but she's also wikkid busy. I'm looking to spend under $100, if possible. (A wordpress template? With php so I can update it easily myself. I just want something that is clean, professional, and expandable later.) I use dreamhost, if that makes any difference. Anybody have recommendations? Or want to volunteer? [I figure, not knowing much about it, that it should be a couple hours' work. No flash, nothing fancy. If I'm underestimating, let me know.]

- Starting next week, I'll be working MThF, and a pharmacist from Fayetteville will be covering TW. I look forward to getting my writing on. I hope they hire somebody by May, because I'm going to Europe dammit.

- Forecastfox keeps showing me frozen precipitation. I wish it would go away; I live in the south, damn it.

- I hear there's some big football game this weekend. We're likely to have the game on while we do other stuff (like read, though I might get my crochet on) and watch the ads. I hear there's a Last Airbender preview spot. While I'm boycotting the film, I'm curious to see if the rumors of completely changing the characterization are true. Also to see how bad the martial arts are and how shopped they look.

- I may skip COUP tonight, depending on a) the weather and b) how I'm feeling when I get out of work. Ben forgot to get a memory card on his way out, though, so he can't bring me the cartoons. The soonest I could get there would be 7:45 anyway. But next week - no work! I should make sure I have a burrito in the freezer...

- I need to feed my car before I go to work today, which means I should get off the computer and eat lunch so I can get out a bit early. To wear raincoat, ski jacket, or Swiss army greatcoat? A and B have hoods; C is really warm. Decisions, decisions.

- Also, I want to get those Fluevogs. An early birthday present, and because it's been a really rough week.

- It would be easier to get this posted if my computer didn't freeze every time forecastfox reloaded.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I need to write about

- liminality, comma, my feelings on

- Legend of Galactic Heroes: a treatise on American interventionism? A prophetic look at Bush 43-era politics? (I'm slowly working through it at 2-3 episodes a day. I should be through all 110 episodes, 24 gaiden 1 episodes, 28 Spiral Labyrinth gaiden 2 episodes, the Golden Wings OAV (omg, tiny Sieg & Reinhard!), and the 2 movies by, uh, ... 162 episodes divided by 2 is 81 days, factor in weekends and vacations and working... October?)

It's really weird to hear the voice of Oberstein, this scheming space German dude, because he was voiced by Shiozawa Kaneto, who was Iason Mink in Ai no Kusabi. A silky voice is not how I imagine schemers to talk. O_o


feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)

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