Sunday, August 19, 2018

I'm posting this update early.

I want to start generally posting these after the Saturday shows.

The 4th Episode of How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord was surprisingly good.  I would have liked to see Rem handle her situation on her own, but it was still good regardless of that.

Happy Sugar Life episode 6.  That Fingernail part might have freaked me out if I hadn't already seen Higurashi.  But compared to Higurashi's it's nothing.

Episode 6 of Revue Starlight I don’t have any particular thoughts on.

I enjoyed episode 4 of Ragnarok.  Mother’s basement decided to make a video bashing it the same day.  I mean it’s probably technically my least favorite Isekai too, but the genre doesn’t have as low an average with me.  What bugs me more about the video was his jabs at In Another World With My Smartphone, which is probably my favorite Isekai, that he choose Death March to be the one post 2016 Isekai to give a positive review too baffles me, it is inferior to Smartphone in every possible way.

The premier of Attack On Titan season 3 was pretty good.  But I should have known the girl I didn’t quite recognize would get stuffed in Levi’s refrigerator.

The 28th episode of Hugtt!PreCure was fun.

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Death of Superman animated movie

I'm not sure I'd even be as fond of this as I am without the 2007 travesty to compare it to.

It's nice seeing specific 90s Superman characters many thought we'd never see again.  But it's odd throwing these 90s Nostalgia references into a universe that has a New52 aesthetic.

I frankly feel like the only way it'll ever work to re-imagine this story with a more normal Lex Luther would be with a history where they hadn't been openly antagonist yet.  When I first read these Comics I didn't have all the context for the Alexander Luthor Jr stuff, but I know I rather enjoyed the dynamic of everyone kind of getting along with Lex while he was keeping his evilness hidden.  That might be something important to me because I read them while growing up on Smallville, that show makes me crave more nuanced takes on Superman and Lex's relationship.

Mostly though, what I wanted from an attmept to do this story-line in only two movies is for the first movie to simply have the Superman vs Doomsday fight be the first act/half of the movie and then the rest be Funeral for a Friend.  Honestly some of the most memorable moments in Comics to me are early in the World Without A Superman trade paperback, how much time is spent in the moments right after he died,  trying to revive him and just generally dealing with the shock of it.  So seeing multiple adaptations jump right to the funeral within 30 seconds always feels like a waste to me.

Now I know that would be an odd structure for a movie, the opposite of conventional action movies, but it can work.  Just look at the last Gundam The Origin OVA, it's about the same length as this movie, and all the real action in it, the Battle of Loum, is in the first act of the film, the rest is chronicling the aftermath of the battle while getting things exactly where they were when the original Gundams series started.

"But that was the last movie in a series not the first" you'll likely respond.  Yes it was, but in this case the Superman we're following had been in a trilogy of Justice League movies.  But they could also have just done a normal Superman solo cartoon before this (we hadn't had one since before Man of Steel came out) where they deal with him revealing himself to Lois and establish this universes Lex and so on, and then ended with a cool "Doomsday is Coming" cliff hanger.  Maybe base it on the Eradicator story-line.

But regardless of all that I don't need that much context, the first Superman Comic I ever read was World Without A Superman, I didn't even have the context of how he died.  My prior familiarity with Superman was stuff not in the same continuity but that was enough.

I'm optimistic that I'll enjoy the Reign of The Supermen film a lot more. This film wasn't bad, just still far from how I want this story to be treated.  The best dramatized adaptation is still the BBC Audio Drama.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Summer is arguably half over

But since I stick to Simuldubs I'm not like a quarter of the way through mostly.

The third episode of How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord was surprisingly interesting.  I said after the first I was unconcerned with being able to make a Feminist defense of the show.  But episodes 2 and 3 both have sequences about other men being unwilling to listen our heroines explain the situation because they jumped right into white knighting mode. 

The thing about Anime Feminist’s review of the first episode was they wanted to rant it’s some relevance to real world slavery, when it never about a legal institution of slavery but a magick spell.

Having an cliffhanger ending at only episode 3 is a pretty bold move.

Happy Sugar Life episode 5 was awesome, it was great, I loved it.

Revue Starlight episode 5 was hilarious.

Episode 3 of Ragnarock was pretty cool.  I continue to be intrigued by this world looking like an old Italian Sword and Sandal setting, but the names largely coming from Norse Mythology.  We also got Yuri Twincest with one of them being voiced by Monica Rial.

Episode 27 of Hugtto!PreCure was another Shinzo Abe commissioned episode.

Episode 8 of Steins;Gate 0 was okay, but not likely to be one of my favourites.

Overlord III it seems is gonna be similar to season 2.  But that’s alright, at least this time it’s mostly character we already know.

Am I the only who find it odd that they consider posting an adventurer request more self independent then asking a person they know for help?

Enri is totally Bisexual.

Does anyone else get a Kelly Hu vibe from Narberal’s Dub Voice Actress Anastasia Munoz?

For those who like when I talk about more than just Anime, I’ll like be writing something on the recent Death of Superman animated movie soon.  I’m also contemplating writing something on Magical Girl Raising Project.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Evangelion's symbolism was not meaningless.

Bennett The Sage is one of those who likes to take a certain quote from one of Eva's writers as proof that all the Judeo-Christian imagery in Evangelion was meaningless and gratuitous and had no thought behind it.

The problem is the context of that quote was about the fact that some people actually thought Eva was a Christian Anime who's creators were secretly Christians or something.  I don't get how anyone came to that conclusion.  Symphogear is closer to being something that could take place in the same Universe as The Bible (at least based on the first two seasons which is all I've gotten to yet).  I mean the Anime I do like to read as a Christian allegory probably wasn't intentional either, but I base it on deeper analysis then just "ooooooh Crosses".

The symbolism is frequently more Kabbalah then directly Biblical.  But the key filter in how it uses Judeo-Christian imagery is how such mythological motifs were used allegorically by old psychologists like Freud and Jung. Because the show's theme is depression and other psychological hang ups.  For example Shinji has an Oedipus complex and Misato has an Electra complex.  But others have already written on that better then I could.

Why am I doing this here rather then the Comparitive Mythology blog?  Because it's not all that comparative really, it's something Anime fans would care about more then Religious Scholars.

First of all the use of Biblical sounding names is in Universe just what Sele calls them. It''s not what the first ancestral race called themselves.  They're not saying they think this Adam is the Biblical Adam or what any Biblical stories were based on. Sela just called the one that seemed male to them Adam and the one that seemed female Lilith.  And the Dead Sea Scrolls aren't supposed to be the same scrolls found at Qumran, just Sele's internal documents.  But they did have logic behind calling them what they did.

When I first watched through the series and the Staypuff Marshmallow Man nailed to a Cross was identified as Adam, it made sense to me in the context of Jesus being the Last Adam in 1 Corinthians 15 and Romans 5.  But when it's later revealed that it's really Lilith buried deep underneath NERVE, that also makes sense because Kabalaistic Tradition also have Lilith trapped in the Underworld.

Eva is how Eve is spelled/pronounced in most of Europe, and I'd noticed before how right in the Greek Text of the New Testament the spelling of Eve is coincidentally also the first three letters of Evangelion, the word for Gospel.  The reveal that the Evas are made from the flesh of "Adam" perfectly echos the origin of Eve in Genesis 2.  And the Evas housing their pilot's mothers, with being in the Eva feeling like returning to the Womb, echos Eve being the Mother of all Living.

That Lilith and not Adam is the ancestor of humanity can first be explained by what I said above, Sele named them based on what they thought their Genders were and nothing else.

But it also could reflect traditions that separate the Genesis 1 Adam from the Genesis 2 Adam.  Which often say Humanity only descends from the Genesis 2 Adam.  One implication of that is often making the Genesis 1 Adam The Messiah, or for Christians an Arian view of Jesus.  Meaning you could view Kowaru as a Christ figure of sorts.

So the imagery clearly did have thought put into it.  But it was also molded to fit the story Ano wanted to tell and it's themes.

People following me on twitter may be surprised to see me make such a positive post on Evangelion.  Well it's mostly End of Evagelion that I despise.

Now I will again leave you with this Meme.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Summer Simuldubs continue to start

The second episode of How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord was quite fun, and to my surprise they’re already planting seeds for Yuri Shipping.

Happy Sugar Life episode 4 was less intense then last week.

The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar episode 2 was good.  I think I’ll just start calling it Ragnarok for short, there is other fiction with Ragnarock in the title and even other Anime, but the context of these posts are right from the title about currently airing Anime unless stated otherwise, so that should be enough to identify what I’m talking about.

The first of Girl’s Musical Revue Starlight’s Dub has dropped.  I’ve built myself a reputation for being pretty easy to please with Dubs, this one is kind of challenging that.  Maybe I wouldn't be so critical if I hadn’t watched 3 episodes subbed first.  There are other Anime I enjoyed Dubbed when I saw the Sub first, but usually there is a longer time-frame in between.

Only one VA is someone I’m sure I’ve heard before, and her voice was never a favorite and I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten far in a show where she’s the lead which she is here.  The Giraffe has a completely different vibe now.

It looks like the singing during the Revues will be left in the Japanese voices.  This always bothers me when it is the characters in universe singing.  I can tolerate it in something like Love Live that isn’t trying to be on Ikuhara level, but here it just plain doesn't feel right.  It’s easy to say it’s for the best if I have no confidence in the ability of these VAs to sing, but regardless the disconnect it creates really hurts the illusion.

For awhile now I’ve kind of really wanted a Dub to just not translate Baka.  It is a meme among Anime fans, and I honestly don’t think it’d ever take a casual long to deduce what it’s supposed to mean (Idiot, Fool, Stupid, Moron, Dummy).  And in the case of this show, the coming episodes will create a word play, Bakaren, which they can't incorporate now since they’re not gonna say Baka.

Episode 14 of Steins;Gate 0 was pretty good, the plot has thickened.

I went ahead and watched episode 4 of Revue Starlight’s Sub.  This was clearly a breather episode.  It seems BaKaRi has coined as the ship name for BaKaren and Hikari on the Yuri Nation blog.

Episode 2 of Overlord III was an interesting start to a new arc.  The basic premise of the show remain kind of hilarious.

I’m hoping next week I’ll have more to say on the three Isekai Funimation Simuldubs once they’ve each reached their three episode mark.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Summer Simuldubs have started

I watched the first episode of How NOT to Summon A Demon Lord.  This is a show I’m not for the time being going to attempt to defend watching as a Feminist.  I’m a Feminist, but I still have fantasies that don’t relate to my real life morality, and they can be both Femdom and Maledom.  The episode was quite entertaining.  And the Dub cast is good, the Catgirl sounds Purrfect.

Revue Starlight episode 3 pretty quickly swerved our expectations.  I’m also surprised how quickly the Fansub was available this time.  And I now know the Dub starts August 4th.

Happy Sugar Life episode 3 was a much darker experience.

The first episode of the Simuldub of… this is gonna be a long one, The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar, was pretty entertaining.  I like that this world is not a Medieval Fantasy world but rather based on the Ancient Near East.  I do want to see more of the Isekai sub genre where the MC becomes a head of state.

Hugtto!PreCure episode 26 was good.  I’m afraid I don’t have more to say about this one.

Overlord III’s first episode was a fun slice of life episode.

Food/Stay Night episode 8 was nice.  That one isn't a Dub of course.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

I have thoughts on Darling in The FranXX

I decided to binge the show as soon as all of the Simuldub went up.

There will be Spoilers in this Post, but not super in depth ones.

I enjoyed it, as a Mech show I like it more then Evangelion but not as much as RahXephon.  (By the way, the fans turning on it and spreading narratives about how it's production self-deconstructed is part of paralleling Eva, but people try to forget that part of Eva's legacy.)

It's interesting to me personally to compare it to Katana Maidens.  Katana Maidens was a two core show airing over the same two seasons that FranXX aired, but with Katana Maidens I watched the Simuldub as it was released.  Katana Maidens was a show I was/am hoping would prove to be my personal AOTY.  And it does still appeal to me more then FranXX in terms of the kind of content I want from Anime.

However Katana Maidens did something I prefer two core shows not do.  And that is structure itself so that it basically seems like two seasons of a 12 episode show.  If you're gonna structure it that way I think it would be better to just do it as two seasons and let a brief hiatus between help build hype.

FranXX doesn't follow what I consider the ideal two core structure embodied by Noir and Witch Hunter Robin.  But it does feel more like an actual two core show by not being so easy to split in half.  The episodes that could have worked as mid season or full season finales if the show had been structured differently were episodes 15 and 21.  And perhaps criticism of the ending could have been fixed by stopping at episode 21 and allowing more room for a season 2, but that's another issue. I still preferred this ending to Romeo+Juliette or YuriKuma Arashi when it comes to romance Anime giving the main couple a more mystical happy ending.

So basically Katana Maidens is a more appealing story to me then FranXX, but FranXX is better as a 24 episode show.

I'm conflicted on how much I even want to try to talk about the perceptions of the shows politics.  I don't want to say what others are saying is completely wrong... but...

I feel like it's mostly an American perspective (not even Western, specifically American) that is labeling it Right Wing propaganda.  But I'm not exactly the best person to explain why as someone who's never actually left America. But as a student of the history of post Revolutionary Western politics, I've ranted before on my other blogs about how America's ideas of what's Right and Left are distorted.  The perspective I can give you is as a Communist with Socialist leanings who views Karl Marx as a Capitalist in sheep's clothing.

I also feel like a lot of people jumped to conclusions about the show's message on gender (which I think is the only aspect of it's ideology that is even close to being conservative), after the end of episode 18.

Take Zeria's video,
I respect her perspective as a Lesbian Trans Woman, but maybe what she is seeing as the show failing to justify it's own logic about gender is actually evidence it's message was more nuanced then she assumed.  What's left out of the video is that the 9s do not remain card carrying villains to the end, they do make a face turn and fight along side out heroes at the final battle, their leader makes a heroic sacrifice, I didn't catch whether or not any survived however.

So the show does see value in people who don't conform to the Binary, it's Conformity the show was against, and it's only in America that conformity is viewed as being Liberal. 

Labeling Ikuno an example of "bury your gays" I feel is a bit unfair.  The Yuri Nation blog gave a different perspective on it, I can't 100% agree with theirs.  But it is disingenuous to to simply slap that label on FranXX when said character never dies on screen and the last time we see her is right before jumping forward to everyone being long dead.  Plus again this trope's history in Japan has been different then in America so we need to keep that in mind.

What American Anime Fans do seem to know about Japanese politics is that apparently Shinzo Abe is obsessed with trying to fix Japan's declining birth rate.  However I think the assumption that only conservatives are concerned about that may be a flawed assumption here.  (Just as there are plenty of Left Wing supporters of Brexit the American Media likes to ignore).  After all the creator of Gundam was a pretty Left Wing guy and he was expressing the same concerns much more aggressively in 1998 with Brain Powered.