Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sword Art Online was never a Death Game anime

I want to start by saying there are lot of valid reasons to dislike SAO.  I enjoyed the Aincrad arc though it was flawed.  I had a lot of problems with Alfheim and Gungale though there were also good moments.  The two arcs that made up the second half of season 2 were great,, Mother's Rosario especially is my favorite so far. I haven't seen Ordinal Scale yet, I will be waiting for the Dubs to watch either it or season 3.

A common theme I've seen among critics of SAO, especially those who hate even the original arc, including Digibro himself in the PCP Podcast on "Plebs", is a notion that it was somehow supposed to be a Death Game Anime, and that the show then ruined it's own sense of urgencey. 

Mirai Nikki was a Death Game anime, Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero are Death Game animes.  Magical Girl Raising Project is a Death Game Anime (I just watched it and am still processing my thoughts on it).  It's a genre that has an inherently limited appeal to me.  I watches RP because I'm into Magical Girls, Mirai Nikki for the Yandere and Fate/ because I'm into Arthurian Legend and other mythologies.  But if SAO had been structured like a Death Game that it'd have had almost none of what I like about it.

Digibro said in the last episode of the DigiBros Super Mario 64 let's play, when they were speculating on Zelda BotW (it was recorded before the game came out) that he doesn't like when Video Games have a sense of urgency.  I agree with him on that, and that is why I like the very parts of SAO he considered the most useless.  Every Video Game he could praise for not having a sense of urgency still has a theoretical sense of urgency, if Link doesn't get to the end and defeat Ganon eventually then Hyrule is doomed.  And that is all the opening episodes of SAO were meant to do, establish a problem that they need to solve, eventually.

But the appeal to me was always about these character living in a digital fantasy world, not about them getting out of it.  So my favorite episodes were largely the "Filler" which apparently came from the second Light Novel.

Digibro most hated the Murder Mystery two parter.  I loved those, for the most part.  As a fan of Holmesian stories I enjoyed seeing this speculation on how you'd apply Holmsian deductive reasoning in an MMO world.  And when they figured out the deaths had been faked I was quite satisfied.  Then the story dragged on adding some more twists and I soured on it a little.

I also agree that like in the original web novels Asuna should have killed that one guy.  Asuna is also Best Girl.

Mother's Basement did a video on SAO where he said it was ruined by the Yui character turning out to be an AI, which he said destroyed the sense that anyone can die.  I have come to be quite personally annoyed by shows wanting to create that illusion, and viewers who ever buy into it.  If you're paying attention you can easily tell who isn't eligible to die on Game of Thrones, or the books it was based on.  Ned Stark was a character created specifically to die early on creating that illusion, and Mami Tomoe was Ned Stark as a Magical Girl, in more ways then one.

And I'm annoyed by the people who want a show where anyone can die.  Whenever I'm watching something and a character death happens that did not feel sufficiently built up to, it simply comes off as bad writing to me, even when it's a character I didn't much care for.  This is part of what slowly soured me to The Vampire Diaries, a show I loved at first.  And when it's done to a character I love, like my Waifu Anna, it just enrages me.  I hate when shows do things just for shock value, and plenty of my favorite moments have been completely predictable ones.  And that is Why I Like Prequels.

As a Christian I like Adoption themes in my fiction, something I talked about in a Force Awakens post last year "Rey is a Skywalker but not by Blood".  So in this setting I quite like the idea of our protagonists adopting an AI character.  So Mother's Basement desire to say Yui ruined SAO by being an AI offends me, just as it offends me when people say Dawn ruined Buffy.

That is all for this post.  Expect maybe something in the future about SAO as a Gnostic Allegory, the first two arcs anyway.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Well I just watched The Force Awakens for the third time.

I was listneing to Digibro say how sometimes it takes three viewing to fully gauge your opinion on something.  Or atleast that if you find yourself liking something less the second time to try the a third.

On my second viewing TFA did hold as well I'd hoped it would.  But on this third viewing it was pretty fun again.

I still don't like it as much as the Prequels, but I can say I like it about the same as the original Trilogy.

Also, this was my first time watching it since I got into Lucky Star and Haruhi.  So when we learn BB-8 had answered Rei's question with "Classified" I couldn't help but giggle.

Zelda BotW also kept popping into my head.  Because that Game managed to make it's Landscapes just as awesome as anything in a film that was filmed at real locations.

Also this time when Han fell after being stabbed I thought "is he falling into a Mako reactor".

Friday, March 24, 2017

I hope a Fantastical Alternate History version of WWI or WWII is a staple of every Anime season now

Last season we had Izetta The Last Witch, which gave us basically WWII, but with a lot of cosmetic influence from WWI.

This season we have Tanya The Evil.  People have had a lot fun calling it a show about a Loli Nazi, but really the War we're currently watching is more of a delayed WWI.

But.... a theory I've seen presented in the comments section of the site I've been streaming the Dub on is that basically Tanya will be the Hitler of this alternate history.

Imagine it, this season ends with the Empire being defeated, lots of climatic stuff happens.  Then the final after credits scene is a jump several years in the future, an teen Tanya gives a rousing speech to disillusioned veterans.  Ad it ends with them raising their hands saying "Hail Tanya".

That would be chilling.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I am fine with a Westernized adaptation of Death Note

There is nothing wrong with retelling a story in a different cultural context.  We've seen Anime based on stories of Western origin, and I'd like to see more.  I'd like to see Annie on My Mind re-imagined as a Yuri Anime or Manga, replace the role played by the Egyptian section of the Museum with a Shinto Shrine.

My problem with White Washing in Anime adaptations is when that seems likely to be the only Live Action version that property will have since Japan's film industry can't afford to do justice to many of these stories.

Death Note however has had two Live Action adaptations made in Japan with mostly Japanese casts.  Including characters who were heavily implied to be White in the Anime, like the clearly British Watari, or Near and Mello who seemed to be Germanic.  L himself is more controversial as some think he may have been part Japanese, but the name usually revealed to be his real name is a European one.

This Death Note adaptation has some diversity to it, with L being African American.

So I really don't have a problem with the ultimate entitled misogynist douche who thinks he deserves to decide who lives and dies being White.

And I frankly would have liked Misa to be able to Blonde in live action for once, but instead we're still not getting that.

There are other issues I may have this show.  Mainly I'm really annoyed it's going be on Netflix.  But I'll have to wait till I know more. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I'd like to see the BBC do a Live Action Hellsing

So we've seen Anime adapted into Live Action in it's home country of Japan with varying degrees of success.  And We've seen it adapted into Live Action by Hollywood with so far no success.

But what about giving the BBC a shot? Looking at some of the the shows they've had including SciFi ones?  And You'll be surprised how many Anime YouTubers have British accents, so there is an Otaku audience there.

Hellsing would be my first choice for this.  It's set in London, and inspired by a classic work of British poplar fiction.

I'm of a course a Hellsing fan who hasn't read the manga, but really liked the first Anime yet totally hates the art style of Ultimate.  It bums me out that the original Anime didn't get a second as there was clearly more story to tell.

Hellsing has the potential to fit in right alongside Doctor Who and maybe even fill the void left by Sherlock.

After Hellsing the next Anime franchise that involves a lot of British characters is Fate/Stay Night, especially in Fate/Zero.  But that's still mainly set in Japan.  Maybe I could be okay with a Localized adaptation, it's not nearly Shinto driven as something like Higurashi, another Anime adapted from a Visual Novel.  But you'd have to be very careful about it.

So Hellsing is definitely the best bet for giving the BBC a shot at adapting Anime/Manga.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I'm going to Backlash against the Madoka Backlash

Lately there's been a backlash against Madoka, one that reminds me of the Backlash against Nolan's Batman films from a few years ago.

Madoka is not an anime I'm certain I consider one of my top favorites, it probably was when I first watched it mainly because there was so much I hadn't seen yet way back then. There are two Anime pretty easy to write off as copying Madoka that I'd now say I like more, Yuki Yuna is a Hero and Wixoss.  And there is an older Magical Girl show with some of the same people behind it I would now say I like more, Lyrical Nanoha seasons 1 and 2.

It's partly Rebellion's fault, for playing into a wrong perspective of the show.  People constantly saying it was Dark for the sake of being Dark, or 'Tragedy Porn"

I now somewhat more strongly agree with those who say it's not a Deconstruction.  My post on the subject from late 2015 was kind of a bait and switch to begin with, ending by calling it a Reconstruction.

What's really interesting to remember is ow SFDebris.com in his reviews of the original series said he didn't even find the show that dark.

I still haven't seen Raising Project yet, from what I've heard it's more like what people keep writing off Madoka as.

I of course cited Madoka as an example in my The Night is Darkest Just Before The Dawn post.  And Mentioned Madoka in my Yuki Kajiura post.

The Show hasn't been at the top of my radar as much as I've discovered more Anime to watch.  But every time I look back on it I remember it fondly.  The characters were pretty well developed, not as one note as Digibro tries to write them off as.  And it's 12 episodes were perfectly structured to tell their story.

Much of the Backlash comes from my fellow Feminists.  The show isn't seeking to send a Feminist Message in the same way Sailor Moon is.  But the perception that it is rejecting the empowering Magical Girl message is tied to the wrong perception that it's a Deconstruction.  I have trouble being critical of Magical Girl shows on Feminist grounds since the least of them I still feel does better then Western Superhero Comics, even female lead ones.  Maybe it's just because Japan's gender issues are different so they quite unintentionally give Western Feminists what we're looking for, but I'll still take it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Could the Gerudo have been based on The Gorgons?

One of the many things that excites me about Breath of The Wild is seeing the Gerudo finally being given some attention.  I have been fascinated by them for many reasons, like my general interest in Amazons as a concept.  I suggested a theory on a Zelda forum once that they might reproduce by Gynogenesis.
Here, offspring are produced by the same mechanism as in parthenogenesis, but with the requirement that the egg merely be stimulated by the presence of sperm in order to develop. However, the sperm cell does not contribute any genetic material to the offspring. Since gynogenetic species are all female, activation of their eggs requires mating with males of a closely related species for the needed stimulus.
Since we were told in OoT (in the most kid friendly way possible) that they do have sex with males to reproduce.  Yet they seek these males from totally different tribes, and their distinct ethnic features remain un-distorted, most of the time.  Rarely in a Gynogenesis species a sperm will actually contribute, that could explain characters speculated to be part Gerudo, as well as a male being born every 100 years.

But let's get to the topic want discus today.

You might be thinking "aren't Gorgons ugly monsters with hair made out of snakes?".  Traditionally yes.  But Diodorus Siculus claims in his account of Myrina and the Libyan Amazons, that the Gorgons or Gorgos were another Matriarchal Tribe who Myrina encountered before reaching Egypt.  Which would seemingly place them somewhere in the Sahara Desert (Though the Geography of this account doesn't exactly hold up under scrutiny).  As a Creationist interested in this subject, I've speculated they could fit into Genesis 10 via being of the Girgashite tribe of Canaan.

Scholars who think there might be some truth to this claim, have speculated this tribe maybe worshiped a Snake Goddess and that is why they became Snake monsters.  Inside the Desert Colossus/Spirt Temple of OoT, the inner statue of the Desert Goddess has a Cobra wrapped around her.

It may be this is just a coincidence, influenced by my own personal interests, like my tendency to see Solomon's Temple in the Temple of Time.  But it's an interesting comparison to make.

I can't play Breath of The Wild anytime soon as I'm so far behind I still own neither Console it's playable on.  But I've been watching others play it on YouTube, and I just love the detail put into creating it's world, it's mind blowing.

I'd love to see this new kind of engine applied to a revisiting of the concept of Majora's Mask.  Bring back all 4 of the original transformation masks, plus add three more.  A Gerudo Mask, a Sheikah Mask and a Rito Mask.  And maybe this Majora's Mask sequel could star Linkle rather then Link?