Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Legend of Zelda Mangas need more attention.

Finally, it's been a few years since I successfully did a decent Zelda post for Zelda Month.

Do you know that Zelda is the only major Nintendo property with any Anime?  Mario's had a few Pokemon's is well know and even Fire Emblem got a surprisingly decent 90s OVA that was even Dubbed.  It shouldn't be hard to make a good Zelda Anime, just adapt one of the many Zelda Manga and entrust it to the same people who adapt Pokemon, or perhaps Slime Incarnation.

Legally speaking the only Zelda Manga that are available in English are the Nintendo Power Link to the Past Manga by Shoutarou Ishinomori that was done like a western comic, and the many Akira Himekawa Manga.  But unofficially most can be found somewhere, I've read the fascinating Yuu Mishouzaki adaptation of the original game and the start of it's Adventure of Link sequel.

The Zelda Universe Youteube Channel has a motion comic of the Link's Awakening Manga, and I think they intend to do one for the Link to The Past Manga form the same author, Ataru Cagiva, eventually.  Gaijilionaire has done a series of videos where he reads the Ranmaru Mangas for the original and Adventure of Link.

There a number of interesting ways that these Manga have anticipated things the games did later.  Including having character play the Navi role, having Zelda fire the upgraded Arrows at Ganon during the final battle, Link's dark world form being a wolf rather then a rabbit.  The character of Roam kind of anticipated the Rito.

Also the tendency to treat Zelda as the real Messiah figure even though Link is the action hero is anticipated as well.  Which is one of my favorite things about the franchise.

I'm not sure which would be my first pick to make into an Anime. 

The Nintendo Power one would be interesting to see done as a Western Cartoon since it was in a western style, but I haven't liked any Western Fantasy cartoons in awhile so I don't know who to trust there.

The Akira Himekawa ones are the most popular, and Ganty/Ganti would make a great modern Anime Waifu.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Fall 1999 season (20 years ago).

October of 1999 is when the One Piece Anime started, as well as the first HunterXHunter Anime.

Closer to Otaku Anime interests would be Eccel Saga and The Big O.

All stuff I still haven't seen yet.  I have just recently watched the first three episodes of Infinite Ryvius.

Continuing Anime included Cardcaptor Sakura and Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, and also Ojamajo Doremi, and Corrector Yui.  Four Shoujo Magical Girl shows airing at the same time, I'm not sure if I've seen that before.

25 years ago was Magic Kngiht Rayearth.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

2019 as been a slow Anime year for me.

Looking at the fall 2019 season, nothing already set for a Simuldub is of interest to me currently, which surprises me.  The few shows I'm hoping will get a Simuldub or any Dub fairly soon include nothing I'm super excited for.

So far I haven't given out a single 10 this year, and only a few in 2018, one of which being a show I might demote.

I'm starting to wonder if it'd be a good idea for me to take a semi break from Anime for awhile.

I think the most under appreciated show of 2019 is YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world, that show is not perfectly but I found it very very interesting and unique, I think it's a shame most people overlooked it back in the Spring season.

Symphogear XV and Accelerator were both pretty good though.

I feel bad about currently giving Sarzanmai as low as a 7, I haven't kept my promise to watch it's Dub yet, I ought to get on that and hopefully it'll go up then.

I just gave a three episode test to Isekai Cheat Magician, which is getting weekly Dub right after it's Japanese broadcast ended.  It has a pretty decent start.

I talked before about 2011 being the beginning of my personal golden age of Anime, I'm starting to wonder if 2017 was the last year of it.

Of course the last few months my mind has been on a lot of other things.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Good about Gundam The Origin

My last post about Gundam The Origin focused on what bothered me about it, but as you know I don't like to be a negative nelly, so now that the TV version's Adult Swim run has finished let's talk about what I liked.

Number one, Sayla Mass is awesome.

It's ironic really, the main selling point of this prequel was supposed the origin story of Char Aznabel (the subtitle is Advent of the Red Comet) because in our modern cynical society the backstory of a villain is much more marketable then the backstory of a hero.  But low and behold it was their approach to Char I found endlessly frustrating while his oft forgotten Imouto is what kept me engaged.

She was already the most underrated character of the franchise.  As you may recall I made the mistake of first checking out Origin when I hand't seen any other UC material yet, I knew about Char because he has an entire Trope named after him, but I didn't know he'd also have a sister.  I was worried this was a character who was gonna be fridged before the prequel was over, then when I watched the Trilogy (when the last two episodes of the Origin OVAs weren't out yet) I saw she was still around and was quite happy.

In the original show she's arguably just as important as Char and Amuro, she was present for the final confrontation, and is potentially just as qualified to be a Gundam pilot.   The problem is she kept being excluded from the sequels because the Seiyu was repeatedly unavailable, now seeing her given this awesome backstory makes me even more annoyed we have no idea what she was doing during all that stuff.  If you really want to keep milking this franchise Sunrise then reboot the post OYW UC timeline now that you have another actress Japanese fans can accept as Sayla.

I also really enjoyed everything with Ramba Ral & Crowley Hamon and their group.  They were always vital to humanizing the Zeon side in the original Gundam Anime, and this prequel managed to do them justice.

I've long been annoyed at how new installments of this franchise always seem to be behind the original in having a diverse cast of interesting female characters.  When you compare the original MSG to the major western SciFi franchises of the same time in this area it blows them out of the water.  But now it seems every new Major Gundam show just opts for having a Leia/Padme wannabe as the main female lead.  So it's amusing how it took a prequel to get another Gundam Anime I'd actually watch for the women.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

I think 2019 has been the best year for (Hollywood) Movies since 2008.

2008 produced two of my top 4 movies of all time (The Dark Knight and Speed Racer), my favorite Narnia movie, my favorite Indiana Jones film, the only James Bond movie I've really seen, the start of the MCU, and other stuff that's probably good which I haven't seen yet.

I spent most of the last decade feeling pretty underwhelmed by Hollywood movies, compared to how easy to please I usually am.  For all of 2013-2018 there are only two movies that I really loved, Jurassic World and Infinity War.  

But then this year all of the sudden they really start hitting stuff out of the part, Battle Angel Alita, Detective Pikachu, Avengers Endgame and Godzilla King of The Monsters really wowed me, then Shazam and Captain Marvel were both above average.  Meanwhile I still haven't seen the new Spiderman movie.

2008 was followed by a few years that were almost as good, let's hope the same thing happens again.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Contrived Coincidences in Fiction don't bother me

They really don't.  In Patrick Willems' notorious Plot Holes videos he says they're acceptable at the start of a story but not at the finish, I can't even concede that.  I think a lot of people underestimate just how many resolutions that everyone loves have a level of contrived coincidence to them.

Describing the T-Rex saving the day at the end of Jurassic Park as a Deus Ex-Machina isn't really true, not only was she part of the story but she was really too important not to feature into the climax.  But it was awfully coincidental, she was last seen on the other side of a now reactivated fence.

And it just occurred to me as I was working on this post that that ending qualifies as a Eucatastrophe, a term J.R.R. Tolkien coined.
Eucatastrophe is a neologism coined by Tolkien from Greek ευ- "good" and καταστροφή "destruction".
"I coined the word 'eucatastrophe': the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears (which I argued it is the highest function of fairy-stories to produce). And I was there led to the view that it produces its peculiar effect because it is a sudden glimpse of Truth, your whole nature chained in material cause and effect, the chain of death, feels a sudden relief as if a major limb out of joint had suddenly snapped back. It perceives – if the story has literary 'truth' on the second plane (....) – that this is indeed how things really do work in the Great World for which our nature is made. And I concluded by saying that the Resurrection was the greatest 'eucatastrophe' possible in the greatest Fairy Story – and produces that essential emotion: Christian joy which produces tears because it is qualitatively so like sorrow, because it comes from those places where Joy and Sorrow are at one, reconciled, as selfishness and altruism are lost in Love."
― Letter 89
In his On Fairy-Stories Tolkien describes eucatastrophe further:
"But the 'consolation' of fairy-tales has another aspect than the imaginative satisfaction of ancient desires. Far more important is the Consolation of the Happy Ending. Almost I would venture to assert that all complete fairy-stories must have it. At least I would say that Tragedy is the true form of Drama, its highest function; but the opposite is true of Fairy-story. Since we do not appear to possess a word that expresses this opposite — I will call it Eucatastrophe. The eucatastrophic tale is the true form of fairy-tale, and its highest function.

The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous “turn” (for there is no true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially 'escapist', nor 'fugitive'. In its fairy-tale—or otherworld—setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of 
dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.

It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality.
― On Fairy-Stories
And indeed the most notorious Eucatastrophe Tolkien wrote is largely a contrived coincidence.

Ya know what really ancient narrative can be accused of being very contrived?  The Book of Esther.  Think about it, so much of the book revolves things like the King having just read the right random thing in the chronicles.

The late Chuck Missler used to say in response to those objecting to Esther because God is never directly mentioned, that Esther is all about how coincidences are God working undercover.  And since I support Death Of The Author I can apply that theory about coincidences to any fictional Coincidence that helps save the day in the story I really like.

"What about Coincidences that result in bad things happening?" you may retort, well Romans 8 which Chuck Missler also liked to quote, says "All Things Work Together for Good".  Ya know I'm surprised we don't mention that verse more often when arguing for Universal Salvation.

Let me end this post with one particular contrived coincidence I like that many fellow fans of that Anime may have never thought to think of as one.  Back in June I made a post on the character arc of Misaka Mikoto in A Certain Scientific Railgun S.

Spoilers below.

 In summery it's about her learning the importance of turning to her friends for help.  During the Febri Arc, the third act of the season, in episode 21 Misaka is thinking of doing again exactly what she did in the prior arcs and try to handle everything by herself.  But then at exactly the right moment Kongo calls her to talk about something perfectly relevant, by sheer coincidence.  And that helps her make the right decision in that end.

I've watched most episodes of this show 3 times now, on both the second and 3rd viewing this Chuck Missler on Esther argument entered my mind when this scene came up.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Pretty Cure movies and the Miracle Lights

I've noticed that among the people actually talking about the Pretty Cure franchise on English Language YouTube there is an intense hatred of the Miracle Lights which play a role in most of the PreCure movies.  This really bugs me.

First I feel like noting how none of PreCure's western fan-base has ever actually got to see any of these movies in their initial theatrical release, so none of us have experienced what that sequence is actually supposed to be like.  And related to that is how really none of the Western Fan-base has ever been into PreCure while actually being in the intended target audience's age range.

James Rolfe has often complained about how movies theaters try to do anything interactive anymore like in the Rob Corman days.  This is the kind of thing he's talking about.

First and foremost the Miracle Lights sequences always reminds me of the audience clapping to bring Tinker Bell back to life in the original Stage Play of Peter Pan.  Movie incarnations of Pan always struggle with how explicitly they want to break the Fourth Wall for that scene.

This is why I love the Miracle Lights sequence, and I envy those who actually get the see these movies in theaters twice a year.