Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I enjoyed this episode

I suspect Heather Hogan is going to have a problem with the Adison storyline.

They kept mentioning Sydney, I guess we'll see her again.

I'm kinda feeling the usual PLL spark right now, I hope it picks up.

Live Action adaptations of Anime should be Serialized

My love of Anime greatly overlaps with my love of serialized fiction.  And since people are looking for a common denominator to why Live Action adaptations of Anime, particularly Western/Hollywood ones (PGSM is pretty well received), tend to fail.  I think it may be a good idea to look at how they tend to be based on Anime that was serialized originally, but abandon that structure for being a simple 90 minute to 2 Hour film, or hopefully a series of them.

Death Note is the current hot topic on the subject of Anime being adapted into live action.  I don't know if the Netflix Death Note is going to be a series like the Marvel Defenders shows or just a movie, I've heard it called both.

There have been two Live Action adaptations of Death Note in Japan, a fact I've mentioned before.  A Pair of movies, and then more recently a TV series in 2015.  Both have their strengths and weaknesses in how the adapted the story and cast the characters.  But the 2015 series edges out as the better one for me precisely because it was a TV series and was somewhat able to capture the original story structure better, and had more time.

Anime itself is often adapted from other source material.  If it's Manga it's definitely best serialized.  Some feel the weaknesses of the Akira movie comes from needing to cut a lot by condensing the story to just a film.

Meanwhile Gankutsuou is in my view the absolute best adaptation of The Count of Monte-Cristo I've seen, in-spite of how much it changes including dropping my personal favorite story-line by dropping Louise d'Armilly, because it is Serialized like Dumas original novel.

On the other hand it may be that most of these much decried Light Novel adaptations would have been better if they'd been movies instead on TV Series-es.  Both Sword Art Online and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya changed the structure to fit the format by having the short stories of their second novel pad out the plot of the first.  I happen to like how the first Arc of SAO was structured in the Anime, and I don't dislike Haruhi's, but The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya does feel like a much more satisfying Anime.  And I love that it was an animated movie willing to be nearly a full three hours.

Meanwhile the light novel Washio Sumi wa Yuusha de Aru is being split into three less then 50 minute movies, when perhaps it would have worked better to just be one big movie.

But an adaptation of Noir, or Witch Hunter Robin that left out the case/mission of the week format of the first part of the story I don't think could word.  Likewise with the Monster of the Week format of most of the Magical Girl genre.

I could maybe see Code Geass or Gundam 00 working if you made three movies of three hours each for each season, but that would be a huge investment.

There is still a bias to see a Big Screen movie as the ultimate goal of any franchise.  I do love the Big Screen and wish I could watch something more serialized on it.  But is it worth how it changes the nature of a story since we can't really be serialized on it?

Back in the day Movie Theater serials were a thing, but the advent of TV caused them to die out.  A lot of serialized Anime is kind of more like what the old serials were then your average Western TV show.  Like Code Geass, Gundam, Eva and other Mecha shows, and perhaps to an extent Death Game animes like Future Diary and Fate/.  And also Dragonball Z with the whole 20 episodes for one fight meme.  I could maybe add Madlax.  I'm still not to familiar with Space Opera animes like Legends of the Galactic Heroes.

A lot of DC fans feel DC on Television is satisfying them more then the movies right now.  And the people who had the rights to George R. R. Martin's Saga of Fire and Ice knew that TV would suite that story better, and that decision paid off.

When you adapt a serialized story to a movie formula two things happen.  You will probably have less screen time to work with.  And the very structure of the story changes.  Either one of those could result in lovable minor characters being dropped, and similar loss of nuance.  Together it's guaranteed.

Caprica was a TV show that it really saddens me failed.  It appealed to me for some of the same reasons SAO does.  I've already said I feel Hellsing could be a good fit for the BBC.

Slice of Life shows could make good Sit-Coms, particularly Dragon-Maid, though I'd hate the thought of Lucky Star or K-On with a laugh tract or studio audience.  And I'd like it if ABC Family.. excuse me FreeForm, could replace Pretty Little Liars with a live action Pretty Cure.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Maz Kanata should be in the Han Solo film

In the film Battlestar Galatica Razor, a certain plot point happens to justify why it's made between seasons 3 and 4 even though it's set during season 2.

I think those annoyed at the Star Wars spin off films being set during the OT era when the main films are in a new era, would feel they are more justified if there was some, however minute, connection to the new Trilogy events.  Rogue One managed to be a hit in-spite of those people, but Han Solo has a bigger up hill battle to climb, with asking someone else to fill Harrison Ford's shoes.

Fortunately for this one we also know an easy way to give it some New Trilogy relevance.  The Force Awakens established that Han and Maz (and also Chewie) have history.  And also established that she'd been there a thousand years, so she was there through all 6 of the Lucas films.

So it would fit nicely to include her, have her connect the beginning of Han's story to it's end.  In fact I'll dare say it'd be stupid not to include her.  And her presence will be enough, don't need to shoe horn in any plot-line connection, just seeing a New Trilogy introduced character in the Old Trilogy era would be cool.

I have a feeling a revival of the Clone Wars cartoon could happen, given fan demand managed to revive Young Justice.  If it does then I'd like to see her on Clone Wars also, show fun characters of that era stopping by her Cantina.  And it would also be nice to include her on Rebels before it ends.  If they ever did my wish a young Yoda film, Maz could be included there also given her age.

I don't care one way or the other if the Han Solo movies shows the Kessel run or not.  But what I do want to see the origins of his relationships with key characters like Chewie and Lando and Maz.  And I'm thinking it would also be nice to explain what happened to the other Wookie who was with Chewie at the end of ROTS.

I will also add on the subject of the Spin Offs I would enjoy a Rogue One sequel about capturing the second Death Star plans.  It'd be nice to expand the universe to have a story where the main cast is mostly not Human but rather Bothans.  And while none of the main cast of Rogue One is still alive, supporting characters are.  Maybe a sub plot explaining how the Akbar predecessor we met passed the torch to everyone's favorite declarer of traps.  Not to mention more of Mon Mothma, I love Mon Mothma.

I was expecting Superman to Kill Zod.

The fact that Superman killing Zod at the end of Man of Steel has been so controversial confuses me because I was expecting it to happen, I would have been confused if it hadn't.

Because every prior major Zod story that was worth while ended with Superman killing Zod.  From Superman II to the Pocket Universe storyline early in the Post-Crisis era.

And don't try to muddle the situation by talking that deleted Superman II scene showing them alive.  It didn't even get included in the final Donner Cut.  Deleted scenes aren't canon, it was cut for a reason, because they knew it would be stupid.  No one left that theater in 1980 thinking anything happened to Zod, Ursa and Non other then death.

Man of Steel presented the most morally justified version.  Superman II was the least justified version, your beloved God-Like Reeve Superman killed them when they were depowered and helpless.  The Pocket Universe scenario was Superman carrying out a legal capital punishment, which for me as one who opposes Capital Punishment is still a big problem.

In Man of Steel he snapped the neck of an unhinged Zod on a suicidal rampage about to fry an innocent family.  My only problem with KyleKallgrenBHH's Caligari to Hitler video was him throwing this moment in there.  Calling that Fascist is stupid, condemning Superman killing Zod in that moment is like condemning an allied soldier for killing a Nazi soldier who was about to massacre a Jewish family.  And condemning the Pocket-Unvierse scenario you could compare to condemning Israel for executing Eichmannn if you wanted.

So it bugs me that this version of Superman killing Zod is the one considered the most unprecedented controversial character assassination in Superhero film history.  Besides Zod, Comic Book Superman has also killed in comparable scenarios Doomsday and the Cyborg Superman, and some other mostly forgotten characters, all before the movie MoS was made to replace was even made.

KyleKallgrenBHH also seems to feel it makes Superman less God-Like, when every God who's ever actually been worshiped by a real religion has some blood on their hands.  The God I worship brags about how He kills the enemies of His people, and Pagan gods were all homicidal maniacs.

Of course Kyle touches another Pet-Peeve of mine in that Superman video, thinking "Man" is a gender specific word and somehow distinct from Mensch when in fact that are variations of the exact same Indo-European root.  Man is synonym of Human, "Woman" means a Man with a Wombs.  Man in the King James Bible is used to translate Adam, Enosh and Anthropos, all words that meant Human Being.  But the confusion began with it also being used of Zakar and Ish.  Rargless of if you agree that the Superman character matched Neiche's Ubermensch idea, Superman was named after it, going back to the Reign of the Superman comic.  Superhero names like Superman and Batman clearly originally meant Man as in Human, this only became muddled when female counterparts were created like like Batwoman, Batgirl and Supergirl.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What do I mean by Anime style Fan Service?

As someone who's almost exclusively turning to Anime for my entertainment lately.  The only thing about it I dislike is what I call 'Anime style fan service".

I should explain what I mean by that.  Since the term fan service isn't even always sexual, and when it is can apply to anything a horny viewer might enjoy.

I don't have a problem with women dressing sexy, or being sexy, or having sex, or using their sexuality as a weapon, I enjoy that as much as any other straight guy or lesbian.

There is even some fan service that I'm not a fan of that still isn't offensive to me in the way this stuff is.  Like Beach Episodes, Beach Episodes may or may not contain what I'm talking about, but regardless that premise itself is fan service, but going to the beach is something people do.  I don't care for it and wouldn't be likely to include one in a show I wrote, but they don't bother me.

Still it's hard for me to give it all a single common denominator.  But I think I can maybe narrow it all down to three.  DigiBro has also talked about fan service in his K-On videos and in videos specifically about fan service.  I don't quite always agree with his takes on things though.

I want to say before getting started that not all Anime has this stuff.  I don't think it's even safe to say the majority does.  And a number of shows unfortunately have it early on to hook people (but turning off others) but then basically drops it.  Nanoha drops it's Loli fan service about half way through it's first season.  And I haven't watched it but according to DigiBro Manabi Straight has some awkward fan service moments in it's very first episode that never show up again.

There are plenty of Anime I've enjoyed in-spite of having these problems.  But they are still a mark against it and the more it has the less likely it is I'll be able to give it a 10 on MAL.  A lot of my fellow feminists really enjoy certain shows that are high offender of this but being really self aware and meta about it while trying to deliver a message.  But Kill la Kill turns me off from it's very art style so I can't get into it.

Number One:  Is mainly an issue of what the Camera is doing, or since we're talking about animation the hypothetical camera.  The way it seems to zoom in on panties or breasts or butts no mater how illogical it is at that moment.  Like in the second Evangelion Rebuild movie when we are given a close up on Asuka's panties while she's sleeping.

Whether or not I particularly want to see a female character's panties, I can't call it offensive if she is intentionally showing them to someone.  So those kinds of scenes are not my issue really.  You can even justify if character are seeing them when she didn't intend to though that'd still be uncomfortable.    But if the audience is being shown a close up on them when no one on the show can see them, that's a problem.

Again it's not them being visible at all that is the problem, it's that being the main thing the hypothetical camera wants to focus on.  You could say the Magic Skirt trope is the opposite counterpart, that ti's a type of teasing fans service itself when they are never visible no matter implausible it is.  I guess I'm simply the kind of person where that is what I like.  But the 90s Sailor Moon anime did allow what's under the skirts to be visible sometimes (DiC often edited those moments) but it was never what the camera zoomed in on.  Likewise with the live action show PGSM.

Number Two: Is about the physiology of human female breasts in certain Anime.  If it was only a matter of exaggerated size I couldn't call it specific to Anime, we see the same thing in Western Superhero Comics.  What I mean here is a combination of that with them seemingly having the density of Jello.

Now I'm someone who doesn't consider being unrealistic inherently a criticism, I'll be a making a post specifically on that some day.  But the point there is I want fiction to be preferable to reality, and I can't relate to the fact that seemingly some Anime fans want breasts to have the density of Jello.

Number Three: Is the only scenario that is directly from the writing.  The script writer could put 1 and 2 right in the script, but it could just as easily be something a director added along the development process.

I'm referring to the overused Accidental Groping or Accidental Pervert scenario.  But my issue isn't the same as many others you see complaining about it.  You it seems to a lot of people what bothers them is the woman "overacting" to it and not immediately assuming it was an accident.

We live a world where a man who bragged about grabbing women by the Pussy got elected President of the United States.  Women have every reason to not just assume it was an accident or take a guy's word for it.  And Japanese culture still has a much greater fixation on feminine purity then the West has, so no western Anime viewer male or female knows what it's like to be a Japanese woman dealing with that.

As a man I can tell I don't think I could have a very rational reaction to my nuts being grabbed by accident.

My issue is with happening to begin with, not cause it's unrealistic, but because I simply won't wanna see that.

So I'm tired of that scene with Rei and Shingi from Evangelion being cited by people like DigiBro as the ultimate Subversion or Deconstruction of this trope.  Cause what they keep saying is that it's soooo much more realistic that Rei doesn't slap him.  But that wasn't Anno's intent, the intent was to show that Rei isn't normal, her indifference to her breasts being grabbed shows that she's abnormal.  It is a Subversion because it playing out differently at all makes it one.  But it does not fix what I see as being wrong with how often this happens in Anime.  That's why SFDebris is the only reviewer I've seen have the correct reaction to that sequence.

The subversion I might be willing to consider subversive is it not really being an accident at all but a creepy guy trying to play it off as one.  But you'd have to be very careful with addressing that since that is sexual assault.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

PLL is back

Good episode, wish I felt compelled to say more.

I have a couple predictions.

Either Charlotte's father will never be identified and simply isn't important.  Or as I predicted before it's Kenneth.

A.D. I suspect is Charlotte and that she's still alive.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Live Action adaptations of Anime should be Colorful

I've already made a few posts and the issues of Westernizing and White Washing Anime.  I want to talk about other issues now.

The Anime Man did a video on why he feels adapting Anime into Live Action simply can't work.  I think he's completely wrong.  What's really amusing is when he suggests Western Superheroes Comics are more grounded in reality then Anime and Manga and that is why they can work in Live Action more.  Well as someone who is a Nerd for both, I can tell that, no, in fact Anime is generally far more grounded in reality then DC or Marvel comics.

For comparing to Western Superhero Comics, I like to remind people it took 40 years to get Superman The Movie, almost that for Spider-Man to get his first good film.  But not till 2008 we got TDK and the MCU.   Anime has arguably been around as long as Superman, but none of the franchises people want to adapt have been just yet.

Gigguk did a video where, among other things, he said we should focus on ones that can work in Live Action.  I agree that plenty work better then others, and for the time being I wouldn't bother with Utena or Madoka.  But focus more on ones like Noir, Madlax, Evangelion, Lupin III, Haruhi, Pretty Cure, Gundam or Code Geass.  Or remove the Fantasy/SciFi altogether and just do Lucky Star and Strawberry Panic.

But we can to do a lot with Live Action movies now, so there is no reason to inherently leave out the really visionary stuff.  While we've yet to have an exactly great LA Anime adaptation, plenty of Live Action films have been Anime like while being great.  Pretty much everything from the Wachowscis, Edge of Tomorrow, Pacific Rim, Suicide Squad (I could argue that all Joker's henchmen were Weebs), Sucker Punch, and the Star Wars Prequels.  And on TV Pretty Little Liars.

I agree that it is okay to change certain things to fit the medium.  But the last thing I'm inclined to agree needs to be changed is how Colorful Anime is.  Plenty of Live Action movies have been bright and colorful, yet everyone thinks a Movie version of an Anime or comic means a grittier more monochrome version.  Hence we get an annoying colorless Power Rangers film.  Comic Book fans want our movies to be as colorful as the Comics and that's why many were annoyed by Man of Steel and embraced the MCU, Deadpool and Suicide Squad.

In particular I mean the issue of Hair Colors.  People love to make fun of Anime Hair "Guess who's the main character" memes are endless.  But people in real life do sometimes dye their hair colors like that, so this idea that "no Hair naturally looks like that so you have to abandon it in the LA version" is nonsense to me.

I mentioned Noir first up above as one I'd like to see in LA, but I kinda only trust myself to do it. There the main two have plausible hair colors for their ethnicities (Blonds may be rare in Corsica but not unheard of).  But Chloe, Lady Silvana, and the Poisonous Insect all have Anime hair, and for Chloe especially I will not be able to accept anyone claiming to be that character with normal looking hair.

And that sometimes it just being an unusual hair color for Japan causes it's rejection annoys me even more.  I tolerated two Japanese actresses not dying their hair to play Misa Amane because I assumed the inevitable Western version would give us a blonde Misa.  And now Netflix has spit right in my face with a Misa who looks like Bella Swan.  I've seen lots of pictures of Asian women with Blonde hair, I'm assuming they're all dyed but that's besides the point, they all look beautiful, there is no reason to assume a Blonde Asian in a movie will inherently look awkward.  Back to Misa, she need to be Blonde or Japanese, you can change one of those and still work but you can't change both.

Often the hair color has symbolic meaning.  I was actually quite annoyed in JesuOtaku's video with KyleKallgrenBHH about the Utena movie when Kyle attempts to speculate on what the Pink hair means and JesuOtaku just shoots him down with "that's just Anime".  In Utena the use of Color everywhere including in hair is meaningful.  VraiKassier broke it down in their Anyalsis series on the first ReCap episode (you shouldn't skip the ReCaps in Utena).
Color Coding: You may have noticed that the students of Ohtori are a veritable rainbow of the color palette, and that I’ve been alluding to that fact quite frequently over the past few weeks. Well, it’s not (just) because ridiculous rainbow hair is a hallmark of shoujo. Our common thematic color palette:
Green: Envy and loyalty (a great many of the colors have dual meanings or applications throughout the series). Saionji’s color, tied to the young man fixated on his own weak inadequacies and desperate to possess that which others consider important – but also almost blindly devoted to those he’s considered ‘essential’ (this latter reading also ties into Akio’s fiancée).
Blue: Intellect and distance. Miki and Kozue’s color, the characters who might be at once called the most clear headed and rational and yet also the most divorced from their true desires by the complexity of their schemes.
Orange: Miracles and delusion. Flip sides of the same coin, reflected by inner strength of conviction versus fear and an inability to acknowledge one’s own desires.
Yellow: Innocence and childishness. Through both Tsuwabuki and Nanami, strong emotions for others can be either selfish or selfless (and are always heartfelt but rarely circumspect or self aware)
Red: Power, used either to aid or subjugate others. A color Touga possesses but Akio clothes himself in, revealing his far more advanced ability to manipulate power to suit his image and his ends (also the color of the Rose Bride, nodding to Anthy’s immense power even if control of it has been taken from her)
Brown: The mundane – the most frequent hair color of the ‘normal’ students, from Wakaba’s grounded support to the overshadowed members of Nanami’s gang.
White: Purity and potential. The prince’s color, which also dominates the color scheme of Ohtori’s uniforms – while other colors might make their way in, beginning to have sway, we mustn’t forget that our cast is still very young, and that they have the potential to learn and change even still. You’ll notice that Mikage and Utena, the two closest to ‘graduating,’ have almost no white on their outfits).
Purple: Corruption and loss. Anthy’s signature color, signifying the pain she’s suffered through her sacrifice. Purple also figures heavily into moments that’ve been influenced by the siblings in the name of the dueling game, and Mikage sees Ohtori through purple-tinted glasses.
Pink: Harmony between power and ideals, a self-conviction mixed with compassion for others (Utena and Mikage both have pink hair, and Anthy’s final outfit is predominantly pink).
So no, the Color isn't meaningless.  Other Anime may use the same Colors differently.  But I suspect only the most bottom of the barrel are being completely meaningless.

Speaking of KyleKallgrenBHH, after watching his video on Aira Kurosawa's RAN.  I thought about how what he said on Kurosawa's use of Color in his later films, and wondered if that might have influenced the way Anime would go to use Color?  And I was reminded of this recently in The Last Jedi's teaser trailer, where we had the weird contrast between the barren desert like planet but the bright Red Smoke/Sand/Dust whatever it is behind the ships.  It's a good sign if this means Star Wars directors are still drawing on Kurosawa.

P.S./Postscript:  Evangelion.

I mentioned Eva as one that could work in Live Action better then others and that might be the most controversial claim in that list.  People have come to remember Eva for how confusing and existential it got.  But the original appeal was that it was a more grounded and gritty approach to the Mecha vs Kaiju genre.  Pacific Rim drew on Eva specifically.

I know Anno himself has said Eva inherently only works in Animation.  But Anno himself seems to have forgotten what Eva's original appeal was looking at the history of Eva movies, both old and ReBuild.  The more they become something harder to conceivably do in Live Action, the more the fans think they suck.

But the first ReBuild could just as easily have been a Live Action film.  Though more directly remaking those episodes would be better.  First change though is not shortening it. The idea that he had to cut stuff to make it fit a film length when it's only based on 6 episodes is insulting to me.  To me a film that has less run-time then 6 episodes of an Anime series is inherently not worth the price of admission, even without the issue of comparing to source material.  That's a topic I already covered.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Some News regarding my future activies

First of all I intend to cover the last 10 episodes of Pretty Little Liars.  And I'm excited to hear Heather Hogan will be returning to her ReCaps.

After that show is done however, I'll be pretty much effectively done with Live Action Western Television for the foreseeable future.  My focus will be on Certain movies and Anime.

I created a Facebook page for my activities as a Blogger, and a group to go with it.

My Official Facebook Blogger Page

And it's corresponding Facebook Group

I will possibly be doing more on YouTube in the future.  I also want to recommend this Blog from someone who I might be collaborating with in the future.

http://808sandmoe.tumblr.com/

I"m also wording on a post about the issue of making Live Action adaptations of Anime.

I haven't done much on my other blogs lately.  If the April Fools joke on the Conspiracy Theory blog winds up being the last i ever make there, it'd be strangely fitting.  At the same time there are ideas that may bring me back to it.  On the others I definitely have more to say, just give me time.

What I do next on YouTUbe is likely to be Anime related.  It remains however my long term goal to adapt The Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality for YouTube.

At the end of 2016 I'd mentioned how that was perhaps my most eventful year as a Blogger.  Lately I looked at the math and realized I made more posts in 2015.  However 2016 had more long substantive posts, and less of my reactions to weekly TV as I slowly lost interest in Western TV.

This year, I want to really elevate things.  Maybe even eventually get a Paetron.  But I'd use the Peatron for none Bible related stuff.  I don't want any perception that any of my unconventional Bible Interpretations are being done to make money off them.

I'm a supporter of Fan Films

Fans making their own non-profit works based on what they love.

I first learned of the idea via Batman.  Stumbling upon Dead End and Death of Batman via IMDB back when Batman begins wasn't quite out yet.  A good Website for these classic Batman Fan Films would be BatmanFanFilms.com it still exists but it's forum seems basically dead.  I like films like Patient J and Law & Order Gotham.

That website doesn't include a lot of YouTube projects.  Like best of all The Joker Blogs.  Which seemed dead but just made a comeback.

But going outside Batman.  last year I really loved Sailor Moon The Movie.  It's a American set Adaptation of the first Season of the old Anime.  It uses the old DiC dub names but avoids it's most problematic plot changes (Zoscite and Kunzite are both Male and a couple).  And does a few creative new things.

Only nitpick is I would switch the names of the character called Jadite and Nephrite, and replace the name Jay with Max.

Last one I want to comment on hear is OtaKing's TIE Fighter.  He's a YouTube obsessed with 80s OVA and their shading, and wanted to animate a Star Wars project in that style.

My opinion on the video is it looks great, awesome in fact.  The decision to have no dialogue is fine, doesn't suite my preferences but is a valid artistic choice.  And the Sound Effects are good, they sound like right out or a Star Wars film.

But what bugs me is the Music.  He uses a random song instead of the Williams Score, or something evocative of it.  Maybe he wanted it to be like 80s OVA Music, but then he shouldn't make his project a Star Wars one.  Much of what I love about Star Wars is it's Music.  And if animators in Japan in the 80s got the chance to do a legit Star Wars project, they would have wanted to use to the Music.

Friday, April 14, 2017

They sure do love putting that Vader Helmet in Trailers?

"Hey, you guys liked Vader right?  He's not gonna be in this movie but we'll mention him".

I got it with the first film of the new Trilogy.  But now you'd think they'd want to promote the film based solely on the strength of it's new Villains.

But on the positive I love how they said 'Balance", that is a Prequel reference.

I think this film will be better then TFA.

Update: Okay, it seems I was wrong and that is Kylo's Helmet not Vader's.  It was really hard to tell form how smashed up it is.  But now that I think about it it shows none of those signs of having once been burnt.   I think it diffidently was shot intentionally like TFA's shot of Vader's Helmet.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I've read some more Arsene Lupin

I've read The Hollow Needle and 813 over the last couple days and placed reviews on Amazon for them.

https://www.amazon.com/review/R18U0IXDPHZEXJ/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

https://www.amazon.com/review/R2YZJI5LFFUH0Y/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

I'm not gonna repeat anything form the reviews here, I'll just say that a comment in the 813 review is why I tagged this as a Pretty Little Liars post.

As of these I feel I've read the essentials of the original Arsene Lupin.   I've read the first few short stories and The Woman with the Green Eyes (Super Sleuth) online, and I've read BlackCoatPress's translations of the Holmes stories, the Caligostro stories, and now these two.

I've mentioned before how unfortunate I think it is that (English Speaking)Anime fans who  re into Lupin III don't seem too motivated to read up on the original.  But their adventures are very different.  Lupin III arguably draws more directly on James Bond and Indiana Jones, both those owe their own debt of Arsene Lupin of course, directly or not, but are still distinct.  Arsene Lupin's adventures are not particularly action heavy, the focus on characters trying to out think each other makes me think of Code Geass and Death Note as closer Anime analogues, but neither of them have a character I'd compare too directly to Lupin. [Update: now that I've finished it I could also say ACCA in a sense.]

The Castle of Cagliostro draws on the classic Lupin more then most.  But the connection to the Cagliostro novel is mostly just in name.  It's really The Woman with the Green Eyes that seems to have been the major inspiration.

A while ago I talked on Tumblr about Aria the Scarlet Ammo.  I also just watched the first two episodes of it's sequel season, AA, now that their Dub is available.  It has a very different vibe, one that appeals to me much more overall.  No longer a male MC and so far no egregious fan service.  And it's got Yuri.  And fortunately Riko Mine will be back.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

I want some English Translations of Nobuko Yoshiya's work

Every piece of Japanese Prose literature labeled  "Light Novel" gets an English translation.  Even if they are often unlicensed Fan-Made Translations.  (I can't have beef with those, much of Paul Feval's work is in English only because of 19th Century piracy.)

Some Fan Translation communities exist specifically for Yuri, Fan Subbing Anime, and Scantalations of Manga, official and Doujins, and Yuri Light Novels.

But there is still no way to read the works of the woman who arguably invented the Yuri/Girls Love/GL/Shoujo Ai genre.  Nobuko Yoshiya.

And the irony is for many of her works there is no legal obstacle to making your own translation in America. Because much of it was Pre 1923 and thus automatically Public Domain in the US, including the single most important one, Yaneura no nishojo ( 屋根裏の二處女 "Two Virgins in the Attic", 1919).

Doesn't matter if it's not Public Domain in the country of origin.  Peter Pan and the KJV are not PD in the UK, but they are in America and how they're used reflects that.  The KJV is the Bible you can find in Dollar Stores, none of the Copyrighted ones are ever sold that cheap.

So, Yanerura no nishojo, Chi no hate made, and most of Hanna monogatari could be translated and reprinted in America by anyone with no worry of legal red tape.

Post Script:  I am going to read some books I've been meaning to read, and so will be taking a brief break from watching Anime.  Once I've read them I will make Reviews of them on Amazon and possibly share them here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Streaming Websites need to be reasonable

Here are two simple rules I feel they all need to follow.

1. Have all shows available for Free with Ads without needing to sign up.

2. No Ads for people using a paid subscription.

However too many want to make certain or even all of their shows watchable only for users paying a monthly fee for a subscriptions.  And also having Ads for paid accounts.

If you want to compete with Television you need make it as convenient as Television.

And this goes double for Anime Streaming.  I realize Netflix's major success with Daredevil and Jessica Jones probably has them thinking they don't need to do anything different.  But in the long I think I'll be proven right.

But Legal Anime Streaming sites seem to feel they need to milk as much money as possible out of those who feel morally obligated to use them in order to make up for all the piracy.

What they don't realize is the solution to the Piracy problem is to make watching it legally more convenient.  Anime fans want to support the shows they like, but many simply don't have that much money to throw around.  They would have no problem sitting through ads on a legal site if it was just as free.  Especially since some of the illegal sites have ads anyway.

And it's doubly stupid to make a show meant mainly for kids a Paid membership exclusive, like Glitter Force.  On TV it's the opposite, channels like HBO air almost exclusively R rated content, and the parallel to that is exactly where Netlifx main success has been, the dark and gritty corner of the MCU.

Glitter Force it seems is considered a flop, and that's why they aren't going to Dub the Smile Pretty Cure movie.  One reason it failed is because it changed names and tried to pretend it's not set in Japan, but that only explains why it wasn't popular with those already into PreCure.  If the reason for doing that was to make it more accessible to people who don't usually watch Anime, especially western kids, Netflix was not the place to put it.

I think it's bad a idea for Kids shows to be Internet exclusive in general.  As much as we nerds who live on The Internet like to pretend regular television is obsolete.  The fact is it's sill true that the younger a kid is the more their parents are limiting their time online.  Which is why every currently successful kids show still airs on regular television.  So it bugs me that even the new Sailor Moon dub isn't airing on TV, the Sailor Moon fan base could be growing in America right now but it's not.

But there is certainly no way Parents are going to buy a Netflix account just so their kids can watch Glitter Force.  And those that have accounts anyway probably aren't letting their kids randomly browse it, so none are even going to become aware of Glitter Force.

In-spite of all the localization being annoying I find Glitter Force a solid Dub.  It could have been a hit if it'd actually been made available to Kids.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Anime Mash Up Trailers on YouTube

I talked about Fan Trailers last year.  Mash Up Trailers are something different, basically the Audio of a movie Trailer put over different visuals, usually from an Anime giving it a Pseudo Fan Dub quality.

I first discovered them years ago via some Mash Ups of The Dark Knight to Code Geass.  Then last year I found that Dual of The Fates Utena AMV, which was done to the Music Video giving it a trailer like quality.

The only one not to Animation I've really enjoyed is the Pretty Little Liars Suicide Squad one done by one of the ProsWatchPLLToo people.

Then I started seeking them out more regularly and found quite a few.  I watched some of Code Geass to The Dark Knight Rises, some Death Note to the Dark Knight films.  Some Code Geass to the Star Wars Prequels ones, as well as Evangelion to Star Wars.  And Some Mean Girls ones, mainly one to Lucky Star.  They are included on my Anime Playlist.

So I want to mention some Mash Up trailer ideas I'd like to see that haven't been done yet.  And that I'm not talented enough to do myself.

Smile Pretty Cure/Glitter Force to The Dark Knight.  With Joker as The Joker, that's obvious, that's where this idea starts.  Reika as Batman, since she's the one with a one on one confrontation with Joker.  Pop as Alfred, and Nao as Rachel Dawes since she's who Reika is usually shipped with, (according to TVTRopes anyway).

Returning to the subject of Code Geass and Star Wars, I'd like to see that Padme focused Phantom Menace trailer that has already been done to Code Geass once, done to Akito of the Exiled, with Leila as Padme.  And I'd love to see some Gundam/Star Wars mash ups, if they exist already I'm having trouble finding them.

Related to that would be going Gundam to Star Wars, for me the most meaningful would be 00.

And another Anime that could be fun to see done to Mean Girls would be Yuru Yuri.

And as I said before I'd like to see some using Noir and Madlax.

Update:  I’d really like to see Yuki Yuna is a Hero done to some Star Wars trailers.  Those scenes of Karin practicing on the beast with her wooden swords particularly feel made for John Williams music to me.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

An American Light not being White would be Alt-Right propaganda

This is a follow up of sorts to my earlier post I'm Fine with a Westernized Adaptation of Death Note.

But there is a second layer to the issue of White Washing Light, which is saying "why does American Light have to be White? not all Americans are White?".

I read a LadyGeekGirl article.  The author seems to think that because Japan isn't as "Racially" diverse as America that it has no concept of some people being more Privileged then others. And I find that offense.  It doesn't matter how much you think everyone looks the same, every society has some classes or demographics who are more privileged then others.

Light Yagami is absolutely a privileged person in all Japanese set versions of Death Note.  He's a Police Cheif's son, he's an honor student, he's someone women seem to throw themselves at.  And he absolutely flys under the radar of the police because of that.

So if any Anime character has to be White in an American setting it's Light Yagami.

In fact I will go so far as to say it would be White Nationalsit propaganda to have an American Light be a minority.  It will play into their desire to deny White Privilege while delusionally claiming political correctness is allowing minorities to get away with things, to have an Asian American, African American, Latino American or Muslim fly under the police radar the way Light Yagami does.

Light should be an irredeemable villain with no sympathetic qualities.  If he's not that I"ll consider it a failure no matter what he looks like, that's my issue with the 2015 series, trying to make Light more sympathetic. So it'd actually be much more problematic for such a character to be a POC.

Some other claims from this article I want to address.
However, (spoilers for a decade-old manga) L dies. Light outmaneuvers him
1. We don't know the adaptation will end that way, the first Live Action adaptation in Japan had L win.

2. Light is eventually defeated by Near and Mello, who interestingly were White men in the Manga/Anime but played by a Japanese actress in the 2015 series.  So if this version carries the story to include them, we'll have to wait and see how they're cast.
Aside from the phrasing of “Justice of Kira” not sounding like fluent English, the original Japanese used Kira as Light’s serial killer identity because “kira” (キラー) is how the word “killer” is written/pronounced in Japanese. Why on earth is this white boy from Seattle calling himself that?
Light is not the one who coined the name Kira in the Anime.  Also what country Light is from being known was a product of L's deductions.  So we have to wait and see how the name comes about here.

Watari is made Japanese in this even though he was British in the source material.  I'm curious how they're going to make sense of that.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Everything Great about The Star Wars Prequels

I feel bad I didn't watch these videos as soon as they went up.  I got the wrong impression of what this guy thought of the Prequels from his TFA video.  As a long time Prequel defending these videos mentions subtleties even I hadn't noticed yet.

Okay, I can't get the Revenge of the Sith one to show up here the way I could the first too.  If you go watch the videos on YouTube directly you'll find it easily.

He's still more critical of em then I am.  I have a post dedicated to the Taxation Dispute issue.  And Padme is the main character of Episode I as a stand alone film, not Qui-Gon.

But these are good video, a short quick and easy way to start sticking it to Prequel haters.

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 privileged 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 (like Telma in Twilight Princess), as well as a male being born every 100 years.

But let's get to the topic I 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.

The common tendency to see the Gerudo as being like Arabs could make my Feminism of Pre-Islamic Arabia post interesting to look at.

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?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Making it up as you go along isn't always bad

Isaac Asimov's three laws of Robotics are probably the single most highly revered set of rules for a fictional universe ever convinced.  Before he started trying to connect the Robot universe to his other fiction they always were depicted consistently.  They're so highly revered that other writers have used them as if they are just a given, from The Forbidden Planet to the Megaman games (in Japan).

This blog post isn't about that however.  It's about the fact that Isaac Asimov did not pre-plan them, they were not in some secret Bible he constructed before he wrote his first piece of Robot themed fiction.  He started just writing stories about Robots how he naturally felt inspired to write them.  And then someone else, his Editor I think, told him "ya know your Robots seem to function on three basic laws" and then Isaac ran with it.  This observation being made opened the door to stories he would never have written otherwise.

There is a common perception out there that serialized fiction always works best when the writer has everything carefully planned out in advance.  Even though in the case of anything that has lasted more then one season or trilogy, that's never actually been the case, however much they may want their fans to think otherwise.  These fans may admit it's unrealistic to pre-plan every scene of all 154 episodes of a 7 season show.  But they think it's important to know where the show is headed, and to have a "Show Bible" that lays out all the key rules of the lore, even ones you're going to waits years to mention onscreen.

Some fans of the Wheel of Time series are obsessed with a belief that the books are still playing out according to some master plan the original author laid out decades ago.  I have no idea whether or not that's true, I haven't read any of it yet.  But I find it amusing.

If Joss Whedon refused to leave his original plan for Buffy Season 2, Spike would have died in episode 10.  But Buffy wound up feeling like it could have been pre-planned, buy in it's closing seasons cleverly drawing on what came before.  So basically I'm saying I do not think Joss planned for The First to be the final season's Big Bad when he wrote that Season 3 Christmas special, but it sure seemed to fit once that was how it played out.

The average person does not know that Alexandre Dumas novels were written in a serialized format.  Among us who do know a perception exists that Dumas stories were more pre-planned then others.  And maybe he tried to be that way, but given what I know about how that industry worked, there is no way he wasn't subject to editorial whims based on reader opinion.  But Dumas and his rivals in that field like Paul Feval laid the foundations of modern genre fiction.

Telling a story that is carefully constructed from start to finish is of course often great.  But that doesn't work for something ongoing.  Madoka Magica was 12 perfectly executed episodes.  Then they decided to milk it some more.  If you want something to last years, it's best to allow it to be flexible.

Some shows seem to have poor endings because the creators wanted to stick to an ending they envisioned at the same time they wrote the Pilot, even though the show had evolved.  Star Trek Voyager was a victim of this.

You may think "Mithrandir, isn't this odd coming from someone who seems to believe George Lucas about how pre-planned Star Wars was???".  All I believe is that Vader was Lukes' father by the time A New Hope was filming, I don't care how many early drafts don't fit the final product we got.  In SFdebris series about the development of Star Wars he delights in trying to refute the idea that Vader meaning father means something by going over these early versions. Yet Father-Son dynamics (with the father still alive) are all over these abandoned concepts he talks about.  Darth Vader is several of those concepts merged together, and thankfully Lucas noticed that Vader means father at some point.  To me the big proof of this lies in how Anakin is never mentioned in Vader and Obi-Wan's conversation, yet their backstory as presented to Luke revolved around Anakin.

Plenty of other things clearly did change.  The Emperor was originally envisioned as just a puppet/figurehead according to the Novelization.  Yet the Novelization also proves something like the Taxation Disputes with the Trade Federation was always part of the Republic's fall.  I think Luke and Leia were already siblings when Empire was filmed, because it's ending makes no sense if they aren't, but I don't know about ANH.

So, my point is.  It's about the journey not the destination.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Most critics of fiction seem to believe strongly in Nuture over Nature.

You may or may not know that within the world of psychology there is an ongoing debate about why people are the way they are, called Nature vs Nurture.  Are we who we are because of what we've experienced, starting with how we were raised? or is that simply how our Brains are wired?  Or is it a combination of both?

And even though most people take that third option, they still want to debate whether it tips one way or the other.

But the way fiction is critiqued seems to show a clear bias towards Nurture from critics and anyalists.  Now in fairness this largely starts with how many successful and influential writers have clearly strongly advocated for Nurture in their writing, and their writing is what many critics are taught as examples of how it should be.

This kind of overlaps with the over reverence for Deconstructions.  Which comes from the philosophy that certain unconventional character traits can only be the result of some kind of trauma or abuse.

This is part of why I'm so often at a disconnect with critics.  I'm seeing people criticize something I like by saying "they never explain why these characters are this way".  Or praising something that I feel wasted to much time on backstory by saying "It's so great to see this character trait being given an explanation for a change".

Though perhaps it's unfair for me to bring this debate into it.  Because even if I fully agreed with Nuture over Nature I'd still be like "THAT'S NOT WHAT THIS STORY IS ABOUT, WAIT FOR THE DAMN PREQUEL!!!!".

In fact given my history of praising Prequels as an art form, you might be surprised to see me be so critical of the Nuture argument.  But the Prequels I like reflect a decent balance between Nuture and Nature.  Anakin Skywalker was influenced by his experiences, but he did not start out a blank slate.

And then there is Lupin III The Woman Called Fujiko Mine.  What I love about this Prequel is how it starts out seeming like your generic Deconstruction, "obviously a woman would only behave like a Femme Fatale if she was horribly victimized" to in the end say, "NOPE, she was like that all long, deal with it".

I watched a video on YouTube praising how Lucky Star deals with familial relations.

Lucky Star is one of my favorite Animes, and I do like how it depicts all it's relationships, so for that I like and recommend the video.

But this video also expresses an annoyance at how other High School set Animes write around the parents (western shows will also do this, "Out of Town" is a meme in the PLL fandom).  I have always been fine with that, a tv show only shows us 20-40 minutes a week of the characters lives.  When I was in school I had no friends and still spent way more time then that away from my parents.  The parents aren't who I watch Cute Girl shows for, in fact I like them best when it's possible to imagine that the male gender doesn't even exist.  (Yet SciFi stories explicitly based on that premise tend to bore and disappoint me.)

This video and even more so it's comments talk about how important it is to show how our families shape who we are.  And that annoys me, who I am can't be logically explained by my parents.  My ideology doesn't resemble theirs enough to say I simply became them, but isn't opposite to theirs enough to say I'm just rebelling.

But this is at it's most annoying when it's applied to the Anime Tsundere, where I see comments like "the tsundere schtick is handled well when the trope is treated like a mental hangup bordering on mental illness."-a YouTuber calling themselves Char Azanbel.

You see, I've paid enough attention to the world to know that the Tsundere isn't unique to Anime.  It can be traced back to Shakespeare at least.  Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing describes Beatrice's feelings for Benedick thusly:
By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think
of it but that she loves him with an enraged
affection: it is past the infinite of thought.
Skye Sweetnam had a song called Tangled Up In Me where she was basically singing about being a Tsundere.  That whole common idea you've heard that if a girl was picking on you on the playground it probably means she likes you, is exactly what the Tsundere is based on.  It's only become so well categorized in Anime because we Otaku obsess over categorizing everything.

It is common in fiction because it is a damn near universal experience.  We've all been a Tsundere towards something at some point, before I started writing blogs I would hide much of the fiction I enjoyed.  Frankly I think Digibro is a Tsundere towards Sword Art Online, I think secretly he loves it, but can't admit that to himself because it breaks those writing school rules he worships.

So Asuka from Evangelion keeps getting praised as the best written Tsundere. I was unable to find her likeable regardless of her backstory, and that's as someone who's bias is always to favor the female characters.  So I get sick of seeing Asuka praised for being Traumatized, while Rin Tohsaka is considered just a visual novel cliche by "educated" critics. And Kagami ignored for being from an Anime that isn't story driven at all, but that's what I like about Lucky Star.

What amuses me most however.  Is when these critics who are generally just as Liberal as I am are applying this Nuture bias to every character trait but sexual orientation.  But remain deeply offended at any suggestion that Homsoexuals aren't born that way.  My position on being "born that way" or not is first that it should be irrelevant towards Gay Rights, or whether they are viewed as human beings, or whether it's a Sin or not (I strongly believe it is not).  But I firmly agree we can't control who we're attracted to, but that goes right down to an individual basis. And every sexual preference I have also has it's exceptions, from gender to hair color.

So my point is.  Quit caring so much about why a character is who they are.  And just enjoy them for who they are.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Gundam The Origin

As an advocate of Prequels in general, I wanted to try watching a Prequel to something I don't know the original story for.  I heard of this recently and that it was pretty good.  As you may know the only Gundam series I was previously familiar with is Gundam 00 which is not part of the Universal Century continuity.

Four Episodes are available, only the third has an after credits scene.  All four are Dubbed already, which is good, in Japan some characters are still voiced by the same actors who voiced them 40 years ago even though they are younger here.  I don't want to deal with that.

After watching them I learned that this isn't really a Prequel to the existing continuity but more of a Reboot that starts at an earlier point.  Still a similar concept.

Overall I like it, the first episode is difficult to get into at first.  What it needed was some narration set up at the beginning, like the 2nd, 3rd and 4th episodes had.

From the vague knowledge I had of Gundam going in.  I was easily able to guess who was supposed to be Char.  Gundam gets called the Star Wars of Japan, and Char the Darth Vader of Japan.  In some ways I think how this handles Char is how many Prequels would have wanted Anakin to be written, someone introverted who doesn't much express his emotional angst.  But Lucas had a specific point to make about Anakin not being cut out for the Stoic philosophy of what the Jedi Order had become.  And in the OT Darth Vader was not exactly someone who restrained himself.

I think this could be a good introduction to the franchise for new fans.  I don't think I could ever watch the original Gundam, I simply don't like how most 70s Anime looked.  Here, it is hilarious how some characters look obviously like their original character designs were made in the 70s, but others not so much.

Yuki Kajiura is the John Williams of Anime

There are a lot of potential candidates for the title of all time best director or best actor in Hollywood. But I think few would dispute that the all greatest composer of Film Scores is John Williams.

Between Jaws, Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter, he's made most of the most Iconic film scores of all time.  Harry Potter is the only of those franchises I haven't seen, but I still recognize the Music when I hear it.

Who are the top composers of other mediums?  Back when G4 still existed and still had more then just one show about Video Games.  I watched a half hour biography they did of the main Composer of the Final Fantasy series.  He seems like a good candidate, but to me the most personally Iconic video game music is definitely the music form Nintendo first party titles.

But I think easily the John Williams of Anime is Yuki Kajiura.

She did Noir, my favorite Anime, largely the reason I got into anime.  It's soundtrack is still the only Anime soundtrack I've ever bought on CD.  And to this day it holds up, I can put that Music on my not quite an IPod and goes weeks listening to no Music other then it.

After that she's done it's sister series, Madlax and El Cazador de la Bruja.  Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero and Sword Art Online.  And many others I still haven't watched yet, some indentI intend to try soon.  There is some where her Music is the only nice thing some people have to say about it, not unlike how Prequel haters feel about their Music.

Can any other Anime composer compete?  Lots of Anime have memorable opening and closing themes, but nothing epic in terms of score.  Death Note's score is memorable mostly for how obviously it's going for an Omen vibe, and that's fine, it works great for what Death Note was doing.  And you've got lots of Anime where the characters are making Music in the show.  Evangelion is an anime who's most disappointing quality was it's music, I love that Bohemian Rhapsody AMV because I feel it tells the story musically far better.  The music of Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works does as well as it does largely because it's following Fate/Zero's lead, knowing Yuki will be back for the Heaven's Feel movie has me even more excited for it, it's too bad the Dub probably won't get a theatrical release.

The only Anime who's score can compete with Yuki Kajiura scores is Revolutionary Girl Utena.  And it had two composers, the Duel Themes were done by a different composer then the rest.  And neither had done anything else I'm currently familiar with, partly because not much else that is considered a must watch.

So for the time being I feel there is little competition for Yuki Kajiura as the best Anime Composer.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Lion King is more like Horus then Hamlet

First I recommend you watch this video on YouTube from KyleKallgrenBHH.
I have long felt that The Lion King's connection to Hamlet is overstated, and on that subject this is a great video.

He also laments how we commonly fail to look for African inspiration for the story.  The African legend he talks about, Sundiata, is pretty interesting and I think may well be relevant.  But there is another Nation in Africa who's mythology has long been what the story of The Lion King first makes me think of.

Egypt.

Simba = Horus
Mufasa = Osiris
Scar = Set
BTW, Scar is depicted as arguably vaguely Homosexual and Set's stories also have some homoerotic undertones to them.

Now we should remember that Set wasn't so firmly vilified originally.  But because the Hyksos foreign occupiers favored him so heavily, Set's reputation took a nose dive during (most of) the New Kingdom.

Of course Egypt being one of the most Ancient nations on Earth, and which had long periods of influence and contact with other regions.  Means that this pattern was mimicked elsewhere quite frequently.

In Greek mythology there was Perseus who it seems may have originally been fathered by Proteus, the brother of Acrisius, not Zeus.  Which in turn influenced Herodotus's version of the biography of Cyrus.

Kyle talks in the video about how every work has many ancestors.  I feel like noting how a writer may not always be consciously aware of what's influencing them.  I know because of who I've spent my time with I've spent a lot of time seeing and hearing movies and TVshows I would never have chosen to watch on my own.  And I have vague memories of things I do not remember the name of, or maybe never knew.

Kyle chose Moses as a potential Biblical example.  I would have picked David as a future King who spent time in Exile, and Athaliah as a blatant Usurper. I also have a tendency to suspect Jehosheba and Athaliah are echoed in the tale of Snow White.

But also as a Christian I could compare this pattern to The Bible's overall depiction of Satan as the current Archon of the Kosmos and god of this Aion, having stolen the Dominion from Adam.  And Jesus as The Son of Adam who will restore everything.

While Hamlet fails to be like The Lion King or the story of Horus due to how Hamlet never takes the Throne or cares to.  In the original Danish legend of Amleth he actually does become King.

Other plays of Shakespeare also echo this pattern.  You can see it somewhat in the Henriad as Kyle points out.  Macbeth, Richard III and King John are all plays where the title character is the Set figure.

Paul Feval novels where this pattern is reflected include Revenants, and the DeClare story in The Blackcoats: Heart of Steele.

In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the original backstory we are given made Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader kind of surrogate brothers, students of the same master.  In which case Anakin becomes Osiris, Vader is Set and Luke is Horus.  Later when we learn the truth this analogy doesn't really change, Osiris and Set simply become two sides of the same person.  Even the Dismemberment theme may go back to Horus castrating Set.  So yes you can say that the voice of Mufasa had previously voiced Scar.

In Super Mario RPG The Legend of The Seven Stars, Mallow is a rightful prince in unknowing exile while Valentina is the usurper.

Recent takes on Snow White try to play up how she can be viewed as a female version of Horus, and the Evil Queen as a female Set.  I think there is a lot more potential to be had from taking that approach.  There is also Ashe in Final Fantasy XII.

So, those are my elaborations on Kyle's thoughts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WWE's GImmick PPVs

This is the first Wrestling post on this blog.  My interest in Pro Wrestling tends to fluctuate.  The last time I was following it even close to regularly was the year of Daniel Bryan, the build up to Wrestlemania 30 and the month or so after it.  Because my Wrestling memories are often the most compartmentalized from the rest, I was kinda surprised when I did the math today and noticed that was before I started this blog.  Shouldn't have been, as I obviously would have blogged about it if I was blogging back then, in fact this very subject was on my mind then.

Since then I've checked in here and there, but didn't feel compelled to stick around.  The last week or so however I've been getting into it again.  Yet not to able to get into actually watching any WWE programing.

Many have been complaining about doing Gimmick PPVs, but my take is a little different.

On the issue of the Gimmick PPVs cheapening the match itself, I'd say that applies mainly to Hell in a Cell.  Hell in a Cell should be a feud ender, not something that happens just because it happens to be October, and so we sometimes wind up with HiaC matches between people who barely met before.

If they want to happen to write the story-lines so that most of the time a Feud reaches HiaC capacity in October, that's fine, I can suspend my disbelief for that, in 2003 and 2004 we had HiaC in the same month two years in a row and I didn't complain.  But actually calling the PPV Hell in a Cell means they don't need to justify the match in the writing at all, some happen to have fit, but most don't.  And doing more then one in the same event is overkill.  Call the October PPV Bad Blood, like the event that introduced Hell in a Cell.

Other matches simply don't feel interesting or Epic enough to carry a PPV.  Like Ladder matches, as awesome as they are, none of the great Ladder matches were the actual Main of Event of their PPV and there was a reason for that.  So that there have been two PPVs based on a variation of the Ladder match just shows how much that kind of match has become a crutch, especially in the PG era with it being the most exciting gimmick where a lack of Blood doesn't feel like a disappointment.

However I am perfectly fine with Elimination Chamber having a PPV built around it.  See any Gimmick match where the Gimmick requires more then two competitors I feel can have a PPV built around it.  Feuds may be developed in the match but don't need to be the reason the match happens. Remember, two of WWE's big four PPVs were built around gimmick matches.  Though one sadly often ignores it's founding gimmick.

My problem with Elimination Chamber is when they're doing it.  I hate it being between Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania.  I would like to go back to no PPVs between those two at all.  But I especially hate having it almost guaranteed the Title will change hands (rarely does a defending Champion retain in an Elimination Chamber match).  I want the Title Match of WM to be set in stone as soon as Royal Rumble ends, if a PPV has to happen in-between let it be something that puts WM opponents on opposing teams or something like No Way Out 98 did.

Maybe put Elimination Chamber a month and a half before SummerSlam, and make it not for the Title anymore but for the Title Shot at SummerSlam.  Or put it in September, where WCW wound up settling on putting War Games for 93-99.  Or make it the October PPV if they really want a guaranteed horrifying Cage match for the Halloween season.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I'm pretty Easy to Please

That's one of the main areas where I don't fit in among most people who feel the need to express themselves on The Internet.  I don't think most of what Hollywod produces now is garbage, I don't think modern Anime is being ruined by Cute Girls, and I don't think Pop is destroying Music.

I have enjoyed the vast majority of fiction I've consumed.  And I've fallen in love with a pretty large percentage of that.  And I aboslutly hate only one particular movie that I do not wish to name.   Most of the other things I may complain about have some significant redeeming qualities that I have no hesitation to acknowledge.

Of course maybe it only seems that way because I'm unintentionally good at avoiding what I wouldn't like.  As much as I've been mostly only watching Anime lately, I'm not like an Anime YouTuber who feels the need to try at least the pilot of every new show.  Over 100 new Anime come out every year and I've probably still seen less then 100 total.

There is no particular rhyme or reason to what I decide to check out.  Maybe it was something in the description, maybe it was recommended by someone, maybe I saw a glimpse of it in a random YouTube video.  Maybe it came from the same creators as something else I liked.  It's pretty much all decided on a whim.

Still there are lately plenty of Anime I've started and not finished.  But I have no hate for those anime, or even a strong dislike.  They just didn't compel me enough.

Sword Art Online does a lot I really like, and a lot that really bothered me.  The Mother's Rosario arc was the best, it had none of what generally bugged me about it.

You might think the point of making a post like this is to say it should really mean something when I do dislike something.  But I'm not that presumptuous.  The one movie I hate has it's group of defenders, in that past when I less mature that bothered me, but I've grown up now and don't care.

I guess my point is I wish more people took my approach.  If you can tell an Anime is the kind you'd hate from looking at the poster then don't watch it.  If you hated the original movie don't watch the Sequel unless you feel you have good reason to expect it to be different.  I have my own issues with Batman V Superman, but I have no interest in seeing it critiqued by people who spent 3 years hating Man of Steel, a movie I loved.

I've seem people make YouTube videos to specifically defend their Hate Watching of certain shows.  And it just comes off as petty.

I realize professional critics have a perception that their reviews won't mean anything if they only give positive ones.  But a traditional review is less then a page of text or a less then 10 minute video.  You don't need half an hour to talk someone out of watching something.

What really bugs me though is how many Positive reviews nowadays are based on constantly referencing how something else was bad.  The famous "Everything Wrong with" videos now have a channel doing the opposite, "Everything right about", (CineWins rather then CineSins).  In concept that should be right up my alley.  But the one on The Force Awakens is 50% "ain't it great how this isn't like The Prequels", which as anyone who knows me knows is the easiest was way to turn me off.

And that's why simply telling me "don't watch/read the negative reviews" won't solve my problem, because internet negativity makes it's way even into positive reviews.

I guess the only point of this post is tell people where I'm coming from.  I'm a pretty easy person to satisfy, and I will never take that as an insult.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I’m tired of people only seeing the worst of Internet comments and message boards.

Note for context, this is copy/pasted from a Tumblr post I made.  But this version will be better proof read.

As a veteran of IMDB since 2003, I’ve had a lot to complain about, and did some of that right here on my Tumblr.  But when I read TMS and Gawker pretty much agreeing with “Nothing of value was lost” I get offended.

I’ve met important Internet comrades there.  I’ve learned much and had all kinds of fun conversations.  And It’s played a role in how I’ve become a more liberal person.  The beginning of the journey that lead to me creating my “The Bible does not Condemn Homosexuality” dissertation was in an IMDB thread.

And YouTube comments are frequently valuable too.  Every successful YouTuber is thankfull for the community that exists in their comments section.

Now as far as the desire to politicize this goes.  I’m a little annoyed at all the Conservatives who act like censoring dissenting comments and justifying it with talk about petty hateful trolls is an inherently Liberal thing.  There are Christian blogs I’ve been blocked from commenting on, and Forums and Facebook groups I’ve been kicked out of for expressing my dissenting view of the Bible passages presumed to condemn Homosexuality.

And as far as mocking people for being “Triggered” goes.  That’s not uniquely liberal either.  In one of those Facebook Groups there were literally people acting like they’re traumatized by my opinion of Homosexuality being allowed to stand as long as it was.  They may not have used the same terminology but it was absolutely the same thing.

So no, you’re not actually gaining any SJW cred by being all for the shutting down of Internet discussion for fear of “Trolls”.

Friday, February 3, 2017

When They Cry/Higurashi the ideal Horror Anime

Strictly speaking I'm not a Horror fan.  I've never been truly scared by any fiction I've consumed, nor have I ever sought that reaction.  So the presumed main appeal of Horror stories does not apply to me.

But I have enjoyed many stories in the Horror genre for other reasons.  I'm interested in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy elements they sometimes use, which overlaps with my interest in mythology and folklore, both real and fictional.  I enjoy mysteries and thrillers and Hitchcock style suspense.  And I can enjoy psychological horror because I like character pieces, I like exploring and developing interesting characters, and something like telling a story from the POV of someone slowly going insane from Paranoia can be an interesting way to do that.

But my lack of interest in most modern Horror tends to come from a deteriorating appreciation for the idea that "less is more".  I get tired of endless Jump Scares and gratuitous blood and gore.

I'm also someone who has spent the last few years increasingly turning almost exclusively to Anime for my entertainment media.  I haven't watched much Horror anime yet, a few that have horror elements but are still not chiefly about being horror, like Future Diary.  And yes even the Zombie anime I talked about last year was not really a horror story.

But this last week I decided to check out Higurashi no Naku Korro ni (sometimes just shortened to Higurashi) rendered in English as both When They Cry and The Moment the Cicades Cry.  This Anime has much of why I'm interested in Horror stories, and none of what commonly bugs me about them.  And It's also had positive reviews from people who are Horror fans much more so then I am.

The show has some of the most notoriously gory scenes in all of Anime.  But it uses those moments sparingly, building up to them and earning them.  And it has exactly 1 scene that could qualify as a Jump scare, and even that is perfectly executed.

I'm not the only one who was reminded of The Wicker Man at certain moments (the original, I haven't seen the remake).  And I suspect it has some Twin Peaks influence too.  It is very much the Japanese version of a Gothic Novel.  But it's also very creative and original, and non-linear.  It's a period piece set in June 1983 but not constantly throwing the 80s in your face the way western TV shows set in the 80s do.

And that is my Spoiler Free recommendation.




Spoiler Warning.



I'm someone who often doesn't mind being spoiled, I'll intentionally read a book's afterward before the actual story.  But if there is anything I've watched where I'm glad I wasn't spoiled going in it is this Anime.  Because I was born in 1985 people don't believe me when I say I was surprised by Vader begin Luke's father when I first watched Empire Strikes Back.  But my family didn't have access to the Internet till like 2000, and my parents were not into Star Wars, and I didn't have friends back then.  But I can say being surprised by that scene did not effect my overall enjoyment of that film nearly as much as not knowing what's going on in Higurashi matters.

So I'm going to give a second spoiler warning, if you think you don't mind being spoiled, think really hard about that before reading on.


Spoiler Alert.



If you find the main character bland, don't worry, he's not the real main character.  He's the POV only for the first 13 episodes.

The story is based on a visual novel, as such it begins by depicting three alternate scenarios for how these events could play out, before sometimes going into the past to start explaining some of the context.  The first arc/four episodes are a perfect example of what I said above about Psychological horror.

The first two arcs/eight episodes have the combined effect of giving a very skewed perception of certain characters that will later be corrected.

The arc told from Shion's POV is probably the highlight of Season 1, but you can't fully appreciate it without seeing what we were shown before.  It's basically an alternate POV for the second arc.  The first few episodes however are a prequel that should apply to the continuity of all the arcs, and is arguably particularity relevant to the third arc.

That Shion gets labeled a Yandere is misleading.  Her madness is partly driven by her love for Satoshi.  But she's not eliminating romantic rivals, or acting out of possessiveness or a perceived rejection.  When she starts her killing spree you are kind of rooting for her because it starts off as a simple Revenge fantasy, like something Paul Feval or Alexandre Dumas could have written.  But she crosses the line when she kills Satoko, and remembers exactly when it's too late what she'd promised Satoshi.  And then in the end she learned she was wrong (but refuses to accept it).  It is a true tragedy.

The last arc was the perfect way to end Season 1, as it puts certain key puzzle pieces into place.

The second season is Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai. Another thing different about Anime is how it can span genres.  Kai is not really a Horror story anymore, now that we know the gist of what is going on.  For that reason some fans of the first seasons might be disappointed, but I liked it because it was a great thriller.

And if you want the answers to what Season 1 left unanswered it won't disappoint.  It's not like some mystery shows where the "Season of Answers" was mostly.

Till the season finale.

It answer lots of questions.  There was a scene that as it began I figured was gonna be a casual exposition scene laying out what I already knew, but it wasn't, it provided answers I hadn't deduced yet, maybe I should have but I hadn't.

In the end a few things are arguably not directly answered but should be simple enough to figure out with everything we now know.

There are more installments of the franchise that I haven't watched yet.  But the first season alone was enough to recommend it, and the second more then worthy of mentioning.