Saturday, April 29, 2017

Madoka Magica was not Mean Spirited

I did my post about responding to the Madoka Backlash, I'd been wanting to make that for awhile, then once I did I felt I hadn't properly gotten to the heart of the matter.

So I was listening to this commentary on the show.  (At the time I made this post it had covered the first three episodes).  And they kept calling it "mean spirited", seeing it as being made specifically to attack the Magical Girl genre.

Madoka Magica is NOT a Deconstruction.  Even if it were that's not necessarily an attack on the genre, Alan Moore is a fan of Superhero comics and doesn't even like how his influence has made the genre darker.  And Anno is a fan of the Mecha genre.  And Madoka was directed by Shinbo who previously did Nanoha, he has no problem with the genre.

So they think a lot of people liked it because it was a "take that" to Magical Girls.  I have never encountered such people, I suppose when the show was new they existed, and so some Magical Girl fans have judged the show off them.  I'm a guy who liked Sailor Moon back when the DiC dub was fresh, but it wasn't something I admitted publicly due to social norms, but I grew out of that before I discovered Madoka Magica. Madoka appealed to me as a fan of the genre, not as an outsider.

There is talk as if making more adult oriented Magical Girl shows is somehow taking toys away from children.  Well I still remember how more adult Superhero stories were once viewed the same way, and thus parents got in an uproar over Batman Returns.  Magical Girls are just one of many trends of the 90s getting their grittier more adult revivals today, we see it with Pokemon and other video game characters, and now Power Rangers.  Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't.

But it's hard for me to think of Madoka as even being that dark in the grand scheme of things.  In the context of Anime you have Fate/Zero which is the darkest one I've completed so far (I've watched some of Gilgamesh and am unsure how much I wanna continue).  In the context of Magical Girl shows it's hard for me to accuse either Madoka or Yuki Yuna of running on shock value now that I've seen Raising Project (Mami's death was totally predicable to anyone who knows writing conventions, Raising Project was for all it's problems much more legitimately unpredictable, Mami is basically Obi-Won Ned Star Kenobi).  Frankly I don't think Madoka is even as dark as Empire Strikes Back, a movie I've had a long history of saying isn't nearly as dark as people make it out to me.

But being Dark to some degree was not unheard of in the Magical Girl genre, Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura both got dark at times, Nanoha also did. Kamikaze Jeanne predates Madoka in having a really dark twist to it.  And the original Kaitou Twin Angel OVA is a two part story where the bad guy totally wins at the end of part one, it's much closer to what a Deconstruction would look like.  Then there is Cutey Honey's debated relationship to the genre.  It's actually PreCure that is the stand out for having no darkness. 

Part of the Feminist objection to Madoka is talking about it "Punishing girls for wanting things".  The message of the show is that it's a screwed up system which our Heroine fixes.  Saying the show condones that would be like saying 1984 condones totalitarian governments.

You can cynically accuse many fans of watching it because they enjoy that.  Same can said about many things, it's not uncommon to say you like Batman for the villains, and some fans cheered Vader at the end of Rogue One.  But most of us Madoka fans liked the show because we cared about the characters and rooted for the eventual happy ending.  Because as I said in The Night is Darkest just before The Dawn, a happy ending is more rewarding when it's a struggle to get there.

It is a theme of the show that none of the girls (but Madoka) wished for what they actually wanted.  That doesn't mean it's viewed as a Sin and that they deserved the tragedies that befell them.  It's a simple human flaw that Kyubey was exploiting.

Carlos and Dave think Madoak wants us to view Kyubey as neutral, I don't get how they think that at all.  Kyubey officially qualifies as a Mustache twirling villain by episode 11, there is no room for ambiguity about him being evil.

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 was.

On the other hand it may be that most of these much decried Light Novel adaptations would have been better off if they'd been movies instead of 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 work.  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 as films 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 seeing 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/Zero or Unlimited Blade Works.  And also Dragonball Z with the whole 20 episodes for one fight meme.  And Attack on Titan. I could maybe add Madlax.  I'm still not too 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 pretty much 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 Fam.... excuse me FreeForm, could replace the soon ending 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 Galactica Razor, a certain plot point happens to justify why it's made between seasons 3 and 4 of the BSG reboot series 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 of 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 is 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 about 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 murdered 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 long 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 they are variations of the exact same Indo-European root.  Man is a synonym of Human, "Woman" means a Man with a Womb.  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.  Regardless 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 and Spiderman clearly originally meant Man as in Human, this only became muddled when female counterparts were created 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 strongly 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 (especially if you exclude outright Hentai).  And a number of shows unfortunately have it early on to hook people (while 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 yet but according to DigiBro Manabi Straight has some awkward fan service moments in it's very first episode that never shows 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 offenders of this but being really self aware and meta about it while trying to deliver a message, and some in that category I also like.  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 matter 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.  Now I like that animation has the ability to have the camera do things it couldn't in real life, but ogling imagery underage girls isn't the best use of that.

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 it if characters 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 it's a type of teasing fans service itself when they are never visible no matter how 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 here 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.  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 just 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 or girl dealing with that.

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

My issue is with it happening to begin with, not cause it's unrealistic, but because I simply don'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 on 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 you 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 few of the franchises people want to adapt have been just yet.  There were plenty of bad adaptations of all those Superheroes before we got the good ones.

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 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 or at least pretty good.  Pretty much everything from the Wachowscis (see Digi's video on Speed Racer), Edge of Tomorrow, Pacific Rim, The Wolverine, 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 Live Action, 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 Blonde 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 real 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 needs 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 Kyle 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 Kurosawa's RAN.  I thought about 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 on 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, but is ultimately far more cartoony.  And much of the trippy stuff in later episodes happened because the Budget ran low.

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 from 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 I'd make 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.

I'm also working 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 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 characters called Jadite and Nephrite, and replace the name Jay with Max.

Last one I want to comment on here is OtaKing's TIE Fighter.  He's a YouTuber obsessed with 80s OVAs 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 of 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 that 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.

I'm not gonna repeat anything from 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 are 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 to 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 a bad 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 BrosWatchPLLToo 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 doing Gundam to Star Wars, for me the most meaningful would be 00.  But it's an overdue idea since Gundam is called Japan's Star Wars.

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, specially The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.  Those scenes of Karin practicing on the beast with her wooden swords particularly feel made for John Williams music to me.