Monday, August 21, 2017

HIDIVE is a Legal Streaming site I want to recommend.

 It allows you to watch stuff for free with ads.  A paying subscription allows you to watch ad free, at 1080 quality, and Dubs for stuff that has Dubs.  And a few shows aren't view able for free because of Ecchi content.  A paid Subscription is $3.99 a Month.

My main constructive criticism right now is that I wish they'd allow Dubs to be watched free with Ads.  It may be the companies that own the rights to the Dubs that are demanding they not be given away for free.  But the purpose of Dubs is mainly to help bring in new fans.  When I recommend an Anime to someone, I want to link them to a Legal site that will let them watch it for free.  And Ideally that should include a Dub.

I'm weird in that I'm willing to watch Subbed when I have too but still prefer Dubs.  I, as much as I want to recommend this site right now don't have the means to pay $4 a month for it.  So I'll be using this site a lot in the near future, but sadly their Dubs I'll still have to look for elsewhere.

That desired improvement aside, it is a site that runs smoothly for me, even on my cheap laptop.  And the Subs are pretty easy to read.  A note before browsing the site, the section called "Movies" includes the OVAs it has, like Gunbuster.

This site is the only legal site I've found Higurashi on, though it's not listed as an exclusive so it must also be somewhere else, but I'm happy to have just found it here.  I looked for a legal option for it before and kinda gave up when neither Crunchyroll, Netflix or Daisuki had it.

They also have exclusive legal streaming rights to Legend of The Galactic Heroes!!!!!  Yes, you heard that right, the most notorious "Elitist" Anime is finally legally streaming in the West.  It's being added one episode at a time, so only 33 are on there at the moment, but that's still something.  Similar to when Sailor Moon was being added to Hulu.

They have Girlish Number and K-On if you're a Digibro fan, also Canaan and Angel Beats.  And Hidimari Sketch, which I'm gonna need to look into what the proper order of it's seasons are.  And Ghost Hound which Digi recently praised.  And they got Log Horizon, which Digi says you should watch instead of SAO.  And Chivalry of a Failed Knight which he recommends as being better then the Asterisk War.

If you're a Fate/ fan they don't have any UFOtable/Aniplex stuff but they do have Deen/Stay Night, the Unlimited Bladworks movie and the first three seasons Prisma Illya.

They have Engaged to the Unidentified, a personal favorite of mine.  And they got Flip Flappers which makes me happy.  And Kampher, something I've been writing a piece on but keep putting off.  And Clannad which I've enjoyed so far.

And all that's just the tip of the Iceburg, lots of stuff I haven't heard of before which I may use this site to check out for the first time.

They also have some Live Action stuff.  Including 4 Godzilla movies (Smog Monster, Sea Monster, Gigan and 1984).

Current Simulcasts include Action Heroine Cheer Fruits.

Akko isn't as Sexy in the series as she was in the movies

It can be difficult to explain what I mean by that, all incarnations of Little Witch Academia are free of the Anime style fan-service that I've complained about before.  And Akko's character design and wardrobe are identical.  I think a lot of it has to do with how her Legs are animated, I'm a Leg Man so maybe most viewers aren't paying as close attention to that as I am.

This isn't a criticism, I liked the LWA movies and I'm enjoying the series so far (I'm 9 episodes in as of deciding to make this post).

The theory I'm going to present here, that many may find truly shocking, is that the reason for this is that the TV series is more concerned with appealing to Male Otaku.

The way Akko is sexy in the original movie is kinda of like how Sailor Moon was sexy, and other Shoujo Anime.  LWA may not be officially marked as a Shoujo Anime, but it feels more like a Shoujo Anime then an Otaku anime.  In other words, yes Women do like being Sexy in their wish fulfillment fantasies, just as male leads are generally attractive in stuff marketed to men.

Meanwhile Enchanted Parade was crowdfunded mainly by Western fans which is why it actually premiered in America first.  So it was made perhaps more so then most Anime with a concern for appealing to a Western audience.  Really playing up how the premise is basically Harry Potter meets My Little Pony.

But the TV series aired on regular Japanese television.  And so had to be concerned with keeping actual Otaku hooked more then any prior incarnation.  Hence getting in episode 8 the first really blatant Yuri Bait moment.

And here is the fact so many critics of Cute Girl shows and their fanbase overlook.  For better or for worse, stereotypical Otaku actually don't want their Cute Girls to be Sexy, they want them being totally pure and non-sexual.  Contrary to what you may have heard, including from Otaku themselves when we're making fun of ourselves, most Otaku consider sexiness and cuteness mutually exclusive.  Even Digibro included no "Lolies" in his list of the Hottest women in Anime.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tsukihime is the gender flipped Twilight

I recently watched the Tsukihime anime.  It's in the same universe as the Fate/ franchise.  The existing Anime from 2003 is generally not well thought of by Type Moon fans, but I enjoyed it.  However I hope Tsukihime gets it's own UFOtable reboot, perhaps once the Heaven's Feel movies are done.  In Fate/Zero season 2 the first episode of Kritisugu's origin story ties into the Tsukihime lore.

I was big into the Vampire craze for awhile, I was someone who did not particularly like Twilight but was far more annoyed by the Twilight hatedom. The Vampire Diaries was my favorite Vampire TV show airing at the time.  I had a past complicated history with Buffy but that's a different matter.  I also read the books from the 90s TVD was originally based on.

I was interested in what little was written that attempted to be a gender inversion of the typical Vampire YA romance formula.  (This was well before Meyer made her own Gender flipped version of Twilight, that was rather lazy.)  Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire series also known as Thirst, was the primary example I could find of a Female Vampire falling in love with a boy in high-school.

And what I noticed from that is the female "Good Vampires" are much more morally ambiguous.  Sita was very much an Anti-Heroine rather then a Heroine, and Lesbian Vampires tended to be modeled after Carmilla.

That's not exactly what I would expect based on the prevalence of the Madonna-Whore Complex.  I would expect it'd be Female Vampires who had no choice but to be either complete Vamps or totally pure angels.  But perhaps it's a product of the belief the ancient Greek philosophers had that women inherently can't control their passions, and therefore only male Vampires could be "Vegetarians".

Eventually I got out of Vampires for the most part.  Lately when I do watch something Vampire related it's checking out Anime Vampires.  I was never able to find a story about a Female Vampire refraining from drinking Human Blood, who falls in love with a High School Student.  Not until I was long done looking and decided to watch Tsukihime because I'm growing increasingly obsessed with Fate/ and didn't even know it was a Vampire show going in.

There were no Werewolves though, the Jacob in this case is a sword wielding Vatican Assassin who's name is pronounced C.L. (in the Dub at least).  First time we see her in action she has those same wanna be Wolverine claws Kirei uses.

Meanwhile, we also have a "Little Sister" who in every conceivable way seems like an Older Sister.  And Red Headed Twin Maids.

It's fun, I may check out the Manga, and I rarely read Manga that isn't a Yuri Doujin, so that says something.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My review of two Lupin The Third movies

Below is from a project I was going to do, possibly as a YouTube video, called "Top 5 Anime Films according to someone who hasn't seen many".  I've canceled that project for a few reasons.  One being I've seen more Anime movies now, enough to totally re-calibrate what that list would have been.

The section on two Lupin III films was all I ever actually wrote before abandoning it, and I want to preserve those thoughts somewhere (The top 4 would have been the Gundam 00 movie, The K0On movie, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Pokemon The 3rd Movie Spell of The Unkown.)  The fact that I consider those two the best Lupin movies is possibly still dependent on me having not seen many, I recently saw Gold of Babylon which came no where new surpassing these, I may comment on it more in the future.  The biggest out of date detail is saying it's the only Miyazaki film I'd seen.  As you'd know if you're following this blog, I saw Nausuca and The Valley of the Wind at the start of June.

So, enjoy.

Number five is…. A tie between two Lupin III films, The Mystery of Mamo and The Castle of Cagliostro.  This will be the only tie on the list, but still it means I’m technically discussing 6 movies.  These are also the only Lupin films on the list, so they are also the best Lupin movies in my opinion.

My interest in Lupin III overlaps with my interest in the original Arsene Lupin and in French Pulp Fiction in general.  And now I shall reveal that these are not traditional objective consumer reviews, but my being analytical about why these films appeal to me.  

Both are perfectly stand alone stories.  But Mystery of Mamo may make a better entry point into the Lupin III saga, since it was the first Lupin III movie and so definitely felt designed to be an entry point on many levels.  And Castle of Cagliostro has odd qualities that resulted in a fan theory that it may be the chronologically last Lupin III story.  

If you’re into the Lupin III saga mainly for Fujiko Mine then that would also make Mamo the prefered choice for you, she is very important to that story.  She is in Castle of Cagliostro, but is not the main love interest.  I do however quite like the fact that she never shows any jealousy towards Clarisse.

Mystery of Mamo’s other big advantage is having a more interesting main villain.  I can’t help but compare him to the character of Colonel Bozzo-Corona from Paul Feval’s Les Habits Noirs (The Blackcoats) series.  But that is probably just me.

Castle of Cagliostro is also currently the only Hayao Miyazaki film I’ve seen.  I have several of them on DVD but haven’t gotten around to watching them yet.

Castle of Cagliostro draws on specific classic Lupin stories more than most Lupin III stories do, a fact probably owed to how well read Miyazaki is.  The connections to La Comtesse de Cagliostro (available in English from BlackCoatPress as Arsene Lupin Vs Countess Cagliostro) are largely in name only.  The Lupin novel that fans of this movie really need to read, is unfortunately not easy to find legally in English.  It’s original French title which I’ll probably mispronounce is La Demoiselle aux yeux verts, the literal English translation of that title would be “The Damsel with The Green Eyes”, but the existing English translation is a volume titled Arsene Lupin Super Sleuth.  If you know Japanese or Korean it’s interestingly easier to find in those languages, if you know French it shouldn’t be a problem at all, everything LeBlanc directly wrote is Public Domain now.  The Clarisse of this film may be named after the Clarisse of the Cagliostro novel, but her personality and situation is more like the title character of the latter novel.  And there are other parallels too.

There is good reason this is often considered the best Lupin film, I might be the only person who thinks the Mamo film is equal to it.  It is a very well directed and beautifully drawn film.  It’s also been very influential in both Japan and the west.  The climactic final confrontation inside the top of a Clock Tower would be homaged in Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective, and in the first Clock King episode of Batman: The Animated Series.  I could have mentioned this in my The Mysteries of Gotham blog post, where I talked about how the roots of Batman directly or indirectly often go back to French Pulp Fiction.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Wedding Peach and Yuki Yuna is a Hero

Every Magical Girl Warrior show owes a debt to Sailor Moon, just as all Comic Book Superheros owe one to Superman.  Sailor Moon invented that genre, or Sub-Genre rather.  Things existed before that you could compare it to (Cutey Honey, Mary Marvel, the 70s TV Wonder Woman and Isis), but Sailor Moon was the proper genesis of the Magical Girl Warrior.

But none is stuck in the shadow of Sailor Moon more directly then 1995's Wedding Peach.  It's a show that's easy to glance at and see it as the most generic and egregious Sailor Moon copycat.  But that is unfortunate because I think the show does plenty of distinctive interesting things.

First of all is the fact that the Mascot character is a minion of the enemies who changes sides when Momoko helps her.  The fact that Momoko's father does eventually learn what's going on.  And I feel like noting that this show predates certain western shows that did a similar, Heroine's Boyfriend has an evil demon alter ego twist, including Buffy.

I haven't finished Wedding Peach yet, I'm close to the end, but going through 50 episodes is a slog.  And given the nature of Anime adaptations I'm not even sure I'll get a satisfying resolution to the story.  It's far from being my favorite Magical Girl Show mainly because it manages to be the hardest to read any basis for my Yuri shipping into.  But I've found a lot of it's character arcs interesting.  And it's the only Magical Girl show that surpasses Sailor Moon in how sexy I think the girls look in their uniforms.

Miragephan has alluded to plans to do a negative review of Yuki Yuna is a Hero eventually.  That seems to be the magical girl show that most enrages her.

It comes from a place of her not liking the Dark Magical Girl trend in general, which is odd to me given how she said in the Madoka isn't a Deconstruction video that she doesn't like limiting what a Magical Girl show could be, but whatever.   If it's the darkness trend she doesn't like I feel like it should be the show that started the trend she is more mad at.

Meanwhile Magical Girl Raising Project is the show that takes the darker and edgier trend to it's most extreme conclusion.  And from what I've heard the Light Novels get even worse in the future arcs where it eventually just becomes the bad guys winning all the time like on Game of Thrones.

But even from the point of view of liking Madoka and being annoyed by shows perceived as being pale imitations.  I couldn't see why Yuki Yuna would be the one to single out.

Then I recalled how Digi placed Yuki Yuna on his Beginner's guide to Magical Girls chart "I want something exactly like Madoka".  (Other things that bug me on that chart are including Utena at all, failing to include Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne in the Thief section, defaulting to HeartCatch as the entry way for PreCure, and not starting either column or even sub-route with Sailor Moon.)

Given how I recently said that Madoka was basically also the birth of a new Sub-Genre.  It seems Yuki Yuki has become the Wedding Peach to Madoka's Sailor Moon.  

Shows like Raising Project and Wixoss have their unique gimmicks visible right up front, one is Magical Girl Hunger Games, and one is the Trading Card Game show version of Madoka.  (Only thing we're missing is a darker revival of the Magical Girl Thief sub-genre)  While Yuki Yuna is the easiest show on the Madoka bandwagon to write off as failing to do anything unique or distinctive, when in fact it does quite a bit, and is in my opinion far more imaginative then either of those two shows.

Sometimes I outright consider Yuki Yuna better then Madoka (which would make it my favorite Magical Girl show period).  Especially now that I know the whole one character being stuck in an endless time-loop twist had been done in Anime before, something I didn't know in 2014 when I first watched Madoka.  Two Fat Guys Talk are a pair of YouTubers who unlike me flat out hate Madoka, but are also big fans of Yuki Yuna, it's biggest fans possibly, they are for Yuki Yuna what Digibro is for K-On.  So clearly Yuki Yuna has an appeal independent of simply wanting more Madoka.

The thing is, much of what's distinctive in Yuki Yuna are twists, twists I don't want to talk about without a Spoiler Warning.

But besides the spoilers, I do find the characters distinctive.  Toga gets compared to Homura but that is totally unfair.  The only criticism I've seen of Yuki's character is practically a word for word repeat of the common ignorant reason people "can't relate to Superman".  Fu like Mami can be compared to Manga Minako, but in a very different way, since the point with Mami was she never to be a team leader even though she was meant to be one.  Fu is my favorite character from Yuki Yuna.

Actually that the show is set in the future not the present isn't supposed to be a spoiler, it's just something people often miss at first.

And I also feel like no other proper Magical Girl show is nearly as rich in Shintoism.

Most importantly, Yuki Yuna like Madoka (before the movie) does have a happy ending. A Happier ending arguably.  Maybe Yuki Yuna will repeat the mistake of ruining that with the sequel, we'll see this fall.

AnimeFeminist has an article on Dark Magical Girl shows.  The author of the article was quite hostile to the genre, but what I like is it's comments section.  A lot of perspectives some up there, people who only like Madoka, people who like Yuki Yuna the best, and at least one person who hates Yuki Yuna the most.  That person's issue had a lot to do with comparing it to military propaganda, which I think is unfair, no one hates military propaganda more then me.  It even has someone defending Raising Project.  It's a pretty insightful comments section.

I don't expect everyone to like Yuki Yuna as much as I do.  But don't dismiss it.  It is far more unique and special then many would have you believe.

Spoiler Warning!!!!!!!!

The main twist, that this Island is all that still exists of the world after the Kami destroyed everything else, is quite fascinating to me.  It makes this an Anime I want to recommend to fans of the Truman show.  (I know some people who are Flat Earthers obsessed with The Truman show.)

I wish I was more willing to read all the expanded universe stuff, which gets into this idea more.  But fan translations of Light Novels are generally not easy to read.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

There are two types of people who won't go to illegal streaming sites.

Digibro only seems to be aware of the smaller type.  The Hardcore Anime fans who are willing to pay for stuff just for the sake of owning it.  And who zealously care about "supporting the industry".

But there are also the potential new fans, who don't watch much Anime yet, who I think could like a lot of it but are held back by how not accessible it can be.  They won't go to the illegal streaming sites maybe partly for the moral reason, but more because they don't know how safe it is.  They don't get that it's technicality illegal but the Government isn't going to come after the average viewer of the site, only the people running it.

I sent a KissAnime link for Steins Gate once to a person I know who is very rebellious, who celebrates April 20th.  But there is the paranoia some people have that you can't get away with anything questionable you do online.  So they were quite iffy about using that link.  And among the Normies I know they were the most likely one to be okay with doing it via a not legal streaming site.

And while that paranoia is unfounded right now, I fear it might not be in the near future.  Especially under our current President.  And the way Congress constantly caves to the corporations over Copyright laws.  And that is part of why I very strongly believe in having all Copyright laws repealed.

So that is one of many reasons I want to support Netflix's Anime ventures on the grounds that it can bring in new fans.  New fans aren't going to watch it Subbed, my parents won't even watch Live Action movies in a foreign language with Subtitles, so they certainly won't for a cartoon.  And I'm not gonna recommend something to a newbie till a full season is complete anyway.

But ideally I want a world where every streaming site could just put all Anime up without needing permission, but still giving a cut to the creators, and the competition between them is in the quality of the service and not any having exclusive content as a safety net.

And I'm also all for the Paetron idea, that can be a part of it.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I've watched a lot more Mobile Suit Gundam

So you may remember old posts on this Blog where I talked about Gundam 00 being the only Gundam show I'd watched.  Eventually, earlier this year, I watched the 4 already released episodes of Gundam The Origin and posted about it.

Not long after that I watched the first two episodes of Turn A Gundam then put it on hold.  There I was mainly interested in the Dune like ultra distant future when our History is an ancient mythical past largely forgotten.  But I got annoyed at literal it took the "revering to Victorian level society" thing.  I could buy the idea of society technologically regressing, but like literally reverting the same fashion sense is just silly to me.

Well now, since August began, I have decided it was time I really delved into Gundam.

I watched the Gundam movie Trilogy.  And I was impressed, as someone who generally likes the longer version of a story, I didn't feel like I was missing anything watching these films.  I feel like I can highly recommend them to anyone who's into Space Operas, but not sure they get the whole Mecha appeal.

I want to comment briefly on it's treatment of female characters.  It's tempting to compare it to how modern Anime of the same genre tends to handle them, and that may come up later.  But right now I just want to comment on how they are massively better then the big SciFi franchises America had the time, (Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica) simply by having more then just one or two.  It has 4 among the protagonists (none of whom were ever Damsled) and 3 among the Antagonists.

So it's another reminder of how annoyed I get when people act like Japan in inherently more Sexist then America.  Their gender issues are different, neither is better or worse.  A lot of Modern Japan's peculiar issues were caused by Westernization, which particularly makes it annoying to see westerners criticize it.  (Example, you think their obsession with Panties are weird, well Panties didn't exist in Japan before Westenrization).

After watching the Trilogy I went right to Char's Counterattack.  And I did so knowing full well I was skipping two 50 episode serieses of story.  But I've watched things out of order before, and I wanted to get the gist of the main Gundam saga quickly.  This movie is ultimately also pretty great, in-spite of the beginning feeling like you've already missed two acts.  Ironically some reviews I read on MAL where disappointed how irrelevant the events of Zeta and ZZ seemed to be.  Though from my perspective of skipping those it definitely feels like a huge of chunk of Char's character development is missing.  I think their complaint was mainly that character introduced in those shows were irrelevant to Char's Counterattack, it seems everyone I didn't recognize form the Trilogy were brand new characters.

I then revisited SFDebris reviews of Gundam 0080.  I'll probably actually watch that OVA eventually, but for now since I already know the gist of what happened I'm gonna focus watching other Gundam stuff.

I decided then to start Gundam Wing, which was apparently the biggest Gundam show of the 90s.  I'm enjoying it, but also feeling like I'd prefer how a modern Anime would tell this story.  I've watched 17 episodes now, and I need to take a break.

Gundam 00 also had 50 episodes, but it decided to clearly present them as two separate seasons, so I knew going in I'd get some sense of a full story out of just the first 25 and that made going all in on it easier for someone like me.

I next watched Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky.  I complained last month about how much I hate DC Animated movies being only 70 minutes.  But if you're the kind of person who likes 70 Minute Animated features, this movie is a pretty good one.

The movie is perhaps not the best entry point since it's basically another Side Story of the One Year War.  But since a lot of these newer Universal Century Gundam stories are retconning a lot of things (originally the idea was there was only one Gundam during this war, and that's not the Gundam you see in Thudnerbolt).  Knowing the original Gundam story can at times be counter productive to understanding what's going on.  In this case my knowing who the Zeon and Federation were didn't help that it took me awhile to figure out which characters were on which side.

However it probably would have helped more if I read it's Anime's MyAnimeList description first.  We make fun of Anime official descriptions not always being accurate, but I think that's cause many are telling you what you need to know going in rather then summarizing what happens.  Like the information you get from a Star Wars opening Crawl.  Indeed I've been using the Star Wars Crawl Generator site to make some Star Wars style Crawls for Gundam, mainly using text taken from MAL.  And here is one I made for Thunderbolt December Sky.

My main criticism of Thunderbolt is how it handled it's female characters.  The Federation side in this has a female Captain who seems written to be a vindication of every Misogynist who says women shouldn't be in the Military.  The main female character on the Zeon side is better handled only in comparison to that mess.

This movie is very interesting in it's use of Music.  It started a year after after Guardians of The Galaxy came out which I don't think is a coincidence.  It's another movies using a lot of Music you can expect Baby Boomers to be Nostalgic for.

In one of my old discussion of Gundam 00 I commented on how diverse it's cast of characters was, and wondered if other Gundam shows were similar.  Right now I'd say Gundam 00 still seems to be the most diverse Gundam show.  Among the reasons for that being it actually features Japan and Japanese characters more then other Gundam shows.  The original had Mirai who's probably Japanese based on the name, and that's it.  One Pilot in Wing is Asian but a continental Asian, I think he's Chinese.

Char Aznable's iconic look is quite Aryan.  I'm not sure what we're supposed to think Amuro Ray's ethnicity is, but I'd cast him as African American in a Live Action version, partly because his name has inspired me to Headcanon him as a descendant of Tupac Shakur.

Gundam is often called the Star Wars of Japan.  Which is why I think I'd commented in my post on Mash-Up Trailers, or at least I meant to, on how strange I found it there aren't any Mash-Up Trailer of Gundam to Star Wars trailers yet.  We have them for Code Geass, Nanoha, Evangelion and SAO, but not Gundam?

My favorite trailer for The Phantom Menace, the only largely focused to Padme with little Anakin or Obi-Won.  I'd like to see done to Gundam Wing, with Relena as Padme.

The original Gundam could fit the new Star Wars movie's Trailers well.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Anime Deconstructions and Subversions

Digibro did a video awhile about disagreeing with certain Anime being labeled Deconstructions.

Watchmojo is dumb for labeling Gundam a Deconstruction because it was simply the creation of a new Sub-Genre.

Most of the Anime mentioned I'm not familiar with. I want to disagree with Digi mainly on Evangelion and Utena (Utena is complicated).  But I will also talk about him being right that Madoka isn't a deconstruction, but for the wrong reasons.

Digi recommends Miragephan's video Madoka Magica is not a Deconstruction.  I liked that video when I first watched, but now I realize it's kinda lame and saying nothing more then it doesn't have enough deep Philosophical discussions to be a deconstruction.

I agree that Madoka isn't a deconstruction (so ignore my post from December 2015).  But a lot of people are coming at it from a place that IF Madoka is a Deconstruction that somehow discredits the Magical Girl genre.

Superhero stories became better then ever after Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns came along.  The process involved some stories being weak for being seemingly nothing but a pale imitation of them, but in the long run it made the genre better.  Because after the Deconstructions came the Reconstructions.

The Magical Girl Warrior doesn't have a truly great Deconstruction yet, and that is what is holding the genre back.

Now onto Eva.

First Digi's arguing Eva isn't a deconstruction by comparing it to Gundam is misguided because TVTropes has a whole page for when the original of a Genre seems like a Deconstruction compared to what came latter.  It's called the UnBuilt Trope.  A genre Deconstruction is a reaction to what the genre has become more so then it's originator.  Not quite every Genre creator turns out to be like this, but quite a few have, from The Three Musketeers to A Study in Scarlet to several Anime genre creators, the page even lists Gundam if I remember correctly.

But regardless, since I just watched the Gundam movies, there is in fact only one scene where Amuro refused to get in the Robot.  The series made have had more, but the overall plot considered it necessary only once.  At the start Amuro jumped into the cockpit with no hesitation, like many old school protagonists he's set up as someone who naturally runs towards danger rather then away from it.

But the greater flaw with comparing Eva to Gundam in this context is Eve is more a Super Robots show then the genre Gundam created.  But Gundam did still influence Eva, and Shinji was clearly written to be a much more (in Ano's mind) realistic example of someone in Amuro's situation.

Digibro says a few things about what makes a Deconstruction that are literally the opposite of how I or anyone else would define one.

1. He says of Eva (and Madoka which I'll get to again later) "do nothing that hasn't been done before".  In my opinion an attempted deconstruction that does something that hasn't been done before has cheated.  It's more of what you don't do that makes it a Deconstruction.

Watchmen didn't do anything that hadn't been done before.  The Punisher was already a vigilante actually killing criminals, maybe also Wolverine.  The Golden Age stories also had some death.  And the 70s were filed with stories bringing real world politics into it in a similar way.  In fact Alan Moore originally wanted to just use the Charleton characters and that is exactly why Rorschach is a right wing conspiracy theorist like The Question.

2. He says Eva isn't even really part of the Mecha genre because of how irrelevant the "Robot" is to the story's final resolution.

But again it is exactly the same in Watchmen.  The world isn't saved by the Superheros, it's saved by a Supervillian's evil scheme.

A Deconstruction is about saying the fantasy this genre is built on isn't the real answer, if anything it could be the problem.  And that is exactly what Watchmen and Evangelion have in common.

Evangelion like Watchmen has improved it's genre, without it we wouldn't have Pacific Rim.

Now on to Utena.

Utena is a Deconstruction, but probably not a Genre Deconstruction, and certainly not of the Magical Girl Genre.  The Magical Girl aspects of the story are if anything the one thing it's not Deconstructing.  If anything the world Ikuhara really wants to deconstruct is the real world.  But it can also be read as a deconstruction of Fairly Tale archetypes and Shoujo Manga/Anime conventions.

Now returning to Madoka.

Digibro said Maodka didn't do anything that hadn't been done before, and that is very wrong.  No prior Magical Girl Warrior show was predicated Wish granting or the girls finding out they become the monsters they are fighting.

Ultimately I would say Madoka isn't a deconstruction for the same reason Gundam isn't, it's the birth of a new Sub Genre.  And it may well already be no longer the best of that Sub-Genre.  I'm not sure anymore how much I agree with my past declaring Yuki Yuna to be Better, but it's definitely close to being at least equal in my mind.

A good example of what a Magical Girl Deconstruction could be is the first episode of the original Twin Angel OVA, but the second episode restores things to normal.

I enjoyed Digibro's video on One Punch Man "Is there value in subverting Shonen Tropes?".  And I think he should create an equivalent "Is there value in suberverting Moe tropes?".

Because I've seen a lot of people recently praise shows like Galcochan as being somehow subversive of "Cute Girls doing Cute Things" by being "Cute Girls doing raunchy things", though it's really more talking about them then doing them.

But like what Digi says about Shonen stories that duality has always been there.  In the pinnacle of the genre, Lucky Star, Konata is described by Kagami as being like a dirty old man.  Not to mention the entire premise of Akira Kogami.

So that's my Ten Cents, my Two Cents is Free.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

At the moment I'm following more shows this Season then I did any season previously.

Which is interesting given my stated intent at the start of the season, to follow only 1.  And that original 1 I've put on hold.

I'm following 6 right now, 3 subbed and 3 Simuldubs.  The Subbed ones I'd already commented on before July ended.  The Simuldubs are...

Hina Logic looks like it could fill the void that Twin Angel ending left in me.  And it's first episode quickly had me thinking "I want to see a Mean Girls Mash Up trailer to this".

I'm not sure why I checked out In Another World with my Smartphone.  It seems pretty easy to write off as an attempt to cash in on Konosuba's success.  And I never got into Konosuba or Re:Zero.  It might be I simply can't relate to a Parody or Deconstruction of a genre I haven't enjoyed the straight versions of yet.

And this show seems to be un-apologetically playing it's Isekai Tropes straight.  I like that the MC is pretty chill about everything.  And there was no Fanservice, for even a first episode of a Light Novel adaptation to have none is pretty impressive.

Classroom of the Elite I checked out mainly cause I'm following Ayu on Twitter.  If I didn't know she was in it going in I wouldn't have recognized her, this voice is very different from Yuzuki.  Of course for all I know it's Yuzuki that's her most different from usual voice.

This show has had only very mild fanservice so far.

It may be I won't be following all these to completion.  Princess Principal is the only one I'm certainly all in on.  Fate/Apocrypha I may decide to wait till the Netflix Dub to finish.  Vatican Miracle Examiner may going forward have trouble living up to it's first arc.  And the three I'm watching Dubbed are pretty run of the mill, they could lose my interest similarly to how Clockwork Planet did last season.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I enjoy the Batman Unlimited movies

Last month I was pretty negative towards some Animated DC projects.  And since I like to be Mr Positive in general, I'm gonna talk about some I find underrated today.

The Batman Unlimited cartoons are made to promote a Toyline.  So have a lot of good cartoons.  This is a take on Batman that is kid friendly rather then super dark, but not in the obvious Silver Age or Adam West way.

I haven't watched the series of shorts, only the 3 movies, the third of which I watched today.  They are a futuristic vision of Gotham reminiscent of Batman Beyond.

Bruce Wayne/Batman is voiced by Roger Craig Smith, who's Batman voice I already praised in my Arkham Origins post.  He's also been since 2010 Sonic the Hedgehog.  That should say something about his range, Sonic and Batman voiced by the same actor.  He's also done some Anime dub work, most notably to my tastes Guilford in Code Geass.

My main criticisms of the series are that I wish they'd include female members of the BatFamily instead of all the non Batman characters.  And I don't like Red Robin/Tim Drake being written as kinda dumb.

The first movie, Animal Instincts, has The Penguin as the main villain.  This is his first time being a main villain of an animated feature.  He was kinda prominent in Mystery of The Batwoman, but was ultimately of equal prominence to two other Mob Boss characters, and then Bane took the spotlight in the final act.  So for someone who for decades was one of Batman's "big four" that's a bit over due.  He was done fairly well I feel, though I wish Nolan North did the voice since they took so many other actors from the Arkham games.

It also has a good Manbat storyline.

The second movie, Monster Mayhem, has The Joker as the main villain.  The Joker wasn't in desperate need of another animated spotlight, but every Batverse needs it's take on The Joker and this was an adequate one for Unlimited.

The Joker was voiced by Troy Baker, who again reprises the ole from Arkham Origins, and was also The Joker in the Assault on Arkham movie that's in the same universe as the Arkham games.

Troy Baker has also done some Anime Dub work, in fact he was Schneizel El Britannia in Code Geass.  He hasn't done any Anime since 2012 however, might be the same for Smith.  Perhaps it's for the best if the Dub voice actors I like don't start getting a lot of better paying work elsewhere?  Schneizel and Guileford could both return for the new Code Geass series.  What if they are the only two whom the Dub can't bring back their old actors?

Troy Baker has also been Batman in some other projects.  Like some of the Lego movies but not the theatrical ones.  And the Teltale series.  Has anyone been both Batman and The Joker?  I can't even imagine Mark Hamil doing a Batman voice, or Kevin Conroy a Joker voice.

The third movie Mechs vs Mutants.  Should have been called "Mechs vs Kaiju", it's a lot of fun.

It brings back to some degree the villains of both prior films, making it all work kind of as a Trilogy.

So all three are fun movies and I recommend them.

Netflix doesn't need their exclusives as much as they think they do

Or at least doesn't need them to be exclusive as much as they think.

When I look at the non-exclusive Animes they have, just the ability to actually watch these on my Flat Screen TV is enough incentive for me to give them $10 a month rather then Crunchyroll.  Especially since Netflix does seem to consistently include the Dubs.

And looking at the non exclusives they have more options then Amazon does.  Both have Madoka but only Netflix has Yuki Yuna is a Hero.

And it's good they have Fate/Zero and Unlimited Blade Works, the Animes that should be one's entry point for Fate/.  So make sure you tell all your friends with Netflix if they're interested to watch those before Fate/Apocrypha.

I wish they'd add Prisma Illya, it's appeal is very niche, but since they have Fate/ shows and Magical Girl shows, it'd be fitting to include where those two markets come together.

It seems like from what I can read on the What's on Netflix site that they have only Dubs, which may be a downside for some.  But not for me, and not for trying to induce Anime to new people.  Which is I think the best benefit of Netflix getting in on Anime.  And Netflix waiting till the a show's finished is fine in that context too, since I don't really want to fully recommend something till it's finished at least a full season anyway.

Of (non exclusive) shows on Netflix I've seen, the only one with a Dub I'd even call sub par is Girls und Panzer.   Now Glitter Force as offensive as the Americanizing can be, still has exactly the kind of voice acting I'd expect for its genre.  So if you're not a Weeb and just want a fun kid's show for your kids, Glitter Force is fine.  It'd be way better if they hadn't changed a bunch of stuff, but it's still watchable.

The thing about Amazon is it really pisses me off when they get exclusive rights to something that could be a good entry point Anime.

Some Anime are definitely better for potential newcomers then others, something like Harhui, or Lucky Star or any Fate/ show besides Zero, shouldn't be shown to a Normie, not as their first impression of Anime anyway.  And indeed the two major Netflix exclusives of this season are not ones I'd use as a first impression either.

But Amazon has snatched up Princess Principal and Vatican Miracle Examiner, both shows I think would be of interest to a lot of non Otaku I know, people into Pulp Style stories, or Occult Conspiracy B Movie schlock.  But I doubt they are willing to pay though that double pay wall for only 1 or 2 shows that I'm willing to vouch for.

Looking at Amazon's non exclusive offerings, what's really weird is that they have Clannad After Story but not Clannad???  That makes no sense.  I know everything people remember about that Anime is from After Story (it annoys me I can't find YouTube videos about just season 1), but you still need season 1to set everything up.

So all things considered I think Amazon is doing more damage then Netflix.  The impatience of those of us who want to make Memes week by week may make us in the short term more mad at Netflix for making us wait.  But for expanding the fanbase I wait till I've seen all of something before recommending it anyway.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

So Saban is seriously doing the same thing again with Doki Doki PreCure?

All things considered I kind of enjoyed Glitter Force, mostly cause of the voice actors, they did a great job.  So I was a little disappointed when I heard they weren't gonna do the Smile Pretty Cure movie because Glitter Force didn't do well.

So Glitter Force was enough of a failure that it effected their decision making.  But they're repeating the same Americanize everything approach with Doki Doki Pretty Cure?  The Hell???

Do they just think it's Smile Pretty Cure's fault?  Well there are reasons that wasn't the best show to introduce PreCure to the west with.  Frankly I think one's introduction to PreCure should always be a season about a duo, like the original, or Suite Pretty Cure (and HeartCatch was the entry point for a lot of PreCure fans it seems, though I didn't like the art style of that one).  So Doki Doki doesn't fully solve that problem, though it may be a bit more difficult to accuse it of directly copying Sailor Moon.  But regardless Smile Pretty Cure has inspired some of the best Doujins I've read, so no it's not Smile's fault.

Like I said before, the audience that might need a complete Americanization to get into it, aren't going to find it via Netflix, since kids shows isn't what Netflix is known for.  The people who care enough to pay to even be able to watch it are Weebs who are only going to be turned off by your attempts to take all the Nippon out of it.

Look Saban, Power Rangers works because it's live Action and so this American adaptation of Sentai is filmed from the ground up with new Actors, the Japanese footage just cuts down the SFX budget.  But it also works because it's a Nostalgic carry over from the 90s that wouldn't go over so well if it began now.  Same thing with Pokemon Dubs renaming Satoshi as Ash.

At this point it has to be partly the fault of the people who own Pretty Cure in Japan.  They continue to refuse to let us legally watch even the current show Subbed. Yet they keep letting their Dubs get butchered.  The Canadian dub of the original Futari wa Pretty Cure at least only changed the names and still seemed mostly like it was the same show as it was in Japan.

Maybe they think the existing Western Pretty Cure fans are all pirates and so the only people who'd pay for it are people who only watch American shows.  Well that is wrong, Western PreCure fans want to support the franchise legally, you just have to give us the opportunity.

Thing is I'm all for seeing the Pretty Cure formula adapted to a setting outside of Japan.  But that should be with a story and a team that's new from the ground up.  One that can be in continuity with all the Japanese Pretty Cure teams and so added to future Allstar movies.

I have a pitch in my head for a Live Action Pretty Cure show set in America or Canada.  It'd be a duo because again I think the formula works best as a duo.  One girl would be African American and the other of South Korean ancestry.  I originally imagined pitching it to ABC Family, but that's Freeform now.

P.S. And back to Doki Doki, don't try to tell me there is nothing political about refusing to call the villains the "Trump Kingdom".

Update Correction: Apparently Saban isn't doing Doki Doki Glitter Force.  That's weird.