Wednesday, July 1, 2020

My plea to Horror YouTubers to talk about more Horror Anime?

If you'r afraid "I don't understand Anime enough to have the proper context for this" good, that's exactly the perspective this conversation needs.

You see there is a Meme in the Anime Community that Horror is a genre Anime isn't good at.  And in my opinion the main reason for that is most discussion of these shows is from people who more into Anime then they are Horror and so only have the most surface level assumptions about the goal of Horror even is.  The only non Anime Horror they've seen is the most mainstream well known stuff, to make an analogy they'd understand, the Horror equivalent of the only Anime you've seen being what airs on Toonami and a couple Ghibli films.

I don't consider myself nearly a A-Teir Horror fanatic, but I definitely feel like I've seen a lot more then Mother's Basement or Gigguk or Digi-nee.  I've seen lots of Universal and Hammer stuff and the major Slasher franchises, but also the kinds of movies that show up in those 50 movies for 20 dollars box sets you used to be able to buy at K-Mart during Halloween season.  And I've read more pre-Dracula vampire stories then anyone else who's blog isn't explicitly a Vampire themed Blog.  And in the context of all I think Anime does Horror just fine.

And the thing is I feel like other Genres don't have this problem in how their Anime installments are talked about nearly as much.  There are plenty of non-Horror YouTubers I wish would dip their toes into Anime more often, and I make recs I think will suit them in their comments section.  But SFdebris has given a normie SciFi nerd's perspective on some SciFi Anime, the Anime heroes that most resemble American Comic Book Superheros have been talked about by Comic Book YouTubers, Death Note has been talked about by every normie who could possibly have something interesting to say about it, and we've had normie Feminists talk about Utena.

All of those are things I'd like to see more of, but not the complete dearth that Horror Anime has.  The most interesting videos on Higurashi are from someone who mostly makes their name talking about PreCure.

Now most of the YouTubers I'm thinking of are mostly talking about Movies not more serialized formats.  So that might be a problem since none of the top Anime Horror I recommend are movies.  But the 80s Vampire Princess Miyu OVAs are about the same total length as a movie, so perhaps they're the best place to start.

So people like Dark Corners and In Praise of Shadows  the opposite of your perspective on Anime Horror we have more then enough of, your takes are now needed to balance things out.

So start with the Miyu OVAs, find out which Anime Horror movies are considered good, I have no recs there yet besides maybe that early 80s Frankenstein movie.  Then when you're ready to devote time to some TV Anime get on School Live and Higurashi.

I'm making this plea at the start of July hoping I cna inspire someone to have something read by this October.  Dark Corners has a series on stuff you stream, a lot of Anime is streaming, apparently the Miyu OVAs ar eon Tubi now.

Episodes 1 and 2
Episodes 3 and 4
[Update: I was suprised to see Tubi has the Dub (and only the Dub from what I can tell) for this one, Tubi usually only has Subs from what I've tried to watch there before.
The OVAs have a pretty good Dub so it should be fine.]

Don't use only my recommendations though.  There is a lot I haven't even seen yet.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Anime 2020 is almost half over

Tower of God episode 7 revealed some fascinating lore.

Some of it is particularly interesting as a Dub viewers who’s had the gist of where they are going with Rachel’s character in episode 12 spoiled for them.  “I hope it’s worth losing him” should certainly dispel any notion that it came out of nowhere.

The 8th Son episode 7 shows it’s MC isn’t really OP at all.

Well episode 7 of Hamefura has me thinking everyone is a reincarnation of someone from Katerina’s Nippon life.

Looks like there isn’t gonna be a new Railgun T this week.  That’s cool, I know things are difficult right now.

Update: I'm gonna add a link to this Twitter thread I made.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I've now seen the original La Femme Nikita

The movie was good.

You can consider this post a follow up of sorts to my post on Leon: The Professional, which was kind of about the Nikita franchise as much as it was that film.

My interest begins with the film's status as a stated inspiration for Noir my favorite Anime.  I do see this film's stylistic and aesthetic influence on Noir, but I feel like writing in depth on the specific homages would be easier for Leon.

As I also stated before a key difference between Noir and the Nikita franchise is Noir is a show with no significant male characters.  A theme in Nikita is definitely the titular Femme's life being controlled by powerful men, a "Patriarchy".  That Theme is also relevant to Noir, but the patriarchy is at a distance, a faceless council of old white men.

Another difference is that Noir is not nearly as interested in how the main characters became such good killers.

I noticed Jean Reno in the opening credits and went "hmm an actor Besson likes to refuse it seems", but then he wound up playing basically the same character.  I mean there are a few reasons you can't actually imagine a shared cinematic universe here, but I watched a couple Video Essays on Leon and none mentioned how it was basically spiritually a spin-off of this movie.

Nikita has clearly been an influence on more then just Noir.  I actually deduced a certain scene would exist in this movie from the derivative media I'd seen first.  The sniping someone from a hotel bathroom scene has been remade at least twice, I imagine now that it's also in Point of No Return.  If I were to make my own remake of this scene I'd replace the Ham with Chickpeas just for the sake of a Meme only PLL fans would get.

The film is also more similar in genre to it's TV remakes then I at first assumed it would be.  It's a more realistic style but still essentially a morally ambiguous spy movie.

Ya know I always assumed the CW's Nikita show was more just a reboot of the 97 show that probably didn't go back to the original film at all.  But I now observe that the CW's Michael looks much more like his film counterpart then the prior TV one.  The old IMDB form spent a lot of time talking about how Amanda was basically the new show's version of Madeline but I don't think anyone ever mentioned Amanda being the name of a character in the movie.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Summer Solstice Anime 2020 update

Follow my Anime viewing in real time at these links..
Also here is the introductory post for this series.

Tower of God episode 6 was great, things are getting intense now.

Railgun T episode 11 was great, things are starting to come together.  I hope the second half of the season has another Anime orthogonal arc, those were vital to my enjoyment of season 1 and S.

The 8th Son episode 6 was interesting.  I’m amused by the notion that the Kingdom would only feel obligated to give land to a noble who already had land.  But the best news is we officially have another non Monogamous Harem resolution.  I do still prefer the set up for it on Smartphone with beginning as the girls talking it out amongst each other.  But since it becomes official sooner here hopefully we’ll get to see more exploration of it.

Hamefura episode 6 was good.  I think Maria is Hatsu.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Sailor Scout really is the best English Translation of Sailor Senshi

That's my Magical Girl Hot Take for June 2020.

First of all the choice I dislike the most is Sailor Guardian which has now been forced upon us as the official translation because older Naoko Takeuchi now has control over the localizations and simply used Google Translate to determine the most "literal" translation.

Here is the thing about translating art that a lot of people don't understand, the aesthetic aspects of art include word choice, and in the early 90s she did not choose the word Senshi over other Japanese words she could have used solely for what it literally meant, how it sounds and on paper looks was also important.  And I don't think how alliterative it is paired with "Sailor" was ever a coincidence.  I'm sure Digi-nee understands that with the Lexical vs Lateral dichotomy she's developed.

As a Millennial who's been at least peripherally a Sailor Moon fan for as long as any American could have been, I grew up in a climate where those rejecting the DiC choice of Sailor Scouts preferred to say Sailor Solders, that was the partial name of a number of old role-play forums and Yahoo Groups.  But my reason for preferring Scouts to Soldiers is that on paper Soldiers is a much larger word then Senshi while Scouts is the exact same number of letters.

There are also the mega-weebs who go "don't translate it at all, just use Senshi even in English".  And that is my position on a lot of key Japanese terms especially when Dubbing explicitly Otaku oriented works.  That's how I feel about Miko and all the Honorifics and the Deres and Otokonoko and even Baka at this point.  I also more or less feel the same about Kami, it does not in fact perfectly equate to god/God.

But Sailor Moon isn't an Otaku Anime, ir's a kid's show first and foremost, and so we ought to make it as easy for kids to understand as possible, but without engaging in the Queer erasure the DiC dub was guilty of, or the deorientilization of old 4Kids dubs.  So for that reason translating Senshi to some kind of equivalent English term is necessary.  But my position on Miko doesn't change when it's used in Sailor Moon, I feel like that one will prove self explanatory in a way Senshi won't, or rather you don't necessarily need to know exactly what it means for what Rei is doing to make sense.

The main objection I keep hearing to using Scout is that it's somehow derogatory or demeaning.  I feel like that attitude is bound to be offensive to actual soldiers who served as scouts in real world armies, like my dad who was a US Cavalry Scout.  Scouts are typically those actually on the front lines, which makes it a pretty decent analogy to function Magical Girl Warriors are usually serving in all the Monster of the Week driven shows.  Also my dad was stationed on the Iron Curtain in Bavaria during the Cold War, so he was a Scout quite literally serving as a Guardian patrolling a border.

My Nostalgia for the aspects of the old Dub that aren't completely horrific are certainly an influence on my preference here.  But I have provided a legitimate justification for it.  And so I will continue to use Sailor Scout and Sailor Scouts without hesitation going forward.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Author was never Alive to begin with

My biggest annoyance with a lot of the YouTube Video essay discourse around Death of The Author is the idea that it's a very recent concept.  That phrase may have been coined by a 1960s French intellectual, but the basic sentiment is there in what Tolkien had to say about allegory.

Separating the Art form the Artist isn't what's a new innovation, rather it's marrying the Art to the Artist in the first place that is an inherently modern product of Capitalism and Intellectual Property laws.

Most of the most ancient art is stuff we don't even know the name of the Author.  No one knows who wrote any version of the Epic Gilgamesh, or the Mahabharata or Ramayana, or the tale of the Bamboo-cutter.  And in the case of many ancient myths we not only don't know who originally wrote them but we don't even have the original version, just latter reboots for which only some we might of the name of an author.

Even Homer probably didn't exist as a singular individual the way he's commonly thought of.  The beginning of us having known Authors in the modern sense were the play-writes of classical Athens and the dialogues of Plato.

The fact is in ancient Greek thought the Art of Artists was believed to be strongly influenced by mythical spirits known to the Greeks as Muses and by other names in other cultures.  The term Muse is still used today but it's not taken literally and I'd argue maybe it was never meant to be taken that literally, it refers to anything that inspires an artist. Those inspirations include prior art, history, personal experiences, people they are close to and their beliefs both religious, philosophical and political.

It also has to do with the complexities of art being done collaboratively.  Purely prose fiction may not be as inherently collaborative as other mediums but even then the development of what a writer does is influenced how they talk about a given work in progress.  The Godfather does not appear anywhere on George Lucas's Wikipedia page yet on the audio commentary Francis Ford Coppola actually talked about how Lucas basically saved the Hospital scene.

But Movies and Anime especially tend to have multiple authors and yet the director is the one people most care about.

There is a perception that Death of The Author and Auteur Theory are inherently contradictory concepts.  In my view they compliment each other.  The Author is definitely a factor in why a piece of art is the way it is.  And so studying different works from the same author in the concept of how they relate is useful.

Some people are concerned about using "Death of the Author" as an excuse to separate art from a problematic author, but there should be no need for such an excuse.  I constantly find progressive value in the works of authors who I know weren't progressive at all without really even trying.

Again as far as the financial aspect of it goes, "there is no ethical consumption under capitalism", money you spend on Harry Potter mostly goes to people far more actually harmful then a has been author spewing bigoted nonsense on her twitter account.

Sarah Z talked in her latest Rowling video about the things in Harry Potter that were always problematic but are apparently worse now that we know Rowling actually is transphobic and anti-semitic.  Greedy Goblns and gender ambiguous predators are tropes fiction constantly falls into even from authors who had no bigoted intentions at all due to how pervasive they are.  And they need to be pointed out criticized and corrected whether they're a product of intentional malice or not.  Frankly the fact that most fans didn't notice or care about these issues in Harry Potter until they had proof that Rowling probably did them intentionally is a far greater problem then people pretending Harry Potter was written by Hatsune Miku.

I guess it's a lot easier to be into Tolkien and Lewis who were always known to have been fairly reactionary in their politics, no one was taken by surprise.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

More Anime 2020 progress

Follow my Anime viewing in real time at these links..
Also here is the introductory post for this series.

Tower of God episode 5 was again very good. 

Khun is one of a particular kind of male Anime character that I am sexually attracted to, but I don’t think I can claim to be Queer over that because I don’t think any flesh and blood human being of any gender could actually recreate their appeal in real life.  Other similar looking characters would include Near on Death Note, Akise from Future Diary, and I guess Kowaru would be the original.

Episode 5 of The 8th Son has me pretty hopeful we’ll be getting another non Monogamous arrangement like we had in Smartphone.

Episode 5 of Hamefura brought some more drama into the show.  It seems like this rumored to be a Bastard plot point isn’t one our MC was aware of from the game.

I’m unsure what to expect from the current release schedule of Railgun T.

I became fans of two Yuri Manga series in the meantime.  Her Elder Sister has a crush on her, but she doesn’t mind.  And Between Philia and Eros which is currently lacking a page on MAL.  I also enjoyed a one off called Yutori Senpen which is not quite as great a Yuri NTR as Your Fault but was pretty good.