El Cid's Anime Rants

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I am Vampire! Hear Me Suck!

Today's screenings were rather interesting. I thought Last Exile was pretty spiffy, but a bit boring (at least the initial episode). My classmate who sits next to me literally dozed off, but I'll disclose his name so as to not get him in trouble. The ram goes "baahhh". It tore my pants. Stupid ez as stupid does.

"So. . . what's up with you? New robe, I see. . .Yep"

I'd seen some this anime before, and I liked it a lot. The characters are likeable and the visuals are nice. Interesting melding of CG and animation. It's not quite as seemless as Cowboy Bebop's CG work, but it looks really nice. I like the retro-future look. Very reminiscent of Final Fantasy.

We finished with an anime whose title I had heard many-a-time, but I had never watched. After watching two episodes of Hellsing, I'd give it at least one thumb up. It didn't blow me away, but I thought it was stylistically cool and delivered exactly what it should. I'm not huge on the whole vampire thing. I'm not that kind of nerd. It didn't quite fit my "male" fantasy of violence, per se. Show me a film with one bad-a-mofo who can beat up a butt-load of baddies with his bare hands, and then I'll start roughhousing with my bro.

And speaking of fantasy heros, I'm not huge into pirates either. There are many people out there that are little obnoxious about their love for pirates. The mere mention of the word pirate will get this loud in your face reaction of how much they could swashbuckle with the best of them if they had the chance. I guess it would be cool in a romantic/glorious way if I had to impale someone for my copy Macromedia Flash.

"Lay off the hickies. Everyone will notice."

I don't think I'll make an effort to see more episodes, but I liked what I saw. I enjoyed the first episode more than the second as I could actually soak in all the style and sleek action instead of being bogged down by the subtitles. They even changed "Alucard" to "Arucard" in the subs. Is that rearry necessary? I should have spoken up and said something, but I feel as though I would have been asking for some tacos al pastor at a bar mitzvah.

Alright, one more character review and I'm done! Peace out my homies.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Spiritual Experience

Spring Break has been the ultimate lazy holiday for me. Not until today did I crack open my Cal III book, and it took some SERIOUS willpower (that and the impending test next week.)

Notice: The following two paragraphs are only backstory. The anime rant follows them.

This past week my lil' bro and lil' sis hit up Block Buster Video, and we burned the usual 40 minutes being indecisive and making fun of fellow shoppers. I complain about shemales wasting time looking at footwear, but when I'm at the video store, I'm even worst. So my brother and I finally took the incentive and picked out Predator and Ultimate Fighting Championship VI. Leave it to the boys to make the decisions, eh? I can't help but wonder what the register must think of my poor mom every time she checks out video games and movies for my brother and me. So right before we were fixing to leave (which is around the same time my mother makes death threats), I felt a bit bad for my little sister and made a quick look around once more. To my delight, I ran into the anime section! But to my dismay, my mother was next in the check-out line of irritable entertainment gluttons, and I was clear across the store; I had to think fast.

"One ugly, meow meow, f*cker"

I scanned the aisle and my sensors detected Miyazaki's renowned Spirited Away. I seized the target just as reinforcements arrived. Luckily, it was a scout, my brother, who still has the know-how of traversing swiftly through this terrain. I admit I'm getting rusty in this department. I handed it off, and told him to go. He looked a bit perplexed with my decision. Truth is, he didn't approve of this mission, but both he and I knew we were short of time. Sweat beads covered my forehead as the fluorescent lights pierced my vision. He disappeared into the aisle jungle, and all I could to was pray. Only after the rendevous and debrief would I know if the drop off was successful. And then Predator came out of the woman's restroom with a diaper on.

That presentation we had on Miyazaki really pricked my curiosity. That clip from Spirited Away only made me want to see it even more. I finally watched it through, and boy o' boy, was it something.

Usually, when I watch anime, I'm real stifler with the visuals. If I see recycled animation sequences and static background characters, I can't help but gag. This movie, however, is one of the most visually astounding animes I've ever seen. The level of detail (that's actually animated) is flippin' amazing. I watched it through 2 times, and could go for another round. There's SO much going on in each scene. During my second viewing, I noticed a freaking cockroach in one quick 5 second scene. The roach serves no purpose to the plot, but it sheer appearance implies so much about the quality of work. And the humanoid characters move around so realistically. The physics are phenominal. Take for instance the ending when Chihiro and Haku seperate. When there's a zoom in of their hands slowly parting, there's a subtle, quick, but appropriate bob as soon as they lose contact. The forces they had on each other's arms are instantaneously seperated, and they react accordingly. Newton would have been proud. Ooooh, and watching the liquids/plasmas in this are a real visual feast as well!

It's also a very engrossing film regardless of what it looks like. (Shallow? Me?) Like Alice in Wonderland, it pricks the mind with curiousity. The first time through my brother and sister and I kept enuciating "WTF". It's creativety is really unpredictable. I even got my mom to watch this, and she usually can't stomach anime at all. I've tried to get her to watch, but it just doens't work. This movie however totally intrigued her. And No-Face is teh l33t! My siblings and I loved his character to death. We now use his lines to communicate.

"Eh eh" means "yes" or "do you want?"
"Ih ih" means "no"
"Ehhhh*sigh*. . ." means "never mind."

Works great around the house!

So anyway, if you haven't seen this film, you oughtta. It says much about life: be courageous, don't pollute, try new daring things, don't be greedy, love above all, and don't eat let your parents eat spirit food 'cause they'll turn into pigs. Serious life lessons here.

I want the DVD now!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Emotional Pornography

Oh my gosh. This is class numero two where I cannot stomach the anime we're watching. I mean that quite literally. I walked out. I couldn't take it.

I know many-a-fan out there are going to not like what I have to say, but these are my opinions none the less. It's my freaking blog, so go away if you don't want to hear some SHE, The Ultimate Weapon bashing.

Now, I'm generally an optimist. I try to give things a chance before I cast a thumbs down. Life's better this way. You discover things (and people) that most people never enjoy/appreciate because of their judgmental nature. Take anime for instance. I love anime, and many people are quick to dismiss this very thing. I also like french fries dipped in ice cream. Sounds odd? Try it; you'll like it. I also like sleeping naked. . .but that's entirely unrelated.

With that said, I must say that SHE, The Ultimate Weapon made all that is man inside of me want to scream like a little girl. This was just awful. The first episode started off bad enough, with this little girl (Chise) who has a crush on this older looking dude (Suuji). This girl is small, slow, weak, and runs out of breathe very easily. *tear* The older guy doesn't seem interested in her, but she's dillusional into thinking they're a couple. The extremely shy and timid girl however seems to have bigger balls than Suuji when she proclaims her love outright. And then after a completely unromantic and irrational talk between the two, this spineless twit agrees to be her boyfriend. I just couldn't believe that ANYONE would buy this b.s.

But apparently, I'm in the minority. Apparently, them Japanese think this is the greatest thing since electric toilet seat warmers. But I don't understand why at all.

Today we screened another episode, and all it was was more "emotionally hurting/confused" people doing completely irrational things. One guy joins the army to protect a fake girlfriend. A dying girl professes her love while the guy disrobes her and checks out her bod. Another mortally wounded character (this time the guy) fondles a girl in hopes of revitalization. WTF? I guess "emotionally confused" equates to "I've always had a crush on you but I've lacked the self confidence to do anything about it, but heck, now that one of us is dying (because of emotionally induced stupidity) can I touch you're boobs? "

Utter crap.

And on top of that, the girl is a military machine. That's something else that pisses me off. This kind of character, along with Neon Genesis Evangelion's Shinji annoy me so much. They're both characters who posses awesome power to end the fighting, but are too hung up on their own petty issues to do anything about it.

These characters and other series lead me to believe that one of the main agendas in anime is to make love and not war. While this is very picturesque, it's a little naive and down right hippy. Its interesting that Japan, of all nations, seems really bent of this anti-war sentiment. Now war is awful, and should be last resort, but let's have a history lesson. Once upon a time, Japan was one of the most hell-bent war hungry countries. When they picked a fight with us, we put them in their place, rewrote their government, and now look how things turned out. They're peaceful and rich! Good ol' Macarthur.

Click for a larger picture

But like I said, this was a last resort effort on our part. Don't instigate a fight, but don't take it up the arse either.

And thus ends my world politics. . .ahem, I mean my anime rant for today.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


About two weeks ago, I was tired. Tired of it all. I suppose this happens with too much of anything, no matter how good it is.

I felt like I had exhausted my anime pleasure. Nothing seemed to surprise me anymore. Nothing seemed fresh. Initial D was such a drag (no pun intended). I finished Escaflowne and things seemed bleak. But before I resorted to slitting my jugular and jumping off Robinson Tower in a kerosene-soaked flaming bag, I found something. Or rather I should say he found me.


Wow! This cartoon is absolutely off the hizzle. FL CL was funny, but Bobobo got an audible laugh out of me. The guy looks like "the Rock" with a wig. Just when you think you can't get any more random, Bobobo rips off half his blonde afro in the midst of fighting with his armpit hair to reveal two gophers going through a relationship crisis. I was out of breathe.

So this rekindling was necessary. I don't know if I'll get around to watching more Bobobo, but I loved what I saw. A one night stand, if you will.

And then, the flame was fanned even more last class period. I'd go so far as to say the flame burst into a tower of fire.

We started class with Mao Chan and Hand Maid May. I was about to throw up by the end of Mao Chan. I don't know if it went over my head or what, but watching three little whiny 8-year old girls "battle" cute aliens was not my cup of sake. It had it's funny parts, but seriously, I reiterate: 8-year old girls fighting cute aliens. I digress.

And Hand Maid May has convinced me that the Japanese are just open perverts. They should be like us and be a bunch of hypocrytical taboo-ists. I mean seriously, Hand Maid May's premise is about a college nerd who has never felt the touch of a woman's body and suddenly gets this minature personal maid robot (that physically resembles a woman in every way minus her anus plug). And on top of this she's a cutie with well rounded dimensions. I mean, how much more overt can you get in animating a geek's fantasy.

Not thinking dirty thoughts yet?

Now you are!

I came to this conclusion when I tried to find the intended audience. It seemed a little childish at first, but the sheer amount of fanservice ruled kids out of the picture. The fanservice also ruled out the possibility that it may be for women as well (unless they see past all the gratuitios jiggles and appreciate the characters for the beautiful people they are on the inside). So that only left guys in the picture. But what guy wants to watch the life of a social outcast. . .unless you had some empathy. . .and in turn made me draw the conclusion. In this cartoon, you are what you watch.

But towards the end of the class, things took a 180 degree turn; And it was good.
Samurai Champloo totally rocked my world. I had no idea the masterminds behind Cowboy Bebop had this new series out!

It roxored my boxors! It shook me up! It . . .

. . . well you get the idea. And seeing as how Cowboy Bebop is my favorite anime, go fig I suppose. It makes sense why it rubbed me the right way. That and the rap beats were pretty sick.

This anime owns your grandmother.