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For [personal profile] lovepeaceohana

AMVs! They were actually my first introduction to the fannish vidding tradition. The very first one I ever saw was an Utena vid to Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn," and it took probably two full days to download and was the size of a postage stamp. Oh dial up...

In retrospect, the song choice was probably not quite right, and there was a lot of literalism, but hey, the literalism made it much easier to figure out what was going on! And I suspect the vidder picked the song based on "Illusion never changed / into something real."

I don't remember if I found more after that, but by my sophomore or junior year of college, I had started up an anime club, and some of the people there had entire tapes of AMVs from cons and the like. Also, thanks to college ethernet, I had begun downloading a ton of AMVs, most of which were based on Evangelion. I think there was a very big focus on lip syncing at the time, as well as a lot of technical effects. And a lot of audio from trailers of popular movies (a lot of Star Wars Episode II) with footage from various anime series. Because I came from AMVs, I was really confused by Western media vids when I first watched them, though nowadays I have probably seen much more of the latter than the former.

This is also reminding me that I wanted to catch up on AMVs prior to Wiscon, so maybe I will go off to do that!

Also, on a funny note, when CB and I were first emailing each other off OK Cupid, I mentioned vids, and he was kind of skeptical, because all he knew were the bazillion Dragonball Z vids on YouTube done to some specific dramatic song I don't quite remember right now. Then I showed him the Princess Tutu AMV as an example, and he was blown away by the fact that people timed things! To the music! And had narrative! (I have sicced a lot more on him since, bwahaha.)

(I know I always say this when I talk about AMVs, but more recs are always welcome!)
oyceter: (utena hush)

Kaname Madoka is an ordinary middle-school student, at least until one day, a strange student transfers into her class and warns her to not make any big life changes if she wants to hang on to everything she holds dear. Then she rescues a cute fuzzy animal from aforementioned transfer student, and it offers her the chance to become a magical girl. In exchange for the power to fight witches, she can make one wish.

I first heard about this series when people were talking about it being a deconstruction of the magical girl and a successor to Revolutionary Girl Utena and Princess Tutu. I would say it's closer to Utena in spirit, with none of the fairy tale elements of both series, with a lot of Neon Genesis Evangelion added in. Also, as a warning to people who may think pink-haired protagonists and magical girls can't possibly be serious, this is one of the most depressing things I have seen in a while. I mean, people warned me about this, but it still got much darker than I anticipated.

Also, some of the animation is the creepiest and most surreal thing I have seen in a while.

Spoilers come true, not free )

I missed all the discussion going on when people were watching this; any links very welcome!

(no subject)

Thu, Jan. 10th, 2013 03:27 pm
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  • [personal profile] staranise has a brief guide to telling doctors about psychological symptoms. I kind of knew how I talked about depression has changed after years of therapy and when I compare it to how CB talks about it, but this really crystallizes it.
  • I've been having a ton of fun reading [personal profile] 12_12_12's posts on Avatar and Korra.
  • [personal profile] skygiants has been bookblogging her read of Les Miserables, which is really fun to read, especially after seeing the movie.
  • Captain Awkward has a really good post on depression being contagious; i.e. what happens when you're in a long-term relationship with a depressed person. The relationships in the letters are romantic, but I feel it applies to any long-term relationship. (Probably there is even more for when you are a child dealing with a depressed parent.) The comments in particular are great.
  • [personal profile] laceblade is hosting a discussion on potential anime/manga panels for Wiscon. It'd be great to get input from tons of people, even if you aren't interested in Wiscon!
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
Netflix, why no DVD 3?! Argh!

This continues to be gorgeous and atmospheric, and there was even a two-part episode for more narrative. I seem to be in the mood for non-epic, non-plotty stories right now, so I should pick up Mushishi again as well, now that I have to wait for more episodes of this.

Anyhow, Kino and Hermes continue their haphazard journey to who-knows-where, encountering a very odd railroad and a gladiator's ring. Much like Ginko, Kino doesn't say much and doesn't reveal much, but that just contributes to the feel of the series. And I do like Kino, very much.

Spoilers )

Mostly I just love the slight spookiness of the series and the almost fairy-tale like feel to the stories.
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
My memory is terrible, so I'm not sure if there's any new content in the anime or not. But it's still about a group of girls going through high school and two of their teachers. There's not much plot, just random observations, the passing of seasons, and hanging out. It's so relaxing! It makes me happy!

The nice thing about the anime is that even though some of the shorts can be a little random, the grouping for most of them makes sense and gives the episodes more a narrative structure than the collected manga volumes. At least, that was my impression, given that I tend to notice anime episode breaks much more than I notice manga chapter breaks.

It's also great getting the characters animated; Yukari's voice was a little unexpected, as was Chiyo-chan's very high voice, but some of the humor is even better with animation and sound effects. Also, the anime seems to find its tone slightly faster than the manga; I remember being put off by breast jokes in the beginning. There are some in the episodes about swimming here, but somehow, the placement or the acting makes them feel less like jokes and more like high school girls gossiping and talking.

I ended up putting the rest at the top of my queue just because it makes me so happy! It's a little like visiting old friends again, even though I just read the manga a month ago.
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
Er. I really didn't like this.

Nakajima Yoko is a reserved high school student with naturally red hair; she's the class president and generally tries to do things right. One day, a strange man comes into the classroom and tells her to come with him to another world. Monsters attack, and Yoko cries (this will occur frequently). Eventually, Yoko ends up in another world, along with class outcast Sugimoto Yuka and friend Asano Ikuya.

So far, this is playing too much like other "transported to magical world" series for me, and I'm particularly annoyed at Yoko, who basically cries the entire time. I mean, I am actually very ok with heroines who are afraid and don't physically kick ass, but Yoko is passive in a way that makes her feel Too Stupid to Live. I.e. she won't fight, but she immediately trusts everyone. I also want to like Sugimoto and hope that the series is doing something about the chosen one trope; I love that Sugimoto thinks reluctant Yoko should go home and let her have this awesome magical world. Unfortunately, it looks like Sugimoto is being set up as the villain.

People who've seen this, is this going to be like the Miaka/Yui rivalry in Fushigi Yuugi? Because if it is, I am going to throw something. Also, I gathered from comments that people like Yoko, so does she get better?
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
I picked this up thanks to people's recs and from hearing about it from [livejournal.com profile] rilina.

As far as I can tell, the series is about a young traveler named Kino, who goes around on the talking motorcycle Hermes. Kino and Hermes go through a world that has fairly modern technology (motorcycles, robots, cars) but still feels a little retro (phonographs, quaint cobble-stoned villages). So far, it reminds me a lot of Mushishi, particularly because Kino's somewhat detached observations coupled with helping people feels a lot like Ginko's attitude. Both of them are rather dry and try not to get emotionally involved, but sometimes they end up in the thick of things anyway.

I particularly like the way important bits of dialog are displayed across the screen as text, but I may be partial to this technique thanks to Neon Genesis Evangelion and other anime series. Hermes tends to ask questions like "Why are you helping them?" or "What did it mean when you stared at each other?"; the motorcycle isn't good at deciphering human complexities. But then again, given the answer, neither is Kino.

So far, there's been a bittersweet episode, a quietly horrifying one, an absurdly funny one, and a flashback one. I like the flashback one the best, of course, but all of them have been engaging in their own way.

Also, much like Mushishi, this is very beautiful and wistful but has little narrative drive. That said, lack of plot is a plus right now, since it means I can watch the episodes little by little without worrying about forgetting important developments.
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
Gankutsuou is based on Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, although I am fairly certain Dumas' version didn't take place on the moon. Or in the year 5053, for that matter. Plotwise, all I can really say is that the Count has nefarious plans. Thanks to cultural osmosis, I am fairly certain these plans involve revenge of some sort. So far, he has attached himself to Albert de Moncerf.

Other than that, I really have no idea what's going on, save the world in 5053 has a lot of class differences and still uses the guillotine.

That said, the anime is absolutely stunning in terms of production. Instead of using solid blocks of color, people's hair and clothes are composed of patterns or textures. Occasionally, the effect is dizzying, but I found that I was less bothered by it than I thought it would be. Also, this has the side effect of making it very easy for me to tell people apart! No longer are they blonde and blonde and blonde, but instead, blonde with pale streaks, blonde with speckles, blonde with plaid, and etc. I love that even objects like the Count's walking stick are patterned, and some effects, like the Count's stark black cloak revealing a dazzling interior, are just gorgeous.

While the story itself doesn't feel very cracktastic, it still has its moments.

RANDOM CHARACTER: The Count is a mysterious person. People sometimes speculate if he's an alien or a vampire!
ME: I'm not sure if they mean that literally or figuratively.
RILINA: That's why I love anime.
ME: I'll go with figurative... for now.

The Count appears on screen.

RILINA: He has pointy ears!
ME: Maybe he's literally an alien! Wait, wait! He has pointy teeth too! He's an alien vampire!
RILINA: He's blue!
ME: An alien vampire... smurf?
RILINA: I love anime so much!

Since Netflix has not yet come through with the series people have recced, and since I seem to be in the mood for dark and gothic, I will keep watching!

Note: I haven't read The Count of Monte Cristo, so please don't spoil me for it, even though I'm sure every single person in the world knows how it's going to end!

Rec me anime!

Sun, Sep. 21st, 2008 06:56 pm
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
Currently I have no kdramas except Gourmet on my list, and I'm caught up with most of the shows I want to watch. Also, I'm in the mood for short episodes. So, rec me anime (but please read the qualifications first)!

  • Available on Netflix

  • Not too bloody

  • Have cool women. I don't mind if they aren't the protagonists or if they don't physically kick ass, but I also don't want a series in which all the women or girls feel like objects.

  • Not depressing

  • Have an ending

  • Bonus points for something funny with depth (ex. Samurai Champloo) or something that hits my gothic shoujo id buttons (ex. Vampire Knight)

I prefer series, though I may watch movies/OVAs too.

I've seen and liked:
Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gundam Wing, Gunslinger Girls, Haibane Renmei, Honey and Clover, Kare Kano (incomplete), Mushishi (incomplete), Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ouran High School Host Club, Princess Tutu, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Samurai Champloo, Vampire Knight, X, Yami no Matsuei, and nearly all the Studio Ghibli movies. And though it's not anime, I've seen Avatar too.

I've seen and disliked:
Akira, Gasaraki, Ghost in the Shell, Lain, Perfect Blue, Tenchi Muyo
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
I usually don't like watching anime made from manga, just because a) I like manga art better, b) the voices always startle me because they aren't exactly like the ones in my head, and c) the pacing feels off (it takes about two episodes for one volume, which I can read in half an hour).

I am going to completely eschew plot summary and link you here instead, as the first five volumes cover the first volume and a half of the manga. Mostly, all you need to know is that Yuuki is our innocent heroine, Zero is the broody grumpy vampire hater, and Kaname is the overly protective vampire who saved kid!Yuuki.

The switches between SD comedy and Gothic vampire crack worked a lot better for me in the anime, largely because in the anime, each mood takes more time, as opposed the manga, which often flip-flops between mood every other page or so. Also, the sound effects help. But mostly! We get many shots of vampires with glowing red eyes!

And! And! People! There is organ music for the big emotional moments, or the little emotional moments, or really, any moment that involves over-the-top Gothic settings! And! The ending song is set to an extremely creepy scene in which Yuuki is a doll dressed in black, Loligoth style, and she cries tears of blood while her stuffed rabbit's eyes glow red! It is AWESOME!


Please no spoilers for the manga in comments unless it is under <span style="color:#333;background:#333">spoiler text</span>.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (gwing suicide club)
I have been much amused by [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija and [livejournal.com profile] rilina's various posts about Gundam series, particularly SEED and 00. Though I am thoroughly spoiled for both, I strangely am also not spoiled, as there is so much crack and insanity that I cannot keep it all straight.

It also helps that both Rilina and Rachel get confused as to who is in which series as well, so it's not just me and my poor facial recognition!

So far, I am greatly amused, albeit entirely confused as to who is who, who pilots what Gundam, what everyone's names are, what everyone's Gundam's names are, and what faction everyone belongs to. At least I have the comfort of knowing that the latter will be completely inconsequential, as no doubt people will begin switching sides as soon as they sneeze.

While unlike other series, in which I get confused as to who is who because they all have the same color, style, and length of hair and all wear hats or have beards, everyone here is fairly distinguishable via hair. Sadly, this, like faction knowledge, is rendered completely inconsequential, as the pilots all wear face-and-hair-obscuring helmets while piloting!

I first thought that everyone's hair color matched their Gundams, but this is not the case. Instead, Allelujah Haptism, who has green hair, wears an orange jumpsuit and pilots an orange Gundam, while Lockon Stratos, who has brownish hair, wears a green jumpsuit and pilots a green Gundam. At least purple-haired Tieria Erde's hair matches his jumpsuit, as I guess that though he looks like a girl and wears a pink cardigan, a purple Gundam was just too much. (I keep pronouncing his name as "tiara," which I feel goes with the purple.)

Both Gundam SEED and 00 have been mucking up my usually good gender-detection radar, as anime and manga have long taught me to look for the presence of breasts, as opposed to hair style, clothing, or facial features. For the first time ever, I mistook a girl for a guy.

As mentioned, I identified the male Tieria as female. In my defense, it was before I heard him speak, and his images in the opening sequence make it look like he has breasts! How was I to know that the character design would include two lumpy breast-plate things over his chest area?

So far, as I suspect is with all Gundam series, the civilians are completely boring, the pilots are bugfuck insane, though sadly the main pilot (Setsuna F. Seiei, I swear I am not making these names up!) does not introduce himself with a maniacal laugh, as Heero does. On the other hand, he does get introduced via a traumatic backstory that, unlike Heero's, is actually as traumatic as the writers think it is.

Amazingly, I managed to get this far into a write-up without even touching on the plot! In 2307 AD, Earth is split up between three conglomerate nations, the HRL (vaguely Central Asian), the Union (vaguely USan), and the AEU (vaguely Western European). The world is fighting over solar energy (their oil equivalent), and each conglomerate has built a giant orbital elevator leading to solar energy collection stations.

No, I am not sure how the orbital elevators work either, as they go straight up for thousands of miles and the Earth orbiting one inch with mean who knows how many up in space and I will simply handwave.

Handwaving seemed to be a particular good idea after I realized that the Gundams (handily labeled "Gundam" on their heads!) were powered by..... magical green sparklies!

Not only that, but the magical green sparklies allow the Gundams to evade radar detection!

Anyway. An obscure and mysterious organization (as are they all) named Celestial Being has decided to end all war on Earth -- by waging war on anyone attempting to make war! As one does! This is a practical strategy only in the Gundam universe, though thankfully, even the characters seem to find it insane, which bodes well for their mental competence.

So far, this has lead to hilarious sequences in which people say things like, "Celestial Being is about to attack!" Celestial Being is apparently founded upon the principles of some old dead white guy, who I am certain will show up in flashbacks later.

Spoilers )
oyceter: (honey and clover - hagu possibility)
After a huge year of anime last year, I think my interest petered out again. I'm not sure why that is -- I'm just not that interested in a lot of series, and it doesn't help that anime companies in Japan tend to focus on shounen more than shoujo. I also tend to be uninterested in anime adaptations of manga I've read; more often than not, the pacing is worse and the art is less detailed.

No spoilers below for any of the series.

Series that I am not really fond of but don't actually dislike

Romeo x Juliet )

Series I am fond of

Gundam Wing )

Mushishi )

Nana )

Favorite series of the year

Haibane Renmei )

Honey and Clover )
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (gwing suicide club)
Oh no! I forgot to recap disc 9 after we watched it, and have thus forgotten completely what happened!

I do, however, remember that there was no random produce. I am sad. I miss the bok choy of DOOM, no matter how inconsequential its appearance in the GWing-verse.

[livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija's entries for these discs are here and here.

I am not even going to try to do a plot summary, since, as mentioned, I can't remember anything and anyway, even if I could, it would be too complicated!

Let's just say that the series makes the least sense it ever did in the last few episodes, and that is really saying something. Also, I really don't think it's bad subtitles (though they don't help), just because everyone is saying roughly what I think they said when I watched it with Chinese subtitles. I think it is just that a large number of people go batshit insane in a less explode-y, more frothing rhetoric type way.

The really sad thing is that I still can't make heads or tails of what happens, and this is after watching the entire series about 4 or 5 times and having dedicated years of my life to analyzing the politics and double-crossing so I could write it up on my now defunct website.

Spoilers go insane! )

In conclusion: stark raving mad.
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
[livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija's hilarious write up explains our new and improved theory of crazy points in the GWing universe. Also, [livejournal.com profile] rilina has begun watching!

And last but definitely not least, [livejournal.com profile] yhlee offers proof that Heero was programmed by Photoshop. If some of the Gundams are run on Vista and Heero is programmed by Photoshop, no wonder he tries to self-destruct every other episode.

Spoilers have no random produce today! )
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
Very short episode write ups! My overall impression: just as gorgeous and strange as all the others.

Ep. 14: Inside the Cage )

Ep. 15: Pretense of Spring )

Ep. 16: Dawn Snake )

Ep. 17: The Hollow Cocoon Pickers )

Ep. 18: Clothes that Embrace the Mountain )
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
I have successfully addicted [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija to Gundam Wing!

GWing was my very first anime ever, and clearly it hooked me for life. I have hesitated to pimp it before because most of my memories of liking it are tied up with the insane emo angstasticness and the multiple attempts at self-destruction. But I find it's holding up well for rewatching!

It probably helps that the plot is so insane and convoluted that it feels like I'm watching for the first time. I keep yelling, "OMG! I forgot about that!"

Rachel's incredibly amusing entries are here. Spoil her, and I will sic an insane and self-destructive Heero on you.

Brief summary: There are five insane pilots of Gundams, superpowered mecha. The Gundams are the bestest and fastest and coolest because this is based off a shounen series. They go around and blow things up.

There's also the Alliance, which rules Earth and the colonies. The colonies want independence. I think. That is what the narrator says in episode 1 at least. In this series, it's a little hard to tell.

There are many coups and rebellions and factions and attempts at coups and explosions and switching of sides. Most of the time, I have no idea what is going on politically, and I have not only seen this series 3 times or so, I have also spent four years of my life attempting to figure out all the factions and politics (possibly this says something about me, but let's not go there!).

I love it to pieces and it gives me great cracktastic joy to rewatch!

Spoilers attempt to self destruct! )

Please put any spoilers beyond ep. 20 in <span style="color:#333,background:#333">spoiler text</span>, as I've seen the entire thing, but Rachel hasn't.
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
For once my icon is inappropriate!

Spoilers for all eps. )


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