chaostangent

Posts within the “Anime” category

Snakebite

A review of the Canaan anime series

First released: July 2009
Version reviewed: BluRay

A lot of media start right in the thick of things, in media res, but Canaan is the only series I’ve seen that seems to start at the end of things, ad finem. As if all of the interesting development has already happened and this is the epilogue where the elves are sailing west. Wikipedia informs me however that Canaan is in fact a sequel to a Japanese-only Wii game and “conceptualised” by Type-Moon (of Kara no Kyoukai and Fate fame) co-founders Kinoko Nasu and Takashi Takeuchi. Whether having played that game helps in understanding the series is unknown, though unlikely given it shares only a few characters, one of whom is secondary at best.

everything scrapes against each other like rusty clockwork

The broad strokes though: photographer Maria Osawa and journalist Minoru Minorikawa travel to Shanghai to cover an anti-terrorism summit. Maria reunites with an old friend, Canaan, who is a mercenary for hire and possessed of the gift of synesthesia, allowing her to see odours and hear colours (amongst other things). A fine setup, but proving the exception to the rule that anything Type-Moon touches turns to gold, Canaan as a series is like the parade in the first episode: colourful, chaotic, and thoroughly unintelligible. How could it go so wrong?

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Caring for your introvert

Thoughts on introversion in Kawaisou and anime in general

1924 | Stu_dts [pixiv]

Personally motivated posts really aren’t my forte, the reasons for which I won’t elaborate on because that would paradoxically make this post more personal. Regardless, introversion is a topic I take an active interest in primarily because I have been medically identified as introverted and I suppose my Meyers-Briggs INTJ classification would make me lean towards introspection as a pastime. I rarely talk or identify as introverted because doing so would put unconscious constrictions on my behaviour and because it naturally invokes thoughts in other people as to how I will act; neither situation I find favourable.

whose introversion isn’t treated as a social malady

Watching Kawaisou recently though did make me think more about introversion in anime because the lead, Ritsu Kawai, shows a lot of the “classic” symptoms: seclusion, tiredness from social interactions, overthinking situations etc. I found it odd because I had never consciously “spotted” an introvert in anime before.

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Duplicitous

A review of the Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin anime series

I’ve found myself saying numerous times before in reviews that how a series starts isn’t necessarily how it continues. Putting aside first episode budget splurges, the tendency to cram as much into those first precious twenty or so minutes means that sometimes story, characterisation and continuity can be left by the wayside. Often this is just an innocent enough attempt to grab attention before settling in to a more measured pace. Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin (Nanana’s Buried Treasure) is only the second series I can think of - the other being the underappreciated Ga-Rei Zero - that purposefully builds up your expectations and then mercilessly subverts them.

Enter Juugo, our slightly meat-headed protagonist who has just run away from home and travelled to the ultra-modern island built according to the vision of one girl genius. When he moves into his modest apartment he finds out, to his horror, that it is already occupied by the ghost of a young, beautiful girl. Whatever will he do? Chair back, spin down brain, prepare for quirky love comedy where Juugo finds out who killed this girl and bittersweet love blossoms. First episode closing credits roll, commence disinterested “hmph”.

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Stranger danger

A review of the Black Bullet anime series

Won’t someone please think of the children? Because that’s really all Black Bullet thinks about. Right at the heart of its world, ravaged by the giant insects known as Gastrea, is an employment structure that partners young men, “Enforcers”, with pre-adolescent girls, “Initiators”. Those children are of course genetically altered so to complement their red eyes they have phenomenal speed and strength, enough to fight the rampaging insects.

the high fructose pairing of Rentarou, serial loli magnet and perpetual do-gooder, and the sparky orange-haired Enju

You might just sigh and slowly shake your head at such a set up - it’s peculiarly original yet feels overused, tapping into the same buddy-cop dynamic that innumerable other shows, anime or otherwise, have used. What’s worrying is that in between all of the bad CG, B-movie style monster bashing is a worrisome, suggestive undercurrent that slowly, insidiously, creeps in. There’s maybe just one too many bath scenes, a few too many expressions of unflinching adoration, and too many children saying things that can be misconstrued as sexual.

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Hexen

A review of the Gokukoku no Brynhildr anime

There’s not even anyone called Brynhildr in Gokukoku no Brynhildr (Brynhildr in the Darkness), let alone being in the dark. It’s far from the only misleading thing about the series but it’s a good enough place to start. Unless you’ve seen Elfen Lied, in which case it’s probably worth stating that Brynhildr is by the same author and has the same kind of sadistic nonchalance towards human life but without the puppy killing or fascination with urination.

Anyway. Witches exist, except they’re technological rather than magical so they have an implant rather than a broomstick, and several have escaped imprisonment and now cluster around the interminably dense male lead, Ryouta Murakami. Stuff happens, breasts are exposed, stupidity is enacted, and witches die. And when they do they melt into a puddle of poorly censored goo. Oh what a world. What. A. World.

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