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Posts with the “3 episode taste test” tag

3 Episode Taste Test: Anthropomorphisation Throwdown!

Anthropomorphisation in Japan is a time honoured tradition and part of its global exportation of "cute". Some view it with indifference, others disdain. In anime culture it has a long history beyond the days of "OS-tan" with different females representing the different available computer operating systems. Nowadays you'd be hard pressed not have had a run-in with such characters: trains, browsers, planets and vehicles to name but a few have been transformed into anime characters or, to use the vernacular: moefied.

This season of anime has popped up two shows notable for their anthropomorphisation: Haiyore! Nyarlko-san and Upotte! The former taking creatures from the stories of H.P. Lovecraft, the latter guns from the around the world. So in an attempt to compare apples to oranges:

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3 Episode Taste Test: Jormungand

Jörmungandr - the world serpent, Jormungand - a Black Lagoon knock-off? Not quite. The parallels seem all too blatant from the first episode: a female lead, explosions and a fastidious attention to detail when it comes to guns. Black Lagoon though started utterly bonkers and was content to stay there, all the while mediating on the choices its characters make and the nature of its underworld setting. Jormungand tries to be rooted in reality with less boat-jumping and samurai versus shooter nonsense but instead laces every action bubble with endless monologues, rife with inappropriately timed observations and introspections.

That aside, it's closer in spirit to Gunslinger Girl with its insistence on eschewing an overarching story for a mostly episodic and character driven plot. The comparison is also helped along by the child soldier protagonist who is evidently a graduate of the Rei Ayanami school of emotionless. Koko, the leading lady and human descendant of a fennec, is pitched as a shrewd businesswoman but a benevolent leader which wouldn't seem so incongruous were she not a prolific arms dealer.

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3 Episode Taste Test: Lupin Ⅲ: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna (The Woman Called Fujiko Mine)

The talent behind this new entry in the voluminous Lupin III canon gives it a head start when it comes to acceptance. For many, Lupin III will be the critical darling The Castle of Cagilsotro directed by Miyazaki, others the original manga series. Then there's those with no prior exposure to Lupin at all who have to accept that with Takeshii Koike (Redline) on character design, Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop) on music and Sayo Yamamoto (Michiko to Hatchin) in the director's chair - maybe there's something special going on with Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna.

Fujiko plays the femme fatale wonderfully: pragmatic and daring but mysterious and alluring
You'd be forgiven for believing from the first three episodes that it was inventive ways of the titular Fujiko Mine appearing naked within an episode. At the risk of plunging recklessly into sexism and feminism: it's refreshing to see a female character so fully in control of her sexuality and not playing the coy and chaste purity-Sues that are the norm for most anime. It's telling though that the of the first three, the episode with the least gratuitous nudity is the most effective.

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3 Episode Taste Test: ZETMAN

Nanananana, ZETMAN? Scowling Men: The Anime? In a world without irons, there are only CRUMPLED CLOTHES?

It's hard to be serious with a name like ZETMAN but the first three episodes give it a good stab regardless. The story of a boy born to to science and raised by a homeless Santa Claus tries its best to be affecting early on, but with no context to the death of a loved one, who could for all we know be the head of a child prostitution ring and prolific giraffe smuggler, it's hard to feel anything but mildly perplexed.

character motivations are handled with all the subtlety of a howitzer
Voiced admirably by Edward Elric, the tribulation and tears of a young orphan has a genuine emotional core to it. Then tongue demons and an alternate reality Charizard are wheeled out and it all falls apart. The most cringeworthy of these is the rich best friend who does his darndest to emulate Batman with gadgets and chutzpah but, miraculously, comes off as more annoying than his demure sister who may as well wear a t-shirt emblazoned with "Monster Bait!" on it.

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What I Talk About When I Talk About Writing (About Anime)

You do something often or long enough and eventually you have to succumb to insanity or ask the question as to why you do it. It has taken me a while but, for now, I have a grasp on why I write about anime. That reason however is tied to why I started writing about it.

You, with your opinions, your desires, passions and language
The first canonical post I wrote on anime was in September 2007 and was on the Lucky Star TV series which had finished airing just over a week before. I say canonical because I have written about anime before, however those are locked away as protected posts under the category fearfully titled: "Deadjournal". At the time I had decided to set out my stall as someone who wrote eruditely about anime, something which at the time I believed was lacking in anime blogging. "This aniblogosphere deserves a better class of blogger!" How arrogant.

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