Posts with the “computer” tag

We all live in a blue submarine

A review of the Arpeggio of Blue Steel anime

Oh lord he we go, girls as the personification of wartime machinery. Memories of Strike Witches’ different fighter planes come rushing back as the quiet, long-haired Iona - the “mental model” of a submarine - is first introduced. Despite its name, Arpeggio of Blue Steel isn’t a follow up to Kathryn Bigelow’s film about a rookie New York cop or John Waynes 1934 western but a fully CG animated series about an alien fighting-force, the Fog, subjugating humanity in the guise of naval vessels.

Like glorified figureheads they gesticulate and chatter as battles rage

That “fully CG” aspect of the series is front and centre as unlike recent attempts at blending traditional and computer-aided 3D animation such as the Berserk movies or some recent mecha musume productions (Busou Shinki, Infinite Stratos et. al.), there is not a scrap of hand-drawn animation in the thirteen episode run. This isn’t the CG of Vexille or Appleseed though but a genuine and concerted attempt to emulate hand-drawn animation with 3D models. And for the most part, it kind of works. The first few episodes venture into the uncanny valley - odd when the subject of emulation is far from human - however whether due to prolonged exposure or a proliferation of characters beyond the loli submarine with a thousand-yard stare, the later episodes lack the creeping unease of the earlier ones.

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Technology in an accelerated world

Accel World owes a lot to Serial Experiments Lain. The script may not be penned by Chiaki J. Konaka and has yet to deal with digital deities but a great many of this new series' ideas can be traced back to it.

there is a fundamental stumbling block to the kind of time-stoppage seen in Accel World: biology
Lain itself is of course based on volumes of, what was then considered fringe, research on the unstoppable onset of the Internet and digital devices - Project Xanadu and Memex are just a couple of its mentioned inspirations. When Lain was released mobile phones weren't remotely close to the technological marvels they are today and the concept of wireless access to the Internet (ne. The Wired) was still far fetched. The beating heart of the series though was the eponymous Lain's attempts to be subsumed into the digital world by pursuing a "deviceless" way to access the network.

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