chaostangent

Posts with the “psycho” tag

Storm warning

A review of the Yurikuma Arashi anime series

Lesbian Bear Storm (Yurikuma Arashi). Let that title sink in for a bit because as titles go, it’s particularly on the nose. Especially so for director and writer Kunihiko Ikuhara whose previous directorial works - Utena and Penguindrum - relied on a slightly less blatant approach to themes and tone.

represents only the visible part of this Ikuhara iceberg

Blunt force is the order of the day here though because from the repeated character refrains through to the imagery and structure of each episode, this is a series that will bludgeon you with its message rather than hide it subtext and inference. What it lacks in subtlety then, as has become a trait of the director’s anime series, it makes up for in layers and symbolism.

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Future Imperfect

Already no stranger to delving into the future, anime this season sees Production I.G. produce two forward looking series with Psycho-Pass, a mid-future cyber-noir and Robotics;Notes, a close-future hyper-commercialised world of robot fetishism. A1-Pictures meanwhile adapts the far future Shinsekai Yori (From the New World) novel into a series, followed by newcomer studio 8bit adding a TV series to Busou Shinki's already voluminous roster of media and merchandise. Finally there is the alternate history and fantasy-leaning K from GoHands, best known for their recently completed movie trilogy Mardock Scramble.  All of them take a stab at a high-concept future but if the first three episodes are anything to go by, some are more successful than the others.

glassy-eyed pixies don absurd (yet still revealing) armour to knock seven shades of tar out of one another

Psycho-Pass for instance takes the dystopian world of Philip K. Dick's Minority Report - where law enforcement is no longer a reactive element of government - while mixing in some of Brave New World's deliberations on a ruthlessly enforced gilded cage. It tackles the same ethical briar patch as Minority Report: whether it is just to pre-emptively arrest, or in this series' parlance "rehabilitate", someone based upon the prediction of a third party, in this case the omnipresent Sybil System. Human judgement is taken out of the equation with even the gloriously titled "Dominator" guns unable to fire without the system's say so.

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