Anime might be cool

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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:12 am

But where is the helmet for his little helmet?Advocate safe sex and all that jazz.
gloatingswine

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by gloatingswine » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:18 pm

The Rocketeer wrote:
gloatingswine wrote:People who really dislike things like NGE tend to only be looking at their first order signifiers and get upset when they aren't what they expect from the genre...
Whoa, there, hoss. Resist rationalizing people's opinions. I "get it," man, it's just not very good.
I know that this "you don't know what I'm thinking" business is a popular defence on the internet, but frankly a major part of having a theory of mind is having opinions about other people's opinions based on the external evidence of what they say and do.

You can clearly see what people's expectations for a product like NGE were from the criticisms they choose to make of it. People criticise Shinji's actions because they were expecting a more standard Super Robot show and the show didn't do that so it upset them. They didn't engage with the second order meanings because they didn't want a show like that, and so they criticise it for something it wasn't ever trying to do instead of engaging with what it was trying to do and deciding whether it succeeded at that.
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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by The Rocketeer » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:02 pm

gloatingswine wrote:[F]rankly a major part of having a theory of mind is...
Frankly, a major part of having discretion and tact is not putting words in people's mouths.

Instead of spinning an argument from bad faith as a rhetorical chess move, consider the favor others have done you by keeping their theory of your mind to themselves.
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Sudanna

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by Sudanna » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:42 pm

It is possible for gloatingswine's interpretation to apply to the most common criticisms of NGE and also not to you personally. If it's intended to apply universally, well, "Anyone that doesn't like what I like is just not as artistically sophisticated as I am" is another way to say "I don't want anyone to talk to me."

Part of interpreting art is not only deciding whether it successfully achieved what it was trying to do, but also deciding whether what it was trying to do was worthwhile. And whether the actual end result is worthwhile, failures and faulty intentions included, either by the assumed values of the work or by entirely different values that can be applied to it.

For my part, anime is trash and I hate NGE like I hate the rest of it.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:21 pm

gloatingswine wrote: People who really dislike things like NGE tend to only be looking at their first order signifiers and get upset when they aren't what they expect from the genre, they want Shinji to "man up" because that's what's supposed to happen in a Super Robot plot, they're not expecting a story about the debilitating effects of clinical depression that just happens to use giant robots and aliens as a framing device.
Isnt one of the major criticisms of the show that everyone in the show practically forced this on shinji?So its not that those who dislike the show want shinji to man up,its that they dislike the show because people in the show want shinji to man up.
Ninety-Three

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by Ninety-Three » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:18 pm

gloatingswine wrote:I know that this "you don't know what I'm thinking" business is a popular defence on the internet, but frankly a major part of having a theory of mind is having opinions about other people's opinions based on the external evidence of what they say and do.

You can clearly see what people's expectations for a product like NGE were from the criticisms they choose to make of it. People criticise Shinji's actions because they were expecting a more standard Super Robot show and the show didn't do that so it upset them. They didn't engage with the second order meanings because they didn't want a show like that, and so they criticise it for something it wasn't ever trying to do instead of engaging with what it was trying to do and deciding whether it succeeded at that.
You're making some huge, unfounded assumptions about what people want and why.

For instance, I complained about Shinji being pathetic even though I've never watched a single anime about giant robots (okay, four episodes of Code Geass, which I disliked) and had no expectations whatsoever. I get that Shinji was pathetic on purpose, it was obviously being done for a reason and the show was going to go somewhere with it. The problem isn't that I wanted him to "man up", it's that being pathetic made him unlikable (and not in a particularly interesting way), whatever his arc was developed at a glacial pace, and I do not have twenty episodes worth of patience for "I know you hate the main character but trust me we're going somewhere this this". I suspect a lot of people demanding Shinji "man up" are not saying that they just want to watch an anime about a dude who mans up and pilots a robot, rather they are saying "I don't like the show because of X, here is a way to fix X". Once it has been established that they don't like the show, few people care about such abstract things as "Did this thing I don't like achieve its goals?"



While we're on the topic, I only got six episodes in, but I had some real problems with the whole "Everyone else forces responsibility on Shinji and he breaks" thing that was going on. It seems like the biggest, most obvious objection that should be had by both Shinji and literally every other character with two brain cells to rub together, is "Why are we sending someone into combat with billions of dollars of hardware that they've never used before?" The show seems to go out of its way to draw attention to the fact that it's doing this, in some sort of reverse lampshade-hanging that only exacerbates the problem. Despite this, none of the adult characters stop and say "Hey, this seems like a bad idea", and on the rare occasions Shinji brings it up, the adults immediately tell him "Nah, it's fine", and he seems to just go along with it even though his very first fight proved that hardware + incompetence = disaster.

That's the kind of thing that normally gets filed away under "Movie logic, just ignore it", but if NGE wants to be some kind of realistic deconstruction, it seems like a structural flaw for the show to focus on how stress affects Shinji while brushing this under the rug. It made me assume the show wasn't trying to be realistic or serious, because if it was the only way to explain this is that all the adults are gaslighting Shinji.
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Retsam

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by Retsam » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:56 pm

Again, been a long time, but I'm pretty sure the characters in the show actually do have their reasons for why Shinji ends up piloting the giant mech, and also for why they don't immediately tell him. It's not particularly surprising that the top-secret government organization prefers to keep people in the dark as much as possible ("need to know basis" and compartmentalizing answers are basically necessities for a top-secret organization to function), and particularly I don't think they feel beholden to tell a 14 year old any more than they have to. Shinji, for his part, could probably put his foot down and demand some answers, but Shinji just isn't that assertive.

You're meant to be asking those sort of questions, and the fact that the show doesn't dole out all the answers to the viewer in the first 6 episodes doesn't mean that the show doesn't intend to answer them eventually.
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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by The Rocketeer » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:59 pm

Daemian Lucifer wrote:But where is the helmet for his little helmet?Advocate safe sex and all that jazz.
THIS IS NO ZAKU
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If your first instinct tells you it should have been the pink Char Custom helmet, consider that only for you need it be depicted as three times as fast.
Ninety-Three

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by Ninety-Three » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:27 pm

Retsam wrote:Again, been a long time, but I'm pretty sure the characters in the show actually do have their reasons for why Shinji ends up piloting the giant mech, and also for why they don't immediately tell him. It's not particularly surprising that the top-secret government organization prefers to keep people in the dark as much as possible ("need to know basis" and compartmentalizing answers are basically necessities for a top-secret organization to function), and particularly I don't think they feel beholden to tell a 14 year old any more than they have to. Shinji, for his part, could probably put his foot down and demand some answers, but Shinji just isn't that assertive.

You're meant to be asking those sort of questions, and the fact that the show doesn't dole out all the answers to the viewer in the first 6 episodes doesn't mean that the show doesn't intend to answer them eventually.
No, they explain pretty early why Shinji's piloting a mech (Only kids can do it, and Shinji in particular has very high neurocompatibility with the mech, although how exactly the government knew this is a mystery). I was focusing on why Shinji is piloting a mech without training.

With the first Angel, they send him into battle without so much as taking sixty seconds to make sure he knows how to walk. It goes about as well as you'd expect, and that might be justifiable as them having made a terrible-but-plausible mistake, except no one seems to blame the failure on the obvious problem, and no one learns from their mistake because the next time an Angel shows up they're falling over themselves to hand Shinji a "You only get one shot" lasergun that he's never seen before in his life.
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Post by SpammyV » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:56 pm

Actually, thinking about the genre and why I like Armored Trooper VOTOMS so much, I realized something subtle but important about how the protagonist, Chirico Cuvie, is presented. Most main characters of mecha shows, if they wear a helmet, wear something that shows their face.

Kouji Kabuto, Mazinger Z:
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Ryoma Nagare, Getter Robo:
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Kamille Bidan, Zeta Gundam:
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Or they have something else, like Shinji and his cat-ear hair-clip things:
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But the point is that the pilot is recognizable. You can see their face, see their eyes. Features like strong eyebrows or jawline are still visible. You know that you're looking a person. And Chirico Cuvie is meant to stand out and be distinctive. His flight suit is orange and his hair and eyes are blue. He's meant to immediately stand out in any scene with the instant contrast.
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Until he put the helmet on:
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If you squint you may be able to tell there's someone with hair beneath that helmet. The eyes are hidden by the visor/goggles. In fact in order to pilot the eyes have to be hidden, because the helmet plugs into the Armored Trooper and the pilot sees through the main camera through the visor. While the goggles can be lifted to let the pilot see normally, controlling the Armored Trooper means hiding their eyes. You can't see the nose, mouth, or chin. The facemask coming out of the helmet, snaking down to a filter on the pilot's chest, makes the pilot look alien at first glance. Chirico wears a military pilot helmet with no modifications. It's a look designed to hide the pilot's human face. Putting the helmet on requires hiding your humanity. In fact it takes a deliberate action (lifting the visor) to expose a part of your humanity, your eyes.

Not everyone wears the dehumanizing helmet. Fyana's helmet shows her lips at all times. Khan Yu just wears a visor and headset. Ru Shako's helmet leaves his strong jawline exposed.

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Actually you can see the difference between Chirico and Fyana's looks almost immediately. That scene doesn't do a very good job of showing but Fyana has noticeably full lips and even when she pulls the visor down, they're still visible. Once Chirico pulls the visor down, anyone could be under that helmet.

Even though Chirico does have the opportunity to change helmets, he doesn't. Being a faceless grunt in the military was ground into him so deeply he doesn't switch his helmet for something that doesn't make him look like an alien. Hell, he's barely out of his pilot suit. There are probably only a handful of scenes where he is outside of his pilot suit or military dress uniform. That he is a pilot has been so ground into him he wears his piloting suit at almost all times, that is how he presents himself to the world. And when he has to pilot his Armored Trooper into combat, everything distinctive about his features every time.

Chirico is very much the moody protagonist. He rarely speaks, often excusing himself to sit apart from everyone else with his eyes closed, and rarely extends the same amount of warmth and energy towards his friends that his friends extend to him. That dour look he has in the picture of him sans helmet? That's his default expression. Hell, it's basically his smile. But I think that VOTOMS does a good job of showing why Chirico is that person and why it's ingrained so deeply into him that he can't let it go. And his helmet is a part of that.
gloatingswine

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by gloatingswine » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:22 pm

Ninety-Three wrote: No, they explain pretty early why Shinji's piloting a mech (Only kids can do it, and Shinji in particular has very high neurocompatibility with the mech, although how exactly the government knew this is a mystery). I was focusing on why Shinji is piloting a mech without training.
Less of a mystery than you think. Evas aren't mechs, they're bioengineered cyborgs. Unit 01 is based on the DNA of Shinji's mother.

And yes, Shinji is placed in a terrible position with no training and inadequate support, because that's what happens to Super Robot protagonists. They are typically in Shinji's age range (sometimes younger) and they typically are the only one who can save the world with their giant robot and no useful adults.

NGE decides to explore the consequences of that, keeping all the plot beats but inverting the expected outcomes, the same way that Watchmen keeps the plot beats of a superhero story but inverts the expected consequences for the world and the heroes in order to explore the consequences of superhero stories in a different way to the norm.
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John

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by John » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:36 am

Tsk, tsk. Why don't any of you talk about Evangelion's real crimes, huh? Those so-called mechs of theirs hardly deserve the name. They're skinny and weird and insufficiently box-like and I won't stand for it!
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Sudanna

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by Sudanna » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:58 am

John wrote:Tsk, tsk. Why don't any of you talk about Evangelion's real crimes, huh? Those so-called mechs of theirs hardly deserve the name. They're skinny and weird and insufficiently box-like and I won't stand for it!
https://medium.com/mammon-machine-zeal/ ... .9vonlscv1 ?
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:04 am

gloatingswine wrote:NGE decides to explore the consequences of that,
Except you can do it in a smart way or a stupid way.Ok fine,lets say shinji had to go untrained into that first battle.Why wasnt he trained after it for the next battles?Why wasnt he sent to a shrink?Why wasnt he given some meds at least?You cant just go "This would mess up a real human teen" and then "but everyone else will not act like a real human".Thats the stupid way.
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4th Dimension

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by 4th Dimension » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:11 pm

gloatingswine wrote:And yes, Shinji is placed in a terrible position with no training and inadequate support, because that's what happens to Super Robot protagonists. They are typically in Shinji's age range (sometimes younger) and they typically are the only one who can save the world with their giant robot and no useful adults.

NGE decides to explore the consequences of that, keeping all the plot beats but inverting the expected outcomes, the same way that Watchmen keeps the plot beats of a superhero story but inverts the expected consequences for the world and the heroes in order to explore the consequences of superhero stories in a different way to the norm.
I'm with Demian on this.

There is a big dichotomy/contradiction in such a world that you describe. It's either a world where you can pilot a hundred tons heavy war machine after getting no training, and the combat doesn't inflict any psyhological damage on the pilot because it's not that kind of show. Or it has a more realistic bend where you do care about the mental well being of the pilot because otherwise you might as well scrap the mech because it will not be operating at 100% with a fucked up pilot. You could even manufacture a situation where for the first fight he might have to fight with no training, but if he can home back to the base, and the base has resources do built skyscraper sized mech they better have the fucking funding to fund a god damned psychologist. Because doing otherwise would be nothing other than being evil for the sake of being evil.

Again I haven't watched the show and maybe they do eplain this by maybe saying that the mech requires him to be in such messed up state.

This is the kind of dichtromy that can completely break MY personal enjoyment of a show, like it did when I watched Full Metal Panic where they tried to marry high school comedy over the top ridiculous antics with gritty "realism" (yeah it has all kinds of tech in it that makes no bloody sense but you know what I mean) of a military SF. And I fucking HATED it (despite loving it's second season that only focused on comedy side) because the world therefore made no sense if the sets of rules it was operating on kept being switched. One moment a girl can kick a guy and make him fly through a wall and land ont he other side with only light bruises, the next moment that same girl is powerless to stop anyone from kidnapping her or the same flying through a wall would result in painful death.
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John

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by John » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:01 pm

Nalyd wrote:
John wrote:Tsk, tsk. Why don't any of you talk about Evangelion's real crimes, huh? Those so-called mechs of theirs hardly deserve the name. They're skinny and weird and insufficiently box-like and I won't stand for it!
https://medium.com/mammon-machine-zeal/ ... .9vonlscv1 ?
You know, I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into when I clicked that link. It turned out to be a really interesting article on mecha. Thank you. If these are the results I get, I should make cranky old man joke-posts more often. (Or, yeah, I could not do that.)

I've never watched Evangelion. That's mostly because there was no convenient way for me to do so back when it was new, but the fact remains that my tastes in mecha are much more specific than, say, Spammy's. I like mechs that engage me on a sort of an engineering basis. What range of motion does the mech have? How do its joints work? Things like that. What little I know of Evangelion suggests that the, er, mechs resemble emaciated persons wearing high end Power Ranger Halloween costumes. Thus the show is not for me.
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bitterpark

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by bitterpark » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:16 pm

So I've finally finished watching Texhnolyze.

The show was made by the same people who made Serial Experiments Lain, which is my mostest favoritest show everest, so I knew I had to check it out at some point, but I kinda had to gather my courage, because all I've heard about it online is that it's the grimmest, darkest, most depressing and nihilistic anime ever.

And I can certainly see where that opinion comes from, but I actually found the show strangely invigorating. Maybe watching it is depressing for people who have more faith in humanity for the show to crush, I just found myself yelling "We're all a bunch of mindless animals, preach it, wooooo!" and waving a giant foam finger, enjoying having my opinions affirmed. Maybe that's just my own interpretation of it though, I've seen people whose views are seemingly incompatible with it still come away from watching with a message of life-affirming hopefulness. After all, who says nihilism is always a bad thing? It can be good to realize none of your mistakes and worries matter in the end. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The surface premise of the show, the kind that's usually found in streaming site preview blurbs, and doesn't really fully reflect the work, is following the life of Ichise, a prize fighter turned cyborg trying to adjust to his new robot limbs and find his place in the lawless and deadly city of Lux, getting twisted up in the machinations of it's warring factions along with the rest of the population.

Ichise himself is fascinating in his sheer, primal, animalistic stupidity. He doesn't act before thinking, so much as he acts instead of thinking, at least at the start of the show. Like a half-rabid dog, he wanders the streets with no goals and aspirations beyond basic survival, instinctually lashing out at people who rouse his aggression even when he really, really shouldn't. In the brutal city of Lux, this kind of behaviour ends up costing him most of his limbs.

On the brink of death, he is rescued from bleeding his last in a gutter by Doc, the high-flying scientist who takes an interest in him out of equal parts mercy, clinical fascination and the sadistic thrill of experimentation on living things. She grants him texhnolyze, a simple limb replacement procedure which she evolved into an incredibly invasive operation that enhances and extends the user's nervous system, granting them superhuman abilities.

The Doc is another fascinating character, balancing her high-minded idealistic aspirations of improving and advancing mankind through texhnolyze with sadistic, fetishistic desires for personal gratification. Her twisted relationship with Ichise forms one of the foundations for his growth as a character. Her, along with many other characters driven by their ideals and ambitions, form a counterpoint to Ichise's simple drive to survive, and the show explores the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches as it goes on.

Anyway, this is all barely scratching the surface. What sounds on paper like a simple story of violent gangs fighting for control ultimately evolves into a struggle for meaning, the narrative bouncing back and forth between the rational and the beastial sides of humanity. In the end, neither side really wins out. It is for this that I want to consider it "cyberpunk", the assertion that no amount of fancy technology will allow us to become anything more than what we are now, for better or worse, even though the visual style doesn't really evoke what we think of as cyberpunk, being an eclectic mix of bleak industrial imagery, multiple 20th century eras of design and just a pinch of futuristic technology sprinkled on top.

The basic narrative is a lot more straightforward and easier to follow than it was in Lain, which goes well with the presentation that relies mostly on the visuals. "Show, don't tell" is the golden rule here, with very sparse dialogue and exposition, conveying information mostly through action, imagery and shot composition. Virtually every shot has a unique meaning that tells you something about the story, the characters' motivations or simply their state of mind.

I thought the cinematography (is this term still applicable when talking about animation?) was just sublime. Usually, when I hear that sort of thing being praised, I assume it's something that only film/animation directing afficionados can appriciate and enjoy, but here, not knowing anything about fancy shot techniques, I could just see and feel it with my own eyes and brain, that's how potent it was. This also makes Texhnolyze a show that requires a lot of careful attention: it's not something you can watch casually if you want to really get everything out of it. But it also compensates for the slow pace of the show, letting you drink in the imagery and the mood of the hopeless city, occasionally punctuated by the brief and violent action scenes. On top of that, the sound and music are also great, and really add to the atmosphere.

Well, this post has already gotten longer than anyone can be expected to read, so I'll just wrap up by saying Texhnolyze is fucking awesome. I think it's a legit masterpiece, even though it wasn't as much of a revelation to me as Lain was, it's certainly going into my top 5. And it's probably more generally approchable and relatable to most people than Lain, which perfectly matches my particular wavelength but apparently a lot of people just fucking hate it because of the obtuse presentation style, which I can understand.

Give Texhnolyze a shot if you want to see something different, and give it a few episodes before you fully decide if it's your cup of tea. The story does evolve, and major mysteries do get a satisfying payoff, eventually.
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Post by SpammyV » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:44 pm

Slowly working my way through Zeta Gundam on the weekends.

The queen of space and fashion,the face that launched a million fanboys, Haman Karn showed up and it was real dramatic and then whoops we're going to focus on other things right now after we spent episodes building it up just how major it is this pink-haired lady is here and how much she and Char have some major history. And I mean it on the fanboys she even has in-universe fanboys falling all over her. I did think it was a nice touch though to actually show what the relationship between Haman and little 6-year old regent Mineva was by having Mineva constantly glancing at Haman rather than answer Char's questions directly.

But yeah, while the episodes have been good, I feel like pacing's been weak this past block of episodes. Haman arrives. That's a Big Deal. Then we just drop the Haman subplot to go to Africa and do the Four subplot and then we're up in space again. It feels like they could've spent a little more time thinking on how to better link these events together. But then I'm watching the series five episodes at a time when it was made to be viewed weekly so who knows, might never have been a concern for them.

I'm not sure that Char is a Newtype anymore. Whenever he gets a feeling he either attributes it to Amuro or Haman. I don't think that's a Newtype flash I think that's just he can sense when one of his exes is nearby.

Oh, and also Gundam related, I found a short that they animated from the audio drama released for Stardust Memory that goes into Cima Garahau's backstory (because she's the most interesting character in the OVA) and... damn. Not going to lie I think I'm just a Cima fanboy. That look on her face as she looks into the space colony- her home- that had been turned into a laser, all signs of human life obliterated from the interior, probably never able to be returned to being a colony. That she had her home taken away from her again, stabbed in the back by the Zeon government she serves, again.

EDIT: Oh yeah and I got to the conversation that it turns out Char is going to look back on years later and go, "Yeah dropping a big rock on Earth is cool, Amuro told me to do this."
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mwchase
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Re: Anime might be cool

Post by mwchase » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:01 am

Sudden realization: Kyoukai no Kanata is Naruto for moe fans.
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Post by SpammyV » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:15 pm

So, I've finished up Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. And I have a bunch of thoughts and observations that are in no way my coherent, well thought out Grand Opinion of the show.

Jerid is just sad. I don't remember when the last time it was that I watched a show where the main character's "rival" failed so hard at actually seeming to be any sort of challenge to the main character. Jerid gets introduced by being a jackass and then getting literally punched off of his feet by a teenager. He gets tricked by his superiors, has several episodes where his partner goes on and on about how Jerid has no idea how to fight in space and is a danger to himself and others, gets repeatedly beaten up by teenagers, takes a chance to throw a knife at a fleeing Kamille to wound him and misses by a mile, gets thrown off a cliff, gets shot down again and again and again, and finally gets thrown into an exploding ship. He made one good point during his lifetime (That Kamille has the higher body count between them) but otherwise goddamn dude. I just feel bad now.

I think Zeta Gundam has too many mobile suits, not enough context for any of them. There's a really funny bit in the original Gundam where it turns out Char's ship had an extra mobile armor in the hangar. He doesn't learn it's there until one of his soldiers takes it without orders so he can avenge a buddy that was killed in a previous episode. It feels like Tomino or whoever wrote the episode under extreme protest after the suits told them to make another mobile armor that they could sell a toy based off of, because the Zakrello is blown up in like two minutes, looks absolutely ridiculous, and when Char learns that was blown up he shrugs and goes, "I'm not going to be upset by losing a mobile armor I didn't know existed."

I felt like Char by the end of Zeta Gundam. New Mobile Suits show up and now all the bad guys are piloting them when it's not clear what was wrong with the old Mobile Suits the bad guys were piloting. The goofiest unit in the series, the Baund Doc, appears piloted by the Federation's Cyber-Newtype experiments so it looks like a suit designed to take advantage of Cyber-Newtype capabilities but then in Jerid's final battle inconveniencing of Kamille, Jerid is in a Baund Doc which makes no sense because no one should be aware that Jerid is a Newtype. I suppose it's implied that Paptimus Scirocco spends all his time tinkering with Mobile Suit designs and that's why he has two one-of-a-kind suits to give to his girlfriends women sucked into his cult of personality, but if that was actually said I missed it. The Psycho Gundam Mk I showing up is a big deal and it appears several times and is extremely difficult to defeat. The Psycho Gundam Mk II appears in one episode and is immediately destroyed.

And that same kind of overstuffing applies to Zeta's plot in the end. The bit with Rosamia feels like it was rushed into not having a real conclusion. Four does get a real conclusion to her plot but it feels poorly timed as they go to Earth and wrap up the Four plot after introducing Haman and establishing what a Big Deal it is that Haman is in the Earth Sphere now. Char gets sucked into helping Mineva Zabi and to be honest although they show him looking conflicted I'm still not entirely sure what his feelings towards Mineva are. Char hates the Zabis to the point of spending years getting close to one to stab him in the back and now here is the last Zabi talking about how she wants to revive Zeon under Zabi rule, but it's obvious she's just been fed those lines by Haman. Char seems conflicted about wanting to protect Mineva (or just being angry at how a six-year-old girl is being used) but she's trying to revive Zeon and the Zabi clan, and to make things worse she just adores Char. That plot could work for a series on its own but I feel like it didn't really go anywhere in Zeta.

Also there's the kids that get brought onboard the Agarma and I have zero idea why because the kids contribute nothing and are only an annoyance to everyone who has to deal with them. It feels like someone wanted to go "Yeah bringing eight-year-olds on a warship is a bad idea" and then showed it was a bad idea but never explained why they did it or why they didn't drop the kids off when they had plenty of opportunities to.

On the plus side of things, I kind of like Kamille's journey in the end. He starts out ready to kill all the Titans because he hates them all so much, but begins to mellow out on the killing as he realizes how many people are dying, has to grow up in order to stop Katz from doing stupid and immature things, and gets to the point where he's willing to sacrifice himself to stop the bad guys as he's realized there will be no peaceful future if these people, who will not change their ways, survive. Kamille and Four are really good together, and you can tell that Amuro and Char both want to open up to Kamille about what happened with Lalah and why they keep warning him not to get involved with Four, but it still hurts them too much.

Oh and I need to figure out how to turn this fight scene music into a ringtone.
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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by The Rocketeer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:17 am

I remember it was explicitly stated that Paptimus is a prolific and genius mobile suit designer.

Golf clap for bringing up the Zakrello from MGS; that episode is what I consider the nadir of the latter space arc's reliance on trotting out heretofore unknown threats and then cannonballing them immediately.

Jerid Messa is indeed hilariously ineffectual at everything. In a show so intensely focused on relationships, especially romantic relationships, between people and how they shape them emotionally (if you hadn't figured that out by the ending, no points awarded), I think Messa was so feckless precisely because he was so self-absorbed. He has these grandiose delusions of becoming the leader of the Titans, but he's an underling at heart, and everyone treats him like the tool he is. Near the start of the series, Jerid gets mixed in briefly with Lila Mira, who begins to connect with him emotionally while offering to take him under her wing as a pilot and an officer. If that train had ever left the station, Jerid might indeed have become a force to be reckoned with. But after her death shortly therafter at Camille's hands, Jerid's fate as a schlubby remora was all but sealed as he gave into his own obsessions and hatreds.

Hell, even Yazan Gable is shown to have a fucked-up homoerotic camaraderie with his team, and he's, what, a third-banana villain? Fourth? Yet he lives on to resurface in ZZ, to his great chagrin.
Ninety-Three

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by Ninety-Three » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:57 am

Having never played a Persona game, I tried to watch Persona 4: The Animation. As an adaptation of a videogame, it's clunky as hell. Almost every time I found myself thinking something was weird or badly done, I would realize "Oh, I bet that's because it was that way in the game". Fight scenes can feel as out-of-place and inconsequential as the random encounters I'm sure they're based on, and the monsters are peak "Random weird shit" JRPG design. Without gameplay to distract the player, the shadow realm stuff is painfully formulaic, and without gameplay for pacing, the shadow realm stuff wants to both introduce and resolve character flaws in a couple consecutive minutes which just doesn't work.

The biggest problem, however, is the main character. Look at this slackjawed idiot:
Image
That is his resting facial expression while someone is talking to him, and it perfectly sums up his personality. He's a faithfully adapted JRPG protagonist, which is to say he's a blank slate who doesn't say much and never reacts to anything.

But it sold me on Persona as a thing with interesting ideas about how to handle characters, and I'm not averse to hundred-hour JRPGs, so I maybe I'll finally get around to setting up PS2 emulator and see what all those Atlus fans are on about.
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Ringwraith

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by Ringwraith » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:28 pm

The Vita version is the best though, if you happen you have a controller for it, as if you can find one, Playstation TVs are cheap.
The original version has a bunch of bad holdovers in design from SMT, like random skill inheritance. Ugh.

The anime's not very good, it jumps around a lot and tries to compress everything down massively.
It's probably telling they adapted the main plot, and only the main plot, of Persona 3 and it took four movies to do so.
Persona 4 tries to cram all the social link characters into 25-episode series as well.
Although the anime is pretty good when it's being incredibly silly, like the summer episode.
The bit-of-a-goofball (when off the clock) personality of the main character is what they stuck with for the spin-off games though, and it works.
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JadedDM

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by JadedDM » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:30 pm

I'm watching Persona 4 the Animation, as well. Yu is portrayed very protagonist-y. They even hang some lampshades on this later on. I remember one scene where he and Yosuke both are kicked into a river, and Yu barely even reacts to this.

Image

He really is the ultimate straight man, to the point of them playing it off for laughs. But considering how off-the-wall everyone else in the group is, it seems to work well.
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John

Re: Anime might be cool

Post by John » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:51 pm

SpammyV wrote:The goofiest unit in the series, the Baund Doc, appears . . .
The Baund Doc may look silly. It may have a silly name. It may have committed any number of offenses against the tone and plot of the show. (I'm just guessing here, I haven't actually seen Zeta Gundam.) But that toy--that sweet, sweet toy--is its own justification. I would take that any day over some boring old Gundam, because
John wrote:I like mechs that engage me on a sort of an engineering basis. What range of motion does the mech have? How do its joints work? Things like that.
Yeah. Plus this one folds up into sort of a space-crab thing. What's not to like?
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