09 August 2010 @ 11:42 am
But it's a nice rock, honest!  
So. After many many years of telling myself that I'd watch Vision of Escaflowne someday it was successfully brought to my attention that Van Fanel is basically a fifteen-year-old Ken Hidaka with wings and a transforming mecha dragon... thing worse luck, if that were possible, and a tendency to critfail at the worst possible moments. Oh, and a blonde Shin'chiro Miki older friend/annoyance/thing.

The end result is I am fifteen episodes into the show.

I would be sixteen episodes in, but I watched Episode 14 (better known as Tomokazu Seki Screaming Theater) twice. Shut up, it's good.

Part of me wants to babble about it. Another part of me is all DUDE THIS ANIME IS OLD ENOUGH TO GO INTO PUBLIC BARS ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT. A still further part is aware that I can't possibly go on about all of it because... well, I love it all. Especially Van. And Allen. (And Van and Allen. OH COME ON. I'm a fangirl, I'm allowed. I tried telling them to stop making me ship them but they didn't listen. Also, OT3s solve everything.)

What is it about me and discovering anime years after everyone else lost interest? Sheesh, give me another ten years and I'll probably be ranting about... I don't know, that thing with Ciel whatshisface in? (Yeah, I don't even know what it's called. Finger on the pulse, that's me.) Something like that. Unless of course I keep on working backward and I'm actually too busy going on about how awesome Kimagure Orange Road is. Better late than never, though, and why did nobody tell me how awesome this was ten years ago? Okay, so Louis mentioned it in passing (and well and truly spoilered me about Dilandu, that bastard), but why did nobody tell me that I had to watch it? I could have done with developing some actual taste instead of fixating over Zetsuai Bronze.

So yeah. I didn't get a lot of writing done today and probably won't get anything done tomorrow until I've finished watching the remaining ho-hum episodes and can stop fixating quite so horribly over how unbearably cool my latest mid-nineties anime is.

Next up I'm probably going to see if I can find an Escaflowne Sue. Then eviscerate it whils shrieking loudly at the top of my virtual lungs.

I never claimed to be a difficult person to amuse.
Current Music: chain - yoko kanno
Current Mood: fangirly to the nth degree
06 August 2010 @ 07:40 am
Nobody Cares What You Think, Laila  
I get the weirdest ideas when I'm feverish. This one is nowhere near in the same league as that whole 'hey, let's see how filing the serial numbers off that AU idea of yours would work' one was, but it's still likely to win some kind of award for sheer pointless futility.

Once again, there's this webcomic I read.

I know nothing good ever starts this way, so for those of you who'd rather not be subjected to my ranting about Why Shit Sucks, here's a webcomic that doesn't suck. It's called Sailor Twain, it's by Mark Siegel, and it is truly wonderful. Go look at some good things.

Okay, is anyone still here? No? Well, I don't care. I'm determined to get this rant out anyway though I know that it is extraordinarily pointless, will make no difference to anything, and even on the off-chance that the subject of said rant did stumble across it, they probably wouldn't give a damn what some anonymous, totally uninformed Internet Girl had to say about their work anyway. I am, after all, in no way, shape or form any kind of an artist and so I'm not exactly in any position to judge this stuff save on entirely subjective ones along the lines of 'I like this; I don't like that'. Right then.

So, I read Megatokyo.

I know this isn't exactly a cool thing to admit. True, the older I get the more I'm starting to think that if you like something that's obviously flawed you shouldn't feel you have to make excuses for liking it, just as long as you're not kidding yourself that it's anything other than what it is. I'm a Weiss Kreuz fan, who am I to judge? I have no problem with people liking Twilight as long as they're aware that it's the literary equivalent of a Twinkie. Just as there's nothing the matter with liking Twinkies as long as you don't kid yourself that snack cakes are the queen of all foods and that your diet wouldn't benefit from a little variety and rather more nutritional content, there's nothing the matter with liking an objectively bad book or movie just because you enjoy it. Long story short I've been reading Megatokyo for years and cool or not, I just rather like it and would like to see where the story goes from here.

I also know that better people than me have not only administered the smackdown to this webcomic, but also defended it. I'm not going to attempt to do either of these things. I am not a webcomic reviewer and would not pretend to be. For what it's worth my opinion falls midway between these two points - I think it has its issues and would not deny that the main characters are self-insertions, but that doesn't stop it from being an amusing enough diversion.

It's just that recently, certain things about Megatokyo - specifically, about its art - are starting to bug me. They're starting to bug me a lot more than they used to back when I started reading, which must have been not much more than a year after the site went live. Most specifically, it's this:

Why, dear God, do all these characters have gaping white voids where their teeth and tongue should be?

Click here for a gratuitous picture of Ken Hidaka )

This is my problem, this is the issue. I don't know enough about art to comment on whether Megatokyo as a whole has good or bad artwork. To me it looks perfectly proficient, but it's perfectly proficient art that's being let down by the occasional... let's call it deeply unpolished element - and the longer it goes on, the more polished the artwork as a whole becomes, the more glaring those errors are starting to look. When a cack-handed fanartist on DeviantArt can't be bothered to spend much time on the difficult bits that are no fun to draw, it's one thing. When a professional artist does the same? Quite another.

I don't think it's bad, I just think it could be better. Should be better, even. And there doesn't seem to be any good reason for why it's not.
Current Mood: everyone's a critic
Current Music: signal to noise - peter gabriel
12 June 2010 @ 05:49 pm
Tell us how you really feel!  
Last night - out of little more than boredom and illness-induced inertia - I made yet another attempt to get into MPD Psycho. And d'you know what, folks? I just couldn't do it.

So the whole experience wasn't a complete waste of time, that means I'm now going to do a rant about why I couldn't get into this series despite making two (count 'em!) bona fide attempts to do so for no more reason than it sounded like it should have been interesting when I read about it the first time - and then, last night, wanting to double-check if I really had read a manga where some girl tries to suicide with bricks and knives or if I'd just read about The Great Sonic-Cide of 2007 while eating mac and cheese and then gone to bed.

Turns out it was the former. Well, that's MPD Psycho for you.

Anyway, I found out about this series through TV Tropes. It's also got a Wikipedia article, which is not as well-written but may be rather safer for general consumption. The premise of the series can be summed up - and I'm letting Wikipedia and the overexcited souls at Comixology do that for me - as follows:

Detective Yousuke Kobayashi's life is changed forever after a serial killer notices something 'special' about him. That same killer mutilates Kobayashi's girlfriend and kick-starts a 'multiple personality battle' within him that pushes him into a complex tempest of interconnected deviants and evil forces. After being imprisoned for murderering the killer, Kobayashi is released and takes a job with an independent detective agency ran by Machi Isono, investigating a string of murders conducted by serial killers with barcodes in their left eyes - something they share with Kobayashi himself.

I won't claim this sounds like exactly my kind of thing, because it doesn't. What caught my attention was that the series kicked off with someone abducting and mutilating the main character's girlfriend, Chizuko, and since it stated she was still alive when they found her, I wanted to find out what happened to her afterward. I really should have known better than this since Chizuko was a woman, but hey, this was a 'psychological' manga, right? Yeah, I'm clearly far too optimistic for my own good sometimes but I am, as my fanfic will probably attest, that kind of person - I'm more interested in seeing what happens to people after they undergo serious trauma than in the trauma itself. I really wanted to see where the series was going with this.

Turns out it was nowhere. As soon as the series really gets going her abduction, torture and subsequent death is - from what I saw - never brought up. Poor Chizuko gets quite literally stuffed in the fridge, then her boyfriend pulls the plug on her ventilator and that's it. Chizuko exists solely to induce Kobayashi's psychotic break. She doesn't even motivate him after he offs her killer. She's totally forgotten and might as well not even have existed.

This was the first sign that I probably wasn't going to like this series.

I carried on reading more out of curiosity than anything. There was something going on here, I could see it, and I was curious to find out what it was. I got through the first few volumes that way, constantly hoping that maybe now things would start to improve and something would happen to genuinely hook me, but all that happened was I got more and more bored and frustrated, to the point I ultimately gave up. This could have been fascinating. It should have been fascinating, I could see the series working overtime to try and compel and ensnare me and here I was utterly failing to be compelled, in fact beginning to feel - in spite of the conspiracy, despite the array of endlessly inventive serial killers - bored. Why, though? What went wrong?

The Story
Maybe I'm just too stupid to get it, but the whole conspiracy-theory arc plot connecting the more episodic Serial Killing Fruitloop Of The Week stuff just didn't interest me at all. What revelations were made in the first few volumes were doled out very stingily indeed. All I really got was there was something about serial killers with bar codes on their eyes registered at a central eye bank and also Modern Life Is Rubbish. The cod-psychology angle about Kobayashi's psychotic break and subsequent DID also seemed, to me, perhaps a little bit tacky. He's got DID and one of the personalities is a serial killer? As cliches about DID portrayals in the media go, that's gotta be one of the more offensive ones.

As regards the overall conspiracy-theory arc plot, I admittedly never got the feeling that the authors didn't know where they were going with this - but the revelations were doled out so grudgingly that I simply couldn't keep up the emotional investment. To me a mystery plot works best if a question, when answered, leads only to more questions. MPD Psycho, by contrast, seemed to be content to spend the first few chapters posing the same question - why do all these people have bar codes in their eyes? - over and over. No matter how good a question that may have been it got a bit repetitive, and left the overall arc plot spinning its wheels frantically but getting nowhere very much. By the time more information did start trickling out I'd long since stopped caring.

The Characters
That may have had something to do with the characters. Put simply? I just don't care about what happens to any of these people. The male lead, whatever he may be calling himself, came across to me as bland and uninteresting. The two main personalities I saw him exhibit are both tiresome cliches: Shinji Nishizono is a generic cackling psychopath; Kazuhiko Amamiya is an equally generic level-headed investigator. Neither struck me as particularly interesting.

(Speaking of: I understand detectives and investigators need a degree of cool detachment to do the job they do. I didn't like the Scarpetta novels precisely because Scarpetta seemed to spend half her time angsting about Oh Noes The Victim in a manner that seemed frankly overblown for an experienced coroner. Still, some suggestion that the Amamiya character actually had a basic awareness that, say, being abducted and having the top of your head cut off so some whackadoo could plant flowers on your brain while you were still alive was a really fucking horrible thing to have done to you might have helped.)

The rest of the characters were no more interesting. Machi Izono is a cipher and doesn't seem to have much in the way of any personality of her own at all; her little sister Miwa is the kind of sassy, innocently sexual high-schooler shonen manga is so fond of, and was incredibly annoying with it. Apparently she gets a little more relevant to the plot later, but that doesn't change the fact that at first all she does is hang around the main characters looking sassy and booby and contributing absolutely nothing save - you were there before me - occasionally being imperiled by the Serial Killing Fruitloop Of The Week. There's a photographer whose name I can't recall whose defining trait appears to be 'he's a professional gawker with an eyepatch', and a bunch of recurring characters - investigators, I presume - who come across as blander even than that.

I have yet to come across a single character who actually made any real impact on me. The closest any of them have come is Miwa and that's mostly because I have no idea why she's even kept around save 'oh, she's the female lead's hot kid sister'. It's like the story comes with a built-in Mary Sue.

The Artwork
Weirdly, this is just the last nail in the coffin for me - weirdly, because the artwork in MPD Psycho is actually rather good. The problem is - and this may sound horribly pretentious and unfair from someone who can barely draw at all - that I'm not entirely sure it's very suitable for the story it's trying to tell.

Though it's stark, powerful and often technically very impressive, there's something a bit off about the artwork that I, not being an artist, can't really put my finger on any more than generally. It just doesn't ever look quite natural. Something about it comes across as curiously inert, even when it's clearly aiming to look powerful or dramatic. Even getting shot or stabbed just doesn't seem to look that interesting, even to the characters themselves. Compared to the art for Death Note, which it has a passing similarity to, it falls flat. The Death Note art is a lot busier and often not as tidy, but it strikes me as a lot more natural, expressive and fluid - it looks like a story, not a photo montage.

The end result is a story that looks very clean and clinical, even when it's dwelling on murder and mayhem, and doesn't seem interested in trying to draw the audience in. The readers are kept at one remove: it just seems very obvious that what's going on isn't really happening and nothing's at stake, never mind the realism of the style. There's just something a little too tidy about it. It's technically highly accomplished art, but it's soulless.

Finally, and just to get it out there: I am really underimpressed by the way girls and women are treated in this series. Female characters are for the most part treated as disposable victims, many of whom don't even get names, with Chizuko simply being the first and perhaps most glaringly obvious example.

The role of women, in MPD Psycho, is to have their bloodied, mutilated and usually naked bodies discovered by (almost exclusively male) investigators who, for the most part, treat discovering disfigured female corpses as just another day at the office. The female murderers are mostly emotionally damaged, easily-led girls acting on the instigation of a man. Even Machi isn't immune from being victimized if the plot demands it - she lost two fingers in a bomb blast before the story even began and, in the few volumes I got through, has already been held hostage by a psychopath at least once.

Even when they're not just turning up to die (or, for that matter, turning up dead) women don't get a lot more respect. Despite being competent and driven enough to set up her own detective agency which should imply that she is no slouch as both a businesswoman and an investigator in her own right, Machi, the most prominent female character in the story, is presented as only semi-capable without Kobayashi holding her hand. Miwa flashes her breasts at Kobayashi when she thinks one of his personalities is lying about being sightless.

If you think I'm emphasizing the negative in terms of how women are portrayed in this series, trust me I'd say something positive about it if only I could think of anything positive to say. From what I saw, I honestly don't feel like it's too great an exaggeration to say that female characters in this series have a fifty percent chance of showing up in the story dying or dead. Sure, I didn't read the whole thing and the portrayal of women may get better later, but frankly I'm tired of waiting. I plowed through three or four volumes of this series and saw no indication of any change. Women, in the world of MPD Psycho, are victims. They exist almost entirely to be exploited, tormented and murdered by men. Compared to this Death Note is a feminist treatise.

So no, I didn't like MPD Psycho that much, and if all this update does is stop me from attempting to read the damn thing for a third time, then it's done its job.
Current Music: not myself tonight - christina aguilera
Current Mood: sick. sick sick sick.
09 October 2008 @ 09:31 pm
'I left it behind some stuff on a island. I think it had trees on.'  
Okay, so [ profile] pichi has got her computer back and we inevitably started with the watching of early One Piece episodes again. Because it's awesome and has Luffy in and amuses me a lot in between being surprisingly not-funny, and also answers the age-old question of which are cooler, pirates or ninjas. (The answer, incidentally, is pirates. Of course.)

Anyway, I don't watch the opening theme. No disrespect for the One Piece opening theme but there really is only so many times you can watch any OP without it getting boring. I used to fast-forward over the Kapitel opening theme as well, because... yeah. Only so many times you can see anything.

Except that's not totally true, because there's a specific part of the One Piece opening which I always watch, and every single time it reduces me to helpless giggles. This is weird, because it's part of the 'we've-totally-got-a-premise-for-all-this-pirate-stuff-really' spiel and may not at first appear to be there to do anything much more than justify the whole plot in fifteen seconds, pad out the episode a little bit with some cheap, easily reusable filler and, seemingly, reducing laila to fits of giggles every time it gets shown.

Specifically, it's the whole bit with Gold Roger the Pirate King.

(And this is why subtitles are awesome.)

This - that is, cap six - is about where I start to lose it.

The combination of the Deeply Excitable (yet High-Serious) narration and the utter vagueness of what Gold Roger's telling everybody just does me in every. Single. Time. Now, I'm well aware that this may just be a slight translation mishap, but... well, it looks to me like he's essentially telling the world, or at least that part of it that came to see his execution, that he left his treasure 'in that one place' and if they too go to 'that one place' before anyone else does, they can have it. Except there's no mention of where it is except that it's out there somewhere. Given that the opening spiel goes on to mention the Grand Line, I must presume that 'out there somewhere' means 'The Grand Line'.

It also occurs to me that this is a very canny move on Gold Roger's part. He's being executed for piracy, and with practically his last words he's making sure that there'll be about nine thousand more pirates out there in a fortnight looking for his treasure, so executing him hasn't actually had any point at all except to make Being a Pirate in general and the Pirate King in particular look like a really good career move in spite of the fact that the last one just got damn well executed. For piracy. Anyway...

Then this happens. JESUS FUCK LOOK AT ALL THOSE PIRATES I want to live in this world.

(Also, I think the phrase 'the world now enters a Great Age of Pirates!' deserves to be worked into as many conversations as possible.)

Seriously, one vaguely worded dying proclamation which basically amounts to 'I left some stuff somewhere, go look for it', and what looks like a third of the world's population goes and buys a big boat, designs themselves and their mates a custom Jolly Roger - and I'm going to say right now that I think this whole thing about the custom flags is an utterly awesome idea - and sails off toward the Grand Line in the hope of finding it. Dammit, I want to live in a world where this can happen. Can you imagine a better introduction to this insane fictional universe where a third of the population are pirates and every single last person is totally nutty?

And that's the first fifteen seconds of the show. And that's even before you actually meet any of the main characters or take all the Devil's Fruit users and their insane powers out there into account. Damn, I love this series.
Current Mood: giggly
Current Music: fukisusabu kaze no naka de - wag
18 June 2008 @ 11:11 am
The 'Princess Ai' Random Page-Opening Challenge!  
My trainwreck syndrome had me look for Courtney Love's Mary Sue extravaganza Princess Ai on Amazon. When you're rich and famous, you don't have to publish Sues on the Pit of Voles - you can pay a manga artist to write them for you!

When I found someone selling the three volumes for about £2 apiece (plus about the same again for postage and packing, but you can't win 'em all and it's still a pretty damn cheap book), I decided to say goodbye to the rest of my birthday money - I'm still waiting on five volumes of Chi's Sweet Home from, which is actually a good manga - and buy them. Well, it was either that or Twilight, and I need the third one to come out in paperback first.

Anyway, from what I've read online, Princess Ai features, yes, a stunningly gorgeous amnesiac alien princess named Ai, who is really not Courtney Love, who falls to Earth from a place called (wait for it!) Ai-Land through one of those plot holes alien princesses are so prone to falling through, and becomes a chart-topping singer while fighting off alien badnasties. She also falls in love with a guy called Kent who is TEWTALLI NOT KURT COBAIN RLY and brings him back from the dead with the power of WUB and SINGING. So, naturally, I had to buy it.

I got the books this morning. They're not actually that bad-looking. You could pick them up on spec and not realize how bad they are, and be socked and appalled by the hideous that lay therein. As I knew what I was getting myself into, though, I was quite prepared for what I'd find when I opened the book. Or so I thought, until I opened the book at random and the very first page I saw had me call Ai (like so many others had done before), as an OUTRAGEOUSLY BLATANT MARY SUE.

So, of course, I got curious as to what other random page-openings would produce. I present...


Which does what it says on the tin. The aim was, working exclusively from Volume One of Princess Ai (it was going to be all of them, but Volume One turned out to be quite lolworthy enough) to try and find a random page that did not contain at least one outrageous example of Mary Sueishness. Please note, this is not a joke. I did not pick and choose the stuff that I'm showcasing here deliberately, so as to best illustrate the screaming Sueishness that is Ai. This is the result of, quite literally, opening the book at random and seeing what came out.

Random Page #1:
This, no kidding, is the very first page I opened on getting the manga out of its bubble wrap. THE. VERY. FIRST. In it, Ai is going to a Library? I think? Well, that's what the text says but she's going to browse the stacks wearing an utterly ridiculous outfit that would have most girls arrested on sight for creating a public nuisance of themselves, and it's strategically ripped. Because I know when I go to check out a few books I wear a navel-baring top and a skirt so short you can see my suspenders! While out, she of course runs into the hero and a comedy stooge who wastes no time drooling all over her because she's so UTTERLY UNBEARABLY GORGEOUS.

DAISUKE: Kent, who's that chick?! I've never seen her around before! She's like, way hotter than that chick Erika Yoshikawa from foreign studies! Do you know her? Hook me up, man!
KENT: Daisuke, let go of my shirt.
DAISUKE: Some friend he is... May I see your student ID please? Only students are allowed in the library. MAN, SHE IS TOO HOT!
See, the Sue is hot. (And just in case you missed it the first time, THE SUE IS HOT.) We know this because random men on the street start acting like the kind of drooling idiot who've been struck stupid by a total stranger's hawt in a manner that only exists in Sue fiction and - albeit with the genders swapped - in AXE commercials.

Random Page #2:
Okay, Ai has just been given a random piece of shiny Sue bling by a... promoter guy? I dunno who he is. But he's given her this bling and is now driver her around in an open-top car and talking about - what else? - how very amazing she is. Apparently he saw her singing in a backstreet club and wants to Make Her Into A Star. This is basically the same old A Star Is Born plot from about nine squillion shitty 1950s technicolor extravaganzas, just with loligoth clothing and a magical alien Sue as the main character.

PROMOTER GUY: You're really an amazing performer-- both your show at Club Cupid and even on the street the other day. ♥ I don't know about the guy with the guitar though.
AI: Are you trying to flatter me?
PROMOTER GUY: Ha ha! Sure. I just think that with all that talent, you should sing for a living.
AI: I already do.
PROMOTER GUY: Don't be silly. Singing at a club in Kabuki-cho isn't singing for a living-- I can put you in a stadium.
AI: Not for me...
Note how the Sue refuses to be charmed by this guy's wiles and tells him that she doesn't want to be famous. Because she's a Sue or something, I guess, as there's really no good reason for her to turn him down, unless you count the fact that turning him down makes her look cool.

Random Page #3:
Jealous Gay Roommate (whose name is actually Hikaru, but as he seemingly has no other plot function than being a Jealous Gay Roommate who TOTALLY HATES Ai I'm just going to call him that) is screaming at Ai because she's so effortlessly charmed Kent who he is, of course, madly in love with because Kent's the male lead. Naturally, he calls her a 'witch' and a 'slut' because, as is utterly typical of jealous girls and jealous gay roommates in these kinds of things, he couldn't possibly dislike the girl for a rational reason and has to turn into a screaming harpy. Naturally, this is an excuse for Ai to turn on the Sue wangst about how very DIFFERENT she is.

AI: Demon...! You know, I can't say that he's wrong. The fact is-- I'm not normal. I don't know who I am-- or even what I am. The only thing I really know is my name.
AI: Kent-- I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get you involved.
HIKARU: Damn right, you freak! Look what you've done to my Kent! There's no room for you here-- get out!
KENT: Hikaru... Shut up!
AI: No, Kent... Hikaru's right. It's not fair for me to drag you into this. Everything you've done for me so far-- you've been so good to me. But now you're hurt-- and I've got to let you go before it gets any worse...
What a good, self-sacrificing little Sue she is.

(Incidentally, I'm three pages I and I am already getting heartily sick of the way the dialogue-- keeps getting broken up-- by these little dashes. Does everyone in this story take voice classes with William Shatner or something?)

THIRD RANDOM PAGE, PEOPLE, and so far we've had an 'OMG, the Sue is so inhumanly hot' moment, an 'OMG, the Sue is so amazingly talented' moment and an 'OMG, the Sue is so angsty and different and she SUFFERS FOR IT, dammit, look how that mean random guy is abusing her!' moment. And all of these have been in the first volume. I hate to think what Random Page Four is going to hold.

Random Page #4:
AHAHAHAHA. This is so awesomely Suetastic. It seems that Ai was sleeping in the streets randomly, because that's what Mary Sues do (the number of Weiss Kreuz Sues who randomly reveal that they were or are homeless, for example - all the better to move into Aya's bed - is quite absurd). Of course, Kent saw her sleeping and, when she wouldn't wake up, brought her back to his for some couch time. Because, as is traditional in these kinds of stories, the minute a hot guy sees a Sue out cold on the pavement, he has to bring her home.

KENT: About time you woke up. I don't particularly like tripping over sleeping homeless girls on my way to work. And carrying them to my apartment when they won't wake up isn't too fun either. Besides, you were shivering from the cold. What were you doing sleeping there?
AI: (Kent... He brought me here... I must have fallen asleep. It's warm here...)
KENT: You're lucky it was me who found you. Who knows what might have happened to you otherwise...?
... and it's the obligatory The Sue Is So Hot Everyone Wants To Rape Her moment, here coupled with proof that the hero is Not Like The Other Guys - he's more sensitive and just wants to be sure she's safe from all the other men, who are not as charming and considerate as him. Blech.

Random Page #5:
Okay, Ai's singing in a club. I already know this is a strip club, but Ai is too pure and innocent to defile her body like that and is just there to sing. Because she's the Sue and thus speshul, so it doesn't much matter that there is absolutely no point singing in a club where people are only interested in looking at tits. If they wanted to listen to Mary Sues sing 'metal', they'd go to a rock club. Anyway, to get some of the context I flipped back to the page before. Ai's singing is wowing all the punters (who seem to have forgotten in the face of the Sue that they're here to stare at boobies) but a girl named Mika, who we know is meant to be an evil cow because she doesn't like Ai, interrupts by pulling out the mike.

GIRL #1: Cool... something about the song just warms me up inside.
GIRL #2: Same here-- and I don't even like metal!
RANDOM PUNTERS: Alright! Sing it! I love you, Ai!
MIKA: Vulgar music from a vulgar bitch. If it's up to me to shut you up, then so be it!
AI: How dare you!
Anyway, fighting happens, Ai decks Mika (of course) but in the process her costume gets ripped and she inadvertently flashes a boob, et cetera. Afterward we're treated to a scene where another girl called Jen fixes Ai's clothing and tells her that of course Mika is a bitch to everyone - it couldn't possibly have been anything personal, it's just because Ai's foreign and pretty (and a Sue) and she's, like, JEALOUS.

Random Page #6:
... oh God, I couldn't make this shit up if I tried all year. Ai and Kent sit on the ground in a rainstorm after - once again I skipped back a page or so for a bit of context - a lame battle with an equally lame demon... thing who I presume has been sent to capture Ai because she's a speshul Sue Princess of Ai-Land. Yet again, Ai's clothes are ripped. This time she complains that they're a mess despite gladly wandering round looking like she'd lost a fight with a shredder earlier in the volume. Oh, and she has wings now. We don't know why yet, she just does. No doubt the actual reason behind it is very different and speshul JUST LIKE AI.

AI: Thank heavens you're okay! My clothes are a mess.
KENT: You have... wings? What... are you?
AI: Even I don't know. Things have been coming back to me-- little by little... But these wings... I have no idea what they mean. I wish they'd go away...
KENT: Those wings are beautiful... Just like you.
AI: Kent... Thank you.
Isn't it obvious, Kent? She's a Sue! A SUUUUUUE! And not even a particularly original one either. (And you're a Kurt Cobain ripoff because this Sue was created by Courtney Love who was very clearly calling all the shots here and making both writer and artist into her manga-writing bitches, but that's another story.)

Further random pages contain Ai standing around looking sour or bitchy or both, the Mulier Bitchia Gothica Poster Girl incarnate, shown at full-length in some ridiculously over-designed loligoth outfit or other and if this was a text-only Sue, that's the bit where the paragraph-long clothing description would kick in; Ai singing in the street while random passersby comment about how amazing her voice is, while she thinks about how she sung 'to forget everything bad around [her]... songs always had the power to heal'; Ai angsting about how her heart races when her heart-shaped box (oh very subtle, Courtney) flashes and the garden catching fire - it's never explained why the fire-spitting demon managed to MISS THE HOUSE; Ai discovering that Takeshi - presumably the talent scout guy - strung Mika along telling her she'd be famous then dumped her (this is presented as all Mika's fault: she came on so strong he couldn't say no, dammit!) and now is all over Ai so Mika's just OMGJEALOUS of Ai's awesome, which wasn't predictable at all; and Ai fretting about whether or not she 'screwed' Kent and then concluding from the state of her panties that she must have been a 'good girl'.

See what I mean by I couldn't make this shit up? And this is still only the first volume! (She gets even worse in the second one, I checked: Ai's a Sue in the first book, but at least has flashes of niceness, but by Book Two she's acting like a very annoying little diva indeed, and she's so very speshully speshul she, like, HAAAATES being famous.) Oh, and the promoter is apparently 'gun-toting'. All this and a Gravitation ripoff too.

Dammit, I give up trying to find a page of this manga that doesn't contain at least one example of Ai being an absurdly overbearing, obnoxious, and blatantly obvious Sue who the plot, nay the entire world revolves around. This entire thing reads like the fantasies of a dizzy teenage girl. In fact, I swear I've seen almost the exact same plot in an assload of Weiss Kreuz Suefiction, just with less weird aliens and more assassins. It terrifies me that there are going to be three more volumes of this narcissistic Sue drivel, and an anime adaptation. Still, it worked for Stephanie Meyer and, on the other hand, my books did come in bubble wrap. ♥

There's a point-by-point recap of what makes Ai a ridiculous Sue here, for those of you as are interested... or you could just stay tuned for what will no doubt be a ridiculously long-winded sporking courtesy of me. Either's good.

But for now, as I'm waiting up for Chi's Sweet Home, I'm going to go and spork a Weiss Kreuz Sue.
Current Music: kioku no umi - yuzuca
12 June 2008 @ 05:59 pm
[insert speech about friendship here]  
Sooo. One Piece.

I have resisted this series for a long time. I don't know particularly why I did; maybe it was the artwork, maybe it was that it just didn't look like something I'd go for - I'm a bit shounen-impaired, I admit - and maybe it was because I was terrified I might have to WATCH THE DUB, which has apparently become infamous in anime fandom due to its slight tendency to totally butcher the show in an attempt to make it 'child-safe'. Maybe it's because I preferred ninjas. (Note: 'preferred'.) Anyway, whatever the reason was I wasn't ever planning on trying to watch it.

Enter [ profile] pichi, of course, with seductive talk of anime I should be watching. After I finish watching School Days and screaming at Makoto to DIE IN FIRE ALREADY, taking recommendations seemed like a really good idea. (It probably was, because if I hadn't I would have tried to watch .hack//SIGN on the strength of its truly awesome soundtrack, which would apparently have been a really really big mistake.) Besides, I wouldn't have found School Days without taking advice on it, even if the advice given was largely unintentional.

So. I have [ profile] pichi and anime recs. And, as a consequence, One Piece.

I was still not sure I wanted to watch it. No idea why not. I trust her taste in many things and, though we differ on enough subjects to keep things interesting, she is very much FANDOM TWIN and CO-CULPRIT. So, if she says that One Piece is worth watching and I should avoid .hack//SIGN like the plague she's probably spot-on and it is. If she says I'll like the hero I probably will. She knows me far too well and we're braintwins, so it comes with the territory.

So, as it comes reccoemnded by my fandom braintwin, naturally I watch it. In fact, we both watch it because that's just what we do sometimes. I'm still a little uncertain, perhaps because of my shonen-impairment. However, what seems like about 2.5 seconds later, I'm confronted with a voiceover which explains that the greatest pirate in the world left his treasure in, basically, 'that place', and told the world that yeah, he left it someplace extremely vague but anyone who finds it can have it and so huge amounts of people decided to become pirates to go find 'that place' and get his treasure. For some reason I can't explain, I found this ridiculously funny.

In fact, I found the whole thing ridiculously funny. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen, makes his first appearance floating around aimlessly in a barrel after sailing straight into a whirlpool and that's a pretty good introduction to the kind of a guy he is. Apparently the series gets darker later, but I can handle that because no matter how dark things get, Luffy's still a dork who ate a fruit that turned him into rubber. I presume there is a reason he did this, but I won't much care if there isn't.

(This turns out to be a surprisingly useful ability. Screw firebreathing and telekinesis, this guy's a human hi-bounce ball and it's awesome. It makes him very hard to damage and gives him a good excuse as to why he can bounce wildly about the place as anime characters are wont to do. I love seeing characters with imaginative special powers; there are way too many pyrokines and telepaths out there already.)

... yeah, I'm watching this for several reasons but the primary reason is Luffy. Gah. What can I say about this guy apart from he's the dorkiest dork who ever dorked and I love him for it. I'm having to fight the urge to include a Youtube clip (not that I can find one of his introduction, alas, and anything else might contain spoilers, which are very much DO NOT WANT where One Piece is concerned as for the first time in years I've come to a series knowing virtually nothing about it) because Luffy cannot be explained, only experienced, and there's no way to do justice in mere words to what a dorky maniac he is. Any character who can grin like he does at totally inopportune moments is fine by me. I guess now I know what Ken Hidaka has done to my taste in anime boys - I used to like the pretty, gender-confused waifs with the mental health issues; I now seem to like surprisingly ordinary-looking dark-haired teenage dorks who grin a lot, habitually miss the point, believe 'planning ahead' is something that happens to other people and think the world of their friends. I can't say I really mind.

I don't know who his voice actor is but whoever they are, they're awesome.

I left off at the end of Episode Three. (NEED MOAR.) So far I have discovered that it's really not a good idea to fight a guy who's made of rubber and there's never an inappropriate time to eat a lot. Also, it's possible to be a pirate by yourself, without a ship. So far the Dread Pirate Luffy's crew is made up of himself and Zoro and they're sailing off into the sunset to find treasure in THE MOST RIDICULOUS PIRATE SHIP IN THE WORLD, EVER. Because it's a small sailboat that just about fits the two of them and if they came up against anyone with an actual pirate ship they would be flattened. Still, I suppose everyone's gotta start somewhere.

There needs to be more Nami. So far she's not done much save sneak around and steal everything shiny she can lay her hands on, and though she's been in the right area these past three episodes she hasn't actually met up with the main plotline yet. She needs to, because she looks cool and I want to see more of her.

If this is pirates and Naruto is ninjas I think that I'm going to have to root for pirates from now on.

... finally, I know full well there are some truly dreadful One Piece Sues out there; I've seen a couple of them coming through [ profile] marysues and other various spork journals. Part of me wants to go back and look now I have a slightly better idea what's going on with the series. The rest of me - and it's a very very large part of me - just goes AUGH not my new fandom BITCH STAY AWAY FROM LUFFY. They do not deserve his awesome, but then again, who does?

Also, Danny Elfman is a twisted genius.
Current Music: little girls - oingo boingo
Current Mood: dorks are awesome!
02 June 2008 @ 03:31 pm
So, there's this webcomic I read.

The main plot follows Generically Sassy and Infuriating Heroine who is OMG Like Totally Rebellious And Free-Spirited and her fiance, Quiet And Gentlemanly Cardboard Cut-Out Nice Guy Romantic Lead. (Yes, he's boring and she's so impossibly coolly rebellious and self-confident I want to slap her.) They're in love; they're also in an arranged marriage. I'll skip the backstory since we're a few years in here, but after a brief scare involving her cousin - who, it turns out, was desperate to get out of her own arranged marriage - they've settled down into their own brand of deeply boring coupledom.

There's also a bunch of supporting characters, most of whom are, of course, much more interesting and make you wish the story was about them instead. The entire damn story should have been about the heroine's shy, troubled best friend and the quiet but bad-tempered guy she's falling for, or the older cousin who was also pushed into an arranged marriage but didn't feel anything for the boy, and was in love with another boy but left it too late - or, even better, about the cute lesbians. They're all far, far more interesting than the hero and heroine, because they have actual personalities, aren't as defined by their stereotype, and are actually responsible for a lot of the shit that they go through.

Needless to say it's pretty tedious that all the problems the main characters face are external. His dad is stuffy. Her cousin's hit on her man. She gets kissed by a drunk at a party. They never seem to have problems as a result of anything they did; it's always because someone else is jealous or upset or is trying to pull them apart. It's not because she, say, is unsure of herself (like her cousin) or he fears intimacy (like the quiet boy). The only dumbassed thing they've done is, for some TOTALLY RANDOM AND INEXPLICABLE REASON, they won't tell her classmates they're engaged. Um, why not?

Anyway. After what seems like a long-ass stretch of time in which nothing much at all interesting that involves the hero and heroine more than tangentially happens, making me once again wish this entire story was about the best friend and her cool yet irritable not-quite-boyfriend or, better still, about the cute lesbians, finally the plotline has gotten moving again

This, unfortunately, probably isn't a good thing. See, the story has taken the NOT-PREDICTABLE-AT-ALL-RLY move of, after some really, really clunky foreshadowing, having the male lead's totally evil father - who we know is totally evil because he has traditional ideas about marriage and family and finds his wife's childish antics infuriating, as opposed to all the sympathetic adult characters who act like silly college students and hold shamelessly Westernized attitudes about damn near everything - decide that their arranged marriage should be called off because he doesn't think the heroine is suitable for him. And it took him three years to figure this out?

Of course, for maximum melodrama, this all has to happen on her eighteenth birthday.

And of course, we're now almost definitely going to see Boring Generic Hero forced into an arranged marriage with another girl he doesn't love and ultimately walking away from his stuffy traditionalist family so he can be with the Girl of His Dreams. Ho hum.

And of course, just before this so-called bombshell it was revealed that his mother actually went behind her husband's back to fix his son up with the infuriating heroine and her generic SASS in the first place, and Big Bad Dad never approved of it at all. Because his mother and her parents are goddamn psychic and knew the pair would be perfect for each other and fall madly in love despite there being absolutely no observable indication to suggest they would.

(Oh wait - they met once when they were kids. A meeting which just screams This Webcomic Was Not Well Plotted, as the only way said meeting doesn't make a total nonsense of continuity is if they both magically forgot all about it in between times. Of course, a single meeting when they were both young children in which the boring hero and infuriating heroine of course Got On Amazingly naturally means OMG THEY WOULD BE A PERFECT COUPLE, because it's not like people change as they mature--actually, given what a bunch of cases of arrested development most of the adult characters are, it's debatable if the webcomic author actually realizes that character traits are not set in bloody stone from the get-go.)

Again, this whole thing about his father never really approving is utterly goddamn predictable given that the more we learned about the hero's family, the less sense it made that he and the heroine were engaged in the first place. (I suspect the author made his family progressively classier as the story went on, making a nonsense of the 'engagement' as she did so.) The heroine's family are not particularly wealthy or well-placed, have nothing to bring to the table dynastically, their only value is as the wife's friends - friends her husband doesn't much like - and their 'sassy rebel' daughter isn't exactly a classy catch. This match is in their son's best interest how? More to the point, the owner of a company his father's deals with has a daughter who has known their son since childhood, and the hero's family choosing this other random girl over her has put her father's nose out of joint. Quite understandably, because it makes no damned sense!

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it.

They Do Things Differently There. Don't They? )

Worse, before this point - the utterly contrived 'break-up' relying, once again, on external pressure because God knows there's no way this phenomenally boring couple could do anything as interesting as actually disagree about something, still less actually have to work to make their relationship happen - there has been very little even vaguely interesting about the main couple for several chapters. They've just been boringly, gushily in love. It's like, why are these two the main characters again?

I was really hoping they'd have an argument. Or the romantic lead would have a moment of weakness and kiss another girl, or our annoyingly spunktastic heroine would start to wonder if maybe she was missing out on something by being in a long-term relationship which was almost definitely going to end in marriage while she was still in High School. Or - I don't know, that something one or both of them did would be the catalyst that had them rethinking their relationship. But no, it's external pressure yet again, it's the hero's Evil Daddy with his aspirations for his son (who needs to live his dreams and be free and flyyy, little birdie) trying to tear them apart. You'll have to excuse me here, but come on! Why can't these two have any problems that actually originate from themselves, not from other people?

These characters are boring as shit, and they're boring because they never seem to do anything. They're a pair of nonentities, passively there while more interesting things, involving characters who actually, you know, do shit and make mistakes and get over it, happen around them. Things happen to them, not because of them, and that utter inertia is what makes them such infuriating main characters and so goddamned dull.

You know, up until this happened, I was pretty into this story, but this one stupid plot 'twist' I totally couldn't see coming a mile off really honest has totally lost me. The sheer stupidity with which the inevitable break-up has been handled makes a nonsense of the central conceit - Girl A is in an arranged marriage with Guy B - and, worse, it's lazy.

Why am I still reading this stupid webcomic?

Actually, I know why I'm still reading this stupid webcomic: because there are cute lesbians and the author's fantasy voice artist for the irritable quiet boy who is far more interesting than the romantic hero is Tomokazu Seki.

If you made it through all that, congratulations. Please enjoy some cute and mostly worksafe femmeslash. Well, it's worksafe unless you work in, like, a monastery or something. (And if you want the non-worksafe stuff, I have that too. Mm, femmeslash.)
Current Music: some idiot with a power drill STFU STFU I AM TIRED
Current Mood: face, meet palm
14 May 2008 @ 11:35 pm
Nice Boat III: The Revenge of Nice Boat  
So, ultimately there was a boat, after all, and very nice it was too.

There was also a BAD END, and thank God (or the animators) for that.

God, how many girls did Makoto have in his harem? There was Kotonoha, though I don't think they did anything, then there was Sekai, Otome, Setsuna, Otome's three friends, Hikari... and, according to his cellphone, that was a fraction of the total. The guy seemed to be trying to sleep with half the girls in his year and by the looks of things he damn near managed it.

Makoto - yeah, I was glad to see him go. He continued to be dickish right the way up until his foul and bloody murder. He finally (finally!) realized that he had completely fucked over Kotonoha when he discovered that her mind had basically completely snapped, and apologized to her and started to try to make it up to her - but started to do exactly the same thing he had been doing to Kotonoha to Sekai. Deep-kissing another girl in front of the girl you've knocked up is asshole behavior however you cut it. So basically he hadn't learned dick diddly squat and while it was nice to see him realize what an asshole he had been, that realization didn't go far enough to make him actually stop doing it.

Speaking of, Makoto: IT TAKES TWO PEOPLE TO MAKE A BABY. Sekai couldn't have become pregnant without help. Revise Biology 051.

... yeah, this really made me want to see him killed (and actually restored a little of my sympathy for Sekai). His reaction to Sekai's pregnancy was to throw all the blame on her, shut her out, and blame her for his sudden decline in popularity and the loss of his harem. Because Sekai was perfectly capable of asexual reproduction or something and it had nothing to do with him screwing her senseless without using protection. And don't get me started on his belief that she had somehow ruined his life by falling pregnant, without ever once thinking that he might have ruined hers by knocking her up at the grand old age of sixteen... That would have made me want to go STABBY STABBY with the nearest sharp implement, too.

(Speaking of, there are some doubts over whether or not Sekai actually was pregnant. Kotonoha doesn't think she was, for some very fucked-up reasons, but I'm inclined to give Sekai the benefit of the doubt over this. My suspicion is even if she wasn't actually pregnant, she certainly had good cause to believe that she was. She might not have been telling the truth, but at the same time I don't think she was lying.)

Anyway, I think Makoto deserved to die.

I wasn't too sad to see Sekai offed, either. GO GO ACTION KOTONOHA! Though even I'll admit the whole 'you're lying about being pregnant and I want to prove it' thing was freaky and cringe-inducing...

(... I still wish that Kotonoha had beaten Taisuke over the head with something big and heavy, or that at least something bad had happened to the asshole after what he did to Kotonoha, but she was at least supremely awesome when they met the day afterward. Taisuke, you did not seduce her, you raped her, she doesn't love you, in fact nobody loves you, GDIAF.)

While part of me did feel a little sorry for Sekai by the end of it all, I didn't feel so sorry for her I didn't want to see her dead. I did feel a certain sense of schadenfreude when she realized that Makoto was cheating on her. Of course, she was selfish enough not to realize that this was exactly what she had put Kotonoha though when she came between Kotonoha and Makoto in the first place - it took Kotonoha actually standing there and pointing out that actually, she'd come between her and Makoto and it was a bit much for her to now accuse Kotonoha of stealing Makoto from her before she really realized it. I couldn't really feel that sorry for her; she utterly deserved that Setsuna-induced long dark tea-time of the soul on the walk home from his apartment. To borrow an overused phrase: karma's a bitch, huh, Sekai?

I liked the tie-in with the play Setsuna went to see. And, speaking of her, her final monologue to Sekai just before BAD END was pretty awesome, too. Though it really made Sekai loook like a conniver who was just using Kotonoha as an excuse to get closer to Makoto in the first place... yes, and down went my sympathy for her again. I really felt for Kotonoha, being used and abused by damn near everybody, even the ones she thought were her friends and lovers. Honestly, she should have just killed them all except Otome and Setsuna, but I guess just offing Sekai will do. Honestly, I have never wanted to see any couple in anime get their comeuppance more than I did Makoto and Sekai.

Setsuna gets points for just upping and leaving without saying goodbye to Makoto. Also, Otome. She got unexpectedly awesome by the end, ditching Makoto when she realized what a dick he had become without even giving him a chance to try and work his dubious charm on her. She just confronted him, quickly broke it off, then blocked his phone and threw out his picture. Good for Otome and I knew I liked her for a reason.

Finally, I'm glad I got to see the subbed Japanese version, by the by, rather than an American localization which would have jacked all the characters' ages up three years and moved the setting to a 'junior college' - how else could they have explained the presence of upperclassmen and still claimed all the characters were OMG TEWTALLI OVAR 18 ROFLCOPTER? The kind of daft, self-centered, immature behavior almost all the characters of School Days exhibited actually makes sense in the context of kids of fifteen and sixteen, but would leave eighteen and nineteen year olds looking... well, like they still thought they were fifteen and sixteen.

... okay, shutting up about School Days now. However, be warned that there likely will be more random anime ranting in the future. I do, after all, have fast internet and this nice computer.

I have some Weiss Kreuz fanfiction to post soon, does that sound better?
Current Mood: blood on the walls, yay!
Current Music: kanashimi no mukou he - kanako itou
14 May 2008 @ 10:37 am
The Boat Is Still Nice  
I should have gone to bed hours ago, but instead I was watching moar School Days. I just finished Episode 9, which means I have been wanting Makoto to die in fire for about five episodes.

You see, Makoto must die. Slowly, painfully, and in a pool of his own blood. (And you know, it's funny I should think that...) The longer I spend around him the more I wonder what the Hell all these girls see in him. He's not exceptionally handsome, smart or witty and while he started out as a fairly average awkward, fumbling teenage boy he's quickly turning into a cheating douche who tries it on with just about everything with a vagina.

Worse, he's far more interested in building up a harem than he is in actually forming a functional relationship with any girl. He's been screwing Sekai since Episode 5 - Kotonoha, you see, isn't giving him any so she's too much like hard work - and yet he still hasn't broken it off with Kotonoha, stringing her along and letting her believe that she's still his girlfriend while everyone else knows he's been slipping it to Sekai. Hell, even Kotonoha knows he's been slipping it to Sekai, though she's hoping against hope that somehow Makoto still loves her. He doesn't, but will Makoto and Sekai have the guts to tell Kotonoha? Will they Hell. Makoto wants to eat his cake and have it too, and Sekai's an emotional coward.

I'd say they both deserve everything they get in the form of BAD END.

... yup, I've lost pretty much all sympathy for Sekai right now.

The few times Makoto's paid any attention at all to Kotonoha since he started schtupping Sekai he's been more interested in her breasts than in anything else she might have to say for herself. She shows up in the hallway wuith her blouse soaked and all of a sudden Makoto realizes that actually, he shouldn't have been giving her the cold shoulder all this time. DOUCHE.

I replayed the scene where Sekai knees Makoto in the groin - something most School Days viewers have been wanting to do for at least four episodes by now - at least five times. It would have been more if I hadn't been feeling ridiculously tired and craving BED, NOW.

Of course, Makoto is now going off Sekai because she's no longer just in it for the sexyfuntimes and wants him to make some kind of commitment to her. (You think she'd realize how unlikely that was when he threw Kotonoha over for her largely because Kotonoha wanted an actual relationship, but clearly not.) He's now screwing Otome, a girl who he's known since middle school, on the side, so he's cheating on the girl he's cheating on his still-girlfriend with. WHAT A WINNER.

I have stopped caring what happens to damn near every character in this series except for Kotonoha. Kotonoha needs many, many hugs and a better boyfriend. I keep yelling DUMP THE BASTARD at my computer, which since I'm watching wearing headphones must sound incredibly odd to the rest of the house. He does not deserve her, and she certainly doesn't deserve all the heartache that loving him has caused her, and will go on to cause her. Yes, it's stupid of her to blame Sekai when Makoto's the cheating bastard, but wronged women the world over take out their rage on the 'other woman', not the man who's doing them both wrong, so her reaction becomes at least understandable.

She also needs a can of Mace very, very badly, but she has none. I know, it's one Hell of a place to leave her, but I need to sleep...


... yeah, and on that subject the perverted best friend character whose name I still can't get straight - Tatsumi? Taisuke? I think it's Taisuke - has to die as well for raping Kotonoha after breaking her heart. Can we say DICK? I believe we can. DICK DICK DICK GDIAF. And yet, in spite being, you know, A RAPIST BASTARD, he still manages to be far less dickish and deserving of dying in fire than Makoto does. Now that's an achievement. After all, none of this would ever have happened if it hadn't been for Makoto being even more incapable of keeping it zipped than Taisuke is.

Oddly, though this situation is at least partly her fault for telling Taisuke girls 'like to be pushed', I quite like Otome.

Though that's probably because I like her character design.

Yup, the number of characters in this series who HAVE TO DIE is quite absurd. I think Kotonoha should kill everybody except Setsuna and Otome, but I'll settle for just Makoto. To say I'm looking forward to the promised Nice Boat ending would be to understate the point considerably...
Current Mood: die. just... die.
Current Music: kotonoha - kaoru okubo
13 May 2008 @ 08:38 pm
Nice Boat.  
So I'm watching School Days. You can blame this one firmly on [ profile] __fantine, the promise of BAD END, and the possession of a decent computer. It suddenly occurs to me that hey, I can watch anime on this thing, and thus I am doing. Hence School Days, because it looks interesting and I've always had a thing for anime that could be comfortably retitled Lifestyles of the Creepy and Bugfuck Insane. Hey, I'm a Weiss Kreuz fan, and I loved Angel Sanctuary.

I'm not going to try and summarize the episodes, Anime Blog ga Arimasu did that and far more awesomely than I could hope to do. (There's also a less spoilery summary here.) Instead, I'm just going to babble pointlessly.

I thought I was going to like Sekai, I normally have a thing for the girl-next-door types, but four episodes in she's really beginning to annoy me. Perhaps it's the fact she is so stubbornly clinging to all that 'we just sit next to each other' BS never mind that damn near everyone can see right through that, all the while meddling gleefully in Makoto's relationship with Kotonoha. She's basically completely dishonest about her own feelings - and Sekai certainly lost a lot of sympathy points with me when she told Kotonoha that having boundaries was wrong and she should basically ignore all her own feelings of discomfort so Makoto could feel her up, and then a lot more when she suggested helping Makoto 'practice' getting his freak on. And she's still claiming she's Kotonoha's friend, Way to go, Sekai.

As for Makoto, he's a putative slimeball who clearly isn't prepared to respect Kotonaha's feelings in the slightest, still less the fact he's making her nervous and she wants to take things slow. Sure, she's a bit romantic and silly, but she's sixteen years old. DITCH HIM, KOTONOHA. No, really, just ditch the creep, you'll save yourself a lot of time and trouble.

(I like Kotonoha, have you guessed?)

Four episodes in and we're already headed for a situation of EPIC FAIL. Kotonoha clearly really loves Makoto, but Makoto's interest in her isn't so much interest in her as Kotonoha as it is interest in getting his end away with a girl with long dark hair and big breasts. (There's a scene in Episode 4 in which he sits in his room and faps his way through about half a box of Keenex.) Sekai, meanwhile, clearly has designs on Makoto and unlike Kotonoha, she's prepared to put out pretty much immediately instead of insisting on silly things like personal space and taking it slow. You can already tell where this one is going - Makoto is very quickly becoming a complete asshole and Player One is headed full tilt for a BAD END. This is good, because I'm four epiosodes in and I already want to kick Makoto where it'll hurt most. By episode 6 or 7 I fully expect to want him, to borrow a phrase, to GDIAF.

Episode 3 was THE FANSERVICE EPISODE. Well, the first of them, anyway. There will; no doubt be more, but Episode 3 seemed to have an unusually high concentration of it. Seemed like every other scene contained a panty shot or a closeup on Kotonoha's... tracts of land. And they're impressive, I'll grant that, but there's really no need to go to a tight closeup on them for about ten seconds. Admittedly, it could be a lot worse - I've heard things about Rosario + Vampire, for a start - but it's still pretty pointless. And WTF is with Sekai's work uniform? She works in a diner, not a meido cafe catering to lonely Eroge fans. I suppose they have to pander to the key demographic (twentysomething females were not part of the target audience for this show) but honestly, there comes a point when you just wonder why.

Finally, I an in absolute agreement with pretty much everyone else who's said that Kotonoha's little sister is the most sensible character in the show, and knows far more about relationships than the main characters could ever hope to.

Oh, and Makoto's voice actor sounds like the kind of guy you go to when Tomokazu Seki turns you down.
Current Music: innocent blue - devicehigh
Current Mood: i love a good trainwreck!