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Tag Archives: Evangelion

Oh my, what’s this?! An update?! Yes, beloved internets, an update! I am entering the last few weeks of my final year of college, graduating in May. As such, I’ve finally gotten to a point where I can dedicate some time to anime! Just recently the new season started and, to tell the truth, I didn’t see any names that got me super psyched. I wasn’t feeling the hype. There was no buzz, no zing, no fire. I tried a pair of them, however, and intend to keep watching both, as both were very entertaining shows. I should probably write an article about “The Search for the Next Naruto: The Hype-Famine of 2012” but I’ll do that some other day. 

Nazo no Kanojo X

Ever want an anime about saliva? Okay, okay, there is more to it than that, and there is plenty of time to get into that later. The first thing that struck me was the art. Straight out of the gate, we are hit with an artistic and metaphor-laced dream done in an old film-reel style that even burns through when Main Character-kun wakes up. There is something about the textures in this show. Try to find the best quality you can, because they are doing subtle things on the screen. Rough things look rough, smooth things look smooth, it helps to make up for the generic sort of art style the mangaka used in the original work. Anyways, we get a little time with boring normal boy Tsubaki Akira, get to see that he has a sister that acts like his mom, funny friend, yada yada yada, OH HEY!  A MYSTERIOUS TRANSFER STUDENT!

She has a little UFO hanging from her bag and only speaks  four syllables for her self-introduction. Oh yeah, we’ve got us a weird one here. Still, considering how obviously socially awkward she is, she’s obviously a main character. We have a special area of the classroom specifically for main characters to sit. As always, it is the back left quarter, usually near a window. Now… who to call on to help her get settled in…

That generic youth in the seat next to her should do fine.

Now one thing that really struck me about the following scenes was how believable and realistic their classmates were. They behaved exactly as you’d expect them to, which makes the main character’s strangeness that much more… strange. She seems to be the only person in the room with any real character, and the art really reinforces that. That being said, since they are all so very believable, I found myself agreeing that she looked like a total freak by comparison.

So, the plot moves forward. We see that she sleeps whenever given the chance… main character forgets something in the classroom and he has to return after everyone else has left. There, he finds Girl-chan sleeping, and upon waking her up realizes how cute she is. The art style almost ruined the moment for me, but then I remembered that everyone has brown/black hair and tiny dot eyes, so I guess her blue hair and green eye combo overwhelmed him. Either way, she leaves and he notices that she drooled a little puddle on her desk.

Remember that thing I was saying earlier about saliva? Here it is. Man dips his finger in it and tastes it. Just… first impulse. And you know what? I buy that. I was once a pubescent boy; I can see where he is coming from. That being said, over the next few days he begins to suffer WITHDRAWAL symptoms. He doesn’t make the mental link to the saliva, though. Who would?

Oh.

So she hooks him up with some saliva and he’s suddenly better. He now needs his fix every so often or his body will go all screwy. Lovely, a physical metaphor for the rampant desires of young love. Or a unique plot device. Either way, I’ve not seen the like, and it is as good a premise for a strange girl/normal guy anime as any I’ve heard. The rest of the episode gives Girl-chan a few cute or admirable traits for us to hang onto… but it also drops a few subtle things of general not-rightness. For instance, there is one point where she does a spin and gives us a random panty flash… I’m used to that sort of behavior from anime, but I knew that I’d just seen something not-right. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, so I clicked back a few seconds in the video and played it again.

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, MAIN CHARACTER-KUN! Wait! He can’t! He needs her fluids! … I hope they stay together and happy forever… for his sake. Okay, drool anime, you win. I give. I’ll watch. All-in-all a wonderful first impression, I’ll patiently wait to see how the story develops.

Medaka Box

Okay. First thing, bothering me right off the bat, have to address it, can’t ignore it… WHAT IS WITH GIRL-CHAN’S OUTFIT?! Our female lead, the school president, has a massive set of breasts, and a (apparently) custom school uniform DESIGNED to show them off! Literally the sixth camera shot we get is a full-on, no excuses breast shot… but the really odd thing is it doesn’t seem like that sort of anime. In fact, I’m still trying to figure out EXACTLY what sort of anime it is supposed to be!
 Subtle, Gainax.

OH, DID I MENTION THIS IS BY GAINAX?! The Evangelion people? This is what they are doing now. But first things first, let’s focus here. I want you to stare at the above picture long enough to notice that she has arms. On her left arm, you will see a red armband, a blue armband, and three green armbands. Her entire left sleeve is armbands, more or less, and that is because, at this point, she IS the student council. Apparently only the president actually gets elected, and she won with a 98% voting rate. That is because she isn’t a normal person, she is some sort of paragon. She always does everything right and never seems to make any bad decisions. Man… that is hard to relate to! We need someone less out-there and much more common. Perhaps a half-Japanese kid with naturally occurring hair that looks like a bad yankee dye-job, like we had in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai?

Perfect.

It turns out that Girl-chan is actually childhood friends with Main Character-kun. While she is some sort of flawless superhuman, he is something much more impressive. Behold! We knew it must exist somewhere, and here it is! The legendary! The whispered! MALE TSUNDERE! Oh my, oh me. He makes the anime, and his common sense makes her perfection tolerable. Now, I was watching with a sub group that can’t tell a pack of cigarettes from a pokemon card, so forgive me if I didn’t properly understand some of the dialog,  but we get to watch Girl-chan do some pretty nonsensically impressive things fairly quick in the series. From what I can tell from the action in this episode and the snippets from the opening, this anime will have battle anime undercurrents… I guess it was either those or the giant robots, Gainax needed one. It looks fairly interesting, though. So far there hasn’t been anything that is 100% unique, but it is the presentation that really gets me. It is delivered in a fairly fresh manner, and I love her little quirk of popping up behind people. The scene in which we first see her legendary level of looking down upon someone else is also pretty darn fresh. If nothing else, Gurren Lagann fans should probably watch it to see Kamina-sama back before he got his tattoos. His is the kendo sword that will pierce the heavens.

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I hate Shinji.

Just look at him. He is seriously punchable.

I was thinking the other night about Shinji and everything I hate about him. Shinji, you are a mecha-shonen! You are one of the single greatest things a shonen can be in an anime! Not only do you get to be the hero and save the day, you can do it while sitting down. This is the laziest path to being a hero ever!

But seriously, Shinji is a whiner and a wimp. “line up the target… squeeze the trigger… line up the target… squeeze the trigger… OH GOD NOW IM IN AN ACTUAL BATTLE! WHAT DO?!” Maybe things would have gone better if you had gone through the training exercises thinking “Heck yeah, I’m gonna save the world, make my dad love me and maybe even seduce that hot older woman! Whatever I was doing before I moved here sucked by comparison!”

Then it hit me. The Japanese have already provided us with a great guideline for what makes a great pilot! They did so with the Japanese L/R flip! Remember, L and R are the same sound in Japanese… so when you say mecha pilot… I hear Mecha Pirate.

People, I say to you that all truly great Mech pilots must also be the sorts of people who would do well with a life of piracy upon the high seas. That being said, pirate type personalities work best for mech pilots. (This is doubly true for mech pilots who are also space pirates.) Here, lets discuss a few examples!

An Artist’s Rendition

Pirates are men of passion, whether they be the raiding and pillaging sea dog variety or the sea sailing freedom seeking sort. A pirate has to want SOMETHING out of life, even if they are only after wenches and rum! Shinji has plenty of wenches and his cockpit fills up with apple juice (yeah, I made that joke), but he doesn’t want that. He doesn’t really want anything.

Captain Char, on the other hand, has something he wants. He captains his near-legendary Red Comet, notable for her extremely manly reddish-pink sails. He sails as part of a pirate alliance founded by his father. Alas, his father, a fine and good man by all accounts, suffered terrible and unprovoked mutiny by scabrous dogs not worthy fer spittin’ upon. Hidin’ under a mask and a false name, Char sails fer the day when he can take revenge upon those blaggards, a black spot upon them all!

Char be displayin’ the…

Sorry, I’m 8 days early for talking like a pirate. Just got in the mood.

Char displays some traits that would make him a good pirate character. Lots of good pirates have a burning desire for revenge. Char is also an able commander, having a good relationship with his men. He is capable and even just a little bit cocky. Those are preferable traits to Shinji’s inept despair, be in a mech or a squall! He is also dread pirate, the sort that inspires fear in his enemies!

“What? What was that Captain? What? He said it’s Char! The Red Comet!”

“Char managed to take out five of our battleships single-handedly at the battle of Loom. Get us out of here.

That sounds like the dialogue of a naval crew beset by a legendary pirate doesn’t it? Lets try this one.

“That new [ship] is amazing. Are you there, Slender?! Get behind him!”

“Commander! What is that weapon, I’ve never seen a gun like that in my life!”

“Who cares, as long as the [gunner] doesn’t hit us! Just cover me.”

Captain Char is setting up the enemy ship for a double-broadside. He recognizes the power and threat of the enemy, let he doesn’t allow himself to be intimidated by it. He stays cool and relies on his own abilities rather than cowering and focusing on his opponent’s. Sadly, Slender isn’t gonna make it out of this one.

How about another example of a person with a great mech pilot personality?

Cap’n Kamina

You want to see a burning, pirate-like, ball of passion? Look no further than Captain Kamina, captain of the pirate brig Gurren. Together with his partner, Captain Simon on the fast sloop Lagaan, he can take ANY enemy, no matter how strong. He has set out to sea for adventure, for freedom, to grasp a world that he knows lays just beyond that horizon!

This is a man who had pirate quality dreams. His skills in a mech were rough and rudimentary, BUT EFFECTIVE. This isn’t a man who practiced his skills with a monotone mantra, no sir! Whats more, this isn’t a man who needed others to come save him! He was willing to carry enough of a load that HE could go save OTHERS! That was part of what was so great about him and made him my favorite character.

This is the spirit our mech pilots need

Now… Shinji. The thing that really pisses me off about Shinji was ALWAYS his lack of passion. Even with no long-term goals, the man could at least live in the “now”. He never seems to experience ANY joy in life. Not even the joy of eating a particularly good slice of pizza or going to the bathroom after holding it in through a really good movie… the man doesn’t take any pleasure in living in general. With that sort of mentality, there can’t be any good feelings building within him. Heck, I’m just waiting for the day when he snaps and chokes someone to death!

… oh wait.