Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring 2012 : What will I watch?

Damn, it's nearly that time of the year again. The time when I'll pick up too much anime. Which obviously will be even worse than usual because I'll be doing an internship at that time. (Though I'll probably need it given the stress of said internship)
Anime is an addiction.

But first, the chart!

Definitely watching from start to finish

- Fate/Zero 2 : Goes without saying. Iskandar is moe. Caster is awesome. Ryuunosuke perfect. Saber adorable. Kiritsugu interesting. Waver, I don't know about Waver. 
And more importantly : THERE'S STILL NO SHIROU! (I hope ^^)
That and it'll be my anime date of the season so ... <3

- Kimi to Boku 2 : Surprisingly enough the first season managed to be entertaining enough so still watching the second. 

- Zetman : It's Zetman we're talking about. I love the manga. Also, Tiger&Bunny character designer's manga. /shot 

- Tsuritama : I have no idea what that is but it's Noitamina so ...

- Sakamichi no Appolon : Same. 

- Medaka Box : I heard the manga was really good so ... 

Giving it a chance (and will end up finishing most of the time, I'm just hopeless like that) : 

- Hyouka : Well, mystery anime ... I just hope it'll be quality mystery anime. 

- Accel World : It's Sunrise, I NEED to check. I don't want to nearly miss something amazing again. But I won't hesitate to drop if it ends up being like some other past things I won't name ^^

- Sankarea : Seems fun. 

- Tasogare Otome x Amnesia : Horror anime that really might be not horrific at all given the huge breasts I have seen. 

- Kore wa Zombie desu ka 2 : Given the first season has the most hilarious first episode ever and how the series ended up disappointing I'm wary. 

- AKB0048 : No comment. I like idol anime. 

- Shining Hearts : To be honest I have no knowledge of this beyond the "OMG it's soooo pretty" reaction I always get when I see figures. 

- Hiiro no Kakera : It's from an otome game. It's adapted by Deen. That alone should explain why I'm wary. Why I'm trying then? Because most otome games are seiyuu fest. 

- Sengoku Collection : I love that period. I can't help it. I'd watch anything that has Sengoku on the title. 

- Ozuma : Captain Harlock was one of my first fandom so ...

- Arashi no Yoru ni : Seems cute. 

- Train heroes : Original thing to make an anime about. 

Not even getting near (at least unless someone makes me change my mind) : 

- Saki Achiga Hen : Haven't followed the first season, not interested. 

- Kuroko no Basket : Sport anime. Not interested. 

- Uchuu Kyoudai : I need to put things in this section, I'm sorry, it seems like a decent anime otherwise. 

- Uppotte : I know I won't watch when I see a young moe girl waving a gun. 

- Queens Blade : Definitely not interested, if I want to watch hentai I watch real hentai. 

- Eureka Seven Ao : Haven't seen the first season. 

- Ginga e Kickoff : Sport anime. 

- Nadia thingy : Haven't watched the original. 

- Koi-ken : Too many girls on the promo picture. 

- Haiyore Naruko-san : Seems like the type of anime I'll dislike. 

- Acchi Kochi : I read tsundere in the summary.

- Phi Brain 2 : Read what I said about Sunrise earlier. That went into their disaster category. (I still had the patience to sit through 13 episodes, I'm proud)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dying in Another

(This post is brought to you by my frustration the guy in the last episode didn't commit ritual seppuku)

Maybe I should have had titled this post as such : "How death grows old pretty fast in Another" but the pun was really bad and I didn't really want you to have a bad impression of me from the start. (Though now you do but that's beside the point.)

The real point is, people die in anime, that much is obvious and each and every one of them has its own way of dealing with death. Take Death Note or any kind of post-apocalyptic anime or manga, death is just there, it doesn't get any special treatment, it's just there as a tool to make the plot advance. Now take a Gundam, or Code Geass, people die and their death is treated as an example a tool of emulation to created heroism, in short, propaganda. Unless they're villains. Obviously. Because villains only get what they deserve.
Only rarely do we see anime (or manga) dealing with everything that surrounds death, be it ante-mortem (like in Ikigami or Bokurano) or post-mortem (like in Ghost Hound, or even Tiger&Bunny). I like this kind of anime because it makes its characters more human.

Now, what's the matter with Another you ask? First, let's go over my reaction to the four deaths we've seen so far and I'll explain what really bothers me.

Remember, episode 3, the first person dies.

My reaction : FUCKING AWESOME. So much blood and so ridiculous yet so dramatic I'm totally in love.

Now, the next one.

My reaction : Damn they're imaginative, I am definitely going to pay more attention to elevators now but damn was it awesome and all the details and *insert random fangirlish noises here*

Here comes the less impressive.

My reaction : Well, a heart stroke, it was needed to keep up the realism.

And the last.

My reaction : The first one was to complain he didn't commit proper seppuku.
And then I started to think and it started to bother me.
Putting the curse aside and the fear of dying that happens to pretty much everyone when someone close to them dies, why do they care so little?
They don't seem sad, they barely seem to keep thinking about it once the initial shock has passed. Damn it, the people who died were all people they knew. Classmates, parents, friends.

For convenience I'll say that it's the survival instinct kicking in, and I guess that in the end the thing that really bothers me is that I really, really liked Another as an horror anime.
And now I'm disappointed.

I'm disappointed because dying in Another isn't dealt with as something that really matters. All that matters is survival of the greatest number. The ones who died are just unlucky cursed people. Why bother with those you can't save anymore?
In the end, it doesn't scare me at all anymore because I'm not made to care about the dead people, because I'm not attached to the alive characters.

Dying doesn't matter I just want to solve the mystery.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Black Rock Shooter or the salvation through imagination

When you're hurt, someone else suffers for you. 

I am not going to try and make a summary of something that doesn't really have one, it's not really my point anynway. I am not going to go into the so called symbolism of the series, not because I think there's none but because others have done it already and also because I think it's a bit pointless. I won't try to make sense of it because I don't think it's even supposed to make sense. Why you ask? Because I think that, ironically enough, the answer can be found in psychology and the adventures of BRS are a cooping mechanism.

Let me explain why I think that way and then decide for yourself.

Here is what I think happened, starting with the beginning, Mato is a normal student, sadly, what often happens with normal students, they're very weak to stress. So, obviously, when going to a new school where she knows nearly no one and everything is new, Mato is suffering from stress.
And there comes Black Rock Shooter.

In my theory, Black Rock Shooter is Mato's badass persona, the strong one she ultimately wants to be but knows she never will. Kind of her heroine, the one she imagines the adventures of before sleeping, or whenever she has a free moment, at school or wherever.

Everything can be linked to that. Absolutely everything. Remember the evil macarons?

If you think about it, these macarons were used as a weapon in her dream because they have been in reality. But in reality they're harmless, a treat, that's why Mato justify the fact she's been shocked and actually hurt by those and how Kagari gave them by using macarons as a weapon in the awesome realm of BRS awesome adventures.

In that realm she saves Yomi from Kagari and from herself, because I think she feels bad for intruding so much on their lives, she justify her somewhat bad actions by beliving she saves them. And really, didn't Yomi want to be saved? Didn't Kagari want to be saved? Didn't they scream for help?
Thinking about it like that, Mato becomes a heroine and everyone forgets she was nearly a stalker.
That's where Mato's saviour complex really starts to develop, it's exactly as they say, when you're helping people you forget about your own self, technically and even if it will backfire, someone else is suffering at your place.

I know what you're going to ask, what about Saya/Black Gold Saw?
Easy, Saya is a psychologist, Mato did tell her about BRS, then, wouldn't it be logical that she knew what was going on?
Whether or not she realizes it Mato knows that Saya knows, Mato knows what Saya does, she knows how she can control the students by saying exactly what's needed.

They want to be saved from despair. They're desperately looking at the light to be saved, to be helped by a person they're trusting. What does that person do? Make them cry, betray them.
That's where the saviour complex kicks in. What kind of heroine would BRS be if she doesn't help them? How can she save herself if she doesn't help them?

And this, my friends, is what I think is BRS all about, a simple metaphor born from Mato's brain, not necessarily only in her dreams, a transformation of her everyday life in a much more exciting and bearable adventure because, in the end, even if it's only in her imagination, someone suffers at her place.

(See how the rest of the anime will prove me wrong XD)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What is the best anime of all time?

Nopy talked about the best anime of all time and obviously I had to jump on the bandwagon and post about it too. Because it made me think, what is the anime I consider as the best of all time?

I'll start by telling you flat out that the best anime of all time doesn't exist since, after all, nothing is perfect, actually it would be really strange if everyone recognized the same thing as the best of all time. I'd totally be freaked out and think that something is fishy. And we all have different lives, we all have lived different things and as such we react differently to the same things.

That question made me think because I have honestly no idea on which criteria I should base my selection. What should I consider first? The entertainment value? The feelings? The plot? The characters? The writing? Animation? Music? Voices?
You can't even separate these, anime is a whole and deciding on a "best" anime of all time is obviously subjective.

Worse of it all? It changes. Everything changes. You'd have asked me a year ago what the best anime of all time was I'd have said : Durarara!!

Because Durarara!! has amazing plot and amazing character development and well, a really, really, really amazing plot, good music, awesome voice actors, very entertaining and not too hard to understand either. Yeah, but.

But something different came out. Not better, just different. Something with easy plot, predictable but not so much it became boring plot, good music, awesome voice actors, awesome writing, awesome character development and feelings. Lots of feelings. Well it's not that much a matter of feeling as a matter of how I identify with said feelings.

More than anything else it gave me hope. And I think that any work that manages to give that to its viewers/readers/whatever completely deserves the title of "best anime of all time" at least in one person's heart.

Now I'm pretty sure you're all wondering what I'm talking about aren't you? If you know me well enough you should have guessed I was talking about Tiger&Bunny. If you don't know me well enough then now is the perfect moment to learn something about me. (But you can forget it if you want ^^)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why do I blog?

I was checking my emails after more than 12 hours spent away from my laptop (isn't it something to be proud of?) and I stumbled upon a post by Nopy about his reasons for blogging and thus I read, because I'm a very curious person, and when I had finished reading I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and write my own post about the reasons behind the blog Kuuki no Puraido. (One day I'll explain why the title too. Maybe.)

Reason 1 : Everyone does it. 

Let me tell you the story of my first blog, back in the days, roughly 8 years ago, when I started to discover the Internet and its magic, I made my first friends and the girls all had blogs. They told me having a blog was fun and that I should make one too. So I did and indeed it was fun and challenging.
Among that group of friends I'm the only one who still blogs and I have changed platforms a lot over the years. Even so, I'm glad they told me to do it, even though that first blog was a bunch of crap.

Reason 2 : It's not RL

I don't know anyone in real life who blogs. Not a single soul. The only thing they did was post pics on a popular pre-Facebook French blog platform and since then they just stopped. It was the kind of blogging I was interested to anyway.
That makes it completely different from RL, just like another world on my own, mostly free of obligations.
And the truth is that I never had any friend IRL with whom I could actually speak about all the things I like. To me, blogging, and not only this blog, is another way to exist, a place where I can speak freely without the fear of being judged and the fear of bothering people, because people are free to read me or not.
It's actually pretty liberating.

Reason 3 : I'm an attention-whore

Of course I am, I blog, I have a Twitter account, I am ranting weekly on LJ about all the stuff that happens to me. I love to receive comments, I love to be noticed, I love praise, who doesn't?
But blogging is a bit different, it seems different in the way that blogging is essentially creating something.
When you blog you write, you have to interest people or else they won't read you, they won't notice you.
I don't like attention-whores, I suppose they all have their reasons and that they're all valid reasons, but I don't like them anyway because I can't stand the fact they actually receive that attention for nothing.
As such I blog, so I can at least justify the attention I'm getting (when and if I'm getting any)

Reason 4 : I just love it.

I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish typing a post.
I love the little fluttery feeling I get whenever someone comment on something I wrote, or even better, quote or link to one of my post.
I love writing on there. I love to watch anime. I love to write about what I love.

And seriously, what other reason do you need?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Winter Wonfes 2012

And thus Kuuki fangirled about figures she'll never get. Again.

Pictures from Dengeki and Gigazine

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Japan, Europe and Thermae Romae

First, sorry for the sudden disappearance, since I started to work, life obviously decided it was just the right moment to start throwing things at me, now it's calmed down a bit (until the next time at least), I can blog again!

Second, today's subject is Thermae Romae, as a French who's studied Latin and (reluctantly) roman history as well, I had to watch it. If only because, for once, the title is proper Latin (unlike Madoka, because yeah the full title was supposed to be "Latin").
Truth is, I really like seeing anime set in Europe, no matter it's a fictional Europe (like in Gosick for example) or a real one (like in Ikoku Meiro no Croisée, to a certain extent), because I find it incredibly interesting to see the representations Japanese have of my continent.

Thermae Romae is a bit special in that aspect.

First, its subject is a theme common to both Roman and Japanese cultures, mainly, baths, and I can only admire the researches that have been made to accurately present the differences between them.

Second, as you probably noticed, the animation style is special. Want to know where it comes from? Then, let's take a look at Alix, hero of a French comic set in Ancient Rome.

Now look at Lucius :

See the similarity? 

But these two points are not what make Thermae Romae that special, the thing that striked me when compared to other Europe-inspired anime is that it is always implied that Japan is superior, at least when it comes to baths. 
Lucius says it at every episode. 
Every episode has Lucius improving Roman baths with Japanese inventions. 

From an historical point of view, that isn't true, I am pretty sure that at the time of Ancient Rome, Japanese culture of baths wasn't near as technologically advanced as Rome's. 

And so, not only did I find Thermae Romae somewhat funny, but also sociologically interesting because for once, an Europe-inspired anime didn't cater to exotism but to nationalism to attract viewers.