April 02, 2003


It has come to my attention that I have not been using this group blog for its intended purpose (talking about what anime I'm watching), but instead as a sort of digital soapbox to spew grand essays about anime fandom in general or (as was recently the case) some personal information without much relevance to anyone other than me. And this isn't even taking into account my tendancy to spew out pages of dialogue sporadically instead of regular updates of a paragraph or two.

In short: sorry if you don't like it, but I'm not likely to change.

Now that human stupidity day is nominally over, I figure it's okay to come out a bit. Well, not really, I just want to talk for a bit. I tend to get extremely talkative after exercising my brain intensely for a few hours (although only about unimportant fun things like games and anime), such as during a prelim. Guess what I just did?

Anyway, now that my intro is over (my intro is bigger than most other people's entire posts... *sob*), I'll start the actual meat. First up is the dissapointing Weiss Kreuz Gluhen. I say "dissapointing" not because the first one was any good, but rather because it was most emphatically the opposite. In an era of serious, intensive Cowboy Bebops and Triguns, the first Weiss Kreuz was a seiryu vanity project that can best be described as Noir meets Power Rangers. It was every bit as laughably dumb as it sounds, and provided many hours of entertainment, albiet not the kind the creators were shooting for (if you're into making fun of stupid people doing stupid things and sounding utterly pretentious (ie, an MST3K fan like me)). Gluhen, on the other hand, is just bland and unoriginal without being hillariously overwrought. You can see the change best in their jobs: in the original, their day job was running a flower shop. In Gluhen, they're "ordinary" teachers and students. It's a lot less funny, but not much better (thanks Lyn!).

Feeling good about yourself, the world, and our chances for survival? Glad I could help!

While I'm on the subject of things not related to anime, I'll take a minute to plug Neal Stephenson's (of "Snow Crash" fame (coincidentally, that book has the best main character name ever: Hiro Protagonist)) book "Cryptonomicon," which gets serious bonus points for being clear and easy to understand despite telling a story nonlinearly in two separate time periods (WWII and about 1998) with a host of main characters and delving into mildly heady math (cryptoanalysis, or the study of codes; for those who don't know, WWII was won entirely because the Allies were better at this than the Axis). I'd go into more depth about why it's such a great book, but I should probably get back to anime before I'm lynched.

After a few months of waiting, the first Noir DVD arrived. This was an odd series for me, as it was one of the few shows I've watched that, after I finished it, I started liking less and less. It's mired in slow pacing and constant flashbacks and lacking in thematic structure other than a sort of "life sucks, everyone dies" (wow, that sounded like I actually know what I'm talking about, huh? Go me the film critic!). The combat alternates between awsome (especially Kirika's stunts) and abysmal (Kirika running up a wide, open with two guns, making no effort to even dodge, and effortlessly mowing down about thiry suits, and that's not even talking about the random people equipped with knives and swords), and by the end it almost completely gives up on establishing character motivations (especially for Kirika and Althena (yes, everyone pronounces it Artena, but come on, you know what it's supposed to be)). That said, it still has its moments (the tea fork scene in particular) and more than its fair share of really cool fights (in an interesting piece of polarity, they tended to be either really crappy or really cool, and there weren't that many bad ones). And I suppose the ludicrously unsubtle lesbian undertones are worth a few points. Overall, it's really a pretty decent show. It's just a little sad that the best part of a show about two female assassins of ambiguous sexual orientation is the music.

Then again, it is REALLY GOOD music.

Posted by David at April 2, 2003 02:10 PM


I think the reason Noir clicked so well for me is I've always been a big fan of the whole Hong Kong action movie genre. And Noir pulled from that like crazy. Even down to the standing on steps blowing away tons of bad guys while all of them miss. ^_^

The very end was kind of enh for me. But overall I really enjoyed it. It definitely is one of the slickest shows I've seen.

Oh yeah. And the soundtrack really does rock. Another good one for the soundtrack is RahXephon (which I think also kicks ass as a show).

Posted by: Gregory at April 7, 2003 12:50 PM

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