You’re probably wondering “how good is Ranma ½ series three?”. The answer is quite simple: it’s so good that I watched fifteen episodes in one day so that I could get it out of the way and move onto something else. Yes, the law of diminishing returns strikes at last!
I could say that every episode of this show is the same, but that’s not quite true, and it’s not quite the problem. Given that I enjoy the likes of City Hunter, it’s not really a complaint that I can get away with. No, the repetition of Ranma ½ is infinitely more sinister, rendering each episode into a black hole from which a few laughs may escape, but from which no meaning can be gleaned. With the introduction of one new character and the dropping of any continuous stories, Ranma ½ season three disappoints on all fronts.
Ah, you step away from consistently watching anime for a long time, you come out, and then all of a sudden you’re confronted by how blatantly sexist everything is. A woman needs a husband! To serve and protect! Girls are incapable of making any decisions for themselves!
In Ranma ½, we’re presented with two strong and independent leads … and a bunch of people around them who propagate a whole lot of senseless “women’s role” malarkey. All of the people who talk this way are generally presented as laughable idiots, but it does seem to be the party line of the series. I hadn’t watched any Ranma ½ since October of last year, but it all came back to me … and the second series is funnier than the first despite some continuity I couldn’t quite place and Viz’s blatant and nonsensical rearrangement of the first twelve episodes.
The Gainax/Khara franchise spinoff spoofs the psychological science fiction drama by reimagining the characters as classmates in Tokyo-3’s Nerv School, headed by Principal Gendō Ikari and Misato-sensei. The student body includes three different Rei “sisters,” the EVA-01 mobile weapon reimagined as the school bully Evanchō, and the ill-fated Jet Alone robot as JA-ko, a “hidden character” in the form of a shy android girl.
I am well aware that the over-merchandising of Evangelion is news almost as old as the series itself, and a constant irony that something produced so cheaply can still be used so damned effectively to wring money out from across the world. Even with hating the series becoming the hip thing at one point, the behemoth continues unabated. So out of anime at the moment am I that I haven’t even seen the trailer for the new movies.
While my initial reaction to the “Evangelion at School” idea was “that’s the stupidest thing ever”, I think I would secretly really like to see it. I wonder if Mechazawa will turn up it in?
Evangelion still has its influence today: I wrote this last week, and my friend told me that I was Shinji at the end of episode 26. Is that a good thing? I don’t know, perhaps some day I can only hope that all of you stand in the centre of a blue rock while all of your acquaintances say “congratulations” to you. Then it turns out that’s your inner space, and in outer reality on the everyone’s dead.
Hoo boy. Right now I feel like dousing myself in vitriol, setting myself alight, and dive bombing the internet. The majority of the second half of Kare Kano was good, but on many levels it went so far wrong that it was difficult to see where the rightness had been.
I did not care so much about the lack of a conclusion to the series; I had expected it all along. The half-arsed nature of what we were subjected to in the last six episodes, however, is less than excusable. One might say that this is, in fact, “inexcusable”.
Parts dealing with Arima and Miyazawa Relationship delineated with spoiler warnings
This is what high school anime should be: directed by Anno Hideaki and (not) animated by GAiNAX. There is a lot to love about Kare Kano; much of the time, Anno out Annoes himself, which is always fun, and frequently besides it has many strong messages of comedy, love and drama.
“It’s all right; they have wings.”
Going into a movie expecting the worst can sometimes turn out in one’s favour: when a movie is not, in fact, terrible and can perhaps even be termed “entertaining”, this is a victory. Tales From Earthsea is one such movie.
The problem with being made by Ghibli is that a certain standard of excellence is expected. The problem with being made by Miyazaki Goro is that the film is forced to live in his father’s shadow. For my money, I enjoyed this movie infinitely more than I did Howl’s Moving Castle.
Tales from Earthsea probably sucks as an Earthsea movie – consultation with my mother reveals that an enormous amount of this movie makes no sense from an adaptation perspective, and Ursula K. Le Guin agrees with this – but otherwise it’s a perfectly engaging, albeit generic, Ghibli fantasy film.
Until May 27th, Dendy Newtown is showing Tales of Earthsea, which you may know as Gedo Senki, or as “Miyazaki Goro’s Potentially Incoherent, Not-At-All Accurate to the Source Material, Ghiblifest of which his father did not approve!”
I’m seeing it at 4:40 tomorrow afternoon. I have yet to read the books, although they are among my mother’s favourites. I will be sure to get back to you with a full report!
Sydneysiders: Join in the fun!
Americans: Envy us or revel in your fortune! The choice is yours!
PS. Kon Satoshi’s Paprika is showing as part of the Sydney Film Festival. I’ve already bought my tickets. Have you?
I just realised some kind soul set me to “On Hiatus” on Anime Nano. I wasn’t going mad crazy! I’m not at full steam yet, folks, but I did cover some heavy ground in the last couple of months! Heavy … wishing ground? Check it out, old friends! I miss you so much it feels like the freaking Wizard of Oz over here!
“Piccolo Jr. Saga, Part 1”
Dragon Ball is at the point where, at only 16 episodes left, I’m already beginning to miss it. I know that I lose a lot of cred for admitting to liking Dragon Ball, but I think that part of that is based on the fact that Dragon Ball Z came out to the Western World first. One friend I was talking to said that he had assumed that it was more of the same.
Well, it’s not! Things that would actually be covered in Dragon Ball – say, character relationships – are reduced to “yeah, [x] happened while you were sleeping” ([x] being characters getting married and having children and whatever … despite the sense that these people would never have touched each other before).
But enough about Z, how about this next foray into the Tenkaichi Tournament? Boy, the time sure does fly when you watch a million episodes of this show in a week.
“King Piccolo Saga, Part 2”
Now that is how you make a spot of Dragon Ball! With a legitimate villain who is capable enacting his plans for world domination! With a villain who can back up his pride most of the time! With a villain who can spit eggs!
… but not with Pilaf doing much in the way of good. But you can’t win all of the battles that you fight.
“King Piccolo Saga, Part 1”
Goku is filled with righteous fury! Quickly, Pilaf! Cower in the corner under your new ruler! What, you’ve got that covered already? Jolly good show; keep it up.