12 Days of Something II: I Timed This So Badly

Shockingly, Nisemonogatari doesn't make the list.

Shockingly, Nisemonogatari doesn’t make the list.

What you are reading here is the beginning of this blog’s 500th post. I worked it out so amazingly well that it falls dead in the middle of another bunch of posts and so it will be buried for weeks on end. So in that spirit, I’ve decided to do a list of my top anime. The humiliation won’t last all that long because of when this is scheduled thankfully.

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Pointless Debate #32: Remembering the Malaise Era

This just about captures my feelings for the time.

It’s certainly been a long time since I used the term “Malaise Era” to refer to anime. Actually it goes back to that terrible idea of writing 40 posts in 40 days about the anime of the 00s. I can’t help but do a lot of revisiting that time period since much of the terribad anime actually predates the period I’m talking about. I’m referring specifically to the period from roughly 1997 through 2005. Continue reading

I Remember Lo…er Mecha

Not eligible.

With the Sai Mecha tournament beginning, I thought it might be a good exercise to see if I could actually remember enough names to come up with a decent nomination slate. This blog hasn’t featured mecha in any decent amount since the early days where I had one reader. The tournament itself I find a peculiar idea, there’s clearly a large number of fans who care about the genre, but mecha themselves have ironically become an anachronism.

Now onto the nominations. Earlier I found out I couldn’t nominate such things as The Iron Giant, Megas from Megas XLR, neither Big Guy or Rusty or any of the mecha from Exosquad. Disappointed as I was with 5 of my favorites being disqualified, here’s 12 others:

1. RB-79 Ball

Just put a cannon on that and you have a weapon of minimal destruction

I figured I would just start with the Ball. In the UC universe as I remember it, it was the only mecha the Federation could utilize against Zeon until some kid and his training manual heroics came around. I remember it just being a mere joke, for it’s obvious inspiration from 2001 to the fact it was completely useless against any opponent with real mecha. That was until 08th MS Team‘s Shiro Amada showed off amazing skills in the Ball from the first episode. As the most technologically feasible on this list, it’s also the least powerful.

2, 3 & 4. MS-07 Gouf, RX-79[G] Gundam Ez8 and RX-75 Guntank

So it’s more from 08th MS Team. Needless to say, this is my favorite battle of everything I’ve seen. So I had to include the Gouf piloted by Norris Packard, Shiro Amada’s mass produced Gundam and the Guntank which was Norris’ objective in the mission. Apologies for using dub footage, but that was all I could find with minimal effort on Youtube.

5. Ideon

The most evil object in the universe. No seriously.

This was something I watched about a year ago, but it is vintage Tomino. Ideon is a classic story of 2 races who are so similar to each other that they can’t comprehend coming together for the sake of the universe. The Ideon mecha is powered by a mysterious force that is also wreaking havoc on Earth and the Buff Clan’s Earth. What follows is near constant death of all who try to get close to understanding what that force is. Then, infamously everyone in the universe dies at the end.

6. YF-19

Pretty much what was covered here.

7. GoLion/Voltron

You know something has crossed a cultural threshold when you get quotes like this in a US sports page:

Y’all don’t know what Voltron is?” Maroney said, incredulous and just getting rolling. “Don’t tell me none of y’all watched Voltron? Nobody never watched the cartoon Voltron? They connect! Five of them. (Looking around, laughing) Man, all that stories and reading and things you do, y’all don’t know nothing about Voltron?  Any of y’all got kids? You don’t sit down and watch (Voltron) with your kids…

So mediocre NFL running backs aren’t necessarily the standard for the general population, but I can at least understand where he was coming from. Voltron as it was called in the Western releases was the first series with mecha that I can remember. Sure the editing was 4Kids level, but when everything else animated had a Disney label on it, it was different. I’m probably exaggerating on that.

8. Mecha from Kannazuki no Miko

I’ll be up front here and say I didn’t watch enough of Kannazuki no Miko to even care what the mecha names were. I just happened to come across this as my interest in mecha was fading badly. I guess you could say this represents all of those series out there where mecha is used merely as a device of conflict, a trend that continues to this day.

9. GF13-050NSW Noble Gundam

Non-traditional fanservice for non-traditional fanservice fans

G Gundam is a fairly easy target for ridicule. Mecha with sombreros and another with a giant windmill on its chest pretty much represent lazy stereotypes of their nations of origin. The Noble Gundam was supposed to represent Neo-Sweden, and it’s design could be lifted straight out of mahou shoujo legend. When pilot Allenby Beardsley goes berserker, that hair has functionality I suppose. Maybe I should just move on.

 

10.XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero

At number 10 is the only one from Gundam Wing I think is worth nominating. It’s mind-destroying capabilities made the pacifist Quatre willing to blow up a few colonies here and there as revenge for his father’s death. That episode is actually one of my favorites, and it would be on a list of my favorite individual episodes if anyone wanted me to compile one. On the downside, it’s ridiculously overpowered and has massive plot armor effects as it was constructed with the same materials, yet is indestructible.

11. MRX-009 Psyco Gundam

It's only 3 times the size of the average Gundam

How could I forget this one? It just reminds me of the tragic circumstances of Kamille and Four’s relationship. Anyway, this mecha was ridiculously large because of all the newtype enhancements that needed to be crammed inside. One thing worth noting is oversized suits never do well against heroes in the UC universe (see: Big Zam).

12. Jet Alone

The Jet Alone mecha from Evangelion isn’t much in the grand scheme of the series. It appears in just 1 episode only to showcase how vastly superior NERV is at building piloted EVA units. So what actually makes Jet Alone worth nominating. I like to think that it became sentient because it realized that the world as it was shouldn’t exist.

40 Seasons in 40 Days: Fall 2007

Not remembering how everything got to this makes last night a good night.

Unlike yesterday’s post, there’s a large number of things I did watch in this season. There’s a wide range consisting of things like cynical marketing ploys, a poor man’s School Days, several visual novel adaptations and yes, more Minami-ke. Continue reading

The Worst Stuff I Have Ever Watched #3

Ah the future, where everyone wears knee socks regardless of gender and the scarves are made of hard plastic so they can be always flapping in the "wind."

Ah the future, where everyone wears knee socks regardless of gender and the scarves are made of hard plastic so they can be always flapping in the "wind."

“Apocalypse Zero is an anime that lives up to its name. Zero merits, zero reasons to watch it, zero out of ten.”

Apocalypse Zero

Positives

  • Inexplicably high level of VA talent assembled here.
  • The official subbers of this elected not to subtitle some of the lines, the laziness of others can be beneficial.
  • The effects of long-term exposure to radiation end up being comic fodder, though I doubt this was intentional.
  • Ending theme is also far too good for this.
  • Unintentional comedy score of 97 out of 100.

Negatives

  • Lots of stuff I will never be able to unsee of a graphic sexual nature
  • English title of Apocalypse Zero sounds like it should not be a post-apocalyptic title…unless the apocalypse is actually a pre-apocalypse.
  • I should also mention that graphic sexual nature describes every villain
  • Recycled footage in a 2 episode OVA, seriously
  • Narrative is a complete mess, but I wouldn’t be watching a masterpiece for this feature.
  • Main villain defeated comically easily

Well the story is pretty much a mess. The planet is rocked by earthquakes that last for 5 years and have exposed everyone to massive amount of radiation leaving many people deformed.

Hakugo gets friendly with his armored suit. Was this really necessary?

Kakugo gets friendly with his armored suit. Was this really necessary?

It’s a dangerous world where innocent teenage couples can be attacked by giant women who insist on full frontal nudity, and students go to school in unsafe buildings. There to protect them is Hagakure Kakugo and his armored suit named Zero.

The flow of the series is essentially fight scene, flashback, end of fight, bonding with other students with Horie (voiced by someone named Horie of all things) continuing her unrequited love of Kakugo before things repeat all over again.

The voice acting leaves surprisingly little room for complaint as it seems they simply hired a large chunk of the Evangelion voice team and threw money at them, or they simply needed work which is more likely.

Strange tongue deformity that.

Strange tongue deformity that.

Also, there is an overtly sexual element to nearly every scene. Whether it’s Kakugo making sweet love to his armor, or his brother/whatever changing genders because of the armor, or monsters with multiple penises, or detachable breast monsters or even a vagina capable of ripping off arms there’s no line that isn’t crossed.

In the end, the only redeeming factor is the comedy, though I doubt they set out for it to be like that. The terrible writing, the sex monsters, the physically impossible ways people are killed off and much more merely had me laughing. And no, that isn’t an endorsement of this at all.

And for anyone who comes across this, I am once again open to suggestions for terrible anime, or terrible anything else to watch for this feature. I’m hoping the next one doesn’t revisit this all too familiar theme of post-apocalyptic life.

The DVD Collection Part 8: Neon Genesis Evangelion (Marathon Rewatch Live Blog)

nge1
Series Aired: October 3, 1995 to March 27, 1996

Why this Format? I thought it would be an interesting thing to try doing a live blog rewatch. In addition, I recently had a bit of surgery done, and really have nothing particularly going on for the next several days. I could have theoretically done some more LoGH posts in this time, but I think I’m a particular creature of habit. I’ll try to update this entry as I think of stuff throughout this marathon this. So if anyone out there actually stumbles across this in the next 10 hours or so feel free to post comments or send an e-mail.

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