What anime are you watching right now? May07-Feb10

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Postby LeoXiao » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:24 pm

I don't get why you guys are all saying that GITS Innocence was poorly done. I thought it was awesome in the way that it went totally overboard with the philosophy and in displaying the insanely layered nature of the man/machine interfaced society.

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Postby ran1 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:51 pm

Merridian wrote: (even referenced with a nicely played quote from The Stranger)

I know the quote, and when I heard it dropped it was an "lolExsitentialism" moment for me.

(if not the primary manifestation) of this absurdism—the story present isn’t really a story about dogfights or even war, nor is it really a story about lost love or the betrayal of a mentor or the jaded perceptions brought on by constant fighting; it isn’t really even about political espionage or underhanded morality of clone-kids or anything. It balances all of this in order to sculpt an absurdist presentation of an absurdist solution to an absurd problem: what if children were contracted to fight wars, and they were never allowed to grow up?


This is Oshii we're talking about. Something just tells me this film wanted to grapple with absurdism. Oshii is a big Existentialist, but hopefully he knows better than to take one aspect of a multifacted philosophical discourse and then make a film about it.

Personally, I think that this film was indeed one big hommage to Camus, but I think that he has confused his mediums a bit. One can really present absurdism in a format such as painting or literature... or even music, but since film takes aspects of all of these art forms-- key point-- aspects, the end result is a somewhat messy combination of misplaced signs and signifiers that make the signified more than a little uneasy about what they're watching, and that is where the big ol' plot traps come into play.

Anyway, short answer: Camus pulled off minimalism and absurdism in literature. Oshii tried but failed in film.

I can’t say he made a bad decision incorporating absurdism into the narrative. I’d be rather surprised if it wasn’t in the novel, in fact.


Case in point, essentially. I'm sure this whole dynamic worked in the novel, and now I'm actually really interested in what the novels turns out to be.

LeoXiao wrote:I don't get why you guys are all saying that GITS Innocence was poorly done. I thought it was awesome in the way that it went totally overboard with the philosophy and in displaying the insanely layered nature of the man/machine interfaced society.


Oshii grapples with a lot of Existential themes in his films. Some aspects of the philosophies of Sartre, Heidegger, etc. translate really well into artistic mediums, like the ones you just described. I like to think many great films (GitS, Blade Runner, etc.) all are great philosophical inquiries on what it is to be human, and in that regard, it makes Oshii a great filmmaker, but every good filmmaker can make a bad film once and awhile.

And to be quite honest, there are absurdist films that are a helluva lot more of a trainwreck then Sky Crawlers.
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Postby Merridian » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:32 pm

ran1 wrote: Oshii is a big Existentialist, but hopefully he knows better than to take one aspect of a multifacted philosophical discourse and then make a film about it.
Not sure what you’re trying to say here. Existentialism =/= Absurdism. They share characteristics and one grew out of the other, but Absurdism ultimately reaches/jumps to a conclusion that Existentialism doesn’t agree with.
ran1 wrote: can really present absurdism in a format such as painting or literature... or even music
absurdism in music
what
ran1 wrote: but since film takes aspects of all of these art forms-- key point-- aspects, the end result is a somewhat messy combination of misplaced signs and signifiers that make the signified more than a little uneasy about what they're watching, and that is where the big ol' plot traps come into play.
:uhh: That logic suggests that David Lynch is a hack. I think “plot traps” are really just phrases for things that confuse the viewer, and in a story that is confusing even to the characters within it, I don’t think the phrase is adequately applied. It’d be like criticizing FLCL for being one huge plot trap full of other plot traps—only difference is that Sky Crawlers was far more subtle in depicting absurdism than e.g. FLCL.

Also, how would you consider these signs/signifiers misplaced? To use the Stranger allusion, it sounds like calling the abusive boyfriend dude "misplaced"--a little arbitrary perhaps, but in a novel whose substance IS the arbitrary & the mundane, that criticism is redundant.

Probably is one huge ode to Camus, but I don't really mind that. TBH I thought he pulled it off rather well. Camus' writing always had a similar atmosphere of detached calm bathed in some vague looming fear, and Sky Crawlers' atmosphere is pretty damn reminiscent of that.

LeoXiao wrote: I don't get why you guys are all saying that GITS Innocence was poorly done. I thought it was awesome in the way that it went totally overboard with the philosophy and in displaying the insanely layered nature of the man/machine interfaced society.
Well, for Oshii, it’s “poorly done”; it’s actually not that bad of a film, and it’s usually one I refer to when saying “Even Oshii’s worst film is fuckin awesome”, because Innocence really is awesome. It’s just that its terribly uneven, and really ignores the “show don’t tell” concept of cinematography—something that the original GitS (hell, most of Oshii’s best films, actually) are guilty of to some degree, but GitS 2 took it to an extreme that was just too hilarious to be serious. The quotes were amusing, but they got to be just too predictable in terms of placing.

Its unevenness is presented largely in its atmosphere, which is something Oshii is typically a master of forming & executing. The first half of the film (prior to flying off to philander with Locus Solus) is very dark, film-noir-y, and actually pretty damn good—but the atmosphere undergoes a huge change with the Locus Solus location and really falls apart. The settings look cool from thereon out, but there’s no cohesive mood established. Not to mention the long-winded speech by Mr Automaton D00d in the loop-mansion-cycle-thing, which itself was concluded by a somewhat random base-storming of that battleship thing with all the gynoids. It's a pretty good example of a narrative that lost track of where it was going only to remember at the very last minute "oh yeah, those sex-bot things with the souls and the kids and the... stuff".

Don’t get me wrong, GitS 2 is still extremely entertaining. Just uneven. :)

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:30 am

I hope I love GITS 2 just so Merridian and I can get into it. :smokin: :flamethrower:
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Postby Merridian » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:20 am

:lol: I dunno, I still like GitS 2. It's just that you'd be pretty hard pressed to argue that it ISN'T uneven. Goes from moody low-key piece to jarring gah wtf is this to oh interesting ZOMG LOOP with monologuezzzzzzzzz OH SHIT WHAT JUST HAPPENED THIS IS AWESOME and then OH MY GOD YOU SINISTER BASTARDS! and then end.

It's shot well, but it's just... "wtf Oshii?"

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Postby Xard » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:11 am

Wait, we just had episode of "preview lied/people died" and you guys are talking about Oh Shit? GitS 2 the Crap Edition?

Geez

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Dem sexy VF > everything
:w00t:

(link = big spoilers for early series...)

Of course! :)

Choreography, music & directing = "FUCK YEAH AWSUM" tier (digging those cobra maneuvers. Hard. :smokin: )

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Postby ran1 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:13 am

Merridian wrote:Camus' writing always had a similar atmosphere of detached calm bathed in some vague looming fear, and Sky Crawlers' atmosphere is pretty damn reminiscent of that.


I'll agree with the first half of your statement, and I'm inclined to disagree with the second half of your statement. I can't say that the fear of the pilots wasn't all that well played until the second half of the film. And I really don't think the lack is subtle or anything, I have the feeling that its not there at all.

But, I do have some free time today, so I might just give parts of the film a rewatch. I'm commenting on a movie I saw 2 months ago, so my memory may not be entirely clear.

Not sure what you’re trying to say here. Existentialism =/= Absurdism. They share characteristics and one grew out of the other, but Absurdism ultimately reaches/jumps to a conclusion that Existentialism doesn’t agree with.


A facet of Existentialism is the Absurdism of human existence. What I was trying to say was that he was taking that one aspect of Existentialism and trying to make a movie about it.

That logic suggests that David Lynch is a hack. I think “plot traps” are really just phrases for things that confuse the viewer, and in a story that is confusing even to the characters within it, I don’t think the phrase is adequately applied. It’d be like criticizing FLCL for being one huge plot trap full of other plot traps—only difference is that Sky Crawlers was far more subtle in depicting absurdism than e.g. FLCL.


What seperates Lynch films from Sky Crawlers is that with a Lynch film, its like an intellectual journey, an attempt at piecing together seemingly incoherent facts and clues so that you can understand the usually mind blowing ending [Mullholland Drive]. Oshii is reminiscent of that stye sometimes, but here he wasn't. He just spelt it out at the climax. Herp I was your lover derp. That's a total generalization but I'm hoping you see my point.

I'd go into FLCL but I just woke up and need some breakfast. maybe later.

absurdism in music
what


I've people banging pots and pans together and then blowing into jugs without tempo or harmony call the sounds that they were making music. I figure that could fall into the "absurd" category, but by no means am I an expert.
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Postby schismatics » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:44 am

WOO!

BAKEMONOGATARI EPISODE 14 may be out this week! :D

Sauce

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Postby Merridian » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:16 pm

ran1 wrote: I can't say that the fear of the pilots wasn't all that well played until the second half of the film.
:shrug: I was more referring to the atmosphere, though. Meursault from The Stranger in particular never struck me as an overtly paranoid, fearful character—if anything, his calmness was offset by an atmosphere full of foreboding that led to an uneasiness on the reader’s side. Sky Crawlers was executed very similarly—the protagonist was pretty much fearless (and not out of courage but out of childlike innocence/ignorance), but it was perhaps in part because of this fearlessness—combined with the rather violently-shot combat—that the uneasiness seeped through in the atmosphere. It comes back to Oshii’s reliance upon & use of atmosphere as an element of equal (or greater) importance as the narrative and characters.
ran1 wrote: I'm commenting on a movie I saw 2 months ago, so my memory may not be entirely clear.
:lol: yeah I am too. I watched it back in early-November or so. I’m sure when I watch it again (someday) I probably won’t think quite as highly of it as I do now (I might not, but I have a tendency to be extremely wowed by things first time thru) .
ran1 wrote: Oshii is reminiscent of that stye sometimes, but here he wasn't. He just spelt it out at the climax. Herp I was your lover derp.
:lol: I do see your point, but that was really only one element of the plot. There’s still no explanation granted for what the whole purpose of their fighting was, who they were, where they came from, etc. I’d have to watch the film again, but IIRC then I think those aspects could have been better incorporated in the latter part of the film—that way it didn’t give the illusion that the romance there was the ONLY focus of the film when it obviously wasn’t.

Also, Lynch doesn’t always offer endings that make complete and total sense, nor does he really craft films so that everything fits within that “zomg revelation” period. Inland Empire (mandatory example :lol:) is great example of this—the ‘revelation’ point in that film is really there for audience’s catharsis rather than actual narrative summation or explicit twist. Even Blue Velvet was an absurd trip that offered very little in the way of “now it TOTALLY makes sense!” Parts of it did—the main story mostly made sense, for instance—but there were still details intentionally left unresolved. Not to mention the general weirdness.
ran1 wrote: I've people banging pots and pans together and then blowing into jugs without tempo or harmony call the sounds that they were making music. I figure that could fall into the "absurd" category, but by no means am I an expert.
Yet absurdism doesn’t necessarily mean purely random so much as incomprehensible—difference being that random implies absolutely no meaning whatsoever, and incomprehensible implies meaning that cannot be (or at the very least is extremely difficult to be) understood. I’m thinking that absurdism could only be executed in music in a way that suggests melody that isn’t necessarily there, or perhaps contorts melody so that it comes off as nonsensical. I guess Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica could be thrown in that category. Some noise and ambient artists perhaps, but it really depends on the artist and how the music is executed. Off the top of my head I really can’t think of any, but I’m not up to speed on noise or ambient music that much.

@Xard: SnW's last ep was a hueg braingasm that still hasn't given me chance to collect my thoughts :lol:
SPIDER TANKS FUCK YEAH next ep is going to be insane! :w00t:
at least it BETTER be

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Postby Xard » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:26 pm

Merridian wrote:@Xard: SnW's last ep was a hueg braingasm that still hasn't given me chance to collect my thoughts :lol:
SPIDER TANKS FUCK YEAH next ep is going to be insane! :w00t:
at least it BETTER be


I doubt that.

SPOILER: Show
War propably starts again but that we'd already see action is pretty damn unlikely

Also, ep 9 should be some sort of Klaus episode with Kureha in big role.

It's titled "Truth & Illusions"

Hmmm...


but then again, ep 8 preview is similar megatroll as ep 7's was... so who knows?

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Postby Merridian » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:31 pm

Xard wrote: I doubt that.
SPOILER: Show
War propably starts again but that we'd already see action is pretty damn unlikely

Also, ep 9 should be some sort of Klaus episode with Kureha in big role.

It's titled "Truth & Illusions"

Hmmm...
No no, you misunderstand me.
SPOILER: Show
Phone's supposed to ring in ep 8 according to engrish preview translation along with strange vague brooding/trolling.

Also, if Ep 9 has Klaus then it's already awesome. :)

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Postby Xard » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:33 pm

Merridian wrote:
Xard wrote: I doubt that.
SPOILER: Show
War propably starts again but that we'd already see action is pretty damn unlikely

Also, ep 9 should be some sort of Klaus episode with Kureha in big role.

It's titled "Truth & Illusions"

Hmmm...
No no, you misunderstand me.
SPOILER: Show
Phone's supposed to ring in ep 8 according to engrish preview translation along with strange vague brooding/trolling.

Also, if Ep 9 has Klaus then it's already awesome. :)


SPOILER: Show
I'm not sure how. I got the picture that you're hoping for death and carnage in ep 8 already but I doubt there's time for that if war starts in ep 8

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Postby Merridian » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:36 pm

SPOILER: Show
I'm hoping for explanation & grimdark revelations. Hardcore carnage I don't anticipate until around the end of the show (ep 10?), if it pops up at all outside flashbacks, really.

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Postby Xard » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:40 pm

Merridian wrote:
SPOILER: Show
I'm hoping for explanation & grimdark revelations. Hardcore carnage I don't anticipate until around the end of the show (ep 10?), if it pops up at all outside flashbacks, really.


Ahh, okay :)

SPOILER: Show
I doubt there'll be much of flashbacks. Revelations are however different thing

Rio might be royalty, you know

oh, and Amazing Grace - now Princess - is fucking awesome. I hope she's not dead ;___;


There'll be 2 bonus eps on BluReis :w00t:

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Postby Merridian » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:59 pm

SPOILER: Show
Xard wrote: Rio might be royalty, you know
Yessir. Thought occurred to me while watching that she might be saying ‘screw you’ to heritage/family/etc considering certain things dropped in previous eps.

Methinks princess whatserface is dead. I have no real reason to think this, but that’s what my gut’s saying. That smile by the cliff ruins thing with Kanata in first ep looked pretty eerie to me.
Image

------
Also started Haruhi, watching them in almost-broadcast order (DVD order, whatever). Intriguing.

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Postby Xard » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:08 pm

Merridian wrote:
SPOILER: Show
Xard wrote: Rio might be royalty, you know
Yessir. Thought occurred to me while watching that she might be saying ‘screw you’ to heritage/family/etc considering certain things dropped in previous eps.

Methinks princess whatserface is dead. I have no real reason to think this, but that’s what my gut’s saying. That smile by the cliff ruins thing with Kanata in first ep looked pretty eerie to me.
Image

------
Also started Haruhi, watching them in almost-broadcast order (DVD order, whatever). Intriguing.


SPOILER: Show
Princess Ilia... but she's still Amazing Grace to me! :lol: I too think she's propably dead but every scene she's been in is just so... awesome. She's too good to die! :(

Maybe she's child of a mistress? That's another possibility

(I fear that "nee-sama" for whom Rio prayed for is our Amazing Grace...)



As for Haruhi: YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG - DVD order is nigh-identical to chronological order :(

(I know western fans got some special DVD - which japs don't have - with original running order. Don't know more about that but) ANYWAY

Haruhi must be watched in its batshit insane airing order.

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Postby ran1 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:07 pm

I had some free time, and I watched a little bit of The Sky Crawlers again, pretty much the last 30 minutes of it. My harsh opinion of it eased a little bit, because I saw a very subtle otaku criticism in the film's epilogue, but it still doesn't rank any higher than a 7.0 in my book.

I ranted about it here.
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Postby Merridian » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:12 pm

Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya = AWESOME

Haruhi  SPOILER: Show
So was juggling DVDs worth “experiencing the broadcast order?” YES IT WAS. In fact, that’s really the only thing I can hold against it—why bother with chronological order to begin with if story works better in fragmented non-linear form? And this isn’t a case of Baccano where it’s fragmented to cover for shoddy writing & really just a combination of three/four largely unrelated narratives—MoHS actually highlights two different aspects successfully with different viewing methods. But I think the broadcast-order is the more interesting and creative presentation, whereas the chronological order ends up marginalizing many of the more interesting subtleties so as to make them play second fiddle to the “main story(s)” of Kyon’s experiences. It’s essentially an exercise in how to make an above-average anime really really good by using subtle editing & directing combined with proper viewing sequence.


Also, Dallos kinda sucked. Nice look at where Oshii ‘started’ with his directing style, but otherwise it’s pretty boring. Easily the weakest work of his that I’ve seen.

@ran1: :lol: probably goes without saying that I disagree with "choosing wrong medium" for Sky Crawlers, as well as losing potential amid mediocrity. Well-written review regardless. :)

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Postby LiLi » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:28 pm

The Sky Crawlers:

SPOILER: Show
Not quite what I expected... I should probably rewatch it to form a clearer idea... Overall, I found it to be an interesting but flawed movie with an interesting premise.

I do wonder whether a 2hrs movie was the best medium to translate the original novel to images and/or whether animating the rest of the novels in the series would help (that is, assuming Oshii's movie was an adaptation of the first novel only), but alas, I haven't read any of the books so far, so I cannot say.

I liked the music by Kenji Kawai; I liked the chara design overall, but I can't say I liked the use of CG - I found it at times jarring and even distracting, especially when they went for an ultra-realistic portrayal of objects and landscapes.

Storytelling-wise, the approach to the portrayal of m/f relationships gave me some unpleasant otaku vibes. :tongue: Most of the interactions I would have liked to see more of (probably not what you're thinking I'm thinking) , we were only given a glimpse of.

I watched it largely 'raw' so a rewatch might be in order.


Now I shall go back to finish my re-watch of the Escaflowne Movie...
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Postby Ornette » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:57 pm

You can find most of it at tokyo toshokan. Coalgirls has it subbed for the 1080p BDrips. Problem with toshokan is most of the older stuff die out depending on popularity. But it's a great place to find the newest Japanese media. You just need to learn how to use the torrent hash to find the active trackers in other places.


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